National Assembly - 28 February 2008



The House met at 15:43.

The Deputy Speaker took the Chair.


                          NOTICE OF MOTION

Mr L M GREEN: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move:

That the House debates the large number of university dropouts which is linked to a lack of financial security.

I thank you.

Ms A M DREYER: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that on behalf of the DA I intend moving the following motion:

That the House debates the skills and vacancy crisis plaguing the Public Service.

Ms H WEBER: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice on behalf of the DA that I intend moving the following motion:

That the House debates the prevention of Members of Parliament from performing their oversight function due to the obstructionist behaviour of public officials at government hospitals.

I thank you.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House –

1) notes with profound sadness the passing away of Ronald Michael Segal, South African political activist and long-standing member of the African National Congress, who passed on at his home at Walton-Upon- Thames, Britain, on 23 February 2008; 2) recalls that Ronnie Segal was born into a secular Jewish family in Cape Town on 14 July 1932, and that after completing his tertiary education at the University of Cape Town, Cambridge University and the University of Virginia, USA, he returned to South Africa in 1956 to found the critical quarterly journal “AFRICA SOUTH”, working from an office in Cape Town;

3) further recalls that “AFRICA SOUTH” played an innovative role in South African journalism, offering a platform to a host of thinkers, writers and artists who were opposed to the apartheid regime, and that it was among the first South African publications to make available the pioneering work of Basil Davidson, Oliver Fage and others on the pre- colonial history of Africa, A C Jordan’s writings on the evolution of literary tradition among the Africans of our own country, and the works of liberation movement leaders in South and Central Africa;

4) acknowledges that Ronnie was among the principal organisers of the Treason Trial Defence Fund, established to mobilise the funds for the defence of Chief Luthuli, Monty Naicker, Nelson Mandela and the other 153 leaders of the Congress movement charged with treason in December 1956;

5) believes that Segal was an outstanding South African freedom fighter and patriot, whose life-long contribution ensured the birth of democracy in our country; and 6) conveys its condolences to the Segal family, friends and the African National Congress.

I thank you. [Applause.]

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr I O DAVIDSON: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House –

1) notes that the South African-produced documentary film Taxi to the Dark Side won an Academy Award for best documentary feature on Sunday, 24 February 2008;

2) further notes that the South African producer and filmmaker, Don Edkins, was the executive producer of the film;

3) recognises the vital role Don Edkins played in producing and co- ordinating the South African co-ordinated, global documentary project, Why Democracy? for which Taxi to the Dark Side was made; 4) acknowledges that this documentary showcases the great talent our film industry has to offer to the rest of the world; and

5) congratulates Don Edkins on the great honour that has been bestowed on him.

Agreed to.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms M M SOTYU (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, the ANC endorses the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence on the “Browse Mole” report.

We note with grave concern that there are South Africans, known as information peddlers, who operate with sinister and counter-revolutionary motives of destabilising our country and the continent. We also note with regret that an important organ of state worked with the information peddlers to produce an inflammatory and false report. The Directorate of Special Operations has acted contrary to their mandate and the law. This must stop.

The ANC calls on all South Africans to unite behind the national agenda of progress and social cohesion, raise our guard, and isolate those who threaten our national and social cohesion. The ANC subscribes to our constitutional precepts on national security that national security must reflect the resolve of South Africans as individuals and as a nation to live as equals, to live in peace, to be free from fear and want, and to seek a better life.

Finally, we urge our government to take the necessary actions and corrective measures as a matter of urgency. I thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr M M SWATHE (DA): Deputy Speaker, badly maintained and poorly run treatment works in small and rural municipalities all over South Africa are causing sewage spillages into rivers across the country every day. There are rising concerns about dysentery and cholera outbreaks. These are the findings of a government study on more than 50 municipal treatment works across the country.

Furthermore, engineers have warned the government about the need to prevent poorly maintained municipal infrastructure from falling apart because of neglect and short-sighted cost savings. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s own annual report for the 2006-07 financial year cites the unavailability of sufficient technical expertise at municipal level as a significant cause for concern in the area of water treatment.

The DA calls on the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to establish a national task team to work with 100 municipalities where water quality management is at its worst to identify the problems they face and help to resolve them. Each of these 100 councils should have a comprehensive and practicable water demand strategy in place, and the national task team must ensure that this plan is properly implemented. I thank you.

                          SAFETY AT SCHOOLS

                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms C N Z ZIKALALA (IFP): Madam Deputy Speaker, the safety of learners or lack thereof in South African schools is an issue that has garnered a lot of attention in recent times. This serious issue was further highlighted by the SA Institute for Race Relations survey which suggested that, out of 45 countries, South African pupils feel the least safe at school.

Despite the fact that we know all about these safety problems that exist and the dangers that learners face, we still seem to be at a loss over how best to deal with this urgent issue and provide our learners with a safe environment that is conducive to learning. There are many examples of violence and criminal behaviour that have occurred in our schools recently, including an incident in Pretoria where Hoërskool Akasia boys allegedly stabbed fellow pupils during a fight two weeks ago. In a different incident, a pupil from Riverdene Senior Secondary in Newlands East in Durban was stabbed in the chest by a fellow learner yesterday.

Clearly, the Safer Schools Programme is not having the desired effect, as our schools are just as unsafe as they have always been. The violent behaviour of learners mirrors the moral decay of our society. [Time expired.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr B G MOSALA (ANC): The ANC has on many occasions raised its concerns in Parliament about the ongoing saga of opposition to the democratic transformation of the University of the Free State, and in particular, to the integration of students in the residences.

The culmination of these protests has been the despicable humiliation by white right-wing students of black cleaning personnel at the university, in one instance forcing them to consume a broth laced with urine. We also note with grave concern that the FF-Plus-aligned student wing on the campus has doggedly been opposed to racial inclusivity and transformation within this important institution of learning.

Ideas begin in the minds of people and it is in the minds of people that the seeds of a nonracial society should be planted. The University of the Free State is not an island. It is subject to the democratic Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the Bill of Rights.

The ANC urges the Minister of Education and the portfolio committee to get involved in this matter to ensure that the University of the Free State is brought in line with civil and humane practices consistent with a nonracial democracy. I thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr H B CUPIDO (ACDP): Chairperson, the ACDP is concerned that 98% of South Africa’s available water resources are already utilised, which means we have about 2% available freshwater resources in reserve for ourselves. This will not sustain the future economic growth we hope for. It should not be necessary to remind government to give consideration to future resources, but we all know they were warned that if forward planning was not implemented there would be an electricity crisis now and, clearly, it was not implemented.

We have taken note of the warning of Mr Morné du Plessis, chief executive of the World Wide Fund for Nature, that just as the electricity crisis could have been averted, so the water crisis of the future can be averted if we implement plans now. South Africa must act decisively to ensure our freshwater supply in the future and work to change the mindset of South Africans to one of conservation.

We must create new catchments, but not only this; we must pay attention to our catchment areas, particularly the Drakensberg Mountains and other major catchment sites. These need protection from sewerage seepage, toxic chemical leaks from mines and industries, and other environmental spoilage.

This means alert policing and collaboration of departments to ensure the fitness of water that we will be supplying not only for our consumption now, but to our grandchildren and beyond. Nature provides alternative sources of energy for electricity, but there is no alternative for water if there is none. [Time expired.]


                        (Member’s Statement) Mnr I E JENNER (OD): Voorsitter, is dit nie ooglopend dat die woord “reënboognasie” uit ons woordeskat verdwyn het nie?

Die stryd vir ’n demokratiese Suid-Afrika was die stryd vir ’n nie-rassige samelewing. Stryders van alle rasse, agtergronde en ideologiëe het geval in hierdie stryd teen apartheid wat een kleur bo alle ander verhef het. Ek stem saam met Sobukwe wat gesê het: “There is only one race, the human race”. In die Wes-Kaap word rasseskeiding aangevuur vir politieke doeleindes regoor die spektrum. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Mr I E JENNER (ID): Chairperson, is it not conspicuous that the phrase “rainbow nation” has disappeared from our vocabulary?

The struggle for a democratic South Africa was a struggle for a nonracial society. Comrades of all races, backgrounds and ideologies fell in this struggle against apartheid which favoured people of one particular skin colour above all others. I agree with Sobukwe who said: “There is only one race, the human race.” In the Western Cape, racial division is being incited right across the spectrum to achieve political objectives.]

We believe, as the ID, in bridging the divides between our communities, not exploiting them. Just the other day, I was shocked to hear a radio programme where callers said that black people should leave the Western Cape and return to the Eastern Cape. That is tantamount to apartheid, and we cannot stand for that. Let us bring our people together, not tear them apart. The future of every single South African child depends on this.

Die lang verwagte droom van oud-president Mandela moet voortleef om Suid- Afrika as ’n reënboognasie te laat ontvou. Suid-Afrikaners moet dus ten alle koste, oor kleurgrense en politieke verskille heen, die toenemende rassevoorvalle ten sterkste veroordeel. Ek wil nooit weer apartheid herleef nie. Ek is trots en patrioties. Ek is ’n Suid-Afrikaner. Dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[The long-awaited dream of former president Mandela must live on to allow South Africa to develop as a rainbow nation. South Africans must, therefore, across the colour bar and political differences, strongly condemn the escalating racial incidents at all costs. I never want to experience apartheid again. I am proud and patriotic. I am a South African. Thank you. [Applause.]]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mrs M M GUMEDE (ANC): Chairperson, the ANC is actually aware that at the core of the challenges we face is the task to speed up the creation of work and further to strengthen the fight against poverty.

The North West provincial government, led by the ANC, has committed itself to placing over 3 000 youth in the National Youth Service Programme, aimed at alleviating unemployment in the province. Amongst other things that we have observed is that the vulnerability of our youth to disease and their susceptibility to alcohol and substance abuse are perpetuated by the fact that many are unemployed or unable to participate in meaningful activities.

Through the same programme, over the past financial year, the province has managed to provide skills to 1 040 unemployed people through the Expanded Public Works Programme, conservation management, heritage management, information communication technology, adult basic education and training facilities, road safety management, and construction.

The ANC understands that democracy means more than just the vote, and must be measured by the quality of life of ordinary people - women and men, young and old, rural and urban. It means ensuring that all South Africans share in the country’s wealth to contribute to its development and improve their own lives. I thank you. [Applause.]

                          CRIME AT SCHOOLS
                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms S RAJBALLY (MF): Thank you, Chairperson. The following are four lines from four different incidents in one newspaper yesterday:

“Durban secondary school pupil in hospital after being stabbed by a schoolmate” “18 N Swart School pupils arrested for allegedly damaging the principal’s vehicle during campus protest” “A fist fight and pupils divided along colour lines greeted cops when they arrived at a Johannesburg school” “Outnumbered in a classroom argument over a desk, a pupil apparently left the school grounds to fetch a gun”

We clearly respect and uphold the national Constitution and human rights. We further support the ban on corporal punishment, but we seriously ask what we are putting in place to secure safety and stop crime at schools.

Discipline remains a crucial part of a child’s socialisation, and we need to implement swift methods to address unruly children and take back our schools that have been hijacked since the absence of corporal punishment.

Our teachers are teaching in fear, and unruly children are imposing on learners and the entire education system. We need to investigate effective methods to maintain discipline among students that are in line with human rights. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH (DA): Thank you, Chairperson. The growing scourge of drug abuse has the potential to become a greater threat to the social welfare of our country than HIV and Aids. Bearing this in mind, the DA has embarked on a countrywide awareness campaign to deal with the menace of drug abuse.

For the same purpose, on Saturday, 23 February 2008, the DA called a public meeting at the Northdale Civic Centre in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. The DA booked the hall from 11:00 am onwards. But to our astonishment, when the leader and supporters of the DA and members of the public arrived at the venue, it was occupied by ANC supporters, wearing ANC T-shirts. They were singing and dancing, having apparently been bused in, most of whom were apparently not residents of the area.

We learnt later that the ANC public representatives deliberately and deviously booked the hall for two hours before our meeting and for the same period after the conclusion of our scheduled meeting. The police and management of the hall had to convince them to allow us to proceed with our programme. They then stood outside, surrounding the hall with their ANC banners and posters, and intimidating people who wished to enter the hall in an attempt to disrupt the meeting.

I personally heard an ANC councillor, Mr Megan Chetty, shouting at our local councillor, Mr Sizwe Mchunu, saying, and I quote:

You know we won this ward. You know this is our area. Why did you choose to come here?

I thought no-go areas were a thing of the past. ANC supporters even attacked the bus which was carrying some old people home after the meeting, causing damage to it, all of this in full view of the public representatives of the ANC that were present there.

Their behaviour in this particular instance is against the rule of law and common decency, and goes against constitutional multiparty democracy. I thank you. [Time expired.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mnu N B FIHLA (ANC): Mhlalingaphambili, urhulumente osezintanjeni okhokelwa ngumbutho wesizwe i-ANC, yona ebambisene namahlakani ayo kwimbumba engunxantathu, uya kuthi ngalo lonke ixesha aqinisekise ukuba kumashishini karhulumente nakumashishini apho urhulumente enezabelo ezininzi khona, ubomi babantu bakuthi buyaphucuka.

Ishishini lamafutha eenqwelo eMzantsi Afrika, i-PetroSA, liceba ukwakha indawo yokugcina amafutha akrwada, i-crude oil refinery ngamanye amazwi, kunye nendawo yokuwacokisa ukuze alungele ukusetyenziswa ziinqwelo-mafutha. Eli ziko liya kwakhiwa kwingingqi yeNgqurha eMpuma Koloni.

Sithetha nje kukho amaqela ngamaqela alapha ekhaya nawasemazweni aphesheya athe abonakalisa uthakazelelo olukhulu ekutyaleni iimali ezinkulu kweli shishini. Ukwakhiwa kweli shishini kule ndawo kujolise ekongezeni ubutyebi belizwe, ukulwa ingxinano kumazibuko eli kwanokuqinisekisa ukuba okusingqongileyo akuchatshazelwa ngendlela embi.

Ngalo lonke ixesha, umbutho wesizwe i-ANC uya kusoloko usebenzisana nabantu ekulweni intswelo-ngqesho nentlupheko. Ndiyabulela. (Translation of isiXhosa member’s statement follows.)

[Mr N B FIHLA (ANC): Chairperson, the ANC-led government, in partnership with its allies in the Tripartite Alliance, will always ensure that the lives of our people are improved, especially in public enterprises and in those enterprises where the government has majority shares.

The South African petroleum industry, PetroSA, is planning to build reserves for raw oil, which is also called a crude oil refinery, where the oil will be refined and made ready for use by automobiles. This refinery will be built in the Coega area in the Eastern Cape.

There are local and international companies that have shown great interest in investing in this business venture. The construction of this centre in Coega is aimed at increasing the wealth of the country, addressing the issue of overcrowding in the country’s harbours and also ensuring that the environment is not negatively affected.

The ANC will thus always work closely with the people in the fight against unemployment and poverty. Thank you.]

                           ACCESS TO WATER

                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr M W SIBUYANA (IFP): Chairperson, the IFP is deeply concerned about media reports that the villagers of Masealama village near Turfloop have been living miserable lives without access to water. About 5 000 poor people rely on a communal tap that sometimes runs dry. The residents are now worried that their children could be raped at night while they walk to fetch water from the tap. Crime is also reported to be rife in that village because it has no electricity.

As we all know, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is faced with huge challenges regarding deadlines for proper sanitation and eradication of the bucket system. The provision of water is key to the goal of proper sanitation for all.

Though the government has done fairly well in providing water to some poor communities, this process has not been accompanied by an adequate budget for the maintenance of water infrastructure. It is our view … [Time expired.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms K R MAGAU (ANC): Chairperson, South Africa and India have recently concluded their seventh Joint Ministerial Commission, increasing the number of bilateral subcommittees and deepening social, political and trade relations. The two countries have signed a number of memoranda of understanding in the fields of science and technology, sport and recreation, immigration and citizenship, trade and economic affairs, agriculture and arts and culture, amongst others.

The relationship of the two countries is marked by common values and respect for human rights; as such, the relationship is ready to face the challenges of a rapidly globalising world. Our national liberation struggle has always been underpinned by international solidarity with progressive humanity.

The ANC commends the governments of India and South Africa on their continuing efforts to realise peace, friendship and prosperity amongst our respective people in pursuit of a better life for all. I thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr S B FARROW (DA): Chairperson, as the policy of grand apartheid was translated into action, in 1971 Minister Koornhof proposed that a township for about 200 000 black residents should be constructed on the eastern side of the Great Fish River at Glenmore.

In 1979 police and the defence force arrived without prior notice at the homes of the residents of the coastal communities between Coega and Kenton- on-Sea to force them to relocate.

From the outset, arrangements for their accommodation and general welfare were totally inadequate and they were exposed to appalling conditions. Bread-winners were no longer able to support their families, cattle died from plant poisoning, and many children died from malnutrition and exposure.

The people who remained there, today continue to live in dire conditions and they have been abandoned by the current government. They have been fighting without success for nine years to be compensated for the barbaric treatment they received.

Maybe the government is waiting until the original deportees are all dead, and maybe that will solve the problem. Unless the government that was elected to look after the needs of people such as these acts, the just and compassionate society that we all want will remain for many just a pipe dream.

The DA calls for the urgent intervention of the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs in this sad state of affairs. I thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr T G ANTHONY (ANC): Chairperson, all workers are entitled to a living wage and humane conditions of employment, in a healthy and safe working environment and collective bargaining. The International Labour Organisation Convention concerning freedom of association, collective bargaining and other worker-related rights confirms this.

Officials from the Department of Labour, members of the SAPS in the Human Rights Commission and officials from the Department of Home Affairs went on a blitz on farms in Musina. Some farmers were found to have flouted labour laws regulating the payment of overtime, to be guilty of excessive underpayment of workers, and in one instance, they discovered violations of the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

The law requires that all employers must register their employees if they work for more than 24 hours per month. Failure to comply with the law constitutes a punishable offence which could result in a fine or imprisonment, or both.

The ANC abhors illegal practices by farmers and urges the farmers’ union to act against the culprits. The ANC commends all law-abiding farmers who recognise the dignity and rights of farm workers. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms N D NGCENGWANE (ANC): Chairperson, the Gauteng Department of Community Safety has embarked on a campaign to strengthen the provincial crime prevention strategy known as the Take Charge Campaign by recruiting more community members to participate. Through the implementation of the Take Charge Campaign, there is a substantial grass-roots movement systematically working to reduce crime across Gauteng.

The ANC believes that our communities will win the fight against crime if we as communities work together with the law enforcement agencies. We commend the Gauteng Department of Community Safety on its ongoing search for creative solutions in the fight against crime. I thank you.


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Chairperson, I am representing the Minister of Labour. I am talking about Labour, not Corrections, but I am correcting something. The farmers and their unions must act together to assist government in upholding the laws of our country. No farmer should consciously violate laws regulating the payment of overtime. No farmer should underpay the workers on the farm, and no farmer should violate the requirements in respect of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The Department of Labour, SAPS and the HRC will not tolerate illegal practices of any nature. As we said in the statement, the ANC abhors illegal practices by farmers and urges the farmers’ unions to act against culprits who do these things. We commend all law-abiding farmers who recognise the dignity and rights of farm workers. Thank you.


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Chairperson, I would like to respond to a few issues that have been raised by hon members. One of them relates to the matter that has been raised in this House before with regard to the water challenge.

There are two issues that have been raised in relation to that. One relates to the issue of access in order to fast-track delivery to all our citizens so that they can have water closer to where they live, as raised by the hon member of the IFP with regard to the villages next to Turfloop.

The other matter relates to maintenance. I want to assure hon members – Minister Hendricks did raise this matter here - that the Department of Water Affairs has been working on this issue. As part of improving delivery of access, they, as we know in this Parliament, have been looking at how they can improve our capacity to provide more water by, among other things, building dams. We know that one of those dams is the De Hoop Dam, which is going to serve the citizens, and also our mining industry.

We also know that one of the issues that the department has been working on is indeed improving the quality of water. You will appreciate, hon member, that this is a matter where the department has to work very closely with municipalities to ensure that the quality of water is improved, and this is also where the department has been working with water services authorities to ensure that indeed such water is of good quality for use by citizens.

On the matter of maintenance, I would like to say to hon members that government approved the national maintenance strategy last year, because of recognising the challenges that we face in our infrastructure delivery or assets to ensure that indeed we can improve the maintenance capability. We have set up a steering committee, led by the Department of Public Works, which includes other infrastructure departments, to ensure that indeed the issue of maintenance is taken up. This strategy will also impact on municipalities and provincial governments. We have also looked at how the Department of Finance can ensure that when it looks at the budgets of departments they can also look at this matter.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon Minister, please conclude.

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Lastly, I appreciate the issue raised by the hon Mrs Gumede with regard to job creation using National Youth Service initiatives as well as the Expanded Public Works Programme. I would like to say we applaud the work of a number of provincial Departments of Public Works, but also departments at national level, such as the Departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Agriculture, Water Affairs and Defence, for the work they have been doing in ensuring that we can bring more young people into the world of work, and also young people serving their nation by giving 12 months to support the development of our citizens. Thank you.


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Thank you, Chairperson. Thank you, hon members. I respond to the statement made on the “Browse Mole” report and the observations made by the hon member. I do so on behalf of the Security Cluster, and on behalf of Minister Mabandla.

Yes, hon member, we note some of the observations made by the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and the recommendations made in that report, and we agree with the fact that of course there is no role in our state organs for peddlers of information and for counter-revolutionaries.

However, we should allow the Minister of Justice space and time to deal with the recommendations which have been made by the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and which are contained in that report, and allow her to come and report to the appropriate committee of Parliament when that work has been finalised. Thank you.


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, firstly, I would like to respond to the statement from the hon member about the status of the people who are landless, and who were removed from Kenton-on-Sea. However, the statement was not clear on whether the people had lodged a claim for the return of their land before 31 December 1998, when all land claims were closed, or whether it is a case of landless communities that are in need of land, because we have different programmes to assist such communities. So, I would appreciate it if the member could give us more information on these individuals.

Kwakhona ndifuna ukuthi kuyakhwankqisa namhlanje xa isele ingabo abakhomba umnwe esweni, ngoba kaloku thina asizange sivotele rhulumente wengcinezelo. Ngabo kanye aba banenwele ezimhlophe kakhulu ababevota, bengayeki, bevotela loo rhulumente iminyaka ngeminyaka, bevumelana naye xa wayegxotha abantu, ebakhupha ngenkohlakalo ezindaweni zabo. Ndifuna ukuthi ke namhlanje masingazenzi “ooSkoon papier” senze ngathi asiyazi ukuba ivela phi na yonke le ngxaki. Sicoca uxanduva olwaqala ngabom, nolwaqalwa ngabo.

Okokugqibela ke ndifuna ukubulela kuQabane othethe ngomsebenzi omhle obusenziwa ngamasebe, elezeMisebenzi, iiNkonzo zamaPolisa kunye neKomishoni yamaLungelo oLuntu ukunqanda ukunyhashwa kwamalungelo oluntu ebekusenziwa ngamanye amafama ethu phaya eNtla, kwela phondo lethu laseLimpopo, eMusina. Ndifuna ukuxhasa i-ANC in commending all the law-abiding farmers, who recognise the dignity and the rights of farm workers. … ngokuncoma onke amafama athobela umthetho nahlonela isidima namalungelo abasebenzi basezifama.] Ndiyabulela. [Ixesha liphelile.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Furthermore, I would also like to mention that it is very surprising to find that today these are the people who are pointing an accusing finger, because we never voted for the apartheid government. It is these same people with silky white hair who voted, and they never stopped voting for that government for many years, supporting it when it forcefully removed people from their areas. What I want to say today is that we should not pretend to be “Skoon papier” (holier-than-thou’s) as if we do not know the background to this problem. We are solving a problem that was created deliberately, by them.

Lastly, I want to thank the comrade who mentioned the good work which was done by these departments: the Departments of Labour and Safety and Security and the Human Rights Commission, for stopping the violation of human rights by some farm owners in the North, in the Limpopo province, in Messina. I concur with the ANC in commending all law-abiding farmers, who respect the dignity and the rights of farm workers. Thank you. [Time expired.]]

                          SAFETY AT SCHOOLS

                        (Minister’s Response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Chairperson, I have three responses. I will start with the response in relation to the statement with regard to the University of the Free State. The Ministry has unequivocally condemned the actions of these youths who have acted in such a despicable manner.

The Minister will shortly be meeting with the management, and I believe that the proposal in the statement that the portfolio committee should visit the site to deal with these issues of integration, which are so critical to the creation of a nonracial institution, is indeed welcome. We believe that the reality that only 3% of the hostels are integrated, after 14 years of democracy, speaks volumes about the level of discrimination that is occurring within that institution.

With regard to the issue of schools, I think it is indeed a correct and legitimate concern that has been raised. We are indeed committed to creating caring and safe environments in our schools. We must look at the context of our problem. We have more than 12 million children that attend school daily.

The question is: What has the Department of Education done? We have already identified more than 500 schools that are regarded as high-risk schools. We have provided them with metal detectors, lighting and security personnel, where appropriate; we have passed legislation to enable searches and seizures with regard to dangerous weapons; we have provided guides and manuals to learners to be able to deal with conflict management; and we have directed that governing bodies establish security or safety committees in order that they can liaise with community police forums.

The Minister of Education and the Minister of Safety and Security have an agreement in terms of which there is a close relationship between the police and department officials to ensure that they give priority attention to the challenges within schools.

But, by and large, schools are not islands. They occur and exist within communities and we have a collective responsibility to support our educators and our learners in ensuring that they become safe havens where effective and quality education can take place.

In conclusion, may I just mention that the survey itself must be looked at more closely. It deals with issues of perception and actual feelings. In terms of actual feelings, I think South Africa does quite well in respect of the report and in respect of the analysis. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): We still have time for one more ministerial response.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Thank you very much, Chairperson. My response is in relation to the statement with regard to bilateral relations between South Africa and India. There is a historical solidarity between South Africa and India. They are also involved in Ibsa, which is a relationship between South Africa, India and Brazil, which deals with issues of science and technology, sport and recreation, cultural exchanges, arts and culture, and agriculture. These areas are important in the context of our developmental agenda.

The challenges that face the South American countries, as well as India and South Africa, are similar, although the scale may be somewhat different. Indeed the relationship has certainly borne fruit. We have certainly succeeded in terms of establishing firm and quite interesting partnerships, particularly in the areas of science and technology and in terms of the exchanges with regard to agriculture.

We believe that there is indeed merit and that the solidarity, which may originally have been political solidarity, is translating into solidarity in action where we jointly try to overcome poverty and underdevelopment. Thank you, Chairperson.


                      (Subject for Discussion)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mhlanga kaMusi, malungu ahloniphekile ePhalamende … [Mhlanga, the son of Musi, hon Members of Parliament …]

… from the outset, I want to plead with participants that we need to approach the subject we are dealing with today in a very balanced and substantive manner. The 21st century is an African century. This goes with a historical obligation on the shoulders of our generation to resolve the problem of the colour line. One of the critical national and international challenges that confronts us as a country and a people is to succeed in the objective of creating a truly nonracial society.

There is no society on earth where the phenomenon of racism has been as much an integral part of the everyday life of a people, which has permeated all levels of a people’s being and self-perception, as has been the case in South Africa. Many across the globe believe, with good reason, that because of our specific history, we have the possibility to make an important contribution to the universal struggle to defeat the scourge of racism.

This statement aims to stimulate discussion in South Africa and beyond. It is a contribution to an ongoing global debate around racism and intolerance that draws on our rich history of practical and theoretical engagement with these issues.

Our approach to nonracialism has evolved over 90 years of struggle for freedom, democracy and dignity. Its defining feature is seeking to build the future in the present through united action. In the course of colonialism and apartheid, our people resisted assaults on their dignity but did not surrender to the temptation of advocating black racial domination. Instead, they reached resolutely and optimistically for the antithesis of apartheid - the ideal of nonracialism and of unity in action against racism amongst diverse people.

Throughout its history, the ANC has played a decisive role in nurturing and building this humanist response to a system that sought to deny our humanity. Racism is a system of power relations in which one racial group dominates others with the purpose of inequitably distributing social and economic goods and services, within a common society employing race as a determinant criterion of access. Few historical epochs provide a better illustration of racism as a system of power relations than the Atlantic slave trade, the conquest of colonialisation of Africa and the apartheid system in South Africa.

Racist ideology regarded Africans as less than human, thus providing a perverse moral sanction for these crimes against humanity. Among the broader public in their respective societies, racist ideology also served to legitimise the actions of its perpetrators. A freer world has emerged from this painful past, but the legacy of slavery and colonialism continues to shape relations between nations. The distribution of economic endowments has been decisively influenced by the positions racial communities and groups have occupied in this historically determined hierarchy.

The underdevelopment of the disadvantaged majority was a condition for the development of the privileged minority. The poverty of the oppressed groups was a condition for the relative wealth of the oppressor group. The current process of globalisation threatens to further entrench the unequal distribution of resources in the world - both between and within societies. However, if approached correctly, the advent of a global economy and globalised society also provides us with a unique and historic opportunity to address the inequalities generated by our shared history. In order to build a better future, we must act now in concert with the peoples of the world.

However, this in turn requires that we acknowledge the past from which we have emerged and change the persistence of patterns of privilege and poverty which are its legacy in the present. For the first time in history, we have the potential to act in genuine partnership with the nations of the world to build nonracialism in action by working together to ensure a better life for all. When Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the President of South Africa in May 1994, he declared, and I quote:

The South Africa we have struggled for, in which all our people - be they African, coloured, Indian or white - regard themselves as citizens of one nation is at hand. The struggle for democracy has never been a matter pursued by one race, class, religious community or gender amongst South Africans. In honouring those who fought to see this day arrive, we honour the best sons and daughters of all our people. We can count amongst them Africans, coloureds, whites, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews – all of them united by a common vision of a better life for all the people of this country.

Madiba was expressing a deep and resonant tradition within the liberation struggle. For the ANC and its allies, nonracialism was not a programme that would be achieved after liberation. It was something to be built in the here and now. Throughout its history, the ANC has played a decisive role in nurturing and building a humanist response.

Chief Albert Luthuli in 1961, following the massacre in Sharpeville and the banning of the ANC said, and I quote:

How easy it would have been in South Africa for the natural feelings of resentment at white domination to have been turned into feelings of hatred and a desire for revenge against the white community. Here, where every day in every aspect of life, every nonwhite comes up against the ubiquitous sign “Europeans Only” and the equally ubiquitous policeman to enforce it, here it could well be expected that racialism equal to that of their oppressors would flourish to counter the white arrogance towards blacks.

This teaches us, members, that all we need to do in building a really nonracial society and for the project of nation-building to succeed, is to ensure that we teach those young ones amongst us that there’s no place for racism in South Africa.

Abafundi baseNyuvesi yaseFreyistata abenze lezi zenzo zabo ezingcolile kufanele nakanjani siyigxeke leyo nto, ngoba izenzo ezifana nalezo azisizi ekwakheni isizwe esikhundleni salokho zenza ukuthi yonke into eye yalwelwa size sifike lapha sikhona ngenkululeko ibukelwe phansi. Kufanele sibafundise isifundo laba abasha ngoba uma senza njalo siyobe silungisa isizwe sethu. Uma kuwukuthi imfundiso abayitholi emakhaya, kufanele senze isiqiniseko sokuthi nabazali nabo bayafundiswa ukuthi iyini inhlonipho.

Uma ungabuza noma yimuphi umntwana kulaba akade benza lezi zenzo ezimbi futhi begila imikhuba ukuthi bengakuvuma yini ukuthi kuchanyelwe ezitsheni ezizodlela onina, akekho namunye ongakuvuma lokhu. Akukho muntu eNingizimu Afrika noma ngabe umlungu noma umuntu omnyama noma usuka kuluphi uhlanga ongavuma ukuthi kwenziwe lokhu kunina emzala, ngoba bangonina bazo lezi zing ane ezichamela ezitsheni zabo. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[We must condemn these despicable acts by the students of the University of the Free State, with the contempt they deserve because such acts do not help in building the nation, instead they look down upon everything that was achieved through the struggle, to reach the point where we are now. We need to teach these youth a lesson because by so doing, we will be rehabilitating our nation. If what they did is taught from home, we must ensure that even their parents too are taught what respect is.

If you were to ask any of these students who did these horrible things if they would be happy if one could urinate on the dishes prepared for their mothers, they would all say no, they would not be happy with that. No one in South Africa, whether they are white, black or any other race, can condone that being done to their own mother, because after all, these women whose dishes were urinated on, are their mother figures.]

The transition to a nonracial, nonsexist and democratic South Africa was not as miraculous as is sometimes believed. It is the outcome of the purposeful human action in many struggles waged over a number of years. The concept of nonracialism evolved gradually within the liberation movement. It advocated the overarching value of bringing all South Africans together in a struggle against a common enemy. Such unity action would neither undermine African leadership of our struggle nor deny the distinct characteristics and value of different communities and cultures. I thank you. [Applause.] The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, President Sarkozy very eloquently credited us with being the prime model of racial reconciliation in the world. It is in our hands to confirm it or wreck it.

Ek spreek vandag tesame met alle ordentlike Suid-Afrikaners my afsku en weersin uit oor die walglike tonele wat op video vasgelê is van wit Kovsie- studente wat swart personeellede, waarvan die meerderheid vrouens was, doelbewus verneder om daarmee, in hulle eie woorde, te kenne te gee wat hulle regtig van integrasie dink. [Applous.]

Hierdie video volg, ek wil sê onvermydelik, op die politieke opswepery van die VF Plus verlede jaar wat selfs sover gegaan het om ’n hofsaak aan te pak om die integrasie van die universiteitskoshuise op die Bloemfontein- kampus te stuit. Hulle het massaoptogte gereël en studente gemobiliseer om kwansuis te keer dat koshuise soos Reitz, waar die video verfilm is, se tradisies deur integrasie met swart studente afgewater sou word. Die huiskomiteelede van Reitz het aan die DA gesê dat dit omrede kulturele verskille en tradisies is dat hulle nie ten gunste van integrasie is nie.

Die skokkende video bewys egter die teendeel, naamlik dat die sogenaamde kultuur waarna hulle verwys het, net hulle eie blatante rassisme, minagting van die Grondwet, seksisme en baarheid is. [Applous.] Wat my die moedeloosste stem, is dat dit gedoen is deur jongmense wat grootgeword het in die bevrydende tydperk sedert 1994, waarin die meeste Suid-Afrikaners rassisme totaal afgesweer het.

Dis nie uit die bloute dat hulle so opgetree het nie. Hulle het dit gedoen omdat die leier van die VF Plus, die agb Pieter Mulder, en sy Vrystaatse leier, mnr Abrie Oosthuizen, daar was om hulle jong, onvolwasse gemoedere op te sweep en aan te hits. Dis baie maklik om mense te mislei. Dis baie makliker as om hulle te lei.

Wanneer ’n mens die tafel dek met hierdie soort optrede moet jy nie verbaas wees as jy ’n onverteerbare brousel op jou bord kry nie. Jy kan nie daarná kom en sê dat die VF Plus nooit die aantasting van enige mens se menswaardigheid goedpraat of kondoneer nie. Wat jy saai, sal jy maai.

Wat hierdie paar leiers van die VF Plus veroorsaak het – en die VF Plus het net vier uit 400 lede, van wie twee vandag hier is, in die Nasionale Vergadering – is dat álle Afrikaners, Vrystaters en witmense deur hierdie bedenklike gedrag geëtiketteer sal word. Hierdie mense, ons almal, moet nou gesamentlik die merk van Kain dra, ook die studente wat Kovsies as universiteit moet invul wanneer hulle ná afloop van hulle studies aansoek doen om werk. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Today, together with all respectable South Africans, I am voicing my abhorrence and disgust at the horrifying scenes that were depicted on video featuring white Kovsies students who deliberately humiliated black staff members of whom the majority are women, in order, according to them, to depict what they truly think of integration. [Applause.]

This video follows inevitably, I want to say, on the political incitement by the FF Plus last year that even went as far as going to court in order to prevent the integration of university hostels on the Bloemfontein campus. They organised mass rallies and mobilised students ostensibly to prevent traditions at hostels such as Reitz, where the video was filmed, from being watered down by integration with black students. The Reitz hostel committee members told the DA that they were not in favour of integration because of cultural differences and traditions.

However, the shocking video proves the opposite, namely that the so-called culture which they referred to was really their blatant racism, their disregard for the Constitution, as well as sexism and barbarism. [Applause.] What is most disheartening to me, is that this was done by young people who grew up during the freedom period since 1994 in which most South Africans have renounced racism completely.

They did not behave in this manner out of the blue. They behaved like this because the leader of the FF Plus, the hon Pieter Mulder, and his leader in the Free State, Mr Abrie Oosthuizen, were there to incite and provoke their young and immature minds. It is very easy to mislead people. It is much easier than leading them.

When one sets the scene for such behaviour, then one should not be surprised when one is faced with an undesirable result. One cannot them say that the FF Plus has never justified or condoned the violation of any person’s human dignity. As you sow, so shall you reap.

What these few leaders of the FF Plus have achieved – and out of 400 members they only have four, of whom two are present in the National Assembly today – is that all Afrikaners, people in the Free State and whites are going to be labeled as a result of this alarming behaviour. These people and all of us must now jointly carry the mark of Cain, as well as the students who have to write Kovsies as their university on their job applications after completion of their studies.]

But, despite this I am the eternally optimistic South African. I don’t believe for one moment that we are standing at the graveside of the rainbow nation. I want to say like Minister Trevor Manuel, as he did in the Budget Speech last week, that we have set our sails to weather the storm. I believe this to be true, precisely because we have chosen to debate this matter in the House today, because we chose debate and peace above hate speech and warfare.

Most if not all of our people are race conscious, but only a small proportion are race biased or obsessed, as is clearly proved by the voter choice in this country. Only two parties in this Parliament openly defined their voter appeal by race, and together they gained less than 2% support in the last election.

The voters thus disprove the contention of Human Rights Commissioner Jody Kollapen that former President Nelson Mandela had been too conciliatory and that a single race group is the root cause of this problem. It would seem that the voters would rather have more Nelson Mandelas to show us the way.

Instead, it is left to all of us, government, leaders and citizens, to confront racism wherever it happens. And, although this blatant incident is a rallying point for condemnation of white racism, it is because of its generic imaging, its demonstration of the horror of racism per se, that we are speaking up here against all racism on behalf of all people.

I believe in my heart of hearts that every single one of us here, and I would include the FF Plus probably, actually want to rid our society of racism forever, even though it is a project without an end, and that we colleagues, will all illustrate this commitment in our debates and in our daily actions, in our prayers and in our speeches, and that we will all rise together to say never, never again will race define our values or our dignity as human beings. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr B W DHLAMINI: Chairperson, Minister and colleagues, I think this House should first acknowledge that racism is a spiritual and psychological demon

  • which is evil - of disorientation which is learned over time.

The most shameful feature of centuries of racial oppression and apartheid is the devastating impact on generation upon generation of South African children. One of the fathers of our liberation struggle, O R Tambo, said, and I quote:

It is our responsibility to break down the barriers of division and create a country where there will be neither whites nor blacks, just Africans free and united in diversity.

Shock and outrage reverberated throughout the country after video footage was aired showing five University of the Free State black staff members on their knees, forced by white students to consume food containing urine. The IFP condemns this barbaric racial behaviour in the strongest possible terms.

A fight between two schoolboys at Riverlea Secondary School in Gauteng caused chaos when pupils boycotted classes and parents demonstrated outside the school premises. The fracas was a sequel to the suspension of a coloured pupil after he fought with a black schoolboy a week ago, according to the Sowetan. Both incidents have stirred massive controversy and highlighted the challenge of racism in South Africa. It has indeed been a dark month for race relations in South Africa.

The students involved in the making of this vulgar video dishonoured all constitutional directives laid down for us in the Constitution, and their acts are a gross violation of the human rights of the workers involved. The despicable actions of these four students have now also placed the entire campus at stake; riots and chaos are disturbing learning at the campus, which students can ill afford. Police are patrolling the campus while many students are even afraid to leave their residences. Comments like “it is now war between the whites and blacks” are doing the rounds on campus and should be strongly condemned.

The IFP would like to remind all South Africans that the challenge that confronts us now is to avoid attributing the ridiculous actions and attitudes of a few individuals to a community or an ethnic group. All South Africans have been outraged by this incident, both whites and blacks of integrity.

The IFP would also like to remind all South Africans that healing the divisions of the past depends on all our individual actions. It is up to each one of us to play a constructive role in this issue. The preamble to our Constitution calls on all of us to heal the divisions of the past and to establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. Let us all recommit ourselves to this.

One positive thing that has come out of this negative racial incident is that the majority of South Africans are united in their disapproval and anger over this inhumane behaviour. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr G T MADIKIZA: Chairperson and hon members, the nation-building project that began in earnest in 1994 under the able guidance of former President Nelson Mandela has seen many highlights.

To give but one example: Think of the groundswell of support and the joyous welcome that the triumphant Springbok team received from all corners of this country. They stood on foreign soil and sang our anthem, wearing our national colours, and beat all opponents they faced with sportsmanship and dedication. At the end, they raised the World Cup trophy and the South African President on their shoulders. At times such as that, we feel that nation-building and reconciliation are progressing, that indeed there is more that unifies us than what separates us.

The revelations from the University of the Free State have deeply offended all of us. We look at extracts of that video and are filled with anger, regret and shame. As democrats we are utterly shocked by the footage of our fellow citizens being violated in such a barbaric fashion.

What this group of students have done with their video is to capture in graphic detail the sort of dehumanising and disrespectful treatment that was meted out to the majority in this country under apartheid and its predecessors. With perfect clarity, they have reminded us of the past we fought so hard to unshackle ourselves from.

Those of us who, 14 short years ago, for the first time received freedom and equality, are fervently working towards the future, but incidents such as these drag us back and violently remind us of our painful history. It is very clear that, collectively, our efforts at nation-building require renewed impetus.

Something is dreadfully amiss when boys, who were still in primary school when His Excellency, Mr Nelson Mandela, became President, commit such a foul deed. Individually they must face the full might of the law, but collectively, all of us must view this as a clarion call, not to divide us further, but to inspire us to unify around our common humanity and celebrate our rich diversity. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr L W GREYLING: Chairperson, as a young white South African who is committed to building a truly nonracial South Africa, I cannot tell the House how saddened and outraged I was to see that racist video. I don’t often refer to myself as a white South African, because I strongly believe in Sobukwe’s statement that there is only one race, and that is the human race.

It is at times like this, however, that I’m reminded of the sickness that unfortunately still pervades many in the white community. The time for defensiveness and denial is over. I firmly believe that, collectively, the very least that white South Africans can do is to apologise, not just for this sick act, but for the centuries of abuse that we have inflicted on black people in this country. This is not about assigning blame, but it is about time that the white community as a whole takes responsibility for our past, so as to avoid it defining our future.

These were students who grew up in the so-called new South Africa. Yet they still felt that this was acceptable behaviour. Our anger must not only be directed at them, but at all those who continue to create the conditions where such attitudes are allowed to flourish.

The most tragic aspect of this video is that this is not simply an isolated incident. If we are honest, we will recognise that many white people still believe that they have the right to strip black people of their dignity. It is easy for white people to express their outrage at these four students, but we are just as guilty if we do not recognise and speak out against all forms of racism, no matter how subtly they are practised.

And, in response to the FF Plus Free State youth leader, I can categorically state that the ID will never allow people to make a choice about integration. That choice was made in 1994, and we will never allow our country to be segregated again.

If black people could reach out to us with forgiveness, the least we can do as the white community is to apologise for the hurt we have caused, and try in every way possible to build the truly nonracial society we all dream of. I thank you. [Applause.]

Dr C P MULDER: Voorsitter, dit is goed en reg dat die Huis vandag ’n debat voer oor so ’n belangrike en ingrypende saak soos rassisme en die effek wat dit op ons samelewing het.

Niemand wat erns het met die toekoms van al ons kinders kan onverskillig teenoor hierdie saak staan nie. Dit is iets wat op ’n uiters verantwoordelike manier gehanteer behoort te word deur almal. Verstandige, koelkopoptrede word deur almal benodig.

Die VF Plus het by herhaling reeds sy standpunt ondubbelsinnig gestel, naamlik dat ons die rassistiese gebeure ten sterkste veroordeel, ongekwalifiseerd. Ons het dit by herhaling gesê en ons staan daarby. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Dr C P MULDER: Chairperson, it is very fitting that today the House is debating such an important and critical matter as racism and the impact it has on our society.

No one who is serious about the future of all our children can be indifferent to this matter. It is something that should be dealt with in a very responsible manner by everyone. Rational, level-headed actions are required by everyone.

The FF Plus has already unequivocally stated its position repeatedly, namely that we strongly condemn these racist incidents without qualification. We have said this repeatedly and we stand by that.]

But let there be no mistake, the FF Plus is a modern and dynamic political party which is focused on the future. The FF Plus’s vision and ideals are based on international norms and values, values such as human dignity, respect for others, tolerance, equality before the law, nonracialism, equality, and equal opportunities. We are committed to this. [Interjections.]

But the FF Plus will not allow the DA, with its superficial and cheap practising politics, nor the racist actions of four irresponsible students, to contaminate the way that we stand and the things that we stand for.

Die ironie, Voorsitter, is dat dit nie die ANC is wat vandag hier kom en probeer goedkoop politiek maak nie. Dis die “fight back”-party. Die “fight back”-party kom vandag en probeer goedkoop politiek hier maak. Soos wafferse forensiese speurders probeer hulle die VF Plus benadeel. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[The irony, Chairperson, is that it is not the ANC who came here today to engage in cheap politicking. It is the “fight-back” party. The “fight-back” party is coming here today with its attempt at cheap politicking. As if they are forensic detectives, they are trying to discredit the FF Plus.]

Did the hon Leader of the Opposition inform her caucus that she has a vested interest in what happened there? [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Order, hon members!

Dr C P MULDER: Did she inform her caucus that she was the one who also went to that march last year to try and get cheap political capital? Did she tell them that? Did she tell them that in the end the students laughed at her and jeered at her, and now she feels sad about that? Did she tell them that? No, she didn’t. [Interjections.]

Die feit van die saak, Voorsitter, is dit: mense wat in glashuise woon, moenie klippe gooi nie. Wanneer gaan julle om verskoning vra vir die 1 000 arm mense in Delft wat julle bedrieg het? Wanneer gaan julle dit doen? Julle doen dit nie. [Tussenwerpsels.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Chairperson, the fact of the matter is that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. When are you going to apologise to the 1 000 poverty-stricken people in Delft whom you have deceived? When are you going to do this? You have not done so. [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Order, please! Let the hon member speak, please.

Dr C P MULDER: Chairperson, the election is in the air, and the DA has started once again to fight with other opposition parties. We take note of that, and we will take the necessary steps.

Let me be clear: we’ve done our homework. Those four young people are not members of our party. We’ve got nothing to do with them. For all I know, they may be members of your party. I don’t know; it’s possible. [Interjections.] But you’ve come here today and have been holier-than-thou. We are sick and tired of this attitude. We will not tolerate this.

Chairperson, the fact of the matter is this:

Aan die einde van die dag moet ons saam loop in hierdie land; ons moet ’n toekoms skep vir ons kinders – vir al ons kinders – wit en swart. Die VF Plus is bereid om daardie pad te loop. Ons steek ’n hand van vriendskap uit na al ons mense. Ons sal nie toelaat dat ’n party soos die DA probeer goedkoop politiek maak en rassisme aanvuur in Suid-Afrika nie. Ons verwerp u optrede met die minagting wat u verdien. Ons sal die pad loop in die belang van Suid-Afrika, en die kiesers sal met julle afreken. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[At the end of the day we all have to walk side by side in this country; we have to create a future for our children - for all our children - black and white. The FF Plus is willing to walk that path. We are extending a hand of friendship to all our people. We will not allow a party such as the DA to engage in cheap politicking and encourage racism in South Africa. We reject your actions with the contempt it deserves. We will walk this path in the interest of South Africa and the voters will hold you to account.]

I thank you. [Time expired.]

Adv A H GAUM: Voorsitter, die naakte rassisme wat blyk uit ’n video oor die sogenaamde inlywing van vyf swart werkers by die manskoshuis Reitz is rede tot kommer, nie net vir die Universiteit van die Vrystaat nie, maar ook vir Suid-Afrika. Dit is rede tot kommer omdat dit daarop dui dat daar jong Afrikaners in ons land is wat in die tyd van die aanbreek van die demokrasie gebore is, maar wat nie deel van die nuwe Suid-Afrika wil wees nie; jong mense wat ná 14 jaar van ’n vry Suid-Afrika daarop uit is om die grondslag van ons demokratiese orde te ondermyn.

Vir hierdie jong Afrikaners moet ons sê: die onmenslike en rassistiese behandeling van hierdie werkers, asook die rassistiese opmerkings wat uit die video blyk, is verfoeilik en ’n absolute skande. Afrikaners wat so optree om hulle ontevredenheid oor wat ook al te kenne te gee, is ’n belediging vir ander Afrikaners. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Adv A H GAUM: Chairperson, the blatant racism that is evident from a video of the so-called initiation of five black workers at the Reitz men’s hostel is a cause for concern, not only to the University of the Free State, but also to South Africa. It is a cause for concern, as it indicates that there are young Afrikaners in our country who were born round about the start of democracy, but who do not want to form part of the new South Africa; young people who, after 14 years of a free South Africa, are set upon undermining the foundation of our democratic order.

To these young Afrikaners we have to say: The inhumane and racist treatment of these workers as well as the racist comments that transpired in the video, are despicable and an absolute disgrace. Afrikaners who behave in this manner to voice their dissatisfaction, regardless of the issue, are an insult to other Afrikaners.]

What is even more worrying is that the four alleged culprits are apparently not alone in their thinking. The Reitz Facebook site exposes how at least some of its residents feel about integrating black students into their hostel. Gustav Buys is quoted as saying:

The reason why people are making such a noise about integration is because if there is one of another culture that comes into the residence, it is like a cancer in a healthy body. Reitz cannot work with two cultures.

Cornel Human writes:

I feel that it is time for us to make a stand, not just as Reitz men, but as Afrikaners and someone with the right of freedom of association.

As an Afrikaner, I want to tell Gustav Buys and Cornel Human: You have no understanding of or respect for our Constitution if you think that you can use culture and freedom of association as a smokescreen for racism. And Cornel, you are not going to make a racist stand in my name as an Afrikaner. People like you who make these kinds of pronouncements cause irreparable harm to the image of other Afrikaners here and abroad.

We want to believe that this deplorable conduct and these attitudes are those of a minority. We want to call on all reasonable South Africans, from all population groups, to condemn this in the strongest possible terms and, equally importantly, not to attribute it to the entire Afrikaans-speaking or white community, as Jody Kollapen is clearly doing. Together we must fight against white racism; together we must fight against black racism. There is no place for racism in South Africa.

Kom ons wees reguit en eerlik: daar is sommige Afrikaners en Afrikaanse organisasies wat, byvoorbeeld, bekommerd is oor die Afrikaanse taal en ontevrede is oor hoe regstellende optrede toegepas word.

Aan hierdie Afrikaners wil ons sê: tree in gesprek met die ANC en die regering oor wat julle ook al mag pla. Moenie julle terugtrek in julle eie kokon en julle probeer afsluit van die nuwe Suid-Afrika nie. Om jou te probeer onttrek, as ’t ware na binne te emigreer en laer te trek, om die nuwe demokratiese orde te probeer vermy of te systap, dra die kiem tot vernietiging.

Gelukkig is die waarheid dat baie Afrikaners juis die teenoorgestelde doen, mede-Suid-Afrikaners se hande vat en besig is om te help om Suid-Afrika te bou, nie te breek nie. Dit is die soort mense wat nie skynheilig is deur bedags met swartmense saam te werk en saans rassistiese grappe langs braaivleisvure te vertel nie. Dit is die progressiewe Afrikaners wat broodnodig is om te help om ons land te maak werk.

Ons kan verder ook nie nalaat nie om te sê dat die gebrek aan vordering wat tot dusver met die integrasie van koshuise aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat gemaak is, totaal onaanvaarbaar is. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Let us be frank and candid: There are some Afrikaners and Afrikaner organisations that are, for instance, concerned about the Afrikaans language and unhappy about the manner in which affirmative action is being applied.

To these Afrikaners we want to say: Have discussions with the ANC and the government about whatever issues concern you. Do not retreat into your own shell and try to cut yourself off from the new South Africa. Trying to withdraw, emigrating to within yourself and pitching camp so to speak, and trying to avoid or side-step the new democratic order, carry the seeds of destruction.

Fortunately, the fact of the matter is that many Afrikaners are doing exactly the opposite, they are taking their fellow South Africans by the hand and are contributing to building South Africa, not breaking it down. These are the kind of people who are not hypocrites who work with blacks during the day and tell racist jokes around barbecue fires at night. It is progressive Afrikaners that we badly need to help us make this country work.

Furthermore, we cannot refrain from saying that the lack of progress thus far with regard to the integration of hostels at the University of the Free State is totally unacceptable.]

How is it possible that after 14 years of democracy we still have exclusively white hostels? This is one of the primary questions we will seek answers to when the education portfolio committee visits this university next week.

Binne die konteks van die gebeure op die Kovsie-kampus is dit ook nodig om kennis te neem van die optrede van die VF Plus. Dit is goed en wel, en word inderdaad verwelkom, dat die VF Plus die optrede van die skuldige studente aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat veroordeel. Die belangrike vraag is egter watter rol die party op histories Afrikaanse kampusse speel ten einde nasiebou te bevorder of te beduiwel.

Insiggewend genoeg vergader die jeug van die party onlangs op Orania, ’n plek wat veronderstel is om die begin van ’n sogenaamde Afrikanervolkstaat te verteenwoordig. Die VF Plus-jeug speel al geruime tyd ’n rol by universiteite soos die Universiteit van die Vrystaat en die UP om studente teen transformasie en integrasie te mobiliseer, weliswaar onder die dekmantel van edele beginsels soos die reg op vryheid van assosiasie.

Tydens die Orania-vergadering word besluit om die Universiteit van Stellenbosch se studenteraad te probeer oorneem. Die VF Plus beplan dus om hulle veldtog teen die integrasie van koshuise en hulle algemene mobilisering van wit studente oor rassepolariserende kwessies na die US uit te brei. Terwyl dit sekerlik enige party se demokratiese reg is om op ’n kampus te organiseer, druis hierdie soort optrede regstreeks in teen die strewe na nasiebou en herinner dit aan die apartheidspolitiek van die verlede.

Baie Afrikaanssprekendes voel sterk oor die Afrikaanse taal en die tersiêre status daarvan, ek inkluis. Die VF Plus gee te kenne dat hulle hul ook vir Afrikaans aan die US gaan beywer. Die vinnigste wyse om Afrikaans aan die US en elders te kelder, is om dit weer opnuut te verpolitiseer en aan ras te koppel. Die uitdaging is juis die teenoorgestelde: om Afrikaans te ontdaan van rasse- en politieke bagasie. Ek is bevrees dat eksklusiewe organisasies ons nie hiermee sal kan help nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Within the context of the events at the Kovsie campus, it is also necessary to take note of the actions of the FF Plus. It is good and well, and is actually heartening, that the FF Plus has condemned the actions of the guilty students at the University of the Free State. However, the important question is what role the party is playing on historically Afrikaans campuses to enhance or bedevil nation-building.

Interestingly enough, the youth of the party recently met in Orania, a place that supposedly represents the beginning of a so-called Afrikaner volkstaat. The FF Plus youth has, for a considerable period of time, played a role at universities, such as the University of the Free State and the University of Pretoria, to mobilise students against transformation and integration, admittedly under the cloak of noble principles such as the right to freedom of association.

During the Orania meeting the decision was taken to try and take over the student representative council of the University of Stellenbosch. The FF Plus is thus intending to expand their campaign against the integration of hostels and their general mobilisation of white students around racially polarising issues to the US. While it is certainly any party’s democratic right to organise on a campus, this kind of action undermines the pursuit of nation-building and reminds us of the apartheid politics of the past.

Many Afrikaans-speaking people feel very strongly about the Afrikaans language and its tertiary status, myself included. The FF Plus intimates that they will also campaign for Afrikaans at the US. The quickest way to compromise Afrikaans in the US and elsewhere, is to politicise it once more and link it to race. The challenge is precisely the opposite: To rid Afrikaans of racial and political baggage. I am afraid that exclusive organisations will not be able to help us with this.]

We have to treat the events at the Free State campus as a wake-up call. We tend to believe that we have indeed grown together as a nation after 14 years of democracy. When students, most of them probably born after 1994, act in this manner, it is clear that something is very wrong. We will have to establish where and why things are going wrong. Is it at home, at school or at our tertiary institutions? This is a question that Afrikaners and all of us will have to ask ourselves after this incident and the attitudes that have been exposed.

Clearly, a lot still needs to be done to bring about the change of heart necessary to achieve social cohesion and true national reconciliation. This is the task of all of us - every South African - if we want a successful country. I thank you. [Applause.]

Dr G G WOODS: Chairperson, we can never condone any racist acts and we, as public representatives, have a special obligation to promote a society free of such prejudice. But, Nadeco questions the approach that some of us, from time to time, have towards this obligation. We often achieve more when we acknowledge the good that we do than when we only express indignation about the occasional bad that occurs, especially when we have more to be proud of than not.

We talk about our political miracle, but what about our sociological miracle? What we have achieved in 14 years regarding social integration across all sectors of society is unprecedented amongst those many nations which have been welded together from diverse peoples; some have taken well over a hundred years.

Look around you and you will witness this integration occurring in almost all facets of our daily lives, with ever decreasing resistance and resentment. So, let us condemn those few who show hurtful intolerance of others, but without inadvertently causing retrogressive type anger. But even more loudly, let’s celebrate our remarkable progress towards the harmonisation and accommodation of our diversity, as this will more likely and more expeditiously deliver the interracial tolerance we seek. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Chairperson, hon members, South Africa has been dragged into a quagmire of backwardness by inhumane, irresponsible, soulless louts at the University of the Free State, who did the most despicable things to trusting, unsuspecting and friendly parents.

South Africa signed the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination on 3 October 1994, and ratified it on 20 December

  1. Does this really mean that the four years it took us, as a country, to search our souls on this matter were in vain?

It has to be noted that all people who respect human life should condemn all acts of racism or discrimination in the strongest possible terms, whether at Skierlik in the North West, at Thabazimbi where a boy was shot dead after being mistaken for a dog, or at a supposed centre of higher education in the Free State.

Ratifying the convention against racial discrimination has put a huge responsibility on our shoulders, because laws and regulations perpetuating discrimination have had to be repealed. We can therefore not allow bitter, unpatriotic individuals to mess up this country.

We note that transforming a nation cannot be done sufficiently with bales and bales of legislation. All affected should meet their Damascus, and change from being Sauls to being Pauls. They have to change their hearts.

Mabaguquke aba belungu. [These white people should change.]

Discrimination between human beings on the grounds of race, colour or ethnic origin is an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations among nations.

Motlotlegi Mmusakgotla, fa e le gore botshegaingate ba, ba tla bona legodimo, la bona le mono lefatsheng. Le rona re le solofetseng ga ba ne ba le bona, eseng jalo nka itoma sekgono. [Hon Madam Speaker, if these amateurs see their heaven here on earth, they will never see the one we are all hoping for. I swear.]

The golden rule has always been “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Our injunction in the UCDP is that all people, regardless of colour, creed, status, educational level, gender or race, are made in the image of God and deserve to be loved, respected, served, consulted and tolerated. No race should impose themselves as a super race above others. I thank you.

Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, it is discouraging to note that after 14 years of democracy we are still stereotyping black, white, coloured and Indian. Race remains an issue on the table. We find racism still being used as an excuse for limited progress. We have claims of reverse racism as we find the organisation of sectors and meeting of groups according to colour.

For a country that has suffered tremendously under the banners of apartheid and has sacrificed so much to find liberation, freedom and equality, we are seriously making a mockery of the sacrifice of our forefathers and great heroes and heroines of our times.

The MF finds it absolutely blasphemous to claim that we are a democracy built on the values of our supreme law that clearly advocates the equality of all, when among us people continue to organise themselves into groups that ultimately divide our nation.

We have truly lost focus on the bigger plan and the bigger picture that we are ultimately South African, not “white South African”, not “black South African”, not “coloured South African”, and not “Indian South African”, but pure, undivided and equally standing South African.

We cannot tolerate or make allowance for divisions. We cannot allow or invite borders that will take us back to the apartheid legacy and remind us that we are not one. This is a treacherous lie and we need to ensure that we do not return to it.

The MF calls for respect in the bid for the next elections. Our campaigns should call for unity, and people who are tempted into division should be reminded of the apartheid regime and the suffering of the people.

We all want to grow, gain and live, but let us progress as one nation, as one. We are extremely displeased with the occurrence at the University of the Free State and think that these boys need to be called to task. We plead with the people to denounce race as an imposition on human rights and dignity. Allow us to unite in our diversity against such barbarous behaviour. I thank you. [Time expired.]

Mr M T LIKOTSI: Chairperson, people should not avoid confronting those issues that are critical to the solution of the present problems of the developing world and are rooted in the colonial past. We need to rise above narrow national group positions and begin to work as partners in order to facilitate consensus.

In the struggle for equality, we have contributed to spreading an understanding that there is no alternative to promoting full respect for basic human rights, as the cornerstone of both domestic and international stability. Unfortunately, despite much positive change, we have to express serious concern that the combating of racism, discrimination and intolerance has not been accomplished.

Diketso tseo, tse re di boneng ke maswabi a etsahetseng moo yunivesithing ya Freistata. Re se re kopa baithuti bao hore ba theole maikutlo hore dintho di lokiswe kaofela ha tsona mahlakoreng ka bobedi. (Translation of Sesotho paragraph follows.)

[The incidents that we saw happening at the University of the Free State are a disgrace. We appeal to those students to calm down, so that these issues can be completely resolved from both sides.]

Humanity can only make headway if it acknowledges and draws on lessons from the evil activities of racism. These crimes must be acknowledged, not to twist the knife in the wound, but better to realise that its lethal germs still persist.

If we want to overcome racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance we must restore the truth regarding the history of the African people, who today find themselves at the bottom of the pile. There is a pressing need to improve the protection of human rights and to tackle the phenomena that threaten the basic rights of all human beings.

Indeed, South Africa is a country that has massive human rights violations. These must be addressed. I thank you. [Time expired.]

Mme L L MABE: Modulasetulo, ke tla simolola ka go nopola ditiragalo tse di diregileng go bontsha tlhaolele e e leng teng, e e santseng e direga mo lefatsheng la rona. Re le ANC, ga re kitla re ineela go fitlha tlhaolele e fela. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[Ms L L MABE: Chairperson, I will start by citing events that have taken place to prove that racism still exists and is still prevalent in our country. We, as the ANC, will not surrender until racism has been rooted out completely.]

In Sasolburg, Pieter Odendaal, a white farmer who employed Africans, killed Mosoko Rampuru, one of his employees. He was murdered and dumped in a business complex. The police discovered a three-mile trail of blood in the streets of the area.

Mosoko Rampuru was tied to Odendaal’s van with wire and dragged around. Is this humanity? Is this the kind of life we want our people to live? Is this the kind of life we want, where people treat others like animals?

Some time ago in Limpopo, a young black girl was painted white because she was accused of theft. Is this how we should treat our people?

In Skierlik, Swartruggens, this year, Johan Nel, an 18-year-old boy, killed people. This was his second murder; the first murder was committed when he was 15 years old. He took his father’s bakkie, and drove 10 km from Swartruggens to Mazista in Skierlik, well armed with more than a hundred bullets. He used his father’s rifle, used for shooting animals, and killed four people, including a three-month-old baby girl. Eight people were injured; one of them is still in George Mukhari Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa.

When one looks at this boy, one wonders what the future looks like for him. Yes, Johan Nel is in prison now, but he is very sure that he will be released, because somebody somewhere says this young boy is mentally unstable. Is this the correct picture? When a white person kills a black person we allege that the person is mentally unstable. Is this how things should be handled?

In another incident at Swartruggens, lions mauled a black person. It was claimed that he wanted to commit suicide. Is that correct?

Let me also remind you of Barend Strydom. Before the 1994 elections, when the Afrikaners were fighting against democracy, Barend Strydom shot and killed people at random in Strijdom Square. Now, more than 14 years later, Johan Nel does the same. Is this what we want for our people? There is no way the ANC will keep quiet until racism has been dealt with.

I just want to remind members that now is the time, for all of us as leaders, to shine some light into the minds of those who are determined to continue to perpetrate racism. We must shine some light into their minds.

I also want to say that the first step, for all of us, is to accept that racism still exists. Accepting is the best way to start dealing with it. If we don’t accept it, we will continue to deny that it exists. Through denial racism is perpetrated, and the people who listen to you will never be convinced that racism still exists.

Go to our schools and check their admission policies. Some school governing bodies - not all white schools are doing these things, there are many whites who go out of their way to deal with racism, to fight it - prevent black children from accessing education in their schools by increasing fees and by coming up with policies that prevent blacks from going to those schools. Is that not racism? I doubt if it is not.

Go to some of the tertiary institutions! I went to the University of Pretoria at the beginning of this year and I was surprised to find that the majority of students there were still white. Although there are some blacks, the majority are still white.

There are some blacks who attend Afrikaans-only schools. They attend just because they want to defy the fact that those schools are meant for whites. They are even determined to study in Afrikaans so that they can prove a point. Is this how we should treat our people? Is this how we should treat our children at this time of democracy? I wonder if that should be the case. We need to think twice.

I also want to quote what our ambassador to Vienna, Tokollo Moleah, said in an interview:

When you experience racism from non-Africans, especially whites, Africans are more accepting. Sometimes xenophobia is wrongly appropriated to actions of this nature. Africans from neighbouring states are treated with mistrust by South Africans because they believe that they take their jobs. This is an economic issue and not xenophobia.

He says it is not an issue of xenophobia or racism that makes them think that people from neighbouring countries are taking their jobs, but it is an economic issue, because people from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, etc are prepared to be paid peanuts. This is an economic issue. But at the same time he says it is racism for those whites to pay them peanuts. I fully agree with him.

Just go around in our towns. You’ll find that McDonald’s eateries are in the white areas. Remember that, in the Western world, they are meant for the poor. Why are they not in the poor black areas? Why is this the case? Is this how, as businesspeople, we also reflect racism? Why don’t we have a McDonald’s in a township? In Skierlik? Why is there no McDonald’s so that at least once in a while they can buy a cheap meal? Or in a township in the rural areas?

Access to land is also one reflection of racism that has become a sensitive issue which we cannot shy away from. There is no way we can do that. The price of agricultural land has now escalated unbelievably, because people deliberately deny government access to land, to expropriate it for blacks. They hide behind the willing buyer, willing seller approach. That is racism! If those people who own the land, who own the farms, were prepared to deal with racism, they would be willing to reach out to government and say, yes, we are prepared to give up so many farms so that blacks can have access. That is racism! We urge government to speed up the process of acquisition of land by blacks so that we will be able to reach the target by 2014.

I also want to refer to what we are familiar with in this House. Ministers are asked to get lists of retired white employees. Why don’t we talk about retired black employees who have skills? It is not only retired whites who have skills. Even retired blacks, who thought that they could make it in business when they took their packages, are right now unemployed and don’t have businesses. Why don’t we talk about them? The FF Plus, you must also talk about bringing back retired black professionals into government.

I want to quote what Robert Sobukwe once said:

We are fighting for the noblest cause on earth, the liberation of mankind. They are fighting to entrench an outworn, anachronistic and vile system of oppression. We represent progress; they represent decadence. We represent the fresh fragrance of flowers in bloom; they represent the rancid smell of decaying vegetation.

The ANC says, we have history on our side. We will win regardless of the stumbling blocks we come across. South Africa belongs to all who live in it. We will fight racism at all costs! We will fight sexism at all costs! We will unite our people behind the ANC, behind the Freedom Charter, regardless of whoever likes the Freedom Charter or not! We will win and we will make it possible for our people to get rid of racism in this country.

Kwa bokhutlong, ke rata go lebogela gore, fa ke ne ke bua ka nako ya dipuisano tsa puo ya pulo ya Palamente [state of the nation address], ke re re tlo boela fano go tla go bua ka kgang ya tlhaolele, Moetapelemogolo wa Maloko [Chief Whip] o ne a reeditse. Gompieno re bua ka tlhaolele, le baagi ba kwa Skierlik ba itse gore Palamente ya Aforika Borwa e na le bona mme e tlile go lwantshanya tlhaolelel e e leng teng mo lefatsheng la rona. Ke a leboga. [Legofi.] (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[Lastly, I am grateful that the Chief Whip was listening when I indicated during the debate on of the state of the nation address, that we will revisit the racism matter. Today we are talking about racism and the residents of Skierlik know that the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa is with them and will fight racism which still exists in our land. Thank you. [Applause.]]

Mr L M GREEN: Chairperson, hon members, if we want to deal with racism for good in our nation, we must teach our children only two principles: Love God with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul; and love your neighbour as yourself. This is the biblical answer to racism. We must treat others as we want them to treat us. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia, in his apology to the Aboriginal people on behalf of the Australians, said, and I quote:

It is time to reconcile. It is time to recognise the injustices of the past. It is time to say sorry. It is time to move forward together. Our challenge for the future is to embrace a new partnership between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

According to the chairperson of our Human Rights Commission it is not too late for white South Africans to say sorry. In this regard, a quote by Winnicott on African psychology is applicable: “The past cannot go to the past until it is remembered in the present.” We have proceeded on the road to national recovery, but there are signs indicating that not enough has been done. The shocking, barbaric, racist incident at the University of the Free State is a case in point.

South Africans, unlike Australians, have undergone a TRC process to deal with the injustices of the past. The initial process provided a framework conducive to the context of the time. There is now a need for a similar process with the object of completing the cycle of reconciliation.

The racist incident at the University of the Free State should not allow us to lose sight of what we have achieved over more than a decade of constitutional democracy. The perpetrators of such actions and others who think like them are clinging to a previous dispensation that has no place in our new South Africa.

Finally, Chairperson, we are building a new nation and a caring society based on humane values. And these are the values we must teach our children and our grandchildren. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr S SIMMONS: Chair, the title of this discussion should be changed to “Combating the demon of the ill-formulated transformation policies of the governing party”.

This government is attempting to divert attention from the deficiencies of its transformation model by unsuccessfully trying to show that criticism against these policies is unpatriotic. Hon members of the ANC must now allow themselves a greater degree of honesty in their discussion about this matter. [Interjections.]

I’m sure that those members who are making a noise will most likely change their tune once they leave active party politics, because they will then be able to speak free from ideological shackles. The hon Kader Asmal, just a day after leaving Parliament, has acknowledged that a review of the government’s biggest transformation policy, namely affirmative action, is necessary. [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Is that a point of order, hon member?

An HON MEMBER: That’s correct, Chair. It sounds like the hon member is debating a different subject. Is he willing to take a question?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Are you willing to take a question, hon member?

Mr S SIMMONS: I will take a question after I have finished.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Please continue.

Mr S SIMMONS: Thank you, Chair.

The NA today categorically states that the current transformation policies are a major catalyst for the perpetuation of racism. The Employment Equity Act is de facto race classification legislation because it once again categorizes South Africans according to race, this after the Race Classification Act was scrapped a number of years ago. The NA is convinced that transformation beneficiaries can be reached without reference to race.

In conclusion, Chair, get the model of transformation right and we’ll go a long way in getting rid of racism in order to promote nation-building and reconciliation. I thank you.

Mr W J SEREMANE: Chairperson, in this kind of touchy and emotive debate, we need always to remind ourselves, as co-architects and co-builders of a new nonracial, democratic and nonsexist society, that there is no easy way to freedom or liberation or nation-building or national cohesion, also dubbed social cohesion.

The ugly tentacles of racism and, I also insist, tribalism or ethnicity, will from time to time rise to the surface. The octopus of racism or ethnicity must be stamped out ruthlessly, across the board, across the rainbow spectrum of our nation.

We cannot afford being selective or holier-than-thou on these issues. These matters are as cancerous as racism itself, or tribalism. Yes, there never is a smooth path to true national reconciliation; mark you, genuine reconciliation does not come cheaply nor does it come without justice and mutual respect as prerequisites.

The incident at the Free State campus is just one of many putrid racist incidents perpetrated by Rip van Winkle-like citizens trying to do what is easiest for them – spewing racist retribution or ethnic retaliation. That is very easy for negative people. These myopic people, across our diverse society, feel threatened by the future. But in spite of the anger provoked by such racist and ethnic attacks on blacks by whites or on whites by blacks, we have to be strongly resolved that this kind of venom won’t and should not rip apart our nation, built on the sound foundation of our Constitution, the Constitution of South Africa. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Chair, may I at the outset thank the Chief Whip for initiating such an important discussion, and the various speakers for their very significant and very positive contributions, except for the hon Simmons, who obviously is symbolically, metaphorically and physically alone in what he says.

May I also convey the apologies of the Minister of Education who, as a result of official commitments, is unable to be here.

Demeaning, disgusting, degrading, reprehensible, revolting, repulsive and racist, describe the ordeal suffered by five blacks at the hands of four racist youths at the University of the Free State, where they were unknowingly forced to eat food that had been urinated on. What makes this more despicable is the fact that the majority of the victims were women. What makes it even more despicable is that the youths were arrogant, and condescending about what they did.

It is reported that this deplorable act was captured on video, disseminated on the electronic network and concludes with the following remarks:

Aan die einde van die dag is dit wat ons regtig van integrasie dink. [At the end of the day this is what we really think of integration.]

This cowardly, dastardly, inhumane act, is a stark reminder of the indignities suffered by our people in the past, when government legitimised racialism and institutionalised apartheid. We condemn unequivocally these racist acts which are inhumane and a gross violation of human rights.

There is indeed a clear link or nexus between the racist pathology of the four youths and the attempt to establish an apartheid enclave in the public space of our universities. It begs the question: What is the role of political parties that present a false veneer of legitimacy by demanding separation - which could be read as apartheid - on the basis of linguistic and cultural identity? Behind that veneer, behind that veil, lurks the demented demon of racism.

It is neither honest nor legitimate to replace racial identity with cultural or linguistic identity, and then seek protection through the right of freedom of association enshrined in our Constitution. Racism is racism, however it masquerades itself. Let us look more closely at the status quo at Kovsies, the University of the Free State. In a speech in 2005, Prof Fourie stated:

On the main campus, in effect, we have two campuses, one white and one black, separated in the classrooms and separated in the residences.

Although he attributes this to being an indirect consequence of dual language, the objective reality becomes more glaring when we learn that only 3% of the hostels are integrated, this after 14 years of our democracy. That this is allowed to persist after so many years, reflects poorly on our commitment to transformation, nation- building and unity.

We are indeed grateful to Prof Fourie for being so decisive and clear in unequivocally condemning the conduct of the youth, suspending them immediately and laying criminal charges against the perpetrators for the abuse and violation of human rights. We are enjoined by our Constitution, the supreme law of our land, to promote equity, and in so doing expand opportunities, promote equality and diversity, and create the society that we all aspire to, a nonracial, nonsexist democracy.

These values are non-negotiable and must be asserted without fear, favour or prejudice. This in fact means that we must support the rector, the vice chancellor and the chairperson of council in transforming the institution, not as something that must be phased in over three years, not as something that must be negotiated, but as something that must be located within the context of the values of a nonracial society. We demand direct access and equity. That is something we cannot negotiate.

Yet, as we speak, we must recognise that the outrageous behaviour is a blemish on thousands of Afrikaners who are committed to nation-building and have committed themselves fully to creating a caring and humane society. How they respond to this atrocious conduct will go a long way in nation- building. Are they going to be complacent and suggest that this is merely an isolated incident which they should ignore, or are they going to mobilise the youth to ensure that they create positive values amongst them, and seek and strive towards the creation of an ethos of nonracial, nonsexist democracy?

I am glad that the hon Mulder is here. We do have a wonderful relationship with each other. We’ve worked together while we were negotiating the Bill of Rights. But last week, quite interestingly, he accused the government of not reflecting in the pledge the words: “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.” He also accused the government of not including the words: “We are united in our diversity.” If he was at all aware of the translation of the words inscribed in the motto, then he would understand that it says very clearly and categorically, “diverse people unite”. Now, with regard to the eloquent words of the Freedom Charter, indeed, the first two lines of the pledge are in fact the beginning of the preamble in the Constitution. It does not seek to exclude or selectively exclude those words. What is more interesting is the fact that the basis of the argument is drawn on the inspiring words of the Freedom Charter.

We say that these words are words that we embrace fully. We say that these are words that we can associate with. We say that these are the words that should lead our nation forward. But what is the basis and the historical significance of the words? The basis and the significance of the words is that these words were crafted when the Freedom Charter was adopted by the Congress of the People, comprising of whites, Indians, coloureds and Africans. Amongst those people were three presidents of the ANC: Chief Albert Luthuli, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; former President Nelson Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; and O R Tambo, president of the ANC. We also had Walter Sisulu, Albertina Sisulu and Ben Turok, who is from amongst us.

Now, the significance of that document is that it formed the basis and was the inspiration of the constitutional values and rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. Can we then say that in recognising the contribution and sacrifices of people like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, O R Tambo and Chief Albert Luthuli, we are now telling our children to regress rather than to look forward? We do not teach history as we taught it before. We tell our learners to be analytical, to relate the events to the people, to the time, to the place, to examine the social and political relations and to make their own independent observation as a result of that investigation, and thereby invite positive values that will lead them.

The basis of our system of education is knowledge, information, values and attitudes. All learning areas, including mathematics or science, are based on those three components. These components, value and attitude, form the basis of our curriculum, from Grade R to Grade 12, including tertiary institutions. It begs the question: What has gone wrong? What have these youths been taught? Were they taught any values? Were they taught about the history and the context from which these values were derived?

I think this is a question we have to reflect on, because if we fail to do so, we will continue to polarise our society. We will continue to say to them that under the guise of culture and language we should be separate. We cannot create separate apartheid enclaves in our public spaces! We condemn any attempt to basically thwart our attempts to create an integrated society.

Integration in schools, universities and hostels allows for social interaction, removes fears and anxieties regarding differences in culture, and allows for the creation of a social construct where the values of nonracialism, human dignity, equality and freedom can be best understood. When you do not mix and interact with people, socially or otherwise, you fear, you are uncertain about their culture. There is anxiety. Yet, when you polarise our youth and say, “you, white youth, because of your language and your culture, separate from those who are black”, what are you doing? You are denying them the opportunity of being able to interact and develop holistically. I believe this is something that we have to review.

It cannot be correct that if my neighbour in a hostel has different religious or linguistic or cultural values from me, then I am forced to abandon or relinquish mine. It cannot be so! And that is indeed the fallacy of the FF Plus. They do not recognise the fact that there is value and benefit in integration. Our system of education is based, as I have indicated to you, on these important components and we will seek to promote them.

Now while we have at the University of the Free State a graphic example of racism in action, which is ostensible and overt, which can be seen and is tangible, we also have to contend, in our society, with the reality of adverse subliminal or covert racism. These find expression through conduct in our schools where governing bodies and principals in some instances act as gatekeepers against change, using cultural, religious and linguistic identity as a basis for inclusion and for the perpetuation of separate development.

As despicable as the University of the Free State incident is, it has provided us, as South Africans, with the opportunity to evaluate our own prejudices and assumptions of the other at this time. It also reminds us that an ad hoc crisis-based response to the scourge of racism will never eradicate its myriad tentacles. What is needed is a longer-term intervention.

In 2006 the Department of Education published the strategy for racial integration as one such longer-term intervention. This strategy seeks to combat racism and related intolerances like ethnicity, xenophobia, etc from the perspective of a vibrant democracy through civil participation and equity. It locates the fight against racism within the human rights culture, where diversity is celebrated, where individuals feel part of the larger order, not just in name, not just by pretending to sing the national anthem, not just by tolerating students of other colours in the same residences, but out of genuine commitment to nonracialism, respect and democracy.

The racial integration strategy compels all of us in the education system and beyond to confront the institutional cultures that alienate our learners and students from our places of learning. The strategy encourages educational institutions to focus on the curriculum content, on the values that are projected therein and to ensure that indeed we avoid the excesses as we have seen in the video through this kind of integration and assimilation. It is important that our educational institutions prepare our learners and students to live together in our country.

Let me quickly move on to other manifestations of racism. They are not phantoms; they are not mirages. They walk through the corridors of our schools and universities. Take the Ermelo case as a good example. We argue for integration; they respond with separation. We argue for a heterogeneous environment; they persist with a homogeneous environment. We argue for expanding opportunities; they argue for retention of privilege. We state that the school is half empty; they say that the school is half full. We argue against overcrowded classes; they argue that it is none of their business.

What did the judge have to say about this kind of conduct? The judge ruled, in paragraph 66 on page 41, as follows:

It is clear that the attitude of the applicants is to consign learners wanting to be taught in English to any conditions anywhere, as long as they do not set foot at that school. This is a callous attitude towards the educational interests of learners from other sections of communities. It is reminiscent of the pre-democratic era when the educational rights of white learners were better catered for than those of learners of a different colour. Under the present Constitution, all learners have equal rights to state facilities irrespective of language or colour. Clever jurisprudential argument, even in the name of the Constitution, will not detract us from this.

If these reports are anything to go by, transformation is being resisted inch by inch. The task that we face is how to create a caring society. How do we create a future for our children, both black and white, where they recognise the value of being in a nondemocratic environment? Perhaps the answer lies in the words of Nelson Mandela when he was in the dock, charged in the Rivonia Trial:

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I fought against white domination, and I fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

At that time the prosecution was asking for the death sentence. May I conclude and say that it is now more important than ever for us to say that the pledge to our Constitution and its values is significant.

We thank the members on the other side for their support for our initiative in terms of the pledge. I am convinced that the FF Plus, too, will review their position in this regard. Thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.


                       (Second Reading debate)

The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM: Chairperson, hon members, I am pleased to introduce the National Environment Laws Amendment Bill. This Bill proposes brief yet critical amendments that will ensure more effective enforcement of national environmental legislation.

This amending Bill follows in the footsteps of the National Environmental Management Amendment Act of 2003, which provided for the designation of Environmental Management Inspectors, EMIs, commonly known as the “Green Scorpions”. These are officials designated to monitor and enforce compliance with the provisions of the National Environmental Management Act, as well as various specific national environmental laws.

This amending Bill is aimed at improving the EMIs’ effectiveness at compliance, monitoring and enforcement.

The first part of the amending Bill relates to expanding the mandate for EMIs to include older pollution and waste legislation.

Currently, the EMIs can only enforce three pieces of environmental legislation, namely the National Environmental Management Act, including the so-called 4x4 regulations, as well as the environmental impact assessment regulations; the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act; and the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act.

The current mandate of the EMIs therefore covers the “green” issues, biodiversity and the protected areas as well as environmental impact assessments, the so-called “EIAs”, but it excludes “brown” issues, such as pollution and waste. This is due to the fact that the new legislation regulating pollution and waste matters is not yet fully in effect or not yet promulgated.

The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act is expected to come into effect in late 2009; and the National Environmental Management: Waste Bill is currently before Parliament, but will also take some time after promulgation to be fully implemented.

Until these pieces of new legislation are fully in effect, it is crucial that EMIs are given the mandate to monitor compliance with and enforce existing legislation, namely the Environment Conservation Act of 1989, until the Waste Bill has been promulgated and is fully in effect; the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act of 1965, until the new Air Quality Act is fully in effect; and those provisions of the new Air Quality Act that are already in effect.

The proposed amendment will allow the Green Scorpions to immediately exercise their extensive National Environmental Management Act powers, not only in respect of national parks, nature reserves and threatened and protected species, but also for noncompliance related to pollution and waste, including the illegal operation of waste disposal sites, the illegal dumping of waste or the release of noxious or offensive gases.

By way of example, right now these EMIs cannot issue compliance notices for contraventions of the old Acts; this amendment will make it possible for them to do so.

The second part of the amending Bill relates to confirming the status of these EMIs as peace officers. Although the National Environmental Management Act confers on EMIs powers of search, seizure and arrest under the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977, it does not expressly provide for an EMI to be a peace officer.

Due to concern that this may cause interpretation difficulties in our courts, it is proposed that section 31H(5) of the National Environmental Management Act be substituted to confirm that these EMIs must be regarded as peace officers for the purposes of enforcing national environmental legislation.

The need for legal certainty on the peace officer status of EMIs is particularly important in the carrying out of key enforcement activities, such as the arrest of a person without a warrant, and the issuing of admission of guilt fines for minor environmental offences.

The third part of the amending Bill provides a penalty for the criminal offence of failing to comply with a compliance notice. The amending Bill provides for a suitable penalty in the event that a person is found guilty of the offence of failing to comply with a compliance notice in terms of section 31N of the National Environmental Management Act.

Currently, the National Environmental Management Act states that a person who fails to comply with a compliance notice commits an offence, but it does not provide for an accompanying penalty, either in the form of a fine or imprisonment, in the event of a conviction for this offence by a court of law. Without stipulating a penalty for this offence, the court may find itself incompetent to impose a sentence, even though the person has been convicted of the offence.

The proposed penalty of a R5 million fine and/or 10 years’ imprisonment for the criminal offence of failing to comply with a compliance notice sets out a maximum to which a judicial officer can sentence someone found guilty of this offence. The judiciary retains the ultimate discretion to set the fine or imprisonment based on the circumstances of each individual case.

The penalty of a R5 million fine and/or 10 years’ imprisonment is in line with other penalties in the National Environmental Management Act, and takes into account that the damage to the environment and the financial advantage gained by the offender by committing noncompliance can easily amount to millions of rands. For example, a polluting facility may have been dumping hazardous waste on an unlined site for decades, thereby causing serious groundwater contamination.

When an EMI now issues a compliance notice to instruct the company to stop and to rehabilitate the contaminated groundwater, and the facility fails to do so, this amending Bill places the court in a position to punish the offender with a serious penalty, and thereby creates a proper disincentive for offenders to ignore compliance notices.

Similarly, an unscrupulous developer who starts a luxury development too close to a river, without first obtaining an EIA authorisation, may cause erosion that has far-reaching consequences for those relying on the river for drinking water or irrigation, or may even put lives in danger. The last section of the amending Bill rectifies incorrect cross-references in the Environment Conservation Act. The Environment Conservation Amendment Act of 2003, inter alia, substituted section 20 of that Act to provide for the transfer of the administration of waste disposal sites from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

However, section 29(4) of the Environment Conservation Act, which sets out criminal offences in terms of the Act, was not updated to reflect the cross- reference to the subsections of the new section 20. The practical implications of this oversight are that the disposal of waste at an unpermitted site, that is, waste dumping, while still prohibited conduct, is not a criminal offence. The proposed amendment seeks to rectify that.

Hon members, since we first announced the establishment of the Environmental Management Inspectorate in this House in April 2005, there has been a fundamental shift in the enforcement of environmental legislation in this country.

As at today, there are 887 designated EMIs across the country, and this number continues to grow as more officials complete the EMI basic training course. Soon, we hope to see the first local government Green Scorpions designated alongside their national and provincial colleagues.

On the pollution and waste side, in 2007 the Green Scorpions started the first series of proactive, comprehensive compliance inspections in the refineries, iron and steel and ferroalloy sectors known as “Operation Ferro”. This campaign not only fulfilled its primary objective of determining levels of compliance at facilities in these sectors known for their significant environmental impacts, but was also a major capacity- building exercise involving both provincial Green Scorpions and municipal officials.

Enforcement action has already been taken against a number of these facilities, and we are starting to see a radical improvement in environmental management through major capital expenditure by certain companies. In 2008, compliance inspections will be expanded to two further industrial sectors, namely the paper and pulp as well as the cement sectors.

Right now, there are 664 criminal cases being investigated by the Green Scorpions across the country. At the beginning of this year, Mpumalanga Green Scorpions obtained the first direct prison sentence of 10 years for four individuals convicted of the theft of cycads.

Although there is still a long road ahead, only three years after their establishment, the Green Scorpions have achieved a fundamental change in the public perception that environmental laws can simply be ignored. Right now, it is far more likely than ever before that environmental noncompliance will be detected and punished. The amending Bill will go a long way to increase the effectiveness of the Green Scorpions, and I thank all parties for their support in the portfolio committee. Thank you. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): The hon G R Morgan.

Mr M J ELLIS: Chairperson, I am very happy for Mr Morgan to make a speech, but quite frankly, we were told by the ANC Whips that this debate was being taken off the agenda, apart from the introduction by the hon Minister. I am very sorry, sir, that you have not been informed, but if you would like Mr Morgan to speak, he is more than prepared to speak.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): I have a list of speakers here. I called the hon member’s name, and I think he should come and speak.

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chair, I think there has been agreement by all parties that there won’t be a debate on the matter. I apologise that it wasn’t conveyed.

Mr M J ELLIS: I would then urge, if there is this confusion, that Mr Morgan be allowed to speak. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Let’s go to the decision then. There was no debate.

Bill read a second time.

                      AUTHORITY OF SOUTH AFRICA

There was no debate.

Question put: That Ms R Msiza be approved for appointment as councillor on the Council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.

Question agreed to.

Ms R Msiza accordingly approved for appointment as councillor on the Council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.


Ms M P MENTOR: Chairperson, as it is stated in the Constitution that an ordinary Member of Parliament who is not on the executive may, in terms of section 73(2) as well as section 76(1) of the Constitution, propose legislation, the committee has considered two legislative proposals which we will table for consideration before this House today. We will request the House to consider these proposals favourably in line with the recommendations of the committee.

The first legislative proposal was tabled in relation to the following by the hon J P Gerber of the ANC. He has proposed that Parliament repeal the following Acts governing churches: The Apostolic Faith Mission Act of South Africa, Act 24 of 1961; the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa Amendment Act, Act 4 of 1970; the Methodist Church of Southern Africa Act, Act 111 of 1978; the Bible Society of South Africa Act, Act 15 of 1970; the Bible Society of South Africa Amendment Act, Act 97 of 1985; and finally, the Dutch Reformed Churches Union Act, Act 23 of 1911.

All the affected churches were invited to make submissions to the committee, but other religious sector bodies, such as the Muslim Judicial Council, the Jewish Board of Deputies and the Independent African Churches, were also invited to make submissions to the committee. After lengthy consideration, the committee proposed that the hon Gerber be allowed to proceed with the legislative proposal so that it becomes a Bill which will repeal all these Acts, because our state is a secular state; there is no longer a place for churches on the Statute Book.

This is the report that we are placing before the House for consideration, and we humbly request that it should be accepted favourably, and that the member be allowed to proceed with this legislation. This House will then consider the Bill, famously becoming known as the Gerber Bill, and there will be a repeal Act that will repeal these Acts.

The logical conclusion will be that this process of the repeal of these Acts will emanate from the Speaker’s Office, in conjunction with the relevant committee or committees of Parliament.

The second proposal that we bring before the House was a proposal from the hon Barnard of the DA. I can’t pronounce her first name correctly, but she is Kohler-Barnard. She proposed that we should institute, through an Act of Parliament, a fund that would compensate the victims of violent crime in South Africa.

We received the member’s submission, and we also received submissions from the various affected departments. The departments that we called before the committee were the Department of Social Development, the SA Human Rights Commission, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, and the National Treasury. Together with them, we agreed as the committee that there was recourse enough and there were enough mechanisms put in place by the state to look after and care for the victims of violent crime.

Also, if we were to agree to the passing of this Act, it was going to have an enormous impact in terms of escalation of costs on the part of the state. For this and various other reasons, the committee recommended that the hon Kohler-Barnard should not be allowed to proceed with the legislative proposals and, therefore, this House should reject the proposal. I thank you. [Applause.]

There was no debate.


That the report under the third Order be adopted, and also that the report under the fourth Order be adopted.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The motion is that the reports under the Third and Fourth Orders be adopted. Are there any objections?

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of clarity: Obviously, the DA is concerned about the fact that the Kohler-Barnard suggestion or Private Member’s Bill has been pushed aside. We’ve got no problem with the Gerber Bill whatsoever, but we are not happy with the fact that the Kohler- Barnard proposed legislation has been pushed aside, and we will oppose that. I’m also a bit concerned, Madam Deputy Speaker, that there are other items …

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question from me is very simple: Are there any objections? I’m not asking for speeches. You know that we are going to be working until very late tonight, so you can save us the time.

Mr M J ELLIS: In that case, there is an objection, yes.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The hon member actually raised the two Orders at the same time. We should have dealt with the third Order and then moved to the fourth Order. So, on the third one, are we all agreed? It’s the Gerber one. [Interjections.] OK. I don’t know how you are going to record that, but I’m sure you will be able to do that.

So, the motion is that the report for the third Order be adopted, which is the Gerber one. The hon Gerber, I’m sorry. It is on the fourth one that there are objections.

We thank the hon Mentor for helping us to combine those two Orders. You’ve actually saved us time.


That the Report of the Committee on Repeal of Acts be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.


That the Report of the Committee on Fund for victims of violent crime be adopted.

Motion agreed to (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Report accordingly adopted.


Ms B A HOGAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, I will also assist you, and deal with both of the reports of the Auditor-General — the budget and the annual report.

It’s common knowledge that he who pays the piper calls the tune, and that is very applicable to the Office of the Auditor-General. As we know, the Auditor-General’s Office is probably one of the most important institutions of democracy, and one of the most important checks and balances on the democratic process in South Africa.

The Auditor-General’s Office has, for many, many years, been a self-funding office, as we all know. It audits; it then charges fees to the auditee, and on the basis of those fees, it runs itself as an institution. Up to now, there have been no serious problems relating to the work of the Auditor- General’s Office, its financial management, and its financial sustainability.

But, in the last two years or so, certain worrying trends have begun to emerge in the financial status of the Auditor-General. Most particularly, what we are now beginning to see emerge and what will happen in the future is that the Auditor-General’s Office is not able to sustain itself out of the fees that it charges its members.

Firstly, it is not because the Auditor-General’s Office has been extravagant in terms of its overheads and the way it manages its finances. In fact, in comparative terms, it relates very well to other accounting institutions and it operates within the medium range. I think the most important factor affecting the Auditor-General’s Office and its financial sustainability is the inability of local government to pay its audit fees on time, and to pay its audit fees at all. This has been a continuing problem that has plagued the Auditor-General’s Office for a very long period of time. We go up and down, but still, certain local governments are simply not paying their audit fees.

A second factor which affects the Auditor-General’s Office at the moment is the very competitive environment in which the Auditor-General’s Office is expected to operate. The Auditor–General’s Office has to have a high level of financial skill, people with accounting degrees, and that office has put an enormous effort into training new auditors. We have over 600 people being trained by the Auditor-General’s Office.

Notwithstanding that, the Auditor-General’s Office finds that its staff are continually being stolen by other institutions. It has a high vacancy rate as a result, and often its skills base is not aligned to the kinds of tasks that it needs to perform, with the result that some of its work is contracted out. We find that, increasingly, more of its work has to be contracted out, particularly when municipalities submit their financial statements very late and the Auditor-General’s Office faces bottlenecks.

When the Auditor-General contracts out its work, it earns no surplus. In other words, it earns no profit. It simply covers its running costs. So, the Auditor-General’s Office has had to move increasingly to contracted work, in the last two years or so, and that, together with the cash shortfalls created by the inability or unwillingness of municipalities to pay their audit fees, has led to the Auditor-General’s Office facing a funding crisis.

A deficit on the income statement is not a problem because it’s often related to a cash-flow problem. But, when that deficit means that it exceeds the working capital requirements of the Auditor-General’s Office, then we have reached the point of unsustainability. For the first time, we are now facing that situation. The Auditor-General’s Office will probably come to us as a committee and to Parliament to raise certain recommendations as to how its funding shortfalls should be financed.

This is a very, very important issue that this House needs to be engaged on. We cannot have a situation where the Auditor-General’s Office is funded by the executive because that would undermine its independence, nor can we have a situation where it’s funded by Parliament, because Parliament has its own priorities. And, in effect, I think the experience of those who have been in finance and budget committees is that once an institution does a transfer payment, often those transfer payments aren’t given the necessary scrutiny or funding, and the institution doesn’t get the funding that it requires.

The Auditor-General’s Office has come to us with a whole series of proposals about how this matter should be dealt with, and is engaged with the National Treasury and a range of other institutions, and will be coming to us with its proposals about how these shortfalls should be funded. We cannot yet say what these will be, but we urge people to look at our report, because it deals with each of the potential ways in which the Auditor-General’s Office can fund its shortfall, and we may comment as a committee on those which we regard desirable or less desirable. And, certainly, those that relate to the Auditor-General’s Office receiving transfer payments from the National Treasury or from the executive rate very low on our rating as desirable. But I will leave that for future engagement.

Let me say, in our review of the work of the Auditor-General’s Office, that it is a continuing pleasure to deal with an institution that strives and does, most of the time, attain excellent standards of service delivery. It is one institution that places itself under continuous scrutiny. It has a whole number of measures which it uses to measure the kind of work and the quality of work that it does.

I have had the distinct privilege of sitting in on the process in which they do a quality review of the audits that they are doing. And let me say now that the quality of the Auditor-General’s reports is constantly improving. The Auditor-General’s Office has put as a target that 70% of its reports should receive an excellent evaluation. They have already gone up to 75% — beyond their target.

The evaluations are done by independent persons and institutions, not by the Auditor-General itself. Those audits that have received a rating lower than the 75% excellent rating are confined to one or two particular geographical areas that are not well resourced in the skills that the Auditor-General’s Office has, and I know they are paying particular attention to that.

But it’s not only about the quality of the audit reports; it’s also the kind of advanced thinking that the Auditor-General is putting into assisting us as an institution to perform our oversight roles more effectively. The Auditor-General’s Office will shortly be coming before our committee to spell out in detail what it means by performance information auditing and performance auditing.

For those of us who have sat in Parliament for many years, trying to come to terms with service delivery and needing a professional guide as to what has been or what has not been delivered, it is welcome news that the Auditor-General’s Office will be providing, in years to come, a professional opinion on the performance reporting of government departments. So, we would need to be engaging with the Auditor-General’s Office to ensure that the kind of reporting that they are doing in terms of performance information reporting and performance reporting will be of use to us as an institution and will provide valuable inputs.

Let me once again remind the House that we are constantly placing onto the shoulders of the Auditor-General the additional reporting requirements that we as an institution need to hold the executive to account. That costs money, and I have no doubt that part of the financial difficulties that the Auditor-General’s Office is experiencing at the moment is related to the very heavy load that we place on his shoulders.

Let me conclude by congratulating the Auditor-General and the Deputy Auditor-General for leading the team of auditors in the Auditor-General’s Office with such aplomb, such drive, and such professionalism. I think this is one of the institutions that we are truly proud of in South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]

There was no debate.


That the Reports be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Reports accordingly adopted.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Chairperson, hon Minister, I am going to make an effort to save the trees by giving you my speech electronically. The International Parliamentary Union is the international organisation of parliaments of sovereign states established in 1889. The union is the focal point for worldwide parliamentary dialogue, and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of sovereign states.

The IPU supports the efforts of the UN, whose objectives it shares and with whom it works in close co-operation. It also co-operates with regional interparliamentary organisations as well as international intergovernmental and nongovernmental organisations which are motivated by the same ideals.

Over 140 national parliaments are currently members of the IPU. It is against this background that South African parliamentarians will be debating climate change next month.

The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement drafted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Countries that ratify this protocol commit themselves to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading. When they engage in emissions trading, they maintain or increase emissions of these gases.

The Kyoto Protocol now covers more than 170 countries globally, and more than 60% of countries in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions.

As of December 2007, the US and Kazakhstan are the only signatory nations not to have ratified the protocol. This treaty expires in 2012, and international talks began in May 2007 on a future treaty to succeed the current one, which is the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol established the following principles: governments are divided into two general categories: developed countries, referred to as Annex I countries, that have accepted greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations and must submit an annual greenhouse gas inventory; and non- Annex I countries, that have no greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations, but may participate in clean development mechanisms.

The Kyoto Protocol includes flexible mechanisms, which allow Annex I economies to meet their greenhouse gas emission limitations by purchasing greenhouse gas emission reductions from elsewhere. Minister, whether this actually works is debatable. This means that non-Annex I economies have no greenhouse gas emission restrictions, but when a greenhouse gas emission project is implemented in these countries the country will then receive carbon credits, which can then be sold to Annex I buyers.

These Kyoto mechanisms are in place for two main reasons. There were fears that the cost of complying with the Kyoto Protocol would be expensive for many Annex I countries, especially those that are already home to efficient low greenhouse gas emitting industries, and high prevailing environmental standards.

The Kyoto Protocol therefore allows these countries to purchase cleaner carbon credits on the world market instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions domestically. This is seen as a means of encouraging non-Annex I developing economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable development, since doing so is now economically viable, because of the investment flows from the sale of carbon credits.

The debates to reduce greenhouse gas took time and gave the world this protocol more than 10 years ago. Responding too early would have presented a different scenario. What we now hear from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a prediction of an average global rise in temperature of 1,4˚C to 5,8˚C between 1990 and 2100.

Wisdom says: Begin difficult things while they are still easy, and do great things when they are small. The difficult things of the world must once have been easy. The great things must have been small.

After debates over the years, governments of the world finally reached consensus that climate change is real and due to human activities. The time for talking is over; it is time for action. Impacts of climate change are an additional burden to other poverty drivers such as declining fish stocks, HIV/Aids, lack of savings, insurance and alternative livelihoods. In Africa the impact of global warming presents more challenges than in developed countries, because on the continent the focus is on eradicating poverty, providing food, shelter, and education, among other things.

For our people, responding to climate change is therefore not even a priority, and yet we suffer the consequences of irresponsible behaviour elsewhere in the world. The high catches that currently allow exports may become a thing of the past, and a high dependency on fish for protein could threaten the health of many thousands as catches dwindle.

Low capacity to adapt to change, due to their comparatively small or weak economies, and low human development indices could set back development in countries such as Angola, Congo, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

In African countries such as Ghana, Namibia, Senegal and Uganda the fishery sector contributes over 6% of the gross domestic product. Rift valley countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda, and Asian river-dependent fishery nations, including Bangladesh, Cambodia and Pakistan, are also vulnerable.

Hon members, we are in trouble, but there is something that we can do. A reduction in the amount of rainfall or an increase in evaporation due to high temperatures would further strain the already limited amount of water resources for agriculture, homes and industry. Plants, in particular, have trouble keeping up with rapid climate change. Small isolated populations could go extinct as a result. Poor people will be more vulnerable. Let us do difficult things whilst they are still easy, and small.

The poor often settle in marginal areas, for example flood plains, which means they are exposed and vulnerable to flood damage. While climate change mitigation is something rich people have to worry about, the actions of the rich nations and the rich sector within the developing world need to be concerned with sustainable practice, using renewable energy, using less energy, reducing waste recycling, and planting trees to absorb carbon.

You can just imagine, the Minister of Finance had to get rid of 726 trees for us to get the Budget last week. And I think in the area where I live we have far fewer than 700 trees, which means he could have wiped out all the trees in the area where I come from. But the good news is that he has put a mechanism in place, and the department now looks at conservation differently.

The poor have to worry about how climate change will affect them. They have fewer resources and are less able to absorb any changes that will occur. However, they can also adopt lifestyle changes, which will increase their quality of life, reduce their dependence on coal-fired electricity, wood and paraffin. Let us do great things whilst they are small.

Near the tourism destination of Riebeek Valley in the Western Cape lies a place called Goedgedacht. When you translate that, it means “well thought”. Goedgedacht has thought about climate change and its impact and is taking steps to address that. The Goedgedacht Trust works with farm workers and provides education and sustainable livelihoods. They have installed a biogas digester, which takes all the organic matter and composts it, which is then used for cooking on in the kitchen. Their hot water comes from the sun - from solar water heaters on the roofs - meaning that they do not have to pay for electricity to heat up water. This is a good example of what can be done in other areas. This is a place to visit, to learn and to see how energetic people can change things.

I repeat, the difficult things must have been easy at some stage. We need to formulate responses to the increased weather events. This would include fire and flood controls. We may need to turn the poverty trap around and make it an opportunity.

Hon Minister, we may start farming sunlight, because if you look at the solar resources that we have in the Northern Cape and the North West, this could help us deal with the energy problems we have. At the moment this free energy is going to waste.

This is not a far-fetched idea: The resources are there; we just need to harvest them. We could empower the poor people in those areas.

In conclusion, climate change can become an opportunity for growth and development in South Africa, and we can become leaders in climate change adaptation, because that is what we do in Africa. We can only adapt to the effects of climate change.

Multilateral discussions are ongoing to try to reach some agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We know of the conference that was held in Bali last year, and we also know that even at that stage the United States did not budge on being part of the Kyoto Protocol. Instead, it said that it may consider the next round of 2012.

I want to make mention of the fact that the United States has not been part of the Interparliamentary Union for a very long time. Strangely enough, they have requested to be part of the IPU this year, which we are hosting next month. Hon members, I just want to say that this topic will be on the agenda for discussion, and we will never disappoint you.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank the NA Programming Committee. I asked them last week when we were going to start reducing the paper that we use in that committee and have electronic presentations. I am told that this morning – I could not be at the meeting this morning - for the first time in almost 14 years the presentation was electronic. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Hon members, these are things that we cannot run away from. This is where the whole world is going. We cannot run away from the fact that the whole world can talk to each other electronically, and it is actually very cheap. So I tried it this afternoon.

Of course, I could have had a battery going down or anything, and I know there were people anxiously waiting for that to happen. I charged it for 24 hours, just to make sure that that kind of mistake would not happen. Thank you very much for your indulgence. [Applause.]

Mr G R MORGAN: Chairperson, let me first congratulate Madam Deputy Speaker on the quite revolutionary action of reading a speech off the Blackberry. I saw it from over there; she did in fact do it. Congratulations! It is certainly something we can all replicate.

In terms of initiatives, Madam Deputy Speaker deserves praise for that; I would like to say that I am South Africa’s first carbon-neutral Member of Parliament, which means that last year I offset the entire 36 tons of carbon that I was responsible for. And, Madam Deputy Speaker, you are quite aware that our parliamentary programme results in a quite unacceptable amount of flying. In fact, my carbon load is no different from the average person in this Chamber here today. That translated into approximately 34 or 35 trees, which I did plant, but is something that we could all do in order to offset our own carbon emissions.

Chairperson, hon members, Thandi lifts up a handful of soil and watches as it disappears through her hands. Once rich and fertile, and capable of producing bountiful crops, the soil is now bone dry. “The ground used to be soft and easy to dig by hand,” she says. “Water was freely available, just under the surface, and food was plentiful. There was a lake nearby that provided fish for us to eat, but now the land is dry and hard, and there is no water under the surface. Even the lake has dried up.”

This is not science fiction, hon members. Thandi is a real person, interviewed recently as part of an Oxfam study on climate change in Hluhluwe, in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. This advanced cycle of anthropogenic climate change has started and is gathering momentum, and South Africa is not yet ready to deal with its consequences. Thandi and thousands of other South Africans, particularly the most vulnerable citizens, are already feeling the effects of climate change.

Allow me to give Thandi’s voice greater resonance in this House. She is further quoted in the Oxfam study as saying: “We need to learn how to look after the land and adapt to the drier conditions; we need to grow more drought-tolerant crops and vegetables; we need to learn more about climate change; and we need training in how we can speak up on these issues.”

The energy crisis has deservedly received a lot of attention at the the start of 2008, but there is one issue that has not yet received significant attention in South Africa, or in this House, and that is climate change. It is the greatest challenge that our planet will face this century.

The fact that the challenge is unfamiliar and that its effects are not immediately apparent contribute to its displacement on the policy agenda. Indeed, President Mbeki himself only fleetingly made reference to it in his state of the nation address two weeks ago.

While climate change is a global problem, developing countries, including South Africa, will be worst affected. Its possible consequences for our already vulnerable water resources and food security are severe. Researchers at Stanford University have found that crops in the southern part of Africa will be the most vulnerable to a warmer world, with the local production of maize, sorghum and wheat most likely to be affected. The likelihood of increased extreme weather events, including flooding and droughts, will compound our problems.

If South Africa is not able to deal with the likely effects of climate change, it will almost certainly set back our efforts to eradicate poverty. Climate change has the potential to create “water refugees”.

Maarten de Wit, a University of Cape Town professor, has said that under conditions of climatic change people who already walk to rivers to get water may have to relocate to find new sources if their own sources dry up. “This is going to cause mass migration,” says De Wit. “In some cases across national borders – and it is going to have huge political implications.”

For South Africa, that could result in increased urbanisation, and place pressure on existing infrastructure. Areas near Cape Town are expected to be hardest hit by an expected 20% drop in rainfall by 2070.

For those countries that share dwindling water resources, the result could be increased conflict, if not war. Countries such as Botswana and Namibia, which are normally peaceful towards each other, could become increasingly hostile if the survival of their respective peoples depends on competition for shared water.

Up until now much of the global debate around climate change, particularly among developed countries, has concerned climate mitigation, that is, reducing emissions. The reality of these interventions is that we will only be lessening climate change, not preventing it. Much of the warming that is locked into the system is due to emissions that have already occurred. As countries move towards the finalisation of a post-2012 Kyoto framework it is imperative that cost-effective policies are developed that combine mitigation of global emissions, adaptation measures and sustainable development.

A delegation of South African legislators at the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment G8+5 Climate Dialogue in Brasilia last week argued that adaptation to climate change must be treated as a priority by the world’s leaders. The delegation made a number of constructive suggestions that were included in the Dialogue’s latest position paper, which will be sent to the Japanese presidency of the G8 in the coming weeks.

Adaptation refers primarily to measures that lessen the vulnerabilities that arise as a result of the negative effects of climate change. While mitigation is mostly a global issue, adaptation is a local or regional issue, and therefore adaptation needs will be different in different parts of the world.

Those countries or communities with the least capacity to adapt are the most vulnerable to climate change. The worldwide cost of adapting will be between US$28 billion and US$67 billion per year by 2030. At the moment, the world’s Adaptation Fund, set up using levies from the Clean Development Mechanism Projects, is estimated to be worth only US$36 million per year, and is expected to rise to no more than US$300 million per year by 2012.

Hence, there is a significant funding gap, as the Adaptation Fund in its current manifestation will contribute only 1% of the funds required to help the world adapt to the climate change that is already likely to happen.

The difficult reality for politicians from the developed world, which is responsible for the vast majority of human-induced climate change, is that they are going to need to contribute significant resources to adaptation measures in the post-2012 climate framework. Furthermore, any additional resources should not be allocated at the expense of current development aid.

Most of the legislators who are members of the G8+5 Climate Dialogue are recommending that developed countries commit to compulsory financial payments to the Adaptation Fund, based on their respective abilities to pay.

Climate insurance is a further mechanism that will require significant research as an adaptation measure. Only around 4% of weather-related losses are covered in low-income countries. Barriers to increased insurance include cost and the lack of appropriate insurance-related products.

Support for pilot projects at local, national and regional levels that make affordable insurance available to vulnerable communities and individuals, as well as improved information sharing and collection of weather data, climate predictive capacity and economic modelling data is needed. Furthermore, insurance need not only offset risk; it can also be used to reinforce adaptation responses such as crop diversification and building in safer locations.

Much more emphasis needs to be placed on adaptation measures in the period going forward. Besides the importance of adaptation as a means to sustain, and where possible, improve livelihoods, it is likely that no agreement on a post-2012 climate framework will be politically feasible if adaptation measures are not treated with the same importance as mitigation measures.

Hon members, while South Africa’s own adaptation to climate change could benefit tremendously from the transfer of funds and technology from the developed world, we are going to need to redouble our efforts locally to improve our response time.

Research in crop diversification, with on-the-ground support and advice from agricultural extension workers to vulnerable communities, is a priority. Increased investment in water infrastructure, including dams and irrigation, not to mention the maintenance of current infrastructure, is an imperative. Improved planning and more rigorous environmental authorisations that minimise the risks from extreme weather events such as flooding, wave damage and cyclones are a necessity.

Hon members will agree that we have enough challenges in South Africa without having to deal with climate change. Regrettably, we are not being offered a choice. We will need to adapt, and very soon; we will need to mitigate our emissions as well.

As we have heard so often in recent weeks, failing to plan is planning to fail. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M J BHENGU: Thank you, Chairperson.

Uma kuwukuthi ukuguquka kwesimo sezulu kuzohlukumeza abantu bakithi base- Afrika, kusho ukuthi yayiqinisile inyoni eyathi laba bantu bayahlupheka isho ihlezi phezu kwesicongo somuthi, ngoba kusho ukuthi akulona lodwa ubandlululo olwasihlupha – ngisho nesimo sokuguquka kwesimo sezulu nakho kuyasihlupha. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[If global warming will lead to the suffering of our people in Africa, this means that what was said by the little bird which was perched at the top of the tree is true, when it said: these people are suffering; for it means that it was not only apartheid that harassed us, but even global warming is harassing us now.]

Expanding global economies and population, as well as activities in pursuit of development and progress, have put an enormous strain on our natural resources and our environment. Climate change is not a thought or theory, but a reality which is upon us. If we do not take the necessary steps and implement the plans needed to deal with this grim issue, then our continent and its people are doomed to a future of despair.

Countries and people in the developing world, Africa in particular, are very vulnerable. High population growth rates, unstable economies and governance, HIV/Aids, war and poverty, all contribute to the vulnerability of our people - especially the poor.

Even without the full effects of climate change being felt, Africa’s existing climate and weather patterns are very unpredictable and even extreme. We have seen first-hand the devastation that extreme weather patterns such as floods and draughts have caused in Africa.

The economies of many African countries are not very diversified and are still reliant on agriculture and other climate-sensitive industries. So, any deviation in weather patterns is felt more than it would be in a developed country. Our vulnerability and poverty will be compounded when the harsh effects of climate change are fully felt.

Climate change issues should be brought into the main stream, and awareness around these issues should be created. The people of Africa must know about climate change and the devastating effect that it will have on their lives. Climate change issues should also be incorporated in all our poverty reduction and rural development strategies. This is not an isolated issue and it should not be approached as such.

An integrated holistic approach is needed. We must reduce the vulnerability of those most at risk to climate change and ensure that they have the capacity to adapt and cope with the changing environment. To do this, governments must understand the vulnerabilities of people and their current capacity to deal with the risk, and then develop specific actions and policies to reduce this risk and enhance their coping mechanisms.

Although climate change is an international issue and requires international solutions, we must develop our own regional and local plans to address this important subject, as it will impact the harshest on Africa and its people. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr G T MADIKIZA: Chairperson, hon members, climate change is not yet fully understood by scientists. However, what is becoming apparent is that different regions of the planet will be affected differently.

For some regions, the changing climate might actually have benign or short- term consequences. But for Africa, the outcomes look universally negative. Longer dry seasons in already arid regions will encourage the growth of deserts, whereas wet regions are now more prone to violent weather. Take, for instance, our neighbour, Mozambique. The exceptional flooding of nearly a decade ago has become an annual occurrence.

These widespread climate changes will have a plethora of undesirable results. Human settlements will be displaced as areas become uninhabitable and basic resources like water become scarce or unreliable. There is also a wider impact that such climate changes have on individual countries and all regions.

As the climate changes, so does the ability of farmers to cultivate their crops and raise livestock. Household food security is already precarious in Africa. Such changes in climate will be devastating to subsistence farmers and poor households. The economic cost of importing food will cause further suffering and higher prices.

The question is: How do we deal with this situation? Firstly, as a country and as a continent, we must invest in resources in our agriculture to ensure that we can feed ourselves. Technological advances, market access and greater efficiency are three of the major factors that must be brought to bear on our agricultural sector.

South African farmers have shown a remarkable resourcefulness over the decades and they can, with the right support, do pioneering work that South Africa and the whole continent can benefit from.

On the preventive side of climate change, it is our duty as a leading nation on the continent and in the G77 to ensure that the Kyoto Protocol and similar instruments are placed higher on the agenda. [Interjections.] [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mong A D MOKOENA: Modulasetulo, Letona, Ditho tse hlomphehang tsa Palamente, le baeti ke le dumedisa lebitsong la ANC jwalo ka ha ke le e mong wa ba ronngweng ke mokga ona hore ke tle mona ke tlo o emela.

Tabakgolo ya dipuisano tsa rona ke mokgwa oo phetoho ya maemo a lehodimo e bakang bofuma ekasitana le ditlamorao tse bang teng mona Afrika, le hore na karabo ya rona ke eng qakeng ena.

Tabakgolo ya thapameng ena, e lokisetsa kopano e kgolo ya lekgotla le bitswang IPU – International Parliamentary Union, e tla beng e tshwarwa lekgetlo la bolekgolo leshome le metso e robedi kgweding ya Mmesa monongwaha mona naheng ya rona.

Ke rata ho qala ka ho fiela kapa hona ho hleka mabala; ka ho akgela lentswe la hore makgotla a jwalo ka IPU, WSSD, Commonwealth ha mmoho le a mang, a lokela ho tlama senyepa thekeng, a se ke a ba dibaka tsa ho qoqa le ho bua ka bokgeleke feela. Makgotla ana a theilwe ka maikemisetso a matle ho finyeletsa ditabatabelo tse itseng tsa ho phahamisa le ho fetola maemo a bophelo ba batho lefatsheng lohle; e seng e qetelle e se e le nqalo eo ho thweng ka senyesemane “talk-shop” – lebenkele la ho bua feela.

Ho pepeneneng hore lefatshe lohle le utlwa bohloko le ho kukunelwa ke diphetoho tsa maemo a lehodimo. Bohlokwa ba taba ena bo toboketswa ke mantswe a Lord Michael Jay wa mokgatlo o bitswang Globe International ha are: “Boima ba diphetoho tsa maemo a lehodimo bo wela mahetleng a dinaha hammoho le batho ba leng kobo di mahetleng ho feta tsela eo bo welang ka teng dinaheng tsena tsa batho ba hafang ka nkatana.”

WSSD ke kopano ya matjhaba e neng e kopane mona Johannesburg ka 2002; ka sepheo sa ho rala matsapa le mekutu ya ho baballa tikoloho. Mooko wa diqeto tsa WSSD, o ka akaretswa ka hore, tswelopele ya mruo le kgwebo di lokelwa ke hore di bapanywe le paballo ya tikoloho hammoho le tlhompho ya ditokelo tsa batho ho ntshetsa pele bophelo ba bona.

Kgato e nngwe e ileng ya nkuwa ho ntshetsa pele diqeto tsa seboka sa WSSD, eo e ileng ya eba setlamo se bitswang Kyoto Protocol. Se bitswa tjena hobane kopano ena e ne e tshwaretswe motsemoholo wa Kyoto, Japane.

Sepheo sa selekane sena ke hore dinaha di itlame ka ho fokotsa mesi e metala e nang le tjhefo e hlahang ha ho tjheswa oli, mataere, ditshepe, mashala jwalo-jwalo. Ntho e nngwe ya bohlokwa mona ke hore tumellano ya Kyoto e ile ya etsa hore dinaha di itlame ka ho ya ka Millennium Development Goals, ka bokgutshwane hore phokotso ya tshenyo ya lefaufau le tlatlapo ya tikoloho di lokelwa ke ho etsahala ka dilemo tse itseng tse lekantsweng.

Kopano e nngwe ya bohlokwa ke e neng e tshwerwe Bali, mane Indonesia. Diqeto tsa bohlokwa tse nne tsa Bali ke tsena. Ya pele, ke Mitigation: ke hore ho fokotswa ha mesi ena e metala e nang le tjhefo. Ya bobedi, ke Adaptation: ke hore, ha o bua ka maele, hlapi folofela leraha, metsi a ptjhele a shebile. [Ditlatse.] Ka mantswe a mang batho ba lokelwa ho ipapisa le maemo a matjha a ntseng a fetoha. A boraro, ho thusa dinaha tse kobo di mahetleng ka tjhelete ka morero wa hore di kgone ho thibela tshilafatso ya lefaufau. Ya bone, ho fana ka tsebo ya setekgeniki dinaheng tse ntseng di hola.

Tsena tsohle di etsetswa ho fokotsa mesi e metala e kotsi eo ke buileng ka yona.

Modulasetulo, phephetso e kgolo eo ebileng e leng qaka ke hore, dinaha tse ding tse kgolo jwalo ka Amerika le Austrelia di hana hehehe, ho itlama ka diqeto tsena, empa e le hore ke tsona tse etsang tshenyo e kgolo.

Mesi ena e tjhefo ha e kubella e ya hodimo marung, moo marothodi a pula a kopanang teng e etsa motswako o mobe, o kotsi wa esiti. Pula ena ya esiti, e bolaya bojwang, diphohofolo, le bana. Kotsi e kgolo ke hore re hema mesi ena, mme hoo ho tetebetsa matshwafo le letlalo la bana le basadi.

Modulasetulo ha ho thuse hore re dule re ntse re lla re itetebetsa maikutlo ka pharela ena ya phetoho ya boemo ba lehodimo le ka moo bo amang rona mona kontinenteng ya Afrika. Moketa ho tsoswa o itekang. Pharela ena e batla ho thuswa ka mahlakore a mangatangata hobane e kgolo ebile e re aparetse kaofela.

Difate di na le melemo e mengata bophelong ba rona. O mong wa melemo eo ke ho monya metsi ka bongata e le hore dikgohola le kgoholo ya mobu di se ke tsa ba teng, hobane hona ho etsa hore ho be le mahwatata.

Dikgohola tsena di bakwa ke ho pongwa ha difate le ho hoholwa ha mobu. Naha ya Zambezi e na le metsi a mangata, mme metsi ana a phophoma, a tloha kwana the Great Lakes a tla jwalo a ya Angola, Zimbabwe le Zambia a tle kwano, a boela a fete a ye naheng ya Mozambiki, moo a kgamang batho. Hona le tharollo mona eo re batlang ho e sisinya. Komiti ya rona e ile ya sisinya hore … [Nako e fedile]. (Translation of Sesotho speech follows.)

[Mr A D MOKOENA: Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Members of Parliament and guests, I greet you all in the name of the ANC, as one of its messengers and representatives.

The most important issue of our discussion is the manner in which climate change causes poverty as well as the consequences it brings to Africa, and what our response should be in this situation.

This afternoon’s topic paves the way for an important conference of an organisation called the IPU – International Parliamentary Union - which will be held for the 118th time in May this year, in our country.

I would like to start by levelling the playing field by mentioning the fact that organisations such as the IPU, the WSSD, the Commonwealth, as well as others will have to tighten their belts. They should not only be forums for displaying oratorical prowess. These organisations were established with the purpose of realising certain interests that are meant to change and uplift the quality of life of people the world over. They were not meant to be just places that can be referred to as ‘talk shops’ – venues for holding fruitless talks.

It is obvious that the earth is suffering and feeling uncomfortable as a result of climate change. The critical nature of this situation is emphasised by the utterances of Lord Michael Jay, from an organisation called Globe International, when he says: “The impact of climate change is borne more heavily by countries with high levels of poverty than by countries whose citizens are rich.”

The WSSD was an international conference that was held in Johannesburg in 2002 with the purpose of mapping out ways and means of saving the environment. The gist of the resolutions taken at the WSSD can be summed up as follows: economic development and trade should be in line with environmental conservation as well as respecting the rights of people to improve their lives.

Another resolution that was adopted, in order to further the aims of the WSSD, was a commitment which came to be known as the Kyoto Protocol. It was named as such because of the conference that was held in Kyoto, Japan.

The aim of this convention was for countries to commit themselves to reducing emission of poisonous greenhouse gases as a result of burning oil, tyres, steel, coal etc. Another important issue was that countries had to commit themselves in relation to the Millennium Development Goals, which in short, meant that the reduction of damage to the atmosphere and the environment should be undertaken within a certain specified number of years.

The other important conference was the one held in Bali, Indonesia. The four important resolutions of Bali were the following: Firstly, Mitigation: this means the reduction of emissions of poisonous greenhouse gases. Secondly, Adaptation: this means, to use a more figurative expression, wake up and smell the roses. [Applause.] In other words, people need to adapt to the changes that are happening around them at all times. Thirdly, the provision of financial assistance to poor countries, to enable them to prevent the pollution of the atmosphere. Fourthly, the provision of technological information to developing countries.

All of these things are being done in order to reduce dangerous greenhouse gases that I have been speaking about.

Chairperson, the biggest challenge, which is also confounding, is the fact that developed countries like America and Australia are totally opposed to committing themselves to these resolutions, and yet they are the very ones who cause the biggest amount of pollution.

When these poisonous gases billow up into the sky where they mix with rain drops, they form a terrible mixture of acid, which is dangerous. This acid rain damages the grass and kills animals and children. The most dangerous thing is that we inhale these gases, which cause the lungs to collapse and also affect the skin of women and children.

Chairperson, it is of no use to be always complaining and feeling depressed about this problem of climate change and the manner in which it affects us on the continent of Africa. God only helps those who help themselves. This problem needs to be tackled from all sides because it affects us all.

Trees serve many purposes in our lives, one of them being to suck up water in order to prevent unnecessary flooding and soil erosion, which may result in the formation of desert conditions.

Floods are caused by the cutting down of trees and soil erosion. The Zambezi River carries a lot of water and it is overflowing. The river runs from the Great Lakes region down to Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia and then South Africa, and in turn, it runs over to Mozambique where a lot of people drown. There’s a solution which we would like to propose. Our committee has proposed … [Time expired.]]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Chairperson and hon members, the impact of climate change is arguably the greatest injustice of our time. The world’s poorest people, who contribute least to our changing climate, are the hardest hit by the devastating effects.

Climate change is principally a result of the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil that give off gases such as carbon dioxide. These gases act as a barrier in the atmosphere, trapping the heat of the sun. Hence the term “greenhouse gas”.

With rich countries producing more carbon dioxide per head and population than poor nations, and humankind through time destroying tracts of rainforest mainly in developing countries, the world is left with no “carbon sink” to absorb the greenhouse gases.

Changes in rainfall patterns mean that farmers’ crops fail to mature and communities go hungry. Severe floods, like those we had in northern Zimbabwe and Mozambique in the past weeks, devastated family homes and livelihoods.

Poor communities who are already struggling with the burden of poverty have to cope with more and more frequent extreme weather events. According to the World Health Organisation, an extra 5 million serious illnesses and 150 000 deaths globally each year are caused by climate change. This is very unfortunate.

As a result of climate change, rainfall levels in many parts of the world are dropping, and this creates a domino effect. With less rain, water levels in dams and rivers are dropping and people have less water. The quality of water deteriorates, as sewerage and industrial effluent become more concentrated. As a result, waterborne diseases become rife.

With lack of water, vegetation does not grow; thus livestock have less to graze on. There is less wood for cooking, so women have to spend more time searching for fuel to cook for their families. Thank you. [Time expired.]

Ms M N S MANANA: Chairperson, hon members, climate change is a general term used to denote warming and cooling of the global climate. In recent years global warming has rapidly emerged as a serious problem affecting all countries. Climate change is a new threat on a global scale and places numerous burdens upon South Africa and Africa as a whole because we are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The risks to the poor are the greatest.

There is general agreement that the world is rapidly moving towards a point where rising temperatures will result in a dramatic and irreversible climate-related impact that will have a dramatic effect on human society and on our natural environment.

The ANC’s vision has sought to embrace a transformative environmentalism based on the idea of sustainable development, which is built on the interconnection of environmental, social and economic justice. The ANC, with other progressive forces, ensured that environmental rights were firmly entrenched in our Constitution, so that both individuals and communities are able to defend their right to a safe and sound environment.

The ANC has played a leading role in shaping global debates on environmental justice through its participation in the Rio Earth Summit, followed by South Africa hosting the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.

The hottest temperatures recorded in world history have been measured in the past decade. This has resulted in the most intense storms, especially in Africa, the most destructive floods and the longest lasting droughts. These unusual and unpredictable weather events prejudice human settlements, livelihoods and infrastructure, particularly in low-lying coastal areas.

Poor communities will bear the brunt of the costs resulting from climate change in direct inverse relation to their contribution to the phenomenon of global warming. Scientific research predicts that in all of this the African continent is likely to be one of the most seriously affected parts of the world.

Africa continues to face the challenges of high levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment, low levels of infrastructure development and high reliance on primary commodities and agriculture.

In South Africa the impacts of climate change are predicted to include a reduction in rainfall and increase in droughts on the western side of the country. This will exacerbate water scarcity and have potentially devastating effects on agricultural production.

Climate change can impact on our tourism industry, and many new industries developing around the use of natural products - affecting as a result jobs and livelihood opportunities for the poor. Consequently, loss of income, jobs and investment will undermine existing investments and initiatives.

The South African economy is growing rapidly. A growing economy also means that, as people become more affluent, private transport will increase. We are already seeing an increased numbers of cars on our roads and the consequences in terms of traffic congestion and pollution are all too evident.

We therefore need to mobilise our communities, business and other players to act responsibly and save energy, both as collectives and in their individual capacity, including through a mandatory national energy efficiency programme. Furthermore, it is our responsibility as South Africans to escalate our efforts to encourage efficiency in the consumption of energy, including through the integration of energy-saving technologies into our social programmes and by leading campaigns to encourage environmental and energy- conscious consumer behaviour. Again, we must encourage and increase efforts to raise public awareness about energy-saving.

In order to have a sustainable development initiative, which will have a positive impact on the lives of all South Africans, it will be required of us to introduce environmental studies and the appreciation of nature in the school curriculum, and to build partnerships between state institutions, business, trade unions, civil society and communities to address these challenges together.

In conclusion, as a collective we need to recognise that the evidence for climate change is indisputable and that immediate action by all governments and the public as a whole is needed. Our vision of the future includes a sustainable economy where all South Africans and Africa as a whole, including present and future generations, realise their right to an environment that is not harmful to their life or wellbeing. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, we might not realise that the droughts suffered in Africa are the result of global warming. The effects of global warming have become much more a reality as we find countries around the world devastated by horrific natural disasters and drastic changes in temperatures, among many other side effects.

The African continent, kidnapped by colonialism and then anguished by its own political system, has found progress a slow and challenging process. Raped of our rich natural resources, we have inherited a broken Africa that today we are still mending.

However, we, like all our neighbours, are challenged by global warming even though we have not contributed to its creation. The culprits are the rich industrial nations that in their arrogance are rapidly continuing to eat away at our ozone layer and set us all on the path to eventual destruction.

We as Africa have half of our continent suffering from drought, its people suffering from starvation and its climate temperature altered by 0,5 degrees in the past 100 years. Countries such as Kenya have experienced a change of 3 degrees in temperature, while the rest of Africa is affected by heavy rains and potential floods.

We need to mobilise ourselves in the fight against climate change. The world needs to embark on a clean-up and the UN needs to penalise industrial countries that further retard our growth and development. We need to encourage our local citizenry on the preservation of the environment, and to work with our local industries to operate in ozone-friendly arenas. I thank you. Mr M R MOHLALOGA: Modulasetulo, maloko a hlomphegago, šeao, a bjalo ka noka ya moela; ga a tshele megobe. Ke a le tama. [Chairperson, hon members, I greet you all.]

Climate change is rapidly emerging as one of the most acute environmental problems of the 21st century, which is likely to put more pressure on the continent’s scarce resources, with serious implications for agriculture.

Climate change affects agriculture and food production in complex ways. It affects food production directly through changes in agro-ecological conditions, and indirectly by affecting growth and distribution of incomes and thus the demand for agricultural produce.

Agriculture is undoubtedly the most important sector in most non-oil- exporting African countries. It constitutes approximately 30% of Africa’s GDP and about 50% of the total export value, with 70% of the continent’s population depending on the sector for their livelihood. Production is subsistence and rudimentary, with high dependence on rainfall.

Rain-fed agriculture is used on 95% of cropland in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, it is highly affected by changes in climate variability, seasonal shifts and precipitation patterns. The debate on climate change and its implications for agriculture is therefore crucial to the very survival of the continent and its people.

Global and regional weather conditions are expected to become more variable than at present, with increases in the frequency and severity of extreme events such as cyclones, floods, hailstorms and droughts, thus bringing greater fluctuations in crop yields and local food supplies.

Temperatures in Africa are already generally high and rainfall patterns often erratic. Climate change thus exacerbates these conditions and will create more hardship.

Already, poverty is widespread in Africa and governments typically face tight budget constraints, making it much harder for individuals and governments to invest in adaptations to climate change. Africa accounts for 30% of global land degradation. So, farmers are already struggling to grow crops on land that contains inadequate nutrients and has little capacity to retain water.

Climate change threatens to increase the number of the world’s hungry by reducing the area of land available for farming in developing countries.

According to the November 2006 report from the UN Framework on Climate Change, climate models show that 80 000 square kilometres of agricultural land in sub-Saharan Africa that is currently classified as “water constrained” will experience more rainfall. On the other hand, a much larger 600 000 square kilometres of agricultural land classified as “water constrained” will become severely water limited.

As I indicated earlier, the impact of climate change on agriculture is going to be of great concern. It will lead to a reduction in crop yields, increased incidents of pest attacks, limited availability of water, exacerbation of drought periods, reduction in soil fertility, low livestock productivity and a strain on human resources required for farming activity.

In Southern Africa, the staple food for the region, maize, is susceptible to drought. Wetlands of international importance and wildlife are also under threat from drought in the subregion. Climate change therefore is likely to worsen food supply, and hence exacerbate the widespread poverty in the region.

In sub-Saharan Africa, every year there is drought in some parts of the region. Many of the countries that experience the effects of climate change on the continent are poor, with agriculture-based countries often lacking the foreign exchange to finance food imports. Hence, domestic production losses resulting from climate change will further worsen the prevalence and depth of hunger in respect of the poorest and most vulnerable. In South Africa drought is a regular and recurrent feature, causing a drop in corn yields. Last year, for instance, in South Africa we expected 10 million tons of corn at the end of December and only about 7 million tons were harvested. As a result, we had to import 1,5 million tons of corn and more than 1 million tons of wheat.

Six of our nine provinces had to be declared disaster areas in 2004 due to the incidence of drought with attendant food shortages. Southern Africa is currently experiencing a food crisis. This was triggered by the climatic events of 2001 and 2002, resulting in lower crop production and high food prices.

The UN estimates that 33% of the African population suffers from malnutrition, and it further estimates that 14,5 million people in Southern Africa are in urgent need of food.

Food security is part of section 27 of the Constitution of the Republic, which says that everyone has a right to access to sufficient food and water. Furthermore, South Africa has to conform to international obligations to achieve food security. One of those is meeting the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015. This is a serious challenge, given the impact of climate change on our rural economy.

There are a number of studies that have ventured to measure the likely impact of climate change on food prices. The basic message from these studies is that, on average, the price of food is expected to rise moderately, in line with the moderate increases in temperature until 2050; after 2050, and with further increases in temperature, prices are expected to increase more substantially.

Clearly, we must begin now to consider our response to climatic changes and challenges, because the actions taken today will affect the quality of life for us and for future generations to come.

From the point of view of agro-ecology, farmers in developing countries clearly need to adapt to changing climatic conditions. In the face of drier and hotter weather conditions, farmers may need to switch the crops they grow. For example, farmers in some parts of Africa may switch to more drought-resistant varieties of the crops they already grow.

Work is already under way on developing heat and drought-resistant varieties of staple crops. A project in Southern Africa, for instance, involving the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and partners in the region, has released drought-tolerant maize varieties that yield 34% more than the existing varieties in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Agro-forestry can also help farmers cope with several of the adverse consequences of climate change. The World Agro-forestry Centre has assessed the potential for agro-forestry to help adapt to climate change. Researchers have found that planting trees between crops and in the boundaries around crops can help prevent soil erosion, restore soil fertility and provide shade for other crops.

Africa is in need of much better climate and weather information, and this information must be made readily available to farmers. The continent has about 1 150 world weather watch stations. This represents one per 26 000 square kilometres, or eight times lower that the minimum density recommended by the World Meteorological Organisation.

There is also a need for management practices that reduce dependence on irrigation, to reduce water consumption without reducing crop yields and allow for greater resilience in adapting to future changes in climate. Such methods should include water harvesting.

In conclusion, as I have indicated, maintaining the fertility and multifunctionality of soils, preserving genetic diversity, adopting effective water resource management and protection measures, and adapting to changes in climate are critical to enhancing agricultural production.

Ke tšhaba baditi. [Legofsi.] [That will be all. [Applause.]] Debate concluded.

The House adjourned at 19:18. ____



National Assembly

The Speaker

  1. Referral to Committees of papers tabled
1.      The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Home Affairs for consideration and report. The Report of the
    Auditor-General is referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for

     (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the Films and
         Publication Board for 2006-2007, including the Report of the
         Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance
         Information for 2006-2007.

2.      The following paper is referred to the Committee on Public
    Accounts for consideration and to the Portfolio Committee on
    Defence and Joint Standing Committee on Defence:
     (a)      Report  of  the  Auditor-General  on  the  management  and
         provision of official accommodation to staff of the Department
         of Defence – November 2007 [RP 252-2007].

3.      The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Defence and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence:

     (a)      The President of the Republic submitted a letter dated 30
         November 2007 to the Chairperson of the Joint Standing
         Committee on Defence, informing members of the Joint Standing
         Committee on Defence of the employment of the South African
         National Defence Force for service, in co-operation with the
         South African Police Service, during the preliminary draw for
         the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

4.      The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Justice and Constitutional Development for consideration and

     (a)      Report in terms of section 13(4A)(b) of the Magistrates
         Act, 1993 (Act No 90 of 1993): Withholding of remuneration of
         Magistrate M K Chauke, an additional magistrate at Pretoria.

5.      The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Environmental Affairs and Tourism for consideration and report. The
    Report of the Auditor-General is referred to the Committee on
    Public Accounts for consideration:

     (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the Marine Living
         Resources Fund for 2006-2007, including the Report of the
         Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance
         Information for 2006-2007.

6.      The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Environmental Affairs and Tourism for consideration:

     (a)      Government Notice No 1147 published in Government Gazette
         No 30537, dated 7 December 2007: Assignment of the Management
         of Mokala National Park to South African National Parks
         (SANParks) in terms of the National Environmental Management:
         Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act No 57 of 2003).

     (b)      General Notice No 1717 published in Government Gazette No
         30534, dated 7 December 2007: Policy on the Management of
         Seals, Seabirds and Shorebirds in terms of the Marine Living
         Resources Act, 1998 (Act No 18 of 1998).

     (c)      General Notice No 1718 published in Government Gazette No
         30535, dated 7 December 2007: Draft Policy and Application
         Forms concerning the Allocation and Management of Long-term
         Fishing Rights in the Large Pelagic (Tuna and Swordfish)
         Sector published for comment in terms of the Marine Living
         Resources Act, 1998 (Act No 18 of 1998).

     (d)      Government Notice No R.1187 published in Government
         Gazette No 30568, dated 14 December 2007: List of Critically
         Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable and Protected Species List
         amended in terms of the National Environmental Management:
         Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004).

     (e)      Government Notice No R.1188 published in Government
         Gazette No 30568, dated 14 December 2007: Threatened or
         Protected Species Amendment Regulations, 2007, in terms of the
         National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act
         No 10 of 2004).

     (f)      General Notice No 1767 published in Government Gazette No
         30574, dated 21 December 2007: Draft Policy for the Transfer
         of Commercial Fishing Rights published for comment in terms of
         the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998 (Act No 18 of 1998).

     (g)      General Notice No 1197 published in Government Gazette No
         30590, dated 18 December 2007: Proclamation of the Fossil
         Hominid Sites of South Africa (Consisting of Fossil Hominid
         Site of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and the Environs,
         Taung Skull Fossil Site and Makapan Valley) in terms of the
         World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 (Act No 49 of 1999).

     (h)      General Notice No 1198 published in Government Gazette No
         30590, dated 18 December 2007: Proclamation of Robben Island
         as a World Heritage Site in terms of the World Heritage
         Convention Act, 1999 (Act No 49 of 1999).

     (i)      General Notice No 1199 published in Government Gazette No
         30590 dated 18 December 2007: Proclamation of uKhahlamba
         Drakensberg Park as a World Heritage Site in terms of the
         World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 (Act No 49 of 1999).

     (j)      General Notice No 1200 published in Government Gazette No
         30590, dated 18 December 2007: Proclamation of Mapungubwe
         Cultural Landscape as a World Heritage Site in terms of the
         World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 (Act No 49 of 1999).

     (k)      General Notice No 1201 published in Government Gazette No
         30590, dated 18 December 2007: Proclamation of Vredefort Dome
         as a World Heritage Site in terms of the World Heritage
         Convention Act, 1999 (Act No 49 of 1999).

     (l)      General Notice No 1202 published in Government Gazette No
         30590, dated 18 December 2007: Declaration of the Member of
         the Executive Council for Economic Development, Environment
         and Tourism of Limpopo as the Authority for the Makapan Valley
         World Heritage Site in terms of the World Heritage Convention
         Act, 1999 (Act No 49 of 1999).

     (m)      General Notice No 1203 published in Government Gazette No
         30590 dated 18 December 2007: Declaration of the Member of the
         Executive Council for Agriculture, Conservation and
         Environment of North West as the Authority for the Taung Skull
         Fossil World Heritage Site in terms of the World Heritage
         Convention Act, 1999 (Act No 49 of 1999).

     (n)      General Notice No 1204 published in Government Gazette No
         30590, dated 18 December 2007: Declaration of the Member of
         the Executive Council for Sport, Arts and Culture of the
         Northern Cape as the Authority for the Richtersveld Cultural
         and Botanical Landscape World Heritage Site in terms of the
         World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 (Act No 49 of 1999).

     (o)      General Notice No 1205 published in Government Gazette No
         30590, dated 18 December 2007: Declaration of the Kwazulu-
         Natal Nature Conservation Board as the Authority for the
         uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site in terms of
         the World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 (Act No 49 of 1999).

     (p)      General Notice No 1768 published in Government Gazette No
         30575, dated 21 December 2007: (Correction) Policy on the
         Management of Seals, Seabirds and Shorebirds published for
         general information in terms of the Sea Birds and Seals
         Protection Act, 1973 (Act No 46 of 1973).

     (q)      Government Notice No 1141 published in Government Gazette
         No 30542, dated 3 December 2007: Draft Regulations for the
         protection of wild Abalone (Haliotis) published for comment in
         terms of the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998 (Act No 18 of

     (r)      Government Notice No 1123 published in Government Gazette
         No 30518, dated 23 November 2007: Declaration of the Highveld
         as priority area in terms of section 18(1) of the National
         Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No 39 of
7.      The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on

     (a)      Government Notice No R.1090 published in Government
         Gazette No 30491, dated 16 November 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 1 (No 1/1/1348) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (b)      Proclamation No 36 published in Government Gazette No
         30508, dated 30 November 2007: Commencement of sections
         7(1)(m), 9(1) and 34(1) of the Revenue Laws Second Amendment
         Act, 2006 (Act No 21 of 2006).

     (c)      Government Notice No R.1139 published in Government
         Gazette No 30532, dated 30 November 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 1 (No 1/1/149) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (d)      Government Notice No R.1196 published in Government
         Gazette No 30581, dated 14 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 2 (No 2/294) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (e)      Government Notice No 1207 published in Government Gazette
         No 30592, dated 20 December 2007: Approval of allocations in
         terms of the Division of Revenue Act, 2007 (Act No 1 of 2007).

     (f)      Government Notice No R.1211 published in Government
         Gazette No 30586, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 2 (No 2/295) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
     (g)      Government Notice No R.1212 published in Government
         Gazette No 30586, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 2 (No 2/296) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (h)      Government Notice No R.1213 published in Government
         Gazette No 30586, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 3 (No 3/624) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (i)      Government Notice No R.1214 published in Government
         Gazette No 30586, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 3 (No 3/625) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (j)      Government Notice No R.1215 published in Government
         Gazette No 30586, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 3 (No 3/626) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (k)      Government Notice No R.1216 published in Government
         Gazette No 30586, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 3 (No 3/627) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (l)      Government Notice No R.1217 published in Government
         Gazette No 30586, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 4 (No 4/310) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (m)      Government Notice No R.1218 published in Government
         Gazette No 30586, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 5 (No 5/87) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (n)      Government Notice No R.1228 published in Government
         Gazette No 30601, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 1 (No 1/1/1350) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (o)      Government Notice No R.1229 published in Government
         Gazette No 30601, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 1 (No 1/1/1351) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (p)      Government Notice No R.1230 published in Government
         Gazette No 30601, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 1 (No 1/1/1352) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (q)      Government Notice No R.1231 published in Government
         Gazette No 30601, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 10 (No 10/11) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (r)      Government Notice No R.1232 published in Government
         Gazette No 30601, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 3 (No 3/628) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (s)      Government Notice No R.1253 published in Government
         Gazette No 30601, dated 21 December 2007: Amendment of
         Schedule No 1 (No 1/1/1354) in terms of the Customs and Excise
         Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

     (t)      Government Notice No R.1 published in Government Gazette
         No 30627, dated 1 January 2008: Amendment of regulations in
         terms of the Banks Act, 1994 (Act No 94 of 1990).

     (u)      Government Notice No R.3 published in Government Gazette
         No 30629, dated 1 January 2008: Regulations relating to banks
         in terms of the Banks Act, 1994 (Act No 94 of 1990).

     (v)      Government Notice No R.4 published in Government Gazette
         No 30631, dated 1 January 2008: Amendment of Schedule No 1 (No
         1/1/1353) in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No
         91 of 1964).

     (w)      Government Notice No R.5 published in Government Gazette
         No 30631, dated 1 January 2008: Amendment of Schedule No 3 (No
         3/629) in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91
         of 1964).

     (x)      Government Notice No R.6 published in Government Gazette
         No 30631, dated 1 January 2008: Amendment of Schedule No 4 (No
         4/311) in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91
         of 1964).

     (y)      Government Notice No 7 published in Government Gazette No
         30637, dated 4 January 2008: Listing and delisting of public
         entities in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999
         (Act No 1 of 1999).

8.      The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Finance for consideration and report:

     (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the Financial Services
         Board on the Registrar of Collective Investment Schemes for
         the year ended 31 December 2006 [RP 250-2007].

     (b)      Report of the South African Statistics Council for 2006-
         2007 [RP 238-2007].

9.      The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Science and Technology for consideration and report:

     (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the National Advisory
         Council on Innovation for 2006-2007.

10.     The following paper is referred to the Committee on Public
    Accounts for consideration, and to all portfolio committees and the
    Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life
    and Status of Women:

     (a)      General Report of the Auditor-General on the Audit
         Outcomes of National and Provincial Departments, Public
         Entities and Constitutional Institutions for 2006-2007 [RP 226-

11.     The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Provincial and Local Government for consideration and report. The
    Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements is
    referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

     (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the South African Local
         Government Association (SALGA) for 2006-2007, including the
         Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and
         Performance Information for 2006-2007 [RP 9-2008].

12.     The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Water Affairs and Forestry for consideration and report. The
    Reports of the Independent Auditors are referred to the Committee
    on Public Accounts for consideration:

     (a)      Report and Financial Statements of Ikangala Water for the
         year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

     (b)      Report and Financial Statements of Pelladrift Water Board
         for the year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

     (c)      Report and Financial Statements of Bloem Water for the
         year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

     (d)      Report and Financial Statements of Amatola Water for the
         year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

     (e)      Report and Financial Statements of Overberg Water for the
         year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

     (f)      Report and Financial Statements of Umgeni Water for the
         year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

     (g)      Report and Financial Statements of Bushbuckridge Water for
         the year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

     (h)      Report and Financial Statements of Rand Water for the year
         ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the Independent
         Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year ended 30
         June 2007.

     (i)      Report and Financial Statements of Lepelle Northern Water
         for the year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

     (j)      Report and Financial Statements of Magalies Water for the
         year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

     (k)      Report and Financial Statements of Sedibeng Water for the
         year ended 30 June 2007, including the Report of the
         Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for the year
         ended 30 June 2007.

13.     The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Defence for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor-
    General is referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for

     (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the Castle of Good Hope
         for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on
         the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 130-2007].

14.     The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Defence for consideration and the Joint Standing Committee on

     (a)      Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the
         Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Central
         African Republic on Defence Co-operation, tabled in terms of
         section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.

     (b)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Memorandum of Understanding
         between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the
         Government of the Central African Republic on Defence Co-

     (c)      Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the
         Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of
         Gabon on Defence Co-operation, tabled in terms of section
         231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.

     (d)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Memorandum of Understanding
         between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the
         Government of the Republic of Gabon on Defence Co-operation.

     (e)      Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South
         Africa and the Government of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau on
         Defence Co-operation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the
         Constitution, 1996.

     (f)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement between the
         Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government
         of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau on Defence Co-operation.

     (g)      Agreement for the Establishment of a Joint Permanent
         Commission on Defence and Security between the Government of
         the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the
         Republic of Mozambique, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of
         the Constitution, 1996.

     (h)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement for the
         Establishment of a Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and
         Security between the Government of the Republic of South
         Africa and the Government of the Republic of Mozambique.

     (i)      Exchange of Letters between the Government of the Republic
         of South Africa and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
         (Nato) regarding naval exercises in the Republic of South
         Africa from 28 August to 10 September 2007, tabled in terms of
         section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.

     (j)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Exchange of Letters between
         the Republic of South Africa and the North Atlantic Treaty
         Organisation (Nato) on the modalities relating to the status
         of members of Nato’s Naval Group 1 participating in Exercise

     (k)      Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South
         Africa and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on
         the Status of Military and Civilian Personnel of their
         Departments/Ministries of Defence present in each other’s
         territories for activities related to Military Co-operation,
         tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.

     (l)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement between the
         Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government
         of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the Status of Military
         and Civilian Personnel of their Departments/Ministries of
         Defence present in each other’s territories for activities
         related to Military Cooperation.

     (m)      Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South
         Africa and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain on Defence
         Co-operation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the
         Constitution, 1996.

     (n)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement between the
         Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government
         of the Kingdom of Spain on Defence Co-operation.

     (o)      Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the
         Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of
         Sudan on Defence Co-operation, tabled in terms of section
         231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.

     (p)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Memorandum of Understanding
         between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the
         Government of the Republic of Sudan on Defence Co-operation.

     (q)      Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the
         Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of
         Uganda on the Renovation of the O R Tambo School of
         Leadership, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the
         Constitution, 1996.

     (r)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Memorandum of Understanding
         between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the
         Government of the Republic of Uganda on the Renovation of the
         O R Tambo School of Leadership.

     (s)      Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the
         Republic of South Africa and the Government of the United
         Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Defence Co-
         operation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the
         Constitution, 1996.

     (t)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Memorandum of Understanding
         between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the
         Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
         Ireland on Defence Co-operation, tabled in terms of section
         231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.

15.     The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Finance for consideration and report and to the Portfolio Committee
    on Trade and Industry:

     (a)      Convention on Temporary Admission (Istanbul Convention),
         tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996.

     (b)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Temporary Admission
         (Istanbul Convention).

16.     The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Finance for consideration:

     (a)      Reply from the South African Revenue Services to a
         recommendation in the Report of the Portfolio Committee on
         Finance (Vote No 8: National Treasury), as adopted by the
         House on 20 June 2007.

17.     The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Transport for consideration and report. The Reports of the Auditor-
    General are referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for

     (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the South African
         Maritime Safety Authority (including the Maritime Fund) for
         2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the
         Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2006-2007
         [RP 213-2007].

     (b)      Report and Financial Statements of the Cross-Border Road
         Transport Agency (C-BRTA) for 2006-2007, including the Report
         of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and
         Performance Information for 2006-2007 [RP 151-2007].


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Trade and Industry

    a) Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Czech Republic on Economic Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.

    b) Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Czech Republic on Economic Cooperation.

National Assembly

  1. The Speaker

    a) Report of the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Grievance Trends in the Public Service – September 2007 [RP 222-2007].

    b) Report of the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Trend Analysis on Complaints Lodged with the Public Service Commission during the 2006/2007 Financial Year – October 2007 [RP 233-2007].


National Assembly

  1. Report of the Select Committee on Public Services on the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, dated 27 February 2008:

    The Select Committee on Public Services, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, referred to it, recommends that the House, in terms of Section 231(2) of the Constitution, approve the said Convention.

Report to be considered.
  1. Report of the Select Committee on Public Services on the 1991 Amendments to the Convention on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), 1948, dated 27 February 2008:

    The Select Committee on Public Services, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the 1991 Amendments to the Convention on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), 1948, referred to it, recommends that the House, in terms of Section 231(2) of the Constitution, approve the said Convention.

Report to be considered.