National Council of Provinces - 20 August 2008



The Council met at 14:05.

The House Chairperson (Mrs M N Oliphant) took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.


                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Mr J W LE ROUX: Chairperson, I give notice that at the next sitting I shall move:

That the Council notes that –

1) technical skills shortages at the SA Airways, SAA are seriously
   compromising the safety of passengers;

2) the American Federal Aviation Administration has warned the SAA that
   their technical division is not up to standard;
3) senior management at the technical division of the SAA have already
   resigned because they do not wish to be party to a drop in

4) in the past the technical services at the SAA were some of the best
   in the world, but they have now deteriorated to such an extent that
   experts are expecting a disaster at any time; and

5) the ANC government will have to give urgent attention to this
   unacceptable situation and rethink affirmative action and

Mr M A MZIZI: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the NCOP, I shall move on behalf of the IFP:

That the Council –

1) notes with shock that a patient at Kalafong hospital in
   Atteridgeville, Pretoria, called the police to intervene after a
   doctor who was allegedly drunk started screaming at patients in the

2) realises that irresponsible behaviour from doctors who are dealing
   with patients could result in unnecessary suffering and even loss of
3) condemns the actions and irresponsibility of the intoxicated doctor;

4) urges the relevant authorities to investigate this allegation as a
   matter of urgency and take the necessary action.


                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Madam Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –

  1) notes with deep sadness and utmost sense of loss the untimely
     passing away of a visionary and a distinguished leader of the
     people of Zambia, His Excellency the President, Dr Levy Mwanawasa,
     who died at a French military hospital on Tuesday, 19 August 2008
     at the age of 59;

  2) further notes that President Mwanawasa had been in a coma for
     almost two months after suffering a severe stroke in Egypt on 29
     June, on the eve of an African Union, AU Summit;

  3) recognises that President Mwanawasa was a champion of the
     aspiration of the people of Africa, whose contribution in the
     transformation of the continent serves as a living memorial,
     setting an outstanding example of a leader who dedicated his life
     towards mobilising leaders of the African continent to seek
     practical means to redress the social, economic and political
     challenges facing the continent; and

(4) takes this opportunity to dip its head in mourning with the people of Zambia and the rest of the African continent for their loss and wishes them strength during this difficult period.

     May his soul rest in peace!

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr Z S KOLWENI: Madam Chair, I move without notice:

That the Council –

  1) notes with utter shock and disdain reports of a domestic worker,
     Moipone Naphakade from Wolmaransstad in the North West Province,
     who was brutally assaulted by her employer, Benny Kannies, for
     allegedly stealing a diamond;

  2) further notes that having served her employer for over six years,
     was then subjected to a brutal interrogation by this employer who
     locked her in a poisonous petrol drum for over 8 hours;

  3) takes this opportunity to condemn in the strongest possible terms
     such gross inhumanity and blatant disregard of her personal
     integrity and constitutional rights in a month when our country is
     calling for an end to the abuse of women; and

  4) calls on all law-implementing agencies to immediately take this
     employer to task.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Madam Chairperson, I move without notice: That the Council –

  1) notes that today, 20 August 2008, marks the 25th anniversary of the
     United Democratic Front;

  2) further notes that the UDF was a nonracial front that brought
     together all South Africans who wanted freedom;

  3) salutes the UDF and all those who were involved in its activities;

  4) invites all members to a cultural event at the venue where the UDF
     was first formed, the Rocklands Civic Centre.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.

                         MEDIATION COMMITTEE

                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: I move, on behalf of the Chairperson of the Council, and ask the House to support the following draft resolution:

That the Council appoints the following members to serve on the
Mediation Committee in respect of the Housing Development Agency Bill
[B1D-2008] (National Assembly-sec 76(1)):

     Eastern Cape: B. N. Dlulane
     Free State: C. J. Van Rooyen
     Gauteng:  M. A. Mzizi
     KwaZulu-Natal: M. N. Oliphant
     Limpopo: H. F. Matlanyane
     Mpumalanga: A. Watson
     Northern Cape: R. J. Tau
     North West: P. Moatshe
     Western Cape: F. Adams

Question put: That the motion be agreed to.

IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.

Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


            (Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M N Oliphant): I first would like to welcome the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affair and Tourism. I call upon the hon Deputy Minister to open the debate. Hon Minister, you have to come to the podium. We have a podium now.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM: Thank you, hon Chair. Last time when I was here we used to do it from our seats. I didn’t know you have gone higher.

Hon members, we all know what our Constitution says in section 24. I don’t need to repeat that. We have to conserve our environment, which is not only for us but for the generations to come, because we have only one planet. If we damage it, we damage it for, life and there won’t be any life again. So what we are going to talk about is something that will assist in cleaning up the environment, the health of the people and their planet as well as the right to have an environment that is protected by reasonable legislation. This is because we have a responsibility as government to see to it that the environment is clean and also that we follow what we have legislated because, even if we have wonderful laws, if those laws are not implemented they just going to sit somewhere gathering dust, and that will not help.

In order to give effect to the constitutional rights to a safe environment, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism reviewed environmental legislation in 1996. The review resulted in the development and promulgation of the National Environmental Management Act in 1998 as overarching framework legislation for environmental management.

In order to deal with the waste management challenges, the department started the development of the National Environmental Management: Waste Bill in 2005 as subsidiary framework legislation which seeks to give legal effect to the White Paper that we have on integrated pollution and waste management that was developed in 2000. The National Environmental Management: Waste Bill has therefore been in the making for many years.

South Africa has a large and complex problem pertaining to waste management because waste and its consequent pollution have never been dealt with in a more focused way. As a nation, we are a throw-away society and most people do not consider what happens to the things they throw away. You’ll see people throwing things out of the windows of moving cars and wherever they are in the parks. You know, it’s a sad story when we get to our parks and you find that there is so much litter, and the Bill is just right there because we are a throw-away society. And we have to change the mind-set of our people.

The fragmentation of waste management legislation has resulted in a lack of effective waste management which presents huge challenges in our country. The impact of improper waste management, for example, and its negative impacts on health and the environment are unfortunately and disproportionately borne by poor communities. I’m sure we know of open spaces in our villages and townships where you’ll see waste dumps. And it’s quite a painful experience that we are going through.

This Bill has gone through an extensive public participation process. It was gazetted for comment from 12 January 2007 to 12 April 2007. During the drafting process in 2006, there was extensive consultation in government and with stakeholders before the Bill went to Cabinet. In some provinces there was more than one workshop.

There was a major government Waste Management Conference in March 2007 which some of you attended, consultations with NGOs and other people and meetings with various business and industry sectors. Bilateral meetings were also held with the Department of Trade and Industry and National Treasury, amongst others.

The chief state law adviser certified the Bill in terms of its constitutionality and the Bill was tabled in Parliament in June 2007. The public hearings on the Bill yielded very good and desirable alterations to the Bill.

The Bill is largely framework legislation which provides the basis for the regulation of waste management. The application of the waste Bill is limited only to waste streams that are not dealt with by other pieces of legislation in order to avoid duplication and to complement existing legislation.

Waste management has very real and major implications for the economy. Therefore the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has considered what needs to be done nationally in order to maintain economic consistency in relation to matters that would have an impact on the economy.

Furthermore, whilst the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has to ensure that it deals even-handedly with waste as a commodity and that there was one set of rules, the legislation has been drafted in such a way that it does not contravene South Africa’s obligations in terms of international trade.

The legislation provides for a range of waste management measures including the declaration of priority waste by the Minister and the preparation of waste management plans by industry or organs of state. Priority waste would not necessarily be large quantities of waste but this would be waste streams that have become a serious problem or are toxic and therefore require specific and focused attention in the way they are managed. The purpose of the waste management plans by organs of state is to provide for organs of state to set out how they intend to manage waste in carrying out their function or mandate whilst the purpose of the plans by industry is for industry to set out how it will deal with the waste it generates. They should know that it is not only about making money, but also about what they are doing and where it ends up.

In order not to overregulate, only industries that are identified will be required to do this. This is primarily a mechanism aimed at large waste generators. Other industries can prepare their plans voluntarily.

There are a few new concepts in the Bill which have not previously been set out in South African law. Firstly, the general duty for waste holders states that every person is responsible for how they deal with their waste. All of us as citizens of this country, when we are drinking a cool drink or when you’re putting it in a dustbin, should be worried about where that dustbin ends up because somebody might have a contract to remove the dustbin but then they dump it next to my aunt or somewhere in an open space.

Secondly, for the first time, legislation has been used to drive a waste minimisation approach, which is based on the waste hierarchy and will ensure that the ‘‘cradle to grave’’ approach is used in managing waste. As a result of this approach, municipalities will now be required, inter alia, to provide containers so that recyclable waste can be collected.

Although these have cost implications, separating waste will mean that in the long run the waste can be used to generate income. We should also have the foresight to realise that the more we recycle, the more we are conserving the natural resources because, if we don’t recycle, we keep on cutting down trees, we keep on using the sources of material that we are going to use. By doing so, we are destroying the environment and it gets degraded, but if we keep on recycling we will be conserving.

Thirdly, this legislation has a section dedicated to contaminated land. Historically, in South Africa, it has been relatively easy to contaminate land without any serious consequences because there were no ways of holding polluters accountable. This resulted in situations where government ended up having to deal with and finance the cleaning up of contaminated land.

The contaminated land section of the Bill provides for the remediation of contaminated land. The department can identify land as contaminated and conduct investigations to determine the extent of contamination as well as the form of remediation required. There will be a database or register of all contaminated land. The department has taken the view that the cost of reducing pollution must be shared amongst the people who are responsible for waste.

Whilst the Bill is largely framework legislation, the licensing of waste management has been drafted at a much more detailed level than would be found in framework legislation. The reason for this is that the department’s experience over the last 10 years has been that in order to license effectively, there must be the power to do so in legislation.

Only identified activities will require a licence and this will enable the department to focus on key activities through the introduction of thresholds and proper descriptive wording relating to activities requiring licensing. It also enables the creation of a streamlined permitting process with, environmental impact assessment, EIA, requirements to make the authorisation process less cumbersome than it is at present.

Furthermore, the Bill caters for microindustries to be regulated, if necessary, in ways other than through licensing, for example, by the setting of standards. An example may be the small collectors of recyclable waste. The department will be the competent authority to license hazardous waste facilities because of the associated environmental risks, and provinces will license the general waste facilities.

The Bill also provides for compliance and enforcement. What is different about these provisions is that, unlike in other pieces of legislation, here the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry has been given powers to enforce compliance in respect of waste-related issues that can impact on water resources.

The exercise of these powers, however, must be done after consultation with the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism or the relevant MEC for Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The legislation provides for the drawing up of a National Waste Management Strategy within two years of promulgation. It is acknowledged that implementation of the legislation will not happen overnight. The National Waste Management Strategy will be the master plan that will guide the implementation of the legislation.

After another round of consultations and public hearings, the Bill was adopted by the NA at the beginning of May 2008 and was then referred to the NCOP. In view of the above, the department is of the view that the National Environmental Management: Waste Bill will introduce a revolutionary way of managing waste in South Africa. This revolutionary way should not be done by us only, but we are appealing to all citizens of this country to change their mind-set of putting everything together. They should start to sort waste at source. This is a great challenge to everyone, our constituencies and our churches. Let us try to spread this message of sorting waste at source and take it to buy-back centres. The department and our partners are establishing buy-back centres and we are encouraging people to sort and sell waste which will be recycled. Those buy-back centres must belong to the communities, to groups of unemployed youths or women. They must be trained. We often see people whom we call scavengers; they can be sent for training like we did in certain areas. They are good recyclers, and by doing that we will be spreading the word in schools as many schools have already started this recycling project.

The learners are also teaching their parents to make compost. We all want healthy, organically grown vegetables and fruit. We start by not throwing anything away and by recycling bottles and plastic. We must turn this waste into wealth by employing people and creating jobs for the unemployed youth and women.

Finally, I would like to thank members of the select committee for the wonderful work they have done in a short period of time, as well as for their valuable contribution in the finalisation of the National Environmental Management: Waste Bill. In particular, I would like to thank the chairperson for his leadership in the process. Thank you.

Rev P MOATSHE: Chairperson, the Minister, hon members, the department, all stakeholders, special delegates present here, in 1996 the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism undertook to review the existing environmental legislation in order to ensure that environmental legislation was aligned to the Constitution and new policies, and to consolidate and streamline legislation governing the environment.

The National Environmental Management Act of 1998 was developed as the overarching framework legislation for environmental management in South Africa. More recently, as part of the law reform process, DEAT undertook to develop national legislation governing pollution and waste management.

The National Environmental Management: Waste Bill lays the foundation for the regulation and management of pollution and waste. The aim of the Bill is to reform laws regulating waste management by providing reasonable measures for integrated pollution and waste management, providing for compliance with those measures and generally giving effect to section 24 of the Constitution in order to achieve an environment that is not harmful to the health and wellbeing of our people.

The Bill places a general duty on the state to put in place uniform measures that seek to reduce the amount of waste generated and to ensure that waste is reused, recycled and recovered in an environmentally sound manner before being safely treated and disposed of.

The Bill also seeks to provide for the establishment of a National Waste Management Strategy that organs of state must give effect to when exercising a power and performing a duty in terms of the Act or any other legislation that regulates waste management.

The Bill specifically provides for the following: institutional arrangement for waste management that outlines the roles and responsibilities of all spheres of government in respect of waste management; strategic and planning frameworks as well as norms and standards for waste management; obligations relating to various aspects of waste management; licensing of waste management activities; enforcement of the provisions of the Bill; the designation of waste management officers and their role and responsibilities; and the declaration of waste as a priority and consequences thereto.

In institutional planning, we have waste management officers who will be appointed by the Minister, MECs and municipalities. The purpose of waste management officers is to provide a person for the public to consult with regard to waste management issues in all spheres of government.

The integrated management plan’s purpose is to provide for organs of state to set out how they intend to carry out their function with regard to waste management. We also have the industrial waste management plans that provide for the preparation, contents, consultation, consideration and review of industry waste management plans. The purpose of industry waste management plans is to provide for industry and certain organs of state to set out how to deal with the waste generated.

The Minister and MECs may require industry waste management plans to be provided. Industry waste management plans may be prepared by the provincial departments of environmental affairs and tourism on behalf of the industry and they may recover the costs. This is a new section in the waste legislation and the purpose of this section is to provide for remediation of contaminated land.

Go botlhokwa gore lefatshe lo seke lwa leswefadiwa mme batho ba rona ba tshwanetse go rutiwa gore … [It is very important that the environment is not contaminated and our people should be taught that …]

… cleanliness is next to godliness, and if cleanliness is next to godliness we must advance for purity and cleanliness at all costs.

Fa re dira jalo e tla nna gore … [If we do this, it will imply that …]

… prevention is better than cure. If we prevent any kind of ailment we shall be creating a better future for the people of this country. Ke ka lebaka leo re ratang go baya Molaotlhomo o o fa pele ga Ntlo e, o o nang le diphetogo tse di rileng, gore Ntlo e o amogele. Ke a leboga. [It is for this reason that we would like to put this Bill before this House, with amendments, so that it can be adopted. Thank you.]

Mr A WATSON: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, when this Bill was debated in the NA earlier this year my colleague Gareth Morgan made the point that South Africa is a wasteful country and that we have become accustomed to using far more than we need to. The Minister also made the same point a while ago. I agree with them and therefore welcome any measures that are aimed at improving the lives of our people by ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment while seeking to enhance the preservation of fauna, flora and the soil we live on.

I am, however, somewhat confused. Here we have legislation that is on the one hand part of an omnibus of a number of pieces of national legislation introduced by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, all aimed at improving the management of our environment and therefore fostering much needed preservation. On the other hand, however, we learned with great disappointment this week that the Department of Minerals and Energy has granted mining concessions to Mineral Commodities Ltd to mine a portion of the Xolobeni Mineral Sands project, slap bang within one of the most pristine areas along a stretch of unspoilt coastline of the Wild Coast, one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots.

Yes, this is one of the most impoverished areas in South Africa and yes, mining will create jobs for some but only for a limited period while the environment is uprooted and contaminated by industrial waste. Many more jobs, and ones more suitable and sustainable at that, could have been created by the introduction of the professional management of ecotourism in this very same area.

The Environmental Affairs Minister is on record as saying that he supports ecotourism as opposed to mining in the Wild Coast, but his hands are tied because in terms of present legislation the Minister does not have the power to grant or deny environmental authorisation for mines. This must be changed if we are truly serious about conservation and a waste-free environment. The Minister will have to use all the opportunities at his disposal to prevent any further rights from being granted in this area.

Another matter that I find upsetting about this Bill, and which I have raised in connection with other Bills before in this House, is the unacceptable timing and passage of this important piece of legislation through the NCOP and provinces. This Bill has been tagged as a section 76 Bill which means it was judged as being of significant importance to provinces and to local government. As it is, municipalities will play a pivotal role in the implementation and management of the provisions envisaged in this legislation.

We have learnt that all in all it took some five years in terms of the prior arrangements that were done before it was brought to Parliament when it was finally adopted by the NA on 8 May 2008. I say five years, yet five days later on 30 May 2008, the NCOP select committee was briefed by officials of the department. After this briefing only 28 days remained in which the provincial portfolio committees had to be briefed by permanent delegates of this House and in which they in turn had to conduct public hearings and themselves had to consider the Bill.

By 10 June negotiating mandates were considered by the select committee and on 24 June final mandates were adopted. If it had not been for the constituency period commencing the next day, we would have debated and passed the Bill before the end of June. After months of deliberations, therefore, our colleagues in the NA must know every comma and full stop in the Bill, but permanent delegates are expected to do justice to their duties only after a few hours of briefings. This cannot be correct and provinces must also be given much more time for scrutiny, public hearings and deliberations. We know there was a lot of consultation; we know that there were public hearings, but the Constitution obliges us to hold public hearings in the provinces. If we are not equipped to go and do proper briefings then the provinces are not equipped to also consider the Bills properly. I think this is something that needs urgent attention.

The last matter that I also am concerned about is in regard to the implementation of the provisions of the Bill. That is because municipalities which fall under this legislation also have many obligations and may take an eternity to do so. Most municipalities outside the metros are unable to execute the most basic of their present core functions and I would like to say that the vast majority of them are not in a position to implement their responsibilities in regard to this Act.

It is noted that the department has budgeted for significant funding in the years of implementation in order to help build capacity and infrastructure, but I warn that checks and balances will have to be introduced to ensure uniformity across provinces and municipalities. The DA supports this very important piece of legislation. I thank you.

Mr M A MZIZI: Chairperson, Deputy Minister, colleagues, the department’s review of environmental legislation began many years ago in order to ensure that there was an alignment with the Constitution as well as to consolidate and streamline legislation governing the environment. As part of these processes the department undertook to develop national legislation governing pollution and waste management and the Bill before us today aims to do just that. In this age where climate change and global warming are upon us and cannot be ignored any longer, the need for legislation to deal with pollution and waste is of paramount importance. A change in the attitude and behaviour of all South Africans is needed if we are to successfully deal with these problems and provide better protection for our environment. It is the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism which must play a leading role in this regard and provide the foundation needed to ensure environmental responsibility and serve as an example to all South Africans.

In the past waste pollution was never a priority issue and always seemed to take the back seat to other issues that were deemed more pressing at the time. This attitude and behaviour resulted in waste disposal methods that were not only detrimental to the environment but also to the health of the people. We have all seen or read about medical or other waste being dumped near communities or about how pollution from factories or waste affects the health of people living on contaminated land.

In most cases the people and communities who are worst affected by these actions are the poorest members of our society. A change of attitude is needed and issues such as recycling and environmentally friendly behaviour must become part of everybody’s routine.

Hopefully this Bill will remedy some of these issues surrounding waste and pollution that have plagued us for so long and have had such a negative impact on our environment, health and quality of life. We must all pull together and play our part. We support this Bill

Kodwa-ke mina Ngqongqoshe ake ngibeke kancane nje ukuthi uke wathinta laphaya ngendaba yasemalokishini. Leyo ndaba sekwaba insakavukela umchilo wesidwaba impela ngoba imigqomo ibekwa kude nabantu, uma isigcwele ayithathwa ngesikhathi, abantu baze balahle phansi ngoba phela ayikho indawo lapho bengachitha khona. Engathi umthetho ungaqinisa isandla kulabo abangasusi lemi gqomo. Kodwa khona kunjalo qhubeka uye phambili ngokuphucula izimpilo zabantu base Ningizimu Afrika. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[However, Minister, let me comment briefly on something you touched on regarding the townships. Littering has become a common practice simply because waste bins are placed far from the people, and they are not collected on time when they are full which results in people resorting to littering because they do not have anywhere to dispose of their waste. Stricter measures must be exercised on those who do not remove waste bins. Besides that, Minister, you can continue making the lives of South Africans better. Thank you.]

Ms E PRINCE (Western Cape): Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister and members of the NCOP.

Verlede week, tydens die ANC-Vroueliga se Wes-Kaapse kongres het mev Angie Motshekga, die Vroueliga se President, dit onomwonde gestel dat ons as vroue baie beter na ons omgewing moet kyk en die sorg van ons omgewing moet eien, aangesien dit so is dat wanneer die omgewing ly, dit vroue is wat swaarkry.

Hierdie realitieit is nie versteek nie. Ons het onmiddelik gesien watter negatiewe impak armoede op ons omgewing het en hoe dit veral van ons omgewing direk daartoe aanleiding gee tot groter armoede. Hierdie departement het die afgelope 14 jaar hard gewerk om seker te maak dat ons omgewing skoon bly en vir nageslagte behoue sal bly.

Verder het hierdie departement ook gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid geprioretiseer om sodoende te verseker dat die gemeenskappe verantwoordelik gehou word vir die versorging van hul omgewing. So is hierdie wetsontwerp weereens ’n manier om te sorg dat ons omgewing veiliger en meer leefbaar sal wees deurdat ons die afvalbestuurprobleem vir eens en vir altyd daardeur aanspreek. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Last week, during the ANC Women’s League Western Cape Congress, Mrs Angie Motshekga, President of the Women’s League, plainly stated that we as women should do more to look after our environment and that we should take it upon ourselves to care for the environment, since it is known that when the environment suffers, it is women who are increasingly burdened. This reality is not concealed. The negative impact poverty has on our environment, and especially how this leads directly to greater poverty, was immediately apparent. This department has worked hard over the past 14 years to ensure that our environment stays clean and is preserved for posterity.

This department has, furthermore, prioritised communal participation to ensure that the communities are held responsible for caring for their environment. Therefore, this Bill is once again a way to ensure that our environment will be safer and more habitable by addressing the waste management problem once and for all.]

In doing so, this Bill prioritises waste minimisation by promoting avoidance, recovery, re-use and recycling and using the disposal of waste as a last resort. As stated by the department’s Joanne Yawitch earlier this year, this is indeed what we as a country need and this Bill provides the answer.

Dit was juis die Adjunkminister van hierdie departement, mev Joyce Mabudafhasi, wat in Maart verlede jaar gesê het dat ons nie kan toelaat dat ons hierdie nasie verdrink in afval, terwyl ons dit kan gebruik om werk te skep en armoede te bestry nie. Ons het ’n verantwoordelikheid om die ganse mensdom en generasies wat opkom te bevry en die dreigement te verweer van leef op ’n planeet wat onherstelbaar verniel is deur menslike aktiwiteite, met skaars hulpbronne wat ons nie langer kan onderhou nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[It was, in fact, the Deputy Minister of this department, Mrs Joyce Mabudafhasi, who said in March last year that we cannot allow this nation to drown in waste, while we are able to use it to create jobs and to fight poverty. We have a responsibility to free the entire human race and generations to follow, and to defend ourselves from the threat of living on a planet that has been damaged irreparably by human activities, with scarce resources that cannot support us for long.]

Generally the Western Cape Province supports the National Environmental Management: Waste Bill of 2007. Waste minimisation is strongly emphasised in this Bill.

Public hearings were held in the province by the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. It played an active role in commenting on and providing input on the Bill over a period of time and has played a strong role in facilitating the input from municipalities. However, we have raised and want to emphasise the following concerns: We feel the Bill has not made sufficient provision for costs incurred, given the extended mandates to the province and the municipalities. Our major concern here is that most landfills in the province and nationally are not managed properly or meeting minimum requirements. Thus clause 35(2) must be omitted, because banks own most of the land and must take up their responsibility to remediate contaminated land that is owned by them.

The rehabilitation of small waste deposit sites could conservatively amount to R2 million per site. As the department closes more landfills, there is an average of five year’s of landfill space left on most landfills in the Western Cape. More transfer stations and drop-off facilities could be opened, implying that provincial administrative obligations would increase. We will need a far better arrangement in respect of drafts and current involvement in giving inputs with regard to landfills and their impact on the water quality aspect when these functions are assigned to the provinces. I thank you.

Mr W M DOUGLAS: Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, in South Africa until as recently as 1997, waste management, incorporating waste minimisation, was not regarded as a national or provincial priority issue. The ACDP, therefore, commends the department for addressing the numerous deficiencies through this legislation.

Waste management across South Africa has been in a mess traditionally. The lack of waste management planning and bad habits in dealing with waste inherited from the previous dispensation is a major problem. Other problems include waste disposal on river banks, the creation of open dump disposal areas threatening bordering residents, the general burning of waste causing air pollution and unauthorised waste processing involving hazardous substances.

Today South Africa has set a national target to reduce by 70% by 2022 the amount of big-five waste products going to landfills, namely plastic, cans, paper, glass and tyres. It also intends to have plans in place to decrease and treat the remaining 30% of its waste. This is good news for us and it is good news for the environment and we applaud the department in this regard. The National Environmental Management: Waste Bill aims to achieve the goal of entrenching waste management best practices into law.

For example, this Bill will replace the obsolete and weak end-of-pipe approach with a new, more environmentally accountable and sustainable approach. End-of-pipe management refers to the way in which rubbish is typically collected by municipal waste companies, disposed of at landfills and covered with soil. These landfills eventually exceed their capacity, necessitating new landfill sites. The Bill will also reform the law, regulating waste management in order to protect health and environment by providing reasonable measures for the prevention of pollution and ecological degradation, and for securing ecologically sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development. In other words, it will provide for national norms, standards and measures for regulating the management of waste by all spheres of government. Moreover, it has been said that South Africa has a sad legacy with regard to the incineration of waste. For example, Bobby Peek, Director of groundWork, stated that, according to the Danish and Norwegian technical consultants hired by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, if South Africa goes ahead with plans to burn waste, as proposed by the waste Bill, it will cost us R140 billion over the next 25 years. This equates to the entire SA Health Budget at current estimates for more than 12 years.

The ACDP is deeply concerned about the burning of waste and believes that it is not the way to go; however, the ACDP supports this Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr R J TAU: Deputy Minister, the Deputy President of the ANC’s Women’s League and hon members, one must say that this is a very important piece of legislation. I think we have all agreed on that because we are debating this piece of legislation on a very important day of a very important month, of course.

Many of us will remember that during those days, to mobilise for the United Democratic Front, UDF, it was the young people who ensured that they formed the backbone of the United Democratic Front and were at the forefront of mobilising and galvanising South African society.

As young people, one of the key things that we were mobilised to do was to ensure that our environment is clean. Historically, we were subjected to areas that were quite dirty and neglected and were made to feel that we are Africans and that living in unhealthy environments was appropriate for Africans.

Therefore, one of the key strategies of the UDF then was to ensure that when mobilising and conscientising young people we looked at the issues we had to deal with. We needed to go out there and clean our parks, pick up the dirt and teach our people that being African is not a curse, but one thing that we had to do to ensure that we would be proud of being Africans and Blacks, in general, was to keep our environment clean.

In this context, it is important for us also to remember that as we engage with this issue of waste management one of the key things that we need to remind ourselves of, once more, is the extent to which these things affect young people and women. We have to ensure that what we raise becomes practical, that is, using waste for economic development.

How do we mobilise young people and young women by forming co-operatives? How do we ensure that young people and women are supported through the strengthening of local government, also materially and resource-wise, to form themselves into those co-operatives that will manage these landfills, because if you look at this at the local government level, landfills are a contested area of big capital.

Through the management of landfills, big capital sees an opportunity to make money. It ensures that things which don’t need to be put out to tender, are put out to tender by municipalities or local government. This makes it extremely difficult for young people and women to benefit from such processes. This is an important issue and we need to look at how best we can build that capacity within our municipalities to ensure that simple things like landfills are not put out to tender.

I’m raising this particular issue precisely because most of the people who are affected are the poor people in our communities. I don’t know if the officials from the departments have assisted the Minister or the Ministry, in general, in looking at the kind of submissions that were made by our communities during public hearings, because one of the key things that came up very strongly is the issue of how we translate waste into an instrument of economic development. It was raised so sharply that I remember in the North West one submission went to the extent of wanting to reject the Bill if it does not address this particular issue related to economic development. And I think it is a very important issue for us to consider.

The hon Watson raised very important issues with regard to the internal processes of development of legislation in the National Council of Provinces. It is unfortunate because it’s an opportunity lost, precisely because the hon member’s contribution in this particular debate would have been much more effective in the debate on Parliament’s Vote because it would have assisted Parliament in reviewing its systems and mechanisms in dealing with legislation. I’m saying today that we have missed that particular opportunity.

It is on that note that I want to end by saying that as the ANC we support this Bill and we encourage the department to do its best to ensure that it won’t only, once more be – as you said Deputy Minister - a paper that is going to gather dust, but that it will actually be a practical paper that will benefit the working class and the poor. Thank you very much.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Tau, in future, please address our Chief Whip properly. In terms of the Rules of the House, she is the Chief Whip of the NCOP.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM: Chairperson, I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to this Bill. We always know that it takes a long time to achieve good things. When we buy things and we are told that they are handcrafted or handwoven, we know that those are things of quality. This Bill took a long time because we wanted a quality Bill that would address all our aspirations. And there is no way that it will collect dust because we have a law enforcement directorate in our department that will be monitoring it and seeing to it that it is implemented and implemented correctly. We call them the Green Scorpions, but they are law-enforcers.

Through the commitment that you’ve shown there is no way that it will collect dust because all of us here are going to be implementing it. When talking to the next person you are already implementing it.

We had a very successful women and environment conference last week at which all provinces were represented, especially the women in the communities out there. Even SADC women Ministers said, invited or not, they were coming because we are all concerned about waste.

Since we launched what we now call the borderless SADC, we now work as SADC because when there is waste at our borders it can be blown in either direction. So we have now committed ourselves to work with our neighbours; we are cleaning our border post jointly with, for example, Lesotho, Swaziland and others because we feel that waste does not have boundaries; it does not need passports. That is one of the things that we are strengthening.

The other thing that we did not mention is the issue of reducing waste. Why are we recycling? Besides for economic purposes and our health, we need to reduce the landfills. We need this land for many things like agriculture and housing and if we can get it right, we will only have a little bit of waste for which we will need landfills. We will then have more land. Recycling therefore has a big impact also, of course, as the hon Tau was saying, for economic purposes.

One can understand very well why we are recycling waste, why we are dealing with waste - besides cleaning we are also developing the economy. As I said, we have these buy-back centres and recycling places and of course there are those who would like to cheat us and say that they are doing recycling yet they are doing other things. Fortunately there are people who always alert us to people who say they have certificates or permission to recycle glass only to find that they are collecting all types of waste which end up affecting the communities and the land.

I really thank you very much for the contributions that were made. We haven’t done everything. There is a lot to say about waste but what is more important is for us to go back to mobilise more people, especially the youth out there. We have so much waste that we can employ almost half the population of our youth and the women out there to clean the country while they are developing the economy and becoming businesspeople.

Here in Cape Town, just outside Philippi, there are former prisoners who are now rehabilitated and they are running a very good recycling project. They are recycling bottles and papers. We need to support them. It is important that the Department of Provincial and Local Government and the municipalities out there all work together. We can talk until we are blue in the face but of course they have the responsibility of putting out the instruments like bins and other things and it is very important that they are working with everybody. So all the departments are included.

Lastly, we should use the instruments and partners that are there, even other industries that are interested in working with us. And I am sure that they can help us, especially the industries, as they are the generators of waste and they must see to it that that waste becomes a resource, something that we can re-use, and they must put in money to assist us with the necessary technology.

With those few words I really want to say I appreciate the hard work you did within such a short space of time. It showed the commitment we have to get South Africa, our country, to where it was in the past before it was polluted and before we degraded it. Thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Voting deferred.


             (Consideration of Bill and Report thereon)

Mr F ADAMS: Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister and hon members, the National Environmental Laws Amendment Bill was published in Government Gazette 30142 on 3 August 2007 and in the ATCs of 9 July 2008.

The essence of the Bill is to establish a comprehensive legislative mandate for EMIs, which, hon Themba – through you, Chair – are Environmental Management Inspectors.

The function of an EMI is to monitor and enforce compliance with the law for which he or she has been designated in order to carry out this function. The EMIs have been accorded a range of statutory powers, including inspection, investigation, enforcement and administrative powers. Currently, however, there are only three pieces of legislation that EMIs may enforce. One is the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, Act 10 of 2004, Nema, and the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act of 2004.

The current mandate of EMIs, therefore, covers what are traditionally perceived as green issues - the Minister has referred to the Green Scorpions – for example, biodiversity and protected areas, and environmental impact assessments, but excludes brown issues such as pollution and waste. This is due to the fact that the national legislation regulating pollution and waste matters, particularly the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Bill, of 2004 is not yet fully in effect. Furthermore, the National Environmental Management: Waste Bill still has to be tabled; I think it has just been tabled.

Until these two pieces of legislation are fully in effect, it is crucial that EMIs are given the mandate to enforce and monitor compliance with the Environment Conservation Act of 1989 and the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act of 1965, and with the provisions of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act that are already in effect. Chair, I put this report to the House for adoption. Thank you.

Debate concluded.

Voting deferred.


            (Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)

Mr C J VAN ROOYEN: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, the Liquor Products Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Liquor Products Act, Act 60 of 1989. As we all know, South Africa recently signed the SA-EU Wine and Spirits Agreement, which places certain obligations on South Africa as a major wine-producing country.

Therefore, the amendments proposed in the Bill are, firstly, to create the framework for the country’s international obligations under this agreement. This includes the protection of geographical indications in terms of the agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Trips. Secondly, the proposed amendments are to ensure compliance regarding the importation of liquor products in terms of the said agreement and, thirdly, to ensure the traceability of products as required by the international agreement.

A further objective of the Bill is to amend the composition of the Wine and Spirit Board to ensure the representativeness of the entire industry. This is due to structural changes within the industry where KWV and the Cape Wine and Spirit Institute are no longer fully representative of all the participants in the industry. In this regard, the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs proposed a further amendment whereby the appointment of the board by the Minister must be in consultation with Parliament.

The Bill will also assist emerging farmers by allowing the introduction and cultivation of cheaper vines for the production of wines. This will not only increase their cash flow, but will also facilitate easier access to the wine industry at the producer level. The Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs fully supports the Bill with the amendments and therefore requests this House to also support the Bill with the amendments. Thank you.

Debate concluded.

Bill, subject to proposed amendments, agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.


            (Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)

Mr R J TAU: Thank you very much, hon Chair. This morning we had a thorough discussion in the committee in relation to the Air Services Licensing Amendment Bill. The committee members instructed me in actual fact to present the Bill as presented in the ATCs and to request the House to adopt it. Thank you very much, Chair. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

The Council adjourned at 15:28. ____



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
(1)    Bill passed by National Assembly on 20 August 2008:

      a) Local Government Laws Amendment Bill [B 28D – 2007 (Reprint)]
         (National Assembly – sec 75).

(2)    Bills passed by National Council of Provinces on 20 August 2008:

      a) Air Services Licensing Bill [B 25B – 2008] (National Assembly
         – sec 75).

National Council of Provinces

The Chairperson

  1. Message from National Assembly to National Council of Provinces in respect of Bills passed by Assembly and transmitted to Council
(1)    Bills passed by National Assembly and transmitted for
     concurrence on 20 August 2008:

     (a)      Reform of Customary Law of Succession and Regulation of
         Related Matters Bill [B 10B – 2008] (National Assembly – sec

        The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Security
         and Constitutional Affairs of the National Council of

     (b)      National Railway Safety Regulator Amendment Bill [B 32B –
         2008] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).

        The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Public
         Services of the National Council of Provinces.

     (c)      National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B 39B – 2008]
         (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).

        The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Public
         Services of the National Council of Provinces.

     (d)      Legal Succession to the South African Transport Services
         Amendment Bill [B 43B – 2008] (National Assembly – sec 75).

        The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Public
         Services of the National Council of Provinces.
     (e)      National House of Traditional Leaders Bill [B 56B – 2008]
         (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).

        The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Local
         Government and Administration of the National Council of

     (f)      Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment
         Bill [B 57B – 2008] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).

        The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Local
         Government and Administration of the National Council of

     (g)      Constitution Fourteenth Amendment Bill [B 62B – 2008]
         (National Assembly – sec 74).

        The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Security
         and Constitutional Affairs of the National Council of

     (h)      Constitution Fifteenth Amendment Bill [B 63B – 2008]
         (National Assembly – sec 74).

        The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Security
         and Constitutional Affairs of the National Council of

     (i)      General Laws (Loss of Membership of National Assembly,
         Provincial Legislature or Municipal Council) Amendment Bill [B
         64B – 2008] (National Assembly – sec 75).

        The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Security
         and Constitutional Affairs of the National Council of


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. Report of the Mediation Committee on the Housing Development Agency Bill [B 1B and B1D – 2008] (sec 76), dated 20 August 2008:

    The Mediation Committee, having considered the Housing Development Agency Bill [B1B and B1D – 2008] (sec 76), as well as the papers referred to it, reports that it has agreed to a new version of the Bill [B1F – 2008].