National Assembly - 09 February 2009

                       MONDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2009


The House met at 09:03.

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


Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: is it appropriate for the hon Trevor Manuel and the hon John Jeffery to talk throughout the time that you were bowing to the House and during prayers? I just thought I would draw your attention to the fact that they are behaving very badly today.

The SPEAKER: I thought you were also observing that moment. You must have been very busy. [Laughter.]

Mr M J ELLIS: Well, that’s a very good point, Madam Speaker. [Laugher.] Well said. I was so intrigued by their bad manners that I got carried away myself. Thank you. [Applause.] [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Mr Ellis. Can you please take your seat.

                             NEW MEMBERS


The Speaker announced that the vacancies which occurred in the National Assembly owing to the passing away of Mr J Schippers and Mr E Saloojee had been filled by the nomination, with effect from 4 February 2009, of Mr C J Hlaneki and Ms N F Nojozi respectively.

                     OATH OR SOLEMN AFFIRMATION

Mr Hlaneki and Ms Nojozi, accompanied by Mr M R Sonto and Mr S K Louw, made and subscribed the oath and took their seats.

The SPEAKER: Hon members, I welcome you to the National Assembly. Please allow me to shake hands with the new members. [Applause.]

                         PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS


The Speaker announced that she had received a copy of the President of the Republic’s address delivered at the Joint Sitting on Friday, 6 February 2009, and that the speech had been printed in the Minutes of the Joint Sitting.



The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Mr President, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, last Friday we were challenged by our President in his state of the nation address to have hope about our future as a country and a people. He called on us to have the resilience of Madiba’s long walk to freedom. We know from our struggle against apartheid and the last 15 years of freedom that the source of this hope and resilience is our collective strength as a nation, working together for a better life for all. We should be able to claim what we have achieved as a nation on the basis that our success is the result of the actions of each one of us working towards the same goals.

As government, we will not abrogate our role and responsibility. We are not a government that sits back and watches. We don’t put the fate of our country in the invisible hand of the markets. We are a developmental state; we lead where we ought to, facilitate where we must and even regulate where necessary.

We are in the trenches, through many of our programmes, in carrying out the following: combating poverty, inequality and unemployment; promoting shared economic growth; and closing the gap between our first and second economies. There is just so much we can achieve on our own, but more when we work together.

The Southern Africa Trust, an NGO that promotes regional policy dialogue on poverty issues, posted a question on its website, which goes: “If you could change one thing forever, what would it be?” Lorna Maseko, SABC TV producer and presenter, gave an answer that speaks to the core of the philosophy of the kind of nation we have been working so hard to build. She says, and I quote:

If I could change one thing forever, I would start with me, and then the community around me. So many times we want to change the world, but people in our immediate surroundings need the help that we could offer without having to travel miles away.

Many South Africans - across race, religion, regions, gender and class - share and practise this attitude. For instance, Florence Mbokazi of the Masoyi Home-based Care Project in Mpumalanga, which caters for orphaned children, gave an account of how government and people like Lorna Maseko work together to alleviate hardship in our communities. She said, and I quote:

We are working hands to hands with all the departments - the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Development. We are also working directly with social workers and teachers. We are hands to hands. We refer each other. Like the Department of Education, if they see a particular child in need, they refer her to home-based care. And then the Department of Health, if they see these people have TB, but they don’t have food, while we have food they are referred to us. If we see people who need a drip we refer them to the Department of Health. Also, we find the children who must get grants and we refer them to the Department of Social Development.

These are life experiences of South Africans working together to respond to challenges. I wish to commend the Children’s Institute and the University of Cape Town for putting together a booklet from which the above life experiences have been drawn.

We also commenced many programmes that improve dialogue between business, government and labour, not least of which are the joint working group meetings that are frequently held with relevant representatives. A recent example of the outcome of such constructive dialogue has been the joint statement of response to the international economic crisis in which business, government and labour drafted and tabled a short and medium-term plan to work together in order to ride the current economic crisis with the least fall-out, as well as to be able to respond to the recovery in a proactive manner.

The Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition, Jipsa, which is a high-level, collaborative initiative of government, business, organised labour and the education and training sectors to accelerate the provision of priority skills, is yielding encouraging results. The Jipsa strategy involves broadening the training pipeline, retaining people in skilled employment and training them more effectively and to higher quality standards. Jipsa depends on the consistent and committed participation of all its social partners. The work of Jipsa has influenced a paradigm shift around skills development, enabling various players to see it in a new light.

The ANC-led government has, since 1994, enjoyed the support of the overwhelming majority of our electorate based on its clear and practical programme aimed at reversing the legacy of apartheid and taking our country to greater heights. In its election manifesto of the inaugural democratic elections of 1994, the ruling party was humble but ready to lead our country, and I quote:

The ANC is ready to govern: we are ready to listen. In developing our policies over the years, we have consulted widely, most recently in people’s forums. We have also discussed with role-players in the economy, education and other areas. Within five years, since 1994, the ANC-led government had laid the foundation for a South Africa we want by, among other things, carrying out the following: putting in place one of the best constitutions in the world; sweeping away racist and oppressive laws; introducing 490 laws in five years to ensure equality and improve the lives of all; putting in place measures to bring about equality in the treatment of all South Africans, including introducing affirmative action; entrenching worker rights; and setting in motion measures for improving the quality of life of all South Africans, particularly in areas of water and sanitation, housing, accessible health care, land reform and education.

In its 2004 election manifesto, the ruling party accordingly committed itself again. It said, and I quote:

We will build on the foundations that have been laid, which were not there when we took over, to achieve faster progress towards a better life for all.

For the current mandate that is now nearing its end, the ANC-led government was informed by the commitment made to the electorate in 2004 to build “A people’s contract to create work and fight poverty”. In its manifesto for the 2004 elections, the ruling party looked back on the previous 10 years and the road ahead, and I quote:

The change that happened 10 years ago was a result of struggle and sacrifice. Led by the ANC, it was change that created an opportunity for us to chart our future together.

Over the past 10 years, after centuries of colonialism and apartheid, a new era has dawned for South Africa.

The President addressed us on Friday on how the ANC-led government has lived up to promises made in the past and the programme of action to enable the next administration to “hit the ground running”.

The ruling party has been consistent in its election manifestos and the programmes developed in government that: We can do more when we work together; we learn from our experiences; we want faster change to achieve more; and we will listen to our people and respond to their voices.

Our government izimbizo are but one example of how we reached out to voices in our communities. The War on Poverty campaign has also enabled us to interact intimately with the challenges of poverty on the ground.

Government has been sincere and the first to admit that in spite of all the achievements that are well documented by our work across the country, on our continent and across the world, more still needs to be done; and that, still, we can do better when we work together.

Some of our compatriots have sounded alarm bells that we are about to become a failed state. Others, like one of the contributors to the recently launched 2008 Transformation Audit of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, claimed: “We have a fractured, weak, incompetent state.”

Surely they don’t know the South Africa we live in. Failed states do not have functioning parliaments like the one we have. Failed states have no well-run economies that can survive the weight of crumbling global financial markets. In weak, incompetent states people don’t dare speak out about the head of state and continue to be free. So, we don’t know what they’re talking about when they say we are about to be a failed state.

We have been frank about challenges facing our Public Service, and we have even instituted corrective measures to improve our efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of government services. Our country would not have survived the recall of the former President, for example, had it not been for our dedicated and patriotic public servants who ensured that the transition was smooth and painless for our country and people. All in all, we have a competent and working Public Service that holds our country together and ensures that the machinery of the state runs smoothly, regardless of political storms.

Perhaps these critics should listen to the words of Lira, our songbird, in her response to the aforementioned question posted on the website of the Southern Africa Trust, when she said:

If I could change one thing forever, I would change the way that we as South Africans see ourselves and our country. We never celebrate the great things about ourselves. We so easily, willingly put emphasis on the negative. Have you looked around and realised what great people we are? We thrive in difficult situations; we are forgiving and innovative. I say we start celebrating who we are.


I also wish to refer them to the website of the International Marketing Council which is carrying a photo of the current James Bond Aston Martin, with Bond holding the Proudly South African flag keyholder.

The poet, Kira Sutton, joins Lira and James Bond in his poem I have a dream for this nation:

I have a dream for this nation, for which we should learn to be proud That it would start with YOU And move through the crowd

Let’s spread the love, the faith and the hope This country is full of potential Only fear will cause you to mope!

Our people also have full confidence in our democracy and the direction it is following. The results of the 2008 Voter Participation Survey of the HSRC, which was commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission, show that almost 80% of the respondents were interested in national and provincial elections, as opposed to 19% who were was not interested. The survey also shows that 75% of the respondents vote because they believe their vote can make a difference, as opposed to 31% who thought voting was just pointless.

Sixty-eight percent of the respondents indicated that they vote to ensure that they get quality education, health care and better service. We still need to do more, together, to achieve the objectives we set for ourselves.

When South Africans flock to the polls in the coming months they will be doing so with high expectations. Like the 68% in the HSRC survey, they will want the new government of the next five years to continue the effort to provide quality health care, education and better services. Those in our rural areas, who have always turned up in big numbers to cast their vote, want to see our land reform programme accelerated and their parts of our country fully developed.

The unemployment rate, which is still high by our standards, has to be decisively tackled by improving and accelerating our programmes which are aimed at creating decent work and sustainable livelihoods. Our work in turning around and revamping our criminal justice system has to be stepped up to intensify our fight against crime and corruption.

Young people remain high on the government’s agenda. Institutional support is one way we can ensure our young citizens are developed. I have no doubt that the merger of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission into one entity, the National Youth Development Agency, will go a long way in fast-tracking and streamlining youth development in our country. This is an example of how we have learnt lessons from our experiences of the past 15 years and agreed on a way of how to improve our institutions. This new agency will maximise new and existing youth development programmes, with a view to strengthening implementation capacity at local and provincial levels. We call on all young people to support and interact with this agency after its launch later this year. The electricity shortages at the beginning of 2008 made everyone aware of the critical importance of improving energy efficiency. We will continue to work with stakeholders, especially through the National Stakeholder Advisory Council on Electricity, and at Nedlac, to address the challenges arising from the campaign of energy efficiency. We particularly want to thank organised business and organised labour for their strong co- operation.

I take this opportunity to applaud the Ethekwini Municipality for launching an energy office, which is the first of its kind in South Africa. This office aims to establish the municipality as a leading local authority in promoting and implementing energy management to achieve a sustainable energy future for businesses and residents of Ethekwini.

The President paid tribute to some of our fallen heroes, including members who served this Parliament with honour and commitment. The coming elections will give the party that will win a mandate based on a programme presented to the electorate. But we all, collectively, have a responsibility as leaders of our various political formations to make our country work and realise the dream that heroes like Solomon Mahlangu and Onkgopotse Tiro were prepared to sacrifice their lives for. And, I end by reminding us of what the preamble of the Constitution says:

We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

Let us see this realised. I thank you. [Applause.]

Die LEIER VAN DIE OPPOSISIE: Agb Speaker van die Parlement van Suid-Afrika, agb President van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, mede-burgers, binnekort begin ons met die aftel van dae na die volgende algemene verkiesing, ’n geleentheid wat ons in die DA met groot optimisme benader.

Ons het die eerste roeringe van verandering op die politieke toneel in April 2006 gevoel, toe plaaslike regering na plaaslike regering in die hande van die amptelike opposisie en opposisie-geleide koalisies beland het.

Ons het dit sterk in Mei 2007 aangevoel toe die DA die Stad Kaapstad se burgemeester, Helen Zille, as leier verkies het, en dié verkiesing met buitengewone entoesiasme onder die algemene publiek ontvang is.

Oor die laaste drie maande het ons dit weer wyk na wyk ervaar soos wat mense tydens tussenverkiesings na vore gekom het en toenemend daarin volhard het om die party aan my linkerkant, eerder as die party aan my regterkant, as die party van regering te erken.

Bygesê was daar oor die laaste jaar dramatiese veranderinge in die politieke omgewing wat ’n skielike paleisrevolusie, as gevolg van interne struwelinge in die regerende party, ingesluit het, maar nie daartoe beperk is nie.

Die nuutgevonde vloeibaarheid wat hierdie gebeurlikhede vir ons politieke arena tot gevolg gehad het, het ’n historiese geleentheid vir betekenisvolle verandering teweeg gebring. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Speaker of the Parliament of South Africa, hon President of the Republic of South Africa, fellow citizens, soon we will start counting down the days before the next general election, an event which we in the DA are approaching with great optimism.

We felt the first stirrings of change in the political landscape in April 2006, when local authority after local authority fell into the hands of the official opposition and opposition-led coalitions.

We felt it strongly in May 2007, when the DA chose the mayor of the City of Cape Town, Helen Zille, as their leader and this choice was welcomed with extraordinary enthusiasm by the general public. Over the past three months we have again experienced it in ward after ward during by-elections, as people would come forward and increasingly persist in acknowledging the party to my left, rather than the party to my right, as the party of government.

Not forgetting the dramatic changes over the past year in the political arena, including a sudden palace revolution that included, but was not limited to internal wrangling within the ruling party.

The new-found fluidity that these events created in our political arena has occasioned an historic opportunity for meaningful change.]

This changing reality was admirably appraised in the weekend press by one of our party’s most promising new, young candidates, Lindiwe Mazibuko, who personifies what I like to call the new South African woman – the woman whose position in society is determined by choice and not by custom or culture.

She writes:

I believe that the DA will be a central part in this new political realignment and I look forward to having a part to play on the long, exciting journey which lies ahead for all of us. I believe that voters will have the chance to transcend identity, race and history — however important these may be - to cast votes based on issues, principles and plans of action, rather than the fear that each of us is only safe among people who look and speak like we do.

These words resonate with the same values which, as President Motlanthe so graciously acknowledged on Friday, inspired Helen Suzman to represent “the values of our new Parliament in the Chambers of the old”.

I dedicate this speech to her and her enduring legacy and it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the presence of her daughter, Frances Jowell, in this Chamber today. [Applause.]

Helen showed us that the fight for equality and justice should not be abandoned when the odds are poor, or the cause unpopular, but to persevere because it is the right thing to do.

Certainly we can strive to emulate her example by asking that the Fourth Parliament starts its work by implementing the major recommendations of the recent independent assessment of Parliament, conducted as part of the peer review process.

Primary amongst these is the need for a review of the present party-list system in line with the recommendations of the Van Zyl Slabbert report, which attempts to capture the benefits of both the constituency-based and proportional representation electoral systems, to ensure proper parliamentary oversight and accountability to the people while not unduly silencing the voice of minorities.

Our present system creates a dangerous distance between elected party representatives and constituents, whilst simultaneously creating an obsequious closeness between them and the party bosses. Die DA neem die kwessie van wetsgehoorsame Suid-Afrikaanse burgers wat hulself tydelik oorsee bevind en sonder omhaal gestroop is van hul grondwetlike reg om te stem, hof toe.

Vandat die Konstitusionele Hof - ongeag hoeveel dit teen alle ingewing indruis - besluit het dat gevangenes mag stem, is dit selfs meer onhoudbaar dat duisende wetsgehoorsame burgers, wat hulself tydelik oorsee bevind, daarvan weerhou word om te stem om die ontwil van logistieke eenvoudigheid.

Hierdie is eenvoudig ’n onaanvaarbare stand van sake. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The DA is taking to court the issue of law-abiding South African citizens who are overseas temporarily and have been capriciously stripped of their constitutional right to vote.

Since the Constitutional Court ruled, regardless of how it went against all our dictates, that prisoners may vote, it has become even more untenable that thousands of law-abiding citizens who are temporarily abroad are being barred from voting for the sake of logistical simplicity.

This is simply an unacceptable state of affairs.]

However, if there was a single issue which, this past year, made many South Africans feel deeply insecure, it was the unbridled attacks on the judiciary and the ambivalent and troubling confluence of ruling party and state, where the rule of law was directly threatened by the law of rule.

Overgeset synde, die regstaat is bedreig deur die magstaat. As hofbeslissings nie die regerende party behaag het nie, is die howe in die openbaar gekruisig. Waar hofbeslissings wel populêre opinie weerspieël het, is hulle geprys.

Niemand kan vertroue hê dat die gereg sal seëvier as die instellings wat die nederiges en sagmoediges moet beskerm teen dié wat populisme en mag nastreef nie immuun blyk teen party-politieke inmenging nie, hetsy dit as gevolg van onpartydige aanstellings, bevooroordeelde suiweringsaksies of baantjies vir boeties, gedoen word. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[In other words, the rule of law was directly threatened by the law of rule. If court decisions were not to the liking of the ruling party, the courts were publicly lambasted. When a court decision did reflect popular opinion, the courts were praised.

Nobody can be confident that justice will prevail if the institutions which are supposed to protect the humble and the meek from those who strive for populism and power do not appear to be immune to party-political interference, whether through prejudiced appointments, acts of biased purging or jobs for pals.]

If the President, as he stated on Friday, wants to regain some of the moral high ground which has been lost, and also root out the corruption and contractual manipulation which is such an alarming feature of our political landscape, then he and his party must address these issues by personal example, and practise what they preach.

He must grasp this opportunity to reinvigorate the Constitution that catapulted us onto the world stage a short decade or more ago, rather than be tempted to fritter away, for illusory and inevitably temporary advantage, the principles of the rule of law, the fundamental rights which guarantee our democracy and the essential, protected relationship between the individual and the state. A firm and necessary commitment to the institution of a judicial inquiry into the arms scandal would be a good start. Madam Speaker, there are epic moments in history, often catalysed by catastrophe, which permit fundamental cultural change, as Benjamin Barber says in a thought-provoking article on fundamental values. Such a moment is upon us now.

The convergence of the change of government in the United States and the collapse of the global credit economy marks such a moment where radical change is possible.

While the government can take some credit for the fact that we have fared relatively better than some other emerging economies during the current global credit crisis, there is no way that we can pretend to be immune to the impact of successive waves of failure which are still washing against our shores.

A tsunami, I regret to say, is probably still on its way. Fifty million job losses projected globally is certainly nothing less. We need to be forewarned and forearmed.

This is clearly a highly complex problem that needs complex stakeholder- negotiated solutions and even radical change. It is an issue on which our commitment to multilateralism in international affairs should also be copied on the domestic front.

It is not the divisions that are important in the challenges we face today, but the dire consequences that these challenges hold for our common future.

We need a co-ordinated national response, involving all political parties, government, labour and the private sector. We expect to be taken into your confidence, Sir, even on a weekly basis, on what is being done to contain and prevent job losses. There are simply not enough conversations going on and the resultant uncertainty will further undermine our chances of recovery.

The lack of communication and virtual isolation which became the hallmark of the Mbeki era cannot be tolerated again. The opportunities for debate, for answering questions and for making statements on issues of public importance that Parliament offers us must be grasped with enthusiasm and never again be allowed to become meaningless exercises in executive sleights of hand.

We have some suggestions on how the impact of the crisis can be ameliorated. Firstly, we can do so by driving an actual skills revolution through the private sector, and efficiently facilitating the sourcing of job-creating know-how internationally, when and where it is required. Secondly, we can do so by lowering business costs, targeted in partnership with labour and business, and making employment cheaper through wage subsidies. And, thirdly, we can do so by assuring equal access to jobs, regardless of circumstance of birth, through affirming rather than affirmative action.

What we do not need is a drawing of the laager; a new wave of protectionism that will inevitably lead to advantages only for the protected, whilst ensuring inefficiencies that will come at certain cost to the consumer and lead to the stifling of job-creating economic growth.

The global economic uncertainties mean the benign circumstances under which our economy used to grow are no longer there. I have therefore been reading with amazement the grandiose dreams proposed by the ultra left with their appetite for the expansion of state-driven schemes, which would be very hard to fund even in the rosiest economic climate, let alone under the adverse conditions that are predictably going to outlast the 4th Parliament. They remind me very much of the ultra right in the country, whose claims of rising to power stand in direct contrast to their pitiful level of support among the voters.

Madam Speaker, I also want to highlight the disturbing increase in incidences of collusion and price-fixing which have been exposed in some big companies. We need ever more stringent action against this. It is exploitation of the worst kind, particularly when rising food prices are becoming an ever larger threat to the poor.

Terselfdertyd is dit van kardinale belang om boere, die primêre produsente van voedsel, die belangrike middelpunt van ons grondhervormingsprojek te maak. Kommersiële landbou is ’n industrie waarvan ek intieme kennis dra en aan wie ek erkenning wil gee vir die ongelooflike positiewe ingesteldheid jeens die regstelling van die verwronge grondbesitpatrone van ons land. Hulle verstaan dat dit egter nie in landsbelang sou wees as hierdie proses die produktiewe dravermoë van grond in die wiele ry nie.

Dis duidelik geïllustreer deur die feit dat dit tans nodig is vir ons kommersiële boere – en ek sien dit daar in Viljoenskroon by ons graansilo’s – om aan die voedselbehoeftes van sewe miljoen Zimbabwiërs, wat voorheen in die broodmandjie van Afrika gewoon het, te voorsien.

Ek wil ook graag erkenning gee aan die wynbedryf en ’n glasie klink op die 350ste verjaardag wat ons sopas hier aan die suidpunt van Afrika gevier het. Ek is, seker tot my ewige verlies, nie ’n verbruiker van dié verwerkte produk nie … [Gelag.] … maar ek het geweldig waardering vir die aanpasbaarheid, produktiwiteit en langslewendheid van die wingerdstok. Sy was ’n Europese inkomer wat haarself hier so ingewortel het dat dit moeilik is om haar nie as inheems te beskou nie.

Dit is vir my so ’n paslike metafoor vir die mense van Suid-Afrika wat byna almal maar van elders gekom het om hier hul uiteindelike holte vir die voet te vind en onafskeidbaar deel van hierdie bodem te word. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[At the same time it is of vital importance to reposition farmers, as primary food producers, as the important centre of our land reform project. Commercial farming is an industry of which I have intimate knowledge and I would like to give it recognition for its unbelievably positive disposition towards rectifying the distorted land ownership patterns of our country. They understand that it would, however, not be in the country’s interest if this process were to thwart the productive carrying capacity of the land.

This is clearly illustrated by the fact that it is currently necessary for our commercial farmers – and I see this up there in Viljoenskroon at our grain silos - to provide for the food needs of seven million Zimbabweans who previously lived in the bread basket of Africa.

I would also like to acknowledge the wine industry and raise a glass to its 350th birthday which we have just celebrated here at the southern tip of Africa. I am, probably to my own eternal loss, not a consumer of that processed product … [Laughter.] … but I have immense appreciation for the adaptability, productivity and longevity of the vine. She was a European arrival who has taken root to such an extent that it is difficult not to regard her as indigenous. I find it such a fitting metaphor for the people of South Africa, almost all of whom actually came from elsewhere to come and settle and become an inseparable part of this land.]

I was recently asked in a radio debate how the DA would manage to deliver on its election promises. It was easy to answer by way of example of where we have already successfully done so. [Interjections.] The open-opportunity society for all is not a pipe dream. There are places where it is already finding its way into the everyday lives of people and you can see it operate in practice. It is being done without monetary incentive, Minister Manuel, in municipalities such as Cape Town and in the Swartland, in Midvaal, in Overstrand, Baviaanskloof and Mossel Bay, just to mention a few.

Here, crime is being combated by making criminals sweat off their transgressions in service to the community. Municipal police services are staffed, equipped and trained to deal with drug abuse and domestic violence. Road maintenance and construction schedules are diligently kept; there is efficient provision of basic services; more rapid provision of quality, integrated low-cost housing; Public Service vacancy rates as low as 6%; and unqualified audits year after year, signalling clean government. [Applause.]

Hierdie is die bekroonde skoon en goedbestuurde munisipaliteite wat die voorbeeld stel vir hoe elke provinsie in die land bestuur moet word as ons wil hê dat die ekonomie moet gedy en werksgeleenthede geskep moet word. Hierdie is plekke in die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing waar dié wat voorheen uitgesluit was hul toegang nou tot die ekonomie kan vind, waar gekompliseerde en oneffektiewe kwotas verwyder is, waar tenderprosedures meer deursigtig gemaak is en waar die dringende morele noodsaaklikheid van bemagtiging vir die arm meerderheid meedoënloos gedryf word. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[These are the award-winning, clean and well-run municipalities that set an example of how each province in the country should be managed if we want the economy to prosper and job opportunities to be created. These are places in South African society where the formerly disadvantaged can now gain access to the economy, where complicated and ineffective quotas have been removed, where tender processes have been made more transparent, and where the urgent moral need for empowerment of the poor majority is being driven relentlessly.]

These are the types of successes that will be extended to the whole of the Western Cape, and possibly even – I hope - to the other provinces, once the results of the coming elections are returned. They are successes that must be replicated in other towns, districts and cities after the 2011 local government election. They are the successes that all of South Africa must share in by 2014.

That will be a future where the rights of each child to quality teaching and useable skills acquisition will not be subverted by the self-interest of militant teacher unions. It will be a future where educators will rather be engaged on how best to structure the schooling system so that matrics can graduate from high school with the relevant skills to enter the working world, assisted on entry into the job market with opportunity vouchers. These are the affirming actions that will drive job creation and economic growth in the future.

For these economic policies to succeed we need families to be healthy and to remain so by an increased focus on service to the community and social- security coverage to ensure improved child care, improved basic income for the poor and the unemployed, and better access to grants for the aged and the disabled.

We need to provide refuge to vulnerable women and children for all of the 365 days that they are exposed to violence. We need to respond with the greatest urgency and every possible measure to ensure that Aids and drug abuse do not continue to tear away at the fabric of any of our communities; among neither the rich nor the poor; not amongst gay people or straight people; not on the Cape Flats or in Chatsworth; not in Bloemfontein, Sandton or Soweto.

Sadly, none of these positive steps can deliver results if crime is not beat. Fears must be allayed and hope commanded that this will be done. We need a bigger, decentralised and more effective and professional police force that can focus on specific crimes and process information and evidence efficiently. Victims of crime and those who witnessed the crimes against them must have a better day in court and the victims of crime must receive compensation for their suffering.

Finally, quality must once again count in our hospitals, with workable recruitment strategies that will see to it that these are well staffed with health professionals’ those unsung heroes who will enjoy improved working conditions to ensure that they are retained to care for the sick and the aged.

Madam Speaker, you will know that I believe implicitly in South Africa and its future as a leading country in Africa and an influential player on the world stage and I will continue to serve it, in whatever capacity, in my usual pragmatic way and probably to my dying day.

I believe in the incomparable foundation for success that we have in South Africa, laid by stalwarts such as Helen Suzman, supported in the DA by many honourable people such as Joe Seremane … [Interjections.]

I am embarrassed that you should respond like this. On your behalf, I am embarrassed and I am truly shocked. I thought you were a greater party than you are showing to be now. [Interjections.]

It was battled into a credible force by Tony Leon and is now being transformed into government by Helen Zille. These are all people I have worked with, all people of the highest integrity, unbelievable managerial energy and patriots in every fibre of their being.

I believe in the vision they have helped to create for South Africa and how we can achieve it, all of us together – even you - for the sake of all our children. To them and all of you assembled here today: Salang hantle. [Goodbye.] Ek sal julle almal verskriklik mis! [I am going to sorely miss you all!] [Applause.]

Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Hon Madam Deputy Speaker, Your Excellencies our President and Deputy President, hon Ministers and hon members, we reply to the President’s state of the nation address in strange times and under strange circumstances. I believe that we all like and deeply respect the President, but he seems to be the President only in title and not in fact, as he indicated that he was a caretaker for somebody else, who is not a member of this House. Yet, the President tells us that when tested under such present strange circumstances, our democratic order and our Constitution have held and remained unharmed.

In the strange circumstances under which he delivered his address, His Excellency the President recollected mainly the achievements of our democracy in the past 15 years and well-known chronic challenges confronting the government. However, he did not acknowledge problems within our government and our society, nor could he provide leadership and solutions for them. He put forward that this House had to complete its mandate given in 2004 and maintain its present course, so that whatever needs to be done will be addressed after the forthcoming elections.

He could not say more and, in fact, he did not because it’s obviously somebody else’s role to provide the leadership which will ordinarily rest with the Office of our President. Under these strange circumstances, we react to the President’s speech not inasmuch as to what was said, but with the emphasis on what was omitted.

The President portrayed a government unaltered by recent events; the majority party maintaining its policies; and the country maintaining the previously charted course under his leadership. The tone of his address was that everything was - everything is - well and that everything will be well. Yet, this begs questioning as to why our previous President was fired before the completion of his term, an unprecedented event in the history of postliberation Africa. Something had to have been seriously wrong to require such a draconian measure to put right. It is not my habit to comment on what happens within other political parties. However, when their internal dynamics affect the highest institutions of our Republic, leading to a sudden change in the head of state and most of his Cabinet, the matter affects us all and ought to be discussed. We understood that such change was brought about on the wave of dissatisfaction with policies and leadership up to that point.

The ruling party recognised the need for change and promised change. Yet, the President’s address suggests that no change is required and no change will come. As we all recognise that change is, indeed, needed. The time has come for change to be brought about, not from the ruling party but through the contribution of other political forces represented in this House and renewal of this House itself.

The President projected the reassuring image of our future, suggesting that the thunderstorm now gathering worldwide will miraculously skip our shores. It is true that during the Great Depression of 1929 South Africa remained one of the least affected economies owing to its reliance on its precious metals. But things have dramatically changed since. The British Prime Minister, Mr Brown, warned at the Davos World Economic Forum that the entire world was in a depression, or about to fall into one, and we would be ill advised to believe that South Africa is out of this world.

I beg to differ with the President when he tells us that the state of our nation is fine and is going to remain such. Too many South Africans have already begun suffering and things will become much worse in the years to come. The road ahead is harsh and hard; projecting a different hope will undermine our country’s capacity to build up its readiness to cope with it – excuse the pun.

The dramatic nature of the times calls for the patriotism of the people of South Africa - all of us – which, I think, is the greatest asset our government can mobilise. The President made reference to the inspiring values which are indeed of paramount importance. But we cannot hide from the fact that our Constitution has been betrayed and the people of South Africa have, rightly, grown disillusioned with those called upon to promote these values.

Within government, the fundamental distinction between right and wrong, integrity and corruption, service to the people and personal enrichment, efficiency and incompetence, hard work and laziness, and between party and state have become compromised. But within South Africa’s civil society there is a vast pool of hard-working, competent, efficient men and women of integrity. We must then ask ourselves how many of them have really been attracted to the highest echelons of government and politics.

This is the time to bind together the healthy, honest, productive and competent segments of our nation, irrespective of political affiliations, social and economic status, race and religion. It is time to part the good from the evil, in other words, and empower the good.

I’m saddened that our government continues this unjustified policy of disenfranchising our compatriots residing abroad. When I was the Minister of Home Affairs I received documentation showing that there was no administrative reason not to allow these compatriots to vote, especially when we make voting facilities available to South Africans who are abroad for travel, study or temporary work. South Africa must now count on all citizens of integrity, whether living within its borders or beyond them. And, I’m aware that South Africans residing abroad are unlikely to vote for the IFP. For me, their right to vote is a matter of principle.

I’m also concerned about how the intention to accelerate affirmative action, including broad-based black economic empowerment, will be perceived by the various segments of our society, and the possibility that more skilled South Africans may see a need to emigrate, as is happening. I think a plan must be in place to prevent a further flight of skills and expertise out of South Africa. His Excellency the President, in his capacity as secretary-general of the ruling party, is on record expressing his concerns some months ago over the implementation of these policies. While I see the rationale behind them and accept them, the implementation of these policies should be looked at again, in so far as they are perceived as discriminatory against certain South Africans.

We ought to focus not only on the facts and figures the President gave us, but first and foremost on the values of our democracy to which he referred. Because of its proximity to the next elections, the nation is looking at this debate to see who to trust and where the country ought to be led when the impending storm hits us.

Our people do not need to dwell on facts and figures produced in universities or government research offices aimed at explaining to them what they experience every day. They know what is happening. They have seen the price of groceries escalating, the real estate market crumbling, savings held in stock markets being wiped out, job opportunities vanishing, entire segments of our industry winding down and their businesses facing ever-decreasing turnovers. They know that this is the beginning of a deeper crisis in the making. They don’t need any of us to tell them this. They need to hear from us what we are planning to do to redress this and who they can trust to implement what has been promised.

For too long, elections have been held to reward the party with the biggest promises. This habit shaped government policies and promises, and year after year informed state of the nation addresses. In this sense, this year’s state of the nation address is somehow refreshing as it promises so little. But it marks no departure from the past in which neither the ruling party nor the government under it did what was said or said what they did.

Job creation, perhaps, epitomises an entire attitude which must be corrected. Under the current ruling party, our government correctly focused on job creation but it did so in terms of promises in the guise of objectives and policies, studies, summits, workshops and analyses. And whenever asked to report on progress on this matter, it did so by stating the extent to which these complex activities had been performed. Yet, all this boils down to talking about the problem rather than doing anything which effectively addresses it.

We now have heard again of summits, but there are no reliable figures which tell us how many jobs were created by direct government intervention and by indirect economic incentives. Therefore, we remain ill prepared to develop a strategy to deal with the recessionary environment in which jobs will be shed like leaves in autumn. We surely do not need more summits and workshops or a class of political bureaucrats who rely on such tools and related promises to deal with the real problem.

We cannot continue to deal with real problems by playing with figures and hiding behind statistics and manipulating facts, or turning words around so that with euphemisms the horror of the matter sounds better. For instance, the President reassured us that we have proportionally the largest programme of antiretroviral drugs in the world. This suggests that the scourge of HIV and Aids is now under control.

To me, this echoed what our former President stated in that we were spending as much as other nations were spending on the pandemic. In my response I had to remind him that we could not compare ourselves to other countries because our incidence of HIV and Aids was the highest in the world. In this present circumstance, the President does not emphasise that we have, proportionally, the highest incidence of HIV and Aids in the world. In spite of his magnanimity, what is being done is still widely insufficient as antiretroviral drugs do not reach all those who need them.

After it became necessary for the Constitutional Court to order our health facilities to do their duty of their own volition, namely to supply antiretroviral drugs at birth, there are still many HIV-positive mothers who do not receive such simple, inexpensive and effective life-saving treatment to prevent their newborn babies from becoming infected.

We cannot continue to feel reassured just because we are told that something good is being done to deal with the gravest of our problems. We need to ask ourselves whether what is being done is good enough and develop the critical capacity to provide real leadership. Our country is in a leadership crisis. I think we are all guilty in this House of being part of this problem. The President told us that our Constitution is holding. Yet, the purpose of this House is not that of applauding the President, but rather of holding him and his Cabinet accountable for failures. I ask the question: How can we say the Constitution is holding when we are seeking political solutions for judicial problems right now. Judicial problems should be solved through judicial solutions. Constitutionally, this creates an obligation for each of us not to praise the good that has been done but criticise the government for that which is not good enough.

I dare any member of this House to stand before us and tell us in good conscience that he or she feels that our education system, our policing, our health care system, our economy, our poverty alleviation programmes, our employment conditions, our housing programmes and the state of our rural areas are good enough. Obviously, they are not.

In his address, his Excellency the President pre-empts this criticism by harping on the fact that the long journey has but begun, echoing Lao-tzu that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and that much more remains to be done; all of which may be good to excuse the failures of his government, but surely does not justify the failures of this House to constantly and incessantly point to this unfinished agenda to maintain the momentum and set the pace.

We are constitutionally required to be leaders in this House, and yet we have become followers. Parliament has become a tool on demand of the President, the President’s Cabinet, the ruling party, the national executive committee and, at times, the few people among us who set our rules and schedules.

If our Constitution is really to hold and our democracy to flourish the way the President hopes, we must establish the centrality of Parliament and empower it with real leadership. For instance, under the Constitution, it is the responsibility of this House to elect the President. The purpose of elections is only that of electing members of this House and not that of electing a President. Yet, many members of this House are running the political process as if this Parliament has declined this responsibility and that the forthcoming elections were about electing a President.

The lamentable state of this Parliament is no minor matter as it affects the state of our nation. It pains my heart to see some of the brightest and the most capable of our colleagues moving to greener pastures in recognition that this grand hall of democracy has become dull, vacuous, ineffective and possibly useless. From the benches of the ruling party, we have seen one bright and competent leader after another leaving their seat to take up highly remunerated positions within government, private companies, publicly held companies and in other organs of state. Everything else seems preferable to being at the helm of our democracy, as this Parliament ought to be.

From the opposition benches we have seen an equal haemorrhaging. Today we are in the lamentable state of receiving not only the farewell address of the former Leader of the Opposition, the hon A J Leon, but also that of the present Leader of the Opposition, the hon S Botha. This takes place after two of their highest ranking leaders accepted other ambassadorial positions to Thailand and Bulgaria respectively. These losses hurt not only the important role the opposition is called upon to play, but also the strength of democracy.

The greatest example of this weakness is perhaps embodied in the image of our own President who, on all accounts, seems to have proven to have great skills and abilities, begging the question why he has only recently joined us in Parliament. Having read his conversation with John Kaelin yesterday, one can see that the President is in fact in a cleft stick; he is in a catch-22 situation. He would have preferred to be elsewhere than in his position. I fear there might be truth in the answer that, until recently, the President had better things to do. This proves the point that it is not in this sacred hall of democracy that the real business of government is taking place.

His Excellency the President announced that he will soon set the election date, which will thrust all parties into frantic efforts to draft candidate lists. I think the hon Andrew Mlangeni and I are the doyens of this House, both of us having written matriculation exams in 1947. [Applause.] I don’t think there are many hon members who have that record in this House. I wish to plead with all political leaders, not leaving myself out, to bring back a new Parliament which is rich in competent and effective people with actual skills in the many fields where the challenges ahead lie.

The next Parliament will need to restructure our education system which, no matter how our President puts it, has failed present challenges and is vastly ill prepared to meet future challenges. The World Bank has published a study suggesting that 50% of those born at this time will have to apply for jobs which do not yet exist. This means we must train our children to deal with information we do not yet know.

Instead, our education system has produced an entire generation educated under the new postliberation curriculum. It has much higher-than-before rates of matriculation failures, dropouts, disciplinary problems and across- the-board mismanagement. I would not wish that our Minister of Education feels this is a personal attack. I am speaking about the situation that has developed since 1994.

While our government struggles to deliver already obsolete and substandard textbooks, children in China, India and the United States, with whom our children will need to compete in the global village, are being educated by means of computers linked to the boundless knowledge and information of the Internet. While in those countries the Internet has eliminated the divides amongst children on account of regions of the world and socioeconomic status, our education system is still perpetuating them. This is just not good enough.

I could take the rest of the day to point out that which is equally not good enough in all other functions of government, but this would not aid the point I wish to emphasise, which is that a fundamental change of attitude and governance is required.

All of us cannot continue to come to this House to gloat over what we have achieved in the past, which is now subject to the law of diminishing returns. We seem to have even reached the desperation of ranking amongst our government achievements the extraordinary successes of our national cricket and rugby teams while the real job of government in respect of sport and recreation is that of making facilities available to all citizens for their physical fitness, moral regeneration and entertainment. In this latter respect, I am quite sure that few people of conscience would stand up in this House to state that what we have achieved is good enough.

In conclusion, I urge members in this House to acknowledge that something has gone wrong and conjure over our nation the spirit of change so that, together, we may put it right. Hope for change must start from within this House, for if we do not change we cannot expect the rest of the country to do so. It is time to bind the nation together under one Constitution and within one patriotic spirit which prepares us to face the imminent crisis. To do so, we must embrace the harsh discipline of the truth. We must make the truth our sole authority and stop taking authority for the truth.

The truth is that our Constitution is in great peril; our democracy is in great jeopardy; and our country is sailing straight into a massive storm for which we are ill prepared. The truth is that we can begin dealing with all this if this House changes and lives up to the responsibilities for which it was established and which our nation expects of it. I thank you. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, His Excellency President Kgalema Motlanthe, Her Excellency Deputy President Baleka Mbete and hon members, in his state of the nation address, His Excellency the hon President said something which is as relevant to Parliament as it is to other arms of government, and I quote:

And so, Madam Speaker and hon Chairperson, we should ask ourselves: How have our actions defined the path of South African society’s evolution in the 15 years since the birth of our democracy; and how have we advanced the cause of human development and human dignity since the 2004 democratic mandate?

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to this question by speaking about the role of Parliament within the context of the theme of the state of the nation address, namely “Parliament entrenching people- centred democracy in achieving developmental goals”.

Allow me to start by asking this question: What is the role of Parliament, in practical terms, in entrenching democracy and service delivery? The answer to this question could be drawn from the role of Parliament as determined by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. In line with the Constitution, Parliament is expected to perform five functions in its interaction with other arms of government and the general public, including the international community. They are to pass laws, oversee and scrutinise executive function, facilitate public participation, facilitate co-operative governance and facilitate international participation.

What is the case in, or score of our Parliament on each of these functions? For the past 14 years Parliament has faced the enormous task of identifying and uprooting a litany of apartheid laws which placed some people high on the proverbial food chain or social hierarchy and others at the bottom, in such a way that provision of services created, according to former President Thabo Mbeki, the first and the second economy; thus by extension, a two-nation syndrome.

Parliament is proud to observe that His Excellency the President said, and I quote: “There is no gainsaying that, by any measure, the progress made since 1994 has been impressive.” For instance, it took the first Parliament almost its entire term to amend and repeal hundreds of colonial and apartheid laws, and to replace them with prodevelopment ones. From 1994 until 31 December 2008, just over a 1 000 Bills were adopted and became Acts of Parliament.

What these statistics imply is that this Parliament was able to reverse, in a single decade, what took our predecessors more than three centuries to entrench in our society. Thus, as we change the living conditions of our people by bringing about a state of equilibrium in a society in which every child, from Rondebosch, Langa, Bendor Park, or Nwamitwa in the Mopani District, gets an equal opportunity for growth and development, our efforts are at times met with bewilderment, anger and frustration from some parts of society; as if they are meant to take away their livelihood.

No piece of legislation exists on its own; neither does it govern itself. The fact that it affects and involves people who are forever adapting to changing living conditions, laws which we have crafted and enacted by ourselves, should constantly be reviewed to move with the times. Derived from the word “oversee”, with accountability as a direct result, the concept of oversight can also be subdivided into a number of independent categories, namely political, administrative, financial, ethical and legal elements.

It is within these five paradigms that Parliament should play a decisive role in assisting the executive and judiciary in meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of, amongst other things, the eradication of poverty, skills development, economic development and adhering to environment-friendly agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol which, I think, now stands a better chance with President Barack Obama in office.

I beg your indulgence to spend some time on just two of these five points in the oversight role. I would like to start by acknowledging a report on parliamentary oversight and accountability compiled by scholars from the University of Cape Town, which asserts that effective and proper oversight of the executive requires that Members of Parliament and those of the executive fully understand the constitutional justifications and rationale behind accountable government and the purposes it serves.

In this term, Parliament worked hard in looking at ways and means of improving and affirming its oversight role as required by the Constitution. To this end, it established a task team on oversight and accountability to study the constitutional mandates on oversight and to provide an implementation framework and processes. The work of the task team has resulted in a model which would, amongst other things, improve existing tools on parliamentary oversight, streamline components of the new oversight model and enhance Parliament’s capacity to fulfil its oversight function in line with its new strategic direction.

The new oversight model must consist of three elements, namely the values and principles by which Parliament conducts oversight, the mechanisms or framework to conduct oversight, and the processes and resources required for conducting oversight. The report on an oversight and accountability model will be placed before this House for consideration on 17 February

  1. I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the task team, headed by the hon Obed Bapela, and officials of Parliament who worked tirelessly to ensure that our oversight function is properly defined. I would like to say “well done” to the task team and “thank you” to Mr Bapela. [Applause.]

Where Parliament cannot reach any part of government, the Constitution provides for the establishment of Chapter 9 institutions which can monitor those aspects on its behalf. These institutions are then expected to report to Parliament on a regular basis. Mr President, we are not very happy with our interaction with these state institutions. On that point, we are establishing a Chapter 9 Unit in the Speaker’s Office so that we can have regular interaction with those important institutions.

In the article The Role of Parliament in the Budget Process, authors Krafchik and Wehner declare that:

Parliament is the appropriate place to ensure that the Budget best matches the nation’s needs with the available resources, an ability that is especially critical considering the current challenge to reprioritise between and within departments.

However, the authors have identified a major stumbling block in achieving this objective. Honestly speaking, we know what the needs of the people are but have no say in as far as what money goes into the Budget.

As part of unlocking the impasse, it is recommended that the debate on amending powers must be linked to the broader enquiry debate on parliamentary research and analysis capacity, including its interaction with departments. It is further recommended that a study should be conducted on the constitutional mandate of Parliament to deal with this matter.

By definition, Parliament is supposed to be people-centred. To sustain the link between the people and Parliament, and by extending service delivery which, in the first instance, necessitated their participation in elections, it became our constant duty to make available and remind our people of opportunities for involvement in its processes. Some of these opportunities are to petition Parliament on any government-related issue, visit Parliament, contact Members of Parliament through parliamentary constituency offices and parliamentary democratic offices and submit comments and make representation on legislation before Parliament.

The role of the public in participating and being involved in the processes of Parliament cannot be overemphasised. Public participation is not only a must because of our constitutional imperatives, it is also a democratic process that recognises and affirms human dignity. This Parliament has used every effort and opportunity to enhance public participation and, more importantly, to ensure that those of our people who may not be in the same position as us have their voices heard. To this end, we have established three parliamentary democracy offices as a pilot project in Ganyesa in the North West, Kakamas in the Northern Cape, and Ga-Matlala-a-Thaba in Limpopo. The objective of these offices is to extend Parliament’s access, opportunity and space in order to be directly in touch and engage with people who are ordinarily outside national debates in society.

We cannot forget other programmes such as “Taking Parliament to the People”, the “People’s Assembly”, the “Women’s Parliament” and the “Youth Parliament” which attract hundreds of participants annually. More still needs to be done to involve every South African in parliamentary programmes and activities.

The Constitution of the country requires co-operation between the three spheres of government - national, provincial and local. The three spheres must seek to promote the objectives of intergovernmental relations, in particular looking at the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, which includes coherent government, effective provision, monitoring of the implementation of policy and legislation, and realisation of national priorities.

In this regard, the presiding officers of the national and provincial legislatures have established a Speakers’ Forum, through which they meet regularly to discuss comprehensive strategies and programmes on how to build capacity and share best practices as an integrated sector of government. Escalation of similar efforts across the three arms of government is highly recommended. We do engage regularly with the executive. We rarely engage with the judiciary, so that is also another area where we need to improve. We can’t just see them at the beginning of the year and not engage again.

Pursuant to His Excellency President Motlanthe’s statement that “we will, as always, seek to strengthen co-operation with other countries in pursuit of that which is good for humanity”, the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa has raised the bar in participating in world politics by joining the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

In January of this year, 2009, the IPU held a training seminar in Parliament on HIV and Aids for parliamentarians in Southern and Eastern Africa. Apart from launching a very important handbook on HIV and Aids on this occasion, parliamentarians also discussed ways and means through which the treatment for HIV and Aids could be delivered to the ill cheaper and faster. This is important for sub-Saharan Africa generally and South Africa in particular because, as President Motlanthe has indicated, which was also mentioned this morning by Dr Buthelezi, many health facilities do not always have the required medicines, appropriate staff levels, and constant supply of basic services such as clean running water and electricity.

On the success of this conference, I really would like to have a big round of applause for the Deputy Speaker who led this conference with ability and commitment and who made South Africa tops. [Applause.] At this conference, one of our members was elected to chair the advisory board. [Interjections.] Thank you very much, hon member. It was the hon Bogopane. I think the House should also give her a big hand. [Applause.]

There are, of course, other areas of Parliament’s international role such as the signing and observance of treaties, protocols, conventions and so forth. However, according to Prof Shadrack Gutto, we are not doing well here in this regard. We agree with him in the sense that after ratifying a convention, Parliament does not have anything to do with it, except to pass the legislation to give effect to the convention.

As we put together the Chapter 9 Unit, we should also look at what can be done in consideration of all the conventions that we have ratified and whether they mean anything to South Africans. Where they don’t mean anything, we could make some suggestions. I know we don’t amend those agreements because they are not ours, but we need to make sure that we are giving effect to them through legislation.

Fifteen years into our democracy, we have, together, achieved much in building a new society, uniting all of our people, expanding opportunities that the new freedom brought to our people, reducing poverty and improving quality of life. Mr President, we agree with you: “We dare not linger, for our long walk is not yet ended.” I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr B H HOLOMISA: Heyi, thulani makwedini apho ngemva! [Listen here, keep quiet, you boys at the back there!]

Madam Deputy Speaker, His Excellency the President, Deputy President, hon members and hon Ministers, we would like to thank President Motlanthe for making the effort to address some of the shortcomings in the government’s performance. We also thank him for his commitment to announcing the election date shortly.

The truth is that we have witnessed much political turbulence in the past year. We should try and emerge from these coming elections united in our quest to recapture the lost ground and to regain our moral standing on the world stage. Let us talk about solutions.

On the economic front, we face our biggest challenge, namely unemployment. People expect jobs in a growing economy. Indeed, a person’s dignity is tied to having a decent job. Our economy, which we inherited in 1994 from the old regime, featured a huge infrastructure disparity. In certain cities and areas there was first-world infrastructure, whereas many townships, neighbourhoods and rural areas had little or nothing.

When people queued in 1994 to vote, they had a legitimate expectation that this infrastructure inequality would be addressed. However, 15 years later, they wonder how much longer they must wait, because it has still not been addressed.

Another problematic aspect of our economy is our dependence on imports. For example, this country used to be an exporter of food, but today we import. Yet we have an abundance of natural resources. For instance, in the Eastern Cape we have 38% of the water in Southern Africa. However, there are hardly any irrigation schemes or dams. Look at how the previous government built irrigation schemes along the Orange River to uplift the Afrikaners and turned that region into a major agricultural producer.

We need such interventions urgently to stimulate the economy and turn our natural resources into wealth for all. It is a lesson that can be applied not only to agriculture, but also in mineral beneficiation, manufacturing and industry.

There is a need to gather in an economic indaba as a nation, the way we had gathered for a political indaba called Codesa, with a view to finding consensus on a macroeconomic policy. In this way we can agree on our priorities and the extent to which the state should intervene in the economy.

It is a pity that in the past 15 years we have spent a lot of time arguing whether the current economic policy is right, when the majority of citizens have been locked out of the economic mainstream.

In light of the global economic meltdown, can we still say that the fundamentals of our current economic policy are going to sustain us for the next 20? This is the type of question such an economic indaba would answer.

As I’ve said before, there is a tendency to label people as “leftist” when they call for the government to do more for the people of this country. However, when the Afrikaners were uplifted by their government, it wasn’t called “leftist”. When the developed countries of the world subsidise their local agriculture and industry with trillions of dollars, they are not called “leftist”.

Just recently, the governments of the United States and Europe intervened in their economies to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue private banks. They have not been labelled “leftist”.

It is ridiculous to suggest that a South African government should fold its arms when millions of South Africans are wallowing in poverty because to uplift them would be so-called “leftist”. When I spoke from this podium on previous occasions about the need for government to do more, some Ministers accused me of proposing outdated policies. I wonder what their thoughts are now, when government intervention is becoming fashionable?

Talking about jobs, we welcome your intention to spend more on creating jobs. On this front, we believe that we need to review the Expanded Public Works Programme. In this country we used to have maintenance units, which employed people to maintain buildings, roads and similar infrastructure. It is an area that can provide thousands of jobs for unskilled people and teach them new skills.

Furthermore, it saves government and taxpayers money because maintenance is much more cost-effective in the long term than continuously replacing infrastructure once it has fallen into complete disrepair.

Another area that requires our urgent attention is the threat to our environment. For instance, desertification is marching from all corners of the country towards Pretoria. There is a need for a greening programme, which should involve agriculture, with a view to eliminating poverty.

It is long overdue that we place the issue of environment high on our national agenda. For instance, members of this House and MPLs in the legislatures should come together regularly, in a nonpartisan fashion, to assist with the greening programmes.

The other point that we need to address is the question of crime and corruption. Nobody can believe your government, Mr President, when it promises to act against corruption. This is simply because we all know of your predecessor as head of state, as well as his former Deputy President, who could not complete their terms as the direct result of the arms deal. It is a fact. This is only one of many corruption scandals that have plagued this government.

Shabir Shaik went to jail, as did Tony Yengeni. But when the law- enforcement agencies wanted to pounce on other leaders, the ruling party attacked and destroyed independent institutions. Indeed, some people are portrayed as victims of justice without being cleared by the courts of law. Such things damage the image of our country and undermine our credibility as the champion of Nepad, which is underpinned by the ethics of good governance.

Indeed, can we trust this government when their ruling party’s leaders are dodging their day in court? Crime, especially violent crime, continues to be a scourge. We take note of the successes and failures of the law- enforcement agencies, particularly in terms of intelligence-gathering and detective work. It is necessary to focus on these weaknesses.

A skills audit is required to identify where we need additional skills. Part of this process must include the appointment of highly trained and skilled people to head our law-enforcement agencies – people who understand crime-fighting and who will command the respect of the people they lead and not those who are selling drugs.

It is this leadership which must produce a suitable doctrine to inform our law-enforcement agencies on how they should operate within a democratic constitutional dispensation.

The question of education remains a high priority. The department needs to train and employ more teachers. There is no uniformity in school buildings and teaching materials. In cities you find that a school has laboratories, computers and many teachers. Yet in townships and rural areas you will find nothing even remotely like that. We need quality, if we are serious about improving education. There should be minimum basic standards for the facilities and materials when a school is built, and there should be maintenance. Far too many schools look dilapidated.

In conclusion, allow me to turn to the quality of service delivery, especially at local government level. We dole out billions to municipalities, but this is the place where service delivery is at its worst. We see in many municipalities a complete lack of skills and capacity. They have vacancies in critical posts, such as engineers, architects and the like. As a result, they become the target of unscrupulous consultants who charge a fortune, yet produce nothing. It is time for government to deploy skilled people to local government and to ensure that all vacancies are filled.

Finally, we wish to bid farewell to the leader of the DA, Mama Botha, as well as its former leader, hon Tony Leon. We also bid farewell to several Ministers and other MPs who might not make it or come back, or who might cross to other parties. We enjoyed engaging with you over the past five years in this House. May this culture of robust engagement continue in the future in order to strengthen democracy.

Sanukungxola, ngoba nini aba bafuna ukusizisela umntu omakaphathe eli lizwe, kodwa unedokethi lamapolisa. Zange yenzeke loo nto … [Please be quiet, because it is you who want to bring us someone who has a criminal docket from the Police to be head of this country. That has never happened before …]


Yiva ke, nanko endithulisa naye! [Listen to that; there, she is shutting me up!]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Isikhathi sakho sesiphelile. [Ihlombe.] [Your time has expired. [Applause.]]

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, His Excellency the President, the Deputy President, hon members, I would also like to bid farewell to the hon Holomisa who does not deserve to be a member of this House, a person who does not understand the presumption of innocence. South Africans cannot take him seriously. If we are just making promises, could it be that the IFP did not have enough promises? Maybe that is why it lost KwaZulu-Natal - it did not have a plan. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

The manifesto of our glorious army uMkhonto weSizwe declares:

The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices: submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means within our power in defence of our people, our future and our freedom.


This will be forever relevant and applicable as long as the strategic objectives of our national democratic revolution have not yet been met. We shall not submit to those who want to improperly appropriate for themselves our heritage of the liberation movement. The Freedom Charter is part of our heritage and values. Underlying the Freedom Charter is what defines our transformation agenda.

To illustrate this point, let me go back in history. The 42nd conference of the ANC in 1953 in Queenstown resolved as follows:

Conference instructs the National Executive Committee to make immediate preparations for the organisation of a “CONGRESS OF THE PEOPLE OF S.A.” whose task shall be to work out a “FREEDOM CHARTER” for all … groups in the country. To this end, Conference urges the … National Executive Committee to call a meeting of the National Executives of the South African Indian Congress, the Coloured People’s organisation and the South African Congress of Democrats or any other democratic organisation for the purpose of placing before them the plan of Congress and obtain their co-operation in creating a truly representative “CONVENTION” of the peoples of South Africa.

These are the values that make the ANC. We always rally people behind the correct agenda, because we believe that people are their own liberators. We are people-driven and people-centred. The same principle of uniting people to be their own liberators guided us when we formed the United Democratic Front in 1983, the Patriotic Front during negotiations and the Constitutional Assembly after the first democratic elections. This is the principle that guides us in our international work to believe in multilateralism and not unilateralism.

We were guided by the same principle when we drafted our manifesto through my vision, my future and my ANC. We mobilised the views of the people. This is a people’s manifesto. Our policies are not written by the elite for the people. These are the main forces that drive ANC policies in government - the blacks in general and Africans in particular; the rural poor; the working class; the black middle class; women; the youth and all the people of South Africa who want to create a better life for all. Our policies are to serve all classes and strata, but we have a special bias towards the working class and the poor.

When we make policies and when we undertake evaluations of our policies, we ask ourselves this question: What type of society do we want to create or build? Our answer is that we want to create a nonracial and nonsexist democratic society, and we call these the strategic objectives of our national democratic revolution.

How do we measure, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the progress we are making in achieving these strategic objectives? We use the three components of the national democratic revolution as our tools.

The national components have three aspects. The first national aspect of the struggle refers to the struggle to overcome the legacy of racial or national oppression of the black majority in general and Africans in particular.

The second national aspect refers to the task of nation-building, the forging of actual material conditions for a united nation in all its diversity, overcoming the huge inequalities in infrastructural development between urban and rural areas, between formerly white and black urban areas. It means forging a unifying national system of governance whose character reflects the principle of the clauses in the Freedom Charter.

The third national aspect is the struggle for effective national sovereignty. This is a struggle to ensure that South Africa is able to pursue its own independent social, economic and developmental agenda.

The democratic component of the national democratic revolution refers to the democratisation of all spheres of society, including the economy. It also refers to the development of different kinds of democratic involvement: representative democracy - voting for public representatives - and various forms of participatory democracy that directly involve constituencies in decisions that impact upon their daily lives and in the building of organs of people’s power in communities and at places of work.

The democratic component of the national democratic revolution relates to the democratisation of gender relations. Colonialism in South Africa made use of the subordination of women by distorting it and greatly intensifying the oppression of women.

The unpaid labour of rural African women, in particular, reproduced cheap, male migrant labour that fuelled the entire industrialisation of the South African economy. There is no national democratic transformation that does not take women’s emancipation into account. The struggle for national democratic transformation is a revolutionary struggle. This is a profound process of change in which power relations are radically transformed.

The revolution in the national democratic revolution distinguishes the ANC from its opponents, like the hon Holomisa. Whilst the liberal democrats lay claim to all sorts of historic events and titles and try to build an image for themselves, which they neither possess nor have earned in struggle, the ANC follows radical transformation and democratisation of power and society. The liberal democrats seek to deracialise society for the new elite without dealing with the massive inequalities of the same society.

The revolutionary component of the national democratic revolution relates to how the ANC, as a liberation movement and as a political party, carries forward the democratisation of the state and its administration, the judiciary and legislature. It refers to the manner in which we build a nations’ state with all its diversity. Our commitment to the democratic values and good governance is illustrated below.

In 1991, before we came to government, we drafted constitutional principles, which declared the following: We should have a Bill of Rights that guarantees rights to personal freedom and political expression. That has been achieved. We have the Bill of Rights as Chapter 2 of the Constitution. The ANC also resolved in 1991 that a Constitutional Court that enjoys the respect of all South Africans and draws on the experience and talents of the whole population, that is independent and accountable only to the principles of the Constitution, should be established. That was established. We further resolved that a Human Rights Commission should be established to ensure that violations of human rights are investigated and appropriate remedies found and examined, including patterns of discrimination, and that proposals are made for their elimination. That has been achieved.

In 1991 the ANC resolved that the post of Public Protector should be created to deal with questions of abusive, arbitrary, capricious, discourteous and corrupt exercise of office by officials. That has been achieved. We have the office of the Public Protector that deals with abuse of power by officials.

At our 49th conference in Bloemfontein, we resolved as follows: that an independent central office of the prosecuting authority should be established. That has also been achieved. We have a single prosecuting authority under the central office of the national Director of Public Prosecutions.

At our 50th conference in Mafikeng, we resolved as follows: that a High Court should be rationalised and that there must be a high court in each province. This process is under way. The department is in the process of building courts in Mpumalanga and Limpopo. As early as 1943, we had an African Claims Charter, which was the precursor to the Bill of Rights we have. This indicates that we are no Johnny-come- lately when it comes to the freedom of our people. All these things have happened because the ANC is in power and the ANC is implementing the people’s programme.

We further call on all our people to take to heart the manifesto of our glorious army, uMkhonto weSizwe, and not submit to any threat to their hard- fought-for freedom. We call on our people to hit back by all means permissible in law against poverty, unemployment and woman and child abuse.

Together, we have achieved so much; together we can do more. What do you have, opposition? Nothing! Thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, could I just appeal to you to show respect to members on the podium. There is too much noise coming from the left.

Mrs P DE LILLE: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon President, hon Deputy President, the ID welcomes your honesty on the challenges that we face as a nation. The ID agrees that progress has been made in the transformation of our society over the past 15 years. However, during this period we’ve also seen a dangerous erosion of the very values that informed us during our struggle for freedom and equality. This is especially evident in the increasing inequalities in our society, where millions of our people are living in poverty, are hungry, suffer from disease, have poor education and no services while others live lives of luxury, wealth and comfort.

We need to adopt innovative solutions and strategies for poverty alleviation and job creation. We are pleased that you prioritised the challenges posed by the global economic meltdown and outlined some of government’s plan to deal with this. The ID certainly supports some of the elements of the economic stimulus package you announced in your address. However, the numbers of people that do not receive any assistance from government is increasing as a result of the massive retrenchments we are currently witnessing. We urgently need to extend the social security net through the implementation of a minimum income grant.

The ID would also like to see the immediate extension of the Child Support Grant to all children under 18, which we have called for consistently for the past five years. This extension would also help reduce the school dropout rate in the 14 to 18-year-old category. Government needs to get serious about tackling youth unemployment, which currently stands at 70%, by providing wage subsidies to youth between the ages 18 and 25. This would have the effect of giving business a real incentive to hire first-time workseekers.

Now is certainly the time for government to invest in our economy, as global demand for our commodities is dropping off rapidly. This will not only create jobs, but also position us for when the next global commodities booms hits, at which time we must have an infrastructure that can capitalise on it to the fullest extent.

Mr President, I would like to draw your attention to the import intensity of our current infrastructure build, as outlined in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, because this creates very few local jobs. We, the ID, would like to stress the importance of ensuring that all public investment is done with the intention of creating jobs for our people. The global economic crisis presents us with an exciting opportunity for massive investment and renewable energy, which will not only create hundreds of thousands of jobs, but also provide sustainable energy for our people and position us as a world leader in combating climate change.

There is no reason why South Africa cannot be one of the world leaders in terms of renewable energy. This would enable us to develop skills in terms of which hundreds of thousands of our people would be able to become plumbers, electricians, solar power installers and wind turbine technicians. In only 10 to 15 years, in Germany, renewable energy created a quarter of a million jobs. This requires more than just a sentence in your speech, Mr President; it requires leadership, political will and budgetary resources.

Mr President, setting a target of a million solar water heaters in three years, but installing only 800 in the first year means that government is not serious. We call on government to suspend all spending on projects like the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor, and the conventional nuclear and arms industries which create very few jobs and waste billions of rands on foreign companies.

Government must also ensure that our competition policy is more proactive in ensuring free economic activity. We need to come down hard on any company or individual that is found guilty of defrauding the poor through price-fixing. In addition, we need to open up key sectors, such as telecommunications to competition. The ID believes that it is not privatisation that is needed, but competition, in order to secure efficiency and lower prices.

Mr President, I was surprised to hear you say that stamping out corruption is a core focus of this government. This is because we believe that government has weakened our fight against crime by stamping out the Scorpions, instead of delivering on the ANC’s 2004 election manifesto which promised that the Scorpions would be strengthened. This, and your refusal, Mr President, to institute a judicial commission of inquiry into the arms deal corruption are proof that the ANC government does not agree that corruption steals from the poor and that we are all equal before the law.

Mr President, we would like also to bring to your attention the fact that all the plans in the world are nothing without implementation. The question is whether we have the skills and the political will within government and the Public Service to implement these plans.

While we understand the historical context for our shortage of skills, the ID is deeply concerned by the lack of skills and competence by far too many in our Public Service. We also agree that it is necessary to expand the Public Service in certain key areas, but we need to be wary of a bloated, incompetent Public Service. We need to professionalise the Public Service and ensure that it becomes the frontline of patriotism and service to our people and finally deliver a developmental state.

Mr President, the ID maintains that to overcome the challenges we face, South Africa requires more than just effort from our people. We require innovative solutions, the will to implement them and bold leadership. The ID is not yet convinced that all of these requirements are being met by government. Thank you. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Madam Deputy Speaker, Your Excellency the President of the Republic, Your Excellency the Deputy President of the Republic, hon members, comrades, addressing the Organisation of African Unity in 1994, former President Nelson Mandela said, and I quote:

If freedom was the crown which the fighters of liberation sought to place on the head of mother Africa, let the upliftment, the happiness, prosperity and comfort of her children be the jewel of the crown.

There can be no dispute amongst us that we must bend every effort to rebuild the African economies.

I am honoured to address this august Chamber on the question of a better Africa. All of us gathered here today are unequivocally desirous of a peaceful and stable Africa, where in every city, town and village, in every community, people live in peace and harmony, have all the basic necessities of life - an Africa in which all our people have access to shelter, education and health care, decent employment and equal opportunities to advance and improve their lives, lifting themselves out of abject poverty. We must unwaveringly strive for this dream; a dream for which we should be champions, advocate and eventually achieve. Central to the vision of a better Africa is greater regional and continental political and economic integration, as indicated by our forebears in their call for unity.

In this era of regional integration, which has moved the world towards economic blocs and stronger multilateral diplomacy, most economies on the continent remain small and fragile. It is imperative that we also consolidate and deepen our political cohesion and economic integration as we move towards a united continent. The financial crisis and economic depression serve to emphasise that economic, regional and continental integration is no longer optional but a must.

If we seek to build a better Africa through continental integration, as we must, the development of shared values becomes critical. It would be difficult to envision this continental economic, social and political integration if we did not agree on a set of common shared values.

South Africa must and shall, therefore, continue to promote the importance of democracy, good governance, the rule of law, the protection of human rights, nonracialism and gender equality. Particular attention should also be given to building the capacity of sustainable democratic institutions and deepening the culture of democracy amongst our people in Africa. The African Peer Review Mechanism and the Pan-African Parliament should play a critical role in nurturing these common values.

As stated in the ANC manifesto, government will continue to work together with the people of our continent and its diaspora for the cohesion, unity, democracy and prosperity of the Southern African Development Community and the African Union and in terms of strengthening our capabilities to respond to the challenges we face. And, of course, guided by the Freedom Charter, South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and to settle all international disputes through negotiation, not war. As we continue to work towards the realisation of an African Union government, which must necessarily, amongst other things, contribute to the reduction of some of the destructive conflicts that we have been experiencing. A united Africa, speaking with a single voice, would also be more influential in global affairs. Furthermore, the benefits of political and economic integration are evident when we look at the experience of other regions of the world.

The history of the continent itself shows that we have indeed continued to build incrementally towards the goals of continental unity. The Abuja Treaty, the formation of the African Union and its institutions, the adoption and implementation of Nepad, which South Africa and the former President were at the forefront of promoting, have all been important stages in this regard.

There can be no doubt that a better Africa requires that we accelerate investments in some critical sectors like energy, infrastructure such as roads, ports and telecommunications, facilitating easier intra and interregional trade, especially because Africa has to most landlocked countries. And of course, we have to accelerate the free movement of people and goods.

If we are to achieve a better Africa, like the Warrior of the Light in Paulo Coelho’s book with this title, we must not be paralysed by the fact that other countries have more opportunities than we do, because a warrior tries to make the most of his or her virtues. I quote:

He knows that the gazelle’s power lies in its legs. The power of the seagull lies in the accuracy with which it can spear a fish. He has learnt that the reason the tiger does not fear the hyena is because he is aware of his own strength. We have to define for ourselves our own strength and what we can truly rely on.

In our view, we should rely on our human resources. The regions and the countries that show sustainable growth and human development have all paid very special attention to education, skills development and health. We must prioritise these on the continent, as we do nationally.

We should also rely on our fertile African land. We can develop a very good agricultural programme to feed the whole of the continent and, indeed, to export to other continents. We should also rely on our abundant natural resources. But it’s very important how we manage these resources – how we manage these will determine how quickly we can reach the African dream. Squander and plunder for the benefit of the few will defer this African dream.

We should preserve the environment as part of a global effort so as to bequeath future generations with a liveable planet. Of course, we should also preserve our rich cultural heritage. And, it’s not only government that should be involved in this, but most importantly the private sector on the continent has to be a catalyst for these developments. Each and every one of us has a role to play.

As in Paulo Coelho’s book, we must ask ourselves how our actions affect the fifth generation of my descendants, because everything a person does has enduring consequences and he needs to understand what kind of world he is leaving behind for the fifth generation.

A better Africa will also have to assume its share of global responsibilities. In this context, South Africa was honoured to serve on the United Nations Security Council between 2007 and 2008. In this role, we did our part in advancing the goals of a better Africa. We promoted the importance of co-operation between the UN and the African Union. Indeed, as we seek to build a better Africa, I believe that we have a duty to look forward to the day when African conflict situations will no longer be the predominant agenda of the United Nations Security Council. We owe this to future generations.

Mr President, you mentioned that our country stands ready to walk the next steps with the people of Zimbabwe as they embark on the difficult path of economic recovery. Accordingly, we appeal to the goodwill of the international community which, of course, has to be matched by the political will of the people of Zimbabwe, to take up the challenges of the reconstruction, reconciliation and development of that country.

We have just come from an African Union summit in Addis Ababa. There, a number of decisions were taken; amongst them was the transformation of the African Union Commission into an African Union Authority in an effort to strengthen the commission. I want to allay your fears: this authority will really have to be a strengthened commission. It’s not necessarily an instant continental government.

I also want to say that this Parliament and many other structures will be involved in the discussions of how this authority should be constructed. These discussions are still going to take place. The details are going to be worked out, not only by those governments, but by all of us. So, I hope that you will be ready to participate in those discussions.

As part of creating a better Africa, we have appointed our own sons and daughters of our country to various positions both in the continental structures and international organisations. In this regard, we have taken the decision to advance the candidature of Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty for the position of Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

We believe he has the capacity to truly contribute to humanity’s balanced approach, characterised by a burning desire for a peaceful world. We should continue to identify other suitably qualified South Africans for deployment to such organisations in pursuit of a better Africa and a better world.

But, of course, for Africa to achieve its goals, it cannot work in isolation. It needs partnerships, and partnerships with all other continents. We look forward to working very well with President Barack Obama’s new administration, with the EU, with countries that have emerging and re-emerging economies, like Russia, China, India, Brazil and, of course, the rest of Asia.

We are building partnerships with Caribbean and South American countries because we understand very well that we cannot build a better Africa completely on our own. Although we have to rely mainly on ourselves and our resources, we also need to have partnerships.

I hope that all of us - on all sides of the House - believe in a better Africa, and we are all going to work very hard for the African dream. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr A J LEON: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon President, Deputy President, hon colleagues, firstly, may I thank the hon Sandra Botha and Bantu Holomisa for their warm remarks. Perhaps I could mention that this is my final address to the Parliament of South Africa. Perhaps on this occasion, and in deference to Mr Hogarth, and in particular the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, I may be permitted to tell an old Jewish joke. The difference between Jews and Gentiles is that Gentiles leave without saying goodbye, while Jews say goodbye and never leave. [Laughter.]

This is the last of many farewells for me: as Leader of the Opposition, as Leader of the DA and now finally as a Member of Parliament. I end as I began: a rank-and-file member of the loyal opposition, as determined to bring about change in South Africa as I was when I was first elected here 20 short years ago. As to the future, allow me to quote the great British parliamentarian, and fellow socialist of some of you, Tony Benn, who said on his retirement: “I am leaving parliament to devote more time to politics.” I too look forward to a post-partisan life of engaged citizenry.

When I first arrived in Parliament in 1989, the tricameral system still stood as a barrier to liberty for the majority of South Africans. Abroad the Berlin Wall still remained the dividing line between East and West and between communism and freedom. Within a few short months both of those citadels had crumbled; abandoned by leaders who realised they could no longer resist the human impulse to freedom.

From these benches I witnessed the last white President turning his back on the convictions of a lifetime and inaugurating from this very podium an era of negotiation and democracy. From these benches I heard the first black President renounce the racial nationalism of the past and reach out to the minority whose government has harassed and imprisoned him for more than one third of this life.

From these benches I battled with his successor who sought to revive racial resentment, even at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and who used his unprecedented power to amass even greater power. From these benches I witnessed the same President dismiss his Deputy President in an act of selective justice that in the end forced his own resignation and has led South Africa to the precarious political precipice we now face.

From these benches I have been privileged to lead the opposition to participate in South Africa’s national renewal through the writing of our new Constitution and to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was our imperfect but necessary memory against forgetting.

From these benches I have been proud to help grow a small party of seven MPs into an ever stronger political force that carries the hopes of our democratic future on its shoulders. How successful or futile any of these efforts or contributions has been is best left to the judgment of my fellow South Africans and of history. But I believe I have passed the test prescribed by Winston Churchill, who said: “I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents.” [Laughter.] So, to the President, the Deputy President, the Cabinet and members of the majority party: Thank you very much for all the excitement.

We often disagreed, sometimes in vehement and heated ways, but whatever the divisions in this House, I believe that we all do believe in the unity of our nation.

To my own party: Thank you very much for all the support through 13 tumultuous years of leadership and nearly 20 years of collegiality and friendship. You continue to protect freedom and provide, I believe, a better way forward for all South Africans. It has been an honour to serve among you.

Outside my party there are senior statesmen in the opposition, such as Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, whose counsel and friendship in often difficult times I will always cherish and remember. In this, my final and farewell speech to this House, it is not my desire to make new enemies but to reflect on the recent past and the future with honesty and candour.

Democracy’s advent in South Africa coincided with the greatest period of economic prosperity enjoyed by the world and by the continent of Africa since the end of the Second World War. When President Thabo Mbeki described his nine-year presidency as the Age of Hope, he did so for good reason. But it was also a decade of lost opportunity. We failed to attract the high levels of foreign investment that we needed to grow our economy at a rate that could roll back unemployment. We created laws and regulations that shut down job creation and chased key skills out of government departments. In so doing, we created a serious crisis in policing, in health, in education and energy; hurting those in greatest need.

We now have an unsustainable situation in which 25% of our population receives a welfare payment, while only about 10% of the population pays personal income tax. Unless we reverse those ratios and start to create real jobs in the formal economy, we will find ourselves, over time, in a fiscally unstable and socially dangerous situation. We must now create those jobs in the worst global economic circumstances since the 1970s and perhaps since the Great Depression itself. We need the courage to admit this truth that much of the growth we congratulated ourselves on in Budgets past was illusionary; that we spent more than we earned; that we imported more than we exported and that we have borrowed to make up the difference.

To change our economic prospects, we are going to have to change our habits, both government and citizens alike. That is the message that we must deliver to the nation from whichever party we come from. As deep as the worldwide recession is and may yet become, as profound as the challenges of poverty and inequality in our country continue to be, we are gravely mistaken if we believe that economic freedom is the problem rather than the solution and if we see government as the only answer.

There is, for example, rare agreement among all parties that among the many failing sectors of state, the National Treasury and Sars shine forth as beacons of excellence. You recall early on in our first Parliament, we removed Sars from the public sector and let it employ its own staff outside the restrictions that apply elsewhere in government. We did that for our tax revenue collection but we never did it for other areas of service delivery.

And the reasons for this were the same here as elsewhere in the developing world and was so well summed up by Paul Collier in his groundbreaking work The Bottom Billion when he said:

Governments were prepared to leave basic service delivery unreformed because the governing elite got its services elsewhere.

That is why South Africa has seen a better life for a few but not for all the people.

The world and South Africa’s greatest challenge today is not a deficit of money, but actually a deficit of trust. Trust is the key ingredient for both economic markets and for durable democracy and at the core of the current global financial crisis is a failure of credit markets and the root of the word “credit” is “credo”, the Latin for “I believe”. The same is true of our democracy.

As public representatives we asked people, and we will ask them shortly again, to believe in us to trust the commitments we offer as a consideration for a seat in this noble Assembly. But we destroy the trust in which our Constitution was forged when we weaken every independent institution intended to support it. When we use the basic rights of the lowest criminal accused, innocent until proven guilty, as the standard of accountability for the highest office.

When the lawmakers become the lawbreakers, we offer them exceptional excuses instead of exemplary punishments. We have passed thousands of laws in this Parliament, from the sound and the socially necessary to the constitutionally dubious and the economically dangerous.

Too often we have confused, in my opinion, real and necessary change, which is always good and desirable, and will always be supported from all sides of the House, with a muddled agenda of transformation that more often than not served as a mask for greed.

We must remember the first law of a free people: That all are equal before the law, regardless of party or of station. We should remember, with deference to the hon Minister of Foreign Affairs, who spoke before me, the words of the great African and international statesman Kofi Annan, who reminded us as recently as the 2007 Nelson Mandela Lecture, that:

Africans must guard against a pernicious, self-destructive form of racism

  • that unites citizens to rise up and expel tyrannical rulers who are white, but to excuse tyrannical rulers who are black.

In my opinion, if we do not practise at home and abroad what we preach in our Constitution, then one day it may be said of us that we had the chance to build a new nation and to forge a new and a more just and humane international order but that we destroyed better than we knew. I believe we can succeed. We have defied the odds before. We must recover the spirit of hope that guided us in 1994 and reunite it with the constitutional principles that established the foundation for our future which we celebrate today.

We ought not to flee from the challenges that face us, nor give up in the fashion of people like Kevin Pietersen, simply because circumstances are not to our liking. As Graeme Smith and the Proteas recently showed us in Australia, no injury is too grave to overcome; no task is too great to overwhelm the South African spirit. It endures and can lead to victory, even in the most hostile of terrains.

Though I have only served South Africa from the benches of the constitutional opposition, I find myself in rare agreement with the radical communist and internationalist Rosa Luxemburg, who wrote of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917:

Freedom only for the supporters of government, only for the members of one party - however numerous they may be - is no freedom at all.

It is, I believe, the high duty of both government and opposition, and the media and civil society to protect and extend the freedoms to everyone around us. No rainbow is monochromatic. Big majorities do not confer a monopoly of either wisdom or patriotism. When we encourage dissent and welcome a debate among competing alternatives, we allow ourselves and the nation we serve, the widest of all choices and a true test of competing ideas If we condemn ideas simply because of where they originate then we deny ourselves the highest good that a democratic republic provides for its citizens.

Too often this Parliament has served to revive the old battles of the past and abdicated its responsibility to hold the present administration to account. There are indeed some signs of recent change and we must hope and pray that the next Parliament, the next government and the next opposition follows the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States who said: “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”

Above all, the next Parliament should remember that it serves the people, not itself. That was a promise I made to the voters of Houghton, 20 years ago, when they sent a 32-year-old city councillor to be their voice in tumultuous times. That is the promise I tried to renew to the South African people when they thrice returned me to a democratic Parliament, representative of all the people in all our diversity.

I celebrate today the fact of South Africa’s exceptionalism. We are the only large, ethnically diverse and resource-rich African country to retain and to remain a free democracy. We should acknowledge that achievement, not with a glow of self-congratulation, but with an urgent and determined desire to repair the breaches in our democratic path and to expand our lessons of democracy and freedom throughout the continent and the wider world.

As I step down from this podium for the last time, and as I leave this Parliament I have served for two decades, I will leave behind the two letters “MP” that I have carried by my name as my honour and my charge. Henceforth, freed from that great and noble obligation, I will be honoured to carry a title that means far more than the ones I am leaving behind: Citizen of the Republic of South Africa. Long live South Africa in freedom! [Applause.]

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUPHEPHA NOKUVIKELEKA KOMPHAKATHI: Somlomo, Sekela Somlomo, Mongameli Ohloniphekile wezwe lakithi, Sekela Mongameli, oNgqongqoshe bakahulumeni, maSekela oNgqongqoshe, Malungu esiShayamthetho, uMphakathi kanye naMaqabane … (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Madam Speaker, Deputy Speaker, hon President of our country, Deputy President, Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon Members of Parliament, members of the community as well as comrades …]

Madam Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition expressed surprise to the reaction from the benches when she mentioned Ntate Seremane and how important he is. [Interjections.] It’s not disgust; in fact, you surprised all of us. If he was so important, why didn’t you give him the position of leader at the time? [Applause.] You missed an opportunity.

Siqala ngokwethulela ukubonga kwethu ezinkulungwaneni zabantu bakithi ngeqhaza abalibamba nsuku zonke ukwakha impilo eyimpumelelo. Ngokubamba kwabo iqhaza kulo mshikashika, bahambisa nesiqubulo sikaHulumeni waKwaZulu- Natal esithi “Masisukume sakhe”.

Nsuku zonke lezi zinkulungwane zisebenzela intando yeningi eyaqalwa umbutho wenkululeko. Lezi zinkulungwane zabantu bakithi zivikela ubunye nobumbano esizweni, zilwela ukucwasana ngokobulili, ngokobuzwe, zisebenzela ubulungiswa ezweni lakithi. Namuhla sikubeka ngembaba ukuthi ikusasa ngelethu sonke, futhi liqhakazile. Lokhu sikushiso yizinto esikwazile ukuzenza sibambisene eminyakeni eyishumi nanhlanu nje vo.

Ethula inkulumo yakhe esizweni uMongameli wezwe ukhulume ngesigayigayi somzabalazo uSolomon Kalushi Mahlangu. Lenkulumo ingikhumbuze inkondlo yembongi uMzwakhe Mbuli uma ethi “uma senibusa, nikhululekile, nibokhumbula labo abafela inkululeko.” (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[We want to start by paying tribute to the multitudes of our people for their daily contribution in building a prosperous life. By being involved in these efforts, they are in line with the motto of the KwaZulu-Natal government which is “Masisukume sakhe - Let us Rise Up and Build.”

Every day these multitudes work for the democracy which was started by the freedom movement. These multitudes of our people protect unity; they fight against gender and racial discrimination, and they also work towards realising justice in our country. And today we equivocally proclaim that the future is ours and that it is very bright. We say this because of the things that we have been able to achieve together in only 15 years.

When the President addressed the country, he talked about the freedom fighter Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu. This address reminded me of the poem by Mzwakhe Mbuli which goes: “When you rule, when you are free, you must remember those who died for freedom.”]

We thank the President on presenting a well-balanced evaluation of the state of our nation and for pointing the way forward in the long journey towards the realisation of the goal of a better life for all. Building on the achievements we have already scored, the ANC remains firmly committed to working together with the people of our land to improve the quality of life of all South Africans, cognisant of the stubborn legacy of colonialism and apartheid and fully appreciative of the scientific reality that the road to social progress is always under construction. However, we are convinced that we will realise the kind of society enshrined in our Constitution and in the Freedom Charter.

The improved quality of life we talk about must also find expression in the improved conditions of safety and security of the people in their homes and in their communities. They must be safe in their places of work, cinemas, stadia, parks and other places of extramural activity.

This past festive season saw a concerted multidisciplinary approach to the fight against crime. During that short period we achieved good results on the part of crime prevention and combating. This demonstrates that, working together, we can indeed do more. We should acknowledge, though, that the reasons and extent of these successes still require further analysis.

Our peace and stability machinery has ensured the success of many significant events. By now we have held numerous elections. Our country has hosted many important international events. Our courts have been and still remain an important platform in the process of defining the content of our rights and obligations in a constitutional state.

For a young democracy like ours, these and many others are no minor successes. In the light of this we can only assume that those who claim that we make undertakings but never deliver are people who spend their time in Slumberland.

The important contribution of our armed forces in the provision and preservation of special and priority skills can never be overemphasised. Our ground army forces, our air force and the navy have won the confidence of the people through their capacity to protect the sovereignty of the Republic. These successes demonstrate the time-tested truth that together we can do more.

These successes we have scored do not in any way de-emphasise the fundamental necessity to transform the entire judicial system. We have visible evidence of progress made. However, that progress has itself brought about new challenges. All South Africans share the President’s deep concern about crime. The ANC and the government of our country are committed to the establishment of a new, modernized, efficient and transformed criminal justice system.

This initiative will reduce drastically the levels of crime and ensure the stamping out of corruption. The review entails the scrutiny of our performance along the whole value chain, including the functioning of the police, the judiciary and correctional services with the aim of achieving enhanced levels of integration and co-ordination.

We are paying focused attention to the fight against serious and violent crime. We are also acting with added vigour against organised syndicates. Recent events around Durban in particular attest to our commitment in this regard. We will increase the capacity of the South African Police Service through recruitment, rigorous training and working for better remuneration.

Steps are being taken better to equip and increase the capacity of detective services, forensics, prosecution and judicial services. In this regard, training is earmarked to commence in earnest this year. The people of our land can be assured that we are going to act with speed in the process of establishing the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation, otherwise known as DPCI.

The architecture of this unit is such that it takes on board the positive aspects of previous units while shedding their weaknesses. In essence, we are applying the law of negation; of negation in our approach to building the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation by taking the best and shedding the worst.

There are many who skirt the truth on this matter. We should reiterate some of what we have said before, that is, that the Directorate of Special Operations was a new and innovative development initiated by the ANC government to strengthen the fight against organised crime. It included prosecutors, detectives and intelligence operatives in one unit. This was indeed a powerful combination which nevertheless created its own problems. All policy units are monitored by the Independent Complaints Directorate. However, the DSO was under the National Prosecuting Authority and could not be investigated by the Independent Complaints Directorate.

Even as we speak, we are faced with the issue of approximately R100 million rand in funds which are unaccounted for by the DSO. The intelligence-gathering capacity of our agencies is monitored by the Inspector-General of Intelligence. However, the DSO was not covered by this framework. Within the context of the review these and many other issues had arisen in practice and had to be given serious consideration in the process of evolving our crime-fighting polices, strategies, entities arsenal and programmes.

Strangely enough, none among our critics seems to appreciate the gravity of these and other challenges. They appear even less interested in finding solutions to the problems. This leads one to suspect that the clamour about the DSO is less about the quality of its work but more about the usability of such work in the furtherance of political aspirations of those who directly or indirectly benefited from the racist dispensation of the past. To these Doubting Thomases, this Chinese proverb applies:

The one who says it cannot be done …

… like you -

… should not interrupt the one doing it.


We are going to pay added attention to attacks on members of the South African Police Service. As part of this work legislative measures will be introduced to protect law-enforcement agencies. We shall ensure that unarmed and defenceless people are protected against any possible abuse. However, for the scoundrels who are nothing but beasts with human faces, the “izinswelaboya” [people without humanity]; we will have no mercy.

The scourge of violence against women and vulnerable members of our society remains a blemish on our democratic order. Aspects of our legislative regime that unintentionally protect perpetrators will be changed this year in order to drive the point home that 16 days of activism is in fact 365 days.

This makes it unlikely that our programmes and operations, including intelligence, would have been targeted to families, relatives and friends. There is a need for our communities to participate in preventing and combating crime. We shall therefore work consistently to build an enduring people’s contract which will find expression in our unity of purpose and action, with each sector contributing to the common objective of eliminating crime in our country.

Since 1994 the transformation of the judiciary has undergone marked improvement. As hon members will know, the first democratic government inherited a judiciary that was dominated by white males whose prior contribution to the system had been to enforce and implement apartheid rules.

Through the efforts of the ANC-led government programmes were put in place to commence a transformation agenda within the judiciary. This was done through the Magistrates Commission, an independent body responsible for processing the appointment and discipline of magistrates.

Recently we have heard a cacophony of voices purporting to protect the judiciary from the so-called attacks on the important institution of our democracy. From where we stand, these modern-day defenders of our democracy have offered nothing new, neither better nor wiser, than the late Chief Justice Ishmael Mohammed when he said:

A viable and credible constitutional culture evolves most effectively within the crucible of vigorous intellectual combat and even moral examination.

Nevertheless, those who seek to shut down this debate consistently ignore this wise counsel by the late Chief Justice. In this instance we shall resort to Aristotle who, when faced with similar circumstances said that such people had better take to heart what Hesiod says:

That man is best who sees the truth himself; Good too is he who listens to wise counsel. But who is neither wise himself nor willing To ponder wisdom is not worth a straw.

A line in Tanya Jovanovski’s booklet says: “Introduce any negative person who crosses your path to someone else.” Surely our political detractors deserve to be introduced to bats.

Together we will face crime squarely in the eyes and destroy it. We will rid our society of rapists. There shall be no place to hide for those who abuse women and children.

The introduction to Parliament of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act necessitating among others the examination of issues relating to forensics and DNA databases is a positive step forward in the context of revamping the criminal justice system.

Fellow citizens: Rest assured we shall not only be knocking on the doors of the bad. We shall also knock on the doors of the good to urge each and every one of us to be part of the great wave against crime. Because they love peace, security and comfort we are certain that the greater majority of people of our land, continent and the world will heed our clarion call to join hands and make life difficult for criminals inside and outside of our borders.

Regional integration and co-operation is a guarantee that in their pursuit for a just world order revolutionaries cannot be confined by national borders. Jean Toomer said: “We learn the ropes in life by untying the knots.” Together we disentangled the riddle of apartheid; together we can and will defeat crime. As the Chinese proverb goes: “Let the one who says it cannot be done not interrupt the one doing it.” Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr M R SONTO: Chairperson, I gladly follow on the Minister. President of the Republic of South Africa, Deputy President, Ministers present here, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, since the advent of democracy in 1994 South Africans have continued to discover the best in one another.

Common citizenship and equal rights became a reality as the dignity of every individual was restored. We must remember that in 1996 we adopted a Constitution that has since served as a compass in our transition to democracy. At that point South Africans of all political persuasions stood united and determined to strive together to meet and overcome whatever challenges on the way.

The state of the nation address was succinct and adequate in identifying hope and resilience as the main ingredients for the current imagined period of continuing reconstruction and development. We have come across many obstacles in our path to creating a stable nation, yet we’ve never lost the capacity, but continued to demonstrate that we are able to work together to build a safer, more peaceful and stable society.

The discourse in point was located within a vision to transform the Police in a manner that saw crime prevention and combating being a joint project between the Police and the community for the first time in the history of South African policing thanks to the stewardship of the ANC-led government.

The spirit of determination we have as a governing party did not come by accident, but was derived from objectives we pursued during our struggle to defeat evil. The ANC government programmes enhance processes of a better life for a safer nation and give meaning to our transformation agenda. We have always believed that defeating crime is in the interest of a national democratic revolution.

Chairperson, crime and violence have always sought to strike at the very core of our efforts to create a stable society as a nation. The reason for this is that this area of social ill was never a priority for the white minority apartheid government of the past. Our understanding as the ANC is that to defeat crime and violence is not to descend into fear, but to harness the determination to overcome.

Lessons from the past have taught us what is best for and about us. As we continue in our drive to eradicate the legacy of our apartheid past, we are making sure that efforts we employ are not undermined by violence and criminality. We have vowed never to allow our democratic gains to be eroded by violent crime.

The ANC-led government has managed to get our society to work together to accelerate and realise change. We have learnt that it can take time for us to succeed in building a safe South Africa if we leave that responsibility to government alone. That is the reason we are partners in shouldering the responsibility.

Olu tshintsho kambe lwenze namathol’omthonyama, abantwana bomgquba, baziva benelunda. Bayeka ukuba zizigculelo zokujongelwa phantsi ngumbuso owawuphethwe ngabeLungu. Zaqala iint’ ezinkulu ukuphuthuma ibuyambo, kuba kwasiko nasithethe bezitshajisiwe.

Izimilo oonyana bebeziphethe ngezandla. Owenza okubi kwabakubo ebeliqhayiya neqhawe kwabasemzini; into embi iyebukwayo neqhwatyelw’izandla. Bemka ubuntu ebantwini.

Kowu! Amadlagusha asibulel’ isizwe ngokunyoluka nomona! Kodwa, xa kungoku, isizwe siqamele ngoxwebhu lokubuyisa amalungelo, uMgaqo-siseko weli lizwe. Bath’ubukhosi bemvelo babuyelwa sisidima! Zatshikiz’iintokazi, wayiyizela umzalisikazi kuba kaloku namakhosikazi abuyelwe bubuntu. [Kwaqhwatywa.]

Ewe, sikwenzile okuninzi. Kambe ke kusekude ngaphambili! Masixhabashe ke ngoko, nto zakuthi, sisazi nje ukuba oyibethileyo akakayoji; noseyojile akakayityi. Yivumeni ingqanga yemibutho, uKhongolose, xa ikhomb ’indlela kumqulu wayo wonyulo isithi: “Ngentsebenziswano, singenza lukhulu!” (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[This change has made indigenous people, the children of the soil, very proud. Now, they are no longer the objects of scorn of the government of the whites. They have claimed their heritage, because history and culture were destroyed. There was degeneration in the behaviour of our sons. One who committed evil against his/her own became the pride and hero of outsiders; an evil deed was applauded. The spirit of ubuntu disappeared amongst our people.

Oh! How the whites have killed the nation with their greed and jealousy! However, today the nation has reclaimed its rights through the Constitution of this country. The dignity of our traditional leadership is back! The African women ululated and danced in happiness as the women’s dignity was restored. [Applause.]

Yes, we have managed to do a lot. However, there is still a long way to go! Let us beef up our pace in working, knowing that one swallow does not make a summer. We should applaud the governing party, the ANC, when it says in its election manifesto: “Working together, we can do more!”]

As part of our national anticrime campaign, the ANC government has had several engagements with sector stakeholders such as community policing forums, CPFs, faith-based organisations, organised labour, business, NGOs and community-based organizations, CBOs. These are structures that made it possible to mobilise citizens to practically contribute to the fight against crime by joining community forums as reservists and starting neighbourhood watches and street committees. That arrangement lends credence to the ANC manifesto that says: Working together, we can do more! Other partnership initiatives in the fight against crime are currently under way with stakeholders such as the Anti-Crime Leadership Forum, Business Against Crime, Take Charge, Active Citizen campaign and Sanco.

Government and big business have developed a cordial partnership in the fight against crime, with very clear objectives, including the review of the criminal justice system. This, in particular, is a leading project of the justice, crime prevention and security cluster of government. It is intended to define a process of seamless interconnection between investigations and arrests, prosecution and adjudication, detention and rehabilitation.

As a result, some specific crimes have been on the decrease during 2007-08. These involve murder, which has come down to 38,6%; common robbery is down by 8,7%; robbery with aggravating circumstances is down by 6,5%; cash-in- transit robberies show a decrease of 15,4% and motor vehicle theft is down by 7%.

This is one of the struggles we are engaged in and the one we must win. The above statistics suggest that more needs to be done to eradicate crime, and as the ANC, we are determined to facilitate processes in which our society can take charge of their lives.

The resolution taken by the ANC at Polokwane to strengthen street committees is one effective approach that will assist in combating crime. This will go hand in hand with a capacitated SA Police Service. What is bad, immoral and un-African is the reality that violent crime happens to people who know one another and in some cases are related to each other, or are family friends. That is the reason more training needs to be provided.

In this regard, revival of family values and moral regeneration become very necessary in our society. Religious institutions can play a role in this regard.

An increase in attacks by youth against other youth and sometimes teachers is unacceptable; it cannot be condoned. We need to deal with it. In dealing with these challenges, political parties must avoid the temptation of political point-scoring when it comes to crime fighting. You must understand that criminals do not care whether you are an ANC, IFP or FF Plus member, they rob you! If you say that you are a politician, the better for them. They will say: “You know the reason I am robbing you.” For that reason, therefore, we must work together to find solutions to this scourge.

I’m inviting all the naysayers to stop complaining, folding their hands, but to come and join the ANC in its efforts. Come, let’s join hands and fight the scourge! Working together, we can do more to intensify the fight against crime. I thank you. [Applause.]

UNGQONGQOSHE WOHULUMENI BEZIFUNDAZWE NABASEMAKHAYA: Sihlalo, Mongameli wezwe, Sekela Mongameli, kanye nozakwethu, sizokhumbula ukuthi uma sibuka umlando wezwe kusukela ngesikhathi sobandlululo ukufika ku-1994 ngaphambi kokhetho ukuthi ohulumeni abandlule, ukusuka ku-Louis Botha ukuya ku- Verwoerd, Vorster, P W Botha kanye no-De Klerk, bonke laba bantu bebefana. Umbuzo-ke ukuthi bebefana ngani na? Ukufana kwabo bekuhamba lapha ekutheni bebengalaleli iningi labantu bezwe.

Bekungabantu abayisikhwili phambana nobhoko, bengontamolukhuni. Laba kwakungabantu abangafuni ukusebenzisana nabantu. Kodwa ukusukela ngesikhathi uKhongolose ethatha izintambo ngo1994, kwaguquka lokho. Kwaba khona isimo lapho uhulumeni elalela abantu. Kwaba nguhulumeni ohambisana nabantu, othatha uluvo lwabantu. Kwaba uhulumeni obuka izinhlaka ngezinhlaka, obuka izigaba nezigaba kanye nama-strata. Kwaba uhulumeni okwazi ukuphendula uma ngabe ebhalelwe ngabantu angathathi isikhathi kodwa aphendule ngaleso sikhathi.

Ngaleyo ndlela-ke sibonile ukuthi lo hulumeni ukwazile ukwakha izinhlaka ezinesizinda, zazika ohlelweni lokuthi abantu babe yingxenye yenkululeko. Ngikhuluma ngamakomidi amawadi, izisebenzi zabantu ezibizwa phecelezi, ngama-CDWs. Ngikhuluma khona lapho ngamakomidi omphakathi esitiladini, ngithi lezi yizakhiwo eziqonde ukuthi abantu baleli lizwe babe yingxenye kahulumeni.

Ngaleyo ndlela-ke thina singuKhongolose sithi lo hulumeni unguhulumeni wabantu. Uhulumeni uyinto esebenzisana nabantu, sithi noh ulumeni wasemakhaya naye makagxile ekuthuthukiseni kanye nasekushintsheni isimo. Indlela esibona ngayo thina sithi masakhe amakomidi amawadi aqinile. Masakhe amakomidi aqinile ezitiladini, sakhe amakomidi aqinile asemakhaya ama-village committees. Masenze ukuthi amakhansela abengamakhansela azishovushovu, masenze ukuthi kube khona ukusebenzisana phakathi komphakathi nabantu. Ngaleyo ndlela-ke masiqinise esikwenzayo.

Esingakusho-ke uma sibuka ukuthi kuleli lizwe lakithi kwenzakalani ukuthi kunesinye nje isifundazwe esiye saphathwa yiqembu elithile lezombusazwe. Kuleso sifundazwe amakomidi awazange asebenze ngendlela efanele futhi nje awaka ze abekhona. Namanje kunohulumeni weMetro ophethwe yiqembu elithile lawa makomidi abantu awekho kahle futhi awasebenzi ngendlela efanele. Kules i simo uyabona ukuthi laba bantu abayithandi intando yeningi, yinto abayenza nje uma bekhuluma kodwa uthole ukuthi isenzo sabo asifani nabakushoyo.

Ngaleyo ndlela-ke singuhulumeni kaKhongolose sithi yithi esikhokhelayo, singabaholi, yithi esikwaziyo ukuthi sibukele intando yeningi. Yithi esithi abantu yibona abayonquma bakwazi ukuthi senzenjani. Kuleli sonto elendlule nje isiGungu esikhulu sezwe sithathe isinqumo sokuthi samukele isincomo sokuthi kube khona isimo lapho siza khona nomgomo othi, angeke kube khona ilungu le komidi lewadi elizokhokhelwa imali ebibekelwe ukusiza ekutheni yenze izinsiza zikahulumeni engaphansi kwenkulungwane.

Lowo mgomo usathunyelwe ebantwini ukuthi bayowudingida. Siyethemba ukuthi uma ngabe kungena unyaka omusha kuhulumeni wasekhaya ngomhlaka 1 Julayi 2009, lo mthetho uzobe ukwazi ukusebenza ngendlela efanele, ukwenzela ukuthi amakomidi omphakathi abe yizinto ezisebenza ngendlela efanele. Sibukile nokuthi kuningi okufuneka kwenziwe kulo mkhakha, okunye kwakho ukuthi amakomidi amawadi awanawo amahhovisi. Amakomidi amawadi indlela asebenza ngayo isafuna ukuqiniswa, lokho-ke sizokubuka sikulungise. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[The MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Chairperson, President of the country, Deputy President, and colleagues, you will recall that when we look at the history of our country during apartheid up to the 1994 elections, the past governments, right from General Louis Botha, Verwoerd, Vorster, P W Botha to De Klerk were all just the same. The question therefore is: How? The similarity was that none of them listened to the majority of the people of this country.

They just went against the norms and they were right-wingers. These are the people who did not want to work with the people. But ever since the ANC took over the reigns of government in 1994 that has changed. The government then started listening to the people; a government that works with the people and listens to the people’s views. And this is the government that considers all structures, sections and strata at all levels. This is the government that does not delay in responding to the concerns raised by the public through their letters.

That way then, we have seen that this government has managed to form firm structures, ones with foundation, that are entrenched in programmes which are meant to make people part of democracy. Here I am talking about ward committees, the servants of the people known as community development workers, the CDWs. I am talking about the street committees, and I am saying these are the structures which are meant for the people of this country so as to be part of government.

That is therefore why we as the ANC say that this government is the government of the people. A government is the structure that is working with the people. We are therefore saying local government must also be firm in developing and improving the situation. And we feel that we need to form strong committees. Let us form strong ward, street and village committees. Let us ensure that councillors become activists and ensure that they work with the communities. In that way we need to strengthen everything we do.

What we can therefore say in response to what is happening in our country is that there was a particular province which was governed by a certain party. The committees in that province did not function in a proper way; in fact they did not exist. Yet again, there is a certain metropolitan council which is run by a certain political party where these committees actually do not exist and where they do, they do not function properly. That is the situation. One can see that these political parties do not like democracy, and where democracy is concerned, their talk is cheap, because they do not practise what they preach.

Therefore, as the ANC-led government, we are saying that it is we who are leading. We are the leaders. It is we who see to it that democracy prevails. We are saying it is the people who decide what they want us to do. Just last week Cabinet decided that we come up with legislation that stipulates that no ward committee member would be paid even as little as a thousand rand from the funds which were meant for service delivery.

That legislation has been forwarded to the public for scrutiny. We believe that in the new municipal financial year, on 1 July 2009, this legislation would come into effect to ensure that committees in the communities function properly. We have also noted that there is still much to be done at this level, as, for example, ward committees do not have offices, and that we need to strengthen the way ward committees function. We will then look at that and rectify it.]

The relationship between ward committees, ward councillors, community development workers, traditional headmen and headwomen needs to be strengthened.

A community development worker must know all the residents within his or her area in the neighbourhood. A CDW must be a crime reporter, a social grant application adviser, a voter education teacher, a government services adviser and so on. We believe that the record of the ANC in building organs of people’s power speaks for itself. This differentiates us from other parties which are not committed to building democracy in this country.

Let’s look at the record of the party called the UDM. Mr Bantu Holomisa, the general, in his history - unfortunately he is not here – has ruled only one municipality in this country. It was the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality. That municipality, in its history, was the capital city of the former Transkei homeland. It is a municipality that was the regional economic centre of the former Transkei; it is a municipality that was thriving - it was very strong. It was taken over by the UDM in 2000. Since the day it was taken over, it became dysfunctional. There were lots of problems in that municipality, so much so that the provincial government had to intervene and take over the running of it. Even today the legacies of UDM-rule still loom large in that municipality.

Clearly, he can’t sit in a glass house and throw stones at other people. He has demonstrated in his rule that they can’t rule. If they fail to lead one municipality, what about the country? What about the province? After that, they went to the elections, where they were wiped out in each and every ward because the people were tired of UDM rule.

Therefore, people must not speak as if they are running things. That municipality was run as if they were running a spaza shop. Of the other parties that are claiming to be exercising good governance, we are monitoring and checking what is happening, but I must tell you that the picture doesn’t look good. [Laughter.]

Where the ANC rules, it is able to speak candidly about the challenges it experiences. As I speak now, we are entering some municipalities where we are supporting provincial governments, where they are applying section 139. At the Mnquma Municipality in the Eastern Cape and at four other municipalities these measures are being contemplated. They’re the municipalities of Kou-Kamma, the Ukhahlamba District Municipality, the Amahlathi Municipality and the Mbashe Municipality. The ANC-led government came forward to say that we are experiencing challenges, we need help. It can’t be said of other parties that they did the same. However, in terms of our responsibilities and our tasks, we are able to move into those areas and we ensure that these issues are addressed.

The integrated development plans are our very important instruments for planning in this country, and we must ensure that no development project or investment programme is implemented if it is not in terms of the IDP. The IDP should be like the Bible to Christians, the Torah to Jews and the Koran to Muslims. It is the plan that should be used by all municipalities to guide their activities.

I call upon all government departments from all spheres in senior positions to participate in the development of IDPs as these IDPs will be credible. This call includes state-owned enterprises. People should be given the power to monitor and evaluate infrastructure projects and programmes and ensure that they have a say in the services delivered in their areas.

We maintain that before a service provider is paid a retainer fee, the people, through their organs, must be able to sign off the project. Whether you are building a school, a clinic, a road or any type of infrastructure, people must be able to say what they think of the quality of the project before the service provider gets the retainer fee. In that way the power will have been given to the people in a real sense. The people, then, will be able to monitor and evaluate what is delivered to them.

With regard to skills development, a lot has been done, a lot is being done and a lot is still going to be done. There is a lot of good will in the private sector out there. In the past three months the department has managed to crisscross the length and breadth of the country where people are willing and saying that they want to contribute more.

What is disturbing is that I have not seen political parties on my left coming forward to say they want to make a contribution, but here they are able to raise issues and speak. Where they live, they don’t make any contributions whatsoever in terms of taking local government to the next level.

In that way, we believe that together we will be able to ensure that we move forward. We will continue to strive for the national democratic society in which we all want to live. This society should be heaven on earth and not earth in heaven. We should completely build a different South Africa from that which we found prior to the 1994 breakthrough.

There is, currently, no party in South Africa which seeks to build a national democratic South Africa except the ANC. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Ms N R MOKOTO: Chairperson, hon President and Deputy President, hon Minister …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Hon member, I’m sorry to interrupt you. There is excessive excitement to my left. Could we please temper that?

Ms N R MOKOTO: That will be appreciated.

Prior to the democratisation of South Africa and during the 1990s youth development occurred in the context of political, social, cultural, economic and racial oppression. This situation contributed to the many current dilemmas young women and men now find themselves in.

The apartheid regime did not address the developmental needs of both young women and men as a specific category. These needs were, in particular, either ignored or not considered important. In short, government had no intention, if not the capacity, to devise focused and long-term youth policies or programmes to intervene on matters affecting young people. To date, we are still obliged to commend the nongovernmental sector for the instrumental role they played in paving the way for sustainable youth development.

After 1994, the ANC-led government recommitted itself to addressing specific needs for young women and men. The level of importance accorded to youth and the gradual institutionalisation of these matters into various government systems and structures resonated with the assertion made in the early 1980s by the former President of the ANC, Comrade O R Tambo, who strongly highlighted that a nation, a people, a country, a movement that does not respect its young does not deserve its future.

This epoch-making speech by our forebear continues to inspire many of us in the liberation movement, and it has been a strong guiding force for the government of the ANC in its endeavours to secure a meaningful life full of opportunities, hope and security for South Africa’s youth.

The establishment of the National Youth Development Agency now, like the creation of the National Youth Commission then, represents a major shift in the direction of youth development in South Africa, an unequalled feat in the life of our democracy.

It has further cemented the government’s way forward in addressing the needs of this sector. This could be assessed in the manner it dealt with issues of youth development, placing them high on the agenda for broader nation-building and transformation and, as a result of their seriousness, requiring a comprehensive response.

Parliament has also pronounced on the significance of youth development by actively promoting the development of South African youth. In that regard it has passed several enabling pieces of legislation to ensure that the challenge of youth development does not only remain a pipe dream, but that more emphasis is placed on government to deliver quality education, skills and training, housing, health care, jobs, and to reduce poverty and lack of information.

Melao e e latelang e leka ka bojotlhe go fitlhelela maitlhomo a puso go siamisa le go sireletsa ditshwanelo tsa batho ba ba welang mo karolwaneng e, ya dikarolo tse di tlhophilweng [targeted sectors] e leng bomme, digole, baša le bana … (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[The following pieces of legislation are the efforts of government in its attempt to redress and protect the rights of the people who fall in this category, which includes women, the disabled, youth and children …]

… namely the Employment Equity Act of 1998, the National Youth Commission Act of 1996, the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000, the Children’s Act of 2008 and the National Youth Development Agency Act of 2008. Within the various units in government there exist various policies, provisions and regulations whose main attempt is to attend to issues of target groups, of which youth is the core feature. These are the Constitution of South Africa, the White Paper on Local Government published in 1998, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the National Youth Development Policy Framework of 2002-07, the National Youth Commission Act of 1996 and the White Paper on National Higher Education.

We are aware that at provincial and national levels, the inclusion of youth development has not been a major obstacle. However, there has been a lot of difference in terms of the various approaches adopted by various provinces towards implementation of youth development. At times this points to the shortcomings in co-ordination and to the lack of clear mandates in different spheres of government. Youth development mandates are currently scattered, which often makes it difficult to co-ordinate and effectively assess their impact on youth. The question that still arises is how sustainable these programmes are to effectively address … dikgwetlho le mathata a a lebaganeng baša. [… the challenges and problems facing the youth.]

Whilst we understand that government has to play a major role in youth development, we cannot leave this responsibility to the youth or even government alone.

There is a strong call for increased effort and participation of the private sector in the overall programme of youth development as the private sector ultimately reaps the fruits and becomes the beneficiaries of this noble effort by government. This involvement can best be achieved at the level of implementation of learnerships, internships and various areas in which funding is required to make this programme a living reality.

As Parliament, we are very aware of the challenges facing young people, especially with learnership where private companies choose to engage in learnerships programmes for the wrong reasons, to get tax breaks and other reasons, especially government departments that choose to abuse the system by allocating inappropriate tasks to young graduates, resulting in their acquiring the wrong experience. We call on all perpetrators to backtrack in their bad behaviour because of the negative consequences for unsuspecting and vulnerable young minds. We call on stakeholders in government and the private sector to acquaint themselves with youth development matters before they start such programmes.

At the level of local government, we are aware that local government is strategically placed to deliver on youth policies and youth work. Whilst it shares many national and provincial roles as part of co-operative governance, local government’s importance matters because this is where the action is all the time. It therefore becomes imperative that local municipalities pay strict attention to and prioritise the implementation of the national youth development strategy within their communities.

We, as the ANC-led government, are convinced that it is only through local government that policies and programmes on youth development can be effectively and practically translated into reality. It therefore becomes a necessity for local government to fully translate and extend all programmes to localities for effective implementation.

In acknowledging that the participation of youth in the political, social and economic life of our country was key to strengthening and enhancing a culture of democracy, the ANC took resolutions at its 52nd national congress in Polokwane in 2007 that will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of young people in South Africa. In doing that, the ANC was very emphatic when it stated that more and urgent attention must be paid to the implementation of youth programmes and the monitoring thereof.

These congress resolutions came as a further call on government to intensify its programme to push back the frontiers of poverty experienced by youth in particular and society at large. Among these resolutions was the following: the establishment of the National Youth Development Agency that will ensure seamless integration, sustainability and responsiveness to the demands and aspirations of South African youth. This represents a long- held view within youth quarters that the impact of youth development can only be felt when it is sustainable, well-resourced, co-ordinated and comes from one centre.

In terms of implementing this National Youth Development Act and its strategy, the new government will have to ensure that it prioritises the setting up of the National Youth Development Agency. It will also have to ensure that the National Youth Development Agency remains at the centre of all youth development programmes. Furthermore, government must ensure that the agency is well-resourced financially …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Hon member, please start wrapping up.

Ms N R MOKOTO: At this juncture, the ANC is more than convinced that the youth in this country are impressed that the ANC is an organisation that takes them seriously. This was the case long before it came to power in

  1. With the high turnout of voter registration amongst young people, we are more than convinced that young people’s confidence has been boosted. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Ms M J J MATSOMELA: Chairperson, hon President, Deputy President, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, since the beginning of the democratic dispensation in South Africa in 1994, the postapartheid, ANC-led government has prioritised women’s empowerment.

In addition to the obligations imposed by the South African Constitution, the Southern African Development Community Declaration on Gender and Development, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action all call for gender balance and women’s participation in political and decision-making structures.

The government strategy that speaks to the economic empowerment of women is located in various government departments and forms part of a co-ordinated approach of the South Africa government. Central to this is the work of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labour.

The dti has developed the draft strategic framework on gender and women’s economic empowerment, which highlights six focus areas of enterprise development and these include the provision of business information, entrepreneurial education and training, financing, international trade development support, research and statistics on women’s entrepreneurship, and science and technology.

This department has made some strides in mainstreaming women in business by establishing such programmes as Technology for Women in Business and SA Women Entrepreneurs’ Network.

Current anchor programmes of the department include targeted financial schemes offered by Khula Finance, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Technology for Women in Business programme. As part of Asgisa and the 2006 gender strategy, the DTI is to launch a number of programmes, including a targeted women’s economic fund, a procurement directory for women entrepreneurs, skills training programmes for women though the empowerment programme and a retail facility for products produced by women.

Khula targets small, medium and micro enterprises by providing financial support. Ntsika, on the other hand, provides nonfinancial support like training, tender advice, training and business development programmes. The Khula Start-up Fund provides finance specifically to rural women.

The Department of Labour has played an important role in initiating legislation and providing an environment that is conducive to the development of women within both the public and private sectors. Four key pieces of labour legislation have been enacted since 1995, and I would like to specifically highlight the Skills Development Act.

The Act provides, inter alia, an incentive system to increase investment by firms in skills development and to ensure that funds are available for national skills priorities. This is of critical importance as it speaks directly to the need to increase the levels of women in industries that require specialised skills.

Various pieces of legislation that promote gender equality have been passed by the South African government since the fall of apartheid. These include legislation that deals with discrimination and equality, domestic violence, the reproductive health of women, women and education, women and access to land, as well as women and employment equity.

The Commission for Gender Equality on the other hand, which is an independent statutory body established under Chapter 9 of the Constitution, has a mandate to research, monitor and analyse the legislation passed by Parliament to ensure that it is gender sensitive.

Some of the achievements made by this commission include the gender barometer project that involves research relating to the maintenance and evaluation of the implementation of gender transformation in South African institutions, focusing on the public sector, and the development of an electronic system for regular monitoring and evaluation of gender transformation. The gender barometer helps to identify priorities for interventions to accelerate the eradication of gender inequality.

The Parliament of the Republic of South Africa is committed to public participation and debate, and has created within the Parliament arena the Women’s Parliament.

The Women’s Parliament is hosted during Women’s Month, August, in which the sacrifices of women struggling against apartheid are commemorated, and the crucial role that women still have to play in the reconstruction and development of the country is highlighted. The event draws together a gathering of women from civil society and Parliament across the national spectrum to share and reflect on their common and distinctive experiences, as well as to identify and debate silent matters which are affecting the status and quality of life of women.

This ANC-led government has moved to insert the proposed 50/50 draft Bill which seeks to achieve equal representation and participation by 2015. The main object of the draft Bill is to ensure the equal representation and participation of women in decision-making positions. The Bill also focuses on the important role that women have to play in effecting social justice and improving the lives of vulnerable disadvantaged persons, the majority of which are women.

The 50/50 draft Bill is, however, about more than just numbers; it is about women making a difference. Women and gender mainstreaming is not merely about getting and promoting women to high positions, but it is also about women bringing a powerful package to institutions and organisations that are unique and important to deepening transformation.

Society consists of people who are nurtured by women in families, which are the building blocks of society. Women are therefore the glue of the family, village, town, city, region, province and, of course, the country.

I agree with His Excellency the President, in his state of the nation address, when he said that as government we are proud that we have changed the demographic composition of the public sector though we have not yet met the target of parity that we had set ourselves. However, it is important to note that the representation of women in South African legislatures is high in comparison to world standards.

I must also say that South Africa has been an example in the sense that other countries, like the DRC, Burundi and Rwanda, have followed in our footsteps. At the executive level, women hold 43% of Cabinet posts, with Parliament standing at 30% of women Members of Parliament, whereas at the local government level women represent 40% of elected officials – and I am sure we will see an increase in these ratios after the coming elections.

The ANC-led government is indeed proud to say yes, South African women are benefiting from advances made in terms of their economic empowerment and indeed with the prospect of meaningful corrective action.

The major challenges, however, are to ensure effective budget allocations to strengthen mechanisms of enforcement and implementation, ensuring that women, especially those that are in the rural areas, are well informed so as to take advantage of the rights accorded to them in the legislation and able to access opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills and, finally, that patriotic South African women and strong men – I repeat strong men - take concerted action to translate these advances into reality. The ANC is the strongest women-centred political party, and patriotic women should influence their families and their neighbours to go out in huge numbers to make the right choice for an even better tomorrow, not only for women but for the whole of South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Chairperson, Mr President, Madam Deputy President and hon members, you have been listening to five speakers, all from the ANC, for the past 55 minutes, but at least you’ll have some variety now!

The President of the Republic delivered an address which has been characterised in many ways, but we in the UCDP are mindful that he’s merely holding the fort and should therefore not rock the boat unduly. We wish to place on record that the President, within a month in office, invited our party leadership for eyeball-to-eyeball deliberations on matters of national concern. This is unprecedented in the ANC’s 15 years in government. Mindful that this was his maiden and also valedictory state of the nation address, we say, “Hello, Mr President, and goodbye!” [Laughter.]

Ke kopilwe gore ke go leboge Motlotlegimogolo, gore fa go ka bo go sa diragala gore o se kokomale se se maratswana, go na le pelaelo ya gore puo ya ga lowe e kabo e sa utlwala mo Ntlong e. Bakgatla, Bakwena le Bataung ba re o ntse pulamadibogo. Le fa o ka se tswelele jaaka tlhogo ya naga, ba wetse matswalo. Ba ne ba lala ba letse ka Labotlhano, ba ikutlwa e le batho. A pula e go nele, Kgabo! (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[I have been asked to compliment you, Your Excellency, because there is no doubt that had you not assumed the highest Office in the land, our language would never have been heard in this House. The Bakgatla, the Bakwena and the Bataung clans say you are a trendsetter. Even if you do not continue as the President of the country, they are pleased. They felt very content on Friday. Be blessed, Kgabo!]

In the short space of time the President must have realised that people, even those who urged him on to take the poisoned chalice of head of state of the Republic of South Africa, can be fastidious. He has been accused of being too presidential, while, if he had behaved otherwise he would have been accused of being timid and insecure.

These people tend to forget that the President of the country is President of all of us and not just the party he comes from. Perhaps this calls again for the direct election of the President of the country.

The fight against corruption is almost hackneyed in this House. We know of whistleblowers who have paid the price with their lives when reporting corruption. The likes of Jimmy Mohlala, may his soul rest in peace, comes to mind. Folks such as Modise spent an inordinate period of time locked up because he dared to ask about money stuffed into a black plastic bag. With such incidents it will be difficult to win the battle against corruption. During the short tenure of this Presidency we saw heads of department being swapped as there were fears that they might scream too loudly.

While we look forward with great expectation to what will come out of the much talked-about successful mediation and negotiations by our country in Zimbabwe, the government has to explain to South Africans why the R300 million was sent before the conclusion of the deal and why it is benefiting members of Zanu-PF only. And this, Mr President, happened in spite of the unsolicited assurances by government and the Presidency that the money was meant to alleviate problems facing all people in that country regardless of political affiliation.

It is most unfortunate that the tenure of this Presidency will go down in the annals of the nation as the shortest to date and yet as the most controversial, taking into account the dismissal of the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the scrapping of the Scorpions. This has been a hot potato and the current Presidency was made to dish out the bitter pill. We know that this House has yet to deliberate on these matters.

The ascendance to the highest office in the land as a consequence of the unfortunate recall of the former President has not made it easier for the current incumbent despite his assertion that “our nation is in a good state”.

As we head for the general election, we look forward to peaceful electioneering and no political party should feel and place itself above all others – we are running the same race, though we come from different perspectives.

It is important that all parties observe clause 5 of the Electoral Code of Conduct, which states that:

Every registered party, and every candidate must liaise with other parties contesting an election and endeavour to ensure that they do not call a public meeting, march, demonstration, rally or any other political event at the same time and place as that called by another party contesting the election. If parties were to live up to this, with the ruling party leading the way, we would not have had the situations that played themselves out in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape; Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal and Gannalaagte, North West. In the words of the President, the robustness of our political engagement during this period of electoral contest should be dignified and peaceful and we expect the ruling party to lead by example.

When we from the opposition benches complain about poor service delivery in members’ statements and even point out where it is lacking a dismissive attitude is usually taken by the executive, but the Automobile Association has vindicated us by pointing out that the condition of roads in the country leaves much to be desired.

When we said there were problems around potable water we were disregarded, but now cholera holds sway and it has become clear that there has been very little co-ordination, or co-operation, if you like, among the affected departments. The Department of Health cries foul about the Departments of Water Affairs and Forestry and Provincial and Local Government.

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has to ensure that there is safe drinking water while Local Government has to provide water to the public and Health has to ensure that the nation is healthy.

We have to admit that before 1994 cholera was almost unheard of in this country, but in recent times we have had it in Delmas and Stilfontein, Orkney, and in the Eastern Cape, and of late it is threatening to spread across the whole country.

Finger-pointing and vilification of past governments have to stop and government should act in the present. Let us hope that the envisaged reconfiguration of government departments that we read so much about will address the needs of the people and not raise bureaucracy as people jockey to be appointed senior Ministers.

Ineptitude we should eschew if we mean to run the country well is that up to a month and two weeks after the release of the Grade 12 results there was still uncertainty about the results of some candidates, and investigations have had to be mounted and reports filed with the Minister. The morale of the affected young people should be raised and those officials who blew it should feel it, because they did not hear, therefore they need to feel.

Finally, the amalgamation of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission into one body, the National Youth Development Agency, does give credence to what we said as the opposition that there were problems within Umsobomvu because it was, according to us, unproductive and misplaced.

We hope that young people will henceforth be able to be accommodated and get more employment as soon as they qualify for it. We hope therefore that the new body will live up to expectations and serve the youth of this country. I thank you.

Business suspended at 12:32 and resumed at 14:02.

The MINISTER OF MINERALS AND ENERGY: Deputy Speaker, belated congratulations to you. Hon President of the Republic of South Africa, President Kgalema Motlanthe, hon Deputy President Ms Baleka Mbete and hon members of the House, we have a proud and rich history of struggle for freedom and inclusivity. We have every right to evoke it in our noble quest to champion a better life for all. Furthermore, it is an objective, documented and well researched history.

Frieda Bokwe Matthews, the first black girl to pass the Junior Certificate exams in South Africa, who later became one of the few black women to graduate as a teacher from the then College of Fort Hare, recalls in her simple and profound prose:

Well, do I remember the day my husband and sons, with us concurring, first mooted the idea of a congress of all the people of South Africa, regardless of colour or race or party politics, coming together to discuss the possibilities of a nonracial constitution, one which would recognise that South Africa is multiracial, that all its peoples have contributed to its development.

Gratefully, today we have a Constitution that is second to none in the world. We owe our forebears and unsung heroines of our struggle, such as Frieda Bokwe Matthews, gratitude for their vision and invaluable sacrifices. The prophetic and fascinating imagination of MaMatthews shines through in her memoirs entitled Remembrances. According to the introduction by Janet Hermans, she started writing this during a lonely and stressful period of her life, when both her husband, Z K Matthews, and her son Gaobakwe Joseph Matthews were detained during the Treason Trial in the late 1950s.

MaMatthews reminisces about her vision of a convention of the people that would chart a peaceful, prosperous, nonracial and democratic South Africa from the ruins of apartheid. She writes, and I quote:

The thousands would camp out and make it truly South African by using our wide open spaces. Where better than in Thaba Nchu? I put my views to the family and the girls thought them exciting. The menfolk had reservations. We were going too fast, they said. It was innocently conceived as that and yet there is no doubt that the Nationalists saw a deep-laid communist plot, inspired, I have no doubt, by communists in America and brought to South Africa by my husband.

Her mere mortal fault is that the congress of the people that she and others in the congress movement envisaged and conceptualised in 1953 eventually took place in Kliptown in 1955, but not in Thaba Nchu.

Thankfully, today we have the Freedom Charter as our immortal policy lodestar, which exhorts us all to uphold democracy. The Charter further proclaims: “The people shall share in the wealth of the country.” We dare not abandon the poor. They are most vulnerable, through no fault of theirs.

The current global financial crisis and the resultant economic meltdown pose a serious threat to the world economy, including ours, as we are a significant part of the world economy. Ours is the biggest economy on the continent of Africa and, moreover, South Africa is not an island insulated from the capricious vagaries of market forces. As a responsive and democratic government, sensitive to the plight of the private sector and businesses that remain the engine and drivers of our economy, together with our key stakeholders, our government has already stepped up to the plate.

The role of the state in the economy is no longer a matter for debate. However, the state is not going to parachute in solutions to a global crisis and a societal problem. In his state of the nation address, the hon President Kgalema Motlanthe made bold to say: … I am happy to report that in the interactions between the Presidency and leaders of various social partners, we agreed jointly to devise interventions that would minimise the impact of this crisis on our society.

The task team dealing with these matters is still hard at work.

The proactive measures outlined by our President in steering our economy through the turmoil and turbulence of these challenging times deserve our unqualified and all-round support. Clearly, our government is well-poised and ready to exercise leadership in these trying times.

As a responsive and democratic government steeped in the traditions of our forebears and alive to the frailties and vulnerabilities of the poor, our strategic intervention in mitigating the looming havoc and hardship portended by the global financial crisis cannot be questioned.

I am neither going to dwell much nor elaborate on the announcement made by the President, save to expatiate on the implications of the present crisis for the minerals and energy sectors of our economy and our government’s leadership in mobilising an inclusive and commensurate response thereto. I will be the first to concede that our response is neither definitive nor exhaustive, but rather work in progress. At the first whiff of the sudden implosion of the global financial crisis at the end of the third quarter of 2008, it became apparent that the ramifications thereof would be severe. Mining operations were in jeopardy as mining companies fell under financial distress, with resultant retrenchment of mineworkers. Government took the lead in instituting a task team comprised of the triumvirate of the Department of Minerals and Energy representing government, labour and the private sector represented by the Chamber of Mines.

The task team was entrusted with the responsibility to fashion an intervention to mitigate the severity of the crisis in the mining industry and to develop recommendations that will ensure optimal development of the mining industry after this crisis.

Our unwavering commitment as a democratic and responsive government, as clearly articulated in our policies, is not merely confined to promoting economic growth, but also extends to creating sustainable jobs to combat poverty and reduce inequalities in our society. Already, the task team released an interim report on the 18 December 2008, highlighting a number of consensual short-term recommendations intended to minimise job losses and propose alternatives to retrenchments in the mining sector, amongst many others.

Our mantra still remains freedom and inclusivity. It is crystal clear that the role of the state has to go beyond the regulatory function and extend to playing a strategic role in exercising leadership and facilitating a developmental trajectory for our economy. Our industrial development agenda demands no less, the latter being the topic I have to explore today. The foundation in terms of policy and legislation has been laid for us to pursue this industrial development programme.

It is worth mentioning that our macroeconomic policy priorities have evolved to the extent of placing the state at the centre of development. We are not apologetic about that, as evidenced by our massive public sector investment in the public infrastructure, expanded public works, larger and reformed social security system and many other things.

In advancing our industrial development agenda, the role of minerals beneficiation cannot be overlooked. Our strategy will not only advance the objectives of Asgisa, that is the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for SA, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, the Precious Metals Act and Diamonds Amendment Act, but they will also be in compliance with the Kyoto Protocol. The implementation of this strategy will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and contribute to economic growth.

Energy poverty is a reality to many of our people who are still trapped in poverty. We have to ensure that we accelerate this programme to the poorest. In any stimulus package that will come with us in South Africa, renewable energy will be key. But most importantly, the technology for renewable energy must be manufactured in South Africa. That would create the necessary industrial capacity that this economy needs, as Davos suggested.

In the light of the energy challenges that confront us, government has devised and put together a response plan that makes mandatory provision for incentives and support programmes that are aimed at increasing energy efficiency. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mna M M SWATHE: Motlatša-Sepikara, re le ba DA re leboga polelo ya Mopresidente ya go bula Palamente ngwageng wa 2009. Re leboga le go amogela diphetogo tša motheo tšeo temokrasi e di tlišitšego nageng ya Afrika-Borwa. Re amogela tšohle tše botse tšeo mmušo o di phethilego mo mengwageng ye lesometlhlano ya go feta. Le ge go le bjalo, re sa dutše re lla ka tšeo mmušo o paletšwego ke go di phetha.

Tšhelete ya setšhaba ya dipeakanyo e ya tšwa ngwaga-ka-ngwaga, efela ga e šome mošomo wa yona. Mmušo o paletšwe ke go fediša dintlwana tša boithomelo tša dipakete tšeo o tshepišitšego go di fediša ka ngwaga wa 2007. Go hlokega ga meetse a go hlweka dinageng-magae ke hlobaboroko. Setšhaba sa dinageng-magae se sa nwa meetse a dinoka le diphoofolo. Go phulega ga bolwetši bja kholera dinageng-magae go swana le Ga-Sekhukhune, Ga-Mapuru le Vhembe kua Musina ke hlobaboroko. Go ya ka dipego, go hlokofeše batho ba 55 ka kholera gomme go lwala ba 8971.

Ditsela magaeng ke mangope, ga di sepelege. Ga go ditirelo tšeo di abiwago dinageng-magae. Mananeo a mmušo a phuhlame, gomme setšhaba se tsietsing. Re lla ka baswa bao ba hlokago mešomo gomme ba feletše ba tsene bosenying le diokobatšing. Re lla ka bomenetša mmušong. Setšhaba se lla ka bodiidi le hlokego ya mešomo le ge mmušo o tshepišitše mananeo a go swana le Expanded Public Works Programme go fa batho mešomo. Yeo ke mešomo ya nakwana, gape e lefela megolo ya tlase. Barutwana ba lla ka go lefela dithuto dikolong tše phagamego gomme ba sa hwetše thušo.

Re le ba DA re lla ka tsela yeo mmušo o thwalago batho ka yona mešomong le go abiweng ga dithentara. Batho ba a thwalwa le go fiwa dithentara go ya ka go tsebega, setswalle le mekgatlo e sego go ya ka bokgoni le thuto. Re le ba DA re re batho ka moka a ba fiwe menyetla go mešomo le go dithentara go ya ka bokgoni, thuto le tsebo. Re re dibaka ga di bulelwe batho ka moka gomme go se be le kgethologanyo.

Re rata go bona Afrika-Borwa yeo e bulegilego, yeo e akaretšago batho bohle. Re rata go bona Afrika-Borwa yeo e fago batho tshepo le kholofelo go bokamoso. Re re mmušo ke wa batho bohle, re sa lebelele gore ke mokgatlo ofe wo o thopilego dikgetho. Re rata go bona Moporesidente a šomela batho bohle.

Re ka fenya taba ya hlokego ya bokgoni ge re ka šoma mmogo ra bulela batho bohle dibaka tša mešomo. Re le ba DA re rata go tšweletša Afrika-Borwa ya setšhaba se tee le ya bokamoso bjo bo swanago. Re rata go bona maatla a bušetšwa setšhabeng . Re re setšhaba se swanetše go fiwa maatla a go tšea dipheto tša motheo. Re re setšhaba se swanetše go hlomphiwa ka go phethelwa ditshepišo tšeo di dirilwego.

Re rata go bona le go tseba gore ke ka lebaka la eng seemo sa bophelo se theogela fase mola setšhaba se emetše kaonafalo ya seemo sa maphelo? Re rata go botšiša gore naa Mopresidente o tla kgona go phethagatša tšeo a di boletšego? Re rata go bona Afrika-Borwa e tšwelapele e tliša mananeo a tlhabologo e sego go bolela kudu ka tšeo di fetilego. Re ithutile ka diphošo tša go feta, bjale ke nako ya go bolela ka bokamoso.

Go tloga ka ngwaga wa 1994 go fihla ka ngwaga wa 2009, setšhaba sa Afrika- Borwa se sa hloka tekatekano. Setšhaba sa dinageng-magae se phela maemong a go hlobaetša. Ditšhaba tša Greater Groblersdal, Elias Motswaledi kua Tafelkop, Sterkfontein, Luckau, Mogaung le Ramogwerane di hloka meetse. Taba ya go tshwenya ke gore ba Kgoro ya Meetse le Dithokgwa le ba mmasepala ga ba dire selo. Ditšhaba tša Ga-Sekhukhune, Waterberg, Capricorn le Vhembe di phela gare ga bodiidi. [Tseno-ganong.] Ke a leboga. [Nako e fedile.] [Legoswi.] (Translation of Sepedi speech follows.)

[Mr M M SWATHE: Deputy Speaker, as the DA we are thankful for the 2009 state of the nation address. We are grateful for and also acknowledge the basic changes brought about by democracy in South Africa. We acknowledge all the good things the government has done over the past 15 years. Nonetheless, we are still not happy with those things the government could not do.

There are public funds allocated for each of the services, but they are not used for the work they are intended for. The government could not eradicate the bucket system by 2007, as promised. Lack of clean, running water in rural areas is a challenge. The communities in rural areas are still sharing water from the rivers with animals. The outbreak of cholera in rural areas like Ga-Sekhukhune, Ga-Mapuru and Vhembe in Musina is a challenge. According to reports, 55 people died from cholera and 8 971 are ill.

Roads in the rural areas are full of potholes and it is really difficult for one to drive on those roads. There is no service delivery in the rural areas. Government programmes have collapsed and the nation is in trouble. We are concerned about the unemployed youth who end up committing crimes and abusing drugs. We are concerned about crime in the government. The nation is concerned about poverty and the lack of employment although the government introduced programmes like the Expanded Public Works Programme to provide citizens with employment. Those are temporary jobs with meagre salaries. Students complain about paying tertiary education fees without getting assistance.

As the DA, we are concerned about the manner in which government employs citizens and the manner in which they award tenders. People are employed and awarded tenders on the basis of being popular, or having friendships and political party affiliations but not according to skill and education. As the DA, we say that people must be provided with job opportunities and awarded tenders according to capacity, education and knowledge. We say that opportunities must be created for everybody and there should not be segregation.

We want to see an open South Africa which is inclusive. We would like to see a South Africa which provides people with trust and hope for the future. We say the government belongs to all, regardless of the party that won the elections. We would like to see the President working for everyone.

If we can work together, we can create job opportunities and overcome the scarce skills challenge. As the DA, we would like to produce one South African nation with the same future. We would like to see power being brought back to the people. We say people must participate in decision- making. We say the nation should be shown respect by having access to those services which were promised to them.

We would like to know why living conditions are deteriorating, while the people are expecting a better life? We would like to ask whether the President would be able to deliver what he said he would? We would like to see South Africa progressing by bringing developmental programmes and not by dwelling on the past too much. We have learned from the mistakes we made in the past, so now is the time to debate about the future.

From 1994 to 2009 South Africans have not had access to equal opportunities. Our people in the rural areas are living in unfavourable conditions. People in the Greater Groblersdal, Elias Motswaledi in Tafelkop, Sterkfontein, Luckau, Mogaung and Ramogwerane areas do not have water. The problem is that the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and the municipality do nothing about this. People in Sekhukhune, Waterberg, Capricorn and Vhembe areas are living in abject poverty. [Interjections.] Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]]

Mnu A J NYAMBI: Make Somlomo, Mengameli welive, Make Sekela Mengameli, boNgcongcoshe labahloniphekile, neMalunga ePhalamende, ngime embi kwenu ngekutitfoba nangenhlonipho ngalelitfuba lengilitfolile lekukhuluma ngenkhulumo yaMengameli, njengoba siphikelele kuPhalamende yesine yentsandvo yelinyenti.

Make Sekela Somlomo, emva kwenkhulumo yesive leyetfulwe nguMengameli nangemuva kwekucocisana nebantfu ngemphelasontfo, kungente ngabona kutsi ingcikitsi yekucocisana nemphikiswano yaMengameli, bantfu labanyenti batfokotiswe yintfo yinye. Kumele ngikubeke kucace kutsi ekukhulumisaneni nasekuphikisaneni kwetfu namuhla, kumayelana nendzaba yekuphakelwa kwetinsita.

Nakubukwa inchubekela embili netinselele, singatsi kuyini kuphakelwa kwetinsita? Kuphakelwa kwetinsita kona ngekwako kufaka ekhatsi tintfo letimbili, lekungukutsi: Tinsita neluphakelo. Tinsita tisidzingo semmango lesentelwe kuphumelelisa sidzingo lesitsite, singetulu kwaloko lokudzingako kepha sisidzingo lesingenta imphilo ingachubekeli embili uma leso sidzingo singakafezeki. Kantsi–ke intfo loyifunako itsintsa kakhulu imiva nekutiphakamisa. Hulumende ukhona kutsi agcwalise tidzingo lebantfu nemmango bangeke bakhone kutigcwalisa ngekwabo. Kulapho–ke kungena khona luphakelo. Ematiko ahulumende anemsebenti wekugcwalisa leto tidzingo bantfu labangeke bafinyelele kuto nalengeke bakwati kuphila ngaphandle kwato. Kwehluleka kufeza lesidzingo semmango lesibaluleke kangaka, kusho kutsi, kwehlulekisa bantfu betfu; bantfu labasikhetsa. Ngako–ke akufanele sehluleke. (Translation of Siswati paragraphs follows.)

[Mr A J NYAMBI: Madam Speaker, President of the country, Madam Deputy President, hon Ministers and members of Parliament, I stand here before you with honour and humility for the opportunity afforded me to participate in the debate on the state of the nation address, as we are about to usher in our fourth democratic Parliament. Madam Deputy Speaker, after the state of the nation address, and after the weekend’s discussions with the people, I realised what is at the core of the discussions and the debate of the President, and that is that a lot of people are interested in one thing. I must put it clearly that at the centre of all the discussions, and even today’s debate, service delivery is the issue.

When we look at progress made and the challenges, what can we say is service delivery? Service delivery in itself includes two things, which are “service” and “delivery”. Service is a social requirement meant to fulfill a particular need, which is more than a felt need but a real need which can make a normal life come to a standstill if that need is not fulfilled. And also, a felt need touches your emotions and your pride. Government exists to fulfill the needs that people and communities cannot fulfill on their own. Government departments have the duty to fulfill the needs that people cannot fulfill on their own and which they cannot live without. Failure to fulfill this important social need means we fail our own people, people who voted us into power. Therefore, we dare not fail.]

It stands to reason that the President, in his state of the nation address, highlighted a number of issues when he said, and I quote:

In reality, a country that does not ensure the involvement of all its population at all levels of economic activity is certainly going to perform well below its actual potential. The issue of land and its wealth has been a question that has formed the cornerstone of the struggle for emancipation of the people of South Africa. The wars of resistance against colonialism and the struggle for South African freedom have been anchored around control for land. It is for this reason that the Freedom Charter acknowledged the importance of a resolution to the land question in the definition of South African freedom. It is no surprise that it became one of the hotly contested areas during the process of the Congress for a Democratic South Africa, Codesa. No wonder it had to appear in the Constitution the way it does.

The ANC has identified five priority areas for the next five years. One of these five is rural development, food security and land reform. The statement of 8 January 2009 clearly indicated that rural development and agrarian reform were integral to the struggle to create a better life for all. The rural situation in South Africa is still characterised by division. There are well-developed areas, but in some deep rural areas people, especially rural women, continue to live in conditions of poverty.

The declaration of the 52nd national conference of the ANC says:

Our work is far from complete. We are only at the beginning of a long journey to a truly united, democratic and prosperous society, based on the principles contained in the Freedom Charter. Yet we are confident that the strategy and policies we have adopted will take us further towards the goal of a better life for all.

At its 52nd national conference in Polokwane, the ANC deliberated about a whole range of issues. It was resolved that the ANC should strive to do the following, among other things: implement large-scale programmes to establish new smallholders and improve the productivity of existing small- scale and subsistence farmers; to integrate smallholders into formal value chains and link them with markets.

Further, it was resolved that there was a need to build dedicated state and private institutions that were accountable to the users for the effective and direct support to land reform beneficiaries in general, and smallholder agriculture and family farms in particular; including through financial support, research and extension, the provision of tools and equipment, and the facilitation of market access and co-operation.

The ANC through the 2009 election manifesto emphasised that land, agrarian reform, food security and rural development occupied a significant place in the economic transformation of South Africa. This is the same conviction that emerged through the 52nd national conference resolution. Indeed, President, the engagement with the people confirm your being correct in acknowledging that the land redistribution programme as well as postsettlement support could have been handled faster and better.

Despite significant progress made over the past 15 years, people living in rural areas continue to face the harshest conditions of poverty, lack of access to land and basic services. The ANC is committed to a comprehensive and clear rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform, to improving the conditions of farmworkers and farm dwellers, and to building the potential for sustainable livelihoods.

The ANC will adopt lot of things at the fourth democratic Parliament. To mention a few: intensify the land reform programme to ensure that more land is placed in the hands of the rural poor, and provide them with technical skills and financial resources to productively use the land to create sustainable livelihoods and decent work in rural areas; ensure a much stronger link between the land and agrarian reform programmes and water- resource allocation, and ensure that the best quality water reaches all people, especially the poor; work together with the farming community to improve the living conditions of farm dwellers, including the provision of subsidised houses and other basic services.

The state of the nation address, as presented by the President, is very encouraging and inspiring. It is inspiring because the account of the conclusion of the popular mandate is being done in an honest way that lays the foundation for the future. So, the fourth democratic Parliament will hit the ground running, with a well-oiled machine in making sure that a better life for all is achieved.

All this cannot and will never be one man’s job; this is something that can be achieved by people, hence to echo the theme of the ANC: “Working together, we can do more.” The ANC has made a direct and practical response to the United Nations-generated criteria on the right to development, as follows: the conditions of living for most people, and equality of access to resources.

Allow me to echo Prof Sangweni, the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, when he said:

Much more needs to be done, and the quality and speed of service delivery has to be accelerated. It is through such acceleration that the current government can consolidate its service delivery as it prepares to hand over the baton and usher in a new term of office.

In conclusion, allow me to refer to the Chinese credo, devised by James Yen in 1920, which guided the rural development movement. It says:

Go to the people live among them learn from them

Plan with the people -

… start with what they know build on what they have teach by showing learn by doing not a showcase but a pattern not odds and ends but a system …

not a piecemeal, but an integrated approach …

Not relief but release.

Thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, there are too many conversations going on in the House and I would like to appeal to all members to respect this House. If you need time to have a conversation, please arrange with your Whip to do so outside, but not in the House.

Mme L L MABE: Ke a leboga Mme Motlatsa-Mmusakgotla le maloko a Ntlo e kgolo eno. Moporesitente Kgalema, ke go lebogela puo ya gago e ntle go setšhaba sa rona. Ngwaga o o fetileng, ka yona kgwedi e, setšhaba sa rona se ne se etsaetsega, se sa itse gore bokamoso jwa sepolotiki jwa naga e, bo tla nna jang. Gompieno o totobaditse fa puso ya ANC e gata ka mosito mo tseleng ya go netefatsa gore ga re boele kwa Egepeta. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[Ms L L MABE: Madam Deputy Speaker and members of this colossal House, I would like to thank President Kgalema for his remarkable speech, the state of the nation address. During this month last year, our nation was confused, not knowing what the future of the politics of this country would be. Today you made it very clear that the ANC government still continues on its way to ensure that we do not return to Egypt.]

The focus of my speech will be on the role of development finance institutions in poverty eradication and job creation. These are the institutions that must act as drivers of economic development intended to make the majority of the people participate actively in the economy. Their focus must also be in creating more jobs and reducing poverty. Therefore these institutions must have a developmental agenda and not a neoliberal agenda as their guiding principle.

A neoliberal agenda views government as part of the problems in the economy and not the solution. According to the neoliberals the private sector must guide government in the direction it should take.

As the ANC we believe that the state must drive a developmental agenda that would liberate the majority of South Africans from economic hardships. Hence the state must use developmental finance institutions to drive economic development, to direct the private sector in the direction of liberating the majority who are poor, in this case to better livelihoods.

Although a lot has been achieved by this government, the income gap has widened post-1994 and more black people are getting poorer – a reality that the ANC government cannot ignore! It’s therefore vital for these institutions of development to lead investment in underdeveloped areas and guide private sector investment in those areas. The private sector is always risk averse and wants to invest where they have made profits in the past. That is why we need state intervention in underdeveloped areas, where the private sector does not want to venture.

Former President Thabo Mbeki said in June 2008:

The immediate reality is that all of us know that the poor are knocking at the gate. If this gate does not open, because we who have the key are otherwise involved, the masses will break down the gate.

Ke ka moo khonferense ya ANC kwa Polokwane e e ntseng pulamadibogo mo matshelong a batlhoki. [That is how the ANC’s Polokwane conference became a blessing in the lives of the poor.]

It was a turning point in our history and democracy, because “the masses” who are poor “opened the gate” for themselves.

Maaforika Borwa ga a tshwanela go kgobega marapo fa go tla mo go direleng malapa a bona. Se ke moano wa ANC o o reng: “ANC ya rona, ponelopele ya rona, bokamoso jwa rona!” [South Africans should not be despondent when it comes to providing for their families. This is the ANC’s slogan, which goes “our ANC, our vision, our future”.]

My ANC, my vision, my future! My colleague Prof Turok, in his book From the Freedom Charter to Polokwane: the Evolution of ANC Economic Policy says this about the Polokwane conference:

For the first time in Africa, change was introduced electorally - by the voting out of the top echelon of the ruling party - not by a coup, nor by assassination and neither by the substitution of that party by another party.

But by the masses. Together with these masses, the private sector and the developmental state, we can do more.

During the past 15 years government created many development finance institutions and agencies at national, provincial and local level in addition to the ones we inherited in 1994. These institutions do not have a common governance model. They have overlapping mandates and are not well co- ordinated towards a common developmental agenda.

Despite this situation the development finance institutions, DFIs, have assisted the formerly disadvantaged people of this country to have access to financial support and with the establishment of small and medium enterprises. But as the ANC, we believe that our lessons of the past fifteen years should guide us in the next five years and beyond to improve the lives of the majority of the poor.

Lumkile Mondi in his input at the Developmental State Seminar in 2007 said:

The DFIs have a crucial role in increasing investment rates, through lending where private sector institutions will not. We urge government to improve co-ordination of its agencies and DFIs towards a successful developmental state in this century.

At the October 2008 alliance summit the ANC election manifesto stated that over the next five years the DFIs must play a critical role in state-led industrial development and economic transformation, and we are not doubtful about this. A review of these institutions has already been done and they will have to be centrally co-ordinated to have a common mandate and approach.

They must lead investment in public infrastructure in underdeveloped areas and assist with the creation of jobs. The DFIs must play a major role in the endorsement of the Freedom Charter principle that “the people shall share the wealth of this country”, not that the few shall share the wealth. They must open the gates for the poor to participate in the economy. Together we can do more.

Re ka dira mmogo go le gontsintsi. [Working together, we can do a lot more.]

Yes, President, I fully agree with you:

Of critical importance is the question: What in fact should economic growth be about? Wealth is created in order to improve people’s quality of life.

But I further endorse, Comrade President, your statement that-

… the question whether growth is equitably shared should form a central pillar of all our economic considerations.

Our vision as the ANC over the next five years is not a populist agenda like some selected individuals always say, but a manifesto with a vision to address the issues of the masses who are knocking at the gate.

As the ANC, we are on the correct path, as stated in our strategy and tactics, that we must ensure that the benefits of growth are shared by all, that there will be a focus on creating decent jobs and ensuring an improvement in the quality of life of workers. We know that things will not be easy during this global economic crisis, which will automatically impact on our economy.

Fela ke ANC e le nosi, e e nang le leano la go dira gore moruo wa rona o se repetlane. [But it is only the ANC that has a plan to ensure that our economy does not slide into recession.]

We expect that transformation of development finance institutions and agencies will be speeded up, because our people are eager to participate in creating wealth in their economy. The alliance summit has agreed that these DFIs should focus on industrial development, agricultural development, housing development, SME finance, microfinance and targeted groups.

Therefore I want to conclude, Comrade President, by saying that development finance institutions should be central to the development of our economy to ensure that the majority who are poor will benefit. The wealth of this country must be shared by all who live in it. I thank you. Ke a leboga. [Thank you.] Dr P W A MULDER: Chairperson, hon President, for five years we, as 400 Members of Parliament, have debated with each other like this. My question is: Do we understand each other better after five years? Are the problems of the country fewer or more after five years?

In education, it is estimated that every year 1,1 million children start Grade 1. Last year only half of them wrote matric. What happened to the other half of these children?

When it comes to crime, only about 10% of all crimes committed in a year lead to a conviction. This means that 90% of all criminals walk free among us. Regarding the justice system, on average only six cases are completed monthly in every court in South Africa. Regional courts sit, on average, only three and a half hours daily. Are problems of the country after five years fewer or more? There are more problems. And I have not even mentioned service delivery, corruption, water pollution, Zimbabwe, cholera, etc.

Do we understand each other better after five years? I am not sure, and I don’t think so. The Mbeki years had high points but many low points. Some of the low points included the continued political attacks here on specific whites, attacks which blame the whites for all government’s mistakes, attacks which typified whites as disloyal, attacks which described whites as unpatriotic because they dared to differ from government.

What is important? What do whites hear when the ANC, in their newsletter and the state of the nation address, talks of accelerated implementation of affirmative action and black economic empowerment? They hear that for a long time still to come they will be discriminated against on the basis of their race - that is what they hear. They hear that their skills and contribution towards the development of this country are not needed.

I asked last year why South Africa was the economic giant of Africa. Is it because we have so many minerals? No. Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo have more minerals than South Africa. Are we the economic giant of Africa because we can produce oil from Sasol or from coal? No. Sasol’s little oil is a mere drop in the ocean in comparison with Nigeria’s huge amounts of oil. Are we the economic giant because we have such good agricultural circumstances in South Africa? No. All climate studies show that South Africa is a semidry desert country with few agricultural opportunities. Countries such as Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, with ample fertile land and consistent rainfall, have much better agricultural potential than South Africa. When it comes to Nigeria with its oil and Egypt with its tourism – are their economies not stronger than South Africa’s? No.

South Africa is economically twice as strong as Nigeria and nearly three times as strong as Egypt. South Africa’s economy is 80 times stronger than the average African country. In addition to that, we have the best roads, power and telephone networks in Africa. Nearly half of all tarred roads in Africa are found in South Africa.

If South Africa does not have the wealthiest minerals, the most oil or the best agricultural circumstances in Africa, why are we the economic giant in Africa? This is because over many years, blacks and whites have each made their own unique contribution to South Africa. In so doing, they developed South Africa. I am proud of this achievement and of the Afrikaners’ contribution to this. Whites did not do it all on their own, but neither did blacks.

Have you recently been to Dubai? The leaders of Dubai realise that oil will not forevermore bring wealth to the country. That is why they decided to make Dubai one of the best tourist destinations and investment markets in the world. They have built an indoor skiing slope in the Dubai desert, with fresh snow supplied daily. They have created a palm-tree-shaped artificial island to broaden the number of beachside properties for development. They have created water worlds and the world’s tallest building. Arabian leaders do not have the skills for all these developments, but they do have the money. They use Arabian money, European architects, Malaysian engineers, Indian workers and Chinese building contractors to develop Dubai.

In South Africa, the government is so caught up in political ideologies of affirmative action, black economic empowerment and all the restrictive labour legislation that it is impossible to copy Dubai. As a result of this, we are busy losing our position as the economic giant of Africa.

Let me give you one example. South African farmers have always produced so much food that we were a food-exporting country. Last year, due to the government’s land and agricultural policy, South Africa became a food- importing country for the first time, with nearly 20 000 commercial farmers that stopped farming because of these policies. Unlike Dubai, the government is forcing skilled people out of the country through its political statements. The Congo and other African countries are now recruiting these farmers.

Let me give you another example. A couple of years ago I told President Mbeki in this debate of a young Afrikaner who had completed his doctorate in clinical psychology and his community year in the Defence Force. When Minister Lekota asked that whites join the Defence Force, he applied to be appointed on a permanent basis in his position. His application was refused as it would have skewed the Defence Force’s affirmative action quotas. His post is, as far as I can establish, after several years still not filled. He had no choice but to look for work somewhere else.

In Britain, where he is currently working, they scooped him up. He is planning to return to South Africa and therefore wishes to participate in this year’s election. There is a voting poll in London at the embassy. But what message did the government send him? This government first sent him a message that they could do without his skills. Now the government is sending him a further message by fighting the court application – a message that they will do everything within their power to also take his right to vote away from him.

When prisoners fought for their right to vote, this government did not oppose it. Now that South Africans living overseas want to vote, the government is opposing it. What message does this send to all South Africans overseas? Against this injustice, the FF Plus will now fight in the Constitutional Court. I am happy to announce that the FF Plus this morning, in the Pretoria High Court, won their case about the right of overseas South African citizens to vote abroad.

Meneer, soos hierdie hofsaak bewys, is dit in Suid-Afrika se belang dat die ANC se 70% magspolitiek, magsmonopolie en arrogansie en die feit dat hulle dink hulle kan hul wil op almal afdwing, verminder moet word. Met hierdie verkiesing is dit moontlik. Verantwoordelike samewerking tussen opposisiepartye na die verkiesing kan voorkom dat die ANC in al nege provinsies regeer.

Die DA sit plakkate op met die slagspreuk “Stem om te wen”. Die DA voorspel dan dat hulle in hierdie verkiesing die ANC in sekere provinsies alleen kan wen en dat hulle die verkiesing van 2014 op hul eie kan wen. Dit is onsin en hulle weet dit. Geen opposisieparty gaan alleen kan wen nie. Sulke voorspellings ontnugter kiesers en maak hulle uiteindelik apaties as dit na die verkiesing as verkeerd bewys word. Wat wel waar is, is dat die samewerkingsmodel wat ons voorstel, waar elke party deelneem onder sy eie naam en maksimum steun kry, kan werk. Na die verkiesing werk sulke partye dan verantwoordelik saam sonder dat een party deur die ander ingesluk word. Dit kan wel werk. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Sir, as this court case proves, it is in the interest of South Africa that the ANC’s 70% power politics, power monopoly and arrogance and the fact that they think that they can bend everyone to their will, must be reduced. With this election, it is possible. Responsible co-operation between opposition parties after the election can prevent the ANC governing in all nine provinces.

The DA is putting up posters with the slogan “Vote to win”. The DA is predicting that they can single-handedly defeat the ANC in certain provinces and that they can win the 2014 election on their own. That is nonsense and they know that. No opposition party can win on their own.

Such predictions cause voters to become disillusioned and ultimately cause that they become apathetic if it is proven wrong after the election. What is true is that the model of co-operation that we are suggesting, in which each party participates under its own name and obtains maximum support, can work. After the election such parties can co-operate responsibly without the one party absorbing the other. That can work.]

I clearly remember the picture on television in 2004 when President Mbeki and Mr Zuma triumphantly announced the ANC’s 70% election victory. Their hands were interlaced and raised above their heads. Mr Lekota, as number three in the ANC, appeared on TV with them. No political commentator could have foreseen how the situation between these three top ANC leaders would change so drastically by 2009 - a mere five years later. If it could change so much in five years, how much can South Africa change politically in another five years? So, this is not a farewell speech. After the election, the FF Plus will be back with more members continuing this debate. Thank you.

Mr M V NGEMA: Chairperson, the hon President, the Deputy President, hon Members of Parliament, fellow beloved South Africans, on behalf of the President and members of Nadeco, I take this opportunity to address you with the pride of who we are, the people of South Africa, both as individuals and as a nation. I do so full of hope in who God in his grace, mercy and wisdom intended us to be as he mapped out our destiny in the future of this great country and among the nations of the world.

Nadeco thanks you, Mr President, for the courage you demonstrated and the confidence you showed when you accepted this unique opportunity to lead this great nation as we go through these turbulent times in our history, both as a nation and global community.

In your speech, Mr President, you focused your mind and attention on so many challenges facing us. [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, just a moment. Hon members, please can we just tone it down. The President is responding tomorrow; I am sure he wants to hear what we are saying. Please, you are not allowed to speak because the noise is too loud now. Can you please continue, hon member.

Mr M V NGEMA: Mr President, you were able to offer certain solutions to some of the problems, but unfortunately you are limited by the vision of your party, beyond which you dare not step outside without inviting Julius Malema, Nzimande or Vavi to blow their ever-ready whistles indicating your time of recall or redeployment. [Laughter.] You could not come up with the kind of change South Africa is waiting for at this particular time in our history operating in this set of circumstances.

Nadeco’s position is that the change we need in this country is one that focuses more on seeking quality for our homes, on more quality for our education system - quality that produces excellence in all aspects of our lives.

For 15 years this nation has been waiting for a better life for all. Our children and future generations are waiting for a new life that will define who we are, what we can do naturally or what we cannot do simply by virtue of who we are. Our future is calling for a life in which our schools lack for nothing, a life of fullness in our health system and security in our homes and communities. Surely, life like this has no poverty, no crime and is a life in which everyone contributes meaningfully and benefits from the economy.

In the famous words of the man who is the visible fulfilment of the dream Martin Luther King had, the current USA President: “Yes, we can” be a great nation.

We have had 15 years of majority rule in our country. Nadeco wishes to admonish the ANC in that it must stop speaking about the problems that our country faces as though they’ve just arrived, as though this is 1994. They must own up to the fact that the state they’re talking about – “The state should do this; the state should do that” – is the state that the ANC is running and has been running for 15 years.

Nadeco says we have made the rich richer, and we have made the poor of our land more impoverished. Members should understand that I am saying “we”, because through our votes we are responsible for the kind of life we are living. We have a compromised education system and a severely challenged health system. This has led you, Mr President, focusing the new government in the direction of increased social spending, which in the long run is unsustainable.

Nadeco appreciates that there is a task team to work out a stimulus package to protect our economy. We must guard against a stimulus package that will only assist the rich and leave the masses of our people in perpetual impoverishment.

Nadeco wants to see an economy whose growth translates into viable jobs for the majority of our people; an education system that produces highly skilled and marketable individuals; a health system that actively challenges and firmly deals with HIV and Aids and other diseases like cholera in order to contribute to a sustainable livelihood for all South Africans, without distinction between urban and rural communities.

The chasm between the rich and poor is growing at an unprecedented pace as the global economic meltdown bites the indigent at the bottom. The government should not focus on pleasing the select few while the poor majority grapples with bread-and-butter issues - literally so, as economic disparities are the order of the day. The rich cannot and should not benefit at the expense of the poor people of our country. More emphasis needs to be put on our ailing education, health and security systems.

Our failure to deal decisively with the issue of Zimbabwe has landed us in a health quagmire in that the cholera scourge in that country has spilled over into our country. This country went through a dark period when some of its people were treated like second-class citizens and not afforded equal rights.

As the people of Zimbabwe have continued to suffer, why has our government stood by and watched? It does not take a rocket scientist to see that quiet diplomacy has failed dismally. Drastic steps and action are needed to turn the situation around. I thank you. [Time expired.]

The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, Mr President, Deputy President and hon members, in the novel Hard Times, Charles Dickens wrote of a teacher who placed great emphasis on facts, who said:

Now what I want is facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Stick to facts, sir.

As we debate the state of the nation address today, it is imperative to note some facts about the ANC government’s record of service delivery, which is a guarantee for human dignity. This is a fact.

The people of South Africa have since witnessed that the ANC government has sought to create a better life for all the people through the delivery of basic and advanced services for all. One of the success stories of factual evidence of service delivery is in the area of comprehensive social security protection, which reflects the ANC government’s move to further advance our struggle for service delivery as marked in the words of former President Mandela in his first state of the nation address, when he said the following:

My government’s commitment to create a people-centred society of liberty binds us to the pursuit of the goals of freedom from want, freedom from hunger, freedom from deprivation, freedom from ignorance, freedom from suppression and freedom from fear.

These freedoms are fundamental to the guarantee of human dignity. They will therefore constitute part of the centrepiece of what this government will seek to achieve …

Since then, we have pursued the goal of freedom from poverty with accelerated speed. We have developed policies to promote human dignity. It is a fact that a decade and half ago the Parliament of South Africa adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme as the pre-eminent vision of the new and democratic South Africa.

At the time many considered our bold vision unattainable. They argued that our plans were unworkable, but 15 years later we have made substantial progress towards the attainment of these goals. It is a fact.

Fifteen years after those words of Nelson Mandela, we have created a social safety net for those in society who are in great need. Whereas in 1996 only 3 million people had access to social grants, today 12,5 million people receive social grants. In 1996 only 34 000 children had access to social grants, but today nearly 8 million children younger than 14 years receive social grants. It is a fact.

The 15-year Review conducted last year concluded that the lives of many poor people have been improved through well-targeted programmes broadening access to services and social grants. This is a fact.

There is overwhelming evidence that social grants reduce the poverty gap and promote desired social behaviour, like school attendance, improvement in nutrition and access to health care.

Hi ri ANC na tiko ra Afrika Dzonga hinkwaro hi lemuka leswaku ku hakeriwa ka timali ta tigrant a hi le makumu ya makungu ya hina ya ku lwisa vusweti. Ko va ntsena leswaku loko hi ri karhi hi tiyisa ikhonomi ku kota ku nyika vanhu mintirho hi na vutihlamuleri eka vutomi bya vanhu leswaku va kota ku hanya eka nkarhinyana loko ha ha yisa emahlweni leswaku mani na mani a titirhela, a tihlayisa na ku tikumela hinkwaswo.

Ku hakeriwa ka tigrant i ku pfuna ka nkarhinyana handle ka grant ya mudende leyi nga ya nkarhi wo leha hikuva loko yi kumiwa hiloko vanhu va kurile. Nkoka wa tigrant wu kurile ku tlula mpimo tanihilaha hi vonaka leswaku miti yo tala yi hanya hi yona mali ya tigrant hikwalaho ka vusiwana. Hikwalaho ke, hi amukelaka xiviko xa wena Nkul Presidente Motlanthe leswaku tigrant ta vana ti ta tlakusiwa ti katsa na vana va malembe ya 18. Naleswaku vavanuna va ta sungula ku kuma mali ya grant ya mudende va ri na malembe ya

  1. Ha khensa Presidente.

Leswi swi ta engetela nhlayo ya vanhu lava fikelelaka mudende yi tlakuka xikan’we na ku hunguta nhlayo ya vanhu lava hlaseriwaka hi vusiwana ku ri hava na xivhiko. Hi swi tiva kahle leswaku na loko hi vulavula hi ku vuyeriwa eka pfhumba ra swipfuno swo fana na tigrant va kona vakanganyisi. Valava va tirhisa tindlela to ka ti nga basanga ku fikelela swipfuno leswi. Van’wana va nghenisa na vukungundzwana endzeni. Hi karhi ku kokisana na vona hi ndlela ya tihanyi hikuva mfumo wa hina wa ANC a wu fambelani na vukungundzwana. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraphs follows.)

[As the ANC and the whole of South Africa, we realise that the payment of social grants is not the end of our fight against poverty. But this is to ensure that, while we are still busy strengthening our economy, we do not neglect our responsibility of ensuring a sustainable livelihood for the poor as we strive to provide them with jobs so that they can work and take care of themselves.

Social grants should be seen as a short-term remedy, with the exception of the old age grant which is, conversely, a long-term grant for senior citizens. These social grants are very important since we see that, owing to poverty, many households are dependent on them. We, therefore, welcome the report by hon President Motlanthe that the child support grant should be extended to cover children up to 18 years of age. We also welcome the report that men will qualify for their old age grant at the age of 60. Thank you, Mr President.

This will increase the number of people eligible for the old age grant and, on the contrary, decrease the number of people who are impoverished and defenceless. We are well aware that, even though these grants are of great benefit to the people, there are cheaters. These are the people who use underhand tactics to access these benefits. Some of them use corrupt methods to gain access. We are dealing with these people in the harshest manner because the ANC government does not associate itself with corruption.]

Since the dawn of our freedom, we have implemented programmes to address asset poverty. The immediate issue to be mentioned in this regard is the provision of housing. Through the housing programme, the ANC government has restored the dignity of homeless people and of those who had homes but no houses, with the provision of more than 2,6 million subsidised houses. Going forward we have allocated R12 billion, R15 billion and R17 billion for housing over the next three years respectively.

In addition, during this financial year to 2010, we have budgeted R120 million for the pilot Zanemvula project and R400 million for the N2 Gateway project.

Yin’wana ndlela yo lwisa vusweti byo pfumala switirhisiwa hi yi vonile loko mfumo wu vuyisela vun’wini bya misava eka vini va yona leyi a yi phangiwile hikwalaho ka maendlelo ya mfumo wa xihlawuhlawu. Namuntlha hi vona vantima va ka hina va tiba swifuva hikuva mfumo wa ANC wu endlile leswaku leswi swi nga swa vona a swi yiviwile hi mfumo wa apartheid [xihlawuhlawu] swi tlheriseriwa eka vona. Lexi xi tsakisaka eka matirhele ya ANC hi leswaku timhaka leti ta ku tlherisela misava eka vini va yona ti endliwa hi ndlela yaku rhula. Hi tirhisa nawu. A hi vutlelani.

Ha amukela leswaku hambiloko va nga yi kumanga hi tindlela to basa valungu lava va nga nyikiwa misava hi mfumo wa xihlawuhlawu va yi antswisile misava leyi. Va fanerile ku rilisiwa hi mali loko va fanela va lahlekeriwa hi vu’wini bya yona. Hikwalaho hi lemuka leswaku ANC yi tekela enhlokweni vanhu va Afrika Dzonga ku ringana. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraphs follows.)

[We have witnessed one way of fighting infrastructure shortage when the government restored landownership which was taken by the apartheid government to its rightful owners. Today, black people are proud because the ANC has returned what the apartheid government had stolen from them. What we like about this land restitution process is that the ANC is doing it in a peaceful manner. We follow the law. We do not just grab the land.

We accept that although the white people who were land beneficiaries of the apartheid government did not receive the land in a proper manner they developed it. They deserve to be compensated financially for the loss of ownership. As a result, we realise that the ANC recognises that all South Africans are equal.]

We have expanded access to basic services as part of comprehensive social protection. We have made an effort as the ANC government to provide basic services, like water and electricity, to all through the adoption of a rights-based approach to service delivery. We have also developed interventions for the indigent through policies to mitigate the effect of the cost of accessing basic services.

Hi ri karhi hi swi tiva leswaku ku yisa vukorhokeri bya vanhu eka vona swi pfa swi koxa mintsengo yo vonaka ya timali. Hi simekile mapfhumba yo pfuneta vaaki-tiko lava hlaseriweke swinene hi vusweti leswaku va swi kota ku fikela mphakelo wo fana na mati na gezi. I mhaka yaleyo. Lexi hi nga xi vulaka hi nga kanakani hileswaku ku humelela ka hina tanihi mfumo wa ANC ku va kona hi ku tirhisana na vaaki. Hi ri i tsima. Un’wana na u’nwana u na ya yena ndzima naswona un’wana na un’wana u na vutihlamuleri byo kwetsimisa xivandla xa yena.

Na ku suka kwala hi ya emahlweni leswi ndzima ya ha riki kona yo korhokela tiko hi vula tano hi ri ANC leswaku hi ku tirhisana a xi kona xi nga ta hi hlula. Hi rhamba van ’wamabindzu leswaku hi tirha kun’we. Ku nga si hundza n’hweti ya Khotavuxika hi ta susumeta tindzawulo ta mfumo leti kongomaneke na mgingiriko ya ku fambisa vukorhokeri bya vanhu leswaku va rhamba xivijo xa vukorhokeri bya tiko leswaku hi ta huma eka xona hi ri nyandza yin’we eka vukorhokeri bya tiko.

Leswi swi ta hunguta ku tirha hi ku kokelana na ku xavisana. Ku fana na maveriveri lawa hi pfaka hi hlangana na wona ya leswaku swiyenge swin’wana swa vukorhokeri laha tikweni swi xavisela vanhu vukorhokeri hi ndlela leyi nga riki na vutihlamuleri. Swi ri karhi swi thyakisa mavito ya vamasipala, ya tikhanselara na mfumo hinkwawo. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraphs follows.)

[We are aware of the fact that providing people with basic services costs considerable amounts of money. However, we are implementing projects which will help poverty-stricken households to gain access to water and electricity. That’s a fact.

We can say without a doubt that our success is as a result of our co- operation with the citizens. It’s a Letsema. Everyone has a role to play and a responsibility to brighten their corner.

Moving forward, the road to service delivery is still long and we say, as the ANC, that with co-operation nothing is impossible. We invite businesspeople to work in partnership with us. Before the end of June, we will push government departments which are responsible for social service delivery to call a national service delivery indaba which will inform the way forward for national service delivery.

This will reduce conflicts and the prospects of selling each other out. It will do away, for example, with the rumour which we sometimes come across, that some parts of the Public Service sector are selling services in an irresponsible manner. They are tarnishing the image of municipalities, councillors and the whole government.]

Of course, we need a developmental Public Service to provide a seamless process of providing services to the people in a propoor and prodevelopment manner. We have gone a long way to perfect our Public Service in terms of professionalism, capacity, work culture and accountability. More still remains to be done and this will be our priority for the next five years.

We need to have a Public Service that has the following features in order for us to accelerate service delivery: breaks new ground; inspires success; is able to raise the standard; is strategic for continued service delivery; is able to make a difference; takes collective responsibility and teamwork on board, and international activism.

It is a fact that the ANC’s comprehensive social protection policy has alleviated the plight of millions living in poverty. The ANC government will continue to expand the social security net in fulfilling our commitment to creating a better life for all.

Working together, we can do more. Each and every one in the Public Service and across civil society must brighten their corners through social partnerships to create a better life for all and to make South Africa a brighter place. Thank you. [Applause.]

Ms N C MFEKETO: Chairperson, hon President, Deputy President, hon members, distinguished guests, we are all aware by now that increased quantities of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, generated by human activities like the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, industrialisation, inefficient road transportation and intensive methods of agricultural production, are causing global temperatures to rise and to continue rising significantly.

There is now general agreement that the world is rapidly moving to a point at which rising temperatures will result in dramatic and irreversible climate-related impacts with severe effects on human society and on our natural environment. The highest temperatures in recorded history have been measured in the past decade, as have the most intense storms, the most destructive floods and the longest-lasting droughts.

These unusual and unpredictable weather events are the beginning of changes in climatic patterns which will affect human settlements, livelihoods and infrastructure, particularly in low-lying coastal areas. Poor communities, unfortunately, will bear the brunt of the eventual cost of climate change directly inverse to their contribution to this phenomenon of global warming.

Scientific research predicts that the African continent is likely to be one of the most seriously affected parts of the world while, in South Africa, the impacts of climate change are predicted to include reduced rainfall and increased droughts on the western side of the country. This will worsen the already scarce water supply and have a potentially devastating effect on agricultural production, on the survival of the Cape floral kingdom and on priceless biodiversity.

Climate change can, and most likely will, have an impact on our tourism industry and many new industries developing around the use of natural products, affecting as a result the employment and livelihood opportunities for the poor.

For many years the ANC has held the view that all citizens of South Africa, present and future, have a right to a safe and healthy environment, a departure from the apartheid policies where the vast majority of our people were located in areas with the most polluting industries and where they were unable to defend themselves against these harmful activities.

The ANC’s vision has sought to embrace a transformative environment based on the principles of sustainable development and the interconnection of environmental, social and economic justice.

Acting together with other progressive forces, the ANC ensured that environmental rights and the protection of the environment were firmly entrenched in our Constitution. This provides a powerful safeguard in shaping future economic and social development by stating that:

Everyone has the right –

 (a)    to an environment that is not harmful to their health or
     wellbeing ...

The National Environmental Management Act gives effect to exactly those environmental rights in the Constitution. It emphasises the need to ensure that environmental management places our people and their needs at the forefront.

The ANC-led government recognises climate change as a threat that imposes an enormous burden upon South Africa and Africa as a whole and has been playing a leading role in shaping global debates on environmental justice through, amongst other things, our participation in the Rio Earth Summit, followed by South Africa’s hosting of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.

At these historic forums this government has consistently championed a progressive response to the environmental dimensions of development challenges facing Africa and the countries of the south.

While the world has been debating unchecked carbon emissions and the threat posed by global warming, South Africa commanded widespread respect at one of the most complicated multilateral treaty negotiations of the 21st century, particularly as a bridge-builder between the north and the south in talks aimed at bringing developing nations, such as India, China and Brazil, on board and inducing them to reduce their carbon footprint.

It is critically important that this government - and future ANC-led governments - continues to provide leadership on climate change and environmental issues to ensure that matters concerning the environment continue to receive the prominence they deserve.

In this regard, Cabinet has, for example, approved an ambitious national climate change framework that will see the country stabilise its carbon emissions by 2020 and then gradually reduce them.

The framework is obviously motivated by climate-change concerns, but, very importantly, also by our energy access, energy security, and sustainable development and poverty eradication imperatives. Specific legislation has already been put in place in order to monitor and control air pollution. The penalties for this are already in existence.

The ANC government will support the meeting of the targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as part of its responsibility to protect the environment and promote sustainable development by, amongst other things, promoting energy efficiency, diversifying energy sources away from coal, allocating significant additional resources for research, exploring and developing carbon capture and storage methods. We will also be promoting affordable public transport, expanding rail logistics and reversing the apartheid spatial legacy.

This government realises that South Africa has huge untapped potential for renewable energy and that a shift towards exploiting those sources will reduce our emissions and hold substantial sustainable development benefits. We will therefore escalate our national efforts towards the realisation of a greater contribution to renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power and the hydroelectric potential of the SADC region as part of an ambitious renewable energy target.

This government is bringing together three areas into a coherent vision, namely technology, investment and policy. State-led regulation will play a key role in this, complemented by the right economic incentive and investment structure and by increasing long-term research.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, your time has expired.

Ms N C MFEKETO: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Mr President, perhaps our people would like to know more about how we monitor the implementation of the good legislation we have. [Applause.]

Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, our hon President of the Republic of South Africa, our Deputy President, the Speaker of the National Assembly, our hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers and our friends and colleagues, I kindly extend greetings and good wishes from the leader of the MF, Mr A Rajbansi, on this most auspicious occasion and period in South African history.

Hon President, the MF congratulates you on the wonderful manner in which you have performed your duties in high office in such a short time. Our country has proven that it has a stable foundation and we have survived the economic meltdown.

The MF will have an election media launch on various points of turnaround strategy on key issues such as the economy, crime, job creation, good governance, social welfare, poverty, growing democracy, the protection of existing jobs, and on seriously refocusing on education.

Key to this are the promotion of small, medium and micro enterprises and the informal sector and making South Africa the heartland of Africa, and the revival of industries such as the leather and garment industries, which took a heavy knock from the failure to protect our workers against the influx of foreign goods. We must not make the mistake the United States and Europe made, to let vacancies and unemployment rise, because we do not have South Africans skilled for the job market.

The MF is glad that you, Mr President, emphasised sport very strongly. In KwaZulu-Natal we are proud of the turnaround strategy in sport by MEC A Rajbansi, who has been named the best sport Minister in the whole country by the national Minister, Rev Dr M Stofile. The answer lies in the allocation of funds in that this government must not treat sport like a stepchild, as it does now.

A bold decision has to be taken about our nursery talent, talent identification and talent retention. KwaZulu-Natal is now flourishing in every sports code even in the rural heartland. We must allocate more money to sport.

Mr President, you might not be aware that the father of football in our country was the late Nkosi Albert Luthuli, who was posthumously given the Premier Sports Award. The MF leader worked with Nkosi Albert Luthuli from the age of 12 and even attended football matches in Currie’s Fountain with him.

It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be here responding to the last state of the nation address. It has been both a fruitful and eventful journey. I strongly agree with the hon President that our democracy has progressed, maybe not at the rate we would have appreciated in all centres, but it has.

Hon President, the state of the nation address pointed out a number of factors that we may be proud of and also to many that hinder our systems. I am pleased that the issue of corruption has been highlighted. We feel that in a democracy that inculcates transparency, the media has a pivotal role to play in exposing corruption and deterring its frequency. However, our greatest concerns are poverty and the shaky ground of the global economy. Certainly, this has had its repercussions on our many poverty-stricken families.

We strongly agree that we need to extend our market beyond mining and agriculture. The endeavours of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa need to be strengthened and opportunities need to be developed at a greater level for small and medium-sized enterprises, with a special look at empowering more women and those with physical disabilities.

In view of unemployment, the hon President has pointed out our good statistics on employment, but it is common knowledge that many of these jobs lack the security of long-term contracts and benefits. We need to look at legislation on contracts not being less than two years at a time, that has to utilise benefits, and that strengthens our economy and the South African lifestyle.

I am extremely pleased that we are not turning a blind eye to the fact that such inequality still exists and that many still live in poverty. Although we acknowledge that we have many policies, programmes and legislation, especially the national Constitution, that insists that the means are utilised to correct past inequalities, it is certain that the road to attaining this is difficult. However, a constant system of oversight and checks and balances needs to be intensified to achieve better results.

The levels of poverty have, however, been alleviated by the large number of persons benefiting from social grants. The MF, however, continues to plead that the pension be made at least R1 500 to enable our elderly people to survive the frightening inflation and cost of living.

Basic services, on the other hand, have been delivered and many more Africans now have access to electricity, potable water and adequate sanitation. However, Eskom’s continued hike in electricity charges is a great setback for South Africans. We are financially burdened. We certainly hope that the government will devise a form of relief in this regard.

The hon President has praised our health care system and indeed our hon Minister of Health is feverishly trying to deliver the best health care to our people. But the MF remains concerned about the reduction in the number of beds at many of our hospitals and the long wait in casualty wards at our state hospitals. We are also concerned about the cholera situation.

We have gained some control over awareness of HIV and Aids. We have the largest antiretroviral programme in the world, but look at the amount of children orphaned by this disease. I don’t think that we are ready to pat ourselves on the back yet. We desperately have to persevere at fighting HIV and Aids.

The MF expresses concern over education and the large dropout rate of students at secondary and tertiary levels. We need to investigate the reasons for this dropout rate. The MF insists that the department look at extending the nutritional programme to secondary schools and ensure that no- fee schools are accessible throughout the country.

We need to invest in educators to ensure that the quality of education does not suffer, as there is a great need to have all educators trained in dealing with children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as studies show that one in three children may be affected by it.

We are proud that housing has progressed in delivery, but we express much concern over the alarmingly slow rate of addressing issues of land redistribution. Thank you, Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Rre T G ANTHONY: Motlotlegi Modulasetulo, Moporesitente Kgalema Motlanthe, Motlatsamoporesitente Baleka Mbete, Ditona, Batlatsaditona, Maloko a Palamente a a tlotlegang, bomme le borre, ke motlotlo thata go bona sebaka sa go tsaya karolo mo ngangisanong eno go tswa go Puo ya Pulo ya Palamente e e diragetseng ka Labotlhano. Puo ya me e ikaegile thata ka dintlhakgolo tse di lebisitseng mo mametlelelong ya mokgatlho wa ANC, ka 2007, go tswa kwa khonferenseng ya kwa Polokwane.

Fa ke reetsa sentle dibui tsotlhe go tswa mo makokong a kganetso, go lebega mafoko a a tswang mo Puong ya Pulo ya Palamente e le mafoko a mantle ka gonne puo ya tsone e lemosa fa di dumalana le dintlha tse ANC e di bayang mo ntlong e.

Re le mokgatlho wa ANC re ithutile go le gontsi thata mo nakong e re nnileng le dikgaogo tsa maatla a motlakase go ralala naga ya Aforika Borwa, e bile re dumela gore dikgaogo tse di bakile maemo a go sa iketlang mo pusong le mo malapeng a baagi, mo ditheong tse difarologaneng, dikgwebo tse dipotlana le tse dikgolo. Dikgaogo di ikutlwaletswe segolo ke meepo ya rona gonne ikonomi ya rona e ikaegile thata go tswa mo meepong. Dingwe tsa dikgwebo di ne tsa tshwanelwa ke go tswalwa, le go bulwa moragonyana. Se se bakile kwelotlase ya dikuno, tatlhegelo ya lotseno go batho ba rona ba ba dikobo di magetleng, mme bogolo dikgwebo di latlhegetswe ke madi a le mantsi.

Re le mokgatlho re ntse re tsweletse go ela maemo tlhoko go thibela tatlhegelo e kgolo ya maatla a motlakase. Ke maikaelelo a mokgatlho wa ANC gore lelapa lengwe le lengwe mo nageng le bone phepelo ya maatla a motlakase o o phepa. Re ikaeletse go dirisa mekgwa e mentsi e e leng teng ya boitseanape go aga ditheo tse di farologaneng go tsamaisa maatla a motlakase mo nageng. Ga re tlhabiwe ke ditlhong go ema fa pele ga setšhaba re le mokgatlho wa ANC, go bega maikutlo a rona mo nakong eo re itemogetseng dikgaogo le ditatlhegelo tsa maatla a motlakase tseo di neng di sa solofelwa.

Re tla gakologelwa gore re ile ra gokagana le setšhaba ka molomo wa puso le setheo sa Eskom, e le go bega seo se bakileng bothata jwa maatla a motlakase mo nageng. Re kopile setšhaba go somarela le go tlhokomela tiriso ya motlakase mo nakong eo. Re tsweletse go gwetlha dingangisano mo ntlong e re leng mo go yona e ya Palamen te, magareng ga dikemedi tsa makoko a a farologaneng, e le go batla tharabololo ya kgwetlho e re lebaneng le yona. Tsela eno e re thusitse go nna le maitemogelo a go bona tharabololo ya tlhaelo ya motlakase mo nageng, mme re netefaletsa setšhaba gore re tsweletse go tlisa maemo a a kwa godimo a thebolo ya motlakase.

Mo dingwageng tse tlhano tse di latelang, maitlhomo a ANC a a mametleletsweng mo maikaelelong (manifesto) a rona, ke go netefatsa thebolo ya motlakase ka didiriswa tse di rebolang motlakase kwa ntle ga go koafatsa matshelo a setšhaba. Ke ka moo re gwetlhang setšhaba go dira mmogo le mokgatlho wa ANC e le go oketsa tse re di fitlheletseng mo dingwageng tse di fetileng. Fa re dira mmogo, re ka kgona, re ka dira go tlala diatla. (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)

[Mr T G ANTHONY: Hon Chairperson, President Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy President Baleka Mbete, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, I feel very honoured to take part in this debate on the state of the nation address that took place on Friday. My speech is based on the main issues relating to the ANC resolution arising from the conference in Polokwane in 2007.

I listened carefully to all speakers from the opposition parties, and it is clear that the state of the nation address was fairly good because their speeches focus on all the matters that the ANC has put forward in this House.

As the ANC, we have learnt a lot during the time when we were experiencing load shedding across South Africa, and we believe that this has caused instability in the government and in the homes of the people, various enterprises, as well as in small and big businesses. Load shedding has taken its toll on our mines because our economy is largely reliant on mining. Some of the businesses had to be closed, and opened only after a while. This has also caused the scaling down of products, loss of income by our people who are poverty-stricken, but it is mostly businesses that lost a lot of revenue.

As the ANC, we continue to keep an eye on the situation in order to prevent losing a great deal of the electricity supply. It is our objective as the ANC that every household in the country should have electricity. We intend using a lot of relevant expertise to build different institutions that will distribute electricity in the country. The ANC is very proud to stand before the nation, and make a pronouncement on our experience of the unexpected load shedding.

We also need to remember that we communicated with the nation through government and Eskom, and explained what caused load shedding in the country. At that time, we asked the people to save and be careful in their use of electricity. We have also called for debates amongst representatives of different political parties in this House in an effort to look for a solution to the challenge we are facing. This technique has helped us to gain experience in solving the problem of inadequate supply of electricity in the country, as well as reassuring the nation that we will continue to improve the electricity supply.

In the next five years, the mission and vision of the ANC, which has been included in our manifesto, will strive to ensure that the supply of electricity with the use of energy resources will not have negative repercussions in the lives of people. That is why we plead with the people to work together with the ANC so as to consolidate what we have already achieved in previous years. In working together, we can do more.]

I want to re-emphasise the capacity of the ANC, the people’s organisation, to govern this country as a national liberation movement which brings together all our people behind a common programme of transformation of society in advancing the principle of a developmental state. The ANC has earned this leadership capacity through decades of struggle, the superiority of its ideals and, policies, and through its practice of working together with various sectors of our society. Hence, we will continue to express our commitment to walking together with our fellow South Africans, to do more than we have done in the past five years.

Given our track record, we will continue to advance a transformative environmentalism based upon the idea of sustainable development, which is built upon the interconnection of environmental, social and economic justice. As a liberation movement, we have high respect for the Constitution of the country, and endeavour to abide by all its requirements.

The Constitution requires that government establishes a national energy policy to ensure that energy resources are adequately tapped and delivered to cater for the needs of the nation. Adequate production and distribution of energy should be sustainable and must lead to an improvement in the standard of life of citizens.

Due to the dangers of climate change and global warming, the ANC has argued that there is a need for South Africa to reduce its emission levels. This could be achieved through the use of renewable energy sources, as mentioned by the previous speaker. In this regard, we are aware of a huge untapped potential - this has been mentioned already - the potential of renewable energy. A shift towards renewable energy will reduce emissions, and holds substantial sustainable development benefits, including the development of sustainable livelihoods, small businesses and job creation opportunities.

As the ANC, we have committed ourselves to working within a set of parameters in that any sources of energy explored by the government should always ensure that people’s wellbeing and health are not compromised. As such, sources of energy for a developmental state must take into account issues related to ill health that could arise as a result of a particular choice of energy source.

We therefore call for the diversification of energy sources away from coal, as mentioned, including nuclear energy renewables, especially energy like solar and wind power. In addition, we need to ensure that significant resources are allocated to the development of clean and low-carbon technologies.

The aforementioned statement reflects our policy vision, which seeks to consider the hydroelectric potential of our neighbouring countries. We will take full advantage of the economic potential offered by renewable sources of energy. This will put us in a better position to advance an efficient economic drive, which should take due regard of the imperative to create jobs through the provision of incentives for investment in energy infrastructure as well as human resources to ensure that institutions and companies are ready to take advantage of renewable energy opportunities.

In order to achieve our intended objective, we will launch a green jobs campaign, alongside government programmes, to raise awareness about renewable energy sources as sources of sustainable energy for a developmental state.

In conclusion, the government, led by the ANC, will ensure that for the coming five years human capacity-building programmes are continued and strengthened, both at formal and informal levels. Our energy development policy seeks to support the development of training centres with the objective of enhancing human resource development and thus promoting socioeconomic development.

The ANC will advance its campaigns beyond limits in support of the launching of integrated energy centres that will bring technologies and energy services as well as information on the awareness of renewable energies closer to disadvantaged communities. Comrade President, together we will walk a long way, but we will address all these challenges. Walking together, we can do more. The ANC lives. The ANC leads. Long live the ANC! [Applause.]

Mr N T GODI: Thank you, Chairperson. Comrades and hon members, Comrade President, the APC congratulates you on your state of the nation address on 6 February 2009. We also would like to applaud you, the government and especially former President Thabo Mbeki as well as the Southern African Development Community for the efforts that facilitated the peaceful resolution of the political stalemate in Zimbabwe. We, however, remain dismayed as the world continues to approach the plight of the Palestinians without alacrity. Our government and people must remain firmly on the side of the oppressed Palestinians.

Whilst we recognise and appreciate that on issues you raised in your address, Comrade President, you were balanced, even-handed without being triumphalist, there are a few areas of concern. The highlights and lowlights outlined by the President as a review of the previous year did not align with the 24 Apex Priority Areas that were set as the main agenda at the beginning of 2008. Yet, when you took over as President, you pledged continuity and the acceleration of the implementation of existing programmes.

If reviews do not talk to a set agenda, they unfortunately suggest the lack of a bigger picture or a long-term set agenda. An example here is the promised eradication of the bucket system. This 2007 promise has not been fulfilled and is no longer spoken to.

Whereas we talk of rural economic development, it is a fact that this cannot be fully realised without the active participation of traditional leaders. The APC believes that the neglect and marginalisation of traditional leaders must be urgently addressed, especially the plight of the underclass of that institution: headmen and headwomen.

The APC believes that a separate Ministry for traditional affairs is necessary, that the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims should be revamped because for the almost five years of its existence it has not fulfilled its mandate. So far there is no finality on any of the 906 cases lodged with that commission and yet its mandate ends in October this year, 2009.

Comrade President, we believe that it is urgent that, as the case against government brought by some headmen and headwomen in Limpopo has been adjudicated, you confer with the provincial Premiers and the Moseneke commission to implement paragraphs 52 and 53 of that judgment, which is that the salaries of headmen and headwomen should be urgently determined in accordance with the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act of 1998.

The APC is also of the view that the taxi recapitalisation programme has been implemented without the full understanding and consideration of inputs of the affected constituencies. Whatever the rationale of the programme, its effects have been to push the poor out of the industry, saddle them with huge debts, heighten maintenance costs and exacerbate unemployment.

The APC is also dismayed that the 2010 World Cup Bus Rapid Transit system does not seek to utilise existing capacity in the industry, but rather to further marginalise the taxi industry. The APC advocates the development of a proper developmental strategy for the industry that seeks to protect existing jobs and enhance the role of the taxi industry in our economy.

The capacity constraint that was singled out by the President as a main contributing factor to the ineffective implementation of state policies arises in part because of the implementation of the deployment policy. This practice, which has led to delays in filling vacancies, has depleted operational and managerial capacity within the state.

The APC advocates the policy of a government of all talents, that is recognition that the development of our country is the responsibility of all patriots, that we should eschew sectarianism in public administration.

The APC believes that a government of all the talents will bring about agility in government. An agile government is a government that is always prepared, constantly scanning and researching its environment for opportunities and threats. It is aware of its weaknesses and thrives on pitting its strengths against the environment. We believe this is antithetical to the status quo.

The outbreak of cholera, especially in Bushbuckridge, needs an urgent and prompt response from government. The President did not allay the fears of the people and did not present a solution that will quickly eradicate and stop the spread of cholera.

The President did not address the shambles that characterised the announcement of the matric results. The issue of outstanding results, especially in Mpumalanga, is outrageous, unacceptable and intolerable.

The APC had expected you, Comrade President, to have given strong leadership in condemning the shameful acts of political violence in the recent past. A strong message needed to go out that it is unacceptable to harass, harm or kill in order for your party to have seats in Parliament. As the APC we believe politics is a competition of ideas.

Finally, as the APC, we hope that the core of the electoral contestation will be issues, policies and not personalities, money or the usual slyness of bourgeois politics. We are confident that beyond these elections the APC will play an ever-increasing role in consolidating and advancing our democracy for the benefit of all our people. The struggle continues. Thank you.

Ms T V TOBIAS: Hon Chairperson, His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Africa, Madam Deputy President, hon members, you can’t call the developmental state a bourgeois state, hon Godi. It cannot be. It’s totally impossible. This government has moved from a capitalistic state before apartheid to a state that cares for the needs of ordinary people.

As we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the ANC Youth League and the 30th anniversary of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, we bow our heads to the heroines and heroes of our struggle and abide by the principles of the Freedom Charter, particularly that “The people shall govern.” The ANC has always implemented the Freedom Charter to the point that its government will continue to implement the clauses that are dictated to us by the charter, particularly the clause that goes: “There shall be work and security.”

We inherited a legacy of jobs and skills reservation from the apartheid state, hence the challenge of high unemployment and limited skills in especially the high-occupation sectors, such as engineering, architecture and so forth. That system produced policemen and policewomen and soldiers to shoot at liberation fighters, nurses to attend to their wounds, and teachers to teach them domestic science and gardening. That is why this market is saturated.

One might ask oneself what is a decent job in the context of a sustainable livelihood. This phenomenon sparks debate in different sectors of society and some will interpret it differently, depending on which sector they come from. My own interpretation of decent work within the context of the economic meltdown and how this is affecting South Africa - it is my considered view - is that there is a thin line between the massification of jobs to address poverty, high unemployment and the creation of decent jobs with a labour force that has skills limitations and growing the economy to address the latter. And, as these are competing needs in a country with a capitalist economic history that was not growing until the ANC took over government and as there is the current challenge of globalisation, decent jobs mean that people should be able to put a decent plate of food on the table, to school their children and have a roof above their heads and still manage to save for a rainy day. One asks oneself whether this will not take longer having gone through so many years of hardship during apartheid.

Sustainable livelihoods also relate to both urban and rural development and, as much as the state needs to intervene in the job market to maintain the latter, people, equally, need to have creative ways of self-sustenance as part of the contract entered into by the ANC government and South African people that translates into “Together we can do more.”

The President of the ANC, at the 8 January 2009 rally, and the election manifesto relate adequately to the creation of decent jobs. The President said:

The rural areas remain divided. There are well-developed commercial farming areas and impoverished former homelands and other deep rural areas. Land and agrarian reforms have not produced all the desired results.

The developmental state has created jobs through many departments, but I will focus on the role of the Department of Public Works in creating jobs under the year in review. Hon Swathe, I think this will be of interest to you. Government has identified the Expanded Public Works Programme as a flagship for job creation, poverty alleviation and service delivery. Would it be true and fair to claim that the ANC government has failed whereas the targets that were set were achieved before the target dates?


Ms T V TOBIAS: We promised one million jobs by 2014 and we delivered one million jobs before 2014. The question should be whether this is enough or not, and this I will demonstrate when I state further facts. There are people who are allergic to figures, and figures are, in my own opinion, scientific proof that we have indeed delivered on our mandate, whilst acknowledging that we still need to do more because the scourge of apartheid left deep scars in our society.

An additional budget of R4,1 billion has been allocated for furthering the EPWP programme. These are facts and people can check the Estimates of National Expenditure to quantify this. This allocation will create long- term jobs and more projects will be unleashed to allow women and youth to participate in eradicating the economic exclusion these sectors have experienced over time. Part of the infrastructural programmes that will be implemented are the building of dams, the eradication of mud schools and ensuring energy efficiency.

There are also other state institutions that have a responsibility to create jobs, for example state-owned enterprises and the development finance institutions. The state-owned enterprises are supposed to be self- sustainable and deliver on the public mandate, which two are competing interests, and a balance needs to be struck; new skills and technology are needed. This means that an ageing institution will shed its old skills base and allow a new generation of workers who will be more knowledgeable and have more energy to work.

The government should, at all costs, avoid privatising institutions merely to increase revenue, and rather have a balance, with BEEs as financial inclusion. For instance, Eskom still needs to deliver a chunk of electricity in the rural areas.

As part of service delivery, Denel should improve its technological intellectual property rights and do more research and development to appeal to both local and international markets and be competitive and capture the imagination of this clientele and prove that not only France, Germany, Russia and others are the sole producers of military hardware.

The development finance institutions should also be tasked with the responsibility of looking at agrarian reform to ensure that rural development is placed high on our agenda to minimise rural migration and restore skills that our people have obtained over time in order to prepare them to be SMMEs that participate in the export outputs of the country. One of the tools that government needs to utilise is the Expropriation Bill. The Expropriation Bill must also have its day in Parliament in order to empower our people to have access to land, to be merchants in the agricultural markets and to also ensure that all are equal before the law and all benefit from the proceeds of our economy.

People also exonerate the private sector from participating in creating decent jobs and sustainable livelihoods, whereas these institutions are maximising profit at the expense of the poor and don’t receive as much attention as government. Therefore, the media must concentrate on the role of the private sector.

The newly established National Youth Development Agency will address the limitations that were presented by the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission respectively. It will help young people, a very vulnerable, but patient sector that has registered in high numbers for the elections, to expel the notion that they are apathetic. We should also encourage small enterprises owned by youth to ensure democratisation of the country.

Given all the circumstances mentioned above, it was reported last year that commodity prices were volatile and that only the ANC-led government could negotiate the reduction of food and oil prices. Is that not delivery? Well, it depends where you stand on this matter. Only the ANC government could have ensured that our financial institutions were protected from relying too much on foreign banks, hence the economic crisis has not affected us that much because we assessed the risk and played it safe.

Much as people exaggerate corruption in governance, it has also been reported that South Africa received 15 “A” rankings for public financial management out of a total of 28 indicators, which is said to be the highest the world over. We need to give ourselves applause. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Dr J T DELPORT: Voorsitter, agb President, ek is baie bevoorreg om ’n laaste toespraak in die politieke arena in hierdie binnekring te hou. Baie dankie vir die voorreg om hier te kon lewe in dié arena vir 22 jaar.

Ek was bevoorreg om hier te kon sit toe president F W de Klerk sy belangrike toespraak 19 jaar gelede hier gemaak het en ek was bevoorreg om aktief te kon deelneem aan die onderhandelinge om ’n nuwe Suid-Afrika tot stand te bring. Ek het dit gedoen in die oortuiging, soos mnr De Klerk, dat ons nooit ’n toekoms langer sou kon bou op beginsels wat nie moreel regverdigbaar en nie moreel verdedigbaar is nie. Dit was ons uitgangspunt.

Ek kon deelneem oor al die jare in terme van wat ek is – ’n plaasseun, ’n Afrikanerseun van Kirkwood in die Oos-Kaap – en ek kon wees wat ek is onder die leierskap van mnr De Klerk, iemand wat nie vandag die eer kry wat hom toekom nie. Maar so ook, onder my volgende leier, Tony Leon, en nou onder my leier, Helen Zille. Baie dankie dat ek vandag kan sê ek gaan uit die politieke arena uit. Ek het baie opponente en ons het harde debatte gevoer, maar ek het nie vyande nie, nie in enige party iewers in hierdie Huis nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Dr J T DELPORT: Chairperson, hon President, I am very privileged to have the honour of making a last speech in the political arena, in this inner circle. Thank you for the privilege to have been able to live here, in this arena, for 22 years.

I was privileged to have sat here when president F W de Klerk delivered his important speech 19 years ago and I was privileged to have been actively part of the negotiations to bring about the birth of a new South Africa. I did that with the conviction, like Mr De Klerk, that we could no longer build a future based on principles that were not morally justifiable and not morally defensible. That was our point of departure.

I could participate throughout all these years in terms of who I am – a farm boy, an Afrikaner boy from Kirkwood in the Eastern Cape – and I could be what I am, under the leadership of Mr De Klerk, someone who does not receive the honour that he deserves today. But so too, I could be what I am under the next leader, Tony Leon, and now under my present leader, Helen Zille. Thank you that I can announce today that I shall be leaving the political arena. I have had many adversaries and we have had many heated debates, but I do not have enemies, not in any party anywhere in this House.]

There is a well-known story of a man who built a house. However, when the storms came, the house collapsed and it collapsed because its foundation was built on sand. Please accept my observations here today as an honest attempt to direct your attention, the attention of your government, to serious cracks in our House, which are indicative of defects in the very fabric of our nation.

I’m merely going to underline some of it: Our ability to curb violence and crime is declining; our educational system, as you have said, President, just does not work; the criminal legal system, as Deputy Minister Johnny de Lange has said, is dysfunctional; the policy of BEE does not work, says Mr Matthews Phosa; we are still faced with an electricity crisis lurking in our future; we are on the brink of a water contamination crisis; our roads network is degenerating; local municipalities are failing, even collapsing; the SADF is just a shadow of what it used to be; health care facilities are declining; public administration is in a shocking state.

Mr President, 15 years have gone by since the Mandela government took office, or, correction: Fifteen years have gone by since the struggle claimed victory; since the ANC achieved its first goal and that was to partake in its rightful share of the wealth and all activities of South Africa - understandably and correctly so.

The struggle wanted its share of what there was to be shared. It was not primarily concerned with the opportunity to create and to produce and unfortunately this has now developed into a culture of entitlement, a culture in which, for many, self-interest and self-gain have become a legitimate objective. This has permeated our policies, our appointments and our whole society. So the moral foundation of our new South Africa has once again become flawed. There is simply no right to get rich, nor is there a right to use corrupt means to become rich. The time has come to find a new morality in a culture that strives to build, to improve and to produce and not to gain, to amass and to consume if we accept that the task and duty of government and government leaders and officials is about giving and not about getting. As we once had to move away from the indefensible apartheid morality, we need once again to turn away from the indefensible entitlement morality.

During the negotiations friendships were formed across party lines. Among those that I hold dear, as a friend, is the President of the ANC, Mr Jacob Zuma – as a friend, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. As a friend, I ask of him today to consider standing back as President until the court cases are behind us. Set the tone, Jacob, for a new morality for a South Africa that really can become a shining city on the hill.

Ek gaan afsluit met ’n boodskap aan my eie mense, en wat ’n lekker geveggie het ons nie ’n tyd gelede gehad oor die gebruik van “my mense” nie? Ons is verneder en verguis oor apartheid. Ek was die eerste lid van die De Klerk- regering wat om verskoning gevra het vir dit wat apartheid aan mense gedoen het. Dit was in Junie 1990 in ’n debat by die Setlaarsmonument, ’n debat met wyle Oom Ray Mhlaba. Ek het verskoning gevra, want dit was nodig, net soos dit nodig is dat die Britte verskoning behoort te vra vir die dood van 27 000 vroue en kinders in die konsentrasiekampe; dat die Amerikaners verskoning moet vra aan die wêreld vir slawerny en diskriminasie; dat Afrikavolke verskoning moet vra vir menseslagtings en selfs volksmoorde, soos so baie ander om verskoning moet vra.

Ek en my mense is steeds Afrikaners in ons diepste wese. Suid-Afrika is ons vaderland en Suid-Afrika het my mense nodig - hulle kundigheid, hulle innerlike krag en hulle bydrae. Ek vra vir my mense, leef saam met alles wat goed en mooi is in jou verlede. Hou vas aan jou vaderland, dit bly jou vaderland. Hou vas aan jou taak, jou kultuur, dit is jou erfenis. Belowe tog, vra ek vandag en sê: Vaderland, ons sal die adel van jou naam met eer dra, waar en trou as Afrikaners, kinders van Suid-Afrika. Dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[I shall conclude with a message to my own people, and what a lovely “scrap” we had a while ago over the use of “my people”? We were humiliated and vilified over apartheid. I was the first member of the De Klerk government to publicly apologise for the all the ills apartheid had caused people. This happened in June 1990 in a debate at the Settler’s Monument, a debate with the late Oom Ray Mhlaba. I apologised to him because it was necessary, just as it is necessary that the British should apologise for the deaths in the concentration camps of 27 000 women and children; that the Americans should apologise to the world for slavery and discrimination; that African countries should apologise for mass killings and even genocide, as so many others should apologise.

My people and I remain Afrikaners to the core. South Africa is our fatherland and South Africa needs my people - their skills, their inner strength and their contribution. I appeal to my people, to accept all things good and beautiful from your past. Hold on to your fatherland, it remains your fatherland. Hold on to your task, your culture, it is your legacy. Just promise, this I ask of you today and say: Fatherland, we shall honour your noble name, true and loyal Afrikaners that we are, children of South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]]

Mr B M KOMPHELA: Chairperson, hon President, hon Deputy President, hon members and comrades, it is a great honour for me to take part in this debate on the reply of the President to the state of the nation address. We do so, cognisant of the imperative outlined by the President in his words: “Informing these, our endeavours, are two basic principles: the need for us to complete the mandate accorded this government … that comes in after the election” and “finds a ready platform to implement its programmes without undue delays”.

We have no doubt, of course, that the new government will be the ANC government. We are going to occupy more seats on this side. [Applause.] We should also acknowledge our success in various competitions, which include the Commonwealth Games in India, in which South Africa came fourth out of 71, and at the Zone 6 Games in Tlokwe, Potchefstroom, South Africa topped the medals table and remained on top. These developments are encouraging for the future of sports stars and the future of South African sport.

We would like to take this opportunity to outline recent developments in school sport. This time, Minister of Education, last year school sport was in disarray, but I can proudly stand tall here today – I am short – and say that this year school sport is well-organised. Both the Department of Education and the Department of Sport and Recreation have produced a calendar of school sport this year, something that all of us welcome. [Applause.]

In this regard, we support the call from the hon Minister of Sport and Recreation for schools to return to Wednesday afternoon being dedicated to physical education and school sporting activities. Also, we will raise these issues with our counterpart colleagues in the Portfolio Committee on Education so that we do vigilant monitoring of the execution of these noble goals for the betterment of the future of our children.

In December 2007, the ANC, at its 52nd national conference, decided that the current municipal infrastructure grant had really not done the good job it was intended to do. This decision was taken in a conference 14 months down the line, and up to today the issue of the grant between the two departments has not been resolved. We are raising this matter because as soon as people invade a piece of land this money is diverted to create roads and give people water and the focus is taken away from setting up the basic facilities for sport for our children. We think that, as far as this matter is concerned, the ANC has taken the correct decision in saying that this should go back to Sport and Recreation, so that they can implement this programme.

During the four-year period starting in 2001-02, when Sport and Recreation received the funds for the “Building for Sport and Recreation” programme, we built 363 basic sports facilities. But with the advent of the municipal infrastructure grant, from 2004 to mid-2008, only 45 facilities were built by the grant and we have lost 318 of basic facilities. I think this is a great loss.

Where we have failed we need to be bold enough to admit that and address the situation. This was done at conference level and it needs to be implemented. It would not do justice to our mandate if we did not raise the issue of transformation in sport and recreation. The lack of facilities in our peri-urban areas and rural areas definitely retards our ability to transform sport. It is clear that our progress in school sports will be retarded if there are insufficient basic sports facilities in close proximity to people, where children can easily access them.

We welcome the new housing strategy, Comrade Minister of Housing, Breaking New Ground. This is because whilst houses were being built in our communities, they were not taking into consideration the play facilities for children. Maybe Breaking New Ground is going to be the answer when it comes to basic facilities for our communities.

This presents another challenge to the incoming government and further demonstrates the failure of the municipal infrastructure grant. It is sad that schools do not allow local communities to use school sports facilities where they exist and where the schools have such facilities in our different communities. We have said much about this over the years and we hope that the federations will use their funding significantly to transform sports and open them up to other children.

The National Lottery is a point we have discussed in our conference as the ANC. It has also been disappointing in terms of the ability to allocate and disburse funds that are allocated for sports through the lottery. The Ministry has indicated its intention to work with the Minister of Trade and Industry to amend section 25 of the lotteries Act, and we support that. This has been said for a long time. It has not happened. We are pleading for this amendment to be made so that sport is accorded a better cut of the lottery fund.

The process of distributing funds would then be aligned with the responsibilities, and the Minister of Sport and Recreation and the Ministries would have a direct effect on the oversight of those funds. We have spent too much time in sport over the years in creating our own fiefdoms and avoiding the need to transform. This is reinforced by the lottery system, as it currently exists, and it is feeding another department. With this, we are in a very bad state of disjuncture.

We need to enforce accountability, but we cannot do so when funding and the system are under the jurisdiction of another department. This has to change early in the term of the incoming government. The Doubting Thomases and critics of the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa would do the Macbeth witches proud. They are a constant source of gloom and negative predictions. They see very small hurdles as insurmountable obstacles. Indeed, as you listen to them, it is astonishing that South Africa got the bid at all.

Fifa’s bid committee, world-wise people who have seen everything and have the experience and reputation, comprises experts who saw fit to award South Africa the 2010 Soccer World Cup, but the prophets of doom think it was a mistake to give it to the African continent.

Fifa has invested US$200 million in this country. We doubt that at this time of global financial crisis that any organisation would disburse such an amount casually without necessarily taking this into consideration. If we were to be persuaded by the critics, then we would need to forget that this is a nation of four Nobel Prize winners and that one of them is our own Nelson Mandela. We should not forget that we created the technology and we had the courage to dig the … The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A C Nel): Hon member, you are deep into injury time.

Mr B M KOMPHELA: Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Business suspended at 16:05 and resumed at 16:23.

Debate interrupted.

Mr W J SEREMANE: Chairperson, your Excellency President Kgalema Motlanthe, hon members, distinguished guests, if there are any, and fellow compatriots, as they say: “Good wine needs no bush” – and I don’t mean George. I run the risk of repeating the beautiful things said and the gracious wisdom that has been displayed in this House today.

Ka Setswana ke tla re, ba ntseetse mafoko ka dipuo tse dintle tse di agang setšhaba; kagiso, tolamo le botho, e seng ditshelenyana tse di sa reng sepe. Mogolo o a tle a re fa o leka go mo sotla: “ga o nthee magogorwana ke wena.” Ka isiXhosa ba bo ba peteketsa ba re: “Akunamkhuluwa uyinyoka” (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.) [I would say, wise words have been said on peace and humanity – thus I do not have to repeat that. When you try and tease an elderly person, he would say “you don’t really mean that, you coward!” In isiXhosa it is said: “Can’t you show your elder brother respect?”] Let me first thank my colleagues, Sandra Botha, Tony Leon and many in this House who have integrity in sharing the sentiments expressed.

It is not my wish to condescend and sink to the paltry level of responding to vexatious diatribe or myopic sectarian slander that is misunderstood as legitimate political banter. I wish, also sincerely, to thank our senior statesman and elder, hon Dr M G Buthelezi, for his courageous wisdom in these times, when puerile charlatans who espouse ubuntu-botho but insult their parents and great grandparents; one wonders where ubuntu has gone. Anyway … molaya kgosi o a mo itaela. [… what you put in is what you get out.]

These people have been taught to be vulgar and abusive from the political cradle and so nurtured. It was Dostoevsky, in his book House of Death, who said:

Whoever has experienced the power, the unrestrained ability to humiliate another human being automatically loses power over his own sensations. Tyranny is a habit, it has its own organic life, it develops finally into a disease. The habit can kill and coarsen the very best of man or woman to the level of a beast. Blood and power intoxicate … and the return to human dignity, to repentance and regeneration become almost impossible.

Any government or society should avoid divisive posturing in exercising its mandated power.

Mr President, at the threshold of your entry into this House, I stood next to you, as the only contestant, for a profound visionary reason, if not the imperative duty to nurture the vision of a new democratic society and order: Like you, it was not out of malice or unbridled ambition, but merely as a signal to our people that in a democracy all can contest – to open up society to open opportunities. The office that you hold is neither the divine right nor God-ordained monopoly of any one party, race, gender or socio-political status.

You and I, Your Excellency, come from a background that teaches one this fundamental stabilising wisdom: Se nkganang se nthola morwalo. [You may not like it, but it is for your own good.]

Take victory with humility and defeat with grace. We have a nation to build and serve here, more than we should be served.

In your address, Mr President, a large part of your delivery reminded one of the wise Mario Cabral and his colleagues when they spoke of what was happening in their times and country, and that is, they did not let themselves fall into ingenuous euphoria, nor did they lose their humility.

Our glorious struggle history tends to lull us into false complacency and self-congratulatory mode, driving us to rest firmly on our laurels. Words - empty rhetoric – will not feed the hungry nor uplift the poor, nor even raise the dead.

With that in mind, let me give credit where credit is due, as all good democrats are prepared to do. We take pride and give accolades to the South Africa-Mali efforts in collecting and preserving the ancient Timbuktu Manuscripts. This should jog this African giant out of lethargy and continental entitlement.

This should spur us to the realisation that indeed the African continent is so richly endowed and therefore should not allow itself to wallow in abject poverty, wanton suicidal conflict and despotic, authoritarian rule. Let unadulterated democracy reign supreme right across Africa.

Should peace, stability and prosperity be so mercurially elusive for the African continent which we are part of? That is the great question to answer. Introspection and self-examination should not be obliterated by spurious labels of Afropessimism.

To go forward, you need to pause, look behind and move on, taking other steps forward. For how long must this sad liturgy go on?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A C Nel): Order, hon member! You are in injury time.

Mr W J SEREMANE: Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr H P MALULEKA: Chairperson, hon President, Madam Deputy President, hon Ministers, hon members, fellow South Africans, the bedrock of the liberation struggle, the one factor that cuts across all endeavours, was the arts and cultural activities that inspired and kept the spirit of the people, and cadres of the liberation movement, high. This had to be so because those activities represented deep resistance, and a rejection of colonial and apartheid attempts to abuse and exploit our identities and the things we valued, our heritage.

Hope and resilience were fuelled by arts and culture. We rejected the view that what was indigenous was useless and inferior, and that we could not, as a people, enjoy and benefit from our artistic and cultural activities like the rest of humanity. We refused to be mechanically divorced from the rest of humanity - our values had similar universal validity as those of others.

The work of government, Parliament and the judiciary has laid the foundation for further work still to be done to promote, protect and preserve our artistic and cultural heritage. The example you gave of the handover of the Timbuktu Mali project, is an African heritage project with significance so high that, its impact will be huge beyond measure.

The impact of arts and culture is more in the realm of the intangible and spiritual. We cannot speak of reconstruction and development without this sector. In its own right, this sector perhaps requires more attention than we have given it to date.

In the last five years we took the significant step of dedicating a department to this sector to give it focused attention. The productive relations and exchanges with our neighbours and others further afield, including through bilateral and multilateral contact, is another important step we have taken to grow our artistic and cultural endeavours.

Our campaign, calling for stolen arts and cultural entities to be returned to the countries of origin on the continent, is highly significant as well. It fits well with, working with, progressive forces on the continent and elsewhere to build a better world. We in the ANC believe the incoming government should promote decent remuneration of arts and cultural workers. The public sector must be exemplary in this, as must be its investment.

The priorities identified, such as decent work, health, education, rural development and combating crime, easily lend themselves to the employ of arts and culture to transform and improve the quality of life of our people in those areas. An inclusive, participatory government recognises the value of involving art and culture workers right from the beginning to the end of every process.

We must simultaneously put pressure on the private sector to do more than it is doing and collaborate with it to build more creatively.

We draw the above from the Freedom Charter, which says that “the doors of learning and culture shall be opened to all”, which you referred to when you said that everyone has a right to speak the language of their choice.

Kuns en kultuur is noodsaaklik om ons nasionale transformasie-agenda te verwesenlik. Dit kan gedoen word deur die bevordering van multi- kulturalisme, veeltaligheid, vryheid van spraak en assosiasie; deur die bou van sosiale samehorigheid en samewerking rondom kwessies soos nasionale identiteit en patriotisme, wat ons andersins sou verdeel het; deur die verandering en herstel van ons geografiese landskap deur naamveranderings; deur die dekolonisering van ons Afrika-erfenis en identiteit; en deur die bekragtiging van ons Afrika-waardestelsel en die filosofie van medemenslikheid, ubuntu-botho. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Arts and culture is essential to realise our national agenda for transformation. This can be done by promoting multiculturalism, multilingualism, freedom of expression and association; by building social cohesion and co-operation with regard to issues, such as national identity and patriotism, that would otherwise have divided us; by the changing and restoration of our geographical landscape with name changes; by the decolonisation of our African heritage and identity; and through the affirmation of our African value system and the philosophy of common humanity, ubuntu-botho.]

In a sense, we seek, through arts and culture, to undo the damage colonialism and apartheid visited largely upon Africans in particular and upon Blacks in general, and to restore and rebuild our society on a more progressive, inclusive trajectory.

Our continuing reintegration with the global community must be on a positive, equal basis and not on the assumption that we swallow - holus- bolus - others’ cultural mores because they are economically dominant. In this regard, the public broadcaster and the community media - both electronic and print - are critical vehicles for achieving our objectives. Subsidising them appropriately, as resolved in Polokwane, is key. Without this public support, these public media become hostage to commercial, tabloid interests, which erode their public mandate.

Perhaps the fourth Parliament must be asked, at one of its first major assemblies, to invite arts and culture workers from across our country to come and speak to the people’s Parliament so as to inform its work over the next five years. This work must then be followed in the provinces and municipalities in order to harness the power and creativity of arts and culture workers to help drive the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the new mandate.

The ANC is clear that the arts and culture sector is indeed the backbone of our national transformation agenda. It needs nothing less than our undivided focus, funds and other resources. A lot of good work has been done since 1994. The foundation is right, the moment is here. Working together, we can do more. I thank you. [Applause.]]

Dr S E M PHEKO: Chairperson, Mr President, Madam Deputy President, in these turbulent economic times the desperate, the dispossessed, the damned and the disinherited are seeking relief. Sadly, 15 years after the liberation struggle in our country, we are becoming a Muvhango nation, a country whose economy is growing, but which already has the second-widest poverty gap in the world between the rich minority and the poor majority.

I don’t have the luxury of time. Let me simply say that education is the most powerful weapon for nation-building. It simultaneously improves the individual’s chances of success in life, effective service in the nation and self-reliance. The world is becoming a tough, competitive global village. Those who have knowledge will get all the riches and comforts in this village. Those without knowledge in this global village will collect only crumbs. Education must be free for the poor. The few schools that have been declared no-fee schools are not the same thing as free education.

It is technological-economic power that determines the places of nations in the world. Our education must be tailored to the needs of our country, and this education must be of a high quality and diversified. The present system of education is too academic and contributes to unemployment and poverty. Five hundred thousand jobs have been reported, but there are no skilled people to fill them.

We must take education more seriously. Perhaps the billions of rands that are spent on the nine provincial parliaments must be invested in an education that skills this nation in all fields of knowledge and gives it the technological capacity to process our raw materials and export them as finished goods. We are throwing away our riches by exporting our raw materials unprocessed, and buying them back as finished goods from Europe and America.

Our ancestors had no university degrees, but they wisely identified land as the most fundamental national asset for their nationhood and as the source of their wealth and development. Poverty in this nation will not go away for the African majority until we do the right thing: identify land as the fundamental asset, learn how to use it and care for it, especially in these days of climate change and threatening food insecurity.

Section 25(7) of the Constitution is merely the entrenchment of the Native Land Act of 1913 in disguise. This Act unjustly allocated less land to the African majority and almost the whole country to the minority.

Billions of rands have been spent on land restitution, but millions of our people remain landless and economically oppressed because this restitution route is a fallacy. It is a suicidal capitulation on the land question. This is complicated by the fact that our land is being sold to foreigners at an alarming rate. There must be a law prohibiting the sale of land to foreigners. Millions of our people do not even have a decent place to sleep. This includes millions of workers.

The continued unjust distribution of land and its resources is a violation of basic rights. Food, homes, clothes, gold, fish, medicines are not in the air. Land is the primary natural resource required to satisfy the basic needs of men, women and children. Even in death we need land for our graves.

The United Nations declared apartheid a crime against humanity. It is the conundrum of conundrums that more victims of apartheid were imprisoned than the number of perpetrators of the crime pardoned by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Mr P W Botha refused to appear before the TRC. He was not imprisoned and was offered a state funeral when he died. All Azanian People’s Liberation Army members, and others who fought the apartheid crime, must be released. A crime against humanity applies to them.

Those who boast that they will rule this country until Jesus comes back, and who call our judges “counter-revolutionaries”, speak the language of fascists. They have not studied eschatology carefully. Power is like lightning. It is very dangerous when handled with pomposity.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon Pheko, your time has expired.

Dr S E M PHEKO: Izwe lethu! [Our country!]

Mrs W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN: Hon Chairperson, hon President, hon Deputy President and hon members, the ANC cares. The ANC is a caring organisation. I thank the hon President for his speech on Friday, 6 February, because he put greater emphasis on children, youth and people with disabilities. That’s because the ANC cares.

In the 2004 election manifesto, former President Thabo Mbeki wrote in his letter “Message from the President” that:

Having united the overwhelming majority of South Africans in struggle, the possibility was created in 1994 for us to work together practically to construct a society that cares.

Democracy and equality before the law were entrenched in our Constitution. Women, workers, youth, professionals, people with disabilities, traditional leaders, religious communities, businesspeople and rural communities all have the right to utilise the opportunities that have come with freedom.

The former President, Thabo Mbeki, spoke about the first 10 years of freedom as 10 years of growing unity in action, 10 years of peace and stability, 10 years of increasingly making resources in the hands of the state available to uplifting disadvantaged South Africans and 10 years of expanding opportunities to building a better life for all.

Nonracialism, nonsexism and programmes to prevent other forms of discrimination are central to our values and our practical actions. But, yes, the ANC has always been and still is an organisation that truly cares. Yes, 2008 became the year of mass mobilisation to build a caring society.

In January 2008, Comrade Jacob Zuma, our President of the ANC, said that the ANC would continue to draw on its expertise as we together steer the movement forward in the fight against poverty, unemployment and bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. The people will share in the wealth of the country. By that we say that the number of employed people has increased every year. This, and the extension of social security and basic infrastructure, and the distribution of assets to the poor have led to a significant reduction in the level of severe poverty and to improvement in the quality of life of millions of our people.

The ANC government has taken on the task of tackling poverty and unemployment. While many families have access to social grants and other poverty-alleviation programmes, many homes and communities still remain trapped in poverty and are dependent on the state. More than 12 million people now receive social grants, out of which 8,1 million are children.

However, the rate in income increases for the poor has not matched that of the better off. So, income inequality has increased. The ANC is determined to enhance efforts to improve the conditions of children and youth in poverty, which is why, arising out of our Polokwane resolutions, the ANC government will work on ways to extend child support grants to the age of 18.

In the ANC’s 2009 election manifesto, which many have said to be pro-poor, it is stated that the ANC will build cohesive and sustainable communities and that there shall be houses, security and comfort for all. The ANC will continue to protect and strengthen the gains we have made during the past 15 years. Through our programmes on housing, social security, sport and recreation, we aim to continue building a better life for all.

Housing is not just about building houses. It is about transforming our cities and towns and building cohesive, sustainable and caring communities with closer access to work and social amenities.

Our social security system, such as the provision of social grants, is aimed at empowering our people actively to take part in the social and economic life of our country. In addition, ANC policies will continue to promote the role of interfaith organisations in promoting cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.

As mentioned in the ANC manifesto, in the next five years the ANC plans to extend the provision of the child support grant from the age of 15 to 18. This will be implemented in a phased manner and will be linked to compulsory schooling requirements. Legislative measures will be taken to ensure that we realise this requirement, work towards a bold expansion of unemployment insurance and introduce social security systems to provide for guaranteed requirements, disability and survivor benefits while streamlining the road accident occupational injuries and unemployment benefits.

The ANC government will consult closely with trade unions on any changes to the pension system. It will also establish a consensus on our future social security system to make it comprehensive and inclusive. We will also increase access to secure and decent housing for all through government’s newly adopted housing programme, including the continued conversion of hostels into family housing units, as well as ensure that all qualifying military veterans will receive subsidised housing.

Hon President, as the chairperson of the Joint Monitoring Committee on Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Children, Youth and Disabled Persons, I must inform you that the Office on the Rights of the Child, the National Youth Commission and the Office on the Status of Disabled People all report to this committee. All three sectors have indicated with grave concern that there are very few focal points at the provincial level and at local municipalities or that there is a lack or disability desks in some of our government departments.

We join our President in saying that we are disappointed with the low target rate of 0,2% of disabled people employed in the public sector. As the hon President mentioned, if the rate is so low in the public sector, how much lower is it in the private sector?

In the State of the Public Service Report 2008, it is stated that key observations and suggestions made in 2006 show that recruitment and selection policies were not sufficiently focused on attracting people with disabilities. There was a lack of innovation in recruiting people with disabilities. It was also stated that senior managers needed to demonstrate their commitment to promoting people with disabilities, especially in their retention strategies targeted at people with disabilities.

The Office on the Rights of the Child is also concerned that the mainstreaming of children’s rights delivery in municipalities has not been happening as fast as it should. The National Youth Commission is also concerned that there are not enough youth desks at these municipalities and that they are not budgeted for.

Recently, we ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People and its optional protocol. This convention marks a major shift in the way society views disabled people, giving them full participation in formulating and implementing plans and policies affecting them. We have also just recommended to Parliament that it ratify the African Youth Charter, which will happen soon.

Chairperson, I don’t have time to finish my speech so I will skip a few pages, but I would like to speak to the hon President on the following. We have a few deaf people in the gallery. They won’t have access to your speech tomorrow replying to the state of the nation debate because there is no captioning, or sign-language interpreters on television. We have interpreters in the House, but they are only available to the hon members.

I would like you to support me in lobbying for more captioning, or sign- language interpreters on television so that they can have access to an important debate like this and participate as full citizens of our country. That, in turn, makes us a caring society. So I want to thank you very much, hon President. Thank you. [Applause.]

Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, hon President, Deputy President and hon members, the ACDP welcomes the President’s announcement of programmes to address the impact of the global financial crisis on the South African economy. While we have been protected to a certain degree domestically, it is very clear that we have experienced slower economic growth which has impacted on various sectors of our economy, leading to job losses in certain areas.

While the full impact will no doubt be explained on Wednesday during the Finance Minister’s Budget Speech, government needs to step in and help industries that are in distress as a result of the economic crisis. We must find alternatives to job losses such as extended training and shorter working hours.

We cannot be reliant only on mining and agriculture for exports, and we must extend our manufacturing sector. The ACDP welcomes the increased public-sector expenditure on infrastructure which will assist to stimulate the economy and assist with job creation in the short term, while positioning the country to take advantage of the next positive economic cycle.

Mr President, we were surprised to hear you say government made the fight against corruption one of the core areas of focus. There are many contradictions that do not confirm what the President said. For example, like most South Africans, we want to know why the President still refuses to institute a commission of inquiry to look into the arms deal if government is indeed concerned about corruption in both the public and the private sector. Corruption eats away at the soul of the nation and denies the poor and the vulnerable opportunities to work and make a decent living.

The ACDP believes that in view of the widespread corruption at all levels of society, it is crucial for this country to reset its moral compass. Integrity is the internal compass we all must carry. We must develop leaders of character and integrity, who would not want to govern others while they themselves are not self-governed.

We further believe that for this nation to excel to its fullest potential, we need righteousness at all levels of government as righteousness exalts the nation.

The ACDP is extremely concerned with the epidemic spread of cholera through Zimbabwe, which has had dire effects on South Africa. We regret the widespread loss of life in our country and in Zimbabwe and trust that the new multiparty government there will succeed in addressing the economic and health crises facing that nation.

The cholera epidemic has spread to South Africa, resulting in some 26 deaths and widespread infections. The ACDP regrets that the President did not give more attention to this pressing issue. It is unacceptable that a disease that is easily preventable and treatable, like cholera, is still spreading in our provinces and robbing people of their precious lives. The ACDP manifesto states that besides ensuring the provision of clear water and proper sanitation for all our people, the ACDP will also ensure that basic health and hygiene is taught from primary school level upwards.

While the President focused, to a large extent, on government’s achievements over the past number of years, it is clear that the government has failed to deliver in a large number of areas if one has regard for the high levels of unemployment and poverty, the scourge of HIV/Aids, the high levels of crime and corruption, the dysfunctional health and education systems and poor service delivery to communities. In our view, the writing is on the wall for the ANC. It has been weighed on the scales and found wanting. It is time for a new government in South Africa.

I want to agree with the hon Komphela, who said prophetically that after the elections the ANC would be occupying the seats on my left. What he did not say was “as members of the opposition”. [Interjections.] And the question is asked whether they will cope.

The ACDP calls on all political parties to prevail on their members and supporters to be respectful and tolerant of all those who differ and disagree with them. They must urge them to stop the name-calling, war talk and the provocation of others. What is of particular concern is to see that the majority party, which should be setting a good example for others to follow, seems to be the common denominator whenever there are threats of violence or disruptions of meetings.

I was shocked by reports in today’s papers about seven Cope members who were injured when they were allegedly attacked by ANC members yesterday while attending a meeting in Kou-Kamma in the Eastern Cape. [Interjections.] Their chairman said: “They broke down the front gate of the hall and entered carrying knobkerries, knives, iron pipes and sticks.” “They then started beating our members with their weapons …”, he said. The seven injured people were taken to hospital for treatment.

Mr President, I want to appeal to you this afternoon to ensure that such intolerance and barbaric acts do not continue, regardless of who the instigator is. The robustness of our political engagement during this season of campaigning should not be allowed to lead to violent confrontations.

The ACDP is also concerned, Mr President, that you did not deal sufficiently with major shortcomings in our education system; this, particularly, in the light of the poor matriculation results in the first year of the implementation of OBE at matriculation level. It is shocking that certain results, as in Mpumalanga, are still not available, showing gross inefficiency in the national and provincial education departments.

It is clear that our education system is in crisis and requires a complete overhaul. There is, in particular, a dire need to depoliticise teaching as a profession as, in our view, far too much time is spent by teachers on political and trade union activities – time which could be better spent teaching our children. There is also a clear need to return to value-based education and to upgrade teachers’ levels of competency, particularly in mathematics and science. The ACDP also supports calls for the reintroduction of school inspectors to ensure quality education and facilities.

The President’s concern about crime rings hollow in light of the fact that the President himself signed into law the Bill disbanding the Scorpions. This, notwithstanding the high success rate of the unit in fighting organised crime and the public outrage at the decision to disband the unit, which flies in the face of the Khampepe commission report. The incorporation of the Scorpions into the SA Police Service will result in the loss of many experienced special investigators who are not prepared to work in the SAPS and who will be snapped up by the private sector. This will negatively impact on the fight against organised crime in our country. This ANC government must therefore be held responsible for the reckless decision they made and, in our view, intended to protect high-ranking ANC members.

Additionally, the President’s decision not to reinstate Adv Pikoli as head of the National Prosecuting Authority is another blow in the fight against organised crime. The Ginwala commission found that Adv Pikoli was a person of “unimpeachable integrity” and that, notwithstanding certain adverse findings, he should be reinstated as head of the NPA. While Parliament is still deliberating the Pikoli issue, it is apparent that ANC MPs will most likely rubber-stamp the President’s decision. And, as a result, the NPA will lose its highly skilled and experienced national director. [Time expired.] Mr P J NEFOLOVHODWE: Chairperson, hon President and hon members, at the time you, Mr President, ascended to the highest office of our land, there was a feeling of uncertainty, a feeling of uneasiness, a feeling of doubt. It seemed then that our country was going to face a difficult transition. We needed stability, certainty, honesty, discipline and dignity. These attributes you brought to the Presidency.

At that stage, Azapo called for a leadership that could make a distinction between service to South Africa and service to our different political interests. To this end, Azapo has promoted a slogan for the sake of our country. Azapo felt, for the sake of our country, that we should build a strong democracy based on respect for the rule of law, where all are equal before the law without according anyone any favour. And now, for the sake of our country, let there be no “no-go” areas during elections. For the sake of our country, let there be tolerance of each other’s views and opinions. For the sake of our country, let there be no disruption of political rallies during the election and thereafter. For the sake of our country, let us build a national consciousness geared at promoting patriotism, love for the continent and humanity.

It is common knowledge that the judicial system we inherited from the apartheid era was largely designed to further the interests of the privileged and to the extent that ordinary South Africans, blacks in particular, were part of this deceit. They were merely passive participants. For this reason, the transformation of the judiciary, as well as the criminal justice system, is of paramount importance. This should be accelerated to get rid of racism and all impediments that make access to justice a problem for the poor.

However, Azapo believes that transformation should not mean disregard for the constitutional imperative of the judiciary, its independence and the separation of powers. To Azapo a transformation process, particularly one that is meant to get rid of the vestiges of apartheid, should seek to dismantle power relations, practices and attitudes of the past, and not seek to marginalise persons from the new society we seek to build. To this end, Azapo believes that unless the transformation agenda is pursued vigorously after the election, the poor will still be where they are today, that is in informal settlements, in RDP houses that are either cracking or falling apart, in places where there are only narrow streets to drive on, in places that have no proper schooling for children, in places where the bucket system of sanitation is still prevalent, on white farms where evictions are a constant threat, or where a farmer can confiscate your ID during elections so that you cannot exercise your democratic right. It is Azapo’s belief that no nation can have pride and dignity whilst the majority of its people live in squalid conditions. The black community has endured decades of humiliation, inferiority and poverty. This must now come to an end.

Mr President, you mentioned in your state of the nation address the question of our economic growth that is not accompanied by jobs for our people. You reminded me of what I said very long ago on 18 February 2003, during a similar debate in this Chamber, and I quote myself:

The growth of the economy in the various sectors mentioned in the address by the President is indeed an encouraging factor in so far as it strengthens economic fundamentals. However, this growth should at the same time, be accompanied by growth in jobs and in the standard of living of the poor. The extent to which this is not happening is a matter that Azapo believes should be attended to with speed.

[Laughter.] [Interjections.] [Applause.]

It has been almost 15 years since the coming into being of a new political dispensation, and yet – and yet - housing developments have not taken a nonracial basis. Blacks still receive their RDP houses in black residential areas and whites still acquire their houses in white residential areas. Mr President, if this pattern of housing is left unchecked, nonracialism and national cohesion will remain a dream. We need a review of the land Act, including the constitutional provisions that militate against the poor having easy access to land. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Chairperson, hon President, Madam Deputy President, I think it is important that we inform the House that the President leads a transparent government that does report regularly on the progress it is making with respect to its programmes.

Therefore, any hon member who has a computer provided by this Parliament is able to access the appropriate website and find out what progress has been made in eradicating the bucket system, in building houses, and in providing basic services. They would discover that the ANC is well on track. It is hon members’ duty to do this kind of homework.

With respect to the matriculation results, every learner who wrote the exams, the right subjects, has his or her assessment marks on their school’s system; they would have had their results by Wednesday last week. Those who do not have their results are those who are being investigated because of irregularities, and they total 771 candidates. I hope that answers that question.

One of the interesting features of the debate has been the selective and self-serving interpretation by some hon members – not all – of the rights and freedoms in our Constitution. They espouse the right to vote, but freely voting to give a large majority to the ANC is considered undemocratic. They espouse the right to free expression, a right held just to criticise the ANC, to call the ANC names, to denigrate the ANC, but free and open criticism of institutions of governance in the country is considered undemocratic.

Where is it written that the judiciary is inviolate from public commentary? Absolutely it must be respected, yes, there’s no doubt about that … [Applause.] … but the notion that nothing at all can be said is challenged by the right to free expression in our Constitution.

Prior to assuming this Office, our hon President made reference to the matter of affirmative action. I think what he said has been somewhat twisted for the purposes of political interest. One sees that in the debate today.

The notion propounded by the hon Delport that those we appoint in Public Service are unqualified for such office, is, in fact, not confirmed by reality. I hope, hon President, that at some point you will clarify the intent of affirmative action and ditch the notion that exists that no black persons in South Africa ever made an effort to study, have no qualifications, and thus do not merit appointment. They were denied appointment whatever their ability or qualification. [Applause.]

Hon President, I was certainly very pleased that you paid a great deal of attention to calling on all of us to build partnerships towards a better life for all our people. You said we should mobilise our society for change and mobilise all to build a better life.

The inclusion of all in the change agenda is, I believe, one of the most critical challenges of every aspect of socioeconomic change in South Africa. We have to find a mobilisation strategy or programme that will convincingly persuade every person that, with government support and assistance, they have a core and critical role to play in changing their lives. A society of engaged citizens creating the vista of development and enterprise envisioned, Mr President, in your reference to former President Mandela, cannot become a reality if we constrain the people of South Africa by rendering them observers of life and opportunity, rather than working with them to become full participants in building a new, thriving society in which every person can make a difference.

The urgency of change, and motivated change, is most necessary in the education sector. We must secure public collaboration for excellence far more vigorously than we have done up to now. We must support all our people to aspire to, to demand and, in fact, to expect excellence in all our educational establishments.

The programme of change that we have developed as the ANC intends to give greater practical meaning to the ideals of people’s education. Alongside strategies directed at addressing the quality and provision of shortcomings identified by the hon President, it is the ANC’s intention to work with communities to ensure that they have the skills and information that will allow them to make a direct contribution to educational change in their local community.

One of the striking features of the ANC’s focus since December 2007 has been the manner in which the leadership of the ANC has engaged in key public debates on education. The focus on education and its identification as a key priority for the next 10 years signifies a welcome shift in emphasis.

The continuing inadequacies and failures in parts of the system require urgent review and prioritisation of interventions that can and will make a difference. I can report to the House that we do have the report on the national evaluation unit that we intend to build as the evaluation unit for South Africa. We will be working as government and as the ANC to ensure that this independent office is put in place.

In his speech the President was succinct in outlining the successes in education: the drop in the educator-learner ratio, as well as our almost universal access in terms of enrolment at primary and secondary school levels. And I would remind hon members that compulsory education is 10 years up to Grade 9, and therefore retention beyond Grade 9 is a very welcome and positive development for South Africa. We need to look at expanding it, but compulsory access is up to age 15, Grade 9, in South Africa. Members should change that law perhaps.

We also have an improvement in the number of young people passing mathematics. I will report on the expert panel’s report on the 2008 maths examination later this week. Their findings and comments are most encouraging.

We also have improved infrastructure in communities that never had good infrastructure in the past. It is interesting to note that members of this House who headed governments in semi-independent, or Bantustan states, never built schools in their time, but come and talk of infrastructure here. [Applause.]

I am told by all provincial departments of education that we no longer have schools under trees in the country, and that provinces continue to build schools and provide mobile facilities where there are shortages or disasters.

You have outlined, Mr President, the future focus of education interventions. These must be the retention of young people beyond the compulsory phase of education in secondary schools and in tertiary institutions; addressing the shortage of skills needed by society; invigorated attention being paid to eroding the legacy of underperformance in our poorer schools. Your conclusion therefore, Mr President, on your education school report was clearly “could do much better”, especially in terms of the challenge of breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality.

It is our aim to ensure that we tackle the inadequacies. National, provincial and education levels must do more and better. We will also address teacher capacity and development in the next five years.

We will do this through building alliances with all stakeholders and experts in education to improve education together. This is because we have no doubt in our minds that no Minister on his or her own will make a difference. It is partnerships - working together - that will make head against our challenges.

We will work with stakeholders to craft a national social compact for quality education that will ensure action on the non-negotiables that we elaborated on and agreed to at Polokwane. We will set key performance targets for every category of stakeholder.

We are fortunate that our existing schools Act allows for such co- operation. We will ensure we make partnerships that work for every school and for every child. One of the areas of action has to be the increased empowerment of school governing bodies and the provision of empowering support for their representative national associations.

Fortunately, we have already mobilised for this collaboration through the national teaching and learning campaign. Teacher unions, parents, learners and government departments have all identified a set of agreed commitments that each sector must live and work by.

If all of us give these commitments space to thrive, the changes we all desire in education will develop at an accelerated pace. If teacher unions act on their commitment to be in class on time, teaching, sober, not abusive, knowledgeable and competent, we will see change.

If the Minister of Education and MECs avoid policy overload and work with the system to make it more predictable and efficient, well-resourced and granted space to innovate and focus on teaching, we will see change. If civil servants execute their tasks with due attention to getting things right and provide administration and service with integrity, we will see change, and the ANC will see that this change occurs.

Working closely with all stakeholders, we have developed and adopted an education road map. It focuses on what already exists and on how we can make it work better. It does not radically transform or redesign the system, because we don’t need a radical redesign. Rather, it indicates where modification and review may benefit the sector. It seeks to close the gap between what we aspire to and what actually happens in our education system.

The road map focuses on improving the education system as a whole. It focuses on expanding early childhood care and learning. It focuses on eroding infrastructural backlogs, with an innovative plan proposed for funding this. It focuses on training new and better teachers and retraining old ones. It focuses on encouraging teachers to use textbooks, to be in class on time and to spread the joy of teaching wherever they are. It supports teachers to focus on the basics of learning through the Foundations for Learning framework that provides guidelines and support to teachers on how to teach reading, writing and numeracy in the early grades. It is this road map - the ANC’s “better use of resources strategy” - that indicates that better learning will result from investing more and earlier in children and in teachers. This is not a mere belief as evidenced by the increased resourcing for early childhood development in all education provincial budgets.

On the subject of infrastructure, those who visit schools and who study budgets and expenditure know that we are providing new and better schools in our country. In 1998, we had R481 million available for school infrastructure. In 2007-08, we had grown from that R481 million to R5,3 billion for schools, for education infrastructure. [Applause.]

In fact, in the four years since 2005, we have witnessed significantly increased investment in education improvement. There are more and better schools. The FET colleges’ recapitalisation programme has given new life to these previously neglected institutions. The no-fee schools policy has freed many families from the worry of financial exclusion. Also, the reintroduction of teacher bursaries has renewed interest in the profession.

Clearly, though, there are many failings. I received the report last Friday on the late release of 2008 results. It indicates some lack of competence, inadequate preparation and poor administrative capacity in some of our examination offices and in some of our school administrations of continual assessment.

A number of recommendations have been made. We will correct all the failings and I repeat here my apology to all candidates, their families and friends who fell victim to our inadequacies. Much does remain to be done, and we are ready as the ANC to redouble our efforts in order to ensure that more occurs.

Our lessons from all research indicate that schools cannot improve on their own. They must have appropriate support from parents, from the staff who work within them, from the state and from their local communities.

There has been a great deal of criticism in the past few weeks of the new curriculum. We have made changes, which members are clearly not aware of, to the original framework introduced in 1998. We continue to work with teachers and experts to improve the support we provide to schools.

We are working hard to address any concerns that exist. And, of course, the National Curriculum Statement that we now have after many revisions is the framework we utilise. Everybody who talks about the curriculum is talking about the 1998 Curriculum 2005. Very few have studied the curriculum as it exists today. Fortunately, there are thousands of teachers who have taken the opportunity to transform teaching and learning with vigour, determination and enthusiasm. Our thanks go to each one of them for their service and commitment.

In his contribution last Friday in the state of the nation address, our President focused primarily on schools. This often happens because schools loom large in our consciousness. But we should never forget colleges and universities. We cannot forget that students can go to FET colleges for free and acquire critical skills which are absolutely necessary to the economy of this country.

Our policy of expanding access to studying at university level has been successful in attracting first-generation black and female students into higher education. Support has been provided to parents and families that cannot afford university fees. Universities make their own bursaries available to students and the state provides support through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

In 2004, the scheme was allocated R578 million. In 2008, the allocation to higher education was R1,3 billion. And, listen to this: a further R433 million was added from recovered funds in loans paid back by working graduates. [Applause.] So in 2008, we had R1,8 billion available for providing loans and grants to students in higher education. And this year, we will have more than R2 billion available for such support. [Applause.] In 2007, we began our support for teacher bursaries. We allocated R120 million for full bursaries for those who wished to become teachers in critical-subject domains. In that year, we also began our bursary programme for FET college bursaries and made a R100 million available to young people to study for free at our FET colleges.

The total number of young people supported through these funds to date is 479 589. So, today, currently in South Africa, one in four undergraduate students has a National Student Financial Aid Scheme loan and bursary.

Due to concerns that have been expressed about the scheme, we are reviewing it to make sure that we do provide improved support to the talented young people of our country. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Chairperson, Comrade President, Comrade Deputy President, comrades, hon members, it is indeed an honour to participate in this debate as a member of the ANC.

The January 8 Statement of 2009 said the following:

We pay tribute to the millions of South Africans who continue daily to work towards the achievement of a better society and struggle tirelessly to overcome the devastating apartheid legacy. It is due to their efforts that we can now say with confidence that much has been done in addressing the legacy of apartheid over the last 15 years and that much remains to be done.

We agree with you, Comrade President, where you said: “These South Africans represent the hope and resilience that characterise our nation.” Clearly, these and many other South Africans understand and agree with the ANC when it says that “Working together, we can do more”.

Comrade President, we appreciate the fact that you have given an honest assessment of the state of our country. But, more importantly, you have given us hope for the future. Indeed, we agree with the President’s message, when he draws on the wisdom of former President Mandela that: “In times of tribulation we should not linger in despair, for our long walk is not yet ended.”

Our people and many here in this House continue to recall the painful legacy left us by the apartheid state, because many continue to live the reality of this legacy in their daily lives. It is for this reason that as the ANC, we adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme in 1994; as a vehicle to achieve the ideals of the Freedom Charter.

Today, 15 years onwards, we continue to make advancements in the reconstruction and development of our society. And, unlike the 1994 reality, we stand better poised to achieve a better life for all our people.

I am sure that the discourse around the adoption in 1994 of the RDP and the building of a developmental state are still fresh in everyone’s mind. These opinions continue trying to make us understand the pitfalls in the path that we chose to make South Africa belong to all who live in it, black and white, as promised in the Freedom Charter.

Yet, in all this, in the language that was being used, at the different starting points, there was no mistaking the fact that there were differences in concept and meaning in understanding the imperatives of our times. Today, as we turn towards another decade of experiencing democracy, those very differences continue to mar the discourse.

However, premised on the creation of a developmental state, we welcome without a doubt an opportunity to make use of both intellectual and political debates, to transcend convictions set on pessimism, despondency or even ideology. For what we propose as the ANC is an instrument that brought confidence in the world economy in the 1980s and 1990s. Historically, the failure of the market forces in the late 1920s in the USA led to a massive loss of jobs.

The period 1929 to 1933 witnessed some of the worst ravages of unregulated market forces which had a severe impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. This led to the correct understanding that in order to safeguard the socioeconomic conditions of the vulnerable in society, to ensure sustained economic growth with development and redistribution, the role of the state becomes central in shaping, regulating and directing the economy. However, whilst there are numerous examples of developmental states, not all have developed with the important ingredient of a social compact.

The ANC, when talking about a developmental state joins together with this the critical component - the social compact. The masses of our people are the reason for the need for growth and development, and the programmes and projects are structured to benefit them. This is carried out together with the masses of our people, involving them in decision-making, getting feedback and involving them in evaluating whether the programmes actually have an impact on the quality of their lives.

Unlike in other countries where social contracts have been entered into, which have inevitably broken up years later in acrimony and disrepute, a social compact draws upon the very ethos of the Freedom Charter, that: “The people shall govern.” To put into effect this clause means that we must involve the people in their future and get ideas from them. The ANC’s 2009 five-year manifesto holds as its central slogan “Together we can to more.” This refers to the type of social compact we are trying to develop. Equally, going forward over the next five years, the co-ordination of state planning of the economy and governance will reflect the characteristics of a developmental state.

The Joint Budget Committee has continually raised the need for improved interdepartmental co-ordination, co-operation, planning and budgeting to take place in its reports to this House. There is a need for all government departments to work together so that they can do more.

The developmental state at a higher stage integrates the various components of economic growth of the economy with the overall social and economic development of its citizens, redistributing the economic wealth that is created and ploughing this back into the economy through increased infrastructure development, linked to increased job creation stimulation of the domestic economy, linked to a social protection programme; it is this that brings about social cohesion in society.

The immensity of the social and infrastructural challenges and backlogs we have demand that we no longer simply debate what has to be done to rid our people of poverty. Major public and private investments in public goods and services have to be realised in order to increase the opportunities in the economy and alleviate poverty. The state must have the capacity to direct investments.

Effectively, this means that our service delivery must improve. More low- income housing has to be provided in order to build the assets of families and communities. We need cohesive and sustainable communities that have adequate housing, water, transport, which are near to economic activities, including sport and recreation facilities.

Based on the experience of 15 years of governing, we know that all these objectives will never be met unless we have a developmental state. They will never be met through an economy that, as in ignorance, grows independently of the hardships of society. The instrument to make certain that we do not live through such an experience is a developmental state.

Three major reviews that were concluded by the Presidency, beginning with the 10-year Review “A Nation in the Making” and the 15-year Review, all emphasised the point that the strides that had been made to date in delivering these basic services and assets would not have been possible were it not for the efforts of the state. However, we admit serious backlogs do remain.

We should not pretend that the state has all the capacity it needs. The roll-over of departmental budgets indicates that not all the necessary capacity is in place. And here we need to place greater emphasis on filling vacant posts with the correctly skilled staff.

The implications for the delivery of basic services are immense and threaten the stability of our country. Reviews of the government’s performance since 1994 by the SA Institute of Race Relations make that clear. They record, for example, that better living conditions have resulted due to a massive roll-out by government of low-income housing. However, they note that even with this impressive performance, the demand continues to outstrip the supply. And here I just want to indicate to those who still complain about housing that, under the leadership of Minister Sisulu in the last five years, we have made great strides in improving the quality of housing.

We have moved away from simply building rows of houses to building communities and new suburbs. I am absolutely convinced that under the ANC in the coming five years, we will continue to even further improve on our current housing delivery programme.

Surely, what we need is a collective discussion and mapping of a way in which we have to resolve these lingering problems. Taking the cue from the President last Friday, each one of us, as students, workers, sectoral and racial groups fought apartheid together and achieved victory in 1994. He specifically implored us to utilise the lessons we learned in the Doha Round of Negotiations over trade, mentioning in this regard the value of partnerships.

It, indeed, does seem to be an opportune time to rally everyone around the idea of the developmental state. This includes opposition parties, both inside and outside this House. The developmental state and the social compact is a critical nexus which explains the relationship between the masses of our people and how they relate to the state and how the state carries out programmes and projects informed by this relationship.

The choice that the ANC has made, that our state should be a developmental state, is one that is based upon both the historic analysis of international socioeconomic relations and the analysis of the current contradictions of the world economic order and its impact upon socioeconomic relations.

Our vision as the ANC is a state based on the will of the people, in which all, including business, strive towards a common and shared vision. The ANC understanding of such a state is a state that is central to all state organs, has the institutional capacity for government-wide economic planning, with the necessary resources and authority to prepare and implement long, short and medium-term economic and developmental planning.

In this regard, many commentators have equally acknowledged the significance and practicality of ANC policies in addressing the needs of the country. One would trust that members of the academia, media and intellectuals in general would take the opportunity to help enrich these views and shape the collective direction we are taking. The ANC would love to have them take their place of being the guides and conscience of the united and democratic South Africa we seek to build. That, after all, is what we mean when we say “Working together, we can achieve more.”

We would like not to be abandoned when we have come this far collectively. So, even when we disagree on certain issues, there is more common security and comfort in staying the course and in working together. Together let us build a better country and a better life for all our people in our generation.

The demand we have for infrastructure and basic services is great. Therefore, the notion that the role of the state in addressing these backlogs should be reduced makes absolutely no sense at all.

The ANC has committed itself to making full use of available material and human resources to grow the economy and create jobs so that the most vulnerable in our country are cushioned from poverty and deprivation. In a developmental state, we want to build a compassionate society in which all South Africans, irrespective of different social and economic backgrounds, identify with the particular hardships experienced by women, children, the youth and people with disabilities.

As I come to a conclusion, personal experience in the ward in which I live, Ward 100 in Johannesburg, a number of religious organisations, local farmers and businesspeople have come together to work with the local ward councillor in identifying solutions to the challenges which are facing the local community.

In one of the initiatives a group of 25 young people are being trained in business practices. To date, 15 of these young people have been employed. Further groups of young people are being trained.

A further initiative has seen a local landowner make some of his land available for use as a community food garden. It is clear that these South Africans understand and support the ANC when it says, “Working together, we can do more.”

At a time when there is growing concern about the lack of vigorous civic engagement, when consumerism is manufacturing, in subversive ways, a nation of alienated and self-seeking individuals with very little regard for the common good, we in the ANC recommit ourselves to building a community of citizens passionate about their obligations to each other and the state, and eager to fulfil the responsibilities of self-government and self- ownership. In conclusion, to all South Africans, we will shortly have an opportunity to elect new public representatives and a new governing party which will, of course, be the ANC. We have one of two choices: either we can choose to go down the road of the unknown and follow the manifestos and policies of parties which are untested and untried, or we can choose to allow the ANC to continue to implement its tried-and-tested policies which have significantly transformed our nation into a far better and improved country than it was 15 years ago. [Applause.]

When I cast my vote for the ANC, I will have certainty of the direction in which our country is being taken over the next five years. The ANC provides this through its track record of improving the lives of millions of South Africans throughout the country. Its manifesto clearly indicates what will be done over the next five years. Together, let us all vote for the ANC so that indeed we can do more. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr L M GREEN: Chairperson, hon President, Deputy President, Ministers and members, we are all witnessing a fresh change in our political environment, which calls for some reflection on the past and for us to ask ourselves why South Africans are taking charge to usher in a new political era.

On Friday the President spoke of the gracious contributions made by some stalwarts of the liberation movement. We are grateful for their role in South Africa’s political history. Yet we fail to understand fully the demise of apartheid, if we believe that the struggle was only about political liberation. The end of apartheid was also about restoring the spirit and the soul of our nation.

In this respect, we also owe the achievements of our democracy to the role of the church during the days of apartheid. Like the President, we would like to call to mind South Africans from all walks of life, the ordinary as well as the prominent, who dedicated life and limb to achieve a free and just society.

We remember the role of the church during those years - how they allowed the use of their pulpits to speak and pray for change in South Africa. The church has played a prophetic role in our society. The Cottesloe Consultation, the message of the people statement, the Belhar Confession, the Kairos Document, and the Evangelical Witness are some of the essential documents that united the church to speak out against the evils of apartheid.

The FD, a member of the Christian Democratic Alliance, at this time wishes to recognise the role of the church in helping to bring about a nonviolent society and for its guidance in restoring values such as reconciliation, compassion, peace and justice in our land.

In today’s society we live in an amoral morass. Our society seems to function without a moral compass and, as a consequence, crime is ravaging our nation and our neighbourhoods. Legalised abortion has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent babies since government passed this law. It is estimated that every 17 seconds a woman is raped in our country, which can amount to an average of over 1 000 women raped per day.

We have legalised gambling. We have opened media channels and shop outlets to sell obscene and violent material. In effect, government has had a hand in creating a Sodom and Gomorrah, a very permissive society in which the rule of law matters little and in which officials are corrupt, and political favouritism is the order of the day.

I want to commend and concur with the hon Minister of Safety and Security - I think it is one of the most important departments along with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development – who said here that they were looking at a new, modernised criminal justices system in which there would be an enhanced level of integration between the Police, Justice and Correctional Services.

He also spoke about increasing the capacity of detective services and of taking a very strong stand about protecting unarmed and defenceless people against violence. He also said that 16 days of activism will become 365 days of activism, and that he would make sure, with his department, to rid our society of rapists.

Hon Minister, I want to commend you for those words. When I went to the Eastern Cape on Saturday last weekend, this the headline caught my eye in the Saturday’s Daily Dispatch: “Home of Horror”. This article is about four thugs, armed with a gun, a spear and a knife, that broke into an orphanage, assaulted a 57-year-old guardian and gang-raped a teenage girl - a helpless girl in a home, in an orphanage, who needs to be protected by society. We concur with the Minister that is the kind of violence, the kind of thing, we have to really take on. And if that is your plan, Minister, to rid our society of this kind of personality, then we in the FD will give you 100% of our support.

The FD believes that we could have avoided most of the challenges we face today had government based its laws on values respecting God and recognising the limits of human power. Instead, government opted for a secular, humanist society, which brings with it questionable levels of accountable government.

Chairperson, my time has run out, so let me just say, in conclusion, the time has come to usher in a new political era. The FD, a member of the Christian Democratic Alliance, believes that it is time to restore moral governance to our institutions and take more seriously the moral regeneration of our nation. I thank you.

Mnu S J NJIKELANA: Sihlalo, Mongameli welizwe neSekela lakho, baPhathiswa abahloniphekileyo, Malungu ePalamente, maqabane nezihlobo zonke, nani nonke baseMzantsi Afrika, ikakhulu nina bakhandeke nguGawulayo, kude kwalapha siphethene nalo mhlola kaGawulayo kunye nezifo ezalamana naye. Futhi uluntu lwaseMzantsi lusebenzisana norhulumente wethu ukulwa esi sifo.

Okubukekayo kukuba ungquzalwano obe lukhona nobe lusenza idabi lethu noGawulayo lube nyhengelele, luhlile ngoku. UGawulayo usababhuqa abakwiminyaka esukela kumashumi amathathu ukuya kwengamashumi amane ngaphandle komnyinyiva. Ndingema nasenkundleni yamatyala ndilikhuphe litsole elokuba, apha eMzantsi Afrika uninzi luyazi ukuba uGawulayo lo ungena njani emntwini, kwanokuba inkqubo i-ABC - Abstain, Be Faithful, Condomise - yeyona iluncedo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Mr S J NJIKELANA: Chairperson, President of our country, Deputy President, hon Ministers, Members of Parliament, comrades and friends and all South African citizens, especially those suffering from Aids, up to this point we have been handling this mystery of Aids and opportunistic infections that go with it. All South Africans, together with our government, are fighting this disease.

Notably the conflict that existed and which had weakened our fight against Aids, has been resolved. Aids is still infecting those between 30 and 40 years of age without abating.

I can even stand in a court of law and testify that the majority of South Africans know how one gets infected with Aids and that the ABC programme - Abstain, Be faithful, Condomise - is very effective.]

It is worth noting that government allocations from 2008 to 2011 for the comprehensive HIV and Aids conditional grants, with the aim to expand coverage of the comprehensive plan and strengthen prevention programmes, are R350 million, R600 million and R1,2 billion respectively.

Our achievements in the battle against HIV and Aids speak for themselves, because South Africa has one of the best plans to fight this pandemic, and as such is recognised by the global community. This plan ensures that we achieve the targets indicated by the Millennium Development Goals and begin to reverse the spirit of Aids by 2015. Eyona nto ke kufuneka siyenzile kukungena entsimini siqinise nangaphezu kokuba sisenza ngoku. [The best thing we can do is to go into the field and work even harder than we are working now.]

I can only say with pride that 90% of our health facilities are providing voluntary counselling, testing and prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Furthermore, all hospitals and 90% of primary health care facilities also offer the Prevention of Mother-to-Child-Transmission programme. The introduction of the dual antiretroviral therapy has also assisted with our PMTCT programme. ARVs have not yet reached all those in need. However, as a state that leads a caring society, there is a full commitment thereto. However, I can proudly say that currently there are over 690 000 patients being treated with ARVs as the treatment programme continues to be rolled out.

In assisting with prevention, the condom distribution target has been exceeded for both male and female, which was made possible through partnership with community-based organisations. In this case, I would like to hear anyone disputing the obvious, that together we have achieved so much - a social phenomenon that could only have succeeded under the leadership of the ANC.

Central to the primary health care strategy is a comprehensive approach to health care. By the way, as we all know, the primary approach to health care is made up of various components, namely promotion, prevention, palliative and rehabilitative. These are components that find their expression in the national strategic programme for HIV and Aids.

Distribution of nutrition supplements to 480 000 eligible people has also focused on people living with HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and other debilitating conditions. The provision of food parcels and establishing food gardens at health facilities, schools and communities have been an ongoing practise throughout the country.

Yinyaniso enganakuphikiswa ukuba akukwazi kufaka iyeza emlonyeni kungekho nto esiswini. [It is an absolute truth that you cannot take medical treatment without first eating.]

Food security is a major challenge with the current economic problems. Lest we forget, scourges such as HIV and Aids have a devastating effect on the poor, particularly the indigent.

Health sector interventions have included providing vitamin A supplementation to children and mothers. By the end of March 2007, around 96% of children aged between 6 and 11 months and 60% of postpartum mothers at health facilities received these supplements.

Two thousand and fifty-seven health professionals, doctors and nurses have been trained in TB and HIV clinical management. Whilst the number may be inadequate, this intervention is critical in addressing TB and HIV comorbidity.

Kodwa masingawalibali amawaka-waka amavolontiya asebenza ubusuku nemini, enceda iindwadunge ezidalwe nguGawulayo. Andazi nokuba ukhona osafuna ubungqina bokuba, ngokubambisana singenza lukhulu. Nina basebenza bahlale namavolontiya niyawazi umsebenzi wawo. Asazi nokuba ke aba bakhe umkhanya, bayawazi na umsebenzi omhle kangaka. Umkhomba-ndlela wona uthini? (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[We must not forget the thousands of volunteers who work tirelessly day and night helping those affected by Aids. I do not know if there is anyone who still needs evidence that working together, we can achieve more. Those who work and live with the volunteers know how hard they work. I do not know whether those who are watching from a distance know about this great service the volunteers are rendering. What is the way forward?]

Working together, we have to launch an aggressive prevention campaign to reduce HIV infection by 50% and expand access to appropriate treatment, care and support to at least 80% of all HIV-positive people and their families …

… phofu ndigqale kwaba basamana besithi imfazwe noGawulayo yimhemhe karhulumente. Yeyona mpazamo inkulu leyo ngoba, abasebenzi abanesakhono namava bayalishiya eli phakade, futhi umthwalo kurhulumente wokujongana neembedlenge zikaGawulayo, uya ukhula. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[… focusing especially on those who always claim the fight against Aids is the government’s sole responsibility. That is a grave mistake, because workers with skills and experience die, leaving the government with an increasing burden to support the destitute.]

The government is expected to allocate more resources to strengthening the implementation of the national plan on HIV and Aids as well as sexually transmitted infections.

Ndithi ke mna, makusetyenziswane ngabasebenzi, oosomashishini nemibutho yasekuhlaleni, kuphunywe iphulo nengqina kuphakanyelwe uGawulayo nezihlobo zakhe. Mandidomboze ke koosomashishini, iizinhanha nabafume ngolona hlobo, kuba uGawulayo ungugqoloma obhubhisa kuvakale nalapha kuqoqosho lwelizwe. Ukuba nabo ke abanakho ukubhinqa omfutshane, kwakonakala ukuhlala.

Andinakho ukuwalibala amagqirha nezanuse, nditsho bonke abantu bomlambo, kuba balindeleke ukuba bafake isandla, futhi urhulumente we-ANC akanakuze abafulathele kule ndima sikuyo ngoku. Masizikhwebule kumalinge okuvalela ngaphandle imizamo eyeminye ezama ukudiliza lo Gawulayo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[I say workers, business and community groups must work together, organise campaigns to fight Aids and opportunistic infections as a collective. I must express gratitude to business and the wealthy because Aids is a pandemic which manifests itself in all spheres, including the economy of the country. If they are unwilling to help, there will be great damage.

I cannot forget the traditional healers, I mean all the chosen of the river people, because they are also expected to contribute. The ANC-led government cannot turn its back on them now. Let us refrain from excluding other efforts in the fight against this pandemic.]

The forthcoming ANC-led government will have to improve the health profile of the population and achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals.

Ngaphandle kwamathandabuzo, yonke indawo yempilo - nokuba yiklinikhi okanye isibhedlele, nditsho nendawana yokuxilongela - mayibe yindawo yokunceda abarhawulwe sesi sifo simasikizi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[Without doubt, every health institution, be it a clinic or hospital - I mean even a tiny consulting room – must be a place where those infected by this terrible disease can get assistance.]

However, a word of warning: HIV and Aids cannot be effectively combated by adequately distributing ARVs only, and the national strategic plan expresses that unequivocally. We, therefore, have to ensure that government continues and expands the nutrition programme. Good nutrition is critical to fighting the side-effects of ARV treatment.

Interventions such as living positively, circles of support, the youth campaign, our time, our choice and our future have been intensified in taverns, bus and taxi ranks, as well as on major roads for truck drivers and commercial sex workers.

Mandihlabe ikhwelo eluntwini, egameni likaKhongolose, ikakhulu kubazali, kuba izifo ezidalwa zezesondo zingaphepheka ukuba singaqina ekufundiseni ulutsha ngendlela yokuziphatha nyulu, okanye sixhathise ngenkqubo i-ABC. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[Let me appeal to the community, on behalf of the ANC, especially to parents, because sexually transmitted diseases can be prevented if we resolve to teach the youth how to behave morally or reinforce the ABC programme.]

Strengthening formal partnership against Aids, including Sanac and the Southern African Development Community, have to be part of our agenda. Historically, humanity has in the face of shock and awe eventually reversed epidemics and pandemics. The ANC has the legacy, skill and experience to join the world in the effort against HIV and Aids.

Lastly, the ANC, together with any government formed under its leadership, has and always will provide leadership on socioeconomic challenges that include the scourge of HIV and Aids and related STIs. Ndiyabulela. [I thank you.] [Applause.]

Mr N SINGH: Chairperson, hon President, hon Deputy President and hon members, the President came to this podium on Friday like many of his predecessors, listing several challenges while renewing several promises which have not been delivered on in the 15 years since the dawn of democracy in South Africa.

After our first democratic elections in 1994, there was a feeling of great optimism and hope. The spirits of the millions of South Africans who had suffered under apartheid were lifted. These sentiments were further enhanced by the promises made by our new leaders in government. After nearly 15 years of ANC governance this optimism has waned.

In general, service delivery, in some instances, has been poor and, in other cases, nonexistent. Great disparity still exists most notably between the urban and rural areas, and corruption is rife. While the IFP does agree that there have been achievements since 1994, there have also been glaring failures, including the lack of success in dealing with crime, poverty eradication, rural development and land reform, to name but a few. These issues have been prominent on the agenda since 1994, and, despite their best efforts, the current government seems to be at loss about how best to deal with some of these critical challenges.

The IFP has always been a strong advocate for the devolution of power. We believe that provinces and municipalities should be at the forefront of service delivery. However, the performance of some provincial departments and municipalities over the years has been dismal to say the least and the people most in need of critical services have been let down.

Despite the best efforts of the national government, the promises made to the electorate will never be met if the current culture of corruption and self-enrichment continues. This practice is especially prominent at the provincial and local levels. Some municipalities, such as Mbombela in Nelspruit, have been totally ineffective and crippled by corruption. No wonder, Mr President, that in certain areas, like Ntuzuma in Durban, people today blockaded roads in protest against the lack of service delivery, not that we condone this kind of action.

However, this seems to be a sign of the times, as in other parts of the country similar protests have also been prominent, and in some areas residents are even vowing not to vote in the upcoming elections.

Speaking about the province from where I hail, KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC-led provincial government has not fulfilled their mandate and failed to deliver to the people of the province. This province seems to be riddled with corrupt and ineffective officials, resulting in service delivery failures once again.

Public health has effectively collapsed. Durban’s King Edward VIII Hospital, for example, had more than 20 operations cancelled last week in the space of two days because of a lack of medical supplies. Surgeons did not have basic supplies such as swabs, dressings and gauze. The department has a budget overrun of R2 billion and has effectively frozen medical posts despite staff shortages.

At the St Benedictine Hospital in Nongoma getting to see a doctor is like winning the Lotto. There is a great shortage of doctors and medicines. As if that were not enough, the MEC for health in the province, Ms Peggy Nkonyeni, is out on bail for allegedly being involved with two other people in the purchase of mammogram machines for an amount of R1,5 million each, whereas these machines cost only R400 000. Mr President, Sir, is it any wonder therefore that basic medical care is suffering due to what we call a supposed shortage of funds? I am glad that the hon Minister of Health is going to be following in this debate because I am sure that she might respond to some of these issues.

While HIV and Aids is a disease that is infecting, inflicting and affecting society in general, I think, Madam Minister, you need to prepare for another disease that many people are getting in government, as officials, and that disease is called arthritis. We have to find a cure for arthritis. So many officials are taking backhanders that their hands have grown like this now, because for every contract they want something put in their hands. So we have to find the cure for arthritis and backhanders.

Ithala Bank, formerly known as the KwaZulu Finance Corporation and founded by our leader Prince M G Buthelezi and the KwaZulu-Natal government, provided finance to fund small business ventures, in particular for black people, but has now being turned into a bank that benefits a few, including the wives of MECs and other high-ranking officials. CEOs have changed many times in the recent past. In a strange twist of events, last week, Mr President, the head of the provincial treasury department in KwaZulu-Natal was made head of the financial institution Ithala, whilst we understand that an acting head of department has been appointed to the provincial treasury department. Something is not right here, Mr President.

The people of KwaZulu-Natal are being short-changed and we want to say that the IFP is ready to provide sound governance once again in the province. [Interjections.] The people of KwaZulu-Natal are waiting in anticipation, Mr President, for you to announce the election date as they cannot wait any longer to vote the IFP back into government.

I want to turn to land reform, something that the hon President mentioned yesterday. We accept that there has been some progress in restoring land to those who have been deprived of it, but it is unacceptable that, whilst the cut-off date for claims was 31 December 1998, 11 years ago, there are still hundreds of claims not yet gazetted. Issues of land are very emotive and the slow progress thus far is causing much distress and unnecessarily fuelling tensions. Why has it taken over 10 years for this process to be realised? A policy should, as far as possible, be developed in a manner, Mr President, that builds common purpose rather than provokes division. We should be searching for common solutions.

In conclusion, while we might have progressive legislation and policies, the inability in certain instances for administration to effectively deliver renders these policies ineffective. In the run-up to the elections, voters are promised and we are wary that these will once again remain fine words on billboards and glossy paper and not translate into tangible delivery. Mr President, there is the saying that we can fool some of the people some of the time, but we can’t fool all the people all the time.

Finally, hon President of our country and deputy president of the ANC, we young members in the IFP - and I include myself in this group - have been nurtured to appreciate the role and wisdom of elders in our society in the spirit of ubuntu-botho. However, Sir, some of the utterances made by the president of the ANC Youth League smack of total disrespect and utter arrogance. Nobody must tell us as the IFP, Sir, who our leader should be. We are more than capable of choosing our own leader, and that leader is the hon Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. I thank you. [Applause.] The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Mr Chair, Mr President, Madam Deputy President, I think in terms of elections I would like to make a proposal. Every member of the IFP who appears on the election list will be tested for arthritis, and if they test positive they will be excluded from the election list. [Interjections.] I can see great enthusiasm, so we are going to have long queues of people testing for arthritis and then we will see how many backhanded people there are within the IFP ranks as well. [Interjections.]

On a most sober note, many people have referred to the distressing conditions in which many of our health care workers have to perform their tasks. As a Minister, and as a Ministry, it is very disturbing when, on a daily basis, you get letters of pleas and desperation. Let me read to you just one such letter. It comes from the head of a paediatric unit in a very large hospital in a province of ours, and it goes:

Dear Minister Hogan

It is out of sheer frustration and absolute desperation that I write this letter to you. I am head of the paediatric unit at this hospital. Ours is an extremely busy unit, despite functioning only at a district level of care. At present, we have a few vacant entry-level medical officer posts.

At the end of this year, we will be losing four doctors - one of our doctors will be going to work abroad - and as a result of the moratorium that was placed on the appointment of new employees on 13 June this year, we are unable to advertise the posts that will be vacated at the end of the year, let alone the posts that are presently vacant. Our human resources department has sent motivation after motivation to the district and head offices, yet these posts remain frozen.

Our human resources department and senior management have tried so hard and continue to do so, but it appears that we are asking for the impossible. And then he asks the question:

Does anyone realise the enormity of the crisis that is looming ahead in January? We will not have enough doctors to maintain the workload, and there is going to be a total collapse in service delivery.

Now, this is the kind of letter that we receive. I want to pay tribute to these people who have chosen to remain in the system, under extremely difficult circumstances, and soldier on and continue to fight the good fight.

I want to pay tribute too to the 60 000 community-based health care workers who, every day, with very little compensation, go out and care for our people in the communities; who look after people who are desperately ill … [Applause.] … who themselves suffer enormous depression about having to face the scale of the problems that we face in this country.

I also want to pay tribute to the nurses who are the backbone of our health system, who, despite low wages, despite lack of recognition, continue to work in primary health care districts in our hospitals with vigilance, with strength, with courage. Because what we are facing here is no simple crisis

  • just a matter of mismanagement, or backhanders, or corruption. What we are facing is unprecedented in most countries. We have one of the highest HIV/Aids prevalence rates in the world. We have one of the highest TB prevalence rates in the world.

We came to government in 1994 when there was hardly a primary health care clinic in black communities. And so at that very moment when we were poised to roll out health care to the majority of our people, we were hit by a burden of disease that none of us anticipated. Perhaps we did not respond fast enough, but I defy any country to respond to the scale of the burden of disease which we are battling at the moment.

So we have certain things that we do announce and state with triumph. In the face of toned-down government spending - in those early years when fiscal prudence and austerity were the name of the game and we all encouraged it - we have still been able to roll out over 1 800 clinics and community centres since 1994. This means that 95% of our people are able to reach a clinic within a 5-kilometre radius. That is extraordinary. [Applause.]

It has enabled us to double our head-count usage of primary health care from 67 million visits in 1998, to more than 101 million this year. People are using our facilities. The hospital revitalisation programme has seen eight new hospitals being built since its inception a couple of years ago, and about 33 projects are currently running on site.

We are improving nurses’ salaries. We have started with a process and at this stage we are now seeing, despite the teething problems, a welcome return of nurses to the nursing profession. [Applause.] They recognise that they are being recognised.

Let us not forget the huge battles and the courageous battles that this government undertook in the early 2000s against pharmaceutical companies and the price of medicines. Let us not forget the battles that were undertaken in the United States and in this country alone. We have been able, through those battles, to reduce the price of medicines by 30% in the past five years - a considerable achievement. [Applause.]

We have also had a number of successes in other diseases in this country. We were declared a polio-free country a little while ago. We have reduced the incidence of malaria significantly, and in the past year, once the head count is in, we will see how significant that reduction has been. We are battling the TB epidemic, and we are fighting it with every ounce of strength we have. We have TB tracer teams throughout the country, and we are hoping and we are confident that we are going to record an even greater increase in success than we recorded in previous years.

We can go on about on some of the achievements that we have achieved, at great cost and dedication. But let me say that there are real issues that we do have to confront. This isn’t something that we are saying we just have to live with.

In the past two years, particularly in the past 18 months, it is on record that every provincial health department in our country has been overspending significantly. We can play political games with that, we can point at MECs, we can do what we like, but the reality is that every provincial department of health is facing significant spending pressures.

We know that some of this is related to HIV and Aids and the roll-out, and we are proud of the fact that we have over 700 000 people on antiretrovirals, which exceeds the target that we had set for this year. But what is it that is driving up the cost of health? What is it that is forcing a head of a department of a major hospital - this paediatrician is head of a unit - to declare a moratorium on employing new people? What is it that is forcing, as has been pointed out, limitations on stocks in hospitals so that we are running out of basics? What are those cost drivers?

We are unable to say at this moment exactly what they are, but on the part of the national Department of Health we have assembled a team of over 15 people, under the leadership of an ex-deputy Auditor-General, with the consent of all our MECs and our health departments which we reached at our National Health Council meeting last week.

They are going out into each and every province. They are going to be sitting with CFOs, with heads of departments. They are going to be speaking to auditors, they are going to be speaking to the Accountant-General and they are going to discover for us and bring to us what they believe are the chief cost drivers in health at the moment. [Applause.]

We cannot go forward with budgeting until we know what these cost drivers are. We anticipate that some of them are the fact that we have had extremes in inflation in this country, as we have had worldwide, and these have particular implications for health products in South Africa. We are awaiting the report of these teams urgently, because only once we start to understand what the cost drivers are, are we going to understand how we budget better.

Alongside that, we are drawing up and finalising our human resource policies for health. In other words, we are saying, these are the numbers of people we need if we are going to have to produce. So, the whole aim at this moment in time is to improve our planning and budgeting capacities, so that we do not have these fateful stock-outs.

But we would be misguided to believe that this is only a budgeting and managerial solution. We have to look at innovative solutions as well within our health care sector. We have already - and I have spoken to these matters - a whole range of other initiatives which we have in place, which we want to roll out within the next couple of months.

Very critical to all of this is an understanding that our National Treasury, our provincial treasuries and our departments of health need to be speaking to one another. Too often we find people dumping and saying, “This is Treasury’s fault”, or Treasury saying, “This is Health’s fault. We can no longer afford those budgeting games. We are going to be speaking with one voice in addressing these issues.

National health insurance must become a very important debate in our country. We are aware that in the private sector more money is expended on fewer people than there is in the public sector. The public sector is left to handle more people with fewer resources than in the private sector. This does not mean to say that we are now going to attack the private sector, take away funding from it. But every country in the world generally, developed countries, has moved to national health insurance.

We cannot look just simply at revenues gained from the National Treasury to fund health alone. We have to look at a particular form of national health insurance to see how we can increase the envelope for funding health. That will be the subject, Mr President, of a long conversation in our country; it is not going to be something that we are just simply going to impose. The rationale for national health insurance could surely never be more persuasively argued than now, when we face the critical funding shortages that we have here?

So we look forward to that debate. We look forward to engaging. We look forward to the private sector, who has been meeting with us on a regular basis now, to explain ways in which it can assist us to achieve the targets that we want.

Finally, we want to thank the many people who have been engaged in litigation against us in the national Department of Health, such as the dispensing doctors, the pharmacists, for their decision to withdraw litigation. We are now engaging to get an interim agreement with them, so that we do not need to be involved anymore. That is the spirit of co- operation we want from our country; that is the spirit that we need from all and sundry in the health sector. [Applause.]

So, Mr President, the health sector is facing significant challenges, but, as I have said before, I am so impressed with the level of dedication, the spirit of co-operativeness and the spirit of innovation in this country that I am certain that we will be able to make significant differences to our health care. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr S SIMMONS: Chair, hon President, Deputy President, Ministers and colleagues, on Friday I listened to one of the narrowest, most Africanist and egotistical state of the nation speeches since being in Parliament. [Interjections.] It, however, does not come as a surprise, because it comes from a party that promotes racially oriented policy.

The ANC government defends its racially based policy with the same intensity and aggression as the old national government did for so long. The hon President’s claim that: “Our democracy is healthy … it is steadily growing stronger”, is nothing but a myth, given the consistent interference and threats that the independence of the three spheres of government have to endure. This results in the illusion … [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Simmons … What is it, hon Minister? Why are you standing up?

The MINISTER OF HOUSING: I just want to find out if it is parliamentary for the hon member to blatantly distort facts.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): We will come to that point. Continue, hon Simmons.

Mr S SIMMONS: This results in the illusion, for instance, that the hon President refers to the government’s pride in having changed the demographic composition of the Public Service which in virtually all respects approximates the character of our society. This, read together with the hon President’s statement that the implementation of affirmative action must be accelerated and that it is not in pursuit of a racial agenda, is clearly an example of delusion.

It has to be a racial agenda when the Minister approves legislation that requires employers to employ two Africans for every coloured or Indian. The same Minister gets away with blatant racist comments when he says: “This thing about coloureds is your problem and not ours.” This makes the hon President and his predecessor presidents of a racist Minister and government.

The hon President should consider why the Western Cape is rapidly slipping further away from the ANC. Mr President, the ANC is openly making coloured people subservient to Africans with its regulation of two Africans for every coloured in the workplace, when it was coloured students that stood up in solidarity on 17 June 1976, when it was coloured students that marched in the 1980s to make the University of the Western Cape an open university - a people’s university. Clearly, coloured people do not enjoy the same degree of solidarity from their black brothers, despite having laid down their lives fighting for freedom.

The ANC should be exposed for the racist party it is when its constitution states, in 2.1:

The aims and the objectives of the ANC are to:

  Unite all South Africans, Africans in particular ...

This makes the ANC a party whose priority lies with a particular race group. Its claim of being a nonracial party is a lie. In the same way the 1948 National Party used and abused the coloured vote to promote its disguised racial agenda, the ANC has clearly occupied itself with a subterfuge agenda.

If the ANC does not care about the coloured people, I want to categorically state that the NA cares about the coloured people.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Simmons, just a minute. There is a point of order.

Mr D V BLOEM: Thank you very much, Chair. I think that the Minister of Housing has posed a question … a point of order. I think that you must rule on that point of order because he’s continuing to tell lies. [Interjections.] Could you please take …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Thank you, hon Bloem. Will you take your seat. In a debate, expressions do get made, and I think this was an opinion on his side because he quoted the President correctly, and after the quote he said “in his own opinion” it’s mythical. I think that is a debatable issue, so we will leave this as an opinion of his because he did not distort anybody’s statement. So we will leave this as just an opinion being expressed in a debate. Whatever he has been doing and saying, it’s parliamentary. [Interjections.] Thank you.

Mr S SIMMONS: The NA … [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Order, please! Let the speaker conclude. No, no, you continue, hon Simmons.

Mr S SIMMONS: Thank you, Chair. In this coming election the NA will base its campaign on the constitutional principle of freedom of association, in order to ensure that coloured people and other people enjoy the same labour and other rights as the rest of the population. I thank you. [Interjections.]

The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, President of the Republic of South Africa, hon Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon Members of Parliament, colleagues and friends, allow me to extend to you, Mr President, our congratulations and gratitude on your state of the nation address, that you delivered in this House last Friday. I add my voice to that of many other hon members who described your address as an important message of hope to our people in the face of the difficult period they are experiencing as the result of the ongoing global economic meltdown.

Allow me, Mr President, to thank the Chief Whip for giving me this opportunity to address Parliament this afternoon. You may have noted that I was not on the speakers’ list. I feel that it’s necessary to use this opportunity of today’s debate to make an announcement to all South Africans regarding the decision by the government of the United Kingdom to impose a visa requirement on South African travellers intending to visit that country.

I received formal communication from the UK government today, dated 6 February 2008, informing me that after the conclusion of the visa waiver test, they have now decided to introduce a visa requirement for South African citizens. This decision, together with other countries affected by this, will be announced in the House of Commons this afternoon. According to this communication, the British government took this decision based on its concern regarding the ease with which non-South Africans can acquire genuine South African travel documents from the proper issuing authority and use them to travel to the United Kingdom.

This decision to introduce visas is open to ongoing review. The South African government has accepted this decision and respects the prerogative of the UK government to take such a sovereign decision.

Mr M WATERS: What an indictment!

The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: We have undertaken to continue current engagements aimed at resolving some of the concerns that have been advanced by them in this regard, and the South African government will continue to discuss this matter with the British government through existing bilateral mechanisms between the two governments.

It is an indictment. Yes, you are right. I think all of us, if we are responsible enough, should take the responsibility for that. [Interjections.]

I just want to say to Mr … oops. I see Mr “Oops” has gone. I think that it is incorrect to whip up the emotions of the coloured voters in the Western Cape. We should find better platforms, better ways of attracting voters to vote for our parties. On this day and time in South Africa that is what this is, an indictment, to actually use race to whip up people’s emotions. I think we should not take advantage of the people’s vulnerability. I think it is incorrect to do that. [Applause.]

I want to conclude by saying that it is also not correct to keep on making reference to parties and people being racist when you have not been introspective, looked at yourself in the mirror and seen how racist you can be. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr R COETZEE: Madam Speaker, a party leader on the campaign trail can be forgiven for occasionally glossing over the less convenient aspects of his government’s record. But it ill behoves a President addressing the citizens of his country to lurk behind obfuscation and omission, for it is not enough to consider that there are problems without properly measuring the scale of those problems and responding to them accordingly.

You cannot preach against corruption and claim credit for detecting and punishing it, when your government and its ANC predecessors have perpetrated one of the greatest cover-ups of all time and disbanded the country’s leading corruption-fighting agency. A stand against corruption is a stand taken on indivisible principle, or it is no stand at all. One cannot be opposed to 70% of it and think that that makes you its enemy. The ANC is corruption’s friend. That is the truth, period. You can also not glory in the expansion of the social wage when you have failed to create an opportunity for our citizens to earn a wage of their own. Indeed, we are in danger of becoming a nation of welfare dependants without the skills or opportunity to take control of their own destiny. So, for example, we extend the child grant to indigent parents in an effort to keep bread on the table, and it is right that we do because no child should ever go hungry. But we fail to provide those same children with an education that empowers them to put bread on their own tables one day.

You cannot claim credit for the strength of our constitutional structures when your own party has been the source of every assault on those very structures. You cannot praise yourself for representivity in the Public Service when the Public Service is incapable of living up to the meaning of its own name.

You cannot claim to be the custodian of sound fiscal and monetary policies when your party has been taken hostage by communist revanchists and populists of all stripes, who rail on publicly against the inevitable collapse of the very economic system you claim to support.

You cannot claim to stand for freedom when you confuse it with the communist oppression and exploitation visited on the people of Cuba these past 50 years. You cannot claim credit for a foreign policy towards Zimbabwe premised on callous indifference towards the misery of its people and that has produced, finally, a government that may be inclusive but is by no means democratically elected.

And so, as election speeches go, the President’s address was not particularly convincing, but to be fair this is not entirely the President’s fault. He is, after all, not his party’s chief campaigner or its presidential candidate. He is - as he himself conceded - a by-product of the ANC’s culture of vicious internal combat.

That party remains hellbent on discrediting our country by running Mr Zuma for President. And that unhappy fact by itself makes a mockery of the claim that the state of our nation is good. The trouble with Mr Zuma is that he is less a leader than he is a cipher of a certain kind of discontent inside the ANC or for the ambitions of a dangerous and corrupt clique. The fact of the matter is that the ANC can go on to its heart’s content about the developmental state, but at the end of the day a state has to be paid for. What we don’t know about the ANC – as we see it before us today and in its manifesto – is who is going to pay for the developmental state. Are we going to run a deficit over 3% and borrow the money? Are we going to drive up tax?

It’s hard to know whether the ANC that presents itself to the electorate in this election is the ANC of Trevor Manuel or the ANC of Jeremy Cronin, or – God help us all – the ANC of Blade Nzimande. [Interjections.] [Laughter.] I would very much like to know from the hon Cronin, who now has something to rebut, how he intends to answer those questions and which ANC he represents and which ANC, actually, is going to present itself at the polls later on this year.

Let me use my final minute to say something else. I would like to take this opportunity to wish well those of my colleagues who are retiring and I’m sure they will forgive me if I single out for a moment Tony Leon, also known as the hon A J Leon. He used to like to quote a colleague of his from the city council in Johannesburg who used to say that the West Park Cemetery was full of indispensable people. I suppose that is true; none of us is indispensable. But the truth of the matter is that he came as close as one can come to being indispensable in the creation of the legitimacy and credibility of an opposition – a critical opposition – in South Africa that is loyal to the constitutional order. [Interjections.] That is his singular achievement, and it’s an achievement that history will record. And while opposition may not always be comfortable, it is ultimately what makes us a democracy. Majorities don’t make democracies, minorities do. That is the legacy of Tony Leon and I would like to salute him for that. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J P CRONIN: Madam Speaker, Comrade President, Comrade Deputy President, Ministers, comrades, colleagues and colleagues, hon members, I would like to begin, Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe, by thanking you for your thoughtful, sober and inspiring state of the nation address. [Applause.] They say you are a caretaker. I am a sweeper. And they are both honourable professions - the real ones.

In the weeks and days before your state of the nation address last Friday, we were asked to believe by the media that you would be looking over your left shoulder, your right shoulder and several other shoulders, so much so that you would not be able to say very much at all, that you would avoid saying anything. I think that the wonderful, motivating, inspiring, but honest - this was also important - state of the nation address you delivered on Friday confounded even the most hard-bitten sceptics. [Applause.] I think we are all proud of you, certainly as ANC members - one ANC and not several ANCs, hon Coetzee.

I am in a difficult position. I am supposed to be sweeping. But there is actually very little to sweep, if the truth be told, because the nonevent has been the responses and attempted responses from this side of the House. [Interjections.]

I was listening very intently. We listened to very inspiring farewell speeches from those who are going. We listened to other speeches from those who are also going, but don’t realise that they were delivering farewell speeches. [Laughter.] [Applause.] I could spend some time, as the Minister of Home Affairs has already done, dealing with the most disgraceful form of ethnic mobilisation – an attempt to do that - from someone who didn’t realise he was giving a farewell speech, but was.

But, I think, to do that would be to waste our time. I mean, Africa is littered with examples of this kind of ethnic mobilisation. Fortunately, in our country, we have built the beginnings of a nonracial society. Fortunately, that kind of disgraceful display does not cut any ice amongst the great majority of South Africans. We are fortunate in that respect, although we need to be vigilant and make sure that we don’t allow that to happen. But I don’t want to spend time on that kind of nonsense.

Generally, and interestingly, a great deal of the media that were predicting a nonevent acknowledged that this was actually an important state of the nation address and a significant one. Not all of them did that. Needless to say, that degree of generosity, and the concession that they had underestimated what would be forthcoming, was not to be found.

Immediately after your speech on South African TV, someone who was identified by South African TV as Helen Zille - I sometimes have difficulty now in recognising her with all the makeovers and rebrandings that are happening … [Laughter.] … described your speech, Comrade President, as vacuous. She said we were given a history lesson, and she sort of lifted up her nose at this. She said in her madamish tones: “We were given an inventory of failures, but we know what those failures are.” And then she said: “… and then we were given a wish list”.

Let us take this troika of lamentation so typical of what we hear from certain quotas that are smug in their conservatism and in their privilege. [Interjections.] We have here an unwanted history lesson, an inventory of failings and challenges which we know all about, and allegations of a wish list. Let us take each one of those in turn.

This ANC and this government make no apology for seeking to articulate the wishes and aspirations of the great majority of South Africans. [Applause.] Those with accumulated resources and privileges never want the working class and the poor to imagine that things could be fundamentally different

  • that a better world and a better country are both imaginable and possible. Hope is a mobiliser; despondency is a demobiliser.

If you fear the majority of people, then despondency will be the name of your game. That is why conservative forces everywhere around the world constantly pour cold water over the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people. [Applause.] That is why back in 1994, when the RDP said they would build one million subsidised houses for the poor, we were told “wish list” by those, of course, who were living in houses and many of them in mansions.

In 1994, when we said in the RDP that we were committed to providing access to running water to poor households, those with jacuzzis in their houses told us it was economic populism. In 1994, when we said workers and the poor should have access to electricity, we were told it was ultra-leftism, Marxism, wish lists and so forth. They scoffed. We said that we had to dramatically expand our social security list, and again came the chorus: Wish list; wish list; wish list.

But today – real numbers - 3,1 million subsidised homes have been built … [Applause.] … 12,5 people receive social grants compared to 3 million in 1996; 88% of households have access to potable water - that should be 100%, and that is what we are working towards, but the wish list is beginning to be translated into reality – 80% of homes have electricity. [Applause.] The wish lists of ordinary South Africans are becoming a reality.

Of course, we are all too aware that much still needs to be done. We cannot, as you said, Comrade President, just satisfy ourselves with throwing around figures and quantitative changes. What is the quality of the homes we build? They are often not good. What is the quality of the services we have increased? They are often not satisfactory. We concede, as Minister Hogan so eloquently conceded a short while ago, that there are areas where progress has been frustratingly slow, where errors have been made by us. We admit them. There are areas where policies require review or where there is a lack of sufficient skill or determination to carry through implementation.

This brings me to Mayor Zille’s second lamentation. She said that you provided us with a list with failures, but we know all about them. At least she admitted that you were conceding that there were difficulties and challenges. But wouldn’t it be refreshing if the DA also came forward sometimes with the same degree of self-reflection and self-criticism - the same spirit? We never see it and we never hear it.

I haven’t been in Parliament as long as the hon Tony Leon. I have been here for 10 years and he has been here for 20 years. I was not in the tricameral Parliament. But for the past decade that I have been here, year in and year out in Budget debates I have heard the DA, for instance, calling for the scrapping of exchange controls and for the deregulation of markets.

Yet, now even they are admitting that the residual exchange controls we still have and the credit regulations we battled to implement to make sure that the financial markets were not behaving like they were in the United States have been absolutely critical in ensuring that our financial sector in this country is at least somewhat protected against the huge waves of tsunamis. [Applause.]

Wouldn’t it be nice if the DA could admit - just quietly, like Minister Hogan, like President Comrade Kgalema – “Yes, there have been some problems”; “Yes, we have made mistakes”. We never hear it from you. I think we should have an economic truth and reconciliation commission. [Interjections.] Let’s have some reconciliation, but let’s have some truth- telling first before we get to reconciliation. They want to be part of discussions and debates. But a condition for that is a degree of honesty about things we have been wrong about and things we have been right about. If we were to move forward, then let us have some truth-telling.

No wonder the hon Leon thinks what we have is an international credit crisis. He’s read Rosa Luxemburg, but he’s read one paragraph. If he had read some more paragraphs from that wonderful Marxist Rosa Luxemburg, he might have understood the kind of global economic crisis we have, which is all-round and systemic. It is not just a credit crisis. She predicted it in 1917, and it came about in 1929, as she had predicted. In the 1930s, it came back again in the same massive problem. But, don’t worry. That is why he also gives us lectures about not moving to protectionism. Well, tell that to the United States, tell that to the Europeans, tell that to the United Kingdom. You tell us: disarm ourselves, while they proceed to do whatever they want. Well they are entitled to their errors, of course, and to their confusions. We are living in a free country, and people are entitled or free to be confused if they want to be.

But let me correct that statement. We are actually not living in a free country; we are living in a liberated country. There is a big difference between a free country and a liberated country. Freedom in South Africa did not come for free, which brings me to the next point which Helen Zille raised: “We don’t need history lessons”, she says. [Interjections.] The rest of you are not going to be here so that is why I am talking to the leader of your party; because the rest of you are saying goodbye.

This brings me to this third issue: “We don’t need history lessons.” What is it about history that parties like the DA fear and want to suppress? Comrade President, you spoke generously about the late Helen Suzman, and I think that was appropriate. You said she represented the values of this Parliament in the Chambers of the previous parliament. I think that was a generous comment, but an appropriate one to an outstanding South African. We have no doubt about that. But Helen Suzman was also honest, and she wouldn’t want us to be dishonest about what she stood for. The party she represented in the previous Chambers of the previous parliament believed that the majority of South Africans were not yet ready for the vote, which is why they argued for a qualified franchise. Is this part of the history that you don’t want us to remember? [Interjections.] Yes, that is the old policy. Now you have moved along and now you are more sophisticated. You don’t say that people can’t have the vote, but you say, “Let’s still qualify the democracy we have.” You say, “Let’s have affirmation but not affirmative action.” What is that? It is the same habits of limitation of democracy, of nonracialism, of nonsexism and of building unity in South Africa. [Applause.] [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!

Mr J P CRONIN: Let’s move along. Comrades, let’s move along. I don’t want to focus this speech. Let us also talk about our history as the ANC. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! I can’t even follow.

Mr J P CRONIN: It’s fine. There is a rural town in central Tanzania and it is called Morogoro. I have never been to Morogoro. [Interjections.] For me and many tens of thousands of South Africans, particularly of my generation, Morogoro is a legendary name. In the mid-1960s the ANC had suffered a devastating strategic defeat. Our structures were smashed. Our leadership and our activists were imprisoned. Others were killed or horribly maimed in torture chambers, and some were executed on the gallows. Others were banished to remote parts of our country and many thousands were in exile. [Interjections.]

As we were to admit, in this period of the mid and late 1960s, as we looked back, we had made mistakes. We had allowed the rapid decolonisation that was beginning to happen in the late 1950s and early 1960s in other parts of Africa to delude us into thinking that our own anticolonial struggle against white minority rule would be relatively short. We underestimated the obduracy and the barbarism of the apartheid regime.

For its part – now we are talking about the mid-1960s and late 1960s – the apartheid regime was convinced that it had finally smashed the ANC once and forever, that it had smashed the progressive trade union movement once and forever. Foreign investors were very impressed and they poured into apartheid South Africa after 1963, as they were pouring into Brazil then under military dictatorship from 1965. In the early 1970s the US administration developed a Southern African scenario - perspective - in which it famously declared that the colonial and white minority regimes in Mozambique, in Angola, in what was then Rhodesia, in what was then South West Africa and South Africa were, as it said, “here to stay” and should be engaged with constructively. That was the early 1970s.

In the late 1960s the ANC sought to rekindle some degree of organisation and struggle, and despite heroic endeavours these attempts were generally snuffed out quite quickly. Thousands of comrades in exile, who had left, expecting to return again to their homes and to their country, found themselves scattered, blocked, unable to return and in distant places. There were inevitable tensions inside of the ANC and the morale was seriously threatened by this situation. It was in this challenging and depressing situation that the ANC convened its congress, its conference, at Morogoro. This was to mark a decisive turning point in the history of our organisation. It was the beginning of a regrouping, of a revitalisation, of halting the downward cycle.

The delegates gathered at Morogoro and used the opportunity to step back and say: What, actually, is going on in the world? Have we understood it properly? Have we analysed it correctly? Have we made mistakes? They used the opportunity to be self-critical and, above all, to recommit themselves and our organisation to its most basic principles. Our liberation struggle, the Morogoro conference said, “… must not be confused with the classical drive …” of some other national struggles, “… of an elitist group among the oppressed people to gain ascendency so that they …”, the new elite, “… can replace the old elite in oppressing and exploiting the mass” of people.

It was this commitment to millions upon millions of working-class and poor South Africans, this commitment to service to them, but also of trust, in their capacity to self-mobilise and to emancipate themselves that was to be the bedrock upon which over the following decades the ANC was to re-emerge once more as the pre-eminent, not the only one, but the pre-eminent political formation in our country, despite all of the odds.

What is the point of recalling all of this now? Forty years ago, almost exactly to this day, in 1969, the ANC had to regroup in the midst of a bitter defeat. Over the past years the ANC has had to confront other challenges: the challenge of success, the challenge of sustained electoral majorities, the challenge of huge social and economic advances led by the ANC, working together with the great majority of South Africans. The ANC speakers before me in this debate have all highlighted these successes, these victories, these important advances, but if defeat brings challenges, so too does success.

There are dangers of complacency. Major successes in some sectors can blind you to persisting problems in other areas. Crime? Yes. Unemployment? Yes. Persisting racialised inequality? Yes. The health care sector, as the Minister mentioned. This can lead to denialism. Your own successes can lead you to becoming defensive on other quarters and to denialism.

There are, also, if you are a ruling party, dangers of narrow individualism and bureaucratisation. To join the ANC in 1969, for instance, meant likely death, imprisonment or exile. Thankfully, those are no longer stark realities. To be a member of a ruling party with a secure electoral majority means that foes and adversaries will often now seek to curry favour or to present themselves as honest brokers and advisers.

Just before the 1999 elections, for instance, the Centre for Development and Enterprise run by Ann Bernstein advised the incoming president, Comrade Thabo Mbeki, to break the alliance with the SACP and Cosatu, to stamp out popular protests ruthlessly and to develop an ANC cadreship and leadership with MBA degrees. I promise you, that is what she said. Obviously, she had not read the Morogoro declaration about new elites replacing old elites.

Inside of the ANC we have not waited for the media or the opposition parties to raise concerns about careerism, factionalism, bureaucratism. We know that a movement can stagnate as a result of defeats but also as a result of successes.

President Kgalema, in your former capacity as the secretary-general of the ANC, you were at the forefront of raising concerns about these dangers. Above all, it has been our own grass-roots ANC membership, our alliance membership, our broader mass base that has spoken out in Khutsong, in communities ravaged by HIV and Aids, in informal settlements rendered absolutely unstable by crime, amongst youth who have never had the opportunity of employment, from the landless and from the land-hungry, frustrated quite rightly at the slow pace of rural transformation, from informalised workers exploited by labour brokers. From the ranks of all these sectors a very clear message has come in and through the ANC. It is they as communities, as shop steward locals, as branch delegates who have spearheaded the renewal and dynamising of the ANC and its movement - it is their experience, their concerns, their aspirations that inform today’s ANC election manifesto.

In the last year or so the ANC has had a Morogoro 2 process of revitalisation. It is a process of democratic renewal that is often being poorly understood or deliberately misrepresented in the media and elsewhere. Sometimes painful decisions have had to be made in the process of this renewal. I think, for instance, of the recall of former President Mbeki. To his great credit, Comrade Mbeki accepted the recall with composure and without hesitation.

But what are we to make of those who describe this as unconstitutional, a coup d’état, a left-wing communist takeover? What are we to make of a prominent cleric, who I greatly admire, who predicted bloodshed and civil war and said that he was not going to vote? I am pleased to see today that he said he is going to vote. And that is one of the endearing things about that cleric. He changes his mind. [Applause.]

Sometimes people underestimate the durability of our constitutional democracy and of our democratic institutions. But, above all, they underestimate the concerns, the frustrations and the capacity of the great majority of ordinary South Africans. As the ANC, we are saying that our priorities remain the building of a constitutional democracy that is united, nonracial, nonsexist and much more egalitarian. We are saying that our overarching priorities are decent work and sustainable livelihoods, rural transformation, community safety, accessible and affordable health care for all, a greatly improved education system. We are not saying that we are going to deliver these things from on high. We are saying that together with learners, parents, teachers, health care workers, communities and commuters, with the landless and the land hungry, with the employed and the unemployed, with the young and old, with consumers frustrated by the big cartels that put up food prices when the oil price goes up but don’t bring them down when the oil price comes down, with small and even large entrepreneurs whose employment-creating potential is choked and stifled by the market-distorting behaviour of the Sasols and the agroprocesses, we must and we can transform our country.

Together we must and we can realise the ideals affirmed by the Freedom Charter, endorsed 40 years ago at a conference in Morogoro and deeply embodied in everything that we must do and are now doing going bravely into the future. Together we can and must do more. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Hon Cronin, will you please take the nearest seat you can find so that I can continue with the rest of the proceedings. [Applause.] That concludes the speakers’ list. The President will reply tomorrow. The House is adjourned.

The House adjourned at 18:59. ____


                      FRIDAY, 06 FEBRUARY 2009


National Assembly

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence on the annual report and financial statements of the Department of Defence for financial year 2007/2008, dated 20 November 2008:

    The Portfolio Committee on Defence, having considered the Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Department of Defence (DOD) for 2007/2008, reports as follows:


The Portfolio Committee on Defence has scrutinised the 2007/2008 Annual Report of the Department of Defence. Departmental hearings on the Annual Report of the DOD were held on 18 and 19 November 2008.


The Department indicated that the outputs of the DOD are achieved by means of the following nine programmes:

• Programme 1 – Administration
• Programme 2 – Landward Defence
• Programme 3 – Air Defence
• Programme 4 – Maritime Defence
• Programme 5 – Military Health Support
• Programme 6 – Defence Intelligence
• Programme 7 – Joint Support
• Programme 8 – Force Employment
• Programme 9 – Special Defence Account

The Committee was furthermore informed that, in order to make the cost of the main programmes more visible, the allocations of the Special Defence Account have been made to the respective recipient programmes, although the acquisition of strategic capital equipment remains the responsibility of Chief Defence Matériel.

The Department reported that it successfully executed most of its mission, namely the provision, management, preparation and employment of the defence capabilities. The following general issues relating to the functioning and service delivery of the Department were noted:

• The DOD has exhausted its re-prioritisation options for the current
• The DOD continues to engage with its regional counterparts in Africa.
• Progress has been made in restructuring the defence staff division and
  management structures.
• Although some challenges relating to the new weapons systems for the
  SA Air Force and Navy were experienced, elements of progress have been
• The combination of the Military Skills Development System (MSDS),
  selective appointments in the Core Service System, and the effective
  and efficient implementation of the Mobility Exit Mechanism will
  enable the DOD to rejuvenate the South African National Defence Force
  (SANDF). This will assist the DOD to achieve the goals set by the
  Human Resources Strategy 2010.
• Although the DOD benefits from the MSDS, additional funding is
  required in order to sustain the programme.
• Various challenges remain, including the state of the DOD’s
  facilities, the Landward Defence programme’s Prime Mission Equipment,
  and the health and age-rank profile of the SANDF. However, corrective
  action has been taken and short and long term programmes are in place.
• Loss of scarce skills to the private sector remains a cause of
• The Balanced Scorecard has been implemented at Level 1.

The Committee commended the Department on the reporting method that was followed in the Annual Report. Problems and challenges were stated clearly and failure to meet certain targets was explained in every programme.

The key achievements per programme were reported as follows.

2.1 Programme 1: Administration

The purpose of this programme is to conduct the policy development, management and administration of the Department. The following issues, achievements and challenges relating to the programme were reported:

2.1.1 Ministerial Direction

The DOD cooperated with the Portfolio Committee on Defence in its oversight function over the Department, and extensive work was done with the costing of the force design and the migration plans in order to obtain the Credible Force Design.

2.1.2 Departmental Direction

• The Defence Update 2025 has been reviewed and redesigned and the DOD
  is now in a position to take it to the Minister of Defence (MOD),
  Cabinet and Parliament.
• The organisational structures of Defence Headquarters were reviewed
  and appropriate restructuring commenced in order to ensure the
  efficient and effective functioning of the headquarters.
• The process of capacitating the Chief of the SANDF to manage the
  Department’s finances in accordance with the Public Financial
  Management Act (PFMA) commenced and was completed after the reporting
• Measures have been implemented to address the issues that led to a
  qualified Auditor General’s (AG) report in FY 2006/07.
• Measures were taken to ensure the staffing of key vacant posts in the
  Defence Secretariat.

The Committee expressed grave concern about the delay in the presentation of the Defence Update to Parliament. This issue has been raised at various occasions. In the 2006/07 Annual Report it was stated that the Minister of Defence has provided direction on the finalisation of the White Paper on Defence as well as the Defence Review (Defence Update). This process has started in 2004. According to the 2006 Estimates of National Expenditure, the update was supposed to have been completed during 2006. The 2007/08 Annual Report indicated that the DOD is now positioned to take the Defence Update to the Minister in April 2008 and, with his authority, onwards to Cabinet and Parliament. It is recommended that the process of finalising and approval of the Defence Update by the Department and the Executive needs to be fast tracked and Parliament should be informed about the contents of the Update as a matter of urgency.

The Committee furthermore indicated that it is problematic that the Military Bargaining Council (MBC) and Military Arbitration Board (MAB) are currently not functioning, resulting in a breakdown of communication between the DOD as employer and the military unions. The tensions between the DOD and the military unions are very serious and needs to be managed with extreme caution and sensitivity. It is recommended that the Department should investigate alternative structures and/or procedures to replace the current defective grievance structures. The possibility of formalising legislation regulating military unions should be pursued as a matter of urgency.

The Committee also expressed concern about the fact that the Prohibition of Mercenary Activities and the Regulation of Certain Activities in a Country of Armed Conflict Act (Act 27 of 2006) will not be in operation until such time that Regulations are promulgated. This legislation has been signed into law by the President in December 2007, and the delay in the operationalisation of the Act is of grave concern and should be addressed as a matter of urgency. The Department indicated that the Regulations are in the process of being drafted and that it will be completed by the end of FY 2008/09.

  1. SANDF Command and Control

The SANDF successfully executed its ordered commitments, i.e. six peace support operations, six general military assistance missions and three internal employments. Continued progress was also made with the reshaping, restructuring, re-equipping and repositioning of the SANDF. 2.1.4 Government Information Technology

14 Defence Information Communication Technology Architectures (DICTA) and Strategic Studies were completed to provide strategic direction for the management of the Information and Communication Services (ICS) in the DOD. The Defence Enterprise Information Systems (DEIS) Regulatory Framework Solution Project has been activated.

2.1.5 Financial Services

Interventions were initiated within the human resources, procurement, logistics and financial management components to address the lack of internal controls that resulted in the AG’s audit qualifications and emphasis of matter items.

2.1.6 Acquisition

All four frigates have been delivered to the SA Navy; two Agusta A109 light utility helicopters were delivered and accepted; the second submarine was delivered; the new rapid deployment logistical vehicles for the airborne forces and the rapid deployment reconnaissance vehicles for the Special Forces were commissioned; the upgraded Mamba vehicles, new light machine guns and automatic grenade launchers were handed over to the SA Army; and the upgrade of the SA Army Casspir Mk III was successfully completed.

The Committee expressed concern about the inefficient expenditure of the SA Navy’s and Air Force’s acquisition budgets. The Department indicated that this was caused by a delay in the deliverance of some of the Navy and Air Force’s ordered equipment, including surface-to-air missiles, Gripen aircraft and the light utility helicopters. The Committee was, however, assured that this will not have any serious impact on the combat readiness of the two Arms of Service.

2.1.7 Inspection Services

Various internal audits were executed and a large number of SANDF members participated in fraud awareness campaigns.

2.1.8 Military Strategy and Planning Office

The Military Strategy was revised and approved; the overarching Support Concept for the DOD was approved and adopted as part of the Military Strategy; and the SANDF Readiness Forum was established as a sub-committee of the Military Command Council.

2.1.9 Defence Legal Services

The shortage of skilled military legal practitioners and trained interpreters hindered performance. However, the approval of the establishment and funding of a number of interpreters and court orderly/protector posts by the Minister of Defence will bring relief. 2.1.10 Defence Reserve Direction

A total number of 14 Reserve infantry companies and two engineer troops were successfully deployed internally as well as externally and respectively to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi. The Reserves were also deployed in Operation Bata (during the public services strike) as part of the “One Force Core Force” concept. A total number of 500 former Army Territorial Reserve (ATR) members were transferred to the Army Conventional Reserves and retrained, and the first small meaningful exit from the MSDS to the Reserves took place in December

  1. However, difficulties were experienced with motivating these members to remain in the Reserves, as they are seeking full-time employment in the SANDF’s regular force.

The risk exist that, prior to 2011, the non-infantry Reserve units and formations of the SA Army, which received limited budgets, will fall below critical mass.

2.1.11 Defence Foreign Relations

A new Defence Mission was opened in Uganda, bringing the total number of defence missions to 32 abroad.

  1. Property Management

All claims for accommodation charges, leases, and municipality services by the National Department of Public Works (NDPW) were paid in full and on time by the DOD. However, 13 percent of the allocated amount for municipality services was not claimed for by NDPW and these funds were reallocated to assist in the financing of the Air Force Base Waterkloof runway.

2.2 Programme 2: Landward Defence

The purpose of this programme is to provide prepared and supported landward defence capabilities for the defence and protection of South Africa.

The Department indicated that the SA Army’s main risks and challenges are as follows:

    The retention of scarce skills, particularly within the Engineer
    Corps and Technical Service Corps.

    The limited availability of ammunition for force preparation.

  • The nearing of obsolescence of certain landward defence systems.
  • The aging rank/age profile of its members.

These risks and challenges were managed as follows:

  • A monetary incentive scheme has been developed for technical
    personnel and similar schemes are being investigated to retain
    scarce skills in other musterings.
  • Since no additional funding was provided to address the shortage of
    ammunition, the Army concentrated on utilising simulation. However,
    this can only partially compensate for training with live
  • Additional funding was provided by Parliament to specifically
    address the operational readiness of the Army’s vehicle fleet.
  • The conventional capability has been restricted to the minimum to
    make more funds available for ordered commitments.
  • Additional funding was provided by Parliament to increase intakes
    of MSDS members in order to rejuvenate the Army with young and
    healthy soldiers.

The Department reported that the SA Army met most of the required force levels. Approximately 4 200 Infantry members were deployed externally within several rotations. In addition, 24 Regular and six Reserve companies were provided for internal deployments, and during Operation Bata, an additional 62 Regular and Reserve platoons were deployed on short notice.

The Corporate SA Army Performance Review System to monitor and manage corporate performance was developed with a view to improve internal control. SA Army Seminar 21 was successfully conducted and explored the future trends, threats and realities impacting on the landward capability.

In terms of re-skilling, skills shortages and the rejuvenation of the Army, the following was reported:

• A number of members completed their Code 8 license training and were
  transferred to the South African Police Services (SAPS). In addition,
  the first pilot group of volunteers commenced training for the
  public/private transport industry Code 14 drivers license.
• In order to address the skills shortages, the Engineer Formation was
  mandated by the MOD to interact directly with the Engineering Council
  of South Africa to recruit members.
• The January 2007 MSDS intake completed the force preparation cycle by
  participating in Exercises Seboka and Young Eagle.

The Department furthermore indicated that the plans for the modernisation of the landward systems have been completed and that the Army is still awaiting approval of funding for its modernisation.

The Committee noted that the unavailability and serviceability of prime mission equipment for the SA Army seems to be a recurring obstacle to the achievement of set targets and mandates within various sub-programmes. The Department admitted that this is a challenge, but indicated that it will be addressed by the upgrading and acquisition of new prime mission equipment for the landward forces in future (as allegedly specified in the Defence Update 2025). 2.3 Programme 3: Air Defence

The purpose of this programme is to provide prepared and supported air defence capabilities for the defence and protection of South Africa.

The Department reported that the SA Air Force’s main risks and challenges are as follows:

• The underfunding of the operating budget continues to have a negative
  effect on the optimisation of the newly acquired systems and the
  continual decline of main air systems to conduct external operations.
• The deterioration of facilities remains a major concern. Insufficient
  funding and dolomite subsidence in the Pretoria area continue to
  contribute to the deterioration of operational infrastructure and
  facilities such as the Air Force Base Waterkloof.
• Inflation reached extreme levels, with the cost of aviation fuel
  rising by 96 per cent in six years, and the total aviation inflation
  being in the region of 15 per cent per annum. Whilst modest escalation
  adjustments are made to the annual budget allocation, more than two
  thirds of the operating budget is affected by the high aviation-
  related escalation.
• With regard to skills and capacity, the shortcomings in service
  delivery were mainly due to critical shortages of qualified
  technicians as a result of over 200 resignations in the financial
• The loss of pilots and technical ground crew due to resignations also
  hampers the implementation of the new aircraft systems. Coupled with
  underfunding, this situation has led to the operating of aircraft
  systems at levels far below the optimum.
• Static and mobile navigation and surveillance systems are old and have
  become progressively difficult and expensive to maintain. This has
  affected aircraft system integrity negatively. These risks and challenges were managed as follows:

• In an effort to overcome these challenges in the most efficient and
  economical way, senior management embarked on creating solutions, such
  as improved accountability, better efficiency and improved career
  management to effect skills retention.
• While some progress was made with the retention of scarce skills
  through improving incentives for aircrew and technicians, the
  challenge remains due to the strong attraction and poaching from the
  public and private sectors as well as some foreign countries.
• Reserve Force pilots have been appointed to supplement the loss of
  skilled personnel, but this has only had a limited effect on the
  overall problem.

The Department indicated that the Air Force met the majority of its force employment flying hours and reported the following achievements and issues relating to the programme:

• The newly integrated Lynx helicopter was successfully established on
  the Operational Support Information System (OSIS), providing support
  electronically and not on a manual reporting system.
• The Air Force Reserves flew 8.5 percent of the total force employment
• The Air Force conducted exercises with the United States of America
  (USA) Navy and the German Air Force.
• Two pupil pilot training courses were conducted where 42 learners
  qualified as pilots. In terms of HR transformation and skills
  shortages, an increased number of black candidates were earmarked for
  training, and the implementation of the reviewed technical incentive
  scheme was met with some success.
• Possible private-public partnerships (PPPs) have been identified for
  the commercial co-use of Air Force Bases Ysterplaat and Overberg.
• The Boeing 707 and the Cheetah fighter aircraft were phased out and
  the three Allouette III helicopters were withdrawn for phasing out.

The Committee expressed concern about the fact that only 42 of the targeted 68 pilots, and only 4 of the targeted 12 navigators, qualified during the year. The Committee furthermore indicated its unease caused by the fact that the scheduled servicing of aircraft is falling behind as priority is given to repairing unserviceable aircraft. The Department reported that the SANDF and Denel are cooperating in this regard to address the backlog.

The Committee also enquired about the decommissioning of the Cheetah programme and the operationalisation of the Gripen system. The Department indicated that the Gripen system will only be fully operational in 2012 and undertook to brief the Committee in more detail on the decommissioning of the Cheetah programme, and the effect thereof on the Air Force’s combat readiness, during the combat readiness workshop scheduled for 25-26 November 2008.

2.4 Programme 4: Maritime Defence

The purpose of this programme is to provide prepared and supported maritime defence capabilities for the defence and protection of South Africa. Although the SA Navy met all its force employment requirements, the loss of personnel within the combat and technical domains to the public and private sector as well as foreign countries remains a challenge. Various initiatives are being pursued to address this situation. The intervention of targeting members with technical qualifications or partial technical qualifications to further their training and attain accredited qualifications has had a positive effect, with such members being staffed in technical posts.

The following achievements and issues relating to the programme were reported:

• The Maritime Reaction Squadron Platoon deployed in Burundi.
• Four frigates and two of the new submarines are in service. The first
  Submarine Officer Commanding Course was successfully concluded, and
  the first locally designed and manufactured submarine berthing pontoon
  was put into operation.
• Staff officers conducted meetings with the navies of Argentina,
  Germany, India and Pakistan; exercises were held with the navies of
  Brazil, France, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, the Netherlands, Tanzania and
  the USA.
• Joint trials were conducted with the Air Force, demonstrating the
  successful integration of the Strategic Defence Packages.
• Training was provided to the Central African Republic as part of the
  SA Military Assistance Training Team.
• The MSDS programme enabled the rejuvenation of both the Regular and
  Reserve components. Representivity in terms of race and gender is
  progressing well.
• The Navy is the first Service to have the accounting system of one of
  its depots successfully transferred from the Directorate Integrated
  Management Systems (DIMS) to the Operational Support Information
  System (OSIS).
• The PPP for a Sea Safety Training Centre is progressing well and a
  possible PPP for a new Fleet Command Headquarters building in Simons
  Town has been identified.

The Committee, in general, noted with concern the loss of skills and the high vacancy rates within the DOD and recommends the following:

• The Department should engage on a diplomatic level with the Australian
  government to address the fact that a recruiting office for the
  Australian defence force has been established in Simons Town.
• The Department should investigate the possibility of formalising
  legislation to tighten the contracts of scarce skills personnel.

2.5 Programme 5: Military Health Support

The purpose of this programme is to provide prepared and supported medical combat support elements and services. The Department indicated that the South African Military Health Services (SAMHS) fulfilled its international obligations and supported all external and internal deployments, and also played a leading role in operation Bata during the labour action in the Public Service. The SAMHS’s main risks and challenges are as follows:

• The shortage in healthcare practitioners, including those with
  specialist skills, remains one of the main risks prohibiting the SAMHS
  from fully achieving its targets as set out in the Strategic Business
• Hospitals, facilities and equipment are deteriorating rapidly.
• The high rate of medical inflation is putting financial strain on the
  SAMHS budget.
• The unacceptable high workload of health professionals has a
  detrimental effect on the outputs and service delivery of the SAMHS as
  a whole.

These risks and challenges were managed as follows:

• Progress has been made with the Repair and Maintenance Programme
  (RAMP) at the three military hospitals. Increased funds were aligned
  in other units and force structure elements to upgrade and repair
• The high rate of medical inflation was managed through the
  implementation of the Military Medicine Code Lists; full participation
  in the National Treasury rate term contracts for pharmaceuticals and
  medical consumables; and increased utilisation of generic
  pharmaceuticals and products.
• In order to reduce the high workload of healthcare professionals, the
  SAMHS endeavoured to shorten and expedite the appointment of
  healthcare professionals who had been recruited for employment in the
  DOD. In addition, several healthcare facilities have instituted
  working hours for their personnel in shifts in order to meet the
  demands for service delivery. Managers and staff officers are also
  performing clinical duties at facilities which are experiencing a
  shortage of personnel. The Department reported that the SAMHS reviewed its approach to the recruitment and training of healthcare practitioners, and initiated a new drive to increase the benefits to military healthcare practitioners. This resulted in a number of benefits, including a new dispensation for the nursing profession; an increase in training capabilities; and the upgrading of the different healthcare facilities such as military hospitals.

The Committee congratulated the SAMHS on the progress they have made in addressing the various challenges.

2.6 Programme 6: Defence Intelligence The purpose of this programme is to provide a defence intelligence and counter-intelligence capability. The Department indicated that the programme’s main risks and challenges are as follows:

• The loss of skilled personnel and the staffing of posts with
  intelligence-qualified personnel remains a challenge.
• The intelligence collection environment is challenged by technological
  advances that require expensive solutions.
• The poor and deteriorating condition of the Defence Intelligence (DI)
  Headquarters building will remain a challenge until DI is relocated.

These risks and challenges were managed as follows:

• In order to retain skills, a workgroup had been appointed to
  investigate the viability of an intelligence dispensation as well as
  salary disparities between the different intelligence organisations.
  The planned new dispensation has however not been achieved during the
  reporting period and the work will continue in the new financial year.
• National Treasury made funds available for the procurement of
  intelligence-collection technology, but the project was stalled on the
  instruction of the Minister of Defence.
• Defence Intelligence was involved in the preparation for a Public-
  Private Partnership (PPP) process to work towards a new headquarters
  building. The process was however halted and the process for a new
  headquarters building will start over.

The Department furthermore reported on the following achievements:

• Strong cooperative relations were forged with African countries, and
  assistance was rendered to the DRC, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire and Sudan.
  A foreign intelligence course was presented to 24 participants from 17
  countries, and two DI instructors presented a South African
  Development Community (SADC) Intelligence course in Tanzania.
• DI was part of the establishment of a Border Integrity Intelligence
• Collection of information was improved.
• DI was involved with the updating of the African Battle Space
• Specific language training was initiated.
• DI provided support to SANDF operations and exercises as required.
• Two African female colonels were promoted to brigadier general.

The Committee expressed its concern about the fact that the PPP process for the new DI Headquarters has been halted and urged the Department to attend to this long standing challenge as matter of urgency.

2.7 Programme 7: Joint Support

The purpose of this programme is to provide joint support capabilities and services to the Department. The following achievements and challenges relating to the programme were reported by the Department:

2.7.1 Command and Management Information Systems (CMIS)

CMI met all its force employment requirements, and supported 11 operations and 10 exercises. It also participated in the African Standby Force; the African Union Computer, Command and Control Information Systems; the Inter- State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) Telecommunications and Information Systems work group; and the SADC Brigade Planning Element workshops.

The Disaster Recovery Plan for the corporate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment systems was developed and tested, and the migration plan for the CMIS Service Centres to the Air Force, the Navy, DI and the Military Police Agency was completed.

A total number of 136 MSDS members were trained.

2.7.2 Logistic Agency

• A total number of 37 units were prioritised and funded in the Repair
  and Maintenance Programme (RAMP) and submitted to NDPW. However,
  progress with the RAMP units for 2007/08 was impeded due to the change
  in NDPW requirements.
• The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research was appointed to
  assist with the compilation of a strategic plan for immovable assets.
• A logistic intervention and repositioning programme (LIRP) has been
  established to manage gaps in logistic support performance.
• Mozambique and Uganda were assisted with the demolition of unexploded
• Military veterans were used to eradicate alien and invasive vegetation
  on SANDF-controlled properties.
• A part of Ditholo Training Area was provided for the establishment of
  Dinokeng Game Reserve, and game to the value of R7 million was donated
  by the Department to the project.
• Good progress has been made with the Wahlmansthal land claim. Hell’s
  Gate and Madimbo areas will be concluded once it has been cleared of
  unexploded ordnance.
• The De Aar demolition range was re-qualified to conduct disposal
  through open demolition.
• The challenges within the sub-programme were as follows: The
  maintenance backlog of facilities continues to be a challenge; the
  asset accounting management system was not fully compliant with
  Generally Required Accounting Practices (GRAP); a backlog exists in
  the disposal of redundant and unserviceable ammunition; there is a
  lack of specialist logistic personnel; and the DOD Air Supply Unit is
  deteriorating and experiences a lack of equipment.

The Committee expressed concern with regards to the deterioration of facilities and the maintenance backlog. It is recommended that the Department should provide Parliament with an updated report on the state of facilities and the maintenance backlog, as well as plans to eliminate this backlog.

The Committee furthermore conveyed its unease with the slow progress made with regards to the disposal of ammunition. It is recommended that the Department should provide Parliament with a report, indicating the details regarding the disposal of ammunition. 2.7.3 Military Police

The force employment requirements were met, and the backlog of 7 521 cases from the previous year were reduced to 6 788; the first DOD Anti-Crime Conference was held; 86 members of the Military Police were deployed externally; a Nodal Point on Anti-Criminality was established at the Military Police Division Headquarters; the MOD approved the new Divisional structure; and 10 members were transferred to the SAPS, whilst 58 MSDS members were recruited.

The Committee probed the Department about various media reports that have surfaced on the loss of vehicles and equipment in the SANDF. The Department indicated that the allegations are being investigated. It is recommended that the findings of the internal investigation should be reported to Parliament as soon as it has been finalised.

2.8 Programme 8: Force Employment

This programme provides for the employment of defence capabilities, including an operational capability, to successfully conduct all operations, and joint and multinational military exercises.

The Department reported that all primary force employment commitments were met. However, a number of issues are a cause of concern, i.e. the serviceability of equipment, the health of members, the lack of junior leaders, and the inability to sustain flights. The Department indicated that corrective plans are in place to address these challenges.

The Committee took note of the Department’s planned assistance to the South African Police Services during the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament. It is, however, a concern that no additional funds have been made available to the Department for this purpose. It is recommended that the Department should engage with stakeholders in order to secure additional funding.


The Department reported that the implementation of the Reserve Force Strategy that was approved in 2004 received a boost in 2007 at the Reserve Force Symposium when the Strategy was publically evaluated and endorsed. The role of the Reserve has allegedly been confirmed in the Defence Update as providing the majority of the conventional landward defence capability; providing support to the people; supplementing peace support operations; and maintaining a pool of specialist skills. It was furthermore indicated that service in the Reserves continues to be popular, with the total number of members volunteering approaching 18 000 out of a force design of 70 052 per the last draft of the Defence Update. At the end of 2007, the first significant transfer of 1 800 MSDS members to the Reserves occurred.

The Committee commended the Reserve Force with the progress made during the reporting period and confirmed that it will continue to support the efforts of the Reserves. It is recommended that in future, issues relating to the Reserves should form part of the main body of the Annual Report and should not be an appendix.


4.1 Report of the Audit Committee

The Department reported that the Audit Committee has identified four issues of concern, i.e. significant internal control weaknesses resulting in non- compliance; the levels of skills retained within the DOD; the high vacancy levels and the time it takes to fill vacancies; and the information technology architecture that needs considerable investment.

The Portfolio Committee expressed its concern about the attendance of Audit Committee meetings by members of the Audit Committee. It is recommended that the attendance of members (and more specifically the reasons for non- attendance) should be clearly indicated in the Annual Report. If members of the Audit Committee are unable to regularly attend the meetings, their membership should be reconsidered, and the Secretary for Defence, as the Accounting Officer, should attend all meetings of the Audit Committee. The Committee furthermore observed that the Report of the Audit Committee has not been signed. It is recommended that the Chairperson of the Audit Committee should in future take care to sign the Report.

4.2 Report of the Accounting Officer

With reference to the Report of the Accounting Officer, the Department indicated that the strategic issues relating to the Department include the rightsizing of the DOD; defence capabilities; DOD infrastructure; redundant and surplus equipment; the Defence Act; the White Paper on Defence and the Defence Review; the health status of the SANDF’s members; asset protection in the DOD; the DOD Shared Value System; the Materiel Life Cycle Management Policy; information systems; alignment of core and support processes with the PFMA imperatives; the Reserve Force; Education, Training and Development Management; and the Defence Related Industry. With regards to risk management, it was reported that the Risk Management Strategy is part of the total management process and that it is reported on a quarterly basis. Action plans were also developed to mitigate or minimise these risks.

The Committee expressed its concern about the unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure resulting from the additional requests for peace support operations.

The Committee furthermore indicated that the following issues relating to the report of the Accounting Officer needs to be addressed:

• Explanations relating to virements should be accompanied/supported by
  the relevant numbers/figures.
• Memoranda of Understanding relating to peace support operations should
  be audited in order to determine the effect thereof on the
  Department’s overall budget.
• The Committee takes note of the problems with regards to the
  Integrated Financial Management System and recommends that the
  Department should discuss possible mitigating measures in detail with
  National Treasury.

4.3 Report of the Auditor General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information of the Department of Defence and the Special Defence Account

The DOD received a qualified audit report from the AG. This is the sixth consecutive year that the Department receives a qualified audit report. The Committee expressed its concern in this regard and urged the Department to address the issues raised by the AG as a matter of urgency.

The Department reported that the basis for the qualified opinion was as follows:

• Tangible and intangible capital assets: Disclosure was limited to cash
  additions, the assets register was inadequate, and weaknesses in
  internal controls were prevalent.
• Employee benefit provision: Inadequate monitoring functions were
  executed by management.
• Contingent liabilities: The completeness of contingent liabilities in
  respect of the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998)
  could not be confirmed. Contingent liabilities in respect of housing
  guarantees could also not be confirmed.
• Accruals: Accruals were understated by an unquantifiable amount.
• Lease commitments: Lease commitments were not adequately disclosed and
  no effective and efficient system of control was in place.
• Related parties: All related parties were not disclosed due to the
  absence of systems for identification and recording of transactions of
  related parties and related party transactions.
• Departmental revenue: Completeness of departmental revenue could not
  be confirmed.

In all these cases, the Department indicated that comprehensive corrective action plans were introduced. According to these plans, five of the seven qualifications will be cleared by the end of FY 2008/09.

The Committee commended the Special Defence Account on receiving an unqualified AG audit report.


The following is a summary of the recommendations with reference to the 2007/2008 Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Department of Defence: • Defence Update 2025: The process of finalising and approval of the Defence Update by the Department and the Executive needs to be fast tracked and Parliament must continually be informed about the contents of the Update as a matter of urgency. • Defence Unions: The Department must investigate alternative structures and/or procedures to replace the current defective grievance structures. The possibility of formalising legislation regulating defence unions must be pursued as a matter of urgency. • Loss of skills/vacancy levels: The Department should engage on a diplomatic level with the Australian government to address the fact that a recruiting office for the Australian defence force has been established in Simons Town. The Department must also investigate the possibility of formalising legislation to tighten the contracts of scarce skills personnel. • Facilities maintenance backlog: The Department must provide Parliament with an updated report on the state of facilities and the maintenance backlog, as well as plans to eliminate this backlog. • Ammunition disposal: The Department must provide Parliament with a report, indicating the details regarding the disposal of obsolete and unserviceable ammunition. • Loss of equipment and vehicles: The findings of the internal investigation on the loss of equipment and vehicles must be reported to Parliament as soon as it has been finalised. • World Cup Soccer: The Department must engage with stakeholders in order to secure additional funding for the DOD to execute its mandate regarding the World Cup, and must report back to Parliament on the progress made in this regard. • Reserve Forces: Ring-fenced continuation training for the Reserve units must be addressed as a matter of urgency, with a report to Parliament on plans and progress. • Audit Committee: The following issues relating to the attendance of the Audit Committee meetings must be addressed: o The attendance of members (and more specifically the reasons for non-attendance) must be clearly indicated in the Annual Report. o If members of the Audit Committee are unable to regularly attend the meetings, their membership must be reconsidered. o The Secretary for Defence, as the Accounting Officer, must attend all meetings of the Audit Committee. • Accounting Officer’s Report: The following issues relating to the report of the Accounting Officer needs to be addressed: o Explanations relating to virements must be accompanied/supported by the relevant numbers/figures. o Memoranda of Understanding relating to peace support operations must be audited in order to determine the effect thereof on the Department’s overall budget. o The Committee takes note of the problems with regards to the Integrated Financial Management System and recommends that the Department must discuss possible mitigating measures in detail with National Treasury.


Although the following issues were not pertinently stated during the departmental hearings on the Annual Report, it should be taken into consideration:

• World Cup Soccer: Whereas the issues relating to the World Cup Soccer
  are not a primary function of the DOD, the Department should ensure
  that it is adequately represented at all meetings. The DOD should
  furthermore ensure that it is ready for any eventuality, as the SANDF
  will be the last resort for critical intervention.
• Military Veterans: Whilst this report is silent about the categorising
  of persons, the DOD has a responsibility towards military veterans.
  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence on the 2007/2008 annual report of the Armaments Corporation of South Africa, Pty Ltd

    The Portfolio Committee on Defence, having conducted hearings on the 2007/2008 Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Armaments Corporation of South Africa, Limited (Armscor), reports as follows:


The Portfolio Committee on Defence has scrutinised the 2007/2008 Annual Reports of the Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor), tabled on 19 September 2008. A hearing on this Annual Report was held on 17 November 2008.

This Committee report is based on the following sources:

• Armscor 2007/2008 Annual Report
• Armscor’s Integrated Corporate and Business Plan: 2007/2008 -
• Analysis of the 2007/2008 Annual Report of Armscor: Parliamentary
  Research Unit
• Committee comments and observations.


Mr S Thomo of Armscor, the Chief Executive Officer of Armscor, presented the Annual Report. The Committee expressed concern over the absence of the Chairperson of the Board of Armscor, Dr P Molefe and stressed the importance of the presence of the Chairperson in future presentations of the Annual Reports to Parliament.

The Committee requested Armscor to provide clarity on the following matters during its presentation:

• The restructuring of Armscor.
• The finalisation of the grievance instituted by the General Manager of
  Corporate Affairs against the CEO.
• The investigation into the tender process of Project Vistula.
• The funding of Armscor.
• The review of operations and acquisitions objectives.
• The Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) programme and the projected
  six month delay in the delivery of the A400M Heavy Lift Transport
• The status of the Rooivalk Helicopter and Project Hoefyster.
• The future plans for the entity.

Armscor outlined the outputs of the entity through the following nine objectives:

• Objective 1:           Acquire Defence matériel, facilities and
• Objective 2:           Establishment of a programme management system.
• Objective 3:           Provision of a quality assurance capability.
• Objective 4:           Disposal of Defence matériel.
• Objective 5:           Support, maintain and manage strategic and
                   defence industrial capabilities, resources and
• Objective 6:           Establishment of a Defence Industrial
                   Programme Management System.
• Objective 7:           Corporate Governance.
• Objective 8:           Armscor’s Strategic Initiatives in support of
• Objective 9:           Armscor’s Operational Strategic Objectives.

The following achievements were highlighted:

• The receipt of an unqualified Auditor-General report for the period
  under review but with the restructuring of Armscor remaining a matter
  of emphasis.
• The completion of an investigation into the preferred corporate form
  and position of Armscor, which was presented to the Minister of
  Defence. This will ensure that Armscor focuses on its main objective -
  to meet the Defencematériel Requirements of the Department of Defence.
• The study into the establishment of the Defence Evaluation and
  Research Institute (DERI) was complete. This was presented to the
  various stakeholders and the Minister of Defence.
• The transfer of management of the Simonstown Dockyard to Armscor on 1
  September 2007.
• The entity achieved its Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) objectives.
• Most of the objectives set to improve the demographic profile of the
  Corporation were achieved.
• Progress made in the fulfilment of Defence Industrial Participation
  (83 per cent of total obligations) by 31 March 2008. Progress made with the Strategic Defence Packages (SDPs) was also reported.

• The last of the four frigates were commissioned and handed over to the
  South African Navy. All four frigates are now fully operational and
  maintenance support contracts had been concluded both with local and
  foreign contractors for the platforms and combat suites of the
• All 4 maritime patrol helicopters were delivered by July 2007. These
  helicopters will be deployed to the frigates performing anti-surface
  warfare, maritime patrol and search and rescue roles.
• A total of 23 out of the 30 Light Utility Helicopters have been
  delivered to date.
• SAAF will be supplied with 26 Gripen advanced light aircraft. While
  the manufacturing of these aircraft continues, the first dual seat
  Gripen completed the initial flight test programme. A second duel seat
  Gripen had been delivered to Air Force Base Makhado in March 2008 for
  the start of ground crew training.
• To date, 21 of the 24 Hawk Lead-In-Fighter Trainer aircraft have been
  delivered to 85 Combat Flying School. The 24 aircraft will be
  assembled locally by Denel Aviation, according to a DIP agreement with

The Committee notes the following challenges as outlined in the Annual Report:

• While the annual financial transfer from the Department of Defence to
  Armscor increased by 5 percent for the past two years, this represents
  a decrease in real terms considering the current rate of inflation
  which fluctuates between 3.8 and 10.1 percent during the period under
• Armscor salary increases were not market - related. This resulted in
  more frequent resignations and the loss of critical capabilities.
  Armscor is losing key personnel and this hampers the Corporation’s
  ability to provide quality service to its clients and to meet the set
  objectives specified in the Service Level Agreement signed between
  Armscor and the Department of Defence.
• Armscor has an ageing and predominantly white workforce. Inadequate
  funding and the loss of scarce skills are key challenges to the
  realisation of key transformation goals. An increased transfer payment
  would partly address these difficulties. Discussions between the DOD
  and National treasury regarding this matter continue.
• The tendency of DOD members to issue direct instruction to senior
  managers, without due regards for the official channels remains a
  problem, but measures are in place to address these.

The Committee evaluated the following nine key performance indicators against the reported actual performance:

1.1 Objective 1: The acquisition of defence materiel, facilities and services

(a) Key performance indicators (i) The establishment and implementation of a Capability Management Model by 1 September 2007. (ii) Armscor is subjected to annual ISO 9001 audits. Zero significant audit findings allowed while ISO listing should be maintained at the end of each financialyear. (iii) The establishment of a Naval Ship Support Agency.

(b) Actual performance (i) While the entity reported a delay in the full implementation of the capability management initiative, this will be completed within six months subject to the completion of the finalisation of all employees’ job descriptions. The business register and system development have been integrated and the roll-out of the authorisation system continues. This objective was not fully achieved. (ii) Scheduled internal audits were scheduled according to the three-year audit plan, and no major findings were reported. This objective was achieved. (iii) The Naval Ship Support Centre was initiated during April 2007 at Simonstown Naval Base. This objective was achieved.

1.2 Objective 2: The establishment of a programme management system

(a) Key performance indicator (i) Improve the tool to be integrated with the Departmental Acquisition and Procurement Division (DAPB) Baseline Approval Data, Capability Management, Job Description and the link to the tool to project management system.

(b) Actual performance (i) This objective could not be fully achieved due to the replacement of the initial project management system with the Acquisition Business Register. While the implementation of the Business Register and the inclusion of the Status Reporting and Works Authorisation and Intellectual Property Management System commenced, the full implementation of the project management system can only be achieved once the computer based contract and order and administration based system (COMAS) is delivered.

1.3 Objective 3: Provision of a quality assurance capability

(a) Key performance indicator: (i) Accepted and approved learnerships by the Service Sector and Education and Training Authority (SETA) in the Quality Assurance Environment of Armscor. (ii) The establishment of a baseline for Quality Assurance Competency and the development and implementation of Competency Management Model.

(b) Actual performance: (i) The learnerships have been submitted to the South African Qualifications Authority. The speed of the process is now determined by SAQA. Objective was partially achieved. (ii) The capability management model was developed and implemented by the end of March 2008. This objective was achieved.

  1. Objective 4: Disposal of Defence Matériel in consultation with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM)

(a) Key performance indicator (i) Sales turn-over to be reached was set at 90 percent of Sales Plan.

(b) Actual performance (i) This objective was not achieved due to the following factors: • Changes in the sales approval processes resulted in a delay of sales to the value of R106 million. • Restrictions on the sale of Samil vehicles due to its reclassification as controlled items. • Delays in the disposal of SANDF vehicles since these were not registered on NATIS. • The donation of disposed stock by the Department of Defence, valued at R40 million, which had to be withdrawn from the Sales Plan. • The Committee raised concerns regarding the sale of vehicles to the Central African Republic, as well as the loss of income to Armscor due to changes imposed upon Defence matériel Disposal regarding the sale processes and restrictions placed by the NCACC on the sale of Samil vehicles. Armscor responded that the matter was an internal DoD matter. This has subsequently been resolved.

  1. Objective 5: Support, maintain, and manage strategic defence industrial capabilities, resources and technologies (a) Key performance indicator (i) The transfer of the management of the Simonstown Naval Dockyard to Armscor.

(b) Actual performance (i) The transfer of management has been completed and the full staff support provided. The Business Plan for Simonstown Dockyard is still to be finalised.

In response to further questions raised by the Committee, Armscor stated that the recapitalisation of the Simonstown Dockyard was a priority. A memorandum of understanding with an international company was signed to assist in the rejuvenation of the Dockyard through the establishment of an apprentice school to provide training in technical areas that are much needed in the maritime environment. The proposal for such an initiative as well as the possible value of the total investment would be finalised in the beginning of 2009. Armscor plan the management of the Dockyard carefully without compromising the Dockyard’s primary function, i.e the maintenance of services for the Navy. 1.6 Objective 6: The Corporation must establish a Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) Programme Management System

(a) Key performance indicator (i) Approval of DIP credits in line with the Strategic Defence Packages and other acquisitions contracts.

(b) Actual performance (i) Total DIP credits of R1.4 billion were approved, exceeding its target of R1.2 billion credits. DIP obligations on the Strategic Defence Packages, managed by Armscor, represent an 83 percent of actual performance against obligations. This objective was achieved. In response to questions raised regarding the total DIP obligation for the Gripen aircraft and the maritime helicopters, it was explained that the total obligations for the period ending 31 March 2008 were recorded as follows: Gripen aircraft sales amounted to R170 million, R180 million for technology transfers as well as R172 million in investments. The total obligations for maritime helicopters were recorded as follows: R170 million for sales, R29 million for technology transfers and R2 million for investments.

1.7 Objective 7: Corporate Governance

(a) Key performance indicator (i) Armscor’s external audit report to contain zero Audit Report Matters.

(b) Actual performance (i) The Auditor-General indicated that no material weaknesses were identified in the internal control systems. The audit report contained no significant matters identified by external auditors. This objective was achieved.

1.8 Objective 8: Armscor strategic initiatives in support of national initiatives

(a) Key performance indicator (i) Increase Armscor’s spending in respect of its operating budget and the Strategic Defence Account (SDA), and the General Defence Account (GDA) on BEE companies. (ii) Execute Energy Savings Plan by conforming to 90 percent of the Energy Savings Plan.

(b) Actual performance (i) Operating budget – 59 percent: This objective was exceeded. SDA and GDA: 26 percent. This objective was exceeded. Armscor business: 48 percent of discretionary costs: This objective was exceeded. (ii) This objective was achieved.

1.9. Objective 9: ARMSCOR’s operational strategic objectives

(a) Key performance indicator (i) Improve the demographic profile of Armscor to reflect the national and regional demographic profile. (ii) Bursaries. (iii) Talent Development Programme.

(b) Actual performance (i) The entity reported the following achievements: • 90.9 percent (targeted 80 percent) of all external appointees were black; • Women make up 20 percent (target 20 percent) of external appointees in the technical functional groups; • 63.83 percent (target 65 percent) of external appointees in the non- technical functional groups were women; and • 29.07 percent (targeted 29 percent) of employees at supervisory levels and above were women. ii) Bursaries, granted to students in engineering fields, were initially awarded to four students prior to the review of the bursary programme. Bursaries have been awarded to 1 African male, 4 African females and 4 Indian females, in April 2008. All bursaries were granted to students in engineering. iii) Fifteen people were drawn into the Talent Development Programme during the period under review.

Armscor further highlighted the age and demographic profile of the organisation as a key human resource risk. The entity is currently developing a strategy to ensure the transfer of skills to younger employees, especially those in technical areas.

  1. Additional matters Armscor provided clarity on the following additional matters, as requested by the Committee:

(a) Airbus A400M heavy Lift Transport Aircraft The six month delay in the delivery of the A400M is reported in the Annual Report. In response to queries raised by the Committee, Armscor explained that this delay could be extended to one year. Problems relating to software used and assembly lines contributed to the delays. This is a multi- national project and the precise impact on the South African production could not currently be reported. Milestones are attached to the project and are subject to penalties.

(b) Project Vistula Armscor stated that the cancellation of the tender process was due to the bidders failing to meet the critical criteria. Non-compliance with Armscor processes and procedures were also reported. Armscor further explained that after a lengthy investigation instituted by the then Secretary of Defence, disciplinary actions had been taken against the officials concerned. A new tender process will start by February 2009. Measures have been taken to resolve weaknesses in the tender processes. The Department of Defence committed itself to provide the Committee with all relevant information regarding this project. It requested that this be done in a closed session, given the sensitive nature of information. The Committee requested that this report be submitted to within seven working days of the hearing.

(c) Grievance against the CEO The Committee raised concerns over the delay in finalising the grievance instituted by the General Manager of Corporate Affairs against the CEO. Armscor indicated that this grievance has indeed been finalised and that it would submit the relevant information to the Committee in this regard. The total cost of the grievances case of the General Manager of Corporate Affairs against the CEO of Armscor amount to R1.8 million. The Committee received a letter from the Chairperson of Armscor on 4 December 2008 regarding the finalisation of this matter.


2.1 Financial Statements The reported revenue of the Armscor Group for the period under review, R1.462 billion, represents a decline from the R1.653 billion reported for the previous financial year. Sources of revenue include an increased transfer payment of R415.6 million, mainly due to an additional R51.3 million allocated to fund the transfer of the Simonstown Naval Dockyard, but also a R269 000 decline in the sales of goods.

A loss of R8 million, compared to a surplus of R27.8 million for the previous financial year is recorded by subsidiaries. This is attributed to the declining performance of Armscor Business (Pty) Ltd due to a delay in the approval to dispose of surplus defence materiel. Delays on the part of the Department of Defence, in placing orders timeously with the defence industry resulted in a delay in service delivery for the financial year under review. However Gerotek and Alkantpan performed better than expected and the company managed to recover some of the losses incurred.

2.2 Report of the Auditor–General (A-G) While Armscor received an unqualified audit opinion, the AG drew attention to the emphasis of matter, namely, the process of restructuring Armscor and the impact this will have on the group in future periods.

In its briefing to the Committee, Armscor highlighted the following related matters:

• Aim of the restructuring process: Based on a Cabinet decision, the
  transformation process would refocus Armscor as a defence acquisition
  organisation for the State. This entails the reclassification of the
  entity from a Schedule 2 company to a Schedule 3A public entity, in
  terms of the PFMA.
• The proposed establishment of the Defence, Evaluation and Research
  Institute (DERI): This will consolidate defence technology, research,
  development, test and evaluation capabilities.

Responding to concerns raised by the Committee regarding the restructuring process, Armscor explained that the Minister requested the restructuring of the entity to ensure that it focuses on the acquisition of defence materiel as well as the formation of the DERI. A process was put in place to investigate the best corporate form for Armscor as well as the establishment of the DERI. The latter was done in consultation with the Ministers of Defence, Science and Technology and Public Enterprises. While the Minister of Defence approved some of the suggested changes, namely the reclassification of Armscor from a Schedule 2 to a Schedule 3A entity as well as the possible legislative changes for the restructuring and establishment of the DERI, formal approval had not been finalised prior to the Minister’s resignation. Parliament will be consulted and informed subsequent to the finalisation of all relevant details and legislative proposals.


The Portfolio Committee on Defence makes the following recommendations with respect of the 2007/2008 Annual Report and Financial Statements of Armscor:

• Restructuring of Armscor: The Committee notes with concern that it was
  not continually informed and consulted about the restructuring of
  Armscor and the Defence Related Industry; especially as it has an
  impact on the mandate, the funding and the attraction of sufficiently
  skilled personnel, and the operation of the entity. The Committee
  requests Armscor and the Department of Defence to provide a detailed
  report on the restructuring of Armscor and the Defence Related
• Project Vistula: This is a project to acquire future tactical trucks
  for the South African Army. Armscor indicated that the tender process
  was cancelled and would re-commence by February 2009, pending the
  review of processes and procedures governing the management of similar
  projects. The cancellation of the tender process of Project Vistula
  was due to the non-compliance with Armscor tender processes and
  practices. The Committee recommends that Armscor submits a detailed
  report on the outcomes of internal disciplinary investigations against
  the relevant officials of Armscor, present to the Committee the
  details regarding the cancellation of the tender process and measures
  to avoid similar incidents. Such a report must be submitted to the
  Committee within seven days after this hearing. Due to the fact that
  this report was not submitted to the Committee at the time of writing
  this report, such a report must be submitted to the Committee within
  seven days of receipt of a letter from the Chairperson of the
  Portfolio Committee.

• Grievances instituted against the Chief Executive Officer:   The
  internal investigation and Armscor Board recommendations on grievances
  instituted by the General Manager of Corporate Affairs against the CEO
  have been finalised. Armscor should submit a report to the Committee
  on how this matter had been concluded.

  Subsequently, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee received a
  letter dated 4 December 2008, from the Chairperson of Armscor.
  Following the consideration of this letter, the Committee has decided
  to call on the Committee of the Armscor Board, Secretary of Defence,
  CEO and CFO to appear before it. The Committee will summon all
  stakeholders to appear before it to discuss this matter. The
  Chairperson will write a letter to the Auditor-General regarding the
  total cost of the grievance case as well as the letter detailing the
  finalisation of the case. D.    CONCLUSION

The Portfolio Committee on Defence commends Armscor for the clear and detailed presentation of actual performance against targets in its Annual Report and for achieving an unqualified audit opinion from the AG. The Committee further noted that a prior apology for the absence of the Chairperson of the Board was not received, and recommends that the Chairperson should attend future presentations of the Annual Report to Parliament.

Report to be considered.

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence on the 2007/2008 annual report of the Castle of Good Hope

The Portfolio Committee on Defence, having considered the 2007/2008 Annual Report and the financial statements of the Castle of Good Hope, reports as follows:


The Defence Endowment Property Act (Act 33 of 1922) transferred the Castle of Good Hope to the now Republic of South Africa for the exclusive use of defence organisations, establishments and land defences. Since then, the Castle has been governed by the Minister of Defence. The Castle Management Act (Act 207 of 1993) provided for a Castle Control Board (CCB) to govern and manage the Castle on behalf of the Minister of Defence and to deal with the interests of all relevant stakeholders.

The 2007/2008 Annual Report of the Castle of Good Hope was tabled in Parliament on 30 September 2008. The acting Chairperson of the CCB, Major General J.T. Nkonyane, presented the Annual Report to the Portfolio Committee on Defence on 17 November 2008.



The period under review was characterised by the possible transfer of the management of the Castle from the Department of Defence (DOD) to the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) before the Castle Management Act Repeal Bill was withdrawn.

The following matters regarding the functioning and service delivery of the CCB were highlighted:

• The CCB received an unqualified audit report from the Auditor-general.

• The CCB increased its annual net profit by 14 percent, reporting a
  R1.871 million profit, which reflects a sound financial position.
• The Good Hope Art Studio has been actively involved in supporting the
  arts through assisting communities for non-commercial purposes,
  assisting the Castle to create a friendly environment for visitors.
• The CCB co-hosted the Cape Town Military Tattoo with the South African
  National Defence Force (SANDF).
• The CCB is heavily reliant on the SANDF for the day to day maintenance
  of facilities.
• The non-essential maintenance was suspended which resulted in a
  maintenance backlog in the Castle.
• While strides in the filling of vacancies were made, the CFO and CEO
  have not yet been appointed.
• The CCB spent 10 percent of its annual income on salaries. The entity
  has 18 fulltime employees with seven being remunerated by the CCB, and
  the remaining 11 being remunerated by the DOD.

The following achievements against stated objectives were presented to the Committee. These broad objectives are stipulated in the Castle Management Act. 2.1.1 To preserve and protect the military and cultural history of the Castle.

(a) Key objectives:

o To preserve Cape Military Heritage.
o To maintain, preserve and protect the Castle.
o To ensure good governance.

(b) Actual performance:

o The completion of the exhibition on the Wars of the Eastern Cape and
  the publication of the Military Events at the Cape (1830-1895).
o The continuous education and preservation of Cape military History.
o The day to day maintenance of the exterior walls, woodwork and slated
  pathways of the Castle as well as increased security.
o Systems put in place to improve the governance of the Castle include:
  a) The imminent appointment of an audit committee;
  b) The finalisation and implementation of a Supply Chain Management
     Policy as well as the Conservation Management Plan;
  c) The Department of Defence and CCB intend to identify and clarify
     relations with stakeholders.

2.1.2 To optimise the tourist potential of the Castle.

(a) Key objective: o To create a professional and competent corporate image.

(b) Actual performance:

o An increase of 5% in visitors (excluding functions and events) to 130
  000 visitors.

2.1.3 To maximise the accessibility to the public.

(a) Key objectives:

o Increase the Castle’s public profile and create a positive perception
  of the Castle across all sectors of the community.
o Implement additional services to visitors at the Castle of Good Hope.

(b) Actual performance: o A 5 percent increase in visitors’ figures generated from tourists (local/foreign) visiting the Castle of Good Hope, including “open day” programmes and presenting entertainment through “Horse and Carriage” tours in Cape Town.



The CCB reported a significant improvement in its financial position especially its cash position which allows the Castle to cover for contingencies in the future. The following can be highlighted: • A 14 percent increase in the annual net profit mainly due to the income generated from the Military Tattoo, ticket sales, and other investment income. • A 10 percent increase in profits from its operations. • Increased expenditure on maintenance. Maintenance is reported as the biggest expenditure item, namely 23 percent of total expenditure. A 543 percent increase in the maintenance costs of buildings and properties. • While trade receivables decreased by R20 000, payables increased by R8000. This means that debt owed to the Castle decreased, while debt owed by the Castle increased. • Due to an increase in short-term investments, the CCB reported a 35 percent increase in cash and cash equivalents.


The Castle of Good Hope received an unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General (A-G). The A-G drew attention to the following matters in the audit of the financial statements and performance information of CCB regarding the non-compliance with applicable legislation:

• No audit committee was appointed as required by Treasury Regulations
  and the PFMA.
• No internal audit function was in place as required by Treasury
  Regulations and the PFMA.
• An executive director has not been appointed to the Board as required
  by the Castle Management Act.
• A vice-chairperson to the Board has not been appointed as required by
  Treasury Regulations.
• A Chief Financial Officer has not been appointed as required by
  Treasury Regulations.
• A supply chain management policy has been developed but not yet
• Five vacancies on the CCB are reported for the period under review. No
  supporting letters for the appointment of the Board members are
• No risk management policy exists as required by the PFMA
• According to the Income Tax Act, the Castle should apply for income
  tax exemption if it receives income that can be of a taxable nature.
  The revenue that is received by the Castle for making its venues
  available for hire, could constitute taxable income.

During the presentation to the Portfolio Committee, the acting Chairperson of the CCB informed Members of the mitigating measures taken to address matters raised in the A-G report. These were highlighted as follows:

• The development of a rectification plan that would address matters of
  non-compliance by the end of 2008/2009 financial year.
• The establishment of an audit committee.
• The development of an internal audit charter while the Department’s
  Inspector–General would assist in the establishment of an internal
  audit function.
• The appointment of a vice-chairperson on 4 April 2008.
• The filling of certain vacancies on the Board.
• The establishment of a management directive for the appointment of a
• The finalisation of a draft risk management policy.
• All relevant documentation for a tax exemption status will be
  completed for the submission to the South African Revenue Service

The Portfolio Committee on Defence makes the following recommendations in respect of the 2007/2008 Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Castle of Good Hope:

• The CCB must address the outstanding matters of non-compliance with
  applicable legislation and matters of governance as raised in the A-G

• The CCB must develop a strategic business plan for the Castle to
  provide strategic direction towards the achievement of the CCB’s

• In order to achieve financial sustainability, the CCB must explore
  additional sources of funding.

• The CCB must ensure that all sources of income generated in the Castle
  are reinvested for the daily management of the Castle.
• Alternative international best management practices must be explored
  by the CCB, including the possibility of a Public Private Partnership

• The CCB must consider the appointment of a CEO and CFO as a matter of
  urgency. These appointments should be based on adequate available
  resources, be sustainable, and must add value to the entity. These
  appointments must be made in the next financial year.

• The CCB must ensure that the necessary supporting documentation
  regarding appointments of Board members by respective stakeholders is
  available. Noting that the representative of the Western Cape
  Legislature to the CCB has not been appointed, the Committee urges the
  provincial legislature to finalise such an appointment as speedily as
• The DoD, with the active cooperation and support of the Department of
  Public Works, should ensure the holistic preservation and maintenance
  of the Castle of Good Hope and related defence endowment properties.

• The DoD should ensure the responsible management of the Castle and all
  other immovable military heritage resources.

• The DoD (Minister of Defence) should continue to exercise strategic
  control and management of the Castle, and remain the Executive
  Authority of the Castle and the CCB.
  1. Conclusion

The Committee commends the CCB on the following achievements: • Improved management of the Castle • An unqualified audit opinion by the Auditor-general, and • The healthy financial position of the CCB

Report to be considered.

                       MONDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2009


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson

    a) Report of the 2008 Youth Parliament.

CREDA INSERT REPORT - T090209e – Insert1 – PAGES 263-285