National Assembly - 02 July 2009

THURSDAY, 2 JULY 2009 __


The House met at 14:02.

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


                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Ms A T LOVEMORE: Hon Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move on behalf of the DA:

That the House -

  1) notes that according to the Blue Drop Drinking Water Quality Report
     recently released by the Department of Water and Environmental
     Affairs, only 22 of 145 water service authorities were able to
     achieve Blue Drop status;

  2) further notes that Fifa requires the provision of safe drinking
     water in all host cities for the Fifa 2010 World Cup; and

  3) that the House debates the provision of safe drinking water to all
     South Africans.

Mr S C MOTAU: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move on behalf of the DA:

That the House -

  1) notes that to ensure South Africa’s energy security is vital for
     sustainable development and poverty alleviation;

  2) further notes that the decarbonising of the economy is an
     imperative if we are to mitigate climate change;

  3) further notes that South Africa’s national nuclear policy has yet
     to come before Parliament for either discussion or debate; and

  4) debates the possible make-up of South Africa’s future energy
     supply, with particular reference to both renewable and nuclear
     energy and their associated costs and benefits. Ms C DUDLEY: Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the ACDP, I give notice that I shall move:

That the House debates the devastating impact of prostitution, sex tourism, trafficking in women, and other such practices on women in developing countries and oppressed groups in developed countries.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House –

(1) notes Bafana Bafana’s excellent performance during the Confederations Cup despite losing to Brazil in the semifinal on Sunday, 28 June 2009;

(2) recognises that Bafana Bafana entered the tournament as rank outsiders but progressed to the semifinals due to playing excellent tactical football and demonstrating supreme confidence in their abilities as a team; (3) acknowledges the great football players in the team who played their hearts out for their country and who made every South African proud and also highlighted the depth of football talent we have in South Africa;

(4) recognises that Bafana Bafana gained important experience playing against top international teams during the Confederations Cup and their strong performance is a great boost not only for the team but for the country during the run-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup;

(5) congratulates the team on their outstanding performance during the tournament and the vast improvement in their game; and

(6) wishes Bafana Bafana well for their preparations during the run-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

(1) notes that the South African rugby team, the Springboks, has won the test series against the British and Irish Lions;

(2) acknowledges that rugby is valued as a sport that builds teamwork, understanding, co-operation and respect for fellow players;

(3) believes that rugby must continue to be proud of its ability to retain high standards of sportsmanship, ethical behaviour and fair play; and

(4) congratulates the Springboks on winning the rugby test series and wishes them well in the third and final test match this coming Saturday.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House –

(1) notes that the 2009 Confederations Cup came to a close on Sunday, 28 June 2009;

(2) further notes that Fifa President Sepp Blatter gave South Africa a 7,5 out of 10 rating for its organisation of the Confederations Cup and labelled the event a tremendous success;

(3) acknowledges the tribute paid by Sepp Blatter to the South African fans who showed their patriotism and pride for their country by filling the stadiums throughout the event;

(4) recognises that the success of the Confederations Cup is a great boost for the country during the run-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup and also resulted in valuable lessons being learnt for this upcoming international tournament;

(5) congratulates the organisers of the Confederations Cup as well as every South African who ensured that this event was a triumph for our country; and

(6) calls on all South Africa to remain united during the next 11 months and to work together to ensure that any remaining problems highlighted during the Confederations Cup are resolved before the start of the 2010 Fifa World Cup so that this event is an even greater success.

Agreed to.

                      DEATH OF MICHAEL JACKSON

                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House –

(1) notes with profound sadness the untimely and sudden death on Thursday, 25 June 2009, of Michael Jackson from cardiac arrest;

(2) further notes that the 50-year-old Jackson, former “King of Pop”, died at a time when he was preparing for a series of London concerts and that tickets to those concerts were already sold out;

(3) recognises that Jackson, who became known as the “King of Pop” with the success of albums such as Thriller, Bad and Dangerous, first rose to fame as a child singer with his four brothers as part of the Jackson 5 and it was Michael who became a sensation, most notably with the 1979 release of the album Off the Wall and that his status as a musical superstar was cemented in 1982 after the release of the album Thriller, which generated seven Top 10 hits;

(4) believes that he was a true musical icon whose identifiable voice, innovative dance moves, stunning musical versatility and sheer star power carried him from childhood to worldwide acclaim;

(5) acknowledges that Jackson was key in mobilising and organising other artists to raise funds to help the children of Ethiopia during the drought and famine of the early 1980s; and

(6) conveys its condolences to the Jackson family, the music industry in particular and the broad arts and culture community in general.

Agreed to.

                         PUBLIC SERVICE WEEK

                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House –

(1) notes that Monday, 29 June 2009, marked the beginning of Public Service week and that the theme for this week is Delivery of Quality Service for Sustainable Development;

(2) further notes that this week is used as the instrument to facilitate and encourage public access to services provided by the government;

(3) acknowledges that this week also aims at rebuilding and instilling good ethics, morale and pride in the public service and endeavours to translate the principles of Batho Pele into reality through the provision of quality service to our people;

(4) believes that the state is central in efforts to fight poverty and the creation of decent work for our people; and

(5) calls upon all public servants in various areas of deployment to internalise the principles of Batho Pele and the ethos of Ubuntu- Botho.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Ms C DUDLEY: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes that in an Oracle Internet competition involving 1 200 teams from 26 countries, including more than 100 entries from South Africa, a group of learners from Cotswold Preparatory School in Port Elizabeth and Stirling Primary School in East London won the under- 12 division, winning personal laptops, R40 000 for their schools and giving them a a trip to the United States to collect their prizes; and

(2) congratulates the learners and commends them for their outstanding effort and hands-on winning approach.

Agreed to.

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, we anticipated that motions and statements would take place at the same time today and that they would come up at the end of the sitting. There was a slight error in our arrangements, and I wonder if you would allow one of our members to give a motion now, with notice. It was one that we would have had on time, had we not slipped up slightly thinking that motions would come later. Could we put that motion on the Order Paper now?


Mr M J ELLIS: This is simply a request, Madam Deputy Speaker. That’s all it is.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, you are allowed.

Mr M J ELLIS: Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker. I appreciate that.

                          NOTICE OF MOTION

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

That the House -

  1) notes that acid-mine drainage is a legacy of our mining industry
     over the past century;

  2) further notes that it poses a dangerous threat to human health, the
     environment and water quality;

  3) further notes that there is likely to be a major decant of acid-
     mine drainage in Gauteng in the near future; and

  4) debates the government and industry response to acid-mine drainage
     and any interventions that may be required to avert a major
     environmental disaster.

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

Debate on Vote No 2 – Parliament:

The SPEAKER: Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President Ntate Kgalema Motlanthe, hon members, we meet today in the context of a nation and a world under severe financial strain. But, despite the obvious negative implications, it is a context that compels us to be more creative and innovative in the way we live as individuals and indeed as a nation, a context that implores us to challenge our individual and collective resolve to exercise greater responsibility in the use of financial and other resources.

As the fourth Parliament, it is a time that presents not only enormous challenges, but also exciting opportunities. As we reflect on the current Budget Vote for Parliament, let us do so critically, but also with innovation and foresight.

As the democratically elected representatives of our people, we have the honourable task to ensure government by the people under the Constitution. In doing so, I call upon all parties represented in this Chamber to heed the call of our President for a robust and engaged Parliament, a Parliament focused on enhancing service delivery for the social and economic upliftment of all South Africans, a Parliament that asserts its rightful role and status as one of the key institutions of democracy - one that not only holds government accountable for more effective and efficient delivery, but that is itself accountable to all South Africans for ensuring that their needs find expression and are addressed.

The President called for an “activist” parliament. Let us accept this as an opportunity to define our role in a new form of social mobilisation towards realising the development goals of our nation, entrenching democracy and contributing towards nation-building.

I think this is an opportune moment, given the context, to reflect critically on the proportional allocation of Parliament’s Budget Vote as one of the three arms of government in relation to the other Budget Votes comprising the national budget. Over the financial years of the third term, Parliament’s total budget constituted less than 1% of the annual national budget. For the current financial year Parliament’s budget constitutes 0,18% of the national budget. By comparison, the allocations to national departments range from 0,3% to 48,4% of the total national budget. For example, the Department of Public Works budget is 0,72% of the national budget, which is substantially larger than that allocated to the entire Parliament. Surely this should be a subject for further consideration and debate to redress the imbalance?

As we begin engaging with our responsibilities as the fourth Parliament, it is useful to reflect on the key developments of the Third Parliament – that is, in a sense, our homework given to us by our predecessors. These are the so-called legacy issues.

I take this opportunity to mention some of the key issues emanating from the Third Parliament with regard to which we must exercise our minds and chart the way forward. As part of its strategic objective of enhancing its oversight role, the Third Parliament adopted an oversight model. We are now charged with developing a framework and processes for its implementation.

One of the outcomes of the involvement of the Third Parliament in our country’s self-assessment process, as part of the peer review mechanism, was the establishment of an independent panel for the assessment of Parliament. The panel submitted its report to the Speaker and Chairperson of the Third Parliament on 13 January 2009. The report contains various recommendations that we should debate and consider for possible adoption and implementation. The Third Parliament also received the report of the ad hoc committee on the review of Chapter 9 and associated institutions. The recommendation of the committee on the establishment of a unit to co-ordinate and streamline the interaction between Parliament and such institutions was adopted and plans are under way for its implementation. It would be important for us to consider the report in its entirety as the fourth Parliament and determine how best to address the matters raised in the report.

The Third Parliament also embarked on the ambitious and unenviable task of addressing the growing need for adequate infrastructure in the buildings of Parliament – the so-called space utilisation project. I am sure that Members of Parliament would appreciate that this is a matter which should require our earnest attention. It is a project that goes beyond the provision of office space, parking and other facilities and meeting venues. Indeed, it is a matter which relates directly to Parliament’s capacity to increase public participation and involvement in the parliamentary processes by providing adequate venues and facilities to support this responsibility.

The Third Parliament passed the Financial Management of Parliament Act. This Act presents clear responsibilities for the executive authority, accounting officer and all officials who are granted delegation of authority to manage finances in Parliament. In this regard, I would like all officials of Parliament to know that greater fiscal responsibilities and accountabilities will be demanded and enforced without fear or favour in all their operations. Transparent, efficient and effective use of Parliament’s budget would also call on Members of Parliament to be responsible and frugal in their request for resources. It goes without saying that this is, of course, without compromising their roles and responsibilities. In addition, I would like to point out, with some humility, that the Act also compels the Minister of Finance to consult with the presiding officers before finalising the allocation to Parliament.

The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act passed by the third Parliament began to lay the foundation for the kind of activist Parliament we envisage. This Act clearly reflects the level of maturity of our democracy. Parliament is now empowered to make adjustments to the budgets of national departments, thereby providing an opportunity to ensure that public needs and concerns are prioritised in government’s financial allocations and programmes. This, of course, will be done in close consultation and interaction with the relevant Ministers and departments.

Clearly, this is a task which carries great responsibility, one that will begin to reframe the nature of the relationship between Parliament as a legislature and the executive as the custodians of service delivery. Parliament would need to develop the capacity amongst its members and staff to exercise this effectively. The Act calls for the establishment of a budget office in Parliament to support this function. Adequate financial and human resources would be required to effectively leverage the benefits of this important Act.

The current budget represents, in a sense, a transitional budget in moving from the third to the Fourth Parliament through our national elections earlier this year. Therefore, apart from the specific responsibilities we take over from the third Parliament, it is moreover our responsibility to develop our own set of priorities and expected outcomes of this Parliament. Indeed, it is only in crafting our strategic plan that we would be adequately able to engage and decide on our budget requirements in the medium term. This would obviously require an inclusive and participatory process.

I would, however, like to express some of the possible strategic questions to hopefully stimulate thinking and debate amongst the members of this House towards developing our strategic plan. Firstly, what would be the contribution of the Fourth Parliament in furthering the areas of focus expressed by the President in his state of the nation address? As part of this, Parliament should embark on measuring the impact of laws passed since

  1. Where changes need to be made to improve service delivery, these would need to be prioritised.

Secondly, beyond the explicit constitutional mandate of legislation and oversight, what would be the role of this Parliament in nation-building? I believe that Parliament represents a unique space to lead national dialogue and create a national consensus on issues of national concern and national interest. As the democratically elected representatives of our people, we bring together the diversity of experiences, cultures and views to be channelled towards formulating a common path to realising a better quality of life for all South Africans.

Thirdly, what would be the impact of the fourth Parliament in building democracy nationally and internationally? This would include reflection on whether Parliament meaningfully represented the will of the people of South Africa, both nationally and internationally, in governance issues affecting their lives. A more active role in the formative stages of international agreements and treaties and the role of Parliament in advancing democracy in Africa would need to be considered here.

Giving effect to this new thinking amongst Members of Parliament on the roles and functions of Parliament would also require a new thinking and approach by the parliamentary administration. The streamlining of support services, in the context of severely limited resources, is imperative. Furthermore, I call for the highest level of work ethics and for the ethical and professional conduct of all staff and management. Staff and indeed Members of Parliament are required to respect, promote and uphold the dignity and reputation of Parliament at all times. [Applause.]

At this point I would like to report that the presiding officers have received a report from the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing regarding the Secretary to Parliament, Mr Zingile Dingani. Mr Zingile Dingani was suspended in March 2009, after Parliament’s presiding officers at the time instituted disciplinary proceedings. These related to conduct inconsistent with the functioning of the Secretary to Parliament and dereliction of duty, following an investigation into the activities of the National Council of Provinces Secretary, Adv Lulama Matyolo-Dube. The disciplinary panel has found no conclusive evidence against the Secretary to Parliament. He was cleared on all charges. The Secretary to Parliament will resume his duties from 6 July 2009. Parliament will issue a press statement to this effect before the close of business today.

The matter of the disciplinary hearing of the Secretary to the National Council of Provinces, Adv Lulama Matyolo-Dube, has not been finalised yet. We will make the necessary announcement once the proceedings are concluded. Further disciplinary proceedings are being instituted against other parliamentary officials following recommendations from the KPMG report that action be taken. Parliament will make announcements about the outcome of these proceedings when they have been concluded. One must be mindful of the fact that the current budget is seen as a transitional budget from the third Parliament. The Budget Vote of Parliament for the 2009-10 financial year is divided into two components, namely the direct charge against the National Revenue Fund, which is an allocation for members’ remuneration; and the expenditure appropriated in the Appropriation Bill, which, in turn, is subdivided into five strategic programmes.

When the direct charge for members’ remuneration is excluded from the total budget, the allocation of the remainder of the allocation, as reflected in the Vote, has grown at an average annual rate of 16% from 2005-06 to the 2008-09 financial year. The 2009-10 appropriation amounts to R974,1 million. This is divided into five programmes. I will just give a synopsis of these, as the comprehensive details about them are available in the Appropriation Bill and in the Estimates of National Expenditure for

  1. Members can look that up themselves.

Programme 1 represents the proposed budget allocation for the administration programme. The purpose of this programme is to provide strategic leadership, institutional policy, overall management, administration and corporate services to Parliament’s executive, management and staff. The 2009-10 budget allocation for Programme 1 amounts to R247,8 million.

Programme 2 represents the proposed allocation for legislation and oversight. The purpose of this programme is to provide procedural and administrative services for Parliament to carry out its core functions. In addition, the purpose of the programme is to pass legislation and oversee executive action. The 2009-10 budget allocation for Programme 2 amounts to R187 million.

Programme 3 represents the proposed allocation for the public and international participation programme. The purpose of this programme is to carry out Parliament’s role in public and in international participation and to provide support for the underlying activities. The 2009-10 budget allocation for Programme 3 amounts to R67,8 million.

Programme 4 represents the proposed allocation for the members’ facilities programme. The purpose of this programme is to provide telephone, travel and other facilities to Members of Parliament in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. The 2009-10 budget allocation for this programme amounts to R212 million.

Programme 5 represents the proposed allocation for the associated services programme. The purpose of this programme is to provide financial support to political parties represented in Parliament and to its leaders and constituency offices. The 2009-10 budget allocation for Programme 5 amounts to R258,7 million. In the submission of the budget proposal, Parliament indicated its policy imperatives which had to be funded in the 2009-10 financial year. Amongst other things, some of the policy imperatives included provision of generic training for members in budget oversight. The training requires an amount of R8 million over the 2009-10 period.

There is a need for additional support staff for members. This policy is underfunded for this financial year.

There has been a need to establish a unit on Chapter 9 institutions. This did not receive a budget allocation in the current budget. The establishment of an oversight advisory section has also not been funded. There is also a need for enhanced international participation and the filling of posts in the Language Services Section. Given these priorities expressed by the third Parliament, the current budget is underfunded by approximately R143 million.

In conclusion, I would again like to encourage all members of this House to engage actively with the challenges and opportunities presented to us. How we translate these into adequate budget allocations for future years of our term will be crucial in determining the degree of our success in rising to the challenge of a truly democratic, robust and engaged people’s Parliament. I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Sekela-Somlomo ohloniphekileyo Motlatsa Presidente wa Rephaboliki ya Aforika Borwa, Rre Kgalema Motlanthe malungu ahloniphekile esishayamthetho, ndi masiari. [U vhanda zwanda.] [Hon Speaker, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, hon members of the legislature, good afternoon.] [Applause.]

If the masses of our people are behind us, what can defeat us?

An HON MEMBER: The IFP! [Laughter.]

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: We are privileged to be given an opportunity to serve such a nation: a nation of leaders, a nation that does not have the word “problem” in its vocabulary, but a nation that has challenges to overcome.

This is one of the few nations in the world where the descendents of the slaves and the descendents of the slave owners sat down together around the table to shape the history of their country. We are privileged to be their public representatives. We dare not fail them.

Today as South Africans we are respected the world over owing to our ability to overcome adversity and find common ground to beat the odds and achieve more than expected.

Amongst our achievements as a nation are the following. General Jan Christiaan Smuts is credited with crafting the preamble to the United Nations Charter in 1945. The late President of the ANC, Inkosi Albert Luthuli, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961, becoming the first African ever to receive the prize. The most famous statesman ever, Nelson Mandela, was our first President. The Mandela brand competes with the best in the world. The first heart transplant was done by Dr Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town, South Africa. The South African national rugby team, the Springboks, has won the Rugby World Cup twice already and, a few days ago, won the test series against the British and Irish Lions. Our soccer team won the African Cup of Nations on its second attempt. The supremely talented Patrick “Ace” Ntsoelengoe was inducted into the United States National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003. Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron is known as one of the greatest actresses of our time. Ladysmith Black Mambazo has won more than two Grammy Awards.

There are also many unsung heroes and heroines who are doing volunteer work, assisting people less privileged than themselves. We were the founders of the World Federation of Trade Unions in 1945. We have listed all these individuals and collectives irrespective of their political persuasions to demonstrate the ability of South Africans to defy all odds.

We are a nation of warriors that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led, the patriots that Cetshwayo and Mphephu took to battle, and the soldiers Moshoeshoe and Ngungunyane taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom.

Fellow South Africans, we know that there are challenges, ranging from the economic meltdown to unemployment, but our fighting spirit as a nation will not allow us to despair because we know that freedom or death, victory is certain.

Exactly one week ago our people countrywide celebrated the 54th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter by the Congress of the People gathered in Kliptown in 1955. The first consultative conference of the ANC held in Morogoro in 1969 stated the following in analysing the Freedom Charter:

The Parliament of South Africa will be wholly transformed into an assembly of the people. Every man and woman in our country shall have the right to vote for and stand as a candidate for all offices and bodies which make laws.

Today our people’s aspirations, hopes and desires are anchored in the firm foundation of the Constitution, which is legal expression of the noble ideals contained in the Freedom Charter.

The decisive majority the ANC received in the last poll is an indication of the trust and belief our people have in their movement that it will transform their country into what their forebears envisaged in the Freedom Charter in 1955.

The concept of a People’s Parliament has been at the centre of the ANC’s political vision. The ANC understands that a strong, democratic Parliament is one of our best instruments in defence of our democratic state and our dynamically evolving society. Parliament, as the primary institution of democracy - the voice of the people - must ensure that the principle of working together with our people is entrenched.

Before the end of the year, the ANC will have developed an assessment tool to measure the performance of its Members of Parliament. This assessment will be done annually. The ANC Members of Parliament will be drivers of an activist Parliament.

To us, Parliament is not the buildings of Parliament but the work done by members of this House to improve the lives of our people. The ANC Members of Parliament will not be servicing constituency offices, but constituencies. This means that we will not be waiting for people to come to our offices, but going to our people. [Applause.] We will not be served by our people but will serve them. We will not find solutions for our people; we will find solutions with them.

Our collective values should guide us and take precedence over our individual interests. As we are called upon to be servants of the people, we will, as such, be judged by the people not on how much we know, but on how much we care about them. We will use information gathered during the election campaign to ask Ministers questions, generate statements, evaluate policies, and even develop new policies. The people of South Africa will see themselves through their public representatives.

Therefore, our view as the ANC is to transform our institutions of democracy and enhance their capacity to deliver basic services in order for us to be able to push back the frontiers of poverty.

We propose that Parliament consider the following urgent matters for implementation. Committee budgets in Parliament are structured around committees. This cannot be correct. Budgets should, in the main, be structured around the programmes of committees and not the institution of a committee.

Executive secretaries to chairpersons of committees should be linked to the term of office of the particular chairperson. Chairpersons of committees should not be required to use secretaries that they are not comfortable with. [Applause.]

As a matter of principle, we agree with the Speaker that Parliament is not a department but an arm of state. In respect of the budget of Parliament, it must reflect the status and role of Parliament as an institution that exercises oversight over government. In this regard, it can only be correct to accommodate Parliament’s needs as part of the top-sliced portion of revenue to be agreed upon between the presiding officers and the Treasury committee.

Today we sit with a funding formula that was last adjusted in 2005. It is important that the formula be revisited. Clearly, the criteria which determine how the budget is allocated are administratively driven. The provision for party-political research is a mere R2 200 per annum. The allocation of the budget confuses the political research done by Parliament’s information services with party-political research. Nonpartisan research and party-political research are completely different and the appropriation of each budget by Parliament needs to reflect this.

It is the responsibility of party-political research to shape and strengthen the ideological capacity of Parliament in debate, a function that Parliament’s information services do not perform. There should be money set aside for the disestablishment and establishment of party- political caucuses.

Whips are fundamental to the functioning of Parliament, yet in the budget allocation to parties there is no serious reflection of this. The political office bearers need to receive adequate and necessary support from Parliament. Support for whips cannot be relegated to a party-political issue. Parliament must recognise that funding the Whippery is a necessary part of the functioning of a constitutional democracy and not see it as an additional expense. The procedure for the appointment of senior officials should be reviewed. Given the fact that presiding officers constitute the executive authority of Parliament, they should be involved in the process of appointment of senior officials. [Applause.]

It has become abundantly clear that the practice of employment until retirement in Parliament is not having the desired impact on performance. If anything, it mitigates against performance. It needs review, and the process of realigning the term of office of staff with Parliament’s needs requires discussion. Once agreed, implementation needs to be done in a staggered manner so that we don’t have a disruption at the end of each term of Parliament.

The definition of tools of the trade should be revisited. Tools of the trade cannot be limited to cellphones, laptops and desktops. They have to be located within the paradigm of the overall and combined resources that are necessary and needed for a member with constitutional responsibilities. This must lead to our reviewing members’ benefits, particularly how members undertake their constituency and oversight work. Rules will have to be revisited in this regard.

Progress has been made with regard to the representation of women, the youth and people living with disabilities. However, Parliament does not have an aftercare facility that members with young families can use when the need arises. We strongly recommend that such facilities be organised by Parliament. We should continue to give support to people living with disabilities. In so doing, we should not decide what they need but work with them to determine their needs.

A lot has been done to transform Parliament into a people’s Parliament. However, participation is still dominated by those who have the means. Therefore, this fourth Parliament should devise ways and means of engaging the rural poor and other sectors of our society.

The ANC supports Parliament’s Budget Vote, firm in the conviction that the work we continue to do remains consistent with the people’s ideals of realising a vision of a united, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa.

Fellow South Africans, we have taken the first step of a long journey to a truly united, democratic and prosperous South Africa, in which the value of all citizens is measured by their humanity without regard to race, gender and social status.

We wish to thank the Whips of all parties for their co-operation to ensure the smooth running of Parliament. We wish to thank the Leader of Government Business for his support and efforts to improve co-ordination between Parliament and the executive. We wish to thank the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, the Deputy Speaker, Deputy Chairperson, and the House Chairpersons of the NA and NCOP for providing support and leadership.

We thank all members for their work and dedication. And we thank the staff of Parliament and the staff of all political parties for their support. We thank the media for reporting on our activities.

Let us intensify the struggle against poverty as we advance in unity towards the realisation of a better life for all. Working together, let us build a people’s Parliament. Siyathokoza. [We thank you.] [Applause.]

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, this is the first debate introduced by you, the Deputy Speaker, and by the Speaker as the new Speakers of Parliament, and indeed it would be remiss of me if I did not, in the first place, officially congratulate you from this podium on your elevation to that office, and, secondly, wish you both well in the debate and, more particularly, well in your office in the future.

I would hope that Parliament, being a new Parliament with a new Speaker, will take the opportunity to make itself the centre of debate in this country, where key political, social and economic issues and policies find expression and where lively but reasoned debate takes place.

Let me be frank: Over the past 10 years this Parliament has slowly found itself marginalised in terms of its critical role under the Constitution of exercising oversight, and promoting good governance, accountability and transparency by and of the executive. As a result, many would say Parliament ran the risk of losing its relevance.

Under your stewardship, Mr Speaker, we need to ensure that we once again become an independent, robust and lively institution, an institution in which all oversight mechanisms are freely available to political parties in order to uphold the values of democracy and in which vibrant and meaningful debate takes place on issues pertinent to the everyday lives of all South Africans. My colleague Mr Ellis will deal further with these matters.

Mr Speaker, one of the first challenges you have to face is the budget deficit that this institution is facing, currently estimated at about R143 million. This has arisen, predictably, as a result of the general belt- tightening required by Treasury in the light of the decline of revenue the fiscus is experiencing. Indeed, the deficit may well have been higher but for the required delay in the implementation of certain past policy priorities determined by the third Parliament.

Mr Speaker, this period of austerity is certain to be with us for some time and therefore I believe it is necessary, in the light of the changed circumstances, for us to complete, as a matter of urgency, a thorough reprioritisation of all Parliament’s strategies, programmes and accompanying policies.

The second challenge that the Speaker has to face, I believe, is to make Parliament as accountable and transparent as we demand of government - to restore its integrity as an institution. Unfortunately, the Parliamentary Oversight Authority, POA, has become a shadow of the name by which it is described. Indeed, its function seems to have been usurped by the ANC’s political committee in Parliament, the committee that champions ANC strategy in this institution.

In this context I would like to focus my attention on the whole matter of the Secretary to Parliament. On 10 March 2009 parliamentarians woke up to find that the Secretary to Parliament had been requested to take special leave and that certain allegations into his conduct were to be investigated. These investigations related to his allegedly failing to act in the best interests of his employer, negligently engaging in certain conduct and failing to exercise the good judgment and diligence expected of an employee in his position.

I need to make the point here that the Secretary and Deputy Secretary to Parliament are both appointed by resolution of Parliament - that is, both the NA and the NCOP. It follows that if there is a suspension, such suspension should at least be reported to both Houses. Indeed, it does raise the point as to who can suspend a person appointed by both Houses of Parliament. Surely it is only both Houses of Parliament by substantive motion?

However, notwithstanding repeated attempts by myself to ascertain the exact nature of the charges against him, I was blocked in the Parliamentary Oversight Authority by the then Speaker. I was advised that an investigation was being done by KPMG, the findings of which would constitute the case against him.

On 20 March 2009, KPMG delivered its report, after which I again requested a full briefing and that the report be made available. I was told that the report was still in its draft form and therefore access was denied.

On Sunday, 21 June, Members of Parliament again woke up to find more news about the Secretary. This time the news was that he had been found not guilty and that he had been exonerated of all allegations against him. Fortunately, that Tuesday a Parliamentary Oversight Authority meeting had been scheduled at which I again requested the presiding officer to brief us fully about the developments surrounding the Secretary. The only briefing we got was to be told that they, the presiding officers, were studying the report of the disciplinary commission.

Well, now I too have been studying the report, but not by courtesy of the presiding officers. What is interesting about the KPMG report is that far from being the founding document in respect of the case against the Secretary; it more pointedly concerned allegations about the Secretary of the National Council of Provinces, Adv Matyolo-Dube. Her alleged behaviour documented in the report is deeply problematic and points to an ongoing culture of jobs for pals and potential contraventions of section 17 of the Corrupt Activities Act. Other officials are implicated as well. Indeed, cronyism and nepotism had provided the perfect breeding ground, as it always does, for malpractice and corruption to take place.

In this regard, I have written to you, Mr Speaker, requesting you to submit a full and proper report to the POA detailing what the latest status is with regard to the disciplinary matters of individuals referred to in that report. I also believe, Mr Speaker, that you should be looking at the same time at all cronyism-type practices that seem to epitomise staff appointments in this Parliament. Indeed, since the disclosure of the KPMG report, my office has been contacted by other parliamentary staff members confirming similar incidents of cronyism and corruption in other departments in this Parliament.

In respect of the Secretary, only the last 10 pages of an 88-page report allude to any potential culpability of the Secretary, and it is these matters and others that form the basis of the case against the Secretary. I have now read the findings of Adv Moroka, the presiding officer of the Secretary’s disciplinary hearing. Now, it is not my intention to go into the findings of the case or indeed comment on the merits or demerits of the case against the Secretary. However, I do feel constrained to make the following point. I am not surprised by Adv Moroka’s finding. The truth is that Parliament’s case was put in such an incompetent manner that I believe she had no option but to make the findings she did.

In each charge that Parliament levelled against the Secretary, Parliament either failed on many occasions to lead evidence to support the charge, or else led evidence that was contradicted by the same witness at a later stage. It at times led hearsay evidence or let evidence stand uncontested. Often it failed to understand where the onus of proof lay or led charges that were misconceived and groundless.

I can only come to three possible conclusions. Either there was no real evidence to lead, or the advocate prosecuting the case was incompetent, or the case had been deliberately sabotaged by officials sympathetic to the Secretary. Perhaps there is a bit of truth in all three. My concern is that if I am correct then Adv Matyolo-Dube, the real subject of KPMG, will likewise escape successful prosecution. Having said that, I welcome the Secretary back.

Mr Speaker, your challenges - our challenges - are important. We dare not fail for all of us need to recognise and respect the role Parliament needs to play in promoting, both in respect of the executive and itself, the democratic values of accountability, responsiveness and openness. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M S SHILOWA: Hon Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon Deputy Speaker, Cope will support this budget. We are all in agreement as the House on the role of Parliament - some of the issues you have already alluded to - both in terms of its role with regard to legislation as well as on issues of oversight.

With regard to legislation, I just want to raise two issues. Firstly, it will be important to ensure that through the Leader of Government Business proper notice and timeframes are given for legislation that is going to come up - by when - so that committees can plan and so that we never have to rush through pieces of legislation which may then later lead to our having to make further amendments.

Secondly, there is also a need, in our view, to discuss the role of the legislature in secondary legislation. Because while it should be the right of the executive to set out regulations to the extent that those regulations become secondary legislation, it is important that we do not give those powers to the executive and then take away our role as legislatures. The other issue concerns oversight. Firstly, with regard to oversight, it is important that we look at how we can get involved in the prioritisation of what the issues are that each of the departments are looking at. Secondly, how do we ensure the efficient use of resources that have been allocated? Thirdly, how do we ensure that service delivery is enhanced and achieved in terms of those resources that would have been given?

Fourthly, there is the issue of how transformation itself takes place. Fifthly, there is the issue of how we look at annual reports of Chapter 9 bodies to the extent that they report to Parliament. It is important that Parliament has enough time to go through these annual reports and is able to decide on whether or not the resources allocated by Parliament have been used properly.

If one looks at the current budget, which we have just tabled, it is based, as you yourself have said, on the priorities of the third Parliament. It will be important for us, while we are using what is here in terms of the coming years, to look at how we realign that to our fourth Parliament, which means the whole issue of reprioritisation would need to be there to deal with, among other things, the issues that have been raised by the ruling party with regard to support for members and support for parties, including party-political research, the caucus, the Whips and general members. We agree with this.

I want to deal also with another matter, which is that of disclosure by members. Disclosure must always be understood not as an attempt to trap or catch members but to ensure that we all avoid conflict, both real and perceived. How do we then ensure that this issue of conflict can be dealt with? I would want to suggest that one of the issues we may want to look at is whether or not the time has come to have an independent body to look at this issue of disclosure.

I think if you look at what has been happening in the UK - I don’t want to deal with home-grown situations - having an independent body, whether it’s headed by a retired judge or otherwise, may be the best way to ensure that even when there are conflicts, real or otherwise, it’s not the legislature which sits in judgment of its own members, in which case most of us simply relate what the party may have agreed to.

Lastly, we agree to debate the reports raised by the Speaker in terms of the various things that you were tabulating, including the various reports of Chapter 9 institutions, and so forth. We will be working with you to ensure that this budget is enhanced, working together to develop a new budget taking us forward over the next five years. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Deputy Speaker, we in the IFP join other speakers who are saying thank you to everybody who has worked hard to make a success of this institution. Yes, we have undergone very important changes. We have a new Speaker, a new Deputy Speaker and even a new Chief Whip. What I specifically remember about the Speaker, when he was still the ANC Chief Whip, was his willingness to listen. He opened doors, and very important is the fact that he never made a distinction between Members of Parliament - whether they were from his party or other parties, he listened to all of them. That, of course, is the main characteristic of a good Speaker, and that applies, hopefully, also to the Deputy Speaker and the Chief Whip.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the former Speaker, Gwen Mahlangu. She sits there – and your hair is very beautiful today, Gwen. [Laughter.] Although she once chased me and my cake out of Parliament … [Laughter.] … I have never stopped liking her. We miss her and we wish her very well in her new job. There is also Baleka. We really miss her, and whenever I walk through Parliament and I see her photo, I say: “Hello, Baleka!” [Laughter.]

Deputy Speaker, how did we do? We now come to the point of weighing up Parliament’s performance during the past year. How did we do? Speaking about the functioning of Parliament, we did well. We had our challenges, which were many. We had numerous meetings. We assisted one another, and I think we coped - not in the Cope way but in the other way, we coped. [Interjections.] So, as a machine we operated well. There are, however, some points I wish to raise under the heading Moral Leadership. Parliament, as an institution, should set the example to all in our land when it comes to moral leadership. Unfortunately, our image does not always reflect that. People watching TV sometimes see us coming late, see some people sleeping in the House, there is sometimes not a quorum, and we even had an example of booing some weeks ago.

We are still saddled with severe criticism about the so-called Travelgate scandal. That will not go away. Eighteen of our members have been convicted by the High Court on very serious criminal charges, such as fraud, and their careers have been seriously damaged.

But another 12 MPs, who have committed more or less the same offences, have not been prosecuted. The reasons advanced by the National Prosecuting Authority have never convinced me. Parliament itself instituted disciplinary steps against the 12, but those cases are still pending and have never been finalised. Mr Speaker, that stain remains on Parliament’s image, and it will not go away.

What should happen is that a judge of the High Court should be appointed to investigate the whole Travelgate matter and give us a report. That is the only way we can demonstrate moral leadership.

In addition to Travelgate, we know now that KPMG has found that we were fleeced of millions of rand by certain companies. It is painful. It will not go away. We need to clean up our image.

In conclusion, Deputy Speaker, I do not want to paint only a negative picture. We are a family as we are here. We have an institution to respect and protect. Our Parliament has weathered many storms. There will be more, and we will also overcome them.

I remain a proud member of this Parliament. I am proud of this Parliament. I have been here for 32 years and I still enjoy every day. [Applause.] We, as Members of this Parliament, are being cared for better than many MPs in many other countries of the world.

My attitude as a Whip - and I have been a Whip for more than 20 years - has always been to fix things. So, my message today is: We are aware of our shortcomings in this Parliament, but we will fix them! [Applause.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member. It is only a senior person who can speak like you.

Ms M P MENTOR: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon Speaker, forgive me if I have mixed up the salutation – I don’t know who to greet first, the Deputy President of the Republic or the Speaker in this debate. Members of Parliament, comrades, staff of Parliament, fellow South Africans, I don’t think Mr van der Merwe really prepared himself today. He should have donated a few of his minutes to me.

However, I think we should not gloat and wish that the black stain on Parliament should not go away. I think we should find ways and means of putting that chapter behind us. We cannot wish to carry forward a black stain and further darken it, and wish it to linger on and on. [Interjections.]

I have been requested to speak about rooting Parliament in the aspirations and ideals of our people through a social, economic and national agenda. I will focus mainly on the national agenda.

I first want to ask four questions. What is our national agenda? Who sets it? Who drives it? And what should be the strategic entry points into our national agenda?

I wish to submit that the Constitution sets our national agenda. Amongst other things, this agenda should seek to ensure that our people’s human dignity is supported and attained. This agenda should advance the human rights and freedoms of our people, and should pursue nonracialism and nonsexism and the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law.

Furthermore, the national anthem that we sometimes sing so carelessly says, somewhere in its entry section, “Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo”, meaning: “May the horn of Africa be raised high.” I sometimes wonder whether we listen to ourselves. I think that is part of our agenda: to raise high the horn of the African continent, and, by so doing, also raise high our own national aspirations.

Who should drive the national agenda? I think Parliament should be central to driving the national agenda, but before we even look at Parliament, let us look at the Members of Parliament who comprise Parliament. I want to start with the highest office. Both the President and the Deputy President take an oath. Forgive me, Deputy President, for reminding you of your oath, and the President’s oath. I will not quote this oath in its totality, but only certain sections. It says, and I quote: “I promise to be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and I will obey, respect and uphold the Constitution.”

I want to ask whether every day, in what we do as this Parliament, when we hold the head of the executive accountable, we hold them accountable against the oath that they have taken.

But they are not the only ones who take an oath. We ourselves take an oath. Just to remind you of the oath we take: in it we promise to “promote and advance the Republic.”

The executive, the Deputy President and the President also promise to do the same. We promise in our oath to discharge our duties with all our strengths and all our talents. If we are to be at the centre our of the national agenda, I think we must ask ourselves every day whether we are discharging our duties in the manner that is described by the oath that we take.

We have also committed ourselves, through the oath or the solemn affirmation that we take, to ensuring the wellbeing of the Republic. If we are really at the centre of driving the national agenda, as stipulated in the Constitution, I think we should live true to the oath that we have taken.

Going back to the national anthem, another aspect that touches me daily when we sing it, is the line: “O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho”, meaning that all wars and tribulations must be stopped. Our people are faced with tribulations every day that, I think, this Parliament sometimes fails to recognise. There are wars in the making in our country today, based on poor service delivery.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I received an e-mail two days ago that shook me very much. I belong to the World Democracy Forum. There is an e-mail that their members are circulating, entitled “Brewing a national revolution”. When I went into the checklist of things they say you need to brew a national revolution, some of them – I counted 80% of them – are embedded in what is happening in our country today, namely dissatisfaction around basic issues that our people expect from our government and from this Parliament of ensuring that government delivers.

Our people are faced with tribulations, and I want to submit that, unless we act fast as this Parliament, the seed for another national revolution has been planted. The realisation that is sought in our national anthem, that our God should stop wars and tribulations, will not be realised. I think this Parliament should affirm itself and be very assertive in ensuring that this formula for a revolution is not being spread. Mind you, this same e-mail was also sent around Kenya before the eruption after the last election there. I want to submit that we might not be aware of it, but the patience of our people is wearing thin. And I don’t know if this Parliament is rising to the occasion - to hold government accountable timeously and qualitatively to make sure that the people’s tribulations are addressed.

If you listen carefully to various means of communication - the public discourse - you will note that our people are crying out loud every day. We hear every day how they call upon those that they have elected, which is ourselves and which is this Parliament, to hear their cry about poor - quality service delivery.

I want to cite the example of the Frances Baard municipality of Kimberley, the city I come from. For nine consecutive years that municipality has received disclaimers from the National Treasury. Water is no longer available every day. Every month, for two, three days on end, there is no water. I don’t even want to talk about the quality of health care given at the provincial hospital in Kimberley. But the question I want to ask, is to ask myself first, as a person coming from that constituency, whether Parliament, in its mechanisms, is facilitating my ability to do the work that I should do, to ensure that it cannot be correct for any municipality to have nine disclaimers in nine consecutive years. If I am failing in my duty to bring such issues before this Parliament, I think this Parliament must demand from me to do better, assist me to do better.

On many days there is no electricity in that municipality. Last week people did not get their salaries. That was not the first time. And yet we are sitting in this Parliament. I hope that we will do better. I hope that we will listen carefully to the aspirations of our people. They are not only written and contained in the Constitution; they are not only written and contained in the national anthem; we hear them being cried out loud.

The things that they expect us to do are to communicate with them, and to be rooted amongst them, to be present amongst them every day, and to communicate with them when things go right and when things go wrong. Finally, they expect us to be a Parliament second to none in the world, a Parliament that will lift the whole of Africa, that will be involved in lifting our nation and lifting the whole of Africa, and that will lead in terms of shaping the new world order that we have promised them, especially as the ruling party, in many, many policy documents.

Lastly, to the Chief Whip of the DA: The political committee of the ANC in Parliament will and must continue to champion the policies of the ANC. When they fail to do so, I promise you we will remove them and they will be replaced with ones that are even more effective in championing the policies of the ANC. I thank you. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Madam Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President and also Acting President, hon Speaker, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, let me begin by thanking the following for their co- operation and support: representatives of the various political parties who serve on the Quarterly Consultative Forum, the Speaker’s Office, the House Chairpersons, the parliamentary services and the Office of the Secretary to Parliament, the Department of Public Works, the Police VIP Protection Service, the fourth Parliament project team and members of the facility section.

A profound view from the hon Speaker is that Parliament, apart from being a marketplace of ideas, should become the forum for minimising social and interparty conflicts, including the eradication of prejudices in any form, in order to build national consensus and therefore establish lasting democracy. In order for Parliament to do this, it is necessary for Members of Parliament to be adequately empowered with the relevant tools of the trade, which the hon Speaker again refered to as non-negotiables or absolute rights for members to have. This can only be possible with the co- operation of all sectors, including Members of Parliament.

The House Chairperson of internal arrangements was appointed in accordance with National Assembly Rule 14, as amended on 26 May 2009. This Rule provides that the Speaker will allocate functions and responsibilities to the House Chairperson and announce them in the ATC’s. The functions and responsibilities are as follows: ensuring the wellbeing and interests of members; overseeing and ensuring the alignment of structures dealing with members’ interests and facilities; receiving and providing reports on issues of members’ interests; ensuring the enhancement of the capacity of members; ensuring the development and implementation of policy in respect of former members; developing and proposing policy on benefits and facilities for former members; liaising in various parliamentary committees, for example the National Assembly programming committee, the Chief Whips’ Forum, the National Assembly Forum, the National Assembly Rules Committee, the Joint Rules Committee and the Parliamentary Budget Forum, among others. Some of these responsibilities have been carried over from the third Parliament and are ongoing. With the co-operation of the Office of the Secretary to Parliament, we have agreed to have the heads of parliamentary services in attendance at meetings of the Quarterly Consultative Forum. The Department of Public Works and the Police VIP Protection Service will also attend. We believe this is one way of positioning the interests of members central to their functioning. It is regrettable that the fulfilment of some of the interests of Members of Parliament had to be delayed for this fourth Parliament through no fault of any particular individual. At times, however, the very processes that members of this House adopt come back to create barriers against progress. This is proof that the human mind is not infallible.

Nevertheless, the Speaker has already referred to the status of the procurement of mobile devices and computer equipment, approved on 22 June 2009 by the Acting Secretary to Parliament. Members were requested to choose suitable equipment in accordance with their needs in Room E538 by 30 June 2009. Selection forms for completion by members, pictures and demo equipment were set up there and members were assisted by IT staff. The expected timeline for the delivery of equipment is 20 days. I was requested by one official to say that members ought to continue going to that room to complete these forms. To date, only about 320 members have done so. So, could members go there and complete the forms so that they can get their equipment.

With regard to members’ facilities, all changes to the members’ facilities handbook, as recommended by the Quarterly Consultative Forum in the third Parliament, were approved by the Parliamentary Oversight Authority and implemented in the fourth Parliament accordingly. All members have been loaded onto the travel solution and are being trained individually on how to authorise their travel. Parking cards for airports have been allocated to members, and members’ voyager status has been upgraded to gold.

Newly refurbished offices were allocated to all parties. The increase in the number of opposition parties has put a severe strain on the accommodation of parliamentary officials in offices, a few of which had to be relocated. The Department of Public Works has been requested to allocate more floors in the 90 Plein Street building for this purpose. Parliament could also not meet the request from the Presidency for the exclusive use of offices at the Chamber in the Good Hope building owing to a shortage of space. I think this marks the urgency of the special project which the Speaker noted earlier.

On travel entitlements for former members, the proposals from the Quarterly Consultative Forum went to the Parliamentary Oversight Authority in the third Parliament. The costs associated were exceptionally high, and this was thus put on hold as the Parliamentary Oversight Authority had been looking at costing the Quarterly Consultative Forum amendments to the members’ facilities. The original request for entitlements for former members will be looked at again and then be referred back to the Parliamentary Oversight Authority for approval.

On internal services to members, catering food prices had not increased since 2007 and were thus raised as from 15 June 2009. The Marks Building restaurant will be renovated during July 2009. The New Wing, the Old Assembly and Good Hope restaurants have been renovated and supplied with new equipment.

Parties were allocated parking bays in Parliament on a ratio of eight bays for every 10 members. Due to the shortage of bays, parties have assisted with the allocation, and generally the parking needs of all parties have been met.

With regard to accommodation at the parliamentary villages, there have been many challenges - more especially where members and their dependants were not vacating their residences on time, and the Department of Public Works had to initiate eviction processes. There are currently 342 members in total who are taking occupation at the residences, and unfortunately a few had to be accommodated in hotels while their residences were being vacated or renovated.

The Department of Public Works also urges members to adhere to the rules of the parliamentary villages. The following come to mind: When taking occupation, members should complete the lease agreement, occupancy audit sheet indicating family members residing with them, a stop order form to ensure monthly deductions for rental and an inventory report. Members remaining from the third Parliament are also required to complete a new lease agreement; and domestics should be registered at the Department of Labour in order to qualify for accommodation. We are also currently negotiating with the Department of Public Works to set up a bus schedule help desk within Parliament where members can be assisted with the schedule of bus times.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, as much as this topic is important to members, your time has expired.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.] I would have thought I was the treasury in the household of her majesty.

Mr L W GREYLING: Madam Deputy Speaker, this parliamentary Budget Vote is being debated at a time in our country’s history when our people are faced with immense hardship, including thousands of job losses. Our economy is straining, revenue is dropping and many of our essential services, such as health care and education, are not coping with the huge demands being placed on them. It is important to bear this in mind, because it is simply too easy for us as Members of Parliament to shield ourselves from the harsh realities that so many of our people face.

We, in the ID, believe it is imperative that Parliament asserts its leadership role during these difficult times through both our words and our actions, and that we are focused on dealing with the massive challenges in our society. Our debates need to reflect this. Parliament needs to be a centre of not only ideas, but also actions, in which petty squabbles are put aside in favour of truly grappling with the challenges we face.

Parliament also needs to set an example by being frugal and cutting the fat from its budget. In this regard, all luxuries should be done away with. It is time to restore the standing of this institution in our society, and we need to ensure that all the corruption scandals of the past are dealt with properly and put behind us.

We also need a greater level of transparency in our institution. We should perhaps amend the Act so that MPs can put questions to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker and not just members of the Cabinet.

This fourth democratic Parliament presents us with the opportunity to build a new institutional culture - one which the people of our country can look to for true leadership and guidance during these difficult times. We dare not fail them. I thank you.

Mr S Z NTAPANE: Madam Deputy Speaker and hon members, the budget before us is significantly less than what Parliament initially applied for. Particularly in tough economic times, we should expect that such fiscal restraint will be required. One hopes that a tighter budget will not translate into a reduction in the quality of the institution’s work output.

Even though the Secretary to Parliament was found not to have committed any misconduct, allegations of this nature further dent the image of the institution, which is still reeling from the negative publicity caused by the Travelgate scandal.

We have commenced this new Parliament with all parties agreeing to the need for greater accountability. There were commitments to debate and meaningful participation, yet already we see a continuation of the old ways of doing things. The times allocated to parties during debates need to reflect the seriousness of the matters we discuss. Times should also show respect for the voters. Even the smallest party here has a mandate from tens of thousands of voters who have the right to be properly heard in this House and in its committees. We need to urgently review how we allocate time and manage debates in Parliament if we are indeed serious about genuine democracy. The UDM supports this Budget. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms A DLODLO: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Acting President of the Republic, hon Speaker, fellow compatriots, former combatants of uMkhonto weSizwe who are sitting in the gallery today, I would like to take this opportunity to wish hon member Ting-Ting Masango, a former death-row inmate and a gallant fighter of our people’s uMkhonto weSizwe, well as he recovers in hospital.

The mandate for Parliament’s oversight role emanates from section 42(3) of the Constitution, which defines the role of the National Assembly as follows:

The National Assembly is elected to represent the people and to ensure government by the people under the Constitution. It does this by choosing the President, by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues, by passing legislation and by scrutinizing and overseeing executive action.

The Assembly is further required in terms of section 55(2) to: … provide for mechanisms –

a. to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere
   of government are accountable to it; and
b. to maintain oversight of -
  I. the exercise of national executive authority, including the
     implementation of legislation; and
 II. any organ of state.

Historically, the legacy of the apartheid - era parliamentary and post-1994 oversight role of Parliament lacked the credibility, commitment and/or vigour to hold the executive accountable. Thus, the fourth Parliament in this dispensation faces the challenges of reasserting itself, of renewing its institutional systems and of organisational change, and it must seek new ways in which to evaluate its reports and hold the executive accountable. Some studies, though not fully tested, have ranked the South African Parliament as the lowest performer in its oversight role. Hence the call by the President of the Republic to ensure the shift to an activist Parliament that is guided by the mandate of the electorate. Thus, a political debate on the role of oversight provides an excellent opportunity to review our approach to oversight, ensuring that we place caucus at the epicentre of oversight and accountability over our shared ideals and objectives.

At the core of Parliament’s oversight role is that its activities should be people-driven and based on the will of the people and guided by their aspirations, with a working-together-to-do-more approach, which necessitates accountability from the executive. The necessary demarcation in the separation of powers has resulted in varied challenges. The duty of Parliament, acting on proxy from the electorate, is to express the aspirations of the various constituencies and must be grounded in the understanding that caucuses are also charged with the responsibility of adding value to the process of oversight.

Drawing on such mandates it is then the duty of the executive to plan, execute and report on its activities. In finality, it is the duty of the caucus to evaluate and scrutinise in order to determine whether or not the needs of the people and the strategic objectives and aspirations of the electorate and the ruling party are fully addressed. The oversight and accountability mechanism should not necessarily yield such tensions as seen between legislatures and executives around the world. These tensions often emanate from misunderstandings and an overarching aura of suspicion amongst structures, and feelings that one wishes to usurp the powers or undermine the authority of the other. The ruling party’s approach in the fourth Parliament must seek to strengthen the oversight role in the context of collective ownership and work together to do more to achieve the goals set out in the manifesto of the ANC: My ANC, My Vision, My Future! [Applause.]

The historical, traditional oversight roles of portfolio committees have been inherited from the Westminster system and, perhaps to some extent, from contemporary political philosophies such as those of Plato in which the executive is seen as benevolent dictators that have divine wisdom on the needs of society. Consequently, today it is often touted that parliamentary roles on oversight and accountability should be based simply on checking whether governments perform on their self-determined programmes and are able to provide audited statements for their spending. On the other hand, the dominance of liberal thinking has changed this relationship to an “us and them” approach in which caucuses effectively become the opposition within the party.

The understanding therefore would be that the executive’s responsibility is to implement the ruling party’s manifesto, derived from the ANC policy, as adopted in the democratic process which is the party’s conference.

Largely, when we evaluate, we evaluate on the basis of expenditure and financial prudence, rather than political outcomes that should speak directly to the manifesto and the ruling party’s priorities.

The National Assembly Rules that govern the work of committees allow for committees to pursue proactively any concern they may have with the performance of the executive. They may also initiate investigations themselves, hold a hearing or an inquiry, and request, via the House, that particular agencies or institutions conduct a special investigation. For example, during the third Parliament the House called for a debate to investigate Eskom with regard to power outages. Committees may also pursue investigations themselves. Experience has shown that these powers have not been proactively used, and in some cases reporting on these matters is done by the departments themselves. This therefore calls for the activist Parliament to be more inquisitorial in its approach. Arguably, this opens up an opportunity for better political management of underperformance, while portfolio committees should not dictate the operational activities of departments. Where there are challenges, there must be a proactive approach in initiating investigations or recommending changes to ensure collective ownership and that service delivery is maintained.

The relationship between the executive and the portfolio committee thus needs to be handled better. The ANC study groups should begin to establish better collaboration with Ministers and Deputy Ministers to ensure better co-ordination towards the implementation of policy. The ruling party’s study groups should be rooted in the ANC traditions of democratic centralism, criticism and self-criticism, and robust debate. This means that the work of the study groups and committees should be complementary and constructively critical where necessary to ensure that the ANC programmes remain rooted in our priorities.

The executive must also play a critical part in bringing the study groups on board as partners. We should no longer have departmental accounting officers accounting for departments, but must rather focus on Ministers or their Deputies playing significant roles in study group debates.

While many have in the past argued that the administrative heads of departments normally sign the departments’ accounts and drive the operation of departments in their functions as accounting officers, we need more of a political approach. This has led to the committees and study groups focusing on interrogating the administrative heads instead of the political heads.

The task of study groups is to scrutinise the political direction and leadership of departments. Ministers are responsible for the strategic and political leadership of departments, including the political outcomes of the programmes they implement. They ultimately account on the political outcomes. This then necessitates the inculcation of a culture in which Ministers account before committees and study groups so that they do not relegate performance management and implementation of the ruling party’s manifesto to administrators only, but also play an active role in overseeing performance of the departments and holding civil servants accountable.

We look forward to a vibrant, activist Parliament truly representing the aspirations of the wonderful South Africans who continue to have faith in us. Fellow compatriots, thank you very much. [Applause.]

Ms C DUDLEY: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon Speaker, hon Deputy President, the ACDP notes that South Africa has catapulted from seventeenth to third place in the global ranking of women in parliament, following the April election this year. Congratulations go to political parties, I guess, and to the people of South Africa within those parties on recognising the potential of our South African women.

Parliament has committed itself to being an effective people’s Parliament that is responsive to the needs of the people and driven by the ideal of realising a better quality of life for all the people of South Africa.

Sadly, this budget allocation could have a negative impact on Parliament’s ability to strengthen its oversight function and improve service delivery. For example, 15 additional content specialists for committees and five additional legal advisers for constitutional and legal affairs should be employed by March 2010. Either these appointments have not been considered or Parliament will be cutting back somewhere else. Should we be concerned, hon Speaker?

Things do not look particularly promising for international relations or multilingual communication in Parliament either. Have we taken into consideration the 40 additional language practitioners needed and, if so, what has had to go?

Price hikes on lunches at Parliament are, I guess, a good start. Then there is the financial support for the political parties represented in Parliament and constituency offices around the country. Here we see a significant decrease. Given that the constituency offices constitute the closest level of interaction between members and the public and provide the best platform from which members can get to grips with the issues confronting their constituents, this has to be a blow for the people’s Parliament. On this subject: Why are we seeing constituency time disappearing? Parliament must not be allowed to hijack MPs who should be in their constituencies more often.

MPs are hugely constrained when parties receive budgets totally inadequate for paying market-related salaries. The ACDP, for example, has no funds for a researcher and has to look to media personnel with no experience and then lose them if they want to earn a decent salary. Secretaries and admin staff are expected to work for love alone. How fair is that? This certainly is not professional and does not serve the public.

Then there is speaking time. Now, the ANC Chief Whip and Mr Frolick have outdone themselves trying to accommodate opposition parties, but we still have to suffer the agony of listening to the ANC try to fill up their exorbitant amount of time, repeating the same information over and over. [Interjections.] If we are bored silly – and I’ve been watching you, and you were bored – I can then only imagine how the public feels.

The image of Parliament is at stake here, as always. With indiscretions of officials and MPs to deal with and the erroneous perception that recess means holidays for MPs, we really need plenary sittings to inspire the public.

The ACDP wishes you well, hon Speaker, hon Deputy Speaker, in this very important office and will be supporting this budget. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M J ELLIS: Thank you very much indeed, Madam Deputy Speaker. Madam Deputy Speaker, the Speaker began his speech today by quite rightly emphasising that this is a new Parliament, the fourth democratically elected Parliament, but he also referred to the President’s remarks about the need for this Parliament to be a robust and engaging Parliament. And he encouraged us, in turn, to embrace these remarks.

I want to say that we as the DA are extremely keen to embrace these remarks. There is nothing more that we would like than a robust and engaging Parliament. I say this because we believe that Parliament has become anything but robust and engaging. In fact, it has become over the years little more than a rubber stamp – rubber - stamping what comes from the Presidency and what comes from Luthuli House. And MPs have had to sit and watch a gradual but obvious sidelining of the role we as elected representatives of the people are expected to play.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party, my good friend Mr Magwanishe, has also made important remarks on the role of Parliament and what is expected of us as members. But the Speaker spoke at some length about the importance of oversight, and indeed it is an extremely important part of our work. We have heard today that there are many different aspects to oversight: what happens in committees, what happens in Parliament, what happens in our constituencies. But here in Parliament we have our own oversight mechanisms which, if used properly, would go a long way towards helping to hold the executive to account, which is very much part of our job. But, quite frankly, these mechanisms have been severely blunted in recent years and have helped in many ways to relegate Parliament to being little more than the rubber-stamp syndrome.

There can be no better example of this than parliamentary questions. Firstly - and let’s be frank about it - the whole system was manipulated by the ANC in 2000 to undermine the opposition parties’ role in this all- important instrument of oversight. The new structure that we created allowed for ANC members to ask the majority of questions, all of which, again, to be frank, were little more than sweetheart questions, thus giving Ministers more opportunity to talk about their own areas of interest and to pat themselves on the back. This cannot be construed as genuine oversight or the real purpose of Question Time.

This means, in turn, that the opportunity for members to ask good, probing questions on issues of real importance and of proper oversight is all but lost. But that is only part of the problem. The real problem lies now in the fact that remarkably few question sessions even take place in Parliament. In 2008, Cabinet Ministers appeared only once during the whole year in the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. Even the President’s and Deputy President’s Question Time has been downplayed, with the President appearing only twice last year and the Deputy President once. And, as we all know, there has not been one single Question Time to any member of the executive to date this year.

There is also a further trend which has crept in, in terms of which some Ministers do not seem to believe it is necessary to turn up to answer questions when it is their turn. A prime example was in October 2007 when 11 Ministers were required to attend a session and only four were present. So few question sessions have taken place since that day that it is difficult to assess, quite frankly, whether this trend continues or not.

There are, of course, written questions. But here the story is equally bleak. The Rules stipulate that Ministers should reply within 10 working days of the question being asked. But in October 2008 there were 280 DA questions alone outstanding. In other words, Ministers had certainly not met the 10-day deadline and some questions had been submitted as far back as February of that year.

By the close of Parliament in December 2008 – despite pressure being applied to the executive – some 55 questions were still unanswered and clearly now will never be answered. Even this year, 26 of the 135 questions submitted by the DA before the 18 March cut - off date before the elections, have not been replied to. In fact, I have to tell the House that since 2006 a staggering 480 questions have never been answered by the executive. It really is a most unfortunate picture.

A further problem with regard to the lack of oversight being performed by Parliament is the greatly reduced number of sitting days in Parliament. In 2007 parliamentary plenaries took place on approximately 70 days. In 2008 this was reduced to approximately 40 days. This, in turn, cuts down on the opportunity for MPs to engage the executive in any important and meaningful way.

Apart from debates on legislation and Budget Votes, hardly any real debates are held on topics other than the celebration of national days and IPU topics. And, my word, we can get very sick of IPU topics. All but gone are debates proposed by parties or members. They are just not scheduled anymore. Yet opposition parties want more debates on issues that they feel are important.

In 2008 the DA proposed 44 topics for discussion; only one was debated. The ANC’s 297 members failed to introduce a single motion last year – a clear indication that they do not take this area of work very seriously and, consequently, we are all denied the opportunity to debate matters that we feel are important.

Even members’ statements – a good innovation by the ANC – are drifting into oblivion in terms of being an important oversight tool. They take place so seldom. The first one since the election takes place today. But, then again, a trend has developed in which far too many Ministers do not even bother to turn up when there is an opportunity for statements. Ministers’ replies are an important part of the whole system of statements and we do hope and expect them to be present to reply.

Now the point of all this is simply this: We have to, we believe, do something about this. Oversight is a critical part of Parliament, as we all know. But the very structure of the business of this House is in urgent need of a revamp. Very little real, stimulating debate takes place in this House. And, quite frankly, debates themselves have become little more than speech-reading sessions rather than real debates.

Let us begin with Question Time, a part of Parliament that used to be regular and vibrant with great interest in it from all concerned, including the public. I would appeal to the Speaker to let us restructure Question Time, hold it more frequently, reintroduce interpellations, and give MPs the proper opportunity to interrogate Ministers. Question Time, as it is structured now, is probably the most boring part of the parliamentary programme. It should never ever be this way.

So, Mr Speaker, please consider setting up a committee to restructure this very important part of Parliament. Let us also introduce rules that make it absolutely compulsory for Ministers to answer questions, both written and oral, and to do so timeously and fully so that proper oversight can take place. Secondly, Mr Speaker, let us make Parliament more relevant by introducing a proper system of debates and discussions in this House on a wide range of subjects and create proper slots for members’ topics and motions to be debated. When such debates do take place, they should be responded to by the relevant Minister and this should become the norm.

Thirdly, let us give members’ statements the importance they deserve, with proper interaction from the executive. They are a very good innovation and deserve support from all.

Finally, if I may say, Madam Deputy Speaker, through you to the Speaker, I would urge you, Sir, to arrange with the Chief Whips’ Forum to set up a task team to look at whether the oversight in Parliament, using the appropriate mechanisms available to MPs, is in fact working to the optimum, but please also address the important job of reassessing the way in which things are done in Parliament with a view to making them more interesting and appropriate in terms of what we are expected to achieve – more interesting and appropriate not only for those of us who have the privilege of serving in this House, but also for the public. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Acting President, hon Speaker, hon members and comrades, firstly, I would like to address the hon Mike Ellis on the issue he has just raised in terms of questions, allocation time for questions and the programme of Parliament. The hon Ellis is a member of the programming committee of the National Assembly where the programme of this House is decided, including the time allocated for questions. He is also a member of the Chief Whips’ Forum. I don’t know how, then, the hon Ellis could come here and complain about those issues because there are forums in which he can raise those issues. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Secondly, I also want to address the hon Sam Shilowa on the question he raised with the Leader of Government Business. I just want to tell him that the Leader of Government Business is also a member of the programming committee. If he was a member of that committee, he would have witnessed this today, because the Acting President was at the programming committee meeting, but unfortunately he was not.

Thirdly, on the issue of oversight and how the committees should deal with the reports of the departments and Chapter 9 institutions, the committees themselves have to strategise, programme and cost those programmes in terms of the resources the committees have. I would appeal to him to raise those issues at the committee level.

On 26 June 1955, the Congress of the People in Kliptown declared that, I quote:

There shall be peace and friendship!

  South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement
  of all international disputes by negotiation - not war.
  The right of all peoples of Africa to independence and self-government
  shall be recognised, and shall be the basis of close co-operation.

As the Speaker has already said, international participation is a core function of Parliament. The Joint Rules Committee has agreed that the Parliamentary Group on International Relations, PGIR, should be revived to consider legacy and other issues that relate to international matters. The letters have already been sent to political parties to submit names of their members who will be serving in the PGIR, but unfortunately only one political party has responded.

The PGIR, as a substructure of the Joint Rules Committee, is the vehicle through which strategic and policy impetus to Parliament’s international participation can be provided. It is also this body that will assess and make recommendations on how the matters raised in international forums that Parliament is affiliated to and participates in are discussed and relayed to the citizens of South Africa.

We will also set up focus groups as substructures of the PGIR. These focus groups will encompass the following affiliated multilateral bodies: the Inter-Parliamentary Union - Mr Ellis; the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum; the Pan-African Parliament; the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association; the African, Caribbean, Pacific-European Union; and the Association for the Educational and Cultural Advancement of African People.

The size of these groups will be influenced by the multilateral body they represent and whether the delegates are appointed by the House for the duration of the parliamentary term or on an ad hoc basis for each activity of the multilateral body. Each focus group will meet at least four times a year in accordance with the programme of the work of its multilateral body.

The purpose of setting up focus groups will be the following. The group will analyse the work of the particular body and guide Parliament’s engagement with that body. The group will assess and evaluate reports of delegation meetings of the body as well as identify matters which require further follow-up by Parliament. The group will embark on information- sharing initiatives for members on the work of affiliated multilateral bodies.

We will further establish friendship groups. These groups will be utilised to pursue bilateral relations. The approach will be based on the geographical regions.

Now and again there are agreements and protocols that we have to ratify as Parliament, but as Parliament we don’t do oversight and monitoring of them. Members also attend and participate in international forums, and resolutions in the form of communiqués are taken, but Parliament does not monitor the implementation of those resolutions.

The President, in his state of the nation address, said that as Parliament we needed to do oversight. Therefore, as Parliament we need to monitor and oversee all resolutions taken by international forums. Each group needs to discuss and table the report in Parliament for each to be debated and adopted. For example, at the beginning of July there was a Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum, the communiqué of which was agreed upon, and I believe that Parliament needs to discus that communiqué. Also, in the middle of July, there will be a CPA conference, and Parliament, I believe, should discuss the agenda of that conference so that the people who attend that conference have a mandate from this Parliament.

As Parliament we can participate in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the CPA, as a branch. Therefore, we need to have a branch meeting in order to elect the executive. I urge all hon members to attend that branch meeting since all Members of Parliament are members of the CPA branch. We also need to elect the executive of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, the CWP, before the CPA conference in July.

Issues on international travelling were raised, namely that members should travel business class when travelling for more than two hours, and subsistence and travel allowances. The matters were discussed in the previous Parliament and discussed further with the House Chairperson on internal arrangements in order to do a follow-up with the Parliamentary Oversight Authority. Members will be kept abreast about developments on these matters.

We are going to develop a policy on public education and public participation in international and national matters. At the present moment, as Parliament, we have the programme of the people’s Assembly, of “Taking Parliament to the People” by the NCOP, and of Youth and Women’s Parliaments.

We also need to consider allowing committees to hold their meetings outside Parliament and come up with a way in which the public can positively contribute in those committee meetings.

During the third Parliament, three parliamentary democracy offices were established and we need to check how often the public utilises them. Sadly, in this current financial year, we won’t be able to allow friendship groups to travel internationally owing to the budgetary constraints, but the Parliamentary Group on International Relations will meet to strategise and prioritise the countries for bilaterals and multilaterals depending on the availability of funds. I want to appeal to hon members, particularly the Chief Whips of political parties, to send through the names of the members who are going to serve in the PGIR as soon as possible.

Finally, I want to thank the management and staff, and believe they will take up all the issues raised here so that we can continue with the work of Parliament. As you have said, together we can do more. Thank you, hon members. [Applause.]

Ms I C DITSHETELO: Madam Deputy Speaker, the South African Parliament is still like a department and has to follow Public Finance Management Act timeframes, which have resulted in its budget having a deficit of R143,1 million. Of its initial request of R1,627 billion, only R1,223 billion was allocated.

Owing to strict budgetary constraints, the main objective of Parliament to represent the people and provinces of South Africa and ensure government by the people under the Constitution cannot be fully realised.

The UCDP believes that Parliament has to be involved in the budget from an early stage, so as to get the slice that benefits the constitutional mandate.

Political parties would be more productive if they were provided with a researcher per political party – who will serve the interests of such a party - instead of all parties using a common pool of researchers. The amount of R2 400 per party per annum for parties to employ their own researchers is too small. The vacant posts that have been frozen have to be filled. Parliament has to employ an executive secretary instead of using an Acting Secretary.

The UCDP maintains that Treasury should address Parliament’s deficit of R143 million in order for there to be an improvement in service delivery. During this fourth Parliament, as rules get reviewed, could the issue of time allocation to smaller parties be reviewed? It is ridiculous to expect a member to debate meaningfully in one minute. The UCDP supports the Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr R B BHOOLA: Madam Deputy Speaker, firstly, the MF would like to applaud the hon Speaker for his remarkable leadership. We have indeed viewed your participation in the House, and you have carried out your duties with dignity, integrity and credibility – a job well done.

We further want to congratulate you, Madam Deputy Speaker, all the parliamentary office bearers and all the support staff on their commitment, dedication and hard work. Indeed, the National Assembly is a very, very important structure and we are very appreciative of the fact that, to a certain extent, there is respect for multiparty democracy.

Whilst the ANC is very, very accommodative, we, the MF, would also like to see a basic, reasonable amount of time allocated to a political party so that they can effectively participate in debates. We will request the hon Speaker to form a political parties’ leadership forum so that matters of general concern can be addressed at the highest level - at the Speakers’ Forum.

We, of course, are members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and we also want to suggest that when we have foreign dignitaries coming here, the leadership of all political parties be involved in receiving foreign dignitaries, etc.

Parliament has a very, very important oversight function indeed, and the engine room for our Parliament is our standing and portfolio committees. We must make sure that the independence of the legislature and the separation of the legislature from the executive are not compromised in any manner whatsoever, and especially in respect of protecting the interests of the citizens.

The hon President has repeatedly referred to the performance of parliamentarians and the Cabinet. There is an added, shall I say, responsibility in that the citizens are very much alive and awake. And they are concerned about what is happening in Parliament.

Therefore, we should have more outreach programmes for Parliament. We should go to all provinces to make sure not only that the citizens reach out to Parliament, but that we reach out to Parliament ourselves. That is our main constitutional responsibility – to make sure that we are legislators and that we are dealing with legislation objectively and independently. The MF supports the Budget Vote. [Applause.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, whilst the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development is coming to the front, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of the Regional Secretary of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, Dr Brazão de Castro. You are welcome, sir. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Speaker, Acting President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament, comrades and friends, I rise on behalf of the ANC in support of Parliament’s Budget Vote. In doing so, I would like to address the important matter of the relationship between the legislature and the executive.

We believe that the maxim, “Working together we can do more”, applies also to the relationship between the legislature and the executive. The relationship between the legislature and the executive should be a complementary and mutually reinforcing working relationship that contributes in a dynamic way to the realisation of the needs and aspirations of all South Africans - in short, an activist Parliament in a developmental state.

Every constitution arises from and should be understood in a particular historical context. When we transpose constitutional discourses from one context to another, we must do so with care. Much can get lost in the translation. Carelessly transplanting a healthy and beneficial plant from one soil type to another can result either in the death of the plant or its metamorphosis into an invasive weed that displaces and kills indigenous plants.

In the same way, doctrines such as that of the separation of powers must be dug up with caution out of the soil of the struggles against absolute monarchy and must be carefully planted in the soil of a constitutional garden nourished by the struggle against colonialism and apartheid in which millions are waiting to harvest the fruits of unity, nonracialism, nonsexism, democracy and prosperity.

As in other constitutional democracies, entrenched in the Constitution of our Republic is the separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. However, the Constitution does not completely separate the powers of the different components of the state. Instead, the Constitution requires all organs of state to contribute towards realising the vision and objectives of the Constitution.

In setting out a framework for co-operative governance, our Constitution describes the different spheres of government as being distinct, interdependent and interrelated. Our Constitution also enjoins all spheres of government and all organs of state within each sphere to work in a co- operative manner. The Constitution requires members of Cabinet to be accountable to Parliament and to provide Parliament with full and regular reports concerning matters under their control.

Moreover, the Constitution also subjects the continuation of government to the will of Parliament, which embodies the will of the people. In theory and in practice, the Constitution of South Africa creates what our colleague in the Gauteng provincial legislature Firoz Cachalia refers to as a parliamentary executive which is accountable to Parliament.

In requiring all state organs, including the legislature and the executive, to advance transformation of society, the Constitution can never have intended organs of the state not to complement each other and not to engage with a view to achieving the common objective of liberating the people of South Africa and ensuring a better life for all.

While the primary function of the legislature is lawmaking, it also has two responsibilities in a democracy which are thought by some people to be contradictory. Between elections, the legislature has to hold the executive to account, while it must also sustain the executive to ensure that the governance does not collapse.

While separation of powers and checks and balances form foundations of our constitutional democracy, an antagonistic relationship between the legislature and the executive cannot be in the interests of our people, who expect both the legislature and the executive to provide much-needed services.

When the legislature focuses primarily on the mistakes of the executive, the emphasis of the executive will be more on avoiding mistakes and self- protection, instead of on adopting innovative and potentially efficient practices to advance transformation and improve service delivery.

The legislature-executive relationship in South Africa should not be understood as competing centres of power, but as inseparable partners in the business of government. While it governs in terms of the powers vested in it by the Constitution, we need to understand the executive as an appointed body responsible for governing the country, albeit on behalf of Parliament and the people.

Let us bear in mind that the basic foundation of the Constitution of the Republic is the accountability of the state to the people, “who are the real masters”. And the accountability of the executive to the people at large is enforced through their elected representatives in the legislative organs of the state.

How do we give practical expression to this perspective of a complementary and mutually reinforcing relationship between the legislature and the executive?

Last week, in the Presidency Budget Vote debate, the hon Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, spoke about the need consistently to assess the performance of our initiatives in all spheres of government in order to continually improve our service-delivery capacity while promoting accountability on the part of those charged with the responsibility to deliver. He went on to speak about the development of a set of 30 to 40 main outcome indicators based on policy outcomes upon which the mandate of government is based - indicators that will be used to develop simple and straightforward measures to assess whether outcomes are being achieved.

Minister Chabane made the very important point that this assessment is not only an internal measure within government, but a means to ensure transparency, accountability and public participation in the implementation of government’s programme of action. It is clear that this executive is serious about transparency, accountability and public participation, and about the development of effective oversight mechanisms and inculcating a culture of performance.

Towards the end of its term, the third Parliament adopted a parliamentary oversight model. This model sets out a framework for Parliament’s oversight work. It proposes mechanisms to strengthen and co-ordinate the various oversight tools at Parliament’s disposal: budget hearings, questions, debates, members’ statements, motions, sectoral parliaments, oversight visits, constituency work and many other tools.

How do we ensure a dynamic and mutually reinforcing relationship between this oversight model and the planning and evaluation functions in the executive? I would like to propose that the Leader of Government Business and the presiding officers in Parliament establish a mechanism to facilitate a dialogue between the executive and Parliament to ensure that the very powerful oversight tools that exist, both in Parliament and in the executive, can reinforce each other.

Moving towards concluding, I have participated in almost every debate on Parliament’s budget since 2002 or 2003. Perhaps this might be an appropriate time to ask whether we are processing Parliament’s budget in the most appropriate way. The one question which is being posed at a number of fora on a number of occasions is whether it is appropriate for Parliament’s budget to be dealt with as a line item in the national Budget. Let us perhaps not go there today, but over and above this question, we need to ask whether the process of formulating Parliament’s budget is sufficiently rigorous, inclusive and participatory.

Why do resources often not end up in areas where they are most needed, such as committees? Why are Members of Parliament always left feeling alienated from the process? Are Members of Parliament subjects or objects of the parliamentary budget? Wouldn’t it, for example, be more appropriate for this debate to take place before Parliament’s budget is submitted for inclusion in the national Budget?

Deputy Speaker, I am half way in concluding. I wish to thank all of those with whom I have served for many years in the Whippery and the ranks of the presiding officers for their friendship and support and for helping to instil in me an enduring commitment to a strong, effective and dynamic Parliament.

Lastly, in final conclusion, I wish to associate myself with all those who have thanked the presiding officers, the Secretary to Parliament and members of the parliamentary service and everyone who contributes to making it possible for us, as Members of Parliament, to serve those who have elected us to represent them. Working together we can do more. We support the Budget Vote of Parliament. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr N J J V R KOORNHOF: Madam Deputy Speaker, we are all aware that the Constitution provides for a sovereign state, with a governance model based on the separation of powers between the state, Parliament, the executive and the judiciary. As the legislative authority, Parliament must, at all costs, protect its sovereignty by excelling in the way we do business. What the hon Ellis said this afternoon - about questions replied to by the executive - shows that we need to do business differently in the fourth Parliament.

We must set the example at all levels. The way we behave as Ministers, as Members of Parliament, the way we respect the institution and the way our own officials behave, are all contributing factors towards the image of Parliament.

In Programme 2 of the Budget Vote, money is being voted to ensure that we pass legislation and oversee the executive, an important role. According to the budget analysis published by Parliament in 2008, this programme does not appear to be a priority. It consumed the second smallest portion of the overall budget of Parliament in 2008. In real terms, this programme has grown by only 0,9%. Maybe there is an improvement this year.

Further, the money was shifted to the research capacity of committees, and opposition parties hardly see any of that research. Parliament should consider awarding a percentage of this research allocation to opposition parties who are, in many instances, more unbiased and in a better position to do oversight. Maybe this could be incorporated when Parliament develops effective new oversight measures. According to Parliament’s own review, Parliament should now prioritise and finalise the financial administration Bills for Parliament and all other legislatures. Without these Bills, the financial administration of all parliaments is lagging behind. We must set the example. How can we be taken seriously in our oversight role if our own legislation is not in order? The matter has now been outstanding for the past four years and, hopefully, this fourth Parliament will do business.

This brings me to the catering services. Catering services are in a desperate need of a house committee to assist them on various issues. The quarterly meeting dealing with all sorts of issues is simply not enough. There is a lack of support and training in this department, and I would like to propose that we reinstate the catering services committee.

Parliament is situated in the heartlands of the wine industry. It is important that when Parliament’s restaurants are serving wine to guests that we reflect this industry in a proper way. The standard of wine and the way it is being presented differ from restaurant to restaurant. We must rectify this.

Parliament is the nation’s showpiece and belongs to all South Africans. We must be proud of this institution at all levels. Let’s get a catering services committee to sort out our problems, and I believe it will contribute towards running catering more cost-effectively. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr P J C PRETORIUS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I am indeed honoured to be able to take part in this debate this afternoon since I have worked in this institution for so many years. The Office of the Speaker and the institution of Parliament are very close to my heart.

It is essential that our Speaker be seen and recognised as the chief presiding officer. He must be different in appearance to any other presiding officer. I therefore want to appeal to our Speaker to seriously consider reintroducing the wearing of the robe.

His predecessors chose to wear ordinary clothes. There was no formal resolution in 1994 that the robe would be discontinued permanently. I know; I was there. The Speaker’s robe was also never considered a remnant of the old South Africa. It is indeed part and parcel of the Commonwealth parliamentary tradition spanning centuries. The Table staff still wear robes, and our provincial Speakers wear robes, as do most Speakers in African parliaments to our north.

Mr Speaker, you need not take this matter to any policy-making body of Parliament. The Speaker’s dress has always been the Speaker’s prerogative alone. You can enter this Chamber tomorrow wearing a basic academic or barrister’s robe, or a more elaborate one. It is your choice, but wearing a robe will certainly contribute to the dignity of this institution and set you apart from the other presiding officers. You are entitled to this symbol of authority.

Preserving the decorum and dignity in this place is one of the Speaker’s prime functions, as the Speaker rightly said in his speech. And it is often difficult to judge whether or not conduct infringes the decorum of the House. As Members of this Parliament, we are collectively responsible for ensuring that our conduct never crosses that line of unacceptable behaviour.

I am a keen soccer follower and share the frenzy around the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, but I want to submit that blowing a vuvuzela in the Chamber, as happened recently, is conduct not in conformance with the dignity of Parliament. Parliament is a very special institution, the highest institution in the land. It is not a sports event; it is not a concert. It is a Parliament and nothing less.

Allowing one vuvuzela now could lead to a vuvuzela orchestra in Parliament once we reach the World Cup final. And what applies to the vuvuzela should equally apply to any other musical or noise-making instruments.

Speaker, in conclusion, you will have all the support from this side of the House in any effort to preserve and raise the dignity of this institution. Thank you. [Applause.] The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is there a point of order?

An HON MEMBER: No, I wanted to ask the member a question about the vuvuzelas but he has finished.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay. The member is not there any more.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Deputy Speaker, Acting President, Speaker, it is a known fact that committees are the engines of Parliament, as they process almost 60% of the work for consideration in the House. This includes the processing of legislation, holding public hearings, appointing officials or people to institutions supporting democracy, holding the executive accountable and conducting oversight of executive action.

They do so, however, in a constrained environment. There is a lack of committee rooms. As we already know, we only have 23 committee rooms that are shared by 60 committees from both Houses. They are limited therefore in their ability to hold meetings as often as possible to fulfil these particular mandates. To achieve their mandates, the committees of Parliament need to be adequately resourced.

At a recent meeting of the committee of chairpersons - and I see a number of them in the House here - a committee which I chair, a number of issues were raised, including legacy issues from the third Parliament that need to be engaged with and addressed, such as support for chairpersons, problems regarding chairpersons’ offices, furniture, tools of the trade, and the need to improve the quality of work done by support staff. In addition, we were informed that certain posts were frozen owing to budget constraints. Some of the chairpersons are without secretaries. Chairperson Stone Sizani

  • I’m not sure whether he’s in the House - and others are without secretaries because posts have been frozen.

Over and above this, the biggest fundamental issue that came up was the budget allocated to committees. Currently, there 59 committees, excluding the not yet established committees on the Planning Commission, on Performance Monitoring and on Administration. I’m not sure whether they are going to have just one portfolio committee in that area. The Joint Rules Committee still has to determine that particular issue.

So, we currently have 59 committees. This includes internal committees such as those on ethics, the multiparty women’s caucus, the Joint Rules Committee, the joint programming committee, etc. They all get their budget allocations from the legislature and the oversight division.

Of the 59 committees, 50 have oversight functions; 38 of those committees are in the National Assembly and 12 are in the National Council of Provinces. All these committees need to share the R25 million that is available for the current financial year – all of them.

Dividing this amongst the 50 oversight committees means each will be allocated only R450 000 for the current financial year, which totals R22,5 million. The other R2,5 million is reserved for internal committees such as the Joint Rules Committee and other joint parliamentary committees.

Owing to the additional number of committees, obviously the allocation has shrunk. Committees used to get an allocation of around R700 000 to R800 000, but because the number of committees has increased that figure has shrunk to R450 000 in this current financial year. Therefore, for future budgeting purposes, we would argue strongly for an increase if committees are indeed expected to play this particular meaningful role.

What is happening currently is that there are a number of requests to attend the Minmecs. We are applying a policy of: you invite, you pay. So, Ministers are paying for that. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has invited the entire committee. The Ministry is going to be paying their fares, transport and meals. We will only be able to pay for accommodation. Therefore, the issue of the separation of powers gets blurred in that particular way.

I remember that in a debate held in another forum the issue was raised of members continually using instruments of the executive. How will they come back and then do oversight on that particular issue? I say this because a time will come when executive members will say, “But you were in the meeting when this issue was agreed to.” Therefore, this is not really something that is healthy and we should not be encouraging it going forward. But because of a lack of resources, we are continually agreeing to them going because the Department of Trade and Industry has 19 institutions. The portfolio committee ought to go and engage, understand the mandates and know who is there so that by the time they effect their accountability, at least they know what the mandates are and so on.

I therefore propose the following for allocations to committees. Fortunately, I presented this to the Chief Whips’ Forum as a lobbying body to see if they wouldn’t support us going forward into the budget lekgotla. I have also presented this to the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and other officials in the Speaker’s office. I propose that all the portfolio, standing and select committees get an allocation of R1 million each as a base minimum, and that the three joint committees and the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General be allocated R500 000 each because their roles and functions are very different from those of the portfolio, standing and select committees.

I propose that such expenditure also be governed by particular regulations, and that 50% of the money that they would then be allocated ought to go towards oversight functions, which include assessing the impact of legislation for the sake of a better life, as well as doing oversight to ensure service delivery by way of responsive, proactive interventions.

Thirty percent will then be utilised for processing legislation for public hearings because you ought to have public hearings on legislation, and for the filling of vacancies in Chapter 9 institutions and for international travel. The other 15% is to be utilised for effecting accountability, scrutinising the annual reports and for budget hearings on Votes. Five percent then is to be regulated by committees because they have expenditures such as receiving guests, entertaining and so forth. That is my proposal in terms of the usage of that particular issue - money.

I propose that a further R12 million be allocated as a pool amount, in addition to the R1 million base that will go to each portfolio committee, for support services to committees, including staff development programmes aimed at improving the quality of work, and for assisting committees that may have extra work in a lifetime. That would ensure, therefore, that they are able to meet demands, and also allocate to those committees that have oversight work that goes beyond borders, that is the International Relations and Trade and Industry committees in the main and others that might be identified from time to time. They will all draw from that.

In addition, I propose that the advertisements placed when vacancies are to be filled or public hearings held no longer be paid for from a committee’s budget. The money for advertising in newspapers is also deducted from the R450 000. So, if you have a pool amount of money, this will then assist and relieve the stress on the committees of having to pay even for the adverts that we see in the newspapers and for public hearings because there will be more of them, particularly oversight hearings on particular topical issues or incidences that might happen in society. We will be organising those particular oversight hearings so that they can then bring reports here and those reports can be adopted from time to time.

As we apply the budget, we also need to have control mechanisms - financial control systems - that should be beefed up in the committees section, so that financial statements for every quarter are given to the chairs of the portfolio committees on what they have spent money on. In that way, they will then begin to know that when we say no to an issue, it is because we are informed by the expenditure patterns.

Committee chairpersons are also therefore expected to develop their five- year programmes that are aligned to departmental strategic plans, and identify which programmes will be identified annually. We cannot become champions of overseeing others if our own House is not in order.

On the frozen posts, which include the posts of committee assistants, committee secretaries, secretaries to chairpersons and researchers, we should move to unfreeze them as soon as we can.

We fully agree with the Speaker that we must also cut the fat where we identify it. For example, there are certain areas I will be speaking with the chairpersons about in order to really begin to cut the fat. A meeting of 30 minutes gets a full service of food and catering, and so forth. I think that here a meeting should just get served tea and coffee; that’s it. We can’t have a 30-minute meeting being served a full service - food and everything - because then every meeting costs R4 000. We really need to look at the fat and cut it.

On the implementation of oversight, in the forthcoming financial year of 2010-11 we see that an allocation of R5 million is being proposed. We welcome that. A task team has already being put into place that will begin to develop an implementation framework. It met this week, and the team will be presenting the framework to the Joint Rules Committee and the Parliamentary Oversight Authority.

With regard to the scheduling of committee meetings, committees have been formed into groups owing to the shortage of venues. They will be grouped as Groups A, B, C and D, so that we can share the days and allocate them to committees. We are in consultation with the Chief Whips of the parties on that particular issue. I therefore say that we really need to look differently at this issue.

I thank all the officials, the management and staff and hope that you will do even better in providing your service, and where it is lacking, we will then indeed have money to go for skills development and ensure that we introduce a work ethic and professionalism to the service. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Dr Z P JORDAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, Acting President, Mr Speaker, hon members, in his famous statement from the dock during the Rivonia trial, Comrade Nelson Mandela said, amongst other things, and I quote:

The Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, and the Bill of Rights are documents which are held in veneration by democrats throughout the world.

I have great respect for British political institutions, and for the country’s system of justice. I regard the British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world, and the independence and impartiality of its judiciary never fail to arouse my admiration.

The American Congress, that country’s doctrine of separation of powers, as well as the independence of its judiciary, arouses in me similar sentiments.

I have been influenced in my thinking by both West and East. All this has led me to feel that in my search for a political formula, I should be absolutely impartial and objective. I should tie myself to no particular system of society other than of socialism. I must leave myself free to borrow the best from the West and from the East.

These words expressed not only a personal view, but also reflected a political tradition and a value system that his movement, the ANC, had embraced and adhered to for many decades. Mandela was explaining his own actions to the people of South Africa and the world, unafraid of the consequences of stating the purposes for which he and his co-accused had decided to take up arms to overthrow the apartheid regime. The question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not we have lived up to that aspiration.

Though Parliament is an institution that evolved specifically in a European political environment, it has numerous precedents in the history of virtually all societies. In precolonial African societies, there was the inkundla or lekgotla, a public political forum in which all adult males had the right to participate. It also served as a law court, again open to all adult males. Though gendered, the ideal here obviously was popular participation in government.

The milestones of British political institutions that Mandela recounted on that occasion were the outcome of often extremely bitter political struggles. Their importance can perhaps be better understood by a visit to the site of the British Parliament, Westminster. Permit me, therefore, to paint a brief verbal picture of what a visitor would see on such an excursion.

There are two statues in the grounds of the British Parliament: one is of Richard the Lionheart, who led the unsuccessful Third Crusade; the other is of Oliver Cromwell, a man who was dubbed “God’s Englishman” by the late Master of Balliol College, Oxford, Christopher Hill. Across the street on Parliament Square are a number of other statues honouring personalities whom the British public consider great world statesmen. It is a matter of pride to us as South Africans that one of the most recent additions to these is a statue of our own Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

In a small park abutting Parliament stands a statue of the suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst, who was amongst the most important leaders of the struggle to attain the franchise for women during the first two decades of the 20th century.

I mention these matters because these statues tell their own story and carry an important message. Cromwell and his colleagues institutionalised the supremacy of Parliament through struggle; to be precise, an armed struggle that entailed the dethroning of the king of England and his execution. Their actions signalled an end to the divine right of kings to do wrong and imprinted on the political institutions of their country the principle of government by the consent of the governed.

This principle was reinterpreted as “government of the people, by the people, for the people” by Abraham Lincoln in his famous Gettysburg Address.

Pankhurst too is a heroine of very militant struggles, led in the main by highly educated middle-class women. The struggle for women’s suffrage entailed both civil disobedience and dramatic acts of sabotage, which included the setting ablaze of haystacks, the slashing of famous paintings in the National Arts Gallery, marches and other public manifestations.

So when we congratulate ourselves as South Africans on having attained third position amongst parliaments with a high percentage of women in the world, this is a vindication of those courageous women and their struggles. The point I’m making is that the history of this institution has important lessons for us all. The right of the ordinary citizen - man and woman - to participate directly in government through freely elected political representatives had to be fought for, very often arms in hand. Freedom, democracy, the rights of the citizen and the civil liberties we today take for granted, in virtually every country of the world were purchased at a very high price, often paid for in the blood of martyrs and of tyrants.

For the next two centuries parliaments were, however, only accessible to those who had the leisure time to attend their sessions regularly. That effectively excluded the majority of people who had to work daily to make a living. Hence, during the mid-19th century the Petitioner of Rights Mandela refers to, presented to Parliament by the Chartist Movement, demanded that salaries be paid to all parliamentarians, thus making it possible for those without an independent income also to gain access to the parliaments. The struggle to translate the principle of government by the consent of the governed into reality has consequently entailed extending the franchise to ordinary working people, to women and to the youth by lowering the voting age.

By the end of the 19th century the right to participate in government, expressed in the franchise, had become the emblem of citizenship. And, by equal measure, exclusion from the franchise designated that one was not a citizen. Citizenship, embodied in the franchise, inscribed the principle of equality before the law in all state institutions. Thus was the divine right of kings displaced by the birthright of every citizen, irrespective of parentage, race, class, faith or gender, to share equally with others in the rights and prerogatives of citizenship.

The central notions undergirding Parliament and parliamentary institutions are that the best way to ensure that the governed have a voice in who governs them is the right to elect and to be elected to public office and the right of citizens to recall such public representatives through regular elections; that it is possible for citizens who disagree with each other to disagree without being disagreeable; that differences of opinion, even radical differences, need not undermine a shared commitment to national goals; that even citizens who hold diametrically opposite views should be able to find each other through reasoned and rational debate, or arrive at mutually acceptable compromises.

Dialogue is the essence of parliamentary democracy, as is vigorous debate. Parliaments consequently are terrains where differing and conflicting ideas are tested and contested. From its birth the ANC has engaged in this battle of ideas, convinced that the achievement of its objectives is dependent on its capacity to persuade the South African electorate that these aims are not only desirable, but also sound and attainable. We consequently find it odd that much of the public discourse, even academic discourse, revolves around the fear of a powerful governing party that commands an overwhelming majority among the electorate. [Applause.] As the late Prof Archie Mafeje has written:

The truth of the matter is that in all democracies, as is known in Europe and elsewhere, different political parties seek dominance and the winner takes all. If the ANC wins the popular vote by a wide margin, why should that be held against them for idealistic reasons?


The fear that South Africa may be drifting towards a one-party state would be justified if the ANC was stifling democratic competition. The chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission reports that this is far from being the case. If the dominance is seen as a threat to democracy, then the blame should be put on the myriad small parties that have not been able to organise themselves and challenge the ANC from a common platform.


Perhaps the hon Shilowa and Mike Ellis might consider that and talk about it after the session. [Interjections.] What Prof Mafeje is suggesting here is that this complaint is akin to the schoolboy’s excuse that the dog ate his homework. [Laughter.] Based on its founding principles and decades of political practice, the ANC welcomes the political contestation amongst different political parties. We value this as an integral dimension of democracy and have never shied away from or feared the vigorous cut and thrust thereof. But we will give as good as we get and, if, in the end, we are able to convince the overwhelming majority of voters of our viewpoint, as we have done since 1994, an obligation rests on the other parties in this House to go back to the drawing board to devise political platforms that can command the requisite support to unseat the ANC. [Applause.] This is why, unlike others, the ANC does not engage in ad hominem negative campaigning that seeks to caricature its political opponents, but prefers to focus squarely on its political platform. Let me let the opposition in on a secret: It actually works! [Applause.]

While on the subject let me deal with yet another myth that has taken root in our society. We often hear the mantra: “A strong opposition is essential for the health of democracy”. While we welcome debate, and value the opportunity to test our views against those of political parties who see the world differently from ourselves, historical experience does not actually bear out this myth. Let me demonstrate: After the Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler’s Nazi party became an extremely strong opposition to the liberal-social democratic governing coalitions in Weimar, Germany. That was not good for democracy. In our own country, in the 20th century, D F Malan’s National Party was a powerful opposition to Smuts’ United Party government. That too was not good for democracy.

In contrast, for close to two decades the late Helen Suzman was a solitary voice in the defunct apartheid parliament. One could not imagine a weaker opposition. Yet, that weak opposition contributed far more to democracy than the powerful Nazis and the strong National Party during Smuts’ time. [Applause.] [Interjections.]

The political competition and contestation so necessary for a healthy democracy is enriched or diminished by the content of such competition, not by the competition itself.

The political contestation among divergent and diverse viewpoints is a practice we welcome. Unlike the past, no prescriptive laws suppressing the activities of any individual, political formation or opinion have been gazetted since 1994, even when we find those views highly offensive. In fact, in democratic South Africa the contestation unfolds in the committee rooms of Parliament, in this august Chamber, in the media, in our schools, in our colleges, in our universities, in the churches, in the taverns, in night clubs, in dancehalls - in fact, everywhere South Africans gather. As a people, let us continue to engage each other in a spirit of open, robust but rational debate wherever it takes place. And, as I have said, the ANC will not be found wanting in such engagement.

Parliament is one of the most important forums for public debate which is why we in the ANC vigorously support this institution so that it remains an extremely effective forum in which South African patriots, of divergent and differing viewpoints, can collectively craft our country’s future in ongoing and lively debate.

We support the Budget. We’ve heard, and I sympathise with, the viewpoint of many of the smaller parties - that they hardly get a look-in because of the time allocations. One has great sympathy for that complaint precisely because one values the contribution that smaller parties can make to the debate in this House.

But, on the other hand, there is a need for introspection by some of the smaller parties. When Parliament takes a decision to go out into the community on outreach programmes, they are always found wanting. So, perhaps, let them look at themselves sometimes before they come and complain too much. I think the matter of the time allocations can be looked at again, and I welcome also the hon Mike Ellis’s suggestion that perhaps we should go back to interpellations. We should maybe reinvigorate Question Time. It’s a very important dimension of the democratic dialogue that takes place in Parliament.

I would urge and support such a move, but, at the same time, the opposition needs to be introspective itself and ask itself what role exactly it is playing here in this Parliament. We welcome critical voices; we welcome those who are questioning; we welcome those who demand that the executive be scrutinised, but let us remember what I said about the difference between Malan’s National Party and a solitary Helen Suzman. The quality of Helen Suzman’s opposition is what made the difference, not the fact that she was oppositional. Thank you. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Deputy Speaker, hon Acting President, hon members, I would like to start off by thanking all the parties present in the House for the support of this budget of Parliament. I would also like to express my sincere thanks for all the contributions that have been made in the House today. They have been extremely important and valuable and we have noted all of them. I agree that we do need to find structures that will process these comments, inputs and suggestions. The question is how to operationalise some of them.

The hon Magwanishe, the Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party, has informed us that the ANC has developed a performance tool for its MPs in order to monitor and evaluate their performance. I think that is extremely important and very valuable. As we monitor ourselves, we also need to use Parliament as a vehicle to monitor the implementation of our policies for making life better for all South Africans.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party also spoke about the need to relate budgets to programmes and not to committee structures. We certainly have to look at that. He also spoke about the need to increase funding for Whips. Having started off by talking about the need to bear in mind that we are in an economy that is in a semi-recession and we have huge budgetary obligations and a budget deficit, we need to be careful about what it is we ask for. Let me just use the following as an example: Funding for Whips and the Whippery has increased from R95 million in 2005-06 to R258 million today - clearly a huge jump. It is very difficult to justify additional funding for these kinds of things when so much money has been spent already. So we really need to go back and ask: What is it that we need to do with the limited and dwindling resources that we have?

The hon Chief Whip of the Opposition, Mr Ian Davidson, spoke about the need to make Parliament as accountable as government. We certainly agree. We might also add that we want to make Parliament as good as the people of the country are. Certainly, there is some way to go before we can say that we are happy with the progress that has been made. A lot of progress has been made since 1994, but more progress can still be made.

Around the issue of corruption, we certainly agree with hon Davidson that we should try and root it out completely in whatever form it takes. There can be no hesitation on our part to make sure that we root out corruption in whatever form it takes. We also agree with Mr Davidson about the need to involve Parliament more in some of the processes, including the disciplinary ones.

Hon Shilowa, around the timeframes for the legislative process, I think it is important not only for us as Members of Parliament, but also for the communities out there to know what is going to be discussed when and by what time. That makes sense, but that is the responsibility of the programming committee, and I suspect you are a member of the programming committee. So we will hear from you, member of the programming committee, about the programme of Parliament.

We also agree with hon Shilowa about the issues of disclosure of interests. May I remind members that this is not an optional thing, it’s compulsory. You have to disclose. I am reminding those who have not done so already - I have a list of those who haven’t; I won’t release the list here – to do so by tomorrow. Thank you for reminding us, hon Mbhazima.

We agree with Koos van der Merwe, he has been an important pillar of strength in this Parliament. As young parliamentarians, when we joined many moons ago, he was one of those who were very helpful in terms of assisting and supporting all of us and we would like to thank him in his absence. It is often said that if you are able to see far into the future, it is more often because you are standing on the shoulders of giants, and in terms of our Parliament, Koos certainly is one of those and we would like to thank him for his contribution. [Applause.]

Hon Mike Ellis, you raised the point of questions and interpellations, and we certainly agree with you. We also agree with you on highlighting the challenges faced around the issue of Question Time and members of the executive not being present most of the time. The Leader of Government Business is present here. He is also the Deputy President of the country, and today he is also Acting President, and he has been listening to you, so this will be taken seriously. In addition to that, hon Ellis, the panel that was commissioned by Parliament to look at the role of Parliament and how to improve the work of Parliament proposed that the system through which presiding officers hold the executive to account for unanswered questions be reviewed and the necessary changes be made to increase the efficacy of these procedures. It is one of those reports in Parliament that we need to debate.

All of these are intended to improve the work of Parliament to make it more effective and more efficient. I certainly agree that the matter of unanswered questions, as well as the format of Question Time, should be looked at again, together with the mechanisms of oversight. Also, one of the legacy reports deals with an oversight model, and again we need to begin to look at the model, populate it and make sure that it is a kind of model that would make Parliament much more efficient.

Hon Dudley from the ACDP raised the issue of funding for extra languages, etc. We are in consultation with the National Treasury for additional funds and adjustments in the budget for these posts. It is an important point and we recognise that. We are in discussion with Treasury. We also agree that the Chief Whips’ Forum can and should set up a task team to consider the oversight model where appropriate.

Just to add, there are many structures in Parliament, maybe too many, but we need to find a way of making them much more effective so that the end product will be as good as the inputs to that end product. This, however, can only happen if the input is good and we must make sure that the input is good so that the end product is what it is we seek to achieve.

We also agree that Parliament must be a centre for national discussions and debate and a centre that leads national issues. We also agree that it must be a centre for action and not just policy issues. People look up to Parliament to help them to improve their lot. As people have pointed out, we dare not fail them. Again, we need to just look at these models and make sure they work.

The hon Andries spoke about the need to give practical expression to the relationship between the legislature and the executive; in other words, the process must be such that all are able to participate. The hon Andries was a Member of Parliament and he was in the Whippery before he got redeployed downwards to the executive. [Laughter.] Certainly, we agree with the proposals that you have made around support for the committees. Committees are the engine of Parliament, so we want to make sure that it’s the engine that works and not the engine that is in the workshop, thus we agree with the proposals that you have made, hon member.

Hon Mentor wanted to know what Parliament would do to ensure that members are able to carry out their oversight functions in matters occurring in their constituencies. I did mention in my address that one of the policy imperatives informing the 2009-10 budget included the training of members in oversight activities. We will be doing a lot of training to make sure that members are able to take on board the needs of their constituencies.

I would again like to thank all of you for your contributions. As I have said, they have been noted and we will use the structures of Parliament to make sure that we begin to operationalise all your important contributions. I thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mrs M T KUBAYI (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, last week Friday, 26 June, marked the 54th anniversary of the Congress of the People gathering in Kliptown and the Freedom Charter. It is an occasion that challenges all patriotic South Africans to reassess how far we are in light of the ideals of the Freedom Charter.

The Congress of the People expressed profoundly and authentically the common aspirations of the overwhelming majority of South Africans, both black and white, to live in peace in the country of their birth, to shape its future and share its fruits, and to put an end to the centuries of colonial domination, racist tyranny, exploitation, misery and humiliation.

Its significance does not lie in its fine words, but in the fact that it is a document drawn up by the people themselves. It is the expression of the collective demands of the people. It embodies their aspirations.

The Freedom Charter is not merely a historical document. It is a living document, an important guide about the direction in which we should all take our country. Its visionary prescriptions have served as an educational tool for different generations of freedom fighters and the masses of the people of South Africa. It continues to provide an enduring vision of a new South African society. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr M H STEELE (DA): Mr Chairman, hon members, in many competitive sports today, preventing athletes from acquiring an unfair advantage from artificial stimulants has become an entire growth industry. Track and field athletes lose their medals at major events; cyclists are sent home in disgrace.

Next week the Auditor-General’s conflict of interest report will be the subject of a public hearing. Senior government officials will be called to account.

In an open society, disclosure and transparency become the norms against which we assess performance. Just as with competitive sports, we require officials to be open and transparent in the disclosure of their personal and their families’ interests. Like competitive sportspeople, we need to expand the regime of disclosure to include sanctions for nondisclosure. Like the athlete who fails to provide a sample for drug testing is suspended, so the official who fails to make full disclosure of his or her family’s interests should be the subject of departmental sanction.

The DA believes in expanding opportunities for all, but we also believe in the advantages of an open society. Such societies are characterised by fair and robust competition, and the ideal is that of a level playing field. Where officials have hidden their family interests, they have conspired to prevent free, open and transparent competition. They have prevented Parliament, as the oversight authority, and civil society and the media exercising from the right to comment on and critique the decisions of government. This denies public access to an open society, which the DA wishes to expand. Thank you. [Time expired.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms B N DAMBUZA (ANC): Chairperson, the ANC-led government and its young democracy have much to celebrate. This includes building a new society, uniting all of our people, expanding opportunities that the new freedom brought to our people, eradicating poverty and improving the quality of life of millions of South Africans.

As reflected in the ANC manifesto, KwaZulu-Natal youth at Eshowe in Mlalazi local municipality have demonstrated their commitment to heed the call of servicing the community through the National Youth Service Programme.

The programme has been initiated and hosted by the Department of Human Settlements in an effort to commemorate the anniversary of the historic 1976 uprising, and also to pursue the departmental programme on mobilisation and engagement on youth matters specifically with regard to human settlements delivery.

Out of a total of 403 housing developments, 76 were built by young people, and 25 of them have officially been handed over by the Minister, hon T Sexwale, to the most elderly beneficiaries. It is also worth noting that the project is part of the Human Settlements programme of eradicating informal settlements and is clustered around the existing social and economic amenities structures.

The ANC wishes to commend the youth stakeholders from the private sector, housing institutions and officials of the department who, in the spirit of Ilima, took part in the project in order to change the lives of people, especially those who were previously marginalised and come mainly from the rural habitat. South African youth have come to serve. Together we can do more. Thank you. [Time expired.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr E J LUCAS (IFP): Chairperson, the public transport system in the country is already beset with problems. This situation will now be compounded in Durban as the people of this city face the possibility of being without a bus service for the next few months. Remant Alton, which runs the city’s bus service, has closed down, leaving about 1 500 people without employment and the rest of the city without a bus service.

Remant Alton took over Durban Transport in 2003 at a cost of R70 million. However, owing to the rapidly deteriorating state of the bus service, the municipality bought the buses back from them five years later at a cost of R405 million. It was agreed that Remant Alton would remain the operator and lease the buses from the municipality.

The bus service should not have been allowed to reach this low point. Surely there were warning signs which should have been heeded and actions which could have been taken to avoid the closure of this bus service? With proper management and leadership from the municipality the public transport system in Durban would not be in the dire state in which it now finds itself.

The municipality must take some responsibility for this situation and there must definitely be an investigation into the circumstances that led to the closure of this important public transport facility. If there were greater transparency and improved accountability mechanisms in place, this situation would never have occurred. This situation will not only inconvenience the many people who use the bus service, but also put a strain on the city’s other modes of transport. Thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr M H HOOSEN (ID): Chairperson, the ID expresses its objection and disappointment at the decision of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial department of health to fire 226 striking doctors this week.

Whilst we do not condone the defiance of the court order on the part of the doctors, the ID calls on government to reinstate all 226 doctors immediately. We do not believe that this action on the part of government will serve as a solution in any way whatsoever to the ongoing crisis in the health care sector.

Government should think carefully about where they will find doctors to replace those they have fired, as well as the cost of employing foreign doctors, especially when there is already such a dire shortage of doctors in the public health care sector.

Instead of fighting each other, we should recognise that a solution can only be found if public sector doctors and government unite to find a solution in the interests of the thousands of innocent patients who are already suffering the consequences of a poorly serviced public health care sector. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr M E MBILI (ANC): Mr Chairperson, the British Anti-Apartheid Movement was founded 50 years ago, on 26 June 1959. It was a multiparty and multifaith movement against apartheid. At first it was called the Boycott Movement, and it campaigned for the British boycott of South African goods in response to an appeal from the ANC President, Inkosi Albert Luthuli.

In 1960, after the Sharpeville Massacre and the banning of the ANC and the PAC, it changed its name to the Anti-Apartheid Movement and called for the international sanction and the total isolation of apartheid South Africa.

The AAM worked to foster an international solidarity movement. It co- operated with the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid and also with African and nonaligned countries that initiated the sanctions resolution at the AU.

It also lobbied Commonwealth countries and imposed Commonwealth sanctions against South Africa. It campaigned for the boycott of South African products and for British companies to pull out of South Africa. It also campaigned to end overseas tours by whites-only sports teams. In 1970, personalities such as Trevor Huddleston stopped a Springbok tour to Britain.

After the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, the AAM was transformed into Action for Southern Africa to do lobbying, and more money is being channelled for Aids and HIV. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

                         PUBLIC ENTERPRISES

                        (Member’s Statement)

Dr S M VAN DYK (DA): Voorsitter, sommige van die openbare ondernemings in Suid-Afrika is besig om ’n verleentheid vir die land te word. Die doel van openbare ondernemings in Suid-Afrika, soos dit omskryf word, is om mededinging te bevorder en om dit effektief te bestuur, maar jaar na jaar moet die belastingbetaler hierdie openbare ondernemings red van finansiële ondergang en dit raak onaanvaarbaar.

Net vir die laaste vier jaar moes die belastingbetaler R80 miljard spandeer op openbare ondernemings en hulle vra nou nog ’n verdere R372 miljard om aan die lewe te bly. Daarom was die agb Minister Hogan reg toe sy onlangs gesê het dat van die ondernemings wat nie doeltreffend funksioneer nie uitgefasseer behoort te word.

Minister Manuel het verlede jaar tydens die aansuiweringsbegroting in die Parlement gesê dat openbare ondernemings nou ’n risiko vir die belastingbetaler word. Selfs President Jacob Zuma het vroeër vanjaar in die Parlement gesê dat sy administrasie openbare ondernemings baie strenger gaan monitor en die jongste toevoeging was verlede week toe die nuwe Minister van Finansies, die agb Pravin Gordhan, gesê het dat die Tesourie nie net links en regs gaan geld uitdeel vir openbare ondernemings nie. Daarom moet die agb Blade Nzimande en sy ander kommunistiese meelopers besef dat openbare ondernemings wat nie funksioneer nie, nie net deur die staat bedryf moet word nie, want hulle bedryf dit nie effektief nie.

Die DA, as ’n sterk opposissie, agb Pallo Jordan, wil die aanbeveling maak dat, indien hierdie openbare ondernemings nie reg funksioneer nie, van hulle uitgefasseer word, geprivatiseer word of dat ons hulle verkoop sodat daardie geld wat ons andersinds daarvoor sou aanwend vir ander uiters belangrike regerings- en kollektiewe dienste in die land aangewend kan word. Dankie. [Tyd verstreke.] (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)

[Dr S M VAN DYK (DA): Chairperson, some of South Africa’s public enterprises are turning into an embarrassment for the country. The purpose of public enterprises in South Africa, as per their definition, is to promote competitiveness and manage it effectively, but year after year the taxpayer has to rescue these public enterprises from financial downfall and this is becoming unacceptable.

In the past four years alone the taxpayer had to spend R80 billion on private enterprises and they are requesting a further R372 billion to stay afloat. Therefore the hon Minister Hogan was correct when she recently said that some of the enterprises that are not functioning effectively should be phased out.

During last year’s Adjustments Appropriation Minister Manual stated in Parliament that public enterprises were becoming a risk to the taxpayer. Earlier this year even President Jacob Zuma said in Parliament that his administration would monitor public enterprises more strictly, and the latest addition came last week when the new Minister of Finance, the hon Pravin Gordhan, said that the Treasury will not hand out money at random to public enterprises. The hon Blade Nzimande and his other communist supporters must therefore realise that public enterprises that are not functioning should not only be run by the government, because they are not running it effectively.

The DA, as a strong opposition, hon Pallo Jordan, wants to make the recommendation that if these public enterprises are not functioning properly, they should be phased out, become privatised, or be sold so that the money we would otherwise be spending on them can be utilised for other vital government and collective services in the country. Thank you.] [Time expired.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms C DUDLEY (ACDP): Chair, the ACDP welcomes the Competition Commission’s probe into suspected anticompetitive behaviour by four big supermarket groups. The spokesperson for Grain SA is reported to have said, and I quote: “There’s a big difference between what farmers get and what consumers pay.”

He said that between April 2008 and April 2009, the price of wheat came down by 32%, while the price of brown bread went up by 23%. This, we believe, does not make sense and should not be allowed to carry on.

What concerns us is that greed amongst some food providers is pushing the prices of the most basic foods, such as milk, bread, maize meal and meat, beyond the reach of the poor among us. We know that there are too many poor people in our country who can no longer afford even basic food, because food prices are exorbitantly high.

The ACDP therefore appeals to the Competition Commission to impose the strictest penalty possible with the hope that collusive business practices among supermarkets will be stopped immediately. Members of the public must benefit from any reduction in prices. Thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Nksz M L DUNJWA (ANC): Sihlalo obekekileyo, urhulumente okhokelwa yi-ANC uzimisele ekukhawuleziseni inkqubo yokwakha izindlu ezisemgangathweni ezilungiselelwe abantu abangathathi ntweni.

Urhulumente wephondo leMpuma Koloni uza kube enikezela ngezindlu kubahlali base-Tarkastad kwingingqi yaseChris Hani ngomhla wesi-3 kuJulayi 2009. Lo msitho uya kuzinyaswa yiNkulumbuso yephondo leMpuma Koloni kunye nomphathiswa wezindlu kweli phondo.

I-ANC iya kusoloko isebenzisana noluntu ekuqinisekiseni ukuba bonke abantu bayaxhamla kwinkqubo yezindlu ezakhiwa ngurhulumente, ingakumbi abantu abangenandawo zokuhlala kunye nabo bahlala ematyotyombeni. Xa sibambisene, singenza lukhulu. Ndiyabulela. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiZulu member’s statement follows.)

[Ms M L DUNJWA (ANC): Hon Chairperson, the ANC-led government is committed to fast-tracking the programme of building quality houses for the poor.

The Eastern Cape provincial government will be handing over houses to the community of Tarkastad in the Chris Hani District Municipality on 3 July

  1. This occasion will be honoured by the presence of the Premier of the Eastern Cape province and the MEC for human settlements of the province. The ANC will always work together with the community at ensuring that all people benefit from the government’s housing programme, more especially people who have no shelter and those living in informal settlements. Working together, we can do more. Thank you. [Applause.]]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Dr A LOTRIET (DA): Chairperson, the DA wishes to express its concern regarding the centralisation of all financial transactions in the Free State. On 8 May 2009, the Premier of the Free State instructed that all financial transactions, which include all supplies of goods and services, be carried out by provincial treasury until further notice.

The DA has been inundated with complaints from service providers and government employees regarding the nonpayment or late payment for goods and services. Departments cannot function effectively: They are struggling to obtain even the most basic goods and services; section 21 schools do not have funds to pay certain teachers or suppliers; there are problems with the lack of medical goods; and contractors are threatening to cease work for the provincial government. The assurances by Treasury that transactions will not be delayed have not yet been experienced in practice. The reason offered by the Premier for this decision, namely that it is to eradicate and prevent corruption with tenders and procurement, is highly questionable. This is especially so when the Premier himself has in the past week been implicated in allegations regarding bribes for gambling licences.

The DA also received complaints from providers that enquiries are made regarding their political affiliation and the possibility of gifts before any contracts are concluded with the Free State government and municipalities. Thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mnu L SUKA (ANC): Sihlalo obekekileyo, urhulumente oxhuzula imikhala okhokelwa ngumbutho wesizwe i-ANC, uzimisele ekusebenzisaneni nabantu, ingakumbi abo bahlala ezilalini nasemaphandleni.

Kutshanje iSebe leZolimo noPhuhliso lwaMaphandle kurhulumente weMpuma Koloni okhokelwa ngulo mbutho, liye laxhasa umfama osakhasayo ngemali ekumyinge wezigidi ezithathu zeerandi, uNksz Kali. Le nkxaso-mali yenzelwe ukuba uNksz Kali aphuhlise ishishini lakhe leenkukhu ngokuthi akhe indawo yokuzizalisela.

Uqikelelo luthi, xa lo msebenzi ugqityiwe, uya kuvelisa iinkukhu ezili-10 000 ngeveki. Loo nto iyakwandisa amathuba engqesho apho eNgqamakhwe.

UNksz Kali ngumfama ophume izandla kwaye uthe wawongwa ngembasa yokuba nguMfama woNyaka kwicandelo labasethyini. Ngoyena mfama mncinane owakhe waluphumelela olu khuphiswano. Thina singumbutho wesizwe, siya kuthi gqolo sisebenzisana nabantu bakuthi ekulweni indlala. Enkosi, Mhlalingaphambili. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa member’s statement follows.)

[Mr L SUKA (ANC): Chairperson, the government led by the nation’s party, the ANC, is committed to working with the people especially those residing in rural areas.

Recently, the department of agriculture and rural development in the Eastern Cape government, also led by the same party, awarded approximately R3 million rand to an up-and-coming farmer by the name of Miss Kali. This funding is to enable Miss Kali to expand her chicken venture by building a poultry pen.

It is estimated that, when the building is completed, she will produce 10 000 chickens per week. That will create more job opportunities in Ngqamakhwe.

Miss Kali is an excellent farmer and she has been awarded the accolade of Female Farmer of the Year. She is the youngest farmer ever to win this competition. The ANC will continue to work with the people in fighting poverty. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms S P LEBENYA-NTANZI (IFP): Hon Chairperson, the IFP has noted with grave concern the fact that a recent government function once again led to the blurring of the boundary between the state and the ruling party. The Youth Day event hosted by government on the East Rand on 16 June 2009 is the case in point.

By only inviting the ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema, to speak at the Youth Day celebration, which was also addressed by state President Jacob Zuma, the ANC has once again misused taxpayers’ money to promote the political agenda of the ruling party instead of using the platform to promote a national youth agenda.

The IFP believes that the blurring of the boundary between the state and the ruling party is not only unacceptable, but is increasingly threatening our young democracy. Our Constitution is very clear about the duties and responsibilities of the national executive, and the IFP believes that this House needs the assurance that we will not have a situation again where the ANC is allowed to abuse its power.

Each of us in this Chamber today has a duty to uphold not only the interests of our different political parties represented here, but also the tenets of our democracy and the interests of the country that we are elected to represent.

We must demand of our government, our Cabinet and our President to act in a nonpartisan manner at all times when it comes to government events so as to build a united country and nation. Failing this, our democracy is in threat. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr S Z NTAPANE (UDM): Chair, the UDM is deeply concerned about the manner in which government has handled the doctors’ strike. The matter should have never gone to this extreme in the first place. But the failure to implement the promised occupation-specific dispensation for two whole years triggered this level of frustration among doctors. Once less disruptive forms of protests like lunchtime pickets had begun, government still had an opportunity then to avoid strike action. But it seems as if an attitude of callousness prevailed. After finally beginning the negotiation process, government continues to mismanage the situation. For instance, 220 doctors in KwaZulu-Natal have been dismissed. The MEC compounded this aggressive move by stating that he would simply find doctors from other countries. It is exactly this attitude of indifference that causes doctors to leave the public health sector, and even the country. This matter is far from being resolved. Government needs to speedily implement the agreed-upon dispensation and also initiate a new round of wage negotiations immediately.

These are difficult economic times, and it will require a pact between the state and its employees to protect jobs and ensure that wage demands can be met. Such a relationship can only be built on trust. Government’s behaviour towards doctors could not have inspired other state employees and unions to view it as trustworthy. Thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr S L TSENOLI (ANC): Chairperson, the ANC wishes to congratulate the host cities on the wonderful work they did to get us ready and prepared for the recent Confederations Cup games. This places municipalities on a sound footing for work that we expect will be even better in the coming year. The biggest improvement we are also going to see is transportation that is in place. This is intended to serve as a legacy to the people who use this transport in the cities. We expect this to take place in other towns in the country.

The 2010 World Cup, as our leadership has said before, will be a wonderful experience not only for our own people in their areas, but also for our visitors who intend to give them a wonderful experience. I thank you. [Applause.]

                        ROBBEN ISLAND MUSEUM

                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms D VAN DER WALT (DA): Chairperson, at the Arts and Culture committee meeting in June, the Minister told members that there was no reason to worry about the Robben Island Museum. She said that all was well and that everybody was happy. How can we not be worried when three executives were suspended at the end of last year amid allegations of financial mismanagement and, very recently, the entire council of the museum resigned? If the Minister’s assurance is true, why is she refusing to make the contents of the forensic audit report public?

May I once again remind the Minister that the Robben Island Museum, like all other cultural institutions in our country, does not belong to her or the ANC, but to all the people of South Africa. The people have the right to know what the findings of the forensic audit report are.

The DA regards the Robben Island Museum as one of South Africa’s most important cultural institutions. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, and is a popular destination for tourists and a significant source of revenue generation and employment creation. We cannot afford that its name be put in jeopardy. It is really unacceptable that the DA had to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act to try and get the contents of this audit report. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]

                         PUBLIC ENTERPRISES

                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chair, in response to the hon Van Dyk’s question about state-owned enterprises, SOEs, I’m sure we all share a concern about the viability of those SOEs because they are central to the economy. They are in fact the engines of our economy. Not only myself, but every party - and yes, I include Blade Nzimande - and all of us here share that concern very much.

Where I think I have problems, though, is where we simply say privatisation is the answer to any of the problems in the SOEs. That is not going to help us. I can refer to Denel, where we did privatise one of the business units. This was with a very, very good international partner, and it has been a hopeless failure. We now have to cancel the contract because it was a hopeless failure. So, we have to look at every specific issue of the SOEs.

Furthermore, let me say that this is a bad environment because we are in an economic downturn. We are seeing failures of companies in the private sector. We are seeing failures of companies in the public sectors simply because revenues are falling. So, this is a very bad time to assess the viability of SOEs.

Finally, I think we must get beyond just the debate about privatisation or not. I think we need to look at the strategic values of these companies. Look at a company like Denel. Some of its companies are not performing well. But if you look at the strategic value of concentrating 445 engineers with advanced manufacturing capability, one has to start looking at the other benefits that these companies provide to the economy. So, I look forward to an interesting debate on the future of SOEs. [Applause.]


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, I just want to address myself to the concern that was raised by the IFP on the matter of the ruling party misusing state resources for political matters, and say I think that we agree, as the ANC, that that shouldn’t happen, but also parties should not be oversensitive when the President is invited by a hosting province and happens to share a platform with a leader of the biggest youth movement in the country.

So, it happens to be a coincidence that the biggest youth leader in the party is in the ANC and the President can’t run away when he is invited and finds himself sharing a platform with him. Thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Minister’s Response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, I welcome what hon member Dambuza stated here, showing the heroic action by the youth of Umlazi building 76 houses, marking the heroic actions of the youth of 1976. The most important thing about these houses is that they were built closer to the places of work, in town, closer to schools, shopping centres and clinics. That is very heroic, showing that the ANC is concerned about the issue of human settlements, and human settlement is in action.

Kwakhona, ndibulela kakhulu kwilungu elihloniphekileyo uDunjwa ngokuthetha ngezindlu eziza kunikezelwa eChris Hani ngomhla wesi-3. Ubonakalisa kakuhle ukuba i-ANC, kule nyanga yoMqulu waMalungelo, izimisele ukunika abantu izindlu, ukhuseleko nobuntofontofo.

ISebe loHlaliso loLuntu eMpuma Koloni liqinisekisa ukuba ikamva labantu liqaqambile, ingakumbi abantu abahluphekileyo. Siyabulela kakhulu. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Once again, I thank the hon member Dunjwa so much for talking about the houses that are going to be handed over in the Chris Hani District Municipality on 3 July 2009. The hon member showed clearly that the ANC, in this month of the Freedom Charter, is prepared to provide people with houses, security and comfort.

The department of human settlements in the Eastern Cape ensures that people have a brighter future, particularly the poor. We thank you very much. [Applause.]]


                        (Minister’s Response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, the hon member from the ID is concerned about the action taken by the KwaZulu-Natal department of health firing doctors because of their stubborn involvement in an illegal strike. But, the hon member is conspicuously silent, in his concern, about the lives of innocent patients that have been severely compromised as a result of this action. Even Cosatu has really urged the doctors to accept government’s proposal and go back to work.

I think what we need to do, in as much as we are concerned about the doctors who are on strike - because they probably do deserve good salaries

  • is be equally, perhaps even more, concerned about the lives of innocent patients lying in hospitals unattended to, because the said doctors are intransigent and unwilling to accept the offer that has been made.

I think government has demonstrated serious concern about the issues that the doctors have placed before it, but the fact of the matter is that you’ve got to come to an understanding that, in a negotiation situation you cannot get everything that you want, no matter how much the opposition may regard the offer made to the doctors as an insult.

The fact of the matter is that a good offer has been put forward. Government must now provide leadership and govern the country and act on behalf of the people who are lying in hospitals unattended to. Thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Still on the matter of the doctors, if I may just add one matter and that is, as a person who is also affected by the occupation-specific dispensation, OSD, and the inability of government to make payments timeously or reach agreements, those we have not settled as yet, I do want to say that all of us need to understand, first of all, that people have had to rush into understanding and appreciating what OSD is about.

One of the critical and contentious areas for government has been this area, because there have been different interpretations of what this OSD agreement is about. I think we should appreciate the political will that has been demonstrated by the Minister of Health. [Interjections.]

All that I am saying is, here is a new administration and people are grappling with understanding the nature of the agreement, first of all, but I perhaps also to say, yes ANC, because it is in power, but it still does not remove the fact that there are new people coming to government who are struggling to understand the nature of the agreement. That was what I wanted to say.

The heckling is not going to assist us. What will assist us is for us to understand and put our heads together, as to how we can resolve this matter and how do we march forward. So, the heckling is not going to resolve the challenge of doctors who are marching and who are now being fired. What we need from you is constructive advice as to how we should tackle the matter. [Interjections.]

The second matter that I wanted to raise …

Mr M S SHILOWA: Now you know how I feel.

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: I know how you feel? Oh no, no, no …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Shilowa, please. In the heckling we don’t use the mikes, so if you can avoid doing that. Hon Minister, your time is up.


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Sihlalo, ngizophawula nje ezintweni ezimbili kuphela. Eyokuqala: yile yemicimbi yesizwe … [Chairperson, I will comment on two things only. Firstly, with regard to the national events …]

… with regard to national events, it is very important that, as Members of Parliament and political parties, we do support these events.

I’ve attended quite a lot of these events. What is noticeable is that particularly those coming from the opposition parties don’t attend these events, and I don’t see the reason why they should complain if other people and other citizens do support these events, and encourage them that they must, in future …

Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Chairperson, on a point of order …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Akukho ukukhalima impambuko ezimpendulweni, Baba uMpontshane. Awukwazi ukuba nalokho. Baba uMpontshane akukho ukukhalima impambuko ngaphansi kwezimpendulo. [Hon Mpontshane, there’s no point of order in replies. You cannot have that. Hon Mpontshane, there is no point of order under replies.]

The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: What they should do is stop these small events that are parallel events, which are competing with national events to advance narrow party - political interests.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Angithi uphendula imibuzo ebuziweyo endlini? so … [Are u replying to the questions that were posed in the House?]

Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Can we invoke Rule 69, sir? USIHLALO WENDLU (Mnu K O Bapela): Uthini? Ake uwufunde umthetho No 69.

Mnu A M MPONTSHANE: Uthi uma kunenkulumo-mpikiswano, njengoba ekhuluma laphaya … (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): What does it says? Can you please read Rule 69?

Mr A M MPONTSHANE: It states that if there is a debate, as he is talking there …]


Mnu A M MPONTSHANE: … awunginike ithuba phela …

USIHLALO WENDLU (Mnu K O Bapela): Asizweni ukuthi uthini ubaba uMpontshane

Mnu A M MPONTSHANE: Uthi umthetho onguNo 69, uma uNgqongqoshe ebonakala sengathi akamzwanga kahle okade ekhuluma, okade ekhuluma unelunglo ukuthi anikezwe ithuba lokuchaza ngoba uNgqongqoshe akamzwanga ukuthi uthini lo muntu, ngoba lokho akushoyo akuhambisani nalokho okushiwo yilo muntu. Umthetho No69 usho njalo.

USIHLALO WENDLU (Mnu K O Bapela): Uyasho nawe ukuthi uma kuyinkulumo- mpikiswano. Khona manje izimpendulo angithi. Uyaphendula kulo mbuzo loyo.

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUPHEPHA KWEZWE: Ngimuzwe kahle, ngimuzwe kahle, baba. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Mr A M MPONTSHANE: … give me a chance, please …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Let’s hear what the hon Mpontshane has to say.

Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Rule 69 states that, if it appears that the Minister did not hear the speaker very well, the speaker has to be given a chance to explain, because what he said is not on par with what that person has said. Rule 69 says that.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): You said if it is a debate. Right now it’s the replies, isn’t it? He is replying to that question.

The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: I heard him, I heard him correctly, hon Chairperson.]

Secondly, I would just like to touch briefly on the issue raised by hon Tsenoli, on the issue of 2010 and the work that is being done by our host cities in this regard. We are very proud, indeed. As the government as a whole, under the leadership of the Deputy President, we are hard at work to ensure that all the components and the guarantees we promised the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, Fifa, are met, so that we can deliver this successful 2010.

So, we’ll be working together with these host cities and provincial governments and national departments and the Local Organising Committee, LOC, and the people of South Africa to deliver the most memorable 2010. Thank you. [Applause.]

                          OFFENSIVE REMARKS


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Before I adjourn the House, I just want to deal with the point of order that was raised by hon member Shilowa on 24 June.

On 24 June, the hon member Shilowa raised a point of order regarding remarks made by the Minister of Higher Education and Training during the debate on the Budget Vote of the Presidency.

The member took offence to remarks made by the Minister with regard to Cope, which he contended were directed at him. Although I had ruled, at the time, that most of the perceived offensive or unbecoming references were of a general nature, or made with reference to a party and not out of order, Mr Shilowa requested that the records be looked at.

Having now studied the unrevised Hansard, I wish to rule as follows: The remarks by the Minister were an expression of a political point of view and a matter of debate, and therefore not out of order. [Interjections.] Order, hon members!

While I still maintain my previous ruling on this matter, I would like to remind members that it is the duty of the Chair to determine whether words used are offensive or disorderly. The Chair’s judgment depends on the nature of the words and the context in which they are used. It will, for instance, not be in order to use offensive or unbecoming words against a political party with the intention of reflecting upon members of the House. I thank you. [Applause.]

The House adjourned at 17:50. ____


ANNOUNCEMENTS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Membership of Committees

    The following members were appointed Co-Chairpersons of the Constitutional Review Committee with effect from 2 July 2009:

    Holomisa, Inkosi S P Chaane, Mr T E


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Health
(a)     Strategic Plan of the Department of Health for 2009/10 –

National Assembly

The Speaker

  1. Submission of Private Members’ Legislative Proposals (1) The following private member’s legislative proposal was submitted to the Speaker on 25 June 2009, in accordance with Rule 234:

    (a) Legislative proposal to amend the South African Police Service Act, No 68 of 1995 (D Kohler-Barnard)

       Referred to the Committee on Private Members’ Legislative
       Proposals and Special Petitions for consideration and report.


National Assembly

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on Budget Vote 16: Social Development and its entities, dated 1 July 2009:
The Portfolio Committee on Social  Development,  having  met  with  the
Department of Social Development, the  South  African  Social  Security
Agency (SASSA) and the National Development Agency  (NDA),  reports  as
  1. Department of Social Development

    The Department has the following programmes:

    Programme 1: Administration This programme is aimed at managing and providing support and advisory services to the Ministry and Department. The programme’s budget increased from R156.2 million in 2008 /09 to R156.4 million in 2009/10, marking a 0.13 percent increase in nominal terms (but a 5.0 percent decrease in real terms).

    Programme 2: Comprehensive Social Security

    The aim of the programme is to provide social protection policy and income support to the elderly, children, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. Thus, this programme’s core function is to alleviate poverty among vulnerable groups in society and to provide social assistance to all eligible beneficiaries.

    Programme 2 dominates the overall departmental expenditure, constituting 99.03 percent of the Department’s budget for 2009/10. For this financial year, expenditure for this program reached R85.5bn, reflecting nominal growth of 12.82 percent (7.04 percent in real terms).

    Programme 3: Policy Development, Review and Implementation Support for Welfare Services

    The programme aims to develop support and oversee integrated social welfare services policy implementation.

    The budget allocated to this programme increased from R211.2 million in 2008/09 to R329.3 in 2009/10, marking a significant increase in both nominal (55.9 percent) and real terms (47.9 percent). However, this programme constitutes 0.4 per cent of the overall departmental budget. Programme 4: Community Development

    The programme aims to develop, support and oversee policy for the practice of community development.

    The budget allocation for the programme increased from R237.8 million in 2008/09 to R248.4 million in 2009/10, accounting for a 4.4 percent increase in nominal terms. However, in real terms the allocation for this Programme declined by 0.9 percent.

    Programme 5: Strategy and Governance

    The purpose of the programme is to co-ordinate strategic management, monitoring and evaluation of social development programmes, including those of its public entities.

    The budget allocated to Programme 5 declined slightly from R102.2 million in 2008/09 to R101.1 million in 2009/10. This marks a decrease of 1.08 percent in nominal terms, and 6.14 percent in real terms.

    The total budget allocation for the Department of Social Development increased substantially over the medium term, reaching R102.3 billion in 2011/12. The increase is mainly due to the comprehensive social security programme, which aims to enhance social assistance and welfare services among the South African population. The Department’s overall budget increased from R76.5 billion in 2008/09, to R86.4 billion in 2009/10 (12.87 percent in nominal terms and 7.09 percent in real terms). The bulk of the departmental budget (99.5 percent) was allocated to transfers and subsidies. The largest transfer is approximately R80.4 billion in value, and is intended to provide for social assistance.


    To provide a caring and integrated system of social development services that facilitates human development and an improved quality of life.


    To enable the poor, the vulnerable and those previously excluded to secure a better life for themselves, in partnership with them and with all those who are committed to building a caring society.


    To provide sector-wide national leadership in social development by developing and implementing programmes for the eradication of poverty and social protection and development amongst the poorest of the poor and most vulnerable and marginalized.

    The Department’s thematic areas are:

a) Tackling child poverty. b) Tackling adult and older persons poverty. c) Social Cohesion. d) Youth Development. e) Sector capacity building. f) Governance and institutional development. g) Regional and international solidarity and engagement.

Key priorities

The Department has identified the following priority areas:

a) Speed up growth and transformation of the economy. b) Fight against poverty. c) Build social cohesion and state legitimacy. d) Build the developmental state. e) Promote the values of international cooperation.

Annual performance targets

The Department set the following annual performance targets:

  a) Comprehensive Social  Security  -  these  include  reduction  of
     poverty,  vulnerability  and  risk   exposure   through   social
     assistance, improving the  Appeals  Tribunal  effectiveness  and
     efficiency,  setting  up  a  comprehensive  appeals  stakeholder
     liaison framework, and reviewing and proposing  reforms  on  the
     social security legislation around appeals.

  b) Welfare Services - the targets include  improving  welfare  service
     delivery  by  developing,  piloting  and  implementing  norms   and
     standards for delivering social welfare services  by  2009/10.  The
     Department  plans  to  reduce   substance   abuse   by   developing
     regulations of the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance  Abuse
     Act, No 70 of 2008 by 2010/11, transform services to  older  people
     by developing service delivery guidelines by 2010/11,  protect  and
     promote the rights of people with disabilities by facilitating  and
     developing policies and strategies on disability  by  2011/12,  and
     empower families by developing an integrated plan for  implementing
     the family policy in  2009/10.  It  also  aims  to  protect  people
     affected by violence and crime by developing a shelter strategy and
     victim  empowerment  policy  in  2009/10.  It  will   improve   the
     protection and care of children by facilitating the  implementation
     of the Children’s Act, No. 38 of 2005 by  developing  policies  and
     strategies aimed at promoting children’s rights.

  c) Community Development will focus on  protecting  and  empowering
     vulnerable youth by conducting an audit  on  youth  services  by
     March 2010. The Department  aims  to  complete  and  launch  the
     sustainable  livelihood  toolkit   for   community   development
     practitioners by March 2010. This will strengthen  the  capacity
     of  Practitioners  and  communities   to   achieve   sustainable
     livelihood.  It  will  improve  community   food   security   by
     developing a concept document on community food banks  by  March
     2010. This will include establishing two community food banks by
     March 2011 and three food banks by March 2012. It  will  improve
     community  development  practice  by   developing   a   national
     Community Development framework focusing on  professionalisation
     and  skills   development   plan   for   community   development
     practitioners by 2010/11. It will ensure efficiency in  the  non
     profit organisation registration by registering all NGOs  within
     two months of receiving applications. To reduce vulnerability to
     HIV infection and  mitigate  its  impact,  the  Department  will
     develop guidelines to promote behaviour  change  and  norms  and
     standards by 2009/10.

  d) Strategy and Governance – the Department will focus on improving
     planning and service delivery in the social  development  sector
     through  best   practice   on   planning,   business   processes
     improvements and customer centred service  delivery  model.   It
     will improve accountability and promote service delivery  across
     the  sector  by  implementing  a  comprehensive  monitoring  and
     evaluation systems.  It will  improve  corporate  governance  of
     public entities, bodies and boards by developing and rolling out
     performance   management   framework,   quarterly    performance
     assessment of entities by March 2010. Lastly, it will  integrate
     population trends and dynamics  into  departmental  planning  by
     developing the five year population and development strategy  by
     March 2010.

Key achievements

The Department had the following achievements in 2008/09:

  a) Financial Management - Over the past three years the  Department
     spent more than 98 percent of its budget.  Comprehensive  Social
     Security  programme  received  the  bulk  budget  allocation  in
     2008/09 and 99 percent was spent.  The  Department  received  an
     unqualified audit opinion four years in succession.

  b) Human Resources - In order to address  the  shortage  of  social
     workers in the country, the Department awarded scholarships to 4
     800 students to register for courses in social work  at  various
     tertiary institutions in the country.
  c) Policy and Legislation – The Social Assistance Act,  No.  13  of
     2004 was amended to make men  eligible  at  the  age  of  60  to
     qualify for the old age grant by 2010.  The  Prevention  of  and
     Treatment for Substance Abuse Bill was passed by  Parliament  in
     November 2008.  Regulations of the Older Persons Act were tabled
     in  Parliament.   Regulations  for  the  Children’s   Act   were
     finalised and will guide the implementation of the Act.

  d) Social Safety Net - The past  financial  year  saw  the  largest
     expansion of the social safety net in the country, with over  13
     million people benefiting from social grants.

  e) Appeals Tribunal – During the financial year  under  review  the
     Minister appointed 128 individuals to serve on  the  Independent
     Tribunal for Social Assistance  Appeals.   By  the  end  of  the
     financial year 2008/09, 60 970 appeals had been lodged with  the
     Minister, and 13 269 of these were considered and finalised.

  f) Families – the Department  adopted  a  number  of  policies  and
     strategies that  seek  to  preserve  families  and  inculcate  a
     culture of respect for the institution  of  marriage.   A  white
     paper on families will be finalised.

  g) Children – 12 293 Early Childhood Development (ECD)  sites  were
     registered,  with  667  231  children  benefiting  and  500  000

  h) Drug and Substance Abuse – The  Department’s  flagship  campaign
     against drug and substance abuse, the Ke Moja campaign,  reached
     approximately 750 000 people and  over  100  service  providers,
     including social workers who received training on the management
     of substance abuse.
  i) War-on-poverty Campaign – the Department participated in the War
     on Poverty Campaign which is spearheaded by the Presidency.  The
     Department is also represented in the National Task Team of  the
     War Room against Poverty.

  j) Non-Profit Organisations – 12 393  applications  for  non-profit
     organisations were received and processed within two month and 6
     819 met registration requirements.

  k) Youth Development – 2 114 youth pioneers were recruited into the
     Masupatsela Youth Pioneer programme and 1 754 youth participated
     in the war-on-poverty initiatives.

  l) HIV and AIDS – The Department initiated a number  of  prevention
     programmes in collaboration with Love Life and provided  funding
     to Love Life’s lifestyle programmes which saw thousands of young
     people participate in HIV prevention initiatives.

  m) International Obligations – A major outcome of the International
     Comprehensive  Social  Security   Conference   hosted   by   the
     Department in March 2008 was the establishment in  South  Africa
     of a  Liaison  Office  for  the  International  Social  Security
     Association in Southern Africa.


a)     There is still high level  of  poverty  and  unemployment  and
     thus many poor households are vulnerable to numerous social ills
     like extreme hunger, social crime, woman and  child  abuse,  and
     this impact negatively on the moral fibre of the  South  African

b)     The national discourse on the reform of  retirement  provision
     continues in earnest.  These reforms aim to overhaul the current
     fragmented and inefficient system in the  country  in  order  to
     ensure adequate income security for all South  African  citizens
     when they retire.

c)     The sector has also been challenged to  engage  in  other  key
     strategic areas such as making some of the Extended Public Works
     Programme (EPWP) jobs permanent as well  as  linking  EPWP  with
     other second economy strategic initiatives.
  1. South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)


    To provide a comprehensive social security service that assists people to be self-sufficient and supporting those in need.


    To manage quality social security services, effectively and efficiently to eligible and potential beneficiaries.


    The values to which SASSA subscribes to are:

a) Social cohesion. b) Transparency. c) Equity. d) Integrity. e) Confidentiality and f) Customer Care Centered approach.

Strategic Objective

a)     To  build  a  high  performance  institution  which  manifests
     itself by compliance to good governance principles and  striving
     towards  operational  excellence   through   continued   service
     delivery improvements to the beneficiaries.

Key priorities

SASSA has set the following key priorities for 2009 – 2012:

a)     Customer Care Centred Benefits Administration  and  Management

This covers policy issues around the extension and phasing in of  the
Child Support Grant up to  the  age  of  18.  SASSA  will  develop  a
beneficiary maintenance framework to ensure that beneficiaries in the
system are  properly  audited  and  are  still  entitled  to  receive
benefits. The payment mechanisms are currently structured  that  will
enable beneficiaries to  either  receive  grants  at  pay  points  or
receive it through banks. Currently  over  70  percent  beneficiaries
receive payments in cash. This has been identified as risky in  terms
of the safety of the beneficiaries. It is also expensive  to  operate
in that security guards need to be hired. To address this SASSA plans
to move towards a direct banking system.

b)     Improved Organizational Capacity

This includes building infrastructure, which is currently  inadequate
to address the challenges of lack of office space for SASSA  regional
offices. Some regional offices have no offices and  they  share  with
the Department of Social Development and this increases the risk  for

c)     Comprehensive and Integrated  Social  Security  Administration
     and Management Services

SASSA has set a priority to build an institutional model  which  will
be in line with its legislative mandate. This will enable it to  take
the appropriate initiatives and policy decisions at the  right  time,
and ensure it delivers  on  them.  It  will  also  implement  a  Case
Management System, which will enable it to assess other needs of  the
beneficiary, such as health, education and other  social  needs.   It
will then refer the identified  needs  to  relevant  departments  for
intervention. For instance a person who receives a social grant,  but
is able-bodied to work, could be assisted to find work in the EPWP or
receive training.

Funds flow configuration for grants budget

a)     SASSA manages grants on an ‘agency’ basis  on  behalf  of  the
     Department of Social Development and this often results in  dual

b)     SASSA pays and fully administers the social assistance grants.

c)      The  Department  of   Social   Development   is   financially
     accountable for the social assistance transfers.


Dual accountability adversely impact decision-making and  is  not  in
line  with  the  long  term  strategic  intent  for  SASSA  and   the

a)     Resources – Inadequate funding makes it difficult for SASSA to
     reach remote areas due to limited capacity and  resources.  This
     involves  inadequate  funding;  demand  for  social   assistance
     exceeds the available resources. Lack of  resources  delays  the
     finalisation of projects. It also has a high turnover  rate  due
     to  recruitment  of  their  staff,  once   trained,   by   other

b)       Systems   and   Processes   –   This   involves   inadequate
   infrastructure, inadequate internal communication processes,  lack
   of  real  life  interface  with  other  sources  of  data,  legacy
   challenges relating to autonomy of provinces and non-compliance.
  1. The National Development Agency (NDA)


    To develop a society free from poverty. Mission

    To facilitate development through targeted grant funding, research and strategic partnership.

    Primary mandate

    To contribute towards the eradication of poverty and its causes by granting funds to civil society organisations for the purpose of implementing development projects of poor communities and strengthening the institutional capacity of other civil society organizations that provide services to poor communities.

    Secondary mandate

    To promote consultation, dialogue and sharing of development experience between civil society organisations and relevant organs of state, debate development policy to undertake research and publication aimed at providing the basis for development policy.

    NDA Strategy

    The three year strategy (2009 – 2012) focuses on fulfilling NDA’s mandate of poverty alleviation. It also encompasses recognition of the financial constraints within which the organisation operates.

    The NDA strategy includes four strategic goals which are:

    a) Goal One – promoting sustainable development. Its purpose is to contribute to the eradication of poverty through grant funding, which is the core business of the agency, and resource mobilisation. The Agency has undertaken to allocate 65 percent of its budget toward grants and the remaining budget toward operational costs. A decision was made to source external additional funding to complement funding for its operational costs.

    b) Goal Two – promoting organisational sustainability, development practice and excellence. Its purpose is to develop additional income streams to build and sustain the capacity to enable the Agency to operate efficiently and effectively. c) Goal Three – promoting interface between Civil Society Organisation (CSOs), Research Institutions, Development Practitioners and the State on development issues. The purpose is to facilitate dialogue to inform development policy and service delivery.

    d) Goal Four – facilitate research that informs grant decisions, procedures and development policy. Its purpose is to facilitate information and knowledge generation to strengthen the development programming of the NDA and informing development practice and policy.

    Grant Funding

    a) The NDA receives an annual allocation from National Treasury through the National Department of Social Development. b) 65 percent of the total grant allocation is allocated to grants for the CSOs to implement poverty eradication programmes. c) The grant allocation is proportionally split amongst provinces using a pre-determined formula based on Statistics South Africa poverty indices. d) The biggest allocations historically have been to three provinces which are Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo. Since 2007, the NDA took a strategic decision to increase baseline allocations to Free State, North West and Mpumalanga provinces. e) It provides grants to CSOs to implement projects in income generation and food security sectors to eradicate poverty. f) It grants funds to CSOs through two approaches, which are, Request For Proposals (RFP) and Programme Formulation( PF). g) Funds granted to CSOs are in line with Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS), Integrated Developments Plans (IDP’s) and Government wide priorities. h) NDA visits communities and invite people to apply and it supports whatever project is popular in the area. It also advertises on radio and newspapers.

    Disbursement to projects 2004 – 2008

a) In the 2003/4 financial year, the NDA disbursed R104.7m to funded projects. b) In the 2004/5 financial year, the NDA disbursed R90.1m to funded projects. c) In the 2005/6 financial year, the NDA disbursed R55.6 m to funded projects. d) In the 2006/7 financial year, the NDA disbursed R49.5m to funded projects. e) In the 2007/8 financial year, the NDA disbursed R76.6m to funded projects. f) In the 2008/9 financial year, the NDA disbursed R85.8m to funded projects.

Capacity Building

  a) The legislative mandate  requires  the  NDA  to  strengthen  the
     institutional capacity of CSOs  that  provide  services  to  the
  b) The NDA has over the past five years up-scaled  a  programme  of
     strengthening capacity of CSOs in the country. This has included
     capacity interventions in technical, management  and  leadership
  c) Furthermore, the NDA has strengthened NGO networks and consortia
     to provide coordination and  “voice”  for  the  poor  on  public
     policy matters.
  d) All 408 funded projects in the period under review have included
     a significant component of institutional capacity  strengthening
     in programme implementation.
  e) In 2006/07, the NDA launched a capacity building  programme  for
     CSOs with an investment of R25.7m, working in  partnership  with
     universities and accredited  service  providers  throughout  the

Programme  design  of  Civil  Society   Organisations   Strengthening

Its purpose is to strengthen the institutional capacity of grassroots
organisations        to deliver quality services  and  programmes  to
alleviate poverty.

This programme is divided into three phases which are:

  a) Conducting Assessments.
  b) Developing learning programs and materials.
  c) Implementation of training, coaching, mentoring and support.

Achievements and highlights

  a) Since inception,  in  March  2000,  the  NDA  has  committed  to
     projects in sectors such as economic development, food security,
     community health and education.
  b) This has benefited 417  500  direct  households  and  indirectly
     benefited 2 260 736 poor people.
  c) 20 service providers were appointed in  all  nine  provinces  of
     South Africa.
  d)  643  CSOs  have  directly  benefited  from  capacity   building
     strengthening interventions.
  e) 9 645 individuals  have  been  trained  in  project  management,
     financial    management,    community    organising,    resource
     mobilisation, public policy analysis  and  public  participation
     and technical skills in specific areas such as  agriculture  and
     provision of water and sanitation.

a)     The NDA has serious financial constraints within which  it  is
     operating. There is a direct  need  for  additional  funding  to
     enable the NDA to further fulfil its mandate.

b)     The NDA is pursuing  the  goal  of  raising  additional  funds
     through  initiatives  such  as  service  level  agreements  with
     government    departments    to    assist     with     programme
     implementation, monitoring  and  evaluation.  It  also  explores
     commercial opportunities for  the  sale  and  marketing  of  NDA
     project  products  and  commercial  partnerships  with   service
     agreements for the sale of  NDA  services  e.g.  monitoring  and
     evaluation and capacity building.

Committee concerns

The Committee registered the following concerns:

  1. Many people, especially in the rural areas, who apply for social
     grants have  to  wait  for  months  before  the  application  is
     granted. The Committee requested SASSA  to  put  a  strategy  in
     place to address this.

  2. Social security is  the  biggest  poverty  alleviation  tool  of
     government but there should not be an over  reliance  on  social
     grants especially intergenerational. The economy and  government
     should create sustainable jobs so that beneficiaries  of  grants
     can graduate from it and become  economically  independent.  The
     Committee indicated that  the  economic  cluster  of  government
     should give attention to this matter.

  3. In terms of One Stop Service Centres, SASSA does not have enough
     mobile trucks and offices, especially  in  rural  areas.   Their
     offices close early sometimes so that the officials have  to  go
     to the pay points. The Committee has  noted  with  concern  that
     SASSA has a 60 percent vacancy  rate.  The  Committee  indicated
     that there should be improved service delivery  in  rural  areas
     and the shortage of resources (staff) should be addressed.

  4. There is a lack of  visibility  of  SASSA  in  rural  areas  and
     occasional visits are not adequate to serve the communities. The
     Committee requested  SASSA  to  intensify  its  work  with  Home
     Affairs regarding birth  certificates  and  identity  documents.
     SASSA needs to increase its visits and mobile  trucks  in  rural
     areas.  Additional resources need to be made available to SASSA.
     The Committee intends  to  request  SASSA  to  brief  it  on  an
     improved service delivery plan on  the  mobile  trucks  and  its
     working relationship with the Department of Home Affairs.

5. The Committee raised a concern with regard to the lack  of  access
   to banking facilities by people from rural  areas.  The  Committee
   indicated that there is a need to mobilise communities to organise
   community banks and encourage other institutions such as the  post
   office to provide services in rural areas.

6.  It  has  been  observed  that  in  areas  bordering   Mozambique,
   Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho, non-South Africans receive social
   grants then return home (to  the  above-mentioned  countries)  the
   same day. The Committee recommends that SASSA, the  Department  of
   Home Affairs and the South African Police Services in consultation
   with local Chiefs and community leaders should  work  together  in
   cleaning up the beneficiary database. The Department  should  also
   involve community policing forums.

7. The Committee has noted that the  Non  Profit  Organisation  (NPO)
   sector needs continuous capacity building programmes so that  they
   can effectively and efficiently serve communities. There is a lack
   of timeous payment of NPO’s and that impacts negatively  on  their
   operations especially in the provinces.  The  Committee  indicated
   that  National  Department  and  Provincial  Departments  need  to
   capacitate NPOs with accredited training  so  that  they  can  run
   their affairs and comply with funding specifications of government
   and other funders.  Quality assurance needs to be done  to  ensure
   that they comply with service standards.  Provinces must pay  NPOs
   on time (subsidies and trenches).

8.  The  Committee  noted  the  dominant  male  presence  of   senior
   management at SASSA, NDA and the Department. The Committee  stated
   that  there  should  be  more  representation  of  female   senior
   managers,  especially,  at  the  DDG  level  and  other  strategic
   decision making positions.


a) The Committee acknowledged the overall improvement in the delivery
   of  social  assistance  since   the   inception   of   SASSA   and
   congratulates them on  it.   However,  it  recommends  that  SASSA
   should speed up processes of finalising the establishment of their
   offices at local level so as to further improve service delivery.
b) The Committee intends to request the Department  to  brief  it  on
   retirement reforms and to request a briefing by SASSA on the means
c) The Committee recommended that when the  Department  presents  its
   annual report later in the year, it should make a presentation  on
   its  role  in  the  collective  task  team  dealing  with  overall
   challenges of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, particularly relating  to
   substance abuse.
d) The Committee made an undertaking that members  will  be  visiting
   service  sites  during  parliament’s  recess  as  part  of   their
   oversight responsibilities.
e) The Committee  indicated  that  Older  Person’s  Service  Delivery
   Standards should be developed in consultation with stakeholders of
   the sector.


The Committee wishes to thank the Minister, the Department of  Social
Development, SASSA and NDA for their co-operation during  the  budget

The Committee recommends that Budget Vote 16 be passed.

2.     Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on Budget Vote
     33: Transport, dated 1 July 2009:

The Portfolio Committee on Transport, having considered the budget vote
of the Department of Transport, Vote 33 reports as follows:


The Portfolio Committee on Transport as guided by the Rules of
Parliament, promulgated by the Constitution of the Republic of South
Africa conducts an oversight function over the Department of Transport
and its Entities. The Committee analyses the strategic plan and budget
of the Department and ensures these are aligned and prioritised in
accordance to the needs of the country. Due to the tight parliamentary
programme the Committee was unable to meet with the 11 public entities
for transport however, in the course of the year the Committee will
meet with each entity to get an update on their activities.

The Committee had an overview briefing with the Department of Transport
to familiarise the new members on the organisational structure and
content of the Department through its branches. The Committee had
further engagements with the Department of Transport to understand how
the strategic objectives and budgetary inputs align both to the needs
of the country and enhancement of public transport.  The report further
includes the cluster priorities for 2009 – 2014 for transport.

Department of Transport’s Strategic Plan
The Director General presented the strategic plan of the Department as
guided by the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) which is structured
in terms of functional areas indicating particular priorities. The
Department of Transport does not have a master plan for transport due
to challenges in coordination since the completion of the master plan
would include input from other stakeholders that operate in the
transport sector. The Department has embarked on a project to develop
and complete the master plan for transport although they acknowledge
the challenges in obtaining information from other stakeholders and
users of transport. In 2006 the Department tried to integrate all
infrastructure plans in the Department which will become the
prioritisation tool for all other departments.

The Minister of Transport is the chairperson for the Infrastructure
cluster which is the first priority for the Department. The strategic
goal in this area is to speed up growth and transform the economy by
providing job opportunities. The department was working towards the
finalisation of an integrated infrastructure plan although they have
been experiencing challenges with prioritisation mechanisms and

The public transport strategy will focus on the implementation of
integrated public transport networks that will be developed across
South African cities. The Department is also working on a systems grant
that will currently be rolled out for 2010, however at a later stage it
will be implemented for all transport matters.

The Rural transport strategy by the Department will be key in co-
ordinating rural economy departments. The focus will be on improving
rural transportation, freight movements and accessibility of roads in
the rural areas. The department will also upgrade rural roads as the
current conditions are unsatisfactory. In its anti-poverty alleviation
strategy the department has launched the “Shovakalula” programme where
which forms one part of the anti- poverty strategy that gives free
bicycles to poor learners who walk more than 5 kilometres to school in
the rural areas. However, the programme for bicycle tracks and
infrastructure is not well funded and the bicycles are expensive
because they are imported. The department had targeted to hand out 1
million bicycles but experienced financial challenges in achieving this

The Department of Transport requires a new infrastructure investment
development strategy that will be financed differently from the
existing ones. This strategy seeks to develop different models that
would attract the private sector to invest in transport. The department
was working on an expansion programme whilst maintaining the existing
infrastructure. The department further acknowledges that this could not
be achieved by the fiscus alone and emphasised that infrastructure
should be planned differently to address the current backlog. The
department has identified the significance of managing cost inflation
since this affects its projects and it would further develop rural and
urban standards.

The department is in the process of improving airport infrastructure
for 2010. This is important because the games will be played in all
host cities and most matches will occur at night and therefore airports
become more important for commuting. There would be a development of
the automotive sector particularly for the production of goods locally,
thus creating employment and reducing poverty.

There would be effective infrastructure regulation that would look at
tariffs. A contentious issue has been the regulation at toll gates. The
department was exploring the possibility of tolling those vehicles that
cause damage to roads, especially the heavy vehicles such as trucks.
The department was still engaging in a legal battle regarding the
proposal of a no-fault policy for the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

The driver’s license testing centres were still an area of concern
although progress has been made with the computerised learner’s
licenses. The department was exploring the possibility of a border
management entity that would deal with corrupt entities.

Budget: Medium Term Expenditure 2010 - 2012
Additional funding allocations

Additional funding was allocated to bus operations and fuel costs.
There had been a series of court cases regarding bus subsidies not paid
to operators due to financial challenges as a result of under budgeting
from the National Treasury. Payment for bus subsidies would now
directly come from the Division of Revenue Fund. The biggest challenge
faced by the Department is the insufficient public transport to
accommodate all commuters; however there are interventions in place to
address this issue.

The Public Transport Infrastructure Systems (PTIS) fund which is the
grant aimed at improving public transport infrastructure for 2010 and
beyond will increase in allocation after 2010 since it will fund other
transport infrastructure beyond 2010 host areas. Other programmes that
have received additional funding include taxi operations, the Gautrain
Rapid Rail link due to its financial model and the South African Rail
Commuter Corporation (SARCC) compensation of employees and
infrastructure amongst other things.

The Road Accident Fund has received a balloon payment of R2.5 billion
for the 2009/2010 financial year to address its liquidity challenges
and no further allocation will be made to this agency in the MTEF
period. The Department is working towards an objective where all its
agencies would be self-reliant and not require funding from the
The Gautrain project will not be completed by the targeted date;
however, phase 1 of the project which is the section between OR Tambo
international airport and Sandton will be completed by September 2010.
The Department is working on tightening this time frame and intends to
complete it before the indicated month. However the developers were
requiring more money to develop tighter targets.  Gautrain will operate
on a wide gauge compared to the normal trains but will use the same
platform to pick up and off load people. An interim measure was to
integrate the old and new rail tracks and the goal is to eventually do
away with the old.

The SARCC grants will be a once off payment for 2010 and therefore they
have not received funding this financial year for 2010. The Department
of Transport had overspent for the 2008/09 financial year due to bus
subsidies. This was a result of money transferred by National Treasury
to the Department of Transport that was paid over to the various bus

Findings by the Committee
 • The Committee observed that the Department of Transport has
   experienced an institutional challenge in coordinating overall
   transport due to Transnet not reporting directly to the Department
   of Transport (DOT) but reporting to the Department of Public
   Enterprises (DPE).
 • Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) does not have
   borrowing powers and therefore depend on the Fiscus and the
   department would be unable to maintain this arrangement in the long-
   term.   • More funds are required for rural infrastructure development.
 • There are a series of unfunded mandates such as law enforcement in
   the taxi industry, turnaround of the Operation Licensing Boards
   (OLB), turnaround of the Cross Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA)
   amongst others due to inadequate funding.
 • The Department had requested R31 billion from National Treasury and
   it received R1.3 billion and this resulted in some of the unfunded
   mandates and challenges for DOT in executing its programmes.
 • The Department has not moved with speed to transform transport in
   South Africa and a speedy recovery is required. Therefore there is a
   need for the department of transport to speed up the transformation
 • The master plan and integrated development planning occurs at the
   planning phase coordinated by the district municipalities but the
   committee observed that this function was not implemented to its
   maximum. The implementation of programmes do not accommodate
   integrated planning and integrated service delivery which is a

Programme 1: Administration
The Department of Transport had undergone a restructuring process with
a growth from 3 to 9 branches as a result of various policies and
expansion of the Department to improve transport. The Department now
has a new Deputy Ministry office which it did not have in the past.
There has also been an expansion in the Director General’s office due
to her involvement in cabinet services. The department is still faced
with the challenge of unfunded posts that were as a result of the
change in organisational structure that was approved by Treasury.
However, the entire structure could not be financed in a single
financial year. The department has a 9% vacancy rate that includes
acting positions but excludes unfunded posts. Retaining skills has also
been a challenge and there is a serious issue of job hopping in the
public sector.

Programme 2: Transport Policy and Economic Regulation
This branch will establish a national coordinating policy that will
improve transport and accommodate inter-governmental relations. There
has been a disjuncture on the department responsible for transporting
learners to school and lack of coordination. The DOT will now take that
initiative through the national scholar transport policy. The
department will also implement non-motorised transport policy in areas
where animals are used as a form of transport or other non-motor
transportation systems. The Department was tasked by the aviation
sector to lead the global initiative for change in aviation. The
department is experiencing challenges in obtaining suitably qualified
skilled candidates for research.

Programme 3: Transport Regulation and Accident and Incident
This branch regulates all modes of transport and investigates
accidents. The Department will improve customer and service delivery at
testing centres and the renewal of licenses will not be a challenge as
currently the case. There is a need to develop skills for safety in
aviation. South Africa will be hosting the maritime launch in October
that will be dealing with the maritime charter. The branch is embarking
on a project where they would teach scholars from a young age the rules
of the road and rules of driving to make it easier for them to obey the
law when grown up. Maritime is largely owned by international
organisations and the department would work at improving the situation
so that South Africa also owns its own maritime. South Africa only has
3 registered ships and they have been experiencing challenges with
training learners and providing necessary skills.

Programme 4: Integrated Planning and inter-sphere coordination
This branch focuses on an integrated approach for transport. The
national public transport regulator will oversee accreditation of
public transport. The road classification project will be finalised and
a routine maintenance plan should be closely monitored. The Extended
Public Works Programme (EPWP) has been allocated R3 billion, however
this is not enough to meet the target requirements expressed by the
President in the State of the Nation Address. The integrated
development programme would look at the implementation of the National
Land Transport Act (NLTA) and deregulate the transport authority. The
Department has the South African National Women in Transport (SANWIT)
programme where women are mainstreamed in transport through developing
skills and business.

Programme 5: Transport logistics and Corridor Development
This branch manages the development of western and eastern corridors.
It ensures rural development, access to international markets and
collaboration in moving freight. The department manages the network and
maintain infrastructure and in future it would like to have the private
sector participating in branch sector network. Transport seems not to
be visible at port entries and there is a need to define the role of
Transport at Border posts.

Programme 6: Public Transport
This branch involves the operationalisaton of all the plans of other
branches, particularly on public transport issues. The focus is on
developing operational plans for all three modes of transport. There is
a detailed support operational plan for the taxi industry and the DOT
is exploring the possibility of a route for a meter-taxi industry and
formalising it as a form of business, particularly for evening
operations. There is a structured process of engagement with the taxi
industry on the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT).  The branch also
focuses on enterprise development, regulation and operating licenses. A
framework for general public transport in determining fares has been
identified and the department is exploring implementation

Programme 7: Public Entity Oversight
This branch focuses on the department’s oversight role on public
entities and according to the PFMA the department acts as a shareholder
with these entities where the entities report to the Department on
operational plans and the Boards as accounting authorities. The
Department monitors the appointment of Board members and intervenes on
legislative tools that are applicable to the entities by advising those
entities on policy matters in executing those particular entities

An acting Deputy Director General has been appointed to focus
particularly on 2010 issues because the department wants to leave a
lasting legacy. The involvement of mini bus sector is important in the
functioning of the games since 60% of the country’s public transport is
made of mini bus taxis. Experiences from the confederations cup have
shown challenges with “park and rides” especially where people do not
read the signs at the stadiums. The Department has launched a website
on operations of the confederations cup. The department would like
engage further with the committee on 2010 preparations and the state of
readiness for the country and thus provide an analysis of lessons
learnt from the hosting of the confederations cup.

 • The Committee would re-visit the Gautrain report conducted by the
   3rd parliament committee since concerns were raised on financial
   implications in rolling out the entire rail system to use a wide
   gauge. The committee would look at the advantages and disadvantages
   of Gautrain, its impact in upgrading the rail networks and look at
   other countries to study the relevant implementations.
 • The Committee will re-visit accessible public transport for disabled
   people, state of roads to pension pay points and transportation for
   physically disable people in the rural areas. This is an area of
   concern which should be dealt with urgently.
 • The Committee agreed that the current reporting authority of
   Transnet to the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) needs to be
   resolved in that companies such as Transnet and South African
   Airways (SAA) that have direct impact on transport should report to
   DPE on corporate issues but report to transport regarding
   operational systems. This has been a challenge particularly on
   freight logistics and port operations since Department of Transport
   (DOT) has no control over freight transportation from Transnet and a
   follow up would be made by the Committee on this issue.
 • Transnet is currently a state monopoly yet plays the role of a
   regulator and this is not good for any organisation because it
   limits the activities of other organisation that could execute part
   of that function and the committee would follow up on this matter.

Recommendations by the Committee to the Department

The Committee made the following recommendations to the Department and
intends on following up on them:

 • The Committee was keen to understand the SADC Protocol on Rail and
   requests the Department to provide the protocol document by SADC on
 • The Committee requested the Department to respond in writing on the
   total legal costs that the department had to pay on a case involving
   an accident that occurred due to lack of road maintenance. The
   Committee was of the view that the department could have avoided the
   legal court case, had they properly maintained their roads and urged
   that in future such accidents should be avoided.
 • Shovakalula is a programme that enables children who walk for more
   that 5 kilometres in the rural areas to obtain free bicycles. Those
   bicycles are not manufactured locally and therefore the programme is
   not assisting in the poverty reduction initiative and not addressing
   the high unemployment challenge. The Committee requested the
   department to explore alternatives on manufacturing bicycles in
   South Africa, to assist in job creation.
 • The Committee requested the department to develop clear coordination
   and inter-relatedness of its programmes by focusing on
 • The Committee requested the department to align its strategic plan
   to the findings of the national household survey relating to issues
   such as high cost travelling of a person. The findings of the survey
   indicated the cost of travelling for an individual to be more than
   10 percent and that was viewed as a serious challenge. The Committee
   believes that it should not cost more that 10 percent of a person’s
   income to travel.
 • The Committee requested DOT to develop a comprehensive plan in the
   rural areas for public transport since most people in the rural
   areas use taxis which are not subsidised by government and the
   challenge of un-roadworthy buses still remains. There is no adequate
   transportation for old people in the rural areas some still get
   their pension money using wheelbarrows and this was unacceptable.
 • The committee was concerned about the unfunded mandates yet they had
   passed legislation to deal with sources of funding and the committee
   recommends urgent engagements between the DOT and National Treasury
   on this matter.
 • The Committee recommends that the department should address the
   inter-sphere coordination challenge by re-focusing and targeting
   poor people in the rural areas particularly on budgeting and halving
   poverty by 2014.
 • The Committee requested the department to report on a country wide
   road assessment infrastructure.
 • The Committee requested a briefing by the Department on the
   restructuring process of the Road Accident Fund (RAF), particularly
   the no-fault policy that has been recently established.
 • The first democratically elected president of South Africa launched
   the “masakhane” campaign in 1995 relating to infrastructure and
   service delivery. The key issues relating to transport were the
   uneven levels of development in the country.  The campaign
   identified three different types of services namely, adequate
   services where government’s role is to maintain the existing
   services and infrastructure so that they do not degrade.  The
   Committee recommends to the department that in areas where there are
   inadequate services, the department should upgrade and improve
   services to close the gap between the poor and wealthy. The
   department should make provision for areas where there are no
   services and this was a concern because the department could not
   indicate the percentage of their budget allocated to maintenance,
   upgrading and provision of services.
 • The department did not indicate clearly its allocation of resources
   on issues arising from the “Masakhane” campaign. The Committee
   requested the department to familiarise itself with the
   reconstruction and development programme and the Masakhane campaign

The Democratic Alliance (DA), Congress of the People (COPE) and Inkatha
Freedom Party (IFP), while accepting the contents of the report,
abstained from recommending the acceptance of the Budget Vote because
they had not consulted with their relevant parties in caucus.

The Portfolio Committee on Transport recommends that Budget Vote 33 be

Report to be considered