National Council of Provinces - 30 June 2009

                        TUESDAY, 30 JUNE 2009


The Council met at 14:07.

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



                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr A WATSON: Chairperson, I move without notice, on behalf of the DA:

That the Council –

    1) notes that –

      a) a report by KPMG has implicated several key employees of
         Parliament in a range of corrupt activities, which have
         allegedly resulted in many thousands of rands from
         Parliament’s budget being misappropriated for personal gain;

      b) President Zuma has committed his new government to clean
         government and that it is therefore important that Parliament,
         one of the three pillars of South Africa’s constitutional
         democracy, acts quickly and vigorously to ensure that
         Parliament’s reputation is not tainted by these allegations;

 2) therefore resolves that, in view of the seriousness of the
    allegations, and the fact that they were first made over a year ago
    and that the KPMG report was completed three months ago, immediate
    action be taken against the five people implicated in the report.

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



The Chairperson announced that preference would be given to Order No 3, namely Policy debate on Budget Vote No 29: Provincial and Local Government. APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate)

Budget Vote No 29 - Provincial and Local Government:

The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy Minister, distinguished members of the House, ladies and gentlemen, and officials of the department, I appreciate and feel privileged to be speaking in this House, presenting a budget for a brand-new Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. It is important to me, because this is the first time I stand in front of you to speak and engage with you, in this new administration, after the provincial and national elections.

Colleagues will recall that I am very passionate about the NCOP as a structure, because I am a former chairperson of the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration.

Today I want to reflect on the expanded mandate of the department, which is moving from being a Department of Provincial and Local Government to a Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. This mandate was outlined in the state of the nation address, where we said that as a department we are the choir conductor of our system of co-operative governance in South Africa. The role of choir conductor is a new and expanded one, shifting the focus from co-operative government to co- operative governance.

At the same time we are able to give support to provinces, something we didn’t do in the past. We should sharpen our legal instruments so that we are able to give support to municipalities. We must ensure that these instruments are strategic in nature, because municipalities are required to report on so many things. They spend most of their time writing reports, receiving guests from national government, from Parliament, from the provinces, and so on. They have meeting after meeting, and a meeting to prepare for another meeting. We believe that those days are gone. Local government officials must spend their time doing their work, rather than spending most of their time in meetings. Meetings are not going to help us go forward.

The other shift is that we believe we must move away from traditional leadership to traditional affairs. It means we look at all the affairs of traditional communities. Included among those affairs are indigenous knowledge systems. It includes throwing of the bones, which I call a “floor X-ray”. When you go to hospital, they do an X-ray of your chest to check your health status. In our traditional communities they throw the floor X- ray to determine your health. We want to market this, because we believe that this is what our people are doing in terms of survival. Of course, we must deal with the charlatans, those who are abusing the systems and our people. We believe that 85% of South Africans are using this practice or system. South Africa is a democratic country - those who believe in using this system should be allowed to do so without fear, because according to our Constitution choices can be made.

In terms of our mandate we will come with innovative ways of strengthening social cohesion and deepening participatory governance in this country. In doing so, we believe that over the next five years we should be able to protect, guide and direct the roles and responsibilities so as to ensure that we produce a single, harmonious melody in this country. We must ensure that the rhythm, the vibrancy and the meaning of this melody are in consonance with what we want to put across.

As choir conductors we therefore want to say that, in conducting our responsibilities, our strategic partner is the NCOP. We believe that we have a unique role to play and a responsibility to live up to. However, some quotations have been presented in relation to the role of the NCOP. Allow me to be as direct as to quote you, hon Chairperson, from your documents:

The NCOP not only provides provinces with a forum in which to engage with the national government on matters concerning areas of shared national and provincial legislative powers, but also oversees the programmes and activities of national government relating to provincial and local government matters. You further state, and I quote:

The 1996 Constitution introduced a new concept called “co-operative government”. That places a high priority on consultation, co-ordination and communication between the different levels of government and all organs of state. The NCOP can be regarded as a concrete expression of “co- operative government”, whereby governance in South Africa is seen as a partnership among the national, provincial and local spheres of government. It further means that national legislation must be sensitive to provincial interests and concerns. In addition, provinces must not act alone or in isolation, but must be integrated into the national legislative or law-making process.

In our view the conceptualisation in these quotations is a bit flawed in some respects. Firstly, the focus is on “co-operative government”, and not on “co-operative governance”, where the governed and the governor are working together. That is the first thing.

In the second place, we are saying that the way in which it is conceptualised doesn’t look at the issue of local government. Local government is ghettoised, not only in terms of the name of the National Council of Provinces, where local government is not mentioned, but also in respect of the fact that the 10 representatives who are supposed to be here are observers. It means they are not allowed to vote. That is why you find that local government as a sphere feels a bit alienated from participating in the NCOP. They don’t feel that they are an integral part of the system.

The third area we believe is quite important relates to the capability of this institution in terms of its numbers and strength. We believe that this has shortcomings, and must be bolstered and strengthened.

Lastly, we believe that the issue of facilitating international relations to promote a good and just world order is something that has to be looked at and strengthened. We therefore believe that, having expressed these views, you remain a premier strategic partner of this department going forward. We believe that we must work together, because we are an expression of co-operative governance in the legislature. We ourselves deal with co-operative governance at an executive level, so therefore we must be able to ensure that we collaborate and work together going forward.

One of the most important things, as we see it, is that we are involved in a process of reviewing the future of provinces. We have finalised the policy and it is a question of taking it to Cabinet to engage with it. At the same time we are looking at the issue of municipalities and what has happened to them. In doing so, we must be able to work together. Having taken the policy to Cabinet, we believe that once Cabinet pronounces on it, it must ensure that the process is taken to the legislatures and to the people of this country, so that they can express whether they believe that we should continue with the current conjuncture of the system of government as is. We believe that these matters must be engaged upon. If there is agreement that provinces should remain, we believe we will need a fundamental review of the structure of the NCOP, as I have said, with regard to its name, its structure, and its capability. But not only that. We also have to look at the priorities and the positioning of the NCOP in a way that reflects the interests of provinces and municipalities going forward.

From our side, as the department, we think there are about five priorities that we must take forward. Firstly, we must ensure that, in our developmental state, we build provinces and strengthen them — so that they are responsive, efficient and effective – and the same goes for municipalities.

We must ensure that the system of governance focuses on vulnerable groups. According to the ANC’s strategy and tactics, we are the disciplined force of the left. This means that in our action we support the weak and the vulnerable. In respect of our definition, we believe the weak should include military veterans and farmworkers. Those groups were not included in the past.

We also believe that we must support the institution of governance, in particular in respect of traditional leadership and traditional communities. We must use processes to build social cohesion going forward.

We have agreed that we must have a turnaround strategy for local government. It is called the Local Government Turnaround Strategy 2009-11. This turnaround strategy will cover the following issues: reducing the number of complaints regarding issues of local government by 2011; reducing municipal debt, which is more than R41 billion, by half by 2014; building a debt-free society and promoting a culture of saving and payment for services; ensuring that municipalities have clean audits by 2014; reducing corruption and fraud to the minimum by 2011; and promoting clean cities by transforming waste into work by 2014 and at the same time establishing people’s parks for love.

We also believe that ward committees should be empowered to become centres of co-operative governance, where we can ensure that our people interact at local level and co-ordinate all activities. Today the police have its own structures, health services have its own structures, and education has its own structures. We believe that this represents a silo mentality. Ward committees must be centres of co-ordination. One could have specific areas of responsibility, but the ward level is where things should be happening.

We also believe these ward committees must focus on establishing co- operatives, so that economic wealth is generated and they stop spending their time complaining, finding fault and not doing anything. In every village there must be economic activity taking place. It means that going forward people have to look at how they can generate wealth in their own areas of jurisdiction.

We believe that by doing these things we will actually be able to go forward. When I make my closing remarks, I will outline the tasks that should be undertaken by the ward committees. That will be when I come back for the second round.

We believe that one would be able to hold the department accountable for ensuring that these things are done. These are measurable objectives. We are saying, if you can’t measure it, you can’t monitor it. Therefore we are presenting things that can be monitored, because you can measure them. That is what we are outlining here. It is not a general statement that we are presenting in going forward. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Mr A WATSON: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon special delegates and delegates, let me congratulate the Minister at the outset on his reappointment to the newly named Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and also the Deputy Minister on a well- deserved appointment. I can assure both of you that from a financial support perspective, we cannot fault this department. No less than 98,7% of the department’s annual budget is allocated to local government, of which the encouraging amount of R11 billion is dedicated to municipal infrastructure grants.

It has also become abundantly clear in recent times that Minister Shiceka openly admits to problems facing his department and displays a willingness to tackle challenges head-on. Both this attitude and the department’s liberal funding programme bode well for local government, because this is where the fundamental malfunctioning of ANC governance has been paramount, and it has been showing tendencies of rapid growth since 1994 and particularly in these past five years.

Let’s be honest, Minister, there is very little wrong with the structure and systems of local government. After all, these emanate from the most lauded Constitution in the world. But any system could stand or fall because of the way it is implemented, monitored and maintained, and that is just where the real problem lies. Your government was in such a rush to implement affirmative action that you hurriedly and systematically evicted all those officials with expertise and experience from municipalities and replaced them with crony deployment in a closed patronage system - truly a recipe for disaster.

What we need now is for an early warning system to be implemented by all provinces, so that the problems that are developing in municipalities can be identified and addressed before it is too late. Just last week, Chairperson, we learnt of 13 pending interventions in no fewer than 13 municipalities in one province alone, and we in the DA know of at least one more to be added to that list in that province. This sad situation is no different in other provinces, and I can quote many examples of where my colleagues and I called for early interventions.

But, you see, hon Chairperson, the problem also lies with the ANC’s system of cadre deployment. Very often the MEC in question is lower in rank within the ANC or SACP than the municipal manager or the mayor, and therefore fearful and apprehensive of acting against such a party’s superior. [Interjections.] That is the truth. You can’t argue with that. I have seen it.

Die toestand, Voorsitter, van die onderpresterende munisipaliteite is derhalwe die gevolg van hierdie wydverspreide ontplooiing van onbekwame kaders en die oorkoepelende hiërargie van die ANC. Dít, Voorsitter, is hoekom wydverspreide boikotte en weerhouding van belastingbetaling in bykans alle provinsies aan die orde van die dag is. Die DA steun glad nie dié boikotte of enige vorm van weerhouding van belasting nie, maar ’n mens kan jou nie blindstaar teen die frustrasies van die belastingbetalers nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Chairperson, the situation of the underperforming municipalities can therefore be ascribed to this widespread deployment of incompetent cadres and the overarching hierarchy of the ANC. Chairperson, this is why widespread boycotts and withholding rates seem to be the order of the day in all the provinces these days. The DA does not support these boycotts or any form of withholding, but one cannot ignore the frustration of the ratepayers.]

The bottom line is that service delivery is nonexistent in many municipalities because of incompetence and corruption. In Thaba Chweu Local Municipality in Mpumalanga, Eskom reportedly suspended the supply of electricity last week because of nonpayment, while the theft of R3,2 million of taxpayers’ money in April, allegedly by computer hackers, remains unsolved.

Decisive action must now be taken, hon Minister, to reverse this situation, because if we don’t take such action, we will be faced with the total collapse of services in most of our towns and cities, and the health of all our citizens will be at risk, not to speak of that of the thousands of Fifa soccer fans expected to visit us next year.

So, hon Minister, please convince your colleagues in Cabinet that you do not have to rush to Parliament for the adoption of the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill to give central government more power over local government. [Laughter.] Just make it work by applying the principles of best-person government in an open opportunity society, where there is a progressive transfer of knowledge and expertise and an uppermost desire to deliver quality services at affordable rates.

And for goodness sake, Minister, don’t tamper with the provinces and their areas of competence. Just because the ANC provincial governments are all dysfunctional, and the one DA provincial government is already excelling … [Interjections.] … there is no reason to do away with provinces.

The ball is firmly in your court, hon Minister. You are a seasoned politician and a local government petitioner, and you have a very experienced Deputy Minister, so please go for it and let us get municipalities back to basics and working again, but don’t try to fix what ain’t broken. I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, Minister, comrades and friends, allow me, in the first instance, to congratulate you, Chairperson, on your reappointment as Chairperson of this august House. I am particularly struck by the fact that you served from 1994 onwards in the very committee of the same portfolio in which the Minister and I served. While he was MEC for Local Government in Gauteng, you were in the committee. So I would ask Mr Watson to bear in mind that, when he is very critical, he is critical, no less, of his very Chairperson who had a big hand in shaping the co-operative governance system through the Constitutional Assembly process, and in fact should have taken account, let me add, Mr Watson, of the practical issues that might arise.

But having said that, it is a pleasure to be here, and to say that we live, of course, as many if not all of us know, in an ever-changing, dynamic, globalised world, whose key characteristic is the speed and sweep of events. We have to be constantly on guard, always prepared to change, not just reactively, but, very importantly, proactively. Our principles, values and goals need not change, but our means of fulfilling them may have to change.

As for our basic goals, we are very clear: It is to deepen democracy, advance nation-building, and ensure the development of our people, particularly the poor and the disadvantaged. And if these three major tasks cannot be separated, it is also clear that there cannot be any significant advances in entrenching democracy or nation-building without substantial development of the people and a significant reduction in social and material inequalities.

So the development of our people is fundamental, and though we have made major strides since 1994 in advancing development, we still have a very long way to go, and far too limited a time to get there. We need to accelerate service delivery and development. The next five years are crucial to ensuring this. They are, as many of us say, our do-or-die years, not just for the government, but for Parliament too, not least this House, as you directly represent the people, and have to hold us as the executive to account.

So any failures on our part are failures of yours as well, which is why we stress – the Minister and I, and indeed the department – the importance of Parliament and this House exercising vigorous oversight over us. A strong, effective Parliament is in the interests of the executive too. You will serve to ensure that we deliver on our mandate. Indeed, the President too has made this clear: He has repeatedly stressed the need for an activist Parliament. Our department fully endorses that. Indeed, we too define ourselves as an activist department, and the Minister and myself as an activist Ministry.

Just how activist we will be depends in part on how activist you are, and as the Minister said earlier in this debate, the NCOP has a vital role to play, particularly in respect of the responsibilities of our portfolio. It is interesting, too, that members such as Mr Watson are raising issues here about local government, but here again, we think the NCOP has a major oversight responsibility as well, within the constitutional constraints, in ensuring that municipalities work. It is not just the responsibility, may I add, of the executive. Accelerating service delivery and development will be particularly challenging, as we all know, over the next five years, given the impact of the global economic crisis on our shores. Yes, we are not as hard hit as other countries, but hit we are, and we have to confront this hard reality.

So it is against at least three backgrounds that we have begun, and are taking further, a review of the form of the state that we arrived at. As many of us know, including Mr Watson who was here in 1994, Mr Mahlangu, the Chairperson of the House, and others of you, we shaped this Constitution and the form of the state we derived from that Constitution in the negotiating process, on the basis of give and take, and on the basis of our political negotiations. So what is there in the Constitution is not necessarily objectively in the best interests of a developmental state. What we have there was for that particular context, of early 1994 to 1996, when we were trying to consolidate a consensus around our democracy, and we wanted to ensure that the needs of nation-building were met. So that is the first background.

What we now need to look at, with regard to the state and what the powers and functions of the spheres should be, is what is necessary to accelerate service delivery and development. Therefore the second background against which we are reviewing the powers and functions of the tiers is the recognition that we need to accelerate service delivery and development.

A third issue is the recognition, particularly over the past nine months and more, of the need for us to have a strong developmental state to withstand the economic crisis that we are experiencing all over the world. Only strong developmental states will actually survive, and when we talk of a developmental state, it is not your East Asian tigers, although there are many lessons there; it is our own African and South African form of it, which derives from the active participation of people, as the Minister has said.

We are a department of co-operative governance, not “co-operative government”, so we are saying we want a democratic developmental state. We are clear that a system of co-operative governance is enshrined in the Constitution – that system is not going to change. What is going to happen is that we are going to strengthen that system to ensure that it works better.

The imperatives that are underpinning our review are not ideological; they are actually very practical. They are about ensuring that we are able to accelerate service delivery and development. They are to take account of the lessons that we spoke about when we appeared before the relevant committee, about the failures of the past 15 years.

Co-operative governance has not been working the way we wanted it to work. That is what it is about. It is about throwing open a discussion. It is about recognising that one needs to change and adapt as conditions require. But it is very clear that the hoo-ha in the press and the media is rather misplaced. The Minister does not have the power to say “Let’s abolish the provinces”. Indeed, the President doesn’t. And if either of them or both of them did have that power, I doubt very much whether they’d ever do it, because they both recognise the need to consult with the people out there.

This Constitution was shaped through the active participation of our population. Some two million and more people, as we all know, contributed to shaping that final Constitution. It cannot be changed willy-nilly. There will be a discussion, and we are not going to be stuck in the past, we are not going to be fossils; we are going to be creative, imaginative thinkers. All the Minister and the department have done, is throw open a series of questions that all of us, whichever party we come from, need to discuss.

The questions that arise are: Is it best to have two or three spheres to advance our democracy, to build a nation, to accelerate service delivery and development? If so, whether it is two, three, or however many spheres, what should be the relevant powers and functions for the period that we are entering into, in the context of the three or four points that I have set the background against?

What I am saying, in short, and what the Minister is saying, is that there are various considerations here about service delivery and development, whichever party we come from.

It is very instructive that when we appeared before the committee this morning, across political parties, people were asking: Why is this department not intervening in all these difficult challenges that municipalities are having? On the one hand, people are saying this department, this Minister, must intervene. On the other hand, they are saying, don’t change the Constitution. How can you have both? In fact, the Minister is limited in what he and the Ministry can do, because of what is there in the Constitution.

I think we can certainly do more than we are currently doing, even within the constraints of the Constitution, but we cannot intervene in the interventionist sense that was presented to us, not least by the DA representatives, when we appeared before the committee. In short, we need to look at this Constitution in the context of the needs of the time. We are saying to our friends that we need a discussion.

There are various options that are possible. One is that we retain all nine provinces, with basically the same powers and functions, but clarify them and fine-tune them. The second option is that we keep the nine provinces, but with a review of the powers and functions that would make them more developmental. A third option could be that we reduce the number of provinces and that can be done in various forms. Either you merge provinces, or you redraw certain boundaries, if it’s necessary. Or fourthly – I am just thinking of four options now, there could be many more, but we need a discussion – we could dissolve the provinces, but strengthen local government. Those are all the options. There is going to be a discussion, and this House will play, as the Minister has said, an especially leading role.

We should not say, on the one hand, that the governing party closes the discussion, and, on the other hand, when we open a discussion, say “No, no, you can’t have that discussion”.

So, friends, I want to echo what the Minister has said: You as the National Council of Provinces will play, as indeed Parliament as a whole will play, a fundamentally important role. And if you look at the developmental state, elements of it are there in our Constitution, in Chapter 7 in particular. They are there in the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act. They are there in the recognition that the private sector alone cannot deliver. For market failure reasons the state needs to intervene. But as much as for market failure reasons, the state needs to intervene to ensure partnerships, to ensure that the private sector is directed in a particular way, and many states do.

I need to wrap up. I thank you very much indeed, and we look forward to the fullest co-operation of the NCOP and wish you well. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M H MOKGOBI: Hon Chair of the NCOP, our Ministers here present, we thank you for your presence. Hon members, let me join our Minister, and also tell our Minister to say: “Vorentoe, nie agtertoe nie”!

The Minister has outlined the mandate of the new department. All that is still required is that the Minister must put in place the budget to realise those objectives as outlined. We have about five priorities that are required to realise the objectives of our manifesto, and without putting the proper budget in place, our Minister will hear what we hear from some of the parties that are like tortoises that do not want to relinquish their shells. All we need to do is to create decent jobs, fight crime, and promote rural development, health and education.

If you are from the past, especially if you tasted apartheid, it might not be easy to transform to what the current government wants the people of South Africa to taste. And if that is the case, we call on people to support the type of Minister we have, a Minister who is a choirmaster, ready to remove any person, from whatever political party, who does not want the song to be melodious to the audience. If you sing with people who are not able to sing, as we say in Sotho, your song will indeed not be melodious to the people.

Minister, we welcome your speech. We as the select committee are saying that we support every element of your speech. Over the past 15 years, we have seen that the mandate of the department is forcing us to say that, in order to move forward, we need to review certain legislative and policy aspects, precisely because without doing that the broad mandate of provincial and local government might not be realised. At stake here, hon House, is the fact that the Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs ignored one sphere of our three spheres of government, the provincial government. While there was a lot of noise about municipalities, the provincial government did not have enough legislative capacity to ensure that it intervened.

We are facing a lot of section 139 interventions, which are not a result of wrong or weak policies; our policies are strong, and our policies are correct. All that is needed is to close the gap, and the gap is at provincial level. Therefore we must indeed speed up the White Paper, so that as NCOP committees we are able to make an input into what type of provinces we want.

No one is saying that we are going to remove the provinces as yet, but if perhaps South Africa wants them to be dissolved, fine, because there are nine provinces, not eight provinces plus one. There are nine provinces in a unitary state and that is why other people are worried. There are nine provinces – there is no single province that belongs in a separate pocket. That is not true. Therefore we need to move forward with that legislation. We want to see the strengthening of co-operative governance in a developmental state. Once we do that, we will deliver service freely, without tension, without section 139 interventions, without section 100 interventions, without any other noise from anywhere, because we would then have created a correct political environment for governance to take place. We need to go back and to strengthen that accountability. The process of accountability in government will have to be addressed so that the policies and the legislation are strengthened, because there are weaknesses, and we do not want that type of thing. We need to correct that type of thing.

We can only accelerate service delivery, Minister, if, indeed, we review that particular procedural relationship, particularly at local level where farmworkers and MK veterans are to be found. If we don’t do that, how can we assist them? They are vulnerable, not because of their character, but because of the history of apartheid. Therefore we are still correcting that. We are still fighting something that is a legacy, even after 15 years in power. There are still many remnants of the legacy and the history of apartheid. Therefore no one must say we are in power and doing nothing, when these people were in power for over 300 years after Jan van Riebeeck occupied our land, right here in Cape Town. No one should tell us that.

We have a duty to perform and our duty, as we celebrate our centenary in 2012, is to tell our people that indeed this was a struggle worth fighting for. They shall have access to water and electricity, better roads, better jobs, and decent jobs for that matter. And, indeed, that is what we need to strive for.

Minister, your song, your melody, says we must also strive to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Indeed, we must commit ourselves to that. I think because the mandate is broad, the department can no longer say we want to halve poverty by 2014. We should fight poverty as long as we are alive. We have to fight it.

There are developments, there are extensions, and there is expansion, but as long as this government exists, we will have to fight poverty, until it is totally eradicated.

At municipal level, Minister, we have seen the budget. Earlier on we met with the Deputy Minister and had a briefing; we have seen the budget and we are happy with it. We only want to say that here and there we need to tighten certain screws. For example, we would want the department to study, debate and review the formula that determines the grant allocation. While it increases every year, I think the formula needs to be reviewed, because when you increase the grant next year, you will find that the prices have also gone up, so the increase might not be visible. Once we review that formula, we will be in a position to address not only the backlog but to plan forward for whatever we need to see happening in our community.

The other aspect that we need to tighten is the very same idea of intergovernmental relations. Previously it was a voluntary forum. We need that forum to no longer be voluntary, but to be obligatory. It must respond to a particular instruction or role, so that anyone who does not want to sing in the Rural Development Initiative, RDI, must know that there are consequences for not doing that. If that is not happening, the Minister must be able to drive the forum of the Rural Development Initiative correctly, and the provinces are at the head of the RDI. Who is at the centre? At the centre are the provinces … [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr M W MAKHUBELA: Chairperson of the NCOP, hon members, Ministers present here, first of all I would like to thank the 1,3 million people of South Africa who voted for Cope to come and represent them in this august House.

Chairperson, allow me to congratulate the Minister. He says it is a new department. A new department means a new broom which must sweep clean. I’m going to raise three issues that the Minister is supposed to go and implement. Firstly, what is the criterion for establishing municipal areas? For example, in the Musina Local Municipality there are 57 196 people and in Mutale Municipality there are 108 215 people; in Malamulele there are 307 897 people but it is not a municipality. What has been done now is that they have taken Malamulele and included it in Mutale. What is the rationale behind that? I was with Kgosi XiKundu who was crying, because if his people are included in Mutale, they will have to travel 200 km from where they are in order to receive services.

In Giyani location – but I call it “town” myself, because I have a problem with the issue of “location” - there is special treatment for the mayor. There is a section, Section E in Giyani, that has no tarmac roads or streets. Since the appointment of the mayor, as I’m standing here, they are busy working on those streets to tar them. Why is that?

Let us consider the anticorruption strategy, as was mentioned at the first briefing in the morning and now. Is it merely a rosy document to be put on the shelves? Will those strategies be properly implemented? I was happy to hear the Minister say that he was going to come up with a turnaround strategy which will deal with the complaints and debts. I want to see a clean audit by 2014. Are we going to be relieved to see that? [Time expired.]

Mr T E CHAANE: Hon Chairman Mr Mahlangu, hon Ministers present here, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, the past few days were very hectic as committees of Parliament engaged in the most important work of budgeting. Today is no different to those processes, but marks the final stages of the release of the required resources to implement a national plan, as directed by the President of the Republic during his state of the nation address on 6 June.

Budgets by nature are about planning for the collection of revenue and its allocation or equitable and fair division across all spheres of government, so as to deliver quality services to our people. This is in many instances restricted by domestic and global market conditions such as the current economic downturn, whose effects we are beginning to feel. These conditions should not in any way distract us from achieving our goals, but should rather, as the President said so well, merely delay us for a while. It is indeed true that where there is a will, there is a way. This will cannot be expressed any better than in the policies of our movement, the ANC, and in its election manifesto, as the quest to build a better life for all. It is our shared view that the fact that we are in a global financial downturn does not mean that priorities should be abandoned, but rather that the country may need to strategically phase in the implementation as conditions become better.

The fulfilment of our priorities, outlined in the ANC manifesto and elaborated upon by the President during his state of nation address, is intended to consolidate the building of a developmental state. We need to build more capacity at all levels of our government, especially at the level of our municipalities.

Minister, it is indeed true and correct that the birth of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs on 10 May 2009 is representing an irreversible shift to an expanded and more deliberate mandate on matters of co-operative governance. It is indeed correct that this new name of the department gives effect to the provisions of Chapters 3, 6, 7 and 12 of the Constitution, with Chapters 3 and 12 as fundamental priorities for execution. As we execute this mammoth task, we should be cautious never to overlook the harsh realities relating to the obstacles that are there. The biggest challenge in addressing the plight of our municipalities is first to deal with glaring legislative barriers that make it difficult to make meaningful, effective, efficient and responsive interventions as and when it becomes necessary to do so. The manner in which support and assistance is required should be provided by both national and provincial spheres of government to local government needs to be clarified; otherwise we will never win the battle.

Hon Minister, we are fully behind your call to strengthen systems of accountability and build clean government as one of the most important pillars of co-operative governance. However, I must caution that in so doing, as the choir conductor, great care and support should be given to our local councillors who, despite all their weaknesses, are faced with serious challenges. Their lives are more threatened and vulnerable than any of the public office bearers, for they are our striking forces to achieve service delivery goals. Being too harsh on them without addressing their plight or giving them the required support will only allow the enemy to creep in. Indeed, we should hold them accountable to the communities, but, in so doing, we should not lose sight of the harsh reality of the risks that they face on a daily basis. We need to strengthen their capabilities to provide oversight and to be part of the decision-making processes. Bad elements among them need to be isolated and dealt with harshly. We should avoid generalising when pointing at corrupt officials in municipalities.

The department should move with speed to develop codes of conduct for senior managers. Even so, we should talk more about the frustrations of our people than about the frustrations of those in power. Both must be arrested. It can never be right, Minister, that we talk more about the weaknesses of our municipalities and less about their challenges. It can never be right that 15 years into democracy we still have people staying in mining holes at waste dumping sites such as those in the area of the Matlosana Municipality. It can never be right that our people still live in pigsty-like shacks, like the ones that we see here in the Western Cape, yet the DA has the nerve to tell us that the Western Cape is a little heaven. [Applause.]

Mr A WATSON: Gee kans! [Just wait!]

Mr T E CHAANE: Minister, we cannot lecture you on those challenges at the municipalities, for you know them better than most of us. But the situation in the North West needs a speedy solution, rather than engagement in the media, as seems to be happening now. It should not be enough for the department to be aware of problems of maladministration, lack of accountability and corruption, as already indicated in many municipalities across the country, with the North West and the Eastern Cape being cases in point. Ways and means should be devised to salvage these municipalities, without this being seen as encroachment or interference.

Like hawks hovering in the sky, monitoring their potential prey, our committee will do the same with all departments in executing its oversight work. We will provide support and make necessary criticisms as and when such are needed. Such criticism should be taken in the same spirit as when we are singing praises for any job well done.

There should be close collaboration, not only with parliamentary committees, but also with key sectors of the department. Together we can make sure that there is no space for laziness, corruption and all these bad things hindering service delivery. A situation such as the one that we experienced this morning, Minister, where instead of being given answers we were told to go and investigate, I should think is not the way to go, Deputy Minister. The directive from the President to do things differently, smarter and better is not only meant for ANC members and their supportive public servants, but it is also directed at all those who, by oath or affirmation, took up positions to serve the people of this country, and that includes the opposition.

Minister, true to your slogan, “many voices, one message”, we should create no space for any uncalled-for discord from members of this broad church. As you conduct this choir in a competition for improved service delivery, improvement for a better life and the eradication of poverty, let us be cautious not to pitch our voices too high when singing about challenges and problems that are man-made, for we know amongst us there are those who do nothing but look for such musical discord. Our music should be so harmonious and sweet that our audience, and even our detractors and opposition, can do nothing but sing and dance along with us, for that is the purpose of music: to heal, to soothe, to bless and to uplift the spirit. That should be the kind of service we provide to our communities this time around.

The ANC, as a liberation movement, liberated not only the oppressed but even the oppressor. I was encouraged last week during the youth debate to hear hon Tim Harris from the DA acknowledging the fact that the youth of his generation benefited from the work of the class of 1976. I was actually shocked when he said that. I even said “Wow, he is in the wrong party”, but on second thought, I realised that we need to recruit him to the ANC. It is young people like hon Harris who can teach old men like hon Watson how things are done. [Laughter.]

The ANC is elected by the people and its policies are derived from and driven by the people. It is about time that the DA realises that they cannot stop the leaders of the ANC. [Applause.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: As hon Mchunu comes to the podium, I want to congratulate him for being appointed as MEC responsible for local government, from being a Speaker. [Applause.] Congratulations, Mr Mchunu. [Interjections.] We will invite you to visit us.

Mr T W MCHUNU (KwaZulu-Natal): Thank you, Chairperson of the NCOP, for those comments, which are very lovely indeed.

Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members of the House, colleagues, I want to start by congratulating the Minister on his appointment to this position, and also congratulate him for tabling such comprehensive and what also seem to be very balanced and developmental budget estimates of public expenditure for the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period starting now.

For us in KwaZulu-Natal, it is indeed appropriate that we share your sentiments in accepting the new name of the department and also the new mandate that goes with it, because we believe this has been fairly scrutinised. It is most appropriate: it is a new year, it is a new mandate, it is a new government, and things must be done from a new perspective.

We have looked at the budget, and we certainly want to raise a few observations. We will raise them not because we are selfish, but from the perspective of our province.

Firstly, I want to refer to infrastructure development. In this province, we are the recipients of a huge part of the municipal infrastructure grant funding, but we are the first ones to cry that it is insufficient. We say it is insufficient because of experiences regarding the spending of this budget line. Our province is slightly different from other provinces. Its topography is one area to go by, which seriously undermines any form of developmental budget that may be put in. This has affected every aspect and type of development and every type of budget that has been applied to the province. It is therefore refreshing for us to notice that the budget has been increasing over the years and that it has increased again now. But we still wonder if it is going to fulfil its task.

We are worried in this area of work, because, importantly, it is in this area where public participation finds expression. For us public participation and empowerment form the basis and the cornerstone of the promotion of people-centred and sustainable local governance, which focuses on service delivery and is responsive to the needs of communities.

In this area, the costs for us in the provinces have been increasing over the years, but the challenges are further compounded by the latest focus on rural development. This focus demands that a lot more of the resources be allocated to development in the rural areas. Our main concern has always been that the more infrastructure we put in, the more resources we need to operate and maintain the infrastructure. We have found that this aspect is not adequately addressed.

We deal with municipalities, as you will know. You have certainly been in that province time and again; you know the area. You know the capacity of our municipalities in the rural areas. In some of these municipalities, the tax base is nonexistent. In others, the tax base is very limited. If you add the operating and maintenance costs of the infrastructure, which we help them put in, we are actually saying to municipalities that we are introducing infrastructure that will degenerate and that they will not be in a position to operate and maintain on their own at any given time without assistance from national and provincial government. We are saying these are areas we must address, both the area of funding and the area of capacitating these municipalities.

It is on this score, Minister, that we support your argument on debating the form our governance structures need to take. Whether you are talking about provinces or municipalities, there must be a debate, because in our view some of the municipalities are just not going to make it unless some reconfiguration is arrived at. We want to make an effective contribution in this regard. We also want to raise an issue that I believe does not affect many provinces the way it affects our own. When you talk to us about traditional leadership, you are not talking to us like you are talking to Gauteng. It is a different matter, with due respect to my colleagues in Gauteng. [Laughter.] It is a fact and a reality that we must accept. Gauteng can never boast the number of traditional leaders that we have. We have 271 traditional councils that have been recognised up to now. This is 271 out of an existing 302 traditional councils. There are still disputes amongst some of the communities, with the result that those traditional councils have not been recognised as yet. We have a debate to enter into there. We need to share your wisdom on how to deal with such matters, when it comes to the costs of running these municipalities.

I want to indicate to you that when we talk about traditional leadership and traditional affairs, we are not just talking about “amakhosi”. The 271 out of 302 that I am referring to are just “amakhosi” and traditional councils. I have not spoken about “izinduna”. I can certainly tell the Minister and the House that there are 1 200 “izinduna” whose stipends are also paid by the department. The costs of running these institutions are enormous for us. Therefore, based on our experience, and based on your experience, the new mandate and the new approach, it is appropriate that all of us engage in debates of this nature and engage in the realities that face us as a government, as well as the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs - which we fully endorse and support.

But, in respect of all I have said, I want to indicate to you, Mr Minister, that we have absolutely no qualms with your capabilities and that of your department. I want to indicate our province’s unreserved support for the budget as it has been tabled. We want to engage further on many of the debates that have been raised in your speech, which we value and which we believe are appropriate. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr J J GUNDA: Thank you, hon Chair. Hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon Deputy Chair and hon Chief Whip, hon members and distinguished guests in the gallery, indeed it is a real privilege to stand here, but listening to and seeing the budget of this department, this new Ministry, I wonder whether we will make it. With the huge challenges that the councils are facing in this country, poverty and service delivery are real issues.

The problem that we are really facing here is that service delivery needs urgent attention and development. However, the very same money is often used to pay mayors and municipal managers that have been found guilty of mismanagement and corruption. We must speak truth to power. For example, the mayor in the municipality of Mier in the Northern Cape was found guilty of corruption and she lost her appeal but continues to serve as mayor. In Siyanda District Municipality, meanwhile, the municipal manager was given a golden handshake of almost R1 million after an investigation report, following an investigation that was conducted by a private firm, said he should be charged for the misuse of public funds and corruption. After he was given a golden handshake, he was appointed temporary municipal manager in Mier Local Municipality.

How seriously do we take our people at grass-roots level? Sol Plaatje Municipality already has seven disclaimers. What kind of message does this send to our people? We should not be surprised when the people barricade the roads and burn down the houses of councillors. Yet councillors are facing these challenges without any real support of any kind.

Hierdie Raad verteenwoordig die mense op voetsoolvlak en dit is hoekom ons moet kyk na hierdie enorme taak. Dienslewering is baie belangrik vir ons mense. Indien ’n mens na private grond kyk, is daar mense in die Noord-Kaap wat nie dienste ontvang nie, omdat hulle op private grond bly. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[This Council represents the people at grass-roots level and that is why we have to look at this huge undertaking. Service delivery is very important to our people. If one looks at private land, one will see that there are people in the Northern Cape who are not receiving services, as they are living on private land.] This department and this select committee must make sure that the people on private land who are not receiving water, electricity and houses, need to receive services. This is very important.

Another point of concern for the ID is the fact that an estimated 30% of councillors in South Africa are illiterate concerning finances. We need to train our councillors to understand budgets and to understand how finance systems are working, so that they can indeed serve the people. I thank you. [Applause.]

                       VOTING ON 25 JUNE 2009


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Just before I call the next member, I would like to bring to the attention of members that during the plenary of 25 June 2009 it transpired that a member who was not supposed to vote cast his vote, and the results that were announced took his vote into account. After perusal of the voting records, I can confirm that all provinces voted in favour, and I have requested that the minutes should also be corrected, so you will receive the corrected minutes next time.

I now call upon the hon Mofokeng.

Mr T M H MOFOKENG: Chairperson, in terms of section 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, national and provincial governments are required to provide support to and strengthen the capacity of local government. The provincial sphere of government was developed without a coherent policy framework to guide its operations towards the realisation of this provision. The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs was therefore mandated to develop a White Paper on provincial governance and review the White Paper on local government.

In terms of section 106 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, provinces must establish mechanisms, processes and procedures that are in line with the provisions of section 155(6) of the Constitution of the Republic to monitor municipalities in managing their affairs, exercising their powers and performing their functions. The legislation developed to guide the performance, operations and functioning of local government, informed by the Constitution and the White Paper on local government, include, amongst others, the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act. It is through these pieces of legislation that inroads were made to fight poverty at the local sphere of government. Since 1994 the number of households with access to water supply has increased by more than 30%, the number of households with access to basic sanitation has increased by more than 35%, and the number of households with electricity connections has increased by more than 30%. More than two million houses have been constructed over the past 15 years to provide shelter to those without houses.

Over and above this, there are policy questions and proposals that have emanated from the experience we have had over the past 15 years, which mainly focus on public consultation to strengthen the quality and democracy of local government. Municipalities have not been proactive in providing feedback and accounting to the community on their performance as required by the legislation. There is room for municipalities to build meaningful partnerships with community-based organisations, labour organisations and the private sector.

Municipalities are further faced with the challenge of financial management and revenue generation. A number of municipalities are faced with bankruptcy, while others are running deficits. Regardless of these challenges that municipalities are facing, there is a steady improvement in the development of Local Economic Development, strategies and policies, but the challenge remains with the implementation of these strategies and policies. A new department has been established, which should be focusing on economic development. The question therefore arises as to how Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs will be working with this department and provinces to ensure that job creation at the municipal level is intensified, given the challenges caused by the global economic downturn.

Given the challenges mentioned above, a number of municipalities have been placed under both section 106 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act and section 139 of the Constitution. This process is a challenge both in respect of capital and human resources to assist these municipalities that are in the ICU. Provisions are made for the department in this budget to ensure that provinces are not held back by a lack of resources in exercising their mandate to assist municipalities that are not performing well. The role and function of the provincial sphere of government is critical in addressing the above-mentioned challenges in local government, as it is the sphere that is closest to local government. The areas which need improving are those of synergistic connections between provincial growth and development strategies and municipal integrated development plans. Municipalities must develop realistic IDPs and credible Local Economic Development, LED, programmes. Obviously, the operationalisation of these programmes is critical, as municipalities would need the material and human resources as well as the management and operational systems to implement their IDPs and LEDs.

However, the department addressed the fundamental weaknesses of local government, which includes the following: Poor planning; weak links between planning, policy-making and budgeting; poor expenditure control; little relationship between formulated and executed budget; poor cash management; and poorly motivated staff. There is a lack of alignment between the budgeting and planning regimes, which means that the system is not functioning as cohesively as it ought to. It has in a way contributed to poor spending, especially with regard to the municipal infrastructure grant. These funds are often rolled over or withdrawn by both the department and the National Treasury.

Meanwhile service delivery remains a serious challenge. It is imperative that the department introduces measures through this budget to ensure that the provincial government, as the sphere working closely with local government, reduces cost spending to the lowest possible figure.

The new support programme for municipalities should seek to instil greater certainty in the support, monetary and supervisory regimes that affect the local and provincial spheres of government. The big question remains as to how much has been set aside by the department to assist municipalities to perform their functions through the guidance and support of the provincial sphere of government. It should also be noted that some municipalities are financially not capable of paying salaries to staff, while some provinces are battling to implement fully the provisions of both section 106 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act and section 139 of the Constitution. We need to level both financial and human resources. If this issue is not addressed with the urgency it deserves, we will still have a long way before we can win the battle against poverty and service backlogs and achieve a well-established, well-functioning system of local government.

The efficiency and effectiveness of hands-on support through the two-year programme of Project Consolidate remains critical. A number of municipalities that were part of Project Consolidate have been placed under section 139, while others gained a sure sense of relief as a result of this programme. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr J J VISSER (Western Cape): Madam Chair, members of this House, thank you for the opportunity to speak here today. I would like to acknowledge the budget speech of Minister Sicelo Shiceka, which he delivered to the country last Tuesday, 23 June 2009. The speech is setting a clear direction for a local government programme of action for the next five years. The Western Cape is committed to working with the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to achieve these objectives. I am pleased to say that Minister Shiceka’s priorities and the provincial priorities are well aligned.

Mr Shiceka emphasised the importance of co-operative governance, greater discipline amongst councillors and officials, better service delivery, and development partnerships.

Co-operative governance can only work if we rise above party politics and work together. We have quarterly meetings of the provincial advisory forum, which are chaired by the MEC for local government, and we also have provincial co-ordinating forums, which are chaired by the Premier. In the coming year we shall ensure that these meetings are not talk shops but places where we can learn from one another. They should be places where we strengthen our relationship with national and provincial departments. I am pleased that Mr Sicelo Shiceka has agreed to come to a forthcoming provincial advisory forum. We are also prioritising service delivery. Municipalities in the Western Cape only spent 78% of their capital budgets last year and we are going to increase this significantly in the coming year.

Another problem is that municipalities are not spending enough on maintaining the infrastructure that they do have. The province expects municipalities to spend at least 10% of their operational budgets on infrastructure maintenance, phased in over the next four years.

We are also doing a comprehensive audit on our water and sanitation infrastructure in order to develop a ten-year provincial infrastructure project and financing plan for municipalities. We are working together with the national Department of Water and Environmental Affairs and the provincial treasury on this project. The province is putting a lot of effort into building the capacity of municipalities. The department is working together with municipalities to finalise the municipal support plans, the MSPs, which identify capacity gaps and say how they could be addressed over the next five years.

Here are some examples of how we are already assisting municipalities. We are helping 19 municipalities to improve their performance management systems. We are assisting municipalities to implement fully the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act. Together with Salga, we will provide leadership training to councillors and we are also rolling out code of conduct training to councillors.

I agree with Minister Shiceka that we must instil more discipline in municipalities. We are concerned that there has been a breakdown of discipline among both councillors and officials. The Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs is in the process of compiling a list of councillors and officials who owe money to municipalities for rates or services charged. If these debts are not paid within two months, the mayors of these municipalities must answer for this.

We want to make sure that fraud and corruption are eliminated and that councillors and their family members do not unlawfully benefit from municipal contracts. One of the ways to stop fraud is to focus on fraud prevention. The department has developed antifraud guidelines for local government in respect of human resources and finance. We are supporting ten municipalities with the compilation of anticorruption strategies and implementation plans, eight with ethics management planning and ten with debt governance training.

The province has a concern around integrated development plans, the so- called IDPs. We are pleased that 20 out of the 20 municipalities have IDPs that are considered to be credible, but many of these are only IDPs on paper. We are asking the department to check every IDP and make sure that it is an actual plan and not a wish list. We will also help municipalities to improve their integrated planning through the IDP learnership programme. This programme is offered to all municipalities and it includes six modules.

Another significant programme of the province is disaster planning. We have experienced many disasters in the Western Cape during the past 12 months, including floods, fires and violence against foreigners. The long-term solution to disasters is to be proactive and to prevent disasters or reduce their impact. The provincial disaster management centre will focus its efforts on assisting municipalities and provincial departments to do exactly this in the coming year.

I have indicated that there is alignment between national and provincial strategic priorities. However, we as the Western Cape province also have a number of concerns that we will have to raise in Parliament. Firstly, the development of provincial and local government as independent spheres of government must be respected. Service delivery cannot be effective if it is overcentralised. Secondly, while the remuneration of councillors is important, we believe that a sharp and singular focus must be on performance. There are many mayors and councillors in the Western Cape, and I am sure across the country, who work very hard, but as Minister Shiceka himself indicated, we are way short of achieving our service delivery objectives. Our Minister Anton de Waal is concerned about the district councils. Some district councils are well resourced, but are not using the resources to address problems of poverty and underdevelopment.

In conclusion, we look forward to discussing these issues and working with the national government to achieve our objectives. I thank you. [Applause.]

Cllr S PITI (Salga): Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members of the House, firstly, allow me to apologise on behalf of our chairperson of Salga, Councillor Masondo, who unfortunately could not make it.

The SA Local Government Association, Salga, takes great pride, and is indeed honoured, in participating in this historic Budget Vote debate of the newly formed Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Salga has a very close working relationship with the department, and we are committed to remain its close intergovernmental partner in pursuit of enhanced service delivery to the communities across the length and breadth of our country.

Salga participated in the recent bosberaad of the department where participants engaged with its new role of strengthening intergovernmental relations, building enhanced accountability across the three spheres and bringing traditional leadership into the mainstream democratic discourse. Salga shares the vision of the department of a strong local sphere of government that is people-centred, that is accountable to its residents and communities, that is developmentally oriented in respect of how it delivers services, and that is an equal partner to the other spheres of government with regard to how it responds to the national agenda set by the President. In this regard the provision of job opportunities and the foundation of economic development by providing sustainable infrastructure and services must find full expression in the integrated development plans of municipalities for this term of government.

Salga is committed to playing its role in fulfilling these aspects of the national agenda. In this regard we wish to emphasise the findings of the recently released community survey by Statistics South Africa in October 2007 where projects and progress regarding the provision of services were detailed. The report noted that over 88% of households have access to piped water, over 80% of households have access to electricity, and over 60% of households have access to flush toilets. These gains in the extension of services to other people were made possible through the committed endeavours of the three spheres of government working towards this common goal. Salga is firmly of the view that the provision of services by the sphere of government closest to the people is the most sustainable way for government as a whole to enhance democracy, by putting people in charge of their destinies through local accountability.

In the area of policy development, legislative and regulatory reform, we have recently gone through a policy review process in respect of provincial and local government. During that process, Salga raised a number of issues in its submissions, which we will continue to raise as the process reaches its conclusion. These issues include, among others, strengthening public participation in local decision-making; strengthening the relationships between ward councillors, community development workers, and traditional leaders; strengthening organised local government to enhance its intergovernmental capacities; streamlining development planning across the spheres with IDPs being the building blocks of government-wide planning; building coherent capacity at local level to facilitate local economic development; and developing a comprehensive approach to councillor support, not merely remuneration, that will enable local politicians to serve their communities effectively and sustainably, to name but a few.

Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, in the area of urban and rural development, the nodal municipalities continue to support the roll-out of urban and rural development projects aimed at increasing the visibility of government as a whole in the lives of our people. The innovative planning initiatives within these areas continue to enrich the increased participation of communities in developmentally oriented projects. We can confirm the findings of the review done in the anchor areas — that to consolidate private and public sector investment can be a powerful tool for improving investor confidence, increase public participation, and promote the quality of the public space and local services in underdeveloped areas.

The focus of the rural development programme must urgently continue to improve service delivery and create development opportunities in the rural hinterland. There is a need for an increased partnership between all spheres of government and the private sector to make a success of this approach. Rural development cannot and should not be the sole responsibility of the municipalities in those areas.

Hon Chair and hon Minister, building the institutional and human resource capacity of local government must continue to be a priority of government. The lessons of Project Consolidate are embedded in the strategic agenda of local government. Although it is early days, there is a marked improvement in the percentage of section 67 managers that have signed performance agreements. The pressure must be maintained to continue this climate. In the area of free basic services and infrastructure, it is noteworthy that the expenditure of municipalities has increased significantly. It does however remain a concern that the funding of new infrastructure is not matched by proportional funding for the upkeep and maintenance of existing infrastructure. In as much as new infrastructure is needed to extend services to previously unserved areas, local government is paying the price for infrastructure that is dilapidated and at times incapable of being returned to its useful state. The infrastructure maintenance backlog is growing by the day and it will take a considered effort by both national and local government to address the ticking time bomb.

Salga continues to make the point that the equitable transfer to municipalities is insufficient for local government to play its developmental role. The challenges in especially the rural areas are immense and very often an intergovernmental transfer is the only source of reliable income for such municipalities. This formula must be revised to take account of such rural challenges.

As indicated earlier, Salga remains committed to playing its role in the attainment of the national agenda. It is committed to playing this role in every intergovernmental forum, in every municipality, and, of course, in this august House. Salga has now strengthened its ability to engage meaningfully in Parliament as a whole, but more particularly in this House. Salga wants to take this opportunity to wish hon Minister Shiceka well in his endeavours. May the partnership between the Ministry, the department, and Salga grow from strength to strength. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Hon Chair, hon Minister, hon MEC, hon members in the House, my work has been made easy, because I come from KwaZulu-Natal and my leader has spoken already, so I have a free role to play.

I need to make one or two things clear to hon Watson. Hon Watson, firstly, on affirmative action, over 50% of the citizens of South Africa believe in affirmative action, because they stand no chance in a new democracy for any opportunity. It is a fallacy of the DA to believe that equal opportunities can just fall like manna from heaven. It cannot happen. Transformation is required for this purpose. There would be no change for people with disabilities, for young people, for black people, and for women in this country if there were no affirmative action. Therefore I think the debate must no longer be about whether affirmative action works or doesn’t work. One of the principles is the values contained in the objectives of affirmative action.

Secondly, I think we need to move from arguing about the collapse of ANC municipalities or this and that, and get to the crux of the issue. The crux of the issue is that we have a new system that is even younger than these 15 years that we are talking about, because local government is younger than national and provincial government. And whatever we are talking about — whether it is about corruption, as Mr Gunda has done — we can’t do it by crying and lamenting about what is criminal. What is criminal is criminal; it is incumbent upon every one of us to deal with what is criminal as criminal, so that nobody gets blamed for things that are criminal.

As the ANC government our objectives are to enhance, to strengthen, and to create institutions that will help us in providing for the resources and taking forward the programmes that would assist in dealing with the issues of our people. The objectives that we espoused in this new term of Parliament, contained in the manifesto, outline the pillars upon which we anchor all our engagements. We are pleased to hear today about the new vigour, the energy, and the plans and policies that are before us. That is the reason why we stand up to support the budget. We need to support the budget because it is sufficient. We are supporting this budget because it is now giving us a clear direction as to what capacity we need, what resources we need, and what kind of people we need to take these matters forward.

My emphasis here is to make a plea to you and the departmental officials with regard to our vulnerable groups. I am glad that the vulnerable groups are now part of the planning and the priorities of this new budget of the new department, as reconfigured. I hope that we will now have our indigent policies standardised to be able to deal with the needs of the poor who are often part of these vulnerable groups. Furthermore I hope that the structures and institutions that are created will be caring, taking cognisance of the needs and the issues of the people who are affected to the core by service delivery objectives. Now, as we are nearing the maturity date of the Millennium Development Goals of 2014, we are indeed poised to take forward and to make sure that we are able and better equipped to eradicate poverty, and to ensure that there is action with regard to education. We also need to ensure that we would no longer have to argue the issue of gender, because we would have attained full empowerment of women, as reflected in the Millennium Development Goals to which we are a signatory.

Before my time expires, let me say that I was hoping Mr Visser would raise certain things. I want to raise them, because I am focusing on the area of vulnerable groups. It is a sad thing for the DA that Mr Watson has come here to lecture us about how affirmative action for any group is wrong. You have fired a disabled head of department in the Western Cape because she is an ANC supporter. She was the HOD for local government elections. [Interjections.] I respect that woman, because of her skill and merits; her qualifications in my view cannot be surpassed. Whatever we are talking about here, Mr Visser, you were just posing exactly what that manager has been implementing in this province. For the first time you are officially, on paper, in black and white, acknowledging the ANC in the Western Cape in respect of local government, because all the things you have been talking about you couldn’t have done in the four weeks since you have been in power. So your whole speech really is singing our praises. I think you have now really listened to what our President has been saying, that is for us to work together and help each other.

Going forward, we are saying to the DA, and we will say it again and again: Where are the women? We are asking: Where are your young people? We are asking: Where are the disabled people? [Interjections.] You cannot shelve them. Therefore, whatever issue you would like to raise, it would be hypocritical to blame the ANC for anything to do with affirmative action, including cadre deployment. You cannot fire people for the sake of firing them because you think they are ANC supporters.

Going forward, together we can do more. If you believe in the debate about merit and skill, you should stop justifying your evictions and firing people because they support the ANC. You should stop firing people because they were working with the previous ANC government, if you are serious about what you are talking about.

Going forward, we support this budget, because, as indicated, the budget gives us a better framework, and we understand that there is now a strong focus on monitoring and evaluation within the budget. We are supporting this budget because we now understand the concerns and the problems that we are faced with, and, going forward, our role as the NCOP will be to make sure that we do not become … We will go to the North West, we will go anywhere in the country, including the Western Cape … Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Order! I alert all members to the fact that I have allocated five more minutes to Minister Shiceka, because there are quite a lot of questions to answer. Minister Shiceka.


I want to thank everyone for the contributions that have been made in this discussion and say that the debate, in my view, was of quality. That was confirmed by the Deputy Minister, who sat in this House for the first time in his life. [Applause.] He was saying that the debate was a quality one, comparatively speaking. I won’t say comparative to what. [Laughter.] I was telling him that this is always the case. This House is always focused, and its debates are of quality.

At the same time I want to say that it is clear to me that everyone in this debate calls for the intervention of government at the national level on issues of governance across the board, whether in municipalities or in provinces. I can promise you we are going to do exactly that. We are going to breathe heavily down the necks of everyone who is not performing their tasks and carrying out their responsibilities. [Applause.] We believe that, from our side, serving the people of South Africa in whatever role is a privilege, and that privilege must not be taken for granted. That privilege must be respected, because the decisions we make affect many people. We are not working in the private sector where decisions we are making only affect us and our families. Therefore we must never betray the trust that our people, as the people of this country, place in us, including ourselves in this august House.

Mr Watson, the veteran, is raising an issue around representivity, the removal of people, the deployment of cadres and so on. I think he must tell me and members of this House why there are no women in the provincial cabinet of this province. We will continuously raise this issue because we believe that the women of South Africa are in the majority, and also in the Western Cape. Are you telling us that there are no capable women in this province? That is the first thing. Secondly, since the DA has come to power, whether in the local municipality of Cape Town or the province, it has been on a purge to remove administrators that were appointed by the ANC. Are you choosing your own friends, DA? You must not throw stones when you live in a glass house. [Applause.]

The hon member also raised the issue of interventions. He is saying that there are pending interventions. We are going to come to the Western Cape. We are going to meet with the provincial government. I have had discussions with the leader of the DA, Madam Helen Zille. We have agreed that in this country there is no island. There is no structure that should believe that it can make a UDI. The Western Cape and the Cape Town municipality are part of the bigger South Africa. In that respect we have agreed that we will work together in partnership, as Mr Visser has said, which I appreciate, and we have agreed that in doing so, we are going to pursue the goals that must be pursued.

We shall work within the Constitution and within the laws. However, we are raising the issue of amending the Constitution. Let me tell you, in the area of local government, there is no doctrine in respect of the separation of powers. All powers are centred and vested in the council. It is the council that delegates to the executive committee or mayoral committee, and the mayoral committee delegates at that level. There is a blurring of lines of accountability and oversight, and we are saying that this situation cannot be allowed to continue. In addition to that, I have raised the issue that the NCOP has ghettoised the representation of local government, and if this House has to focus on issues of local government in the provinces, it means we have to amend the Constitution. It must be able to reflect that.

But also, going forward, if you look at the issue of the system, there are a lot of challenges. Amongst those are the challenges of alignment between national, provincial and local government, not only regarding the structure, but also as far as budgeting is concerned. The financial year of the national and provincial budgeting cycle ends in March. In the local municipalities it ends in June. The implication of that is that when provinces and national government are coming to the end of their financial year, they dump money in municipalities. We are saying we must align everything, including structures, in relation to local government. This requires the amendment of the Constitution.

Also, if you look at the issue of electricity, which is a national strategic area with regard to basic service delivery, it cannot be left to the whims of individual municipalities. These municipalities sometimes don’t look at the broader interests of the country. They look myopically at their own areas of responsibility. That is why we support the amendment of the Constitution to ensure that we look at national priorities. Water and electricity are the most important ones. Nobody can disagree with that. Furthermore investment in infrastructure by municipalities over time has not been very good. This is why we are looking at different ways and mechanisms of dealing with these issues.

Therefore, from our point of view, Mr Watson, we support a constitutional amendment, because it is going to ensure that South Africa is placed where it belongs, at a place where it is the best of the best compared to other countries. That is what we believe in, and we support that very strongly. The other issue that is raised by the people’s movement, the ANC, is the issue around the formula for the allocation of resources. We agree with that. In fact, we are engaging with the Financial and Fiscal Commission, FFC, to say we believe the formula for the allocation of resources, in relation to the division of revenue, is skewed. But in addition to that, with regard to its strategy, the ANC is biased towards the poor and the vulnerable. If you agree with this, then this must be reflected even in respect of the allocation of resources. The way the system is currently working is that it gives more resources to municipalities and provinces that are strong, and we believe that we should work to support the weak that cannot stand on their own. That is what we are calling for with regard to change. We agree with the movement in that respect, and we have said that we are going to support it as we go forward.

Also, we are raising an issue around voluntarism in the intergovernmental relations system. We support that. We are saying it must be dealt with, going forward.

With regard to the issue of the North West, we are going to engage with that, going forward.

In relation to the issue raised by Cope: We are saying on the issue of the establishment of municipalities, it’s a matter we are engaging upon. We are looking at the formula, but I believe that the legislation dealing with local government must be section 76. Currently it is section 75, which I believe is a challenge. At the same time, my view on all section 75 laws is that it should be introduced in the NCOP. When such legislation goes to the NA, it should be a second process; it should not start in the NA. I think the NA must deal with section 75 pieces of legislation when they are introduced.

Concerning the issues that you have raised, Tata Makhubela, we will look at them. We will ensure that we attend to them, because we believe your contribution is quite important, going forward. We understand these are issues that bother you.

Mr Chaane, we are focusing on infrastructure. We are saying we cannot continue to deal with infrastructure the way we are dealing with it – we will never deliver, or even address the backlogs. We are introducing a comprehensive infrastructure plan that will look at the backlogs in every municipality, in every city, in every town in this country. And we believe that we must rope in the private sector, particularly when dealing with these issues in future. We agree on the topography of the issues. We have engaged with you on the issue of the Financial and Fiscal Commission formula that we have to look at. Let us work together.

You are raising an issue around traditional leadership and the support that is required. We are looking at ensuring that this area is a concurrent function. In terms of the formula, the FFC must actually ensure that money is given to provinces for traditional leaders as a way to take things forward. These are matters that we will be discussing with you, going forward. We agree with you that KwaZulu-Natal has a lot of challenges.

We want to thank you very much as a province, because you show a high degree of organisation and discipline in the way you conduct activities. That discipline is also demonstrated by your presence here in this debate. We also want to address the issue of MECs not participating in important debates in this House, because we believe that they are undermining this House by not attending. We are going to take that up. [Applause.] We will be taking up the issue with the Leader of Government Business to ensure that these matters are attended to, going forward, Deputy Chairperson.

At the same time, from our point of view, we want to call on everyone to ensure that we work together in such a way that we are able to move forward, because we believe that local government matters can be politicised. We must rise above politics so that we can actually address the issues that are affecting our people. We are saying that local government should be everybody’s business, because whether we’re at work or at home, everyone is affected. If your electricity doesn’t work when you wake up in the morning and you don’t have water, we become concerned. If the traffic lights are not working, we become concerned. Therefore, let us ensure that we work together. We will listen to the opposition. If you see things that are not going well in your own area, where you work, where you stay, take them up with the department. We’ll be able to ensure that we take up these matters honestly without any bias in the way in which we deal with it, because we believe that together we can ensure that South Africa is a country, a place, where we will be happy to live and work.

Therefore collective wisdom is quite important, going forward, in addressing issues that must be taken up. As a department, we don’t believe that we are a repository of wisdom. We believe that the wisdom is with the people, the wisdom is with you. Our task is to co-ordinate that wisdom. Our task is to direct what must be done. That is why we are here; that is why we are talking about a choir conductor, because we believe that a choir conductor is able to ensure that there is a harmonious melody in the way things are done. And we believe you, as the NCOP, are a partner. We must look at how to work together, going forward, in order to address these issues.

There is an issue around resource allocation. You know that the government was established after the Budget had been passed. We have agreed that by October the processes for the allocation of resources would be reflected and addressed. Therefore we are saying let us ensure that we deal with these issues while we are able to work together.

The other thing that we are going to do is that we are going to take all the speeches that have been presented here. It is unfortunate for those who have not prepared speeches, because it means we cannot refer to anything, except that we could actually check the Hansard, so that we are able to respond to each and every one who has made an input in this debate. We want to ensure that we take up issues and follow up on matters as we go forward. You see my team there, highly energised and highly motivated. Their morale is very high. They are there and ready to deliver.

I want to conclude by saying we are going to be working with the Deputy President when we embark on Taking Parliament to the People, to follow up on issues that are raised, even matters that are raised in the provinces and municipalities. The Deputy President will be following up with national departments regarding such issues, so that we are a responsive government. We will be moving in, Matungwane, to Matatiele to follow up on the issue that has been raised around correspondence. We are going there to go and test the views of the public, the views of the people. We are saying that we have listened to organisations, and they have not assisted us. The best thing to do is to go to the people. But in doing so, we will be working together. We will be doing the same in Matatiele, because we believe that we must actually address issues collectively. We don’t believe in sweeping things under the carpet. We believe that we must confront every issue that has been raised, so that we are able to take the country forward, as we do our work as a country. I want to thank the committee for their incisive engagement with the department. I want to thank the officials for their support and engagement, and I also thank Macingwane for being here with us. We are saying your support is valuable and appreciated by us, and at the same time I want to thank the Deputy Minister for his support and his free-spirited approach on issues. He is a person who says what he thinks at any time. Continue with that free-spirited role that you are playing. Thank you very much, colleagues. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate)

Budget Vote No 25 - Environmental Affairs and Tourism:

The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Chairperson, prior to our country’s democratisation in 1994, we were certainly not celebrated as a tourism destination that offered a diversity of experiences and cultures to our foreign travellers or to our own domestic tourists. We did not attract large numbers of international visitors, nor did we as South Africans travel our own country to explore our common humanity. We lived segregated lives, pitted against each other because of our divisive racial policies, and a mere two decades ago many prime tourist destinations were no-go areas to the majority of South Africans.

Since the advent of democracy, our popularity as a tourism destination has grown beyond anything we could have envisioned 15 years ago. In 1994, fewer than 600 000 tourists visited our country. Last year, we saw more than 9,5 million foreign arrivals to this country, many from our immediate neighbouring countries who were still the targets of government-sponsored destabilisation in the recent past. In fact, since 1994 we have seen 48 million foreign arrivals, which is a number larger than the total population of our country.

These visitors come to South Africa because it is a destination that offers everything from natural beauty and wildlife to authentic cultural experiences, as well as world-class facilities. All of this is showcased with contagious energy by warm-hearted South Africans who passionately believe in the product they are promoting — the country we call home.

In South Africa tourism is one of the major contributors to our GDP. It employs about half a million people directly, whilst creating even more indirect employment opportunities.

The global economic downturn and its consequences need little elaboration. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the UNWTO, international tourist arrivals declined from 7% in 2007 to just 2% in 2008, which was the fourth consecutive year of strong international growth.

In this country our tourism sector has certainly proved to be more resilient than some other economic sectors, but we are not immune to the effects of the economic crisis. In 2008, we bucked the worldwide negative trend with 5,5% growth in our foreign arrivals. Furthermore, in 2008 foreign direct spend grew by an estimated 23,5%, amounting to more than R74 billion. Yet, even though we have thus far been spared the worst impacts, we are not complacent and cannot ignore the fact that our growth could slow down during this year as many of our primary markets remain in recession.

Fortunately, in the face of these challenges, we understand the importance of planning better and getting the fundamentals right. We will continue to grow, in a balanced way, our domestic, regional and long-haul markets. And if there are any questions in this regard, I will deal with them in the reply.

We will also enhance our stringent quality control regime that ensures value for money, as well as the unique selling points of our natural heritage. To build resilience, we understand that we can do even more through improved market analysis, product diversification, improved geographical spread, and the promotion of rural tourism as well as people and skills development.

Chairperson, tourism holds many benefits for our country. These can be measured in terms of, amongst other things, economic growth, job creation, foreign currency earnings, skills development, and infrastructure development. But there is a benefit of tourism that is very hard to quantify, and yet is one of the most valuable. It is the fact that tourism has helped us build bridges to the farthest corners of the world, and also, most importantly, between the people of our own country. The social capital unlocked by tourism should not be underestimated.

We have come a long way as a nation since we opened our towns, our cities, our homes and hearts to each other in 1994. The more we appreciated each other and understood our rich cultures and practices, the more we became tourists in our own country. The more we opened our eyes to the unseen beauty and our ears to the uncelebrated songs, the better ambassadors we became of all the variety that South Africa encompasses. As fellow citizens, we have a shared responsibility for our future, and I would like to encourage all South Africans to continue on this journey towards a better future for all.

Tourism has helped us learn about each other, and this learning has been the basis of understanding, tolerance and respect. It is this transformative power of tourism that we can now present to the world as we prepare to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup next year. It affords us a once-in- a-lifetime chance to show the best we have as a tourism destination, which is our people and their cultures, our natural heritage and our world-class infrastructure that fills all of us with pride.

The World Cup has not only resulted in huge public sector investment, but also in massive new investment by the tourism industry itself. Our government is investing more than R26 billion in stadiums and precinct development, transport, and ports of entry infrastructure.

In addition, our department has allocated more than R936 million of our expanded public works allocation for 2009 through to 2012 to further develop the tourism sector. Here, special emphasis will be placed on the development of rural tourism.

Through our Tourism Enterprise Partnership programme, we have already given a major boost to the fast-tracked development of small and medium-sized tourism enterprises. Since the inception of this programme in 2000, we have facilitated transactions worth more than R4 billion and assisted more than 5 500 enterprises.

Following the establishment of an independent Department of Tourism after the elections, we are now in the process of formulating a strategic vision and defining our key deliverables. We are building a re-energised tourism department with a renewed focus on sustainable, competitive and equitable tourism development and growth to the benefit of all South Africans.

I look forward to joining hands with an enthusiastic new department, stakeholders in the South African tourism industry, our provinces, and local governments in promoting our country as one of the most special tourism destinations in the world.

For me and Deputy Minister Thokozile Xasa, it is a privilege to work with an inspired management team, led by the director-general, Nosipho Ngcaba. I would also like to express the appreciation of our department to the chairperson and members of our select committee.

As we share our country with each other and get to know our fellow South Africans better, I have no doubt that our confidence and excitement about our destination will continue to grow. Tourism has indeed helped us to unite as a nation as we cross the divides that once separated us. I look forward to working with all South Africans in unifying our nation behind the common goal of promoting and proudly celebrating our country.

Chairperson, I will deal with the issues that members raise in my reply, as well as any questions they might have. Thank you very much. [Applause.] The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, hon members, our guests who are here, officials, ladies and gentlemen, we, as a department that is at the forefront of ensuring that environmental policy-making is responsive to the challenges faced by our people, feel that we must do more.

It is with this in mind that we will support rural development objectives by ensuring that the integrity of the ecosystems, on which rural economies are based, is protected. Needless to say, we are mindful of the enormity of the work to be done; hence, we call for partnerships with other spheres of government.

As the President reminded us in his state of the nation address, working together we can do more; we need to do exactly that. We call upon all provinces to work with us in designing programmes that are relevant to their social settings in this regard. This partnership will not only be confined to government, as we are convinced that participatory democracy is central to rolling out successful community-based natural resource management programmes that will focus on enterprise development and benefit- sharing from indigenous biological resources with local communities.

The policy and legislative tools provided by the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act will therefore be used to this effect. We’ll make sure that the process makes sense to the affected communities, and their effective involvement will be encouraged.

With regard to the management, protection and monitoring of South Africa’s marine protected areas and estuaries, our department continues to protect the country’s biodiversity, build up fish stocks and regulate the activities of users.

With the establishment of the Still Bay Marine Protected Area, the total number of marine protected areas in the country is now 20. By extending the marine areas that are brought under protection, the department can ensure the effective management, monitoring and surveillance of promulgated marine protected areas, through partnerships with other conservation agencies, and the development of management plans.

Most of South Africa’s estuaries are heavily impacted upon by the variety of human activities. Six estuary management plans were completed in the Cape region. The development of two estuary management plans in the Eastern Cape is under way, and a further nine management plans are being developed through co-operation with the Cape Action for People and the Environment and local municipalities.

Regarding protected areas, we feel the current system of protected areas in South Africa is under management and oversight of no fewer than 20 institutions at provincial and national level, in addition to local government institutions which manage about 229 local protected areas. This has led to significant fragmentation, overlapping in function, and duplication, and the efforts that are being made, we feel, are somewhat of a waste of resources.

It therefore makes sense in terms of good governance that rationalisation of protected areas within bioregions, where possible, should take place in order to ensure that government resources are effectively deployed and utilised economically, and that management approaches are harmonised across the board. The packaging and commercialisation of these larger iconic areas are more logical and easier. By attracting tourists, these areas will contribute both to local as well as to wider economic development.

It is in this context that a feasibility study towards the rationalisation of protected area management and world heritage sites will be undertaken by our department, in order to ensure effective and efficient institutional management of these nationally and globally significant biodiverse assets.

This evaluation will assist us in carefully managing protected areas to cope with escalating pressures and threats such as climate change and alien and invasive species. This will directly contribute towards improving protected area management by identifying critical management weaknesses, key threats, inappropriate policies, issues of capacity-building and management gaps in the protected areas network, as well as existing financial constraints.

The department will continue to work closely with the sector departments and other players also supporting land and agrarian reform and food security. This will entail integration of processes such as the management of alien and invasive species as well as strengthening the management of genetically modified organisms in light of the role of agricultural biotechnology in food security.

The department has worked very closely with key role-players in developing a national core management framework to support uniform participation and beneficiation of communities in protected areas. In order to guarantee effective implementation of this core management framework, a post- settlement support programme for protected areas will be developed in collaboration with relevant institutions, in line with the settlement implementation strategy which was developed by the Land Claims Commission in 2007.

Working together to improve the quality of the air we breathe has been one of the priorities of this government. The creation of a healthy nation includes paying careful attention to the quality of the air that we breathe. Last week, we launched the 2009 Cleaner Fires Campaign, called “Basa njengo Magogo”, in Secunda. This forms part of our campaign aimed at reducing the unacceptable consequences of outdoor air pollution, which results from the burning of coal in many areas, especially in low-income settlements. This campaign must be seen as a catalyst that promotes good working relationships between government, communities and industries in collectively addressing air quality issues.

I would like to encourage all members here to learn to do it, and to go and demonstrate it and assist the communities out there. In this way we’ll reduce pollution. It has been scientifically proven that it reduces pollution by 80%. Let each and every one of us go and learn. I’ve attended the training. So let us all go and assist our people.

We as a department aim to make 2009 a watershed year in air quality governance in South Africa, which will see 9/11 assume a new meaning for air quality management stakeholders in South Africa. The 11th of September 2009 will see the complete repeal of the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act of 1965 and the coming into full force of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act of 2004. This final change of the guard, from the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act to the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, is the product of a long transition which has been carefully steered by the department with a number of transition projects to ensure the smooth passing of the baton.

This will see powers transferred to municipalities to take full responsibility for air quality management, in particular licensing, which used to be the responsibility of the national government.

The department continues to undertake strategic environmental compliance inspections into prioritised areas, industrial sectors such as the ferroalloy sector, the production component of the cement sector, the petrochemical sector, as well as the paper and pulp sector. All major facilities in the petrochemical refinery and cement sectors have now been subjected to environmental compliance inspection.

We shall continue to ensure that our people live a healthy life. To achieve this, we shall work closely with municipalities in respect of providing training to inspectors, in order to develop a cadre of inspectors at local government level. Approximately 110 cases are being investigated by the national department for criminal and administrative enforcement, including investigations into the Airports Company SA, the fuel spill that we all know happened in 2006, and the illegal storage and dumping of medical waste by several companies.

A total of 21 finalised criminal dockets are currently with the National Prosecuting Authority for prosecution.

Enforcement resulted in the shutdown of three facilities that were operating without the requisite authorisation or contravening the conditions of their permits. This included a metal foundry in Roodepoort in Johannesburg.

Tomorrow, July 1, ushers in the new waste management Act that will strengthen us to deal with waste while we create a thousand jobs. We shall work with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and other departments. We shall continue to work with our partners, Buyisa- e-Bag and Indalo Yethu, and other NGOs who come to the party. We do not want to be branded as a “throw away” country, but as a recycling country, sorting waste at source. That will also support our greening programme.

We hope that the enforcement of the law will assist us, and if we do all these clean-ups we are going to have a clean South Africa and we won’t be contributing to climate change.

In conclusion, it is our conviction that, working together with all spheres of government, we can do more to ensure that the quality of our people’s lives is improved. This is not only to be done by us as the department or our partners, but by all members here. At work, at home and every day, ask yourself what you are doing. Are you contributing to climate change? When you throw away something, are you not contributing to making our country dirty? You should know that by recycling, you are helping to create employment and wealth wherever you stay. Members, I would like to encourage you to live by example – at home, in your constituencies and in your offices. Basa njengo Magogo! Please, recycle. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms A N D QIKANI: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, the department, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I greet you all.

Our continent’s oldest liberation movement, the ANC, in its 2009 election manifesto said that, working together, we can do more. Indeed, our President, his Excellency Comrade Jacob Zuma, had this in mind when appointing his Cabinet Ministers. I commend him for his visionary intellect of drafting government Ministers in a manner that in this fourth term would work best to benefit our masses.

The subject of today’s Budget Vote debate is somewhat less important to many of our people’s minds. This is not because of ignorance, but rather because of a lack of information, poverty and an unwillingness to take the initiative of starting projects in relation to environmental solutions. The questions we have to ask ourselves today are: How are we going to address the situation? What measures will the Ministry take to diminish the apathy? If people were fed information about the importance of better environmental care, they would be in a better position to take the necessary steps.

The Department of Environmental Affairs, over the past five years, has done a lot to make things better, and that includes its endeavours to repeal the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act of 1965. Our duty, members of the NCOP, is to see to it that Parliament’s decisions are most favourable to the citizens of the country at large. The laws are well made due to processes that are correctly followed.

Hon Minister Buyelwa Sonjica in her 2009-10 budget speech made it clear to the public that, and I quote:

The policy and legislative tools provided by the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act will therefore be used to this effect and we will make sure that the processes make sense to the affected communities and their effective involvement will be encouraged.

In the same speech provinces and local government were encouraged to come up with specific programmes that would respond to their unique challenges. It is then our duty as members of the concerned select committee to assist the Ministry with follow-ups and to encourage progress in these two spheres of government in order to speed up delivery in line with the exact timeframes.

The Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs in each programme for oversight will prioritise more time for the most environmentally endangered areas to seek solutions — together with the communities, civil society, research bodies, government, and concerned groups — and to advise the hon Minister on effective solutions to benefit the people.

I am sure that all of us will not rest as long as areas such as Mpumalanga are hit hard by massive erosion; as long as biodiversity is threatened by extinction in areas such as St Lucia; as long as fires threaten the existence of our most treasured biodiversity, especially in the Western Cape; as long as our air quality deteriorates by the day because of toxic gases produced by firms and automobiles; and as long as callous urbanisation robs our people of the green that produces oxygen for the communities. We will not rest until we are sure that the rest of our country is beautifully green.

Chairperson, in relation to the aforementioned, it is evident from news reports in the print and electronic media on 29 June 2009 that there has been a continuous trend in Port Elizabeth for the past 17 years, and that in that part of the country maritime life is at risk because toxic waste and effluent are finding its way to the sea waters from the storage facilities of Transnet. This raises serious concerns in society about how Parliament, which is us, and the Ministry will intervene to stop this hazard.

Other breaking news is that today, 30 June, we are informed that the SA Maritime Safety Authority is to take a decision on whether to continue with research into the containers that sunk, some of which carried a toxic chemical called cresol. These containers were washed overboard the Safmarine Meru on Tuesday last week, 23 June. I bring this to your attention to highlight the need for us as members of the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs to visit such areas in a bid to do urgent oversight visits in these areas so that we are able to ensure that these matters receive the urgency and care they deserve, for better environmental management and ultimately for our people’s wellbeing.

Hon Chairperson, his Excellency our President and ANC president, in his January 8th Statement to the nation emphasised that the implementation of government policy does not only succeed by micromanaging all aspects of government, but also by putting in place a system of ongoing co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of government programmes and processes. It is in this spirit that we are going to ensure that we are seized with this responsibility. We are going to ensure that we as members have the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating progress made so that we meet expectations in accordance with the mandate entrusted to us to implement. Together with the members of the committee, we should become the bridge to close the gap between the government and its people.

Hon Minister, let me commend you for prioritising transformation of the biodiversity sector. It is one of those sectors that have been ignored for a long time. However, I think we need to advise that it needs the financial allocation to be able to deliver the desired results in the desired periods. Marine biodiversity is particularly relevant to rural people who live in coastal areas. They should be targeted, as most of them, especially black people, were never given the opportunity to venture into studies about the very nature that surrounds them. As a result, most of them are unaware of the biodiversity world, especially marine biodiversity. Considering that education is a long-term issue that requires one to invest more financial resources, I strongly recommend that the Minister considers adjusting the budget to accommodate the latter.

We are indeed facing a mammoth task ahead of us in this term, considering the importance of environmental wellness, as it relates to the Soccer World Cup tournament in 2010 and beyond. Our predecessors have laid a foundation for us, and for that we are grateful. We appreciate their contribution to the cause. We will work together with the Minister and our beloved people’s movement that drives our people-governing policies in executing our role to make sure that indeed our government works for our people to make their lives better.

Ndicinga ukuba isebe lulwenze ngokufanelekileyo nangokuzimisela uhlahlo- lwabiwo-mali, kwaye siyaneliseka siyikomiti. [I think the department has prepared the budget effectively and diligently, and as a committee we are pleased.] I thank you. [Applause.]

Mnr K A SINCLAIR: Baie dankie, agb Voorsitter, ons behoort nie aan dieselfde politieke party nie, maar ons kom albei van die Noord-Kaap. U sal dus seker darem so ’n bietjie meer tegemoetkomend wees met die tyd. [Thank you very much, hon Chairperson, we do not belong to the same political party, but we both come from the Northern Cape. You will therefore probably be a bit more accommodating with time.]

Chairperson, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate from Kenya, Wangari Maathai, in a recent book called The Challenge for Africa, motivated for a new vision of leadership for Africa. This leadership, according to Maathai, is not based on political leadership per se, but rather on a drive to motivation and sustainable leadership involving issues threatening the existence of our continent and the planet. I want to label it “green leadership”. This Budget Vote on Environmental Affairs and Tourism deals with exactly that. To achieve the vision and mission of these departments, it is necessary to adopt the following: an attitude of preservation over exploitation; collective responsibility over industrial gain; and common feeling for the continent rather than narrow nationalism and greed.

Given the fact that South Africa as a developmental state needs development to be a competitive force to address the needs and desires of its citizens, it is imperative that all of us as leaders be labelled “green leaders”. Environmental affairs and tourism are indeed at the coalface of leaving a sustainable legacy for the generations to come after us. So, it is not about a selfish today, but rather about a sustainable, sharing tomorrow.

To this end, Cope, as an alternate government, wants to propose the following: Firstly, that waste management, recycling, education, and job incentives – as announced by the Minister – be elevated to some of the top priorities. Legislation, regulations, and bylaws must be tightened and/or reinstated by the different spheres of government to protect our environment. South Africans in general have become a society of polluters. Plastic bags have become our national flower. Rivers are polluted to the extent that toxic and dangerous wastes are serious threats to the usage of many rivers, including the Vaal River and the Orange River arteries. We need green leadership to address this.

Secondly, tourism, as the number one worldwide revenue generator, must place a higher priority on saving the continent and the planet. It is suggested that tourism, the environment, and good citizenship become compulsory as part of the school curriculum up to Grade 10.

Furthermore, internal tourism for South Africans must be enhanced. Building on the successful Sho’t Left initiative, more needs to be done to popularise South Africa as an internal destination. Vanuit hierdie perspektief versoek ek dan dat aandag geskenk moet word aan die prioritisering van die Gariep Dam-toerisme-inisiatief tussen die Vrystaat, die Noord-Kaap en die Oos-Kaap. Die konsolidering van die Rolfontein- en Doringkloof-reservate kan, saam met die privaatnatuurreservate, die toeristepotensiaal langs die N1 verder ontsluit.

Ter afsluiting moet ons sê dit moet natuurlik gedoen word met inagneming van Maathai se pleidooie vir ware groen leierskap. Slegs dan sal ons vanuit ’n volhoubare omgewing iets nalaat waarop ons nageslag trots kan wees. Baie dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follow.)

[From this perspective I then request that attention be given to prioritising the Gariep Dam Tourism initiative between the Free State, the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape. Consolidating the Rolfontein and Doringkloof reserves, together with the private nature reserves, could further develop the tourism potential along the N1.

In conclusion, we must say that it should of course be done taking into account Maathi’s pleas for true green leadership. Only then will we be able to bequeath something to our descendants from a sustainable environment of which they can be proud. Thank you very much. [Applause.]]

Mr C J DE BEER: House Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members of this august House …

… ek en my kollega Sinclair kom ’n lang pad saam. Die doelwit is dieselfde, die politieke voertuig het begin verskil. Ons het met ’n Maserati gery. Hulle kom met ’n klein karretjie agterna. [… my colleague Sinclair and I have come a long way together. The aim is the same, except the political vehicle has changed. We drove a Maserati. They are following in a small car.]

On 22 April, the people of South Africa went to the voting stations and gave the ANC-led government an overwhelming mandate to go forward, saying “working together we can do more”.

Von Goethe said:

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.

What does this mean? It means to live a dignified life, a purposeful life, and to improve the quality of life. This was captured in the manifesto of the ANC. A safe and healthy environment is the key to the very survival of life on this planet. Environmental sustainability can only be achieved if pollution and waste are managed and prevented, environmental impact developments are assessed and mitigated, and global issues of air quality and climate change are addressed.

I am thankful for what hon Minister Van Schalkwyk did in his capacity as the then Minister of Environmental Affairs and also in the world. Furthermore, environmental sustainability can be achieved if compliance with environmental legislation is monitored and evaluated. We are all part and parcel of this and are in this together to ensure a prosperous society that lives in harmony with its natural resources.

The utilisation of our natural resources must enhance economic growth and poverty eradication. We need to create a safe environment within the given budget of R3,4 billion by creating jobs. The department’s 2009-10 budget allocations support and meet both the department’s key strategic priorities identified in the strategic plans, as well as the government’s priorities articulated in the 2009 state of the nation address.

South Africa’s national resources represent rich and diverse national assets that provide important economic and social opportunities for the human population. This, in turn, has developed a strong reliance on these resources for commercial opportunity in food and recreation. These resources have facilitated job creation and general economic enlistment in the country. The focus must be on improving service delivery; better co- ordination between government departments and local municipalities in environmental management in terms of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act; and saving water, fixing broken pipes and taps and getting qualified technical people into municipalities in terms of water and waste management – thus, capacity-building. We are concerned to see that 20% of the positions in the department are vacant.

We believe that poverty eradication improves environmental management. Abject poverty forces people to place a new value on the environment as they are more concerned about living for today rather than for tomorrow. We propose a programme to create a large number of green jobs, namely employment in industries and facilities that are designated to mitigate the effects of climate change.

We welcome the increase in the budget for environmental quality and protection, marine and coastal management, biodiversity and conservation, as well as the additional funds from National Treasury for climate change research. In fact, South Africa has a high level of plastic bag littering, and we welcome the money allocated to this programme of recycling.

We call on the department to roll out the Keep my Town Clean/Keep my City Clean campaign in all areas. Rooifontein is a small town in Namaqualand in the Northern Cape. The people of Rooifontein keep their town clean. Why? It is because they want to keep it clean - I worked there during the elections. South Africa can learn a lesson from these people of Rooifontein. Why? They educate their learners to protect the environment and not to throw papers around. In spring, Rooifontein is covered with flowers - a healthy clean environment that also adds to the quality of life. They are poor people, but they are dignified.

Waste management, driven by municipalities, needs serious attention. The location of dumping sites too close to towns is a health hazard, as in Hartswater in the Northern Cape. Proper fencing of these sites, as well as access control, needs to be improved because people without work live on these sites and look for food. We, as Members of Parliament, have to do our work during constituency periods and visit these sites, evaluate them and follow up on issues with the department. We call on the department to do an audit of the number of experts in waste management in provincial departments who can assist municipalities with the correct advice.

To have quality drinking water will lead to an improved quality of life. The waste disposals of industries on the banks of the Vaal River in the Vaal Triangle and of mines in the catchment area of the river must not find their way into the Vaal River. If this happens, it will reduce the water quality of the river and have a negative effect on water irrigation, specifically in the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme. The irrigation scheme actually starts at Christiana and ends at Taung. It affects the quality of production and the quality of drinking water of the people in the Vaalharts region, as well as the poor people. We call on the department to monitor the dumping of waste and sewerage in the Vaal River. It is our task as Members of Parliament to be vigilant when we visit our constituencies.

South Africa’s coastline is a unique part of our environment. In the Northern Cape, we have 380 km of coastline with a small harbour at Port Nolloth. Marine and coastal management must develop and manage marine and coastal environments that ensure the sustainability of marine resources while maximising economic opportunities. Integrated coastal management is responsible for managing a variety of human impacts on the coastal environment by regulating activities along the coastline - for example, with regard to 4x4 vehicles and quad bikes in the coastal zone. We call on the department to, within the next year, improve coastal patrol through a water unit in partnership with the SA Police Service, as they are presently using a rubber duck to do law enforcement, and to indicate with clear signs where 4x4s and quad bikes are allowed to drive along our Northern Cape coast. Signboards at Port Nolloth have been put up indicating where not to drive, but not where one is allowed to drive along the coast.

Furthermore, we call on the department to assist municipalities with the development of a coastal disaster management plan; to interact with the De Beers marine unit to implement a harbour master at the Port Nolloth harbour; and to enforce access control to the coastal area between Groen River and Brak River, in partnership with the Kamiesberg Local Municipality in Namaqualand.

The Orange River flows into the sea in Alexander Bay and forms a delta. Having seen what has been done to the Richards Bay coastline in the St Lucia area, can’t the same be done to Alexander Bay? I propose that the department, together with the Minister, pay a visit to our coastline up to Alexander Bay in order to familiarise themselves with the circumstances. There are also tourism possibilities in that development.

In conclusion, we have to deliver on our mandate which we received from the voters. Let us do that. The ANC supports this Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr D D GAMEDE: Thanks, Chairperson. Firstly, by way of correction to the speakers’ list, I am the chairperson of the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations, which includes tourism. We shall leave this opportunity to other parties who call themselves opposition parties, who will then oppose the fact that there are two chairpersons on the other committee.

Let me congratulate you, hon Minister Van Schalkwyk and hon Deputy Minister Xasa, on your appointment. This department has lived up to the ANC policy of 50/50. We have also practised the provisions of the Freedom Charter, which says that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.

Hon Minister, Deputy Minister and other Deputy Ministers present here, one must first admit that tourism is now part of the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations and point out that in the few days since the establishment of this committee hon members have realised that this department is one of the key departments in creating sustainable and decent jobs.

Tourism contributes a lot towards the GDP. The question is always, however, who drives and who benefits from this contribution. Are historically disadvantaged individuals part of the drivers? An honest answer would be no. The very nature of this industry requires that any historically disadvantaged individual hoping to enter this industry must have access to finance and markets.

Another issue, hon Minister, we noted is that the department is still using, to a certain extent, some consultants. Is there a possibility of cutting down on the use of such consultants? We believe that we have capable officials and leaders who can actually do this.

The Tourism BEE Charter and the scorecard are currently voluntary. If we may check, hon Minister, when will it be possible to make these compulsory, for transformation in tourism is very slow? It is actually moving at a snail’s pace.

The other issue is how to expand tourism to rural areas, that is, to areas in KwaZulu-Natal, in uMgungundlovu, in Nongoma, in Msinga, Nkandla, and Maphumulo, that are beyond the game farms. When we talk of tourism, it should go beyond game farms. It is about those rural areas. Also, how do we take tourism to other townships such as Ngwelezane, eSikhawini, Umlazi, KwaMashu and Mpumalanga? Tourism is tourism by its nature.

As we speak, there are nine provinces in South Africa. That is why we have this diversity. But then, are we using this diversity to our benefit per province? Is there an integrated approach between municipalities, provinces, SA Tourism and the department? Who markets the country? Who markets events? I was happy, because earlier Minister Sicelo Shiceka was saying that we have one country, one South Africa, one Constitution, one President. This I say after what has been in the media about the City of Cape Town and its funding to another body. As a committee we shall deal with this issue. We shall deal with them separately, because we shall call them to account on this issue that we don’t have a federation of the Western Cape, or of the City of Cape Town. We have one South Africa, one Constitution, and one President.

Chairperson, members of this committee are going to say a lot about 2010, about accommodation, about safety, about transport, but I need to mention that we expect to see rural areas benefiting from 2010, so that their lives will not be the same after 2010, and that there will be infrastructure and decent work after 2010.

Issues such as skills in the tourism sector, the quality of tourism products and services, and the promotion of the tourism sector are issues that are part of the key performance areas of the department. We shall be monitoring these thoroughly as we move on as a committee.

On a lighter note, we wish to say to the hon Minister and Deputy Minister and to the Department of Tourism, well done on doing excellent work during the Confederations Cup and the visit by the British and Irish Lions. We have proven that South Africa is equal to any task and that challenges that we face on organising these events will be sorted out by 2010.

Before coming to my conclusion, I won’t be doing justice to this debate if I don’t mention this: There is still a major challenge in the hospitality sector with regard to accommodation for people with disabilities. I recall that an international conference on disability could not be held because we could not get accommodation for plus-minus 4 000 disabled people. This is a serious challenge that we have. Hon Minister, all these hotels and B&Bs must be user-friendly and accessible, and we must place a deadline on this issue. We cannot just leave it to them.

The President of the country, his Excellency Comrade Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, said, and I quote:

… we will have to act prudently – no wastage, no rollovers of funds – every cent must be spent wisely and fruitfully.

This quotation fits the department, that we should really not have roll- over funds.

In conclusion, on a lighter note, I heard hon Sinclair asking for a few minutes, based on the fact that he and the Chair come from the same province. But he forgot to mention that he once belonged to this movement, to the ANC, which is the home of all South Africans, and that at some stage he will come back. Home is always home, and we shall welcome him back. [Laughter.] I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr D A WORTH: Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister Van Schalkwyk, Deputy Minister, hon members, as I have only three minutes, I shall concentrate my speech on environmental affairs.

The vision of the environmental component is “a prosperous and equitable society living in harmony with our natural resources.” The strategic priorities – and I hope I don’t bore you – that have been identified include addressing the climate change challenges and developing the appropriate policies and tools to address this threat; waste management systems and services; implementing an effective and efficient environmental impact management system nationally, whilst ensuring that ecosystems are sustained and resources are available to support livelihoods; and that green jobs are created to contribute to economic growth.

Deputy Chairperson, whilst there is an increase in budget allocations, in real terms, after factoring in inflation, there is only a 3,7% increase, most of which is allocated to the marine and coastal management component. This is cause for concern with regard to the enforcement of the environmental and conservation mandates. Abalone poaching has increased drastically, and not a day goes by when one does not read in the news of large consignments of poached abalone being discovered. Hake fish resources are also fast diminishing.

Poaching of indigenous species such as cycads and rhino has, according to the environmental component, increased fiftyfold, or 5000%.

South Africa’s predominantly coal-based energy makes South Africa the leading polluting country on the African continent, and the 11th worst in the world. This means high levels of carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to climate change. The adoption of strategies for alternate or renewable power supplies, such as solar, wind, hydropower and tidal waves, amongst others, must be utilised to reduce emissions and contribute to the resolution of the energy crisis. Whilst resources such as fossil fuels and water are declining, pressure is being exerted to allow mining in game reserves and parks, wetlands, and in and around world heritage sites and Wild Coast areas. More must be done, however, to eradicate poverty, as poverty eradication will uplift standards and improve environmental management.

Deputy Chairperson, the country is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change and its effects on human and natural systems are becoming evident. Changes in weather patterns, and increases and decreases in rainfall, are all evident. Some of the major impacts of the change and increasing variability of the climate include health issues, the spread of malaria, changes in the distribution and availability of water resources, changes in agriculture, and changes to biodiversity and ecosystems. It is imperative that strategies are implemented to deal with these critical issues. One of these would be if Mr Adams would also give up smoking, as he also helps to pollute the atmosphere! Thank you, Deputy Chair. [Applause.]

Ms M C DIKGALE: Hon Chairperson, Ministers present here, hon members, tourism is the largest and most rapidly expanding economic activity throughout the world.

As reported by the World Tourism Organisation, travel and tourism involved 625 million people internationally and generated $425 billion in the last decade. In South Africa, it has overtaken gold mining as the country’s leading earner of foreign exchange, and it has yet to reach its full potential. It has not been referred to as South Africa’s new gold without reason, as for every 12 foreign tourists that arrive in the country, one new job is created in local tourism. It should therefore be striving to attract even greater investment.

It is globally accepted and acknowledged that tourism has unrivalled potential to create sustainable jobs and grow the economy faster than any other sector. It is also on record that tourists and holiday markets account for 38 million leisure and religious trips around South Africa visiting friends and relatives each year.

In recent years our government has estimated that tourism accounts for 8% of growth in GDP. It is estimated that the tourism industry is well positioned to grow its GDP contribution to 12%, with the potential to create more than 500 000 jobs by 2014. The global tourism industry is expected to grow significantly in future, as personal income and leisure time increase and as transportation networks improve.

The continued improved performance of the tourism industry depends on the success with which conditions can be created for sustainable tourism growth and development in South Africa. As a strategic driver of tourism, the tourism branch of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has now become a department in its own right, namely the Department of Tourism under the leadership of Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk. The new department’s functions include the tourism industry; development through tourism research, business development and regulation; as well as tourism industry promotion through international tourism relations; human resource capacity-building; and national tourism support services.

The key objective of tourism in South Africa since the advent of democracy in South Africa 15 years ago has been to enhance its role as a driver of socioeconomic development. In this regard it has sought to develop the tourism industry and transform the sector by promoting the growth and competitiveness of the country as the tourist destination of choice, both locally and internationally.

In order to address the current challenges facing tourism and to prepare for the next five years, the department has developed a draft tourism growth strategy for 2010-2015, for managing tourism in the short, medium and long term. It has identified the tourism industry’s global competitiveness as a critical success factor in growing the industry. To achieve global competitiveness, the department has been working with other departments such as Transport, Home Affairs and Public Enterprises to reduce the constraints such as limited flights, land transport limitations, and visa restrictions that might prevent potential tourists from visiting South Africa. It also aims to address challenges related to tourism safety, promote a culture of service excellence, expand the product base, and ensure quality assurance of products and services, with particular emphasis on the grading of accommodation establishments.

Tourist movement is not just hampered by air and land transport, but by delays and service delivery challenges in obtaining visas and passing through immigration points. It is therefore gratifying that Home Affairs has been able to introduce special visa arrangements which were applied during the Fifa Confederations Cup matches played in South Africa over the past two weeks. Hopefully this will be in full swing for the World Cup next year when South African tourism will reap the rewards of years of planning.

We are all aware of how important the 2010 World Cup is for South African tourism and how much it will boost the tourism industry. Tourism has also been identified as a priority area in the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, Asgisa. The labour-intensive nature of the tourism sector facilitates its rapid growth by encouraging the creation of jobs, promoting foreign investment, and contributing to economic growth.

The increased expenditure on the tourism programme can also be attributed to the growing need for the transformation of the tourism industry. The main policy thrust in this regard has been the empowerment of small, micro and medium enterprises by facilitating access to tourism market opportunities, and also by the provision of professional assistance to them.

South Africa is a developmental state, which is faced with challenges of growing and stabilising the economy, ensuring food security, creating sustainable jobs, and eradicating poverty. The unprecedented socioeconomic benefits from tourism demonstrate that this is a strategic industry for investment and business opportunities. The growth of the tourism industry in South Africa should therefore be celebrated by all of us. This is testament to the fact that we are creating more jobs and more entrepreneurial opportunities. All South Africans should be more than 100% committed to growing the tourism industry through the work we do, through working with the industry and our partners, and through working harder with more passion and more determination.

The ANC government’s focus is on developing our tourism industry to contribute to our vision of creating decent work for South Africans. It has committed itself to making the creation of decent work opportunities and sustainable livelihoods the primary focus of economic policies. Decent work embraces both the need for more jobs and for better quality jobs. The underlying factor is that all economic policies must address the challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. The ANC government will use the tourism industry and all other sectors of our economy to achieve these goals. By working together to grow South Africa’s tourism industry, we can all do more and much better to improve the quality of life of our people. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, Tourism is one of the departments being weaned off another department. Finally, the importance of tourism is being recognised. We acknowledge that it is one of the larger contributors to GDP, now larger than mining. It is the fastest growing industry in South Africa. Tourism is at a critical point now where it needs to do the final preparations for 2010 and ensure that there is a legacy beyond this epic event.

The question is: How tourism ready, or how 2010 ready, are we now? At Cape Town International Airport I stood in five queues for an hour and a half last Friday morning, eventually to get onto a plane. I stood amongst the Confederations Cup and the Lions tour supporters and it was one disastrous event, from the first flight to the very last flight. Is Tourism to blame? I think not. Tourism does not stand alone to promote South Africa during the Fifa World Cup next year.

The soon-to-be-completed new terminals at Cape Town and Durban airports still have to be fully tested under stressful situations. SAA flights are late and luggage often flies in different directions to the passengers. Access roads are incomplete, crime is rife, and there is practically no presence of SA Tourism at any first point of contact with our foreign tourists.

Nevertheless, the DA wishes to congratulate SA Tourism and the industry for the sustainable programmes and projects thus far implemented. The international marketing campaigns are all inspiring and although the buying power of the rand is hurting our potential to maximise our advertising slots, again we say, making a success of tourism is not only the work of the new Department of Tourism. If all the other departments, most notably Police and Transport, do not co-operate, all the good work that SA Tourism has put together for 2010 and beyond will not be fully realised. We cannot sit back and allow this. All departments must deliver and we will see to it that they are held accountable.

The 2010 Fifa World Cup is a once-off opportunity to show the world South Africa is a beautiful and affordable country to visit, where one is safe amongst our rainbow nation. This will open the doors for the tomorrows after 2010 and it will promote tourism and sustainable jobs in South Africa. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Chairperson, may I join my colleagues who spoke earlier in congratulating all the members of the National Council of Provinces who have made their way to this spot in this term of Parliament.

Tourism serves as the warp and the weft that is woven through the patchwork of our diverse communities. Indeed, it resonates with the very essence of ubuntu. Working together with our fellow South Africans, let us embrace the opportunities before us to show the world and one another what we are capable of. We as citizens of our remarkable country are ultimately the biggest proponents of our South African brand. It is our responsibility to inculcate a sense of pride that will strengthen cultural identity and raise awareness through constant advocacy campaigns. In the context of our government’s focus on the fight against poverty we must not underestimate the pivotal role of the tourism sector in economic growth and job creation.

In 2008, tourism contributed an estimated R195 billion to the South African economy and helped create more than one million jobs, directly and indirectly. This constitutes a substantial contribution and positions tourism as a vital pillar of our economy. The steps outlined in our government’s Medium-Term Strategic Framework have taken into account the constraints posed by the economic crisis and have set out a plan to offset them. We have made a commitment that, working together, we shall speed up economic growth and transform the economy to create sustainable livelihoods. This speaks clearly to the way tourism is also responsible for stimulating the economy, by contributing to job creation and poverty alleviation.

Our department encourages entrepreneurial spirit and a responsible tourism focus through, amongst others, what is called its Hidden Treasures programme, which supports unique arts and craft experiences, including artists, performers, tour guides, and cultural and heritage products.

Sustainable tourism therefore ensures the equitable distribution of benefits, so that the communities whose land, resources and labour, knowledge and cultures are used as the basis for tourism actually benefit from tourism. A focus on sustainability also helps us to ensure that the positive impacts of tourism are maximised at grass-roots level and enable communities to protect their cultural heritage from exploitation.

Not only has tourism facilitated the much-needed economic boost for rural communities, but it has also been a catalyst for training and development in hospitality-related fields and the improvement which, as the chairperson was indicating, still needs to be beefed up. Our local communities have experienced a revival and have developed a fresh commitment to the preservation of their natural and cultural heritage. Indeed, a new appreciation and a sense of ownership have been instilled and cultivated. In line with the country’s comprehensive rural development strategy, the department will continue to prioritise the development of community and rural tourism, to ensure that tourism benefits are equitably distributed. This includes the development of infrastructure and the promotion of tourism opportunities through the implementation and success of our department’s contribution to the Expanded Public Works Programme.

Rural tourism will only reap success if we continue to support tourism potential at the local sphere of government, and the role of local government in this process must be duly acknowledged. This is currently done through our annual local government indaba on tourism. The indaba provides a platform for engagement, leadership, and sharing of challenges and best practices in order to deliver the tourism mandate towards 2010 and beyond.

At this year’s indaba we launched the tourism planning toolkit for local government, and engaged stakeholders on the proposed national tourism growth strategy. This strategy will help us formulate our response to the global economic recession, revitalise domestic tourism marketing and implement the sector skills plan. Consultation with provinces and municipalities is ongoing, and capacity-building for tourism planning at local level, targeting certain municipalities that have a high potential for tourism growth, will also be prioritised. We shall consult with all local municipalities and provinces continually to ensure that we have integrated and structured planning to align tourism priority projects. As a department we continue to help strengthen our country’s skills and human resource base.

Various exciting projects and programmes are being implemented as South Africa gears up for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. From what the hon member Van Lingen was saying, if we take the positive side of what was happening, we have learnt a lot from the past Confederations Cup, and we shall build on that to ensure that come 2010 we will make improvements on what we are short of.

We remain steadfast in our promotion of service excellence and dynamic partnerships in the tourism industry. The tourism service excellence strategy, launched at the annual national tourism conference in November 2008, is focusing on the upskilling of those involved in the service delivery industry. Some of the initiatives of this strategy include behaviour and attitude alignment at service touch points, as well as appropriate training programmes and other interventions to achieve sustained changes in behaviour and attitude.

At the conference delegates and representatives of various organisations also signed a tourism service excellence pledge, committing themselves to ensuring the provision of quality service at all times. The department furthermore continues to contribute towards alleviating poverty and unemployment through training, placement programmes, capacity-building initiatives, and familiarisation programmes focused on the youth. Gender- sensitive development strategies are also being put in place to ensure social redress in the industry.

I would like to thank the select committee and our friends in the tourism industry, as well as all the stakeholders for their unwavering support thus far. Our department will continue to work with you to forge ahead and to realise the full potential of this industry in building a better life for all. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J J VISSER (Western Cape): Hon Chair, hon Minister, members of this House, the Western Cape has an array of offerings to foreign and local tourists. Ahead of 2010 it is our duty to ensure that our major icons are operating at their best. This involves them being safe for visitors, infrastructurally functional and informatively signed. As provincial government, it is also important that we ensure their proper protection and good management, so that generations to come will also have the opportunity to experience their beauty.

Though some of the icons do not lie within our legislative jurisdiction, we shall play a facilitating role in whatever format to ensure their sustainability, especially as it relates to the image of the destination in terms of tourism products.

Robben Island is a World Heritage Site, which along with its museum falls within the ambit of the national Department of Arts and Culture. In the recent past this island has faced several challenges relating to the culling of its rabbits, problems with its tourist transport vessels and, most worrying, the resolution of the Robben Island Museum board. All of these have made media headlines, and in some cases have resulted in the island being closed for days during peak season, causing disappointment for Cape Town tourists, as well as the loss of revenue. As previously mentioned, the provincial government is not currently being included in the management of the island as a tourist attraction, but even though it falls within the jurisdiction of the national Department of Arts and Culture, it is one of the jewels in the crown of the Western Cape, and I am afraid it is fading very rapidly.

Therefore we cannot ignore problems associated with it, and appeal to the national Minister to consider addressing this issue of the museum board as urgently as possible. It is evident that we need to forge closer links with national government to prevent future crises of such a nature from occurring at our iconic sites. The biggest infrastructure development project on which we are engaging is the attempt to bring life back into another tourism icon, the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe. We are very concerned about the fact that the train may well have run for the final time last Friday, 26 June, despite Transnet’s claims that it is merely closed for maintenance. So far we have finalised feasibility studies for the commercialisation of the George-Knysna and the George-Mossel Bay lines, and they have looked at opportunities for the development of other properties that Transnet holds in this region. Within the next few days we shall meet with Transnet, the line operator, in an attempt to put together an attractive set of investment possibilities, which will help the business community and locals of the area who have a vested interest in the running of this train.

In closing, and on a positive note, we wish to report that we are in the process of investing R1,1 million in partnership with SANParks to begin building infrastructure at one of the least developed of our tourism icons, the southernmost tip of Africa at Agulhas. This will be the first time in many years that this attraction is receiving an upgrade. In the initial phase to be completed soon, we are building a boardwalk with benches and signs. Completion of phases 1 and 2 will have a very positive effect on tourism to the Overberg region.

Further developments are envisaged in the way of creating a link to the West Coast in the form of a cultural San route. The Western Cape’s tourism industry is one of the province’s major employers and economic drivers. We must therefore treasure our icons and ensure that they are well managed for now and for future generations. I thank you, hon Chair. [Applause.]

Mnr F ADAMS: Agb Voorsitter, agb Minister, agb Adjunkminister, agb lede, ek weet die agb Visser kom van die Wes-Kaap, maar ek wil hom net herinner die persoon wat toerisme in die Wes-Kaap op die kaart geplaas het, was agb Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk toe hy nog die premier van die Wes-Kaap was. Toerisme is nie deur die DA op die kaart geplaas nie; dit was die agb Minister wat dit daar geplaas het.

Toerisme in Suid-Afrika bied ’n wonderlike geleentheid vir vernuftige entrepreneurs. Daar is baie kanse in die toerismebedryf om benut te word en ek dink nie Cope kan dit benut nie, alhoewel hulle beweer dat hulle die alternatief vir die regerende party is. Hulle moet maar aanhou droom, want dit is ’n droom wat nie waar sal word nie.

Voorsitter, Pieter wat op die Kaapse Vlakte woon en ’n minibus het, het ’n idee om dit vir hom te laat werk. Hy wil oorsese toeriste daarmee rondneem, en hulle besienswaardighede wys. Hy wil hulle vir ’n vleisbraai nooi, en hulle onthaal met ’n braai oor ’n wingerdhoutvuur, en hulle iets van die ware karakter van Suid-Afrika wys. Dan wil hy hulle in sy gesin se spaarkamer laat slaap en die dollars en euro’s sien inrol. Maar Pieter het nie veel om te verloor as hy dit wil probeer nie. Hy het nie die wêreld se geld nodig om ’n onderneming te begin nie, wat uitsonderlik is, want gewoonlik het ’n mens baie geld nodig om ’n nuwe besigheid op die been te bring. Hy kan sy energie ingooi in ’n lewenskragtige industrie wat lankal besig is om een van ons land se belangrikste industrieë te word en wat allerhande nuwe geleenthede vir entrepreneurs bied.

Daar is baie geleenthede in hierdie nog betreklik nuwe mark om planne te kan uitvoer en daardie behoefte te bevredig. Vir die persoon wat bereid is om dit te doen, wag daar heelwat winste en hy of sy kan werklik voordeel daaruit trek. Ek wil hê die DA moet luister.

Voorsitter, die internasionale toerismemark sorg jaarliks vir miljoene rande en dis nie verniet dat nagenoeg een uit elke tien werkers op aarde in ’n onderneming is wat daarmee verband hou nie. Suid-Afrikaners, soos Pieter op die Kaapse Vlakte, wil ook ’n deel hiervan opeis. Om jou in toerisme te begewe, is harde werk, maar ons mense het nog nooit geskrik vir harde werk nie. Die ANC is nie bang vir harde werk nie. Dit is net die DA en Cope wat daarvoor skrik.

Toeriste word amptelik van gewone besoekers onderskei in die sin dat hulle langer as een nag bly. Toerisme is vandag moontlik die grootste bedryf in die wêreld en is ook verantwoordelik vir die grootste vloei van mense oor die oppervlak van die aarde. Dit is daarom belangrik om dit te benut as ’n instrument om verandering op ons planeet teweeg te bring. Dit is een van die mees sigbare manifestasies van globalisering. Reisigers uit ander lande verteenwoordig ander gemeenskappe, omgewings en ekonomieë, wat probleme kan veroorsaak. Terselfdertyd is toerisme ’n bron van groot pret en genot vir miljoene mense, en bring dit mense van verskillende wêrelddele en kulture bymekaar. Luister, DA en Cope.

Suid-Afrika as ’n toerismebestemming bied die wêreld in een land, van die Kaapse fynbos tot by die Hoëveld se grasvelde, tot by KwaZulu-Natal se piesangplantasies. Ons het ’n skouspelagtige en uiteenlopende natuurskoon, iets waarmee ander lande nie kan spog nie. Ook het ons land so ’n bonte verskeidenheid van kulture en herkomste, soveel so dat Suid-Afrikaners as die reënboognasie bekend geraak het.

Voorsitter, daar is ’n noodsaaklikheid om hierdie toerisme volhoubaar te bevorder. Volhoubare toerisme kan beskryf word as ’n proses wat ontwikkeling bevorder sonder dat ons ons bronne uitput. Daar is groot kommer oor die opkomende entrepreneurs in die toerismebedryf. Toerisme moet bevorder word met inagneming van die onderlinge afhanklikheid van toerisme en die omgewing, en van toerisme en kultuurerfenis. Dit is van wesenlike belang dat die toerismebeleid goed geformuleer moet word.

Ons moet nie bekommerd wees dat Suid-Afrika se gewildheid as toerismebestemming gaan afneem nie, want ons land is gelukkig dat ons een van die voorste toeristebestemmings in die wêreld is. Om die waarheid te sê, daar is aanduidings dat ons in die toekoms nog van krag tot krag kan gaan, en die uitdaging is om dit binne ’n volhoubare raamwerk te laat gebeur. Ons besef dat daar ’n aantal negatiewe aspekte is, soos veiligheid, wat sal moet verander, asook Suid-Afrikaners se ingesteldheid teenoor besoekers en geldwisseling. Alle denkende Suid-Afrikaners sal saamstem dat ons land vroeër of later sy regmatige plek in die galery van die wêreld se top toerismebestemmings moet inneem. Mense met blink idees, soos ek dink Cope en die DA nie het nie, moet inspring en werk maak van hul planne. Die ANC steun hierdie begrotingspos. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr F ADAMS: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, I know the hon Visser comes from the Western Cape, but I just want to remind him that it was Minister Martinus van Schalkwyk who put tourism on the map in the Western Cape when he was still the premier of the Western Cape. Tourism was not put on the map by the DA; it was because of the hon Minister’s efforts.

Tourism in South Africa provides a wonderful opportunity for ingenious entrepreneurs. There are a lot of opportunities that can be taken advantage of in the tourism industry, and I don’t think Cope can utilise it, although they claim to be the alternative to the ruling party. They will have to continue dreaming, because this is a dream that will not become a reality.

Chairperson, Pieter who lives on the Cape Flats and owns a minibus has an idea to make it work for him. He wants to use it to take overseas tourists on sightseeing trips. He wants to invite them over for braaivleis and treat them to a braai on a fire made from vine logs, showing them something about the true character of South Africa. Then he wants them to sleep in his family’s spare room while watching the dollars and euros rolling in. But Pieter does not have a lot to lose if he were to try this. He would not need a huge sum of money to start a business, which is exceptional, as one would usually need a lot of money to establish a new business. He would be able to focus all his energy on a vigorous industry, which has become, for some time now, one of our country’s most important industries offering various new opportunities to entrepreneurs.

There are many opportunities in this still fairly new market to execute plans and to satisfy that need. A lot of profit awaits the person who is willing to do this, and he or she could really benefit from it. I want the DA to listen.

Chairperson, the international tourism market is bringing in millions of rands each year and there’s a reason why nearly one out of every ten employees on earth is working in an industry that is related to this. South Africans, like Pieter on the Cape Flats, also want to claim a part of this. To pursue a profession in tourism is hard work, but our people have never stood back for hard work. The ANC does not shy away from hard work. It’s only the DA and Cope that shies away.

By definition, tourists are set apart from normal visitors on the grounds that they stay longer than one night. Tourism is probably the biggest industry in the world today and accounts for the biggest flow of people across the earth. It is thus important to utilise it as an instrument to bring about change on our planet. It is one of the most visible manifestations of globalisation. Travellers from other countries represent other communities, environments and economies, which could cause problems. At the same time, tourism is a source of great fun and pleasure for millions of people, and it brings together people of different cultures and parts of the world. Listen, DA and Cope.

As a tourist destination, South Africa is offering the world in one country, from the fynbos in the Cape to the grasslands of the Highveld and KwaZulu-Natal’s banana plantations. We have a natural beauty that is both spectacular and diverse, something that other countries are not able to show off. Our country also has a colourful variety of cultures and origins, so much so that South Africans have become known as the rainbow nation.

Chairperson, it is necessary to promote this tourism in a sustainable manner. Sustainable tourism can be described as a process that promotes development without exhausting our resources. There is great concern regarding the emerging entrepreneurs in the tourism industry. Tourism must be promoted by taking into account the interdependence of tourism and the environment, and of tourism and cultural heritage. It is of the utmost importance that tourism policies are well formulated.

We should not be worried that South Africa’s popularity as a tourist destination is going to decline, because our country is privileged to be one of the foremost tourist destinations in the world. In fact, there are indications that we can still go from strength to strength in future, and the challenge is to make this possible within a sustainable framework.

We realise that there are a number of negative aspects, such as concerns about safety, which need to change, as well as South Africans’ attitudes towards visitors and money exchange. All sentient South Africans will agree that our country needs to take its rightful place in the gallery of the world’s top tourist destinations sooner or later. People with clever ideas, which I don’t think Cope and the DA have, need to take action and implement on their plans. The ANC supports this Budget Vote. I thank you.]

The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Chairperson, thank you very much. I would like to start off where my colleague the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs ended in his reply, and that was that the executive, and I think all of us, should at the beginning of a new term pause and ask ourselves the question: Why do we have an NCOP in this country? It is a very important question. The NCOP is not a “House of Lords”, simply with powers to review. It is a very important part of our parliamentary process, with regional powers, derived from the Constitution, and I think there rests on us as the executive, apart from all the other stakeholders, a special responsibility to respect the NCOP. I would like to assure this House, but also the two Chairpersons, that that is what they can expect from the Department of Tourism. But I am also reporting back, or replying, on behalf of the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, and I am quite sure I speak on her behalf as well.

Let me quickly deal with some of the issues in the limited time I have. Issues that were raised by the chairperson, Mr Gamede, were the issue of consultants, management generally in the departments, and financial management. On the issue of consultants, I would like to assure the chairperson and this House that our department will report back to the select committee and this House. I personally feel very strongly that we cannot simply continue as government to appoint consultants when we have staff we pay to do the job that they should be doing. If we appoint consultants, it must be for a limited time, it must be to do a specific job, it must be measurable, and then it must end. And the work must be done by the department. So consultants must be used wisely. I agree with that sentiment, and our department will certainly report back to the select committee on this issue.

On the question of financial management, I would like to report back to this House that the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, which will now be split into different parts and merged with other departments, had a clean audit for the past few years. It is something that I personally am proud of. We had one this past year again, and it is something that I would like to continue in the new Department of Tourism.

There was one problematic area, and that was the Marine Living Resources Fund, the MLRF. From 2002 until about 2004-05, under the previous management, no financial statements were even submitted. We, the previous management in this department, intervened, and turned it around. I gave that undertaking in this House and moved from a situation where no financial statements were tabled, through a year or two of disclaimers, to an unqualified report in 2007-08, and I would like to report back to this House that we also expect an unqualified report for 2008-09.

Then on the issue of transformation in tourism, raised by the chairperson and other members, the codes of good practice have just been gazetted, and this means that all the different parts of the industry that will enter into contracts with the government will now know that those contracts are legally binding.

The hon chairperson remarked on the slow pace of transformation. Over the past two or three years, we have seen some major empowerment deals announced by the big companies, but we still have a challenge with regard to the small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs. This is because much of this industry is owned by families. So when measuring transformation, we should not only measure ownership, but the other six elements of transformation as well: procurement, social investment, and all the other elements. But we would like to have that kind of discussion with the select committee, because it is something that we are acutely aware of, and also dealing with and managing.

On the issue of access for people with disabilities, the different associations representing the disability sector had a meeting with me three years ago. We met with the grading council and the other public entities and SA Tourism. What has happened since is that for five-star establishments it is now a requirement to have access for people with disabilities. But let us say to each other that it is not yet enough. We are continuing that discussion on how we should integrate that requirement into the grading system to ensure that it becomes more widely applied.

The hon member Adams raised the issue of Pieter from the Cape Flats, who should know what he can achieve, and what kind of assistance he can get from government. I mentioned in my introduction that just over the past few years we have effected transactions of up to R4 billion from the tourism enterprise programme, just over 5 500 transactions. But my impression is that people are still not yet aware of the services, of the support structure, that we have available from the side of government, and we must certainly make sure that we continue to get that message out.

On the Confederations Cup, I think all of us took note this morning that Mr Blatter, the president of Fifa, said he gave South Africa seven and a half out of ten for the Confederations Cup, and that he was full of confidence that we would be able to host a good World Cup next year. Now I think we can be a little bit self-congratulatory, because there were so many prophets of doom who said: “Well, South Africa will not even be able to host the Confederations Cup.” We surprised all of them, but seven and a half is not good enough for us. We want ten out of ten. So we take note of the problems that were experienced with transport, and with accommodation in some areas. I must just say here that I am confident that we will not see a repeat of those same problems next year.

One of those areas was Bloemfontein – there are people here from the Free State. And in Bloemfontein, next year, we shall have available all the hostels from the university, we shall have available the satellite accommodation in other towns, and special flights to Bloemfontein on the day of the matches, so I think we shall deal with that.

But let us also say to one another as South Africans, colleagues, we cannot build infrastructure and hotels in this country that we will not be able to use after 2010. Remember, in Korea they built infrastructure that they had to demolish after their World Cup. And as a developing country, and as government, we cannot now say to people, build new infrastructure and hotels and after 2010 there is nobody to use it. Then we would be wasting money that we should rather use more wisely for housing and other areas.

Let me deal with the issues on behalf of the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs. There are two issues there. The issue of air quality was raised, as well as the issue of climate change.

The chairperson of the other select committee raised an issue regarding air quality. The department has just reviewed the permits of the biggest polluters in the country. They are responsible for 80% of the pollution. I am quite sure that the new department under Minister Sonjica will now take action on the basis of that review.

The Vaal Triangle and the Highveld area have been declared hotspots with special measures to start dealing with the pollution there. The department also announced that 18 ambient air quality monitoring stations have been introduced. They are in operation already, and they will assist us to ensure that the new legislation that all of us passed in 2004 will be phased in properly and come into effect properly.

Then on the issue of climate change which the hon member Worth and other hon members mentioned, members here may be aware that Cabinet adopted the long-term mitigation strategy, certain measures that we as government have to start taking. What some of the colleagues reminded us of today is true. We have to deal with our carbon footprint, and we have to look at more sustainable forms of energy. That is why the President announced that there will be a new department of energy, which will have as one of its key functions dealing with this challenge of sustainable and renewable energy.

Chairperson, let me conclude on a very collegial note, with the issue of an alternative government that the hon member Sinclair raised here at the beginning. I must say it is quite refreshing to hear some political parties starting to refer, as the hon chairperson Mr Gamede said, to themselves not only as opposition parties, but also as alternative governments. It is really quite refreshing.

But it reminded me of a story regarding Henry Kissinger, who was probably the most famous United States secretary of state responsible for foreign affairs. Somebody asked him, “Mr Secretary of State, why don’t you consult more with Europe? The United States is no longer the only superpower. Now that all these European states are coming together to form the European Union, you must really consult with them.” Mr Kissinger said: “You know, it’s very difficult, because when I have to speak to Germany, I know exactly who to phone. If I have to speak to China, I know who to phone. But when I want to speak to the EU, who do I phone?” Now, when President Zuma wants to speak to the ID, he knows exactly who to phone. When he wants to speak to the DA, he knows he must probably phone Mrs Zille. But if he wants to speak to Cope, who does he phone? [Laughter.]

I think if you are an alternative government, you must first decide if you have a leader, and who that leader is. So, I think, Chairperson, the benefit of that is that either Mr Bloem or Mr Sinclair can get a phone call from President Zuma. [Interjections.] I thank you. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Order! Mr Bloem, I allowed that to happen, but I hope it won’t happen in the future again.

Debate concluded.

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate)

Budget Vote No 27 - Land Affairs:

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): May I take the opportunity to welcome to this House the Minister and the Deputy Minister, and call on the Minister to open the debate.

The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Hon Chair, hon members, as we prepare our way forward in implementing the objectives of our new Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, we must take stock of what the Department of Land Affairs has been doing. On that basis, we must clearly articulate the way forward in terms of the establishment of the new department.

As reflected in the 2008-11 strategic plan, the department revised the national land redistribution target to 608 000 hectares in order to align it with the actual budget.

The Commission on Restitution of Land Rights settled a total of 653 claims, inclusive of 108 that were dismissed. This resulted in approximately 394 000 hectares of land being approved for restoration, affecting approximately 30 000 households. Cumulatively, the approved hectares of land for restitution purposes since 1995 is 2,47 million, representing a 10% contribution to the overall target of redistributing 30% of white-owned agricultural land to black farmers by 2014.

In terms of forestry claims, great progress has been made with regard to the implementation of the memorandum of agreements signed between Mondi and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry on the settlement of these claims. Much of the deliverables in this regard will be reported on in the forthcoming financial year.

The commission is left with approximately 4 296 complex rural claims to settle, with four of the regional offices intending to finalise their claims by the end of this financial year. These are Gauteng, which is left with only three outstanding claims; Free State with only 22; the Northern Cape with 164; and the Western Cape with 573.

While the department developed a postsettlement strategy to effectively support communities after they took transfer of land, this strategy, however, could not be implemented for lack of capacity.

The department has recognised that in order to move forward decisively in the land distribution programme, significant changes will have to be made to the willing-buyer, willing-seller model of land redistribution. The department will have to investigate less costly, alternative ways of land acquisition by engaging with all stakeholders within the sector. We have heard the landless people; they say the willing-buyer, willing-seller model doesn’t work. We heard the ANC’s 52nd national conference of 2007; it said the model does not work. We must now hear the landed folks of our country.

We will be seeking a much more pragmatic formula for land redistribution, one which should address issues as part of our country’s ongoing national reconciliation project. It should not be seen as a super profit-making business venture. Such an approach would lead our country to a dead end in the long term. Our strongly held view is that land access and ownership should first of all satisfy the land needs of South Africans. This objective shall, preferably, be pursued without the need to amend the Constitution.

Secure land tenure is fundamental to rural development, and it is imperative that the department reviews policy and legislation relating to tenure on commercial farms, as well as in commercial areas. As a short-to- medium-term measure, we will continue to provide legal assistance to the 2,8 million people living without secure tenure on commercial farms in South Africa. Two most recent Grahamstown High Court judgments in favour of victims of farm evictions in areas such as Cradock and Seven Fountains are encouraging in this regard.

Side by side with this aggressive legal protection of the rights of farm tenants and workers on white commercial farms, the former homeland areas will become a central focus area for the government’s Comprehensive Rural Development Programme for the next five years. The strategy for the implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme and land reform involves agrarian transformation, and sustained rapid and fundamental change in relation to land, livestock, cropping and communities for sustainable growth and development.

Relying heavily on the Freedom Charter, the 2005 January 8 statement of the ANC had the following to say in this regard, and I quote:

The democratic state must take the lead in the transformation of our economy away from the fetters of the past, which constrained growth and development. Among the mechanisms that the developmental state deploys to restore the national wealth of our country to the people are:

  Sustained and substantial investment in economic and social
  infrastructure, built with methods with a bias towards labour-
  intensive technologies; increasing the access of the masses of the
  people to physical resources, particularly land, housing and community
  infrastructure; poverty reduction and eradication through job
  creation, skills development and budget interventions to increase the
  social wage, bearing in mind our limited means; affirmative action,
  broad-based black economic empowerment and other interventions
  designed to fast-track the inclusion of the previously marginalised in
  the mainstream economy and simultaneously transform the structure of
  the economy; and ensuring the growth and development of our economy to
  provide the means to achieve the broad goals indicated by the Freedom
  Charter. Of course this is what we have to do. As His Excellency, the President of the Republic, enjoined us during his state of the nation address, we are committed to speedily returning the land use management Bill to this House after undertaking the necessary consultations. Without this Bill, we may not achieve our goal of dealing with the disintegrated apartheid settlement patterns and the inefficiency with which land use decisions are taken. The land use management Bill will also enable us to improve the capacity of our municipalities, especially rural ones, in land use management.

Following the reorganisation of the new administration, we now have a new department, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The Budget Vote which I am presenting today is informed by what we consider to be an interim strategic plan. Our five-year strategic plan for this new term of office will be influenced by a new strategy based on the new mandate to the government and its key objectives and strategic goals.

The strategy of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is agrarian transformation. The overall outcome has to be social cohesion and development. The following strategic goals will be pursued in the quest for vibrant and sustainable rural communities: firstly, the establishment of business initiatives, agro-industries, co-operatives, cultural initiatives and vibrant local markets in rural areas; secondly, the empowerment of rural people and communities, especially women and youth, through facilitating and mediating strong organisational and institutional capabilities and abilities to take full charge of their own destiny; thirdly, training rural people in technical skills, combining them with indigenous knowhow and knowledge to mitigate community vulnerability to, especially, climate change, soil erosion, drought, snow, animal diseases, flooding, tornados and other natural disasters and emergencies, and hunger and food insecurity; and, finally, revitalisation and revamping of old, and the creation of new, economic, social, information communication infrastructure, and public amenities and facilities in villages and small rural towns.

We have developed a broad concept of what the new department will look like. This is work in progress, but we have a clear idea about its core thrust, thanks to the resolution of the ANC’s 52nd national conference on rural development, agrarian change and land reform. An important element of this resolution is the establishment of a Rural Development Agency. Our work has thus been cut out for us.

Furthermore, we have to speed up the settlement of processed land claims and expedite the processing of remaining ones. This much has been made well understood by both the National Land Claims Commissioner and the director- general.

In addition to the points made above, we have agreed that we need to improve the manner in which we work as a department. We have agreed that in both land restitution and land redistribution, we must sort out unnecessary institutional constraints in the short term, whilst we deal with external challenges in the medium to long term.

With respect to the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, we have adopted a three-phase approach. Phase one, which deals with piloting the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, is a programme which is being implemented and piloted in the Greater Giyani Local Municipality in Limpopo province.

The medium term, which is phase two, is focused mainly on enterprise development and food security. This programme, which is a joint effort between the Departments of Rural Development and Land Reform, and of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, will be riding on the back of phase one. Its complexity and enterprise lie in the fact that it must encompass the total value added in both crop and livestock farming. The catalytic tool for this phase is economic, social, information communication, public amenities and facilities, and infrastructure development. All nine provinces should commence with this phase very soon.

The long term or the third phase is that the programme will focus on small, micro and medium enterprises and industries; cultural tourism; co- operatives and vibrant village markets, and so forth. The catalyst for this phase, though not exclusively so, is the Rural Development Agency, riding on the back of phase two. The small rural towns will feature prominently during this phase. Hon Chair, let me conclude by stressing that there is nothing romantic about poverty, inequality, unemployment, cultural backwardness and social fragmentation. We dare not romanticise these socioeconomic ills, for they are real and they are very bad. We have to deal with them very decisively, as the hon President said during his state of the nation address to the National Assembly, and when he responded to the debate on his speech.

The government has adopted the Giyani pilot as a national government pilot. This means that rural development will not only be a project of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, but rather a government- wide project. This has encouraged us to ensure that in our responsibilities of facilitating, initiating, co-ordinating and catalysing some of these projects, we will work together with all the departments of government, municipalities and Premiers’ offices. We cannot perform this responsibility alone.

But one fundamental requirement and bottom line for a successful and lasting rural development project is that rural communities themselves have got to be assisted and encouraged in a sustained manner to organise themselves into disciplined and productive formations through which they can express themselves, in themselves and for themselves, in the spirit of Vukuzenzele, Hi Tihluvukisa, Siyazondla or Phezu Komkhono. Thank you, hon Chair. [Applause.]

Ms A N D QIKANI: Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, hon members, officials of the department, comrades and friends, it is a great pleasure for me to extend my greetings to you all.

I feel honoured for having been awarded this opportunity to address this House again. I am tempted to say that the recent national general elections, held on 22 April 2009, were historic and reflected the will of the people. Hence, they came in large numbers to confound those who have consistently claimed that, as we move away from the historic events of April 1994, our people will lose interest in the democratic process. Our people came out in numbers, in defiance of those prophets of doom who were a common feature before the elections.

We are an organisation that represents and listens not only to its constituency but to the entire South African nation. We therefore incorporated these views in our manifesto. It is for this reason that we are proud and confident today that the ANC manifesto represents the views and concerns of the masses of our people.

Xa ndithetha ngomhlaba noMphathiswa, kuza kufuneka sijonge ukuba zisekho na iindawo ezisahleleleke kakhulu ezisafuna ukuba uMphathiswa azihambele ukuze ziphuhliswe.

Njengoko ndisazi isakhono soMphathiswa kwezolimo nakuphuhliso lwamaphandle, akufakwanga mntu ungayaziyo intlupheko yabantu kuba uphuma kwelona phondo lakhe lahlupheka. Xa isabelo sikaMphathiswa siphinda sibekwa, kuza kufuneka acele sibe ngathi sithi chatha kuba ziseninzi izinto ekusafuneka zenzek ile. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[When I mention land to the Minister, we need to establish whether there are places which are severely marginalised that need the Minister’s visit in order to be developed.

I know the Minister’s strengths on agriculture and rural development; he is the right choice because he knows about people’s suffering as he is from the poorest province. The Minister will have to ask for an increase in the next budget allocation because there are many things that still need to be done.]

The Minister has alluded in his address to the total of 635 settled claims, inclusive of 108 claims which were dismissed.

Siyabulela, Mphathiswa, kuba kuyabonakala ukuba eli sebe lizimisele ukusebenza kakhulu. [We thank you, Minister, because it is obvious that this department wants to work hard.]

The Minister also reported in his Budget Vote speech that the department will be in Riemvasmaak, restoring 46 000 hectares of land to the community. Together with the community, we shall celebrate the return of their ancestral land. The community will once again be the custodians of land that once belonged to their ancestors.

We acknowledge that, despite significant progress made over the past 15 years, people living in rural areas continue to face the harshest conditions of poverty, and lack of access to land and basic services. We are also committed to a comprehensive and clear rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform.

As members of this House, especially those on the select committee, we have a role to ensure that people living in the rural areas access all relevant services through the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, CRDP, for the next five years. The strategy for the implementation of the CRDP and land reform is agrarian transformation, meaning rapid growth and sustainable development.

While we work on the national programme, it is the provinces who have to implement this programme. The ANC has represented its standpoint and approach to rural development, land reform and agrarian change. It has resolved, among other things, to implement an integrated programme of rural development, land reform and agrarian change based on these pillars.

Xa ndiza kuvala, ndibulela uMphathiswa ngohlobo azinikele ngalo emsebenzini wakhe. Zise khona iindawo ezineeprojekthi ezisafuna ukulandelwa kuba zisifa, kuba kaloku akukho bantu bazijongileyo. Kuza kufuneka ukuba ezi projekthi ziphinde ziqwalaselwe, kujongwe ukuba yintoni ebangela ukuba zife okanye yintoni ebangela ukuba abantu bangakwazi ukuziqhuba. Lilonke, Sihlalo, ndiyasibulela isabelo sakho Mphathiswa. Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[In conclusion, I commend the Minister for his dedication to his work. There are still places with collapsing projects that need follow-up because there is no one doing the monitoring of these projects.

These projects will have to be reviewed to establish the cause for this and the reason for the failure to run these projects. In all, Chairperson, I support the Minister’s budget. Thank you. [Applause.]]

Mr Z MLENZANA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Mnqarhwana, hon Deputy Minister and hon members, good afternoon.

Let me start by congratulating hon Mnqarhwana on his appointment as Minister, particularly of this critical department. I’m doing this because I’m talking to a person who knows what it means to transform rural areas, such that a rural person at Gxaku, on the border between Mount Frere and Mount Fletcher, will not see the need to put up a shack in Mount Frere …

… kuba eleqa ukuba sedolophini. [… because this person is rushing to an urban area.]

I am talking to the hon Minister because he knows what it means to upgrade rural towns, such that the debate about Kokstad is not driven by comparison of infrastructure. I am talking to the hon Minister because he knows what it means to develop the village of Mpame in Elliotdale, such that those deep rural inhabitants see their area as a tourism site.

For me, it means addressing the lack of basic infrastructure like roads, water, electricity and communication supply, and ultimately dealing with and defeating poverty. Basic services do not reach all our people on farms and in rural areas. Access to government services such as education and health care are very weak. Hence, diseases related to contaminated water, such as diarrhoea, are prevalent in rural areas.

The Ministry is therefore charged with the responsibility to cut across and co-ordinate all those government departments and entities that have a stake in the upliftment of the lives of our people in rural areas, and this includes rural towns.

Rural municipalities are in a deprivation trap. This means, if not assisted, they will remain in poverty because of a continuous lack of expertise, particularly in the fields of engineering and financial management.

I know that the hon Minister is very passionate about land and agrarian reform and co-operative development. But, hon Minister, this has to be given direction and be uniformly and speedily implemented, particularly in rural provinces. You will notice that most rural municipalities are sitting on claimed land, and this makes it very difficult, if not a nightmare, for them to engage in development programmes.

Our rural communities should be empowered to deal with poverty through the establishment of co-operatives. Land reform should be informed by the purpose of dealing with, and ultimate defeating, poverty. Hence this process of land reform has to involve thoroughgoing consultation with all political parties, organised traditional institutions, and interest groups involved, so that there is a win-win situation in which everybody can own the programme at end of the day.

The Freedom Charter says: “The land shall be shared among those who work it.” It is high time that this noble clause of this noble document be considered. Our people who are getting their land back through the land claims processes should be assisted to optimally use and sustain the condition of the land. The picture of large areas of land lying unused and ultimately being eroded is very bad. This should change and should include the affected communities. This will avoid a situation …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N W Magadla): Hon member, your time has expired.

Mr Z MLENZANA: In conclusion, Chairperson, I want to say that this new Ministry is the hope of rural communities and farm dwellers, as it promises to create and maintain an equitable and sustainable land dispensation. Therefore, I hope and pray that you will do us good. Ningasiphoxi. [Don’t let us down.] I thank you.

Mr B L MASHILE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, members of the House and guests present, we have been sitting in this House for a long time today, and we are almost a little tired, but I shall try to keep your attention a little longer.

South Africa has a rich history, which is written in the minds of the dead and the living souls. It had been in the interests of the apartheid regime to institutionally undocument the African history, as seen and told by our forefathers, and as continuously conveyed to successive generations. The struggles of the African tribes against invasion and colonialisation still have to be properly documented to tell the story of the life of an African after the arrival of the colonial powers in our country. The systematic massacre of African tribes to steal their land has not been told nor documented. The perpetual indoctrination and colonisation of Africans to subhuman status in the land of their birth continued unabated. All these inhuman acts were calculated to disempower the African tribes socially and economically. The loss of land and stock broke their resolve to withstand these greedy colonisers.

Without opening the gaping wounds of the past, the real Congress of the People held in 1955 declared this, as contained in the Freedom Charter. This declaration talks to land ownership. It presupposed the reversal of the land grab by the white minority invaders. We should remember that the Freedom Charter is not just a historical document, but an important guide about the direction in which we should take our country. It continues to provide an enduring vision of our new democratic South African society.

To live up to the issues that the declaration alluded to, the ANC had identified in its 2009 election manifesto rural development, food security and land reform as one of the five medium-term policy priorities. It does make sense for the ANC-led government to make serious interventions on this matter, as the mandate to do so was received on 22 April 2009. Our government will intensify land reform programmes to ensure that more land is in the hands of the rural poor and will provide them with the necessary technical skills and financial resources to use the land productively.

It is common cause that these interventions will require the commitment of all citizens of this country, black and white. In keeping with the preamble of the Constitution, those who benefited during apartheid rule or inherited land unjustly acquired should recognise the injustices of our past. Pursuant to this, the following measures will be undertaken to review the appropriateness of the existing land redistribution programme: introducing measures to speed up the land reform and redistribution; promoting land ownership by South Africans; and expanding the agrarian reform programme and promoting agricultural co-operatives and agroprocessing in the agricultural areas. These measures will change the face of rural areas for the better.

Ours is a developmental state that is not shy to intervene. We cannot leave reform, redress and sharing of state resources to markets. Successful attempts have been made to undermine the spirit of the land reform programmes aimed at recognising and redressing the injustices of our past. State intervention to foster co-operation with the haves cannot be overemphasised.

Our strategic plan, based on the 2009 Budget, tabled on 11 February 2009, provides for several programmes of the department flowing from the medium- term policy priorities, focusing on rural development and land and agrarian reform, which falls under these seven programmes.

The total number of land claims lodged with the department is just under 80 000. The commission has settled about 95% of these land claims. These enabled the restoration of at least 2,3 million hectares of land to 302 000 households. We therefore still have to deal with 4 200 tricky and more difficult restitution claims before the end of 2011. These claims are mainly affected by budgeting shortfalls, escalating prices, jurisdiction and boundary conflicts, claims at the Land Claims Court, disputes among beneficiaries, and, of course, implementation capacity within the department.

An amount of R1,9 billion is therefore provided for these programmes in the 2009-10 financial year. This amount will enable the department to intensify stakeholder engagement, accelerate research and gazette all outstanding plans before the end of this financial year, establish regional price notches for acquisition of land for restitution purposes, and review legislation and court processes. This work will be topped with the implementation of revised postsettlement support in conjunction with rural development strategies. The land has to be redistributed to the landless masses of our people. The department has targeted the delivery of 30% of prime agricultural land by the end of 2014. This translates to 24,6 million hectares currently held by white farmers. We therefore call upon those who have land to co-operate with the authority in order for us to conclude this process. However, we appreciate the co-operation received in respect of the 5,2 million hectares that have already been redistributed. As this programme is key for food security and rural development strategies more resources will be required in the next financial years to speedily conclude land reform in our country.

Hon Chairperson, the above matters of land restitution and redistribution will require sufficient men and women in the department who have to do things differently in order to achieve improved results. The department needs to further reduce the vacancy rate to a figure less than 10% by the end of this financial year. There is a need to realign certain funded priorities to release resources to key priorities of the department. A number of legislative measures which impact on the land question need to be reviewed and processed to enhance the speedy and successful conclusion of land reform.

In conclusion, the ANC-led government will move with speed on all priorities that seek to transform this unfavourable state of affairs. Of course this will be done within the scope of the limited financial resources. We should not deny the reality of the global recession, which we are not insulated against. As stated in his inaugural speech, President Zuma indicated that the effect of the global recession will impact on the pace of delivery and not on our direction.

Hon Chairperson, I would like take advantage of this budget debate to express my appreciation of the improvement in the performance of our soccer team, Bafana Bafana. There are clear indications that with more practice and effort they will cause a lot of upsets and pain to other countries come the 2010 Fifa World Cup soccer tournament. [Time expired.] Working together we can do more! I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M WALTERS (Western Cape): Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members, this is my first visit to the National Council of Provinces. I am very glad to be here and I found the debates very informative.

One of the things that runs through this debate, the a golden thread, right from the very first debate on Minister Shiceka’s Budget Vote, is the fact that the natural resources of our country could be used for tourism and agricultural development, and also fund those governance organisations which are suffering at present. In this regard I would like to refer to South Africa’s generally poor agricultural resources. We have only 5 million hectares of high potential soil in South Africa. In terms of rural development, only 30% of this is in the former homelands, and it is not being utilised to any great extent.

The Agricultural Research Council did trials in the Transkei, where the local population was getting 350 kg per hectare, and by doing the right things the yield went up to six tons per hectare and more. Now, those areas of high potential soil have a potential for producing crops far more profitable than maize, but if it was brought under maize it would more than double South Africa’s maize yield, which would also be disastrous.

The Agricultural Research Council presented a proposal to Minister Derek Hanekom in 1997, as well as to MEC Stofile, and no response was received at that stage. Very gratifying was the fact that the economic adviser to the Deputy President asked for an updated version of that proposal last year, and we hope that something will emanate from that. But the potential for rural development is immense in those areas where high potential soil is available. The only restraints are high soil acidity and trace element deficiencies, and there is technology available for that. It could be addressed with the right technology and providing the necessary support and guidance to those communal areas. So I would suggest that that receives very close attention.

In terms of the Western Cape’s involvement, we would like to improve the relationship between Land Affairs and the provincial Department of Agriculture. Currently it is on uncertain ground. This situation is untenable, as it is preventing a co-ordinated approach to land reform where the provincial department would assume responsibility for the extension and related services necessary for successful projects. We see that land reform is a national competency of the Department of Land Affairs, but a formal agreement with the provinces and in this case the Western Cape is absolutely essential if co-ordinated and effective deployment of resources is to take place.

We would like to see a memorandum of understanding being signed between the two governments, where the successful land redistribution and utilisation need close co-operation between Land Affairs and Agriculture. This would facilitate invitations to and attendance by Land Affairs officials of key provincial meetings and cement a mutually productive working relationship.

The Department of Agriculture wants to be more involved in the identification of suitable farms for land reform, and also in the selection of potential new farmers for these projects. It has on-the-ground knowledge of resources, constraints and possibilities, and has the expertise and capacity to contribute in this respect.

We are concerned about the future of certain projects. At Elandskloof ownership is lacking, as the beneficiaries are grouped together in a community trust. Land Affairs has placed them under administration. Internal strife is leading to rapid deterioration and urgent intervention is required, and the province would certainly be very prepared to help.

The Ebenhaezer claim seems still to be in limbo. Six farms were bought, but to date no farmers have been identified to operate these farms. These include all productive grape farms and two tunnel farms, which are all deteriorating rapidly and they need very urgent attention. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs needs to arrive at an agreement as soon as possible, in which a common approach to land reform projects is developed, ensuring that new entities that emerge are immediately productive, and beneficiaries are able to rapidly move to sustainable economic independence while resources and infrastructure are maintained and improved. I think this has been one of the problems with many land reform projects in the past. The land is conveyed but the support systems are not in place. The province would certainly like to support the national government in this particular enterprise.

Then, hon Chair, just in conclusion, I noticed the altercation between the hon member De Beer and the hon member Sinclair when they were arguing about what vehicles they were using to promote their particular parties’ policies. I think they should think a bit about the words of an Afrikaans poet, Ronnie Belcher, who wrote:

Dis ’n druk ding en ’n sluk ding Dit bring ’n bietjie verligting Ons is op die regte pad Maar dalk in die verkeerde rigting.

I thank you, Madam Chair.

An HON MEMBER: Madam Chair, is the hon member prepared to take a question? The hon member said he would like a memorandum of understanding to be signed between the Republic of South Africa’s government and some other government. I wasn’t quite sure what other government he was referring to.

Mr M WALTERS (Western Cape): Hon Chair, I would like to refer the hon member for Gauteng to the programme, which says “M Walters, Western Cape”. Does that answer the question? It is the provincial government.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Hon Chairperson, members of the House, I think before I come to making my contribution to this Budget Vote, let me also just add my concern about the input of hon Walters. I thought I was somewhere else, not in South Africa. As far as I am concerned, this is a unitary state with nine provincial governments. I have never heard of one state signing a memorandum of understanding with a provincial government.

Our new Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and its predecessor, the Department of Land Affairs, whose budget we are tabling in front of this House today, is central and a key issue in the realisation of a better life for all South Africans. As already tabled by the hon Minister, this department and this budget we are tabling here have to do with a very central asset of the people of this country, which is land, because without land itself, there is no way in which our people can be empowered. This is a universal truth, and it is because of that universality and fundamentality that you found many nations taking up arms against one another, because once you are dispossessed of your most valuable asset, which is land, then you are left with nothing else. We have seen this happening in various parts of the world, through conquests and colonialism, and South Africa was no exception.

It is because of these wars of conquest and colonialism that this department has been given the task by the new democratic government of making sure that we redress the wrongs of the past, and therefore has the responsibility to see to it that there is an equitable distribution of this very important asset. We know what many centuries of conquest and colonialism and apartheid have done, and the many laws which were passed to try to justify and formalise the dispossession of billions of indigenous people of this very important asset, the land.

Over the past 15 years, this department and the democratic government have taken many steps to make sure that this redress can be realised. While a lot of progress has been made in this regard, as the presentation of the Minister has indicated, there is still a lot that needs to be done, and it is very clear that we need to do this much more urgently if we are to avoid a potential ticking time bomb in terms of land hunger. I am sure all of us are very familiar with the developments across our boundaries and we don’t want to find ourselves in that situation. Therefore it is in this regard that we call upon all South Africans, irrespective of their political persuasion, to work with us in finding workable solutions in the need to realise this equitable redistribution of land, and we welcome creative suggestions, as South African patriots.

As we look forward to the mandate of this fourth democratic Parliament and the National Council of Provinces and government as a whole, the expectations of our people are quite clear in terms of redressing these wrongs of the past. Determination to do that is clearly captured in the ANC manifesto, which has recently been translated into the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, and was adopted by Cabinet late in March. Both in the manifesto and MTSF we have placed rural development, linked to land reform, in the forefront of our priorities over the next five years. We are very clear that the task the voters have given us is a mammoth one, but we want to emphasise again that while a lot of progress has been made, a lot more still needs to be done.

In the area of rural development as well, over and above the question of land redistribution, we are quite conscious of the fact that a lot of progress has been made. It is there, it is indisputable for everybody to see. You just need to go around the various rural areas of our country. Where there were no roads in the past, today we have roads. Where there was no electrical power, today we have power. Where there were no clinics or hospitals, schools and other social amenities, these are there now.

But we are quite conscious of the fact that a lot more needs to be done, and therefore the decision by the ANC and the President to create a specific Ministry and Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to tackle these challenges head-on. The mandate therefore of this new Ministry and department is to consolidate the gains which have been made to make sure that, rather than just being one of the areas of attention by a myriad of departments and spheres of government, there is a champion, a catalyst who will be able to be the one to accelerate this, to make sure that the creation of a vibrant and sustainable rural community becomes a reality.

The aim of this Ministry and department is not to reinvent the wheel and do what has already been done, but to fine-tune those areas which need attention and make sure that various role-players can be brought together from within government spheres, from within national, provincial and local government, from business, from civil society, and from nongovernmental organisations, ensuring that there is a common cause on which all of us can focus.

In order for the department to succeed, we shall really have to make sure that the motto of “working together we can do more” should not just be a slogan, but should actually be put into practice. We expect, in the long term, the end result of this intervention to be rural communities that are comprehensive participants in the full life of our country, in its economic life and in its social and political life.

We are aware that for our people’s energies to be harnessed, the issue of food security becomes very central, and, therefore, as our Minister has already indicated, central to this is the question of agrarian transformation. It is really our key instrument in realising the transformation of rural areas. But we want to emphasise upfront that while agrarian transformation is key to our strategy, we are looking at the comprehensive development of rural areas to encompass tourism, mining, construction and other areas of the economy, so that our rural areas are not relegated to focusing only on agricultural activities. Therefore our focus is the comprehensive revitalisation of rural areas.

To do this, it is quite clear to us that we need to rely on the empowerment of our people, because at the end of the day we can bring all sorts of resources to bear — financial, material and the land itself — but if our people are not fully empowered, this will just remain a pipe dream. Therefore the question of social mobilisation and the strengthening of various institutions of leadership in our communities become very important. It is very clear therefore that within the department itself very serious reorganisation will have to be done, and we have already started in terms of making sure that we are properly organised to focus on this mandate.

As we were busy with our campaign before the election, it was clear to us that what our people were looking for was faster delivery. The slogan out there was “akusheshwe” [make it snappy]. People want to see quick intervention and quick delivery. This is what we are committing ourselves to as a department – “akusheshwe” [make it snappy]. It will be a department for doing things fast. In this process we have already started repositioning the department in terms of our strategy, our business plan, and our operational plan, and in this regard we are making sure that we are also branded appropriately, so that people should no longer look at this department as a department of land affairs only, but as a department responsible for comprehensive rural development. We shall also be improving our communication.

In conclusion, we want to say that we are quite certain that this department and Ministry will live by the slogan of “working together we can do more”. Thank you, hon Chair. [Applause.]

Mr D A WORTH: Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, the stated aim of the Department of Land Affairs is to create and maintain an equitable and sustainable land dispensation that results in social and economic development for all South Africans. Since this has been identified as a national priority, a new Ministry focusing on rural development and land issues has been formed to take this mandate forward. The DA wishes to congratulate Minister Nkwinti on his appointment to this new portfolio.

The overall Budget Vote analysis for 2008-09 and 2009-10 indicates a 0,2% decrease in the budget allocations for the department when inflation is taken into account. The analysis also indicates that the budget for the land restitution programme has a 46,69% decrease in budget allocation, while land reform has a 13,48% increase, which may indicate a shift in priority by the department to land reform.

The Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights has settled over 75 000 claims out of a total of 79 696 claims lodged by the cut-off date, namely 31 December 1998. The commission is projected to settle a total of 1 695 of the 4 560 outstanding claims – this figure might have changed – during the 2009-10 financial year. Some of the challenges faced by the commission, as we have heard, include the high cost of land claims that have been referred to the Land Claims Court for adjudication and disputes involving traditional leaders.

Deputy Chairperson, South Africa still has a large rural population, despite the migration to the cities in search for employment. The national land reform core objective has been to redistribute 30% of the country’s productive white-owned agricultural land by 2014 to the landless people. Out of a total land mass of 122 million hectares, South Africa has 82 million hectares of agricultural land. The targeted 30% white agricultural land amounts to 24,6 million hectares.

While rural poverty and unemployment are prevailing problems across the country, agricultural development presents the best opportunity to redress this poverty and to reinvigorate the declining economies of many small country towns, and to stop the migration of people to the already overcrowded cities.

Hon Minister, the DA supports the united, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector in South Africa. The government’s confrontational stance to commercial agriculture, as well as the threats to do away with the willing-buyer, willing-seller principle, have resulted in a decline in confidence in the agricultural sector, to say the least. The problems highlighted by the agricultural department state, and I quote:

While agricultural development is the best opportunity to address rural poverty, recent reviews of the land reform programmes and the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, CASP, indicate failing land reform projects as a result of poor access to farmer support services and unco-ordinated programmes. Smallholder farming is not in a better condition either because of poor access to the same services, including extension services.

While the Washington-based Rural Development Institute stated that, hectare for hectare, smaller holdings generally produce more than larger ones, this has certainly not been the case in parts of South Africa. Extracts from the paper on evaluating land reform’s contribution to South Africa’s pro-poor growth pattern 2008 show that to date land reform has not significantly changed the socioeconomic aspects of the large majority of the beneficiaries, leading to no significant income distribution. Based on an evaluation of all land reform programmes with a focus on the findings with regard to the land projects of the Molemole Municipality in Limpopo, the paper details that out of 42 projects assessed, only three showed significant development, 20 were entirely abandoned or showed no activity, with only 0,4% of the official beneficiaries benefiting in any way from the projects. At the same time land reform has caused a 89,5% decrease in production as well as many losses on the affected farms.

Several factors contributed to these pessimistic results. Solutions to overcoming these failures are therefore essential. Owing to the historical bias and the sensitive sociopolitical character of land in South Africa, land reform must and will continue.

Deputy Chairperson, I look forward, as a new member of this committee, to visiting projects that have been successful, as well as those not so successful, to gain greater insight into their problems. Hon Minister, the DA also looks forward to a good working relationship with your department to ensure sustainable land and agricultural reform. This agricultural reform must be well planned, efficiently managed and adequately funded, with minimal disruption to food security. I thank you. [Applause.]

Prince M M M ZULU: Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, special delegates and hon members …

Malungu ahloniphekile nawe Sihlalo, ngizwa ngifikelwa yizinyembezi uma ngabe kukhona abantu abakhuluma ngokuthi kuleli lizwe lethu lokudabuka ku khona abantu okufanele bamukwe amapulazi. Ngonyaka ka-1903, KwaZulu-Natali

  • ingxenye yeNingizimu Afrika - ukhokho wami iNkosi uDinuzulu, wabanjwa waboshwa e-St Helena ngendaba yezwe. Kodwa namhlanje sekukhulunywa ukuthi kunabantu okufanele bacatshangelwe bese kucindezelwa abantu bakithi. Ngizwa kushisa izinyembezi emehlweni ami ngoba iNdlondlo enophaphe ekhanda yabhadla ejele kanti noyise wafika khona lapha eKapa.

Ngiyacela-ke kuNgqongqoshe ukuthi uma sekuza odabeni lwezemihlaba, azi ukuthi kunamapulazi eduze kwesigodlo si kababamkhulu e-Vryheid. Abantu bakababamkhulu baxhashazwa nsukuzonke kanti ngokomlando waKwaZulu sabehlula thina beNkayishana. Uma ngidlula ngiya eMtuba ngilihamba lonke leli likaMthaniya ngizocela uNgqongqoshe akwenze kube sohleni lwakhe lwezinto ezibalulekile ukuthi ake ahambe ayolibuka leliya lizwe abone ukuthi amaphesenti ayi-100 aloya mhlaba ungowabantu bokudabuka lapha eNingizimu Afrika kodwa ngamaphesenti ayi-13 asebesele nawo njengomhlaba wabo. Kuyihlazo-ke ukuthi emva kweminyaka eyi-15 yenkululeko abantu bakithi basacindezeleka ngale ndlela. Angiphaki yona impi kodwa engikushoyo kumalungu ahloniphekile ukuthi udaba lomhlaba lubucayi kakhulu alubukwe ngendlela enokwakha. Abantu abangabelwanga umhlaba wabo ngendlela abaphinde babelwe ngendlela eyiyona.

Ngiyazi-ke ukuthi bakhona abaholi bomdabu abangavumelani nalezi zinto ngisho neSilo uZwelithini imbala iNkosi yaKwaZulu - ngiyazi ukuthi kuye kuthi uma kukhulunywa ngodaba lokwabiwa komhlaba angathandi ukubandakanywa. Bengiyocela ukuthi uNgqongqoshe ahlele umhlangano wokubonisana nabaholi bomdabu kwazeke ukuthi abantu kufanele banikezwe umhlaba wabo. Ngaleyo ndlela kube nguMnyango wakho othwala umthwalo wokusombulula le ngwadla. UMnyango wakho futhi ubalekelele abantu ngogandaganda ngoba izinkabi azisekho laba bokufika bazijova zonke zaphela. Ngiyabonga Ngqongqoshe ngifisa sengathi isabelo sakho semali singaba yimpumelelo sikwazi ukuqeda ububha kubantu bakithi. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Chairperson, hon members, I feel tears burning in my eyes when I hear people say that in this country, our country of origin, there are people whose farms must be expropriated. In 1903, in KwaZulu-Natal – a part of South Africa – my great grandfather King Dinuzulu was arrested and sent to St Helena because of land issues. But today, people say that there are others whose cases must be handled with caution, which suppresses our people in the process. I feel tears burning in my eyes because an old experienced and vicious mamba was busted in jail and his father was also captured and sent here to the Cape.

I am, therefore, requesting the hon Minister that when we deal with the issue of land, he must know that there are farms near my grandfather’s palace in Vryheid. My grandfather’s people are exploited every day whilst according to the KwaZulu history, we, the offspring of Nkayishana, defeated them. When he goes to Mtuba and walks through this land of Mthaniya, I am asking the hon Minister to place this issue on his priority list. He should walk around in that part of the land so that he can see that of the 100% of the land that used to be owned by the indigenous people of South Africa, only 13% of that land is still in their possession. It is, therefore, shameful that after 15 years of freedom our people are still suppressed like this. I am not declaring war, but what I am saying to the hon members is that the land issue is a very delicate matter; therefore, it needs to be viewed in a constructive manner. People whose land claims were not properly addressed should be revisited.

I know that there are traditional leaders who do not agree with these things – even His Majesty King Zwelithini of the Zulus himself. I know that when the issue of land distribution is discussed, he does not want to be involved. I would request the hon Minister to plan a consultative conference with the traditional leaders to enable people to get their land. Therefore, it must be your department that shoulders the responsibility of solving this crisis. Your department should also assist them with the provision of tractors as they do not have oxen anymore since the settlers sterilised them and they consequently perished. I am grateful to you hon Minister, and I wish that your Budget Vote can be approved so that it can end the poverty our people experience. Thank you.]

Mr G G MOKGORO: Thank you, Madam Chair. This is my maiden speech in this august House. I am glad that the ANC-led government has identified job creation and rural development as part of its government’s list of priorities. In this financial year, there is a clear indication of how seriously we are regarding both job creation and agrarian reform in this country. The same sentiments were shared in this House by the President of the country, President Jacob Zuma, during his first state of the nation address when he said:

Working together with our people in the rural areas, we will ensure a comprehensive rural development strategy, linked to land and agrarian reform, and food security as our third priority.

Rural development revolves mainly around land or is a matter of land distribution. For that reason it touches the very nerve of our national side, the fears and hopes shaped mainly by our past. We are cognisant of this challenge and what is entailed within the context of our democratic norms and values. We will engage as we see fit to ensure that development in our rural communities does indeed transform the lives of the majority of our people.

Rural development and agrarian reform are integral to the objective of a better life for all for, working together, we can indeed do more to achieve these objectives. As a matter of fact, history tells us that land distribution in our country was biased towards the minority section of our population as a result of the inhuman system of apartheid and separate development. This, in essence, created limits for the majority section of the population in accessing land in their country of birth, both for farming development and residential use. Surely this was done through biased policies which resulted in today’s skewed land patterns.

Depriving people in their country of birth is like denying them the right to life. The supreme law of the country, namely the Constitution, particularly section 25, guarantees the people of this country their right to land. This, as we are aware, is premised on the old but very important document of our struggle, the Freedom Charter, citing the victory of our struggle in overcoming injustices. The Freedom Charter long ago declared: “All shall have the right to land.” It is in the realisation of this very objective that questions of rural development and agrarian reform must be understood. We are aware of the challenges and hurdles before us and indeed a lot of agricultural land is still in the hands of the minority section of our population. Yet in the same spirit in which the Freedom Charter was adopted nearly 60 years ago, we declare: We dare not fail the masses of our people.

There are a few black people who have acquired land after the introduction of government’s progressive land policies and we know that this is not enough. Accessibility to agricultural land is a great hindrance, with most people having limited opportunity to compete even in the commercial centre. With government’s rural development programme, this must obviously change. When we took the resolution that by 2014 30% of agricultural land must have been transferred to the majority of the population, we understood the importance of agriculture in transforming the lives of our people. To date only 5% of that land has been successfully redistributed, and we hope that the process will be further accelerated to meet the 2014 deadline.

On our part, and as representatives of the people in our oversight function in particular, we will do what we can to ensure that the deadline is not missed. Indeed, working together we can avoid this ugly situation confronting our people. We don’t want to experience the challenges facing our neighbours regarding the land issue. Therefore, failure to act effectively and efficiently to deal with this matter will take our country nowhere. This country must be dealt with equitably, and handled very delicately and as openly as possible. Success in respect of the land issue will be measured by the gains from our progressive legislation, as passed by our Parliament. It is for this reason that the ANC made a special request for the review of land reform projects at its conference in Polokwane.

Esi sigqibo sigxininise ekubeni kukhawuleziswe ukusasazwa kweenkonzo, ingakumbi iindlela kunye nezinye iinkonzo ezifana nombane namanzi okunkcenkceshela, ukuqinisekisa ukuba amaphandle ayesaya kuba ngoozimele geqe ayakwazi ukuba abe nezisetyenziswa ezizezawo, nokuba amafama ayakwazi ukuba azuze kwezi nkonzo simahla. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[This decision is focused on speeding up service delivery, more especially in roads infrastructure and other services such as electricity and water for irrigation, in order to make sure that the former homelands have their own facilities, and that farmers can benefit from these services for free.]

Madam Chair, let me reiterate that land reform is attached to the idea of fighting poverty and equality. We must act decisively to address this challenge. It seems recurrently that the issue of land redistribution in our country is clouded by unnecessary speculation …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N W Magadla): Order! Hon member, your time has expired. Mr G G MOKGORO: Last paragraph, Madam Chair! [Interjections.] … and this has led to the delay of agricultural programmes for the people who need these. In order for the government to accomplish this work successfully a commitment from all stakeholders will be required. Thank you, Madam Chair. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Thank you, hon Chair. I wish to thank the hon members for their contributions and their advice. We have been taking notes and we will do the best we can to take on board all the views that have been shared with us here.

Starting with the hon chair, and the issue of postsettlement programmes, we have the strategy, as we said in the report, but we did not have the capacity to implement it. We are building that capacity now. We think that this is one area that will receive a lot of our attention over the next few months.

Indeed, the policy speech is very clear on basic infrastructure: economic infrastructure, social infrastructure, even ICT, and public amenities. We think that these are very vital things to open the minds of especially our young kids in rural areas.

With regard to the question of access to government services by the hon Mlenzana, indeed we see ourselves as catalysts in this regard. We see ourselves as co-ordinating these kinds of functions, and getting other departments involved in rural areas. We think, given the fact that the President himself has profiled rural development, the challenge we have been experiencing historically of not participating — at least from the point of view of national and provincial government departments and integrated development plans —will be resolved. The experience, hon Chair, of Giyani is very instructive in this regard.

Hon Mashile, it is true regarding the vacancy rate. You know, directors are very important in a department, because they are the people who do the actual work, not the planning as such but basically managing and running the projects. This is an area in which we have been found to be wanting and we have taken a strategic decision that we will focus on this area.

Hon Walters, of course the hon members have dealt with the question of government to government. We have spheres of government, one government with three spheres. Therefore it is correct for us to work together, but at the same time to understand the nature of the relationship that has been created by our Constitution in South Africa. We will definitely work with the provincial government of the Western Cape.

The Lutzville-Ebenhaezer land claim has been partially settled. Those farmers who have accepted our offer have been paid out. At the moment we are working with Agri Wes-Kaap to develop a mentoring arrangement with those farmers. So, there is progress being made in that regard.

This is the challenge. In the policy speech we are making the point that one of the things that will have to be done in order for us to expedite the settlement of claims is to improve the manner in which we work. We are busy with an analysis, and in our analysis we have found that if we could improve in this area it could make a huge difference in all the provincial offices. We are looking at the provincial offices and how they work, how they actually do the work of research and interacting with people, and also how they make people understand the status of their claims, because this is key. People don’t understand. We think people don’t understand because they don’t have the information. From our point of view, we think this is an area we need to deal with.

Of course, when it comes to willing-buyer, willing-seller, there is a myth about investors and markets. Investors want certainty; that is what they want. They want to know about the policy of this country. We need to get to a point where we make it clear to them so that they understand - because investors do understand - that this government is unable to raise R71 billion over the next five years, between now and 2014, in order for it to be able to buy 30% of the 82 million hectares of land. We need to make people understand, even those who own the land, that it is impossible for us to achieve this target, because we don’t have the money. I think it should be very clear to everyone that this is the route we are going to have to go.

We have to go to them and say: “Fellow South Africans, we are unable to buy this land with this amount of money, especially under the current economic recession in the world.” But at the same time we must continue to contribute to national reconciliation, and therefore convert this whole notion of land as a superprofit-making venture by becoming part of the effort of all South Africans to work together and reconcile the haves and the have-nots.

You know, Anton Rupert said: “If they don’t eat, we won’t sleep.” [As hulle nie eet nie, sal ons nie slaap nie.]

He was talking about the fact that if we continue to deny the majority of our people, particularly black people, in this country access to and ownership of land, we will not even enjoy that which we do have. It will be a matter of time. That will happen. As government we must avoid that. We must lead the country away from a situation where the one who doesn’t eat causes the one who can eat, not to sleep.

The hon Deputy Minister is actually in charge of arranging a workshop with our chiefs so they can talk about this to see how we can correct this, because the kings are the traditional leaders. In the rural areas the chiefs own the land on behalf of the people, so it is important that we meet and decide how we are going to democratise the way in which we use this land, because in the rural areas there is no question of ownership. We must democratise the manner in which land is utilised so that everybody has a say in it, so that no one can say that they cannot access land in our country for them to live on. [Interjections.]

The workshop is coming, Sir, you should not worry. We have addressed 13% of that. We hope that when we arrive in these rural areas and tell the chiefs that we would like to use their land so that the people can benefit from this land, the chiefs will agree. [Applause.] Thank you very much.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N W Magadla): Thank you, hon Minister, Deputy Minister, MECs, hon members and officials for the work you have done and the contributions you have made.

Debate concluded.

The Council adjourned at 19:17. ____


                        MONDAY, 29 JUNE 2009


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Draft Bills submitted in terms of Joint Rule 159
(1)    Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill of 2009, submitted by
     the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development.

  Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional
     Development and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Basic Education
(a)     Strategic Plan of the Departments of Education for 2009 – 2013
    and the Operational Plan of the Departments of Education for 2009 –
  1. The Minister of Higher Education and Training
(a)     Strategic Plan of the Departments of Education for 2009 – 2013
    and the Operational Plan of the Departments of Education for 2009 –
  1. The Minister of Public Enterprises
(a)     Eskom’s 2009/10 tariff increase and amended pricing structure
    for municipalities with effect from 1 July 2009, in terms of
    section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management
    Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

                        TUESDAY, 30 JUNE 2009


National Council of Provinces

The Chairperson

  1. Membership of Joint Committees:

    (1) The following members have been appointed as the NCOP component of the Constitutional Review Committee:

    Member                    Province                    Party
    Mnguni, Mr B A            Free State                  ANC
    Nesi, Mr B                     Eastern Cape
    Chaane, Mr T E            North West                  ANC
    Zulu, Prince M M M        KwaZulu-Natal               IFP
    De Beer, Mr C J                Northern Cape
    Mokgobi, Mr M H           Limpopo                     ANC
    Watson, Mr A              Mpumalanga                  DA
    Bloem, Mr D V             Free State                  COPE
    Matila, Mr A G            Gauteng                     ANC

    (2) The following NCOP members have been appointed to serve on the Joint Rules Committee

Member Party Province
Hon. Mr. M. J. Mahlangu    
(Chairperson of the NCOP) ANC Limpopo
Hon. Ms T. Memela (Deputy ANC KwaZulu-Natal
Hon. Ms N. W. Magadla (House ANC KwaZulu-Natal
Chair of Committees)    
Hon. Mr R. J. Tau (House ANC Northern Cape
Chairperson on Oversight)    
Hon. Ms N. D. Ntwanambi ANC Western Cape
(Chief Whip of the NCOP)    
Hon. Mr S. S. Mazosiwe ANC Eastern Cape
(Programming Whip)    
Hon. Ms D. Z. Rantho ANC Eastern Cape
(Provincial Whip: Eastern    
Hon. Mr P. Jacobs (Provincial ANC Free State
Whip: Free State)    
Hon. Mr S. D. Montsitsi ANC Gauteng
(Provincial Whip: Gauteng)    
Hon. Mr L. P. M. Nzimande ANC KwaZulu-Natal
(Provincial Whip:    
Hon. Hon. Ms. L. Mabija ANC Limpopo
(Provincial Whip: Limpopo)    
Hon. Ms M. G. Boroto ANC Mpumalanga
(Provincial Whip: Mpumalanga)    
Hon. Mr G. G. Mokgoro ANC Northern Cape
(Provincial Whip: Northern    
Hon. Mr T. E. Chaane ANC North West
(Provincial North West)    
Hon. Mr. T. Harris DA Western Cape
(Provincial Whip: Western    
Hon. Mr. J. J. Gunda (Party ID Northern Cape
Representative: ID)    
Hon. Mr. D. V. Bloem (COPE: COPE Free State
Party Representative)    
Hon. Mr A. Watson (DA Party DA Mpumalanga
(3)     The following NCOP members have been appointed to serve on the
    Joint Subcommittee on the Review of the Joint Rules
Member Party Province
Hon. Mr P. Jacobs (Provincial Whip: ANC Free State
Free State)    
Hon. Ms. L. Mabija (Provincial Whip: ANC Limpopo
Hon. Ms M. G. Boroto (Provincial ANC Mpumalanga
Whip: Mpumalanga)    
Hon. Mr. J. J. Gunda (Party ID Northern Cape
Representative: ID)    
Hon. Mr A. Watson (DA Party Leader) DA Mpumalanga
(4)     The following NCOP members have been appointed to serve on the
    Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests:
Member Party Province
Hon. Mr. B. L. Mashile ANC Mpumalanga
Hon. Mr. T. A. Mashamaite ANC Limpopo
Hon. Mr. T. D. Harris DA Western Cape
Hon. Mr. J. J. Gunda ID Northern Cape
Hon. Mr. S. H. Plaatjie COPE North West
Hon. Mr. D. D. Gamede ANC KwaZulu-Natal
Hon. Mr. M. H. Mokgobi ANC Limpopo
Hon. Mr. G. G. Mokgoro ANC Northern Cape
Hon. Ms. N. W. Magadla ANC KwaZulu-Natal


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs

         a) Strategic Plan of the Departments of Water Affairs for
            2009 – 2014.