National Council of Provinces - 07 July 2009

TUESDAY, 7 JULY 2009 __



The Council met at 09:01.

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


                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate)

Vote No 33 — Transport:

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Minister, there is a podium here and you can use it. It is not comfortable to speak from there. Deputy Minister, you may also use the podium when you speak. [Laughter.]

The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson and hon members, during the department’s Budget Vote on 3 July, we made the point that a country is only developed once its people have unfettered access to water, energy, transport and communications, but of course that should be preceded by peace and democracy.

Today is an important day because we are addressing provinces. It is in provinces and municipalities where we can best answer the question of whether South Africa is a developing or a developed country. It is in provinces where we will confront the question on how long will we be satisfied with being a developing and not a developed country. It is provinces where the issue of uneven development is revealed in all its starkness. It is in provinces and municipalities that are at the coalface of service delivery, right up to village and street level.

When President Jacob Zuma delivers the state of the nation address, and when premiers talk of the state of provinces, someone should be concerned and talk of the state of the village. Development is national, provincial, but it is also, and primarily, local. Therefore, someone should speak about this particular sphere. This government has strengthened its capacity to undertake long-term development planning. This is to assist national, provincial and local government, as well as all state entities to better plan, prioritise and co-ordinate their service delivery programmes.

Consequently, as the Department of Transport, our plans should relate to the national plan, which in turn links the provinces and municipalities into the national planning grid. We have started this co-ordination through our public transport plan, the 2010 Fifa World Cup transport plans, transport infrastructure development, freight logistics and corridor development.

In line with President Zuma’s state of the nation address on 3 June 2009, we have adopted a zero-tolerance stance when it comes to corruption. At the Department of Transport, we are committed to the reform and tightening of the regulatory regime and instruments dealing with anticorruption, particularly with regards to supply chain management, driving licence testing and the Road Accident Fund. Through this House, as well as platforms such as the extended Minmec, which includes provincial departments of transport, municipalities and Department of Transport agencies, we will instil this culture throughout the transport family. In this regard, our first extended Minmec and transport family meeting last Thursday on 2 July 2009 was very promising.

In order to address fraud and corruption in the driving licence system, we are moving towards computerised testing systems and have rolled out mobile and fixed stations in parts of the country. KwaZulu-Natal already has 21 fixed stations and two mobile stations; Gauteng has one fixed station and two mobile stations; and Mpumalanga has three fixed stations and one mobile station. One of our key focus areas will therefore relate to advancing the co-ordination, implementation and integration of transport activities across the three spheres of government.

Just before the elections in April, the taxi industry approached President Zuma about the bus rapid transit, BRT, system, and he told them to defer negotiations until after the elections. During the state of the nation address, hon President Zuma indicated that the Minister of Transport would resume discussions with the industry by 11 June 2009. Indeed, on 11 June we met with over 2 000 representatives of the industry made up of taxi associations and their organised structures at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg. At this meeting we announced the formation of a national joint working group on public transport.

This week we are finalising the names of the representatives for the working group. From the side of government, the working group will comprise of representatives from the national and provincial Department of Transport, as well as the 2010 host cities. We have agreed that members of the working group, both on the side of government and the taxi industry, should have a full mandate from their structures because they will be making binding decisions. We aim that, hopefully, by the end of September, there will be no outstanding matters with regard to the taxi industry. There should be a normal relationship with this important economic sector. You cannot always have a problem.

Government is taking this matter very seriously and therefore it has received attention from the highest level. We also want to commend the taxi industry for the serious manner in which they have been engaging with us on this issue. Both government and the taxi industry are committed to finding a lasting solution to all outstanding matters. The taxi industry plays a key role in the transportation of our people. Roughly 65% of our people use taxis as public transport.

Therefore we have tailored our approach to address real issues in the taxi industry. The pillars of this engagement are: integrated public transport networks; implementation of the bus rapid transit system networks; Taxi Subsidisation and Taxi Recapitalisation Programmes; enterprise development; and legislation, licensing and regulatory issues. The challenge facing the taxi industry is to take part in the transport sector in its entire value chain. As government, we recognise that this industry represents a critical entrypoint for black people into the mainstream economy of South Africa. The challenge is to agree on how best this could be done in a meaningful way within a proper regulatory framework.

In terms of road safety, we would like to focus on the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, Aarto, the point demerit system and improved security features on the card licences. We would like to ensure that the process to roll out Aarto and the demerit system is fully under way. In the interim, we will consider certain road traffic amendments in order to ensure the suspension and/or cancellation of driving licences as mandatory penalties on a wider basis. It is not really left loose, depending on the presiding officer in the judiciary.

A birth certificate, identity document, driver’s licence and passport are the most important documents for an individual. The first two define that you exist and the other two define your wellbeing. To this end, we have extended the contract of the current service provider of the smart card driving licenceses to December of this year, since it lapsed in April. We will use the tender process to ensure that the latest product is tamperproof and has improved security features. From next year, you should not be in possession of a driver’s licence and a death certificate at the same time. [Laughter.] A death certificate should automatically cancel a driver’s licence. Once there is a death certificate, your registration as a voter is automatically cancelled. Today, we have many people with death certificates, but their driver’s licences are still being used quite regularly.

Working with Home Affairs, we will ensure that the new driver’s licences have enhanced security and unquestionable integrity to be accepted in our country and internationally. This could assist towards ensuring that a driver’s licence forms part of our primary identification documents. In the United States, social security documents and the driver’s licences are the primary identification documents. Here the integrity of the driver’s licence is not yet accepted, neither at Home Affairs, nor by banks.

Rural development is one of the key focus areas of this government. The role of transport in this regard cannot be overstated. A number of our people in rural areas are poor, but one of the characteristics of poverty is the inability to access essential services of government. Rural poverty is therefore also characterised by transport asset poverty, where roads and public transport are not available. We should have a balanced enhancement of our institutional arrangements for us to achieve increased investment, job creation, poverty alleviation and sustainable social and economic development.

We are also planning to extend the rural road maintenance and the contractor development programme to other provinces using labour-intensive methods that have been tried and tested, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and other provinces where infrastructure development creates thousands of jobs. This will form part of our contribution to job creation so that we have a significant contribution to what the President announced as the creation of 500 000 jobs by December this year.

We are going to make the following transport infrastructure investments during the current Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period: about R18 billion for passenger rail infrastructure; R70 billion for infrastructure, the bulk of which is road infrastructure; R20 billion for airports infrastructure; and R19,6 billion for public transport infrastructure for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Among important projects that are funded by the public transport infrastructure and systems grant are the following: public transport links and facilities; public transport interchange facilities; rail infrastructure and systems upgrade; intermodal facilities; Intelligent Transport Systems facilities; and nonmotorised transport facilities.

Hon members, we are moving very fast towards an integrated public transport system. This is necessary to ensure efficiency and to move us closer to the status of a developed economy. The transport modes should be integrated in order to deal with the challenge of the last mile. The last mile refers to people not being able to get home because, for instance, they arrive at a train station when the taxis and buses have already stopped operating. This could be avoided through better integration of the various modes. Distances between these modes must also be cut down drastically.

We are already implementing integrated ticketing to facilitate the movement of various transport modes in municipalities. In as far as buses are concerned, the operator of Durban Transport has cited inadequate subsidies and escalating fuel costs as key to their difficulties. Together with the eThekwini Metro and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport we will find alternative operators as a matter of urgency. We will appoint new operators who will start on 1 August 2009 for a period of 12 months. The city is finalising discussions with taxi and bus services to provide additional trips during July to maintain ongoing services. Buses remain part of our plans to move our people.

During the 2010 Fifa World Cup, all host cities and their respective municipalities should be able to transport soccer fans within transport plans. In this regard, in our discussions with Fifa representatives and Minmec, we agreed to have dedicated officials from national and provincial departments who would be dealing with matters of transport and who will be answerable to the department of transport in the cities, provinces and nationally.

Rea Vaya in Johannesburg is there at a cost of R329 million. Nelson Mandela Bay has the Khulani Corridor. Inner City Distribution and BRT networks in Tshwane cost R104 million. There is the BRT on the Klipfontein Corridor along the N2 Airport City in Cape Town; the Warwick Junction in Durban; and the infrastructure upgrading projects in Limpopo. We hosted a successful Confederations Cup and there should be no reason why we should not be able to do so next year.

Government has invested R25 billion over the MTEF period to upgrade passenger rail, and this is going well. Part of that includes rail security. We have already rolled out more than 1 700 rail police who are currently active in patrolling in the rail environment so that people use the rail transport in a more secure manner.

On the question of aviation, the Airports Company South Africa, Acsa, is progressing with its five-year investment programme — O R Tambo International at R2,65 billion; Cape Town International Airport at R714 million; Upington at R33 million; Bloemfontein at R43 million; Durban at R65 million; East London at R91 million; La Mercy in Durban at R6,5 billion, which is almost R7 billion; and Port Elizabeth at R52 million.

I hereby table our budget for the 2009-10 financial year which is R23,7 billion. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr H B GROENEWALD: Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members of the NCOP and guests, I take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister and the Deputy Minister on their appointments. Your experience in transport will ensure that the department is in a good state.

Transport is the heart of any country in the world’s economy. All of us know that when a country’s transport system collapses, the economy of that country also dies. Hon Minister, I am afraid that this will cost you and your department hard work to bring South Africa back on track with a more suitable and cost-effective policy to save the transport situation in South Africa.

A well-maintained transport and road infrastructure allows people to get to work, children to get to school and the population in general to move around. Over the past years, South Africa lost millions of rands on collapsing rail infrastructure. That brought about a big increase in heavy, overloaded trucks on national roads. No one can blame any investor in the country for making use of road transport, because there are no other alternatives that are reliable.

A truck that is 10% overloaded causes more than double the damage of a legally loaded vehicle, amounting to billions of rands per annum.

This brings me to another headache on South African roads. In some of the provinces, thousands of rands were spent on weighbridges that are not in a workable condition because of a lack of officials and skilled people. To close all escape routes on national roads for overloaded trucks, the department must make use of mobile weighbridges that will be more cost- effective. The DA wants to know if provinces have policies to operate these expensive infrastructures. If they were in working condition, there would be an immediate relief in the strain on already overburdened roads.

The DA strongly supports the idea of Transport putting 20 000km of rail in the hands of the private sector on a concession base. This will immediately allow more entrepreneurs to get involved in rail transport and will also create a lot of new jobs in the more rural areas of the country. This will also fit into open-opportunity society, where people who want to become something in life, will be able to provide for themselves and their families. AgriSA and forestry are very excited about this new challenge from Transport. This will also create a lot of new sustainable jobs in the long term for many people in South Africa.

The Minister and the department must look into the problem of shortage of technically skilled people and engineers to work on road maintenance and upgrading. To get highly skilled and professional people in the department, the department should offer market-related packages.

Promises have been made by the department that the taxi recapitalisation programme will scrap about 20 000 old taxis a year. At this stage, it seems that only 5 000 taxis have been scrapped per year. If we look into the budget for this programme, less money is available than in previous years. It will take the department 15 years to scrap all old taxis. That is not workable, hon Minister. A serious new alternative must see the light of day to help the taxi industry to get a face lift. If we look at road accidents on South African roads, taxis are involved in high percentages of accidents. Government must see that all taxi drivers undergo training to get necessary skills on how to drive and manage taxis in all circumstances.

Low-level investment in the infrastructure of our roads contributes to rising backlogs. Hundreds of billions of rands are needed on road maintenance. All studies, including those conducted by the department, clearly show that it is less costly to maintain roads than to rehabilitate them. I am afraid that the department does not have nearly enough money to serve all main roads in South Africa to do necessary maintenance. Therefore, the department must look into other alternatives to create more funds for the maintenance of roads. For example, they must launch a high priority road programme to identify parts of the national, provincial and local road networks with high maintenance. This would bring the backlog down within the short and medium term with a maximum timeline of five years.

Lastly, South Africa has less than one year before the 2010 Fifa World Cup to show the world that we can manage South Africa’s transport to the benefit of all citizens in the country, as well as to the world. One excellent example is the upgrading of road infrastructure in Rustenburg, in the North West province, where four major Fifa protocol routes were handed over to the Local Organising Committee by the MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport for a contract with a value of more than R500 million. More than 480 job opportunities were created by the four road projects for rural- based communities, including women from villages around Rustenburg. May that be the department’s challenge in the short term. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M P SIBANDE: Chairperson, hon Ministers, MEC Ndosi, hon members, government officials, ladies and gentlemen.

Ngena naye! Phuma naye! Lesi isikhalo esivamile uma kugitshelwa noma kwehliwa esitimeleni. Ngaleso sikhathi kukhalwa ubumayemaye kubagibeli abagibelayo kanye nalabo abehlayo esitimeleni. Wo he! ngiyakuzwela wena mama otete ingane, ngesinye isandla ubambe enye ingane kanti-ke futhi ngesinye isandla uphethe umthwalo.

Ngoba uma umkhosi kangena naye, phuma naye usumenyezelwe enhliziyweni yakho wazi kamhlophe ukuthi kusenokwenzeka ngeshwa ulahlekelwe yingane oyibambe ngesandla noma kulahleke imithwalo. Yonke lengxubevange ebeyenzeka ezitimeleni yadalwa umbuso wobandlululo ngoMthetho Wokuhlaliswa Kwezinhlanga Ngokwahlukene ngokuthi abantu basuswe ezindaweni zabo zendabuko balahlwe le kude. Izindawo ababekwa kuzo bekuyizindawo zokulala kuphela “slaap dorpies”.

Ukwanda kwabantu njengaseSoweto yikona okwadala ukuthi abagibeli bonke bathuthelekele ezitimeleni, njengento ezobathutha ukuya emisebenzini. Mhlonishwa Ngqongqoshe, singumphakathi waseMpumalanga sithanda ukubonga ngegalelo olenzile ngeprojekthi ebizwa ngokuthiwa yiMoloto Corridor. Siyathemba ukuthi lomzila wesitimela oxhumanisa iMpumalanga neTshwane uzoba nempumelelo emizameni yokunciphisa ukucinana kohide lwezimoto olugcina ngokudala izingozi ezinyantisa umzimba nsuku zonke emgwaqeni woMoloto. Nathi-ke siyizakhamuzi zaseMpumalanga sesizokwazi ukuhlabelela sithi:

Yaduma yaqeda impolompolo Ilindele ukusa ishosholoze. Igudle izintaba igudle namawa. Iqonde khona eTshwane Iqonde khona eGauteng (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Push him in! Push him out! This is the common chant when boarding or alighting from trains. At that time the people who are boarding or those who are alighting from those trains are crying for dear life. What a pity! I feel sorry for the mother who is carrying a baby on her back, whilst holding another child with one hand and carrying parcels with the other hand.

That’s because you know in your heart that once the “push him in, push him out” chant begins, two unfortunate things might happen, and that is you can either be separated from the child you are holding with your one hand or lose parcels in your other hand. That chaos was created by the apartheid government through its separate development policies by removing people from their ancestral land and dumping them in remote places. The areas that were allocated to them were meant to be for overnight stay and they were known as “slaapdorpies”.

The increasing number of people living in places like Soweto resulted in large numbers of people opting for trains as their mode of transport to work, and that resulted in trains becoming overcrowded. Hon Minister, as the community of Mpumalanga we would like to thank you for the contribution you have made with regard to the project known as the Moloto Corridor. We hope that this commuter rail line, which will connect Mpumalanga and Tshwane, will succeed in reducing traffic congestion that leads to fatal accidents every day on the Moloto road. We, as the community of Mpumalanga will be able to sing the following song:]

Yaduma yaqeda impolompolo Ilindele ukusa ishosholoze. Igudle izintaba igudle namawa. Iqonde khona eTshwane Iqonde khona eGauteng

The ANC, in the recent national and provincial elections, received a strong mandate to better the lives of all the people by working together with communities and all development partners. We can therefore not betray the will of our people, but instead have to restore their dignity and confidence in this ANC-led government.

The ANC’s manifesto is very clear on the fact that we need to build an equitable, sustainable, safe and inclusive transport system. The reality is that our public transport system is fragmented, irrational and uneconomical. This results in it being unsustainable and unable to drive the local economic development programme for the purpose of creating jobs in order to eradicate poverty in our communities. Thus, our public transport system has to be significantly improved to meet challenges that our people are confronted with in our endeavours to fully integrate and transform their lives and ways of living.

Our transport system must be capable of becoming a labour-absorbing sector that will be a driving force on capacitating small businesses. So, the integrated transport system must be the main driving mechanism for the development of a mixed economy, where the state, private capital, co- operatives and other forms of social ownership complement each other in an integrated way to eliminate poverty and foster shared economical growth.

A developmental state should maintain its strategic goals in shaping key sectors of the economy like a national transport system. This means that the Department of Transport has a responsibility to roll out state-led infrastructure investment programmes. We need to have a comprehensive rural development strategy which builds potential for rural sustainable livelihoods, especially for disabled people and women as part of an overarching vision of rural development.

Thus, public participation in order to produce integrated transport plans at local level, as part of the broader integrated development plans, is highly recommended. Hon members, I am making a call to all the municipalities to establish, as required by law, transport authorities involving all the major role-players in this regard. The taxi recapitalisation programme must be reviewed if we consider that, as estimated, 64% of all commuters in our country rely on minibus taxis. Therefore, these taxis are the backbone of our public transport system, with small profit margins. Drivers are forced to speed, overload, work long hours and overwork their vehicles, thus causing this sector to have a very high accident rate.

It is one of the biggest infrastructure investment projects for the 2010 Fifa World Cup and articulates clearly the fact that there will be serious engagements with various stakeholders that are affected by the bus rapid transit, BRT, system and will include how all stakeholders benefit from this initiative.

Our transport system has a responsibility to facilitate transformation in cities, towns and rural areas in order to build cohesive sustainable and caring societies with closer access to work and social amenities, including sport and recreation facilities. We need to realise that rural areas have a right to roads; we have to ensure training and skills development that responds to the requirements of the economy to boost human resources capacity.

Lastly, we have to be tough on drunken driving and pay special attention to combating corruption and fraud in the procurement and tender processes … njengoba ubaba uNdosi enza … [… just the way Ndosi is doing it …]

… in terms of the application of driving licences and theft of police case docket documents. The main goal of our government must be to ensure that foreign relations contribute to the creation of an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth and development. We must emphasise that a developmental state requires improvement of public services that will strengthen our democratic institutions.

It is important to reflect that the first National Household Travel Survey, in its findings, reported that 67,9% of South Africans do not have access to trains, 56% do not have access to buses, and people who don’t have access to taxis are just a small percentage of 11,22%. So, there is a need for an intervention programme like the BRT system that will be accessible to poor communities, especially from the rural areas.

The main challenges in this area are that we need to find out about the behaviour of the taxi industry; interrogate to what extent transformation is taking place on both metro rail and buses; consider whether there is any transport strategy utilised to address the need of the poor in rural areas; enhance sustainable local economic development objectives of the developmental state that speaks to the ANC policies and conference resolutions; and identify loopholes and ensure co-operation among the three spheres of government on allocation of public transport in our communities.

Ake ngisho lokhu, kancane ngizophinda ngibuye. Sihlalo, ngivumele ngikhumbuze amambuka ukuthi kumazwe athuthukile afana noBritain kanye ne- Amerika kuneqembu elibusayo kanye namaqembu aphikisayo kodwa wonke lamaqembu awadluli kwamahlanu. Abantu baseMzanzi Afrika balwela inkululeko kodwa hhayi amaqembu-qembu. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[Let me say this first, and then I will come back to the point. Chairperson, allow me to remind the traitors that in developed countries like Britain and America there is a ruling party and opposition parties do not exceed five parties. The people of South Africa fought for freedom and not for the formation of many parties.]

Are you free or are you dom? [Laughter.]

Ngibuye futhi. [Coming back to the point.]

There is an interesting relationship between types of settlements and the number of people who spend nothing on public transport, for example, nearly a third of metropolitan and urban households spend money on transport. In rural areas only 14% of households spend nothing. This indicates the dependency of rural populations on public transport in provinces like Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and Northern Cape.

The reason why there is a slow expenditure on public transport in the Western Cape and Gauteng is that household income in these provinces is much higher and use of public transport is lower. [Time expired.] I thank you. [Applause.]

Mufumakadzi L MABIJA: Mudzulatshidulo a ṱhonifheaho, Vho Minisiṱa vha ṱhonifheaho na Mufarisi wavho, vhahulisei vha ino Nnḓu, vhashumeli vha muvhuso na vho thetshelesaho hanengei mahayani, ndi matsheloni. (Translation of Tshivenḓa paragraph follows.)

[Ms L MABIJA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and your Deputy, hon members of this House, government employees and those listening at home, good morning.]

I believe we are all aware that there is a war outside there. Instead of buses and taxis working together as part of integrated systems in our towns and cities, we have minibus taxi organisations fighting one another for passengers. This leads to minibus taxis competing with buses and trains on long-distance routes.

Musi hezwi zwithu zwi tshi itea, zwi dzhia na matshilo a vhanwe vha vhadzulapo vha fhano Afurika Tshipembe. [When these things happen, they take the lives of South African citizens.]

Therefore, there is a need for intervention in our transport system.

Ndo takala ndi tshi pfa Minisiṱa Vho Sbu vha tshi ri ṱanḓavhudzela nga nḓila ine vhone sa murangaphanḓa vha vhilaela ngayo uri zwithu zwi tshimbile zwavhuḓi. Vha dovha hafhu vha ri sumbedzisa zwiimiswa zwo fhambanaho zwine zwa khou shumana na uri mafhungo haya a zwa vhuendi a tshimbile nga nḓila ine ya vhuedza vhadzulapo.

Zwino ndi ḓo dadamala kha fhungo ḽa Bus Rapid Transport System, ine nga kuvhonele kwanga ya vha yone i re ngonani … (Translation of Tshivenḓa paragraphs follows.)

[I was happy when I heard Minister Sbu giving us details of how he, as the leader, is worried that things should go smoothly. He further shows us various institutions which are involved in ensuring that issues of transport should benefit the citizens.

Now I shall deal with the issue of the bus rapid transport system, which in my view is the one that is appropriate …]

… because this system is based on creating a positive climate for the formalisation of transportation of the people. Therefore, it will enhance positive conditions for economic empowerment for the poorest of the poor, both in urban and rural areas.

We need to specifically look at the fact that it will provide better services in order for public transport to gain respect for law, create decent working conditions for all and instil a sense of pride and fair representation in public transport. This will change the face of the public transport system. It will be appropriate to highlight that it will upgrade quality and performance levels of transport systems. In doing so, our transport system will be capable of becoming a labour-absorbing sector that leads to the development of sustainable local economic growth.

This will speak to the ANC policies that emphasise the main mandate of the department which is to ensure that it leads to a massive public investment programme for growth and employment that will accelerate and expand its investment in public infrastructure, including expanding improved networks in public transport.

This will create opportunities, whilst at the same time meeting the basic needs of our society. The state of the nation address confirms that the main principle of all government departments must be based on fighting poverty in order to build better lives for all.

So, we must recall that the fight against poverty remains the cornerstone of our government focus. As long as there are people who don’t have access to transport, we need to work together in driving development programmes with various municipalities to speed up economic growth and transform the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods. We need a transport system that will have the responsibility to facilitate transformation of our cities and rural areas in order to build caring communities with closer access to work and social amenities.

The ANC articulates clearly that public transport is the main mechanism or a major instrument benefiting broad sectors of our societies, especially workers, the youth, women and people with disabilities because it actively promotes skills development. That is why we need an integrated transport system that can use a bottom-up approach. Hopefully, it will be sustainable for development. It will be appropriate to give a full explanation as to why we don’t see the taxi system as relevant in our societies these days. One can say taxi drivers are forced to speed, overload, work long hours and overwork their vehicles, resulting in high accident rates; whilst the bus rapid transport system is fast and capable of carrying loads of people, and at the same time it is also cheap for our people.

Therefore, it creates a user-friendly environment in our communities. This will enhance the co-ordination of transport projects in relation to the 2010 Soccer World Cup. On the other hand, it will develop practices and norms that will increase access to appropriate and quality public transport to meet the socioeconomic status of both rural and urban communities.

In conclusion, it must be reflected that many of the achievements in the past nine years, where we commenced building 1,4 million houses that are in the same dormitory townships, have compounded our transport challenges. There is a need to adhere to a philosophy that is based on key principles of equity in order to promote broader social responsibility, and a need to serve the interests of the majority of passengers rather than those of private vehicles.

In fact, there is a need to politicise the terrain of transport such that the needs of the majority of users, notably poor and marginalised South Africans, are prioritised. The significance of improving the passenger and transport system as a contributor to economic competitiveness needs to be emphasised. Public transport, in particular, is grossly underresourced in relation to other sectors and in terms of national output and budgetary revenue streams.

Nga enea maipfi maṱuku ndi na fulufhelo ḽihulu ḽa uri muhulisei Vho Sbu vha khou ḓo shumisa mugaganyagwama wavho nga nḓila ine ra sala ri tshi khou zwi vhona zwauri khaedu dzoṱhe dzine ra vha nadzo dzi a fhungudzea, u itela uri roṱhe ri kone u wana vhutshilo ha khwiṅe. Zwine nda fulufhela khazwo ndi zwauri ri roṱhe ri ḓo ita zwauri hu vhonale tshanduko, zwi vhonale zwauri muvhuso wo rangiwaho phanḓa nga ANC u na bono na mbonelaphanḓa. Ndi a livhuwa. [U vhanda zwanḓa.] (Translation of Tshivenda paragraph follows.)

[With these few words I have great hope that hon Sbu is going to spend his budget in a way that will make us see all the challenges we have are lessened, so that all of us can have a better life. What I believe in is that, together, we will bring about developments, so that it can be seen that the ANC-led government has vision and foresight. I thank you. [Applause.]]

Prince M M M ZULU: Chairperson, hon Minister Manzankosi and Deputy Minister, hon MEC, …

Izinhlelo zethu zezezokuthutha kuleli lizwe ziphucuzeke kakhulu, njengoba sazi ukuthi ezokuthutha kuleli lizwe yizona zinhlelo ezikwazi ukuxhumanisa bonke abantu basemakhaya nabasemadolobheni ukuze izinto zakhona zikwazi ukuhamba kahle.

Ngithi-ke, Manzankosi nginokukwethemba ukuthi kukhona ongakwenza kulolu hlelo lwakithi ngoba kulesiya sifundazwe sobukhosi baKwaZulu-Natali kuningi owakwenza wathukisa izindawo zethu zasemakhaya. Sayeka ukwemuka nomfula uma sihamba siwela imifula njengaseSikhwebezi nje siya kwezinye izindawo. Sasingakwazi ukuwela kahle, sasiwela amanzi ashaya lapha bese sihamba siya esikoleni iSilanda.

Ngithi-ke, Manzankosi ngiyakwethemba njengendoda eqhamuka kulesiya sifundazwe ukuthi uzowenza lo msebenzi. Ngiyethemba futhi ukuthi ngeke usiphoxe ngesikhathi Sendebe Yomhlaba. Uyobe usukulungisile lokhu okuzintwala okuhluphayo laphaya ezitimeleni njengoba umnawami kade esho ukuthi uthola omama bethwele kakhulu, kuminyene, bebelethe nezingane, behla nakabuhlungu ezitimeleni.

Bese ngithi-ke ngizocela ukuthi ubambisane kakhulu noNdosi ezimpini lezi zamagovu lawa akithi angoSomatekisi ngoba isibhamu sisekhona. Ngoba uma uhamba ngetekisi uvele wazi kahle ukuthi awuphephile. Ngizocela impela ukuthi nibambisane njengamadoda aleli lizwe kanye nezakhamizi njengoba oyihlomkhulu bayilwela le nkululeko, nikwazi ukuthi izigebengu lezi niziqoqe nizibeke endaweni yazo.

Ngithi-ke isabelomali somnyango wakho, njengoba ufika nje, ngabe ngenza obukhulu ubuxhwe uma ngingagxeka. Uyafika, ufake izicathulo ezintsha. Lezi zicathulo ezintsha-ke ngicela ukuthi uzifake Manzankosi, usebenze ngokwethembeka kuleli lizwe lenkosi, uthasisele kulokhu owawukwenza le ekhaya, uphinde ukwenze nalapha. Ngithi-ke isabelomali soMnyango wakho ngiyaseseka egameni leqembu leNkatha Yenkululeko Yesizwe. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Our transport programmes in this country are well developed. We all know that transport programmes make it easy for people in the rural and urban areas to meet so that everything can run smoothly.

Manzankosi, I trust that you can do a lot in this programme because in our province, KwaZulu-Natal, you did a lot in developing places in rural areas. We no longer get washed away whilst crossing rivers, for example, the Sikhwebezi River, in order to get to other places. It was not easy to cross; the water would reach up to here when we were going to school in Silanda.

Manzankosi, I trust that you will execute this task as a man from that province. I also hope that you will not disappoint us during the Soccer World Cup; and that by that time you would have taken care of those people who are causing problems on the trains, such as those my colleague mentioned. Amongst other things is that you find women with lots of parcels and children on their backs in overcrowded trains, and they also find it difficult to disembark from the train.

I urge you to work together with Cele in fighting crime in the taxi industry because they still have guns. When you travel in a taxi you know that you are not safe. I urge you to work together as men and citizens of this country because your forefathers fought for this freedom, and you must be able to put these criminals where they belong.

With regard to the budget allocation of your department, it would be really unfair of me to make slanderous remarks because you are still new in your position. Manzankosi, I urge you to work with integrity in your new position; do more here than what you did back home. I support your department’s budget allocation on behalf of the Inkatha Freedom Party. [Applause.]] Mr B H CELE (KwaZulu-Natal): Chairperson, Minister, Deputy Minister, colleagues, friends, foes and comrades, the budget is speaking to us regarding a couple of aspects. Hon Minister, talking to you …

… kufana nokuthela amanzi emhlane wedada … [… is a waste of time …]

… because you understand these things very well, but let us start with the 2010 and infrastructure budget. Its shortcoming is that it has concentrated on host cities and developing cities only, and has completely forgotten the rural areas. That is the problem about the billions of 2010. I hope that, at a certain given point, we will pick that one up, because it is very serious.

Where I come from — you know very well where — we have just completed a process of trying to find out what we can do in the rural areas which are short of 474 pedestrian and vehicle bridges. We are building a pedestrian bridge at a cost of R6 million per bridge. If we build 10 a year, it will take us 43 years to build enough bridges for everybody in that province to cross a river when it is raining.

Whilst speaking about the province, I am sure that several provinces like Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Eastern Cape share the same problems as KwaZulu- Natal where people still postpone funerals and weddings because they cannot cross the river on the day of the function. They shout out messages, saying: Ningabe niseza, asisashadi sizoshada ngesonto elizayo. [Do not come, we are no longer getting married; we will get married next week.] People cannot cross the river to reach the place where the wedding is taking place on that particular day.

So, these are the things we need to understand as we enjoy the 2010 Fifa World Cup; seeing Gautrain and the bus rapid transit, BRT, system and everything. Life in rural areas for some reason has not been taken up to speed, like the 2010 furore. So, we need to understand that. Having said that, we appreciate the infrastructure that is there, but as I am trying to make everybody understand, it should not just be for the urban South Africa and the developed areas only, but the rural South Africa should also benefit from the 2010 infrastructure. We are in danger of completely forgetting the rural areas where we come from.

We did a check and would like to agree with you on the point of road safety. I have been accused of exaggerating when it comes to road safety, hon Minister and hon Deputy Minister. I would love to see road safety picked up at the same level as HIV/Aids. Sometimes they feel that I am exaggerating I am not. Imagine that you lose 15 000 people a year, and that those people you are losing are between the ages of 18 and 35 or 40. Imagine those people have just finished school and acquired degrees, be it medical degrees, chartered accountants, etc. Those are the kinds of people who die on the roads. They die on the roads because they can afford to buy speedy cars and they die on the roads — 15 000 of them — at an expense of R56 billion a year, money that no one has budgeted for. Going to the ICU, you are moving from being healthy straight to the ICU, which no one has budgeted for. Therefore, we need to pick up on road safety seriously.

Actually, we should move away from the mentality of thinking that road offences are ordinary and normal road offences. There must be some kind of an understanding that you are committing a crime, because most of these accidents are criminal offences rather than traffic offences. You cannot just go into a bar …

… unkunke utshwala, unkunke utshwala, unkunke utshwala bugcwale isisu … [… and gulp liquor, and gulp more liquor, until you cannot take anymore …]

… and when you are really drunk and nasty, you get into a car and drive. And when you kill people everybody thinks that …

… wenze ingozi.[… it was an accident.]

There is no accident about that. There is no culpable homicide. That is murder. So, we must begin to understand and treat those things with some kind of understanding. The countries that we look up to, countries like Australia, have nothing like road offences. They call it crime. If you drive at 210km per hour where you are supposed to be driving at 100km per hour and you kill people, they charge you for culpable homicide … “ubulele ngengozi,” [You committed culpable homicide.] When you were flying on the road … Roads are not for flying; they are for driving and there are people who are flying on the roads and we are still arguing that it was an accident. It cannot be an accident; it is murder.

So, we need to shift our understanding of road accidents. They kill our people, they kill young people and therefore our economy, because the people killed either owned these cars and were active in the economy or were in the buses or taxis going to work or they were school kids. They are therefore killing the future and not only the present.

Hon Minister and Deputy Minister, there is a programme that we have taken that is meant for visiting the victims of road accidents. You need to go and see what happens when people have died on the roads. Some kids have been going to the best schools, and when they are supposed to go back to township schools for the first time, because their whole lives their parents have been driving them to school, they find out for the first time where the taxi rank is.

Usizi. [It’s sad.]

The pain that engulfs these families when people have died on the roads is amazing. So, it is important that road safety is really taken care of and that we pick up on it in the very serious way it deserves and that we are very serious about it.

Lastly, Minister, I know job creation is close to your heart and I hope that you will push it very hard. There are programmes like Zibambele that we need to carry through. When you left the province you had targeted to create these 40 000 Zibambele jobs for the period 2009-10 and I am sure that you will be happy when I tell you that we have already created 39 997, which is only three short to complete 40 000 before the end of period 2009- 10.

There are two important things about these Zibambele jobs. Firstly, they are permanent; and secondly, they help the most unemployable people, people whom, even if the country had an upswing economically, would never be able to get their CVs, because they are completely illiterate. So, even if you create more jobs, that won’t help them. Therefore, it is important that these jobs are created for these people. But more than that Minister, the report is that they have created clubs and managed to get something out of nothing. These people work three days a week and get about R450 to R490 now. They have saved R12 million amongst themselves with their saving clubs – R12 million.

What we are trying to do at the moment is that they are saving in different places and pooling their money together; soon they are going to be creating what we call Thenga kanye-kanye. This is when they are going to buy their groceries in bulk and we have calculated that if they buy groceries together, where they would normally pay R270 per package, they would only pay R200 with this scheme. And at the same time they will work with one mode of transport that will deliver rather than paying money to go to town to buy, but these things will be delivered. I think we can all sit down and share these ideas together and spread them nationally.

And the last one is Siyazenzela. Through the Extended Public Works Programme, EPWP, we have formed joint ventures with municipalities where, instead of giving tenders for garbage collection, the individual household is contracted to collect garbage and weigh it and then get food of the same weight as the garbage they have collected. So, we have four municipalities working on that and we are prepared to sit down and share these ideas together and spread them through the whole country so that we make sure that the jobs that the President has spoken about are achieved. That is the contribution that KwaZulu-Natal is making. We support this Budget Vote and we hope that all these runs will walk a longer distance. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Mr M P JACOBS: Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, hon MECs, hon members and officials, let us acknowledge the road that we have travelled as the Department of Transport over the years to build an efficient, accessible, cost-effective and trouble-free transport system. An efficient transport system is the backbone of a prosperous economy.

Minister, your department has been able to bring down the death rate on our roads. It has been able to boost the economy through transporting goods from one destination to the other. Your budget is a movement through which greater transparency and participation in government budgetary decision- making can be attained. Our emphasis on this budget is to accelerate economic growth and development; improve the effectiveness of government intervention; improve the lives of those who have been disadvantaged; intensify the South-South economic relations; ensure that there is implementation of energy saving measures; and the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.

The ANC-led government believes that this sector has the potential to create sustainable jobs and to grow the economy faster, targeting the 2010 World Cup and beyond. That is why it is crucial that the bus rapid transit, BRT, system should be brought to finality as a matter of urgency. The greatest challenge confronting us is that we do not have a well co- ordinated transport system. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. The taxi industry does not talk to the bus industry and vice versa; it is similar in the freight, flight and rail industries.

The taxi industry is an industry that can improve our economy tremendously. Taxi owners must realise that there is life after the taxi industry. There should be visionaries who should venture into other businesses, like the bus, car manufacturing, petrol, spares and even the manufacturing industries. They could create thousands of jobs to improve the lives of our people.

The sooner we put the house in order, the better for the transport industry. For the industry to thrive, they must be made aware that transport is not their exclusive monopoly, but that they are a part of the industry just like other stakeholders. This reminds me of the words of a former Lesedi radio announcer, Thuso Motaung, who said, “Taxi owners, instead of counting rands and cents, are busy counting dead bodies.”

The second challenge is to create an enabling environment for rural people and black farmers to do business without hindrance. These people should be assisted and supported to create a transport system that is reliable, cost- effective and efficient. Their products should easily reach urban markets. We should inculcate a sense of pride for them to do business in rural areas. They should not feel neglected. They are entitled to the same rights and privileges that are enjoyed by people living in urban areas.

In conclusion, we should never again allow a project like the Gautrain, because the beneficiaries of that project are well-to-do people. We carry the mandate of the majority of our people. They are the ones who should be beneficiaries. Mr Minister, we support your Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, Minister Ndebele, MEC Cele, hon members, Director-General of Transport and your colleagues from the department, friends and colleagues, a few weeks ago I had the privilege of addressing the select committee when we tabled the Department of Transport’s strategic plan.

I would like to use today’s input to just dwell on some of the issues that I raised in that particular meeting. I know from my 10 years in Parliament – Chairperson, I know that you’re one of the champions of this – that the purpose and strategic role of the NCOP is not often appreciated, particularly by colleagues over in the National Assembly. Maybe, sometimes also here in the NCOP as well, there’s a sense of “Who are we?” And I think the NCOP sometimes gets treated as a poor relative.

What I really want to say today is that, certainly from a transport perspective, the role and importance of the National Council of Provinces is absolutely crucial. If you are going to deliver infrastructure and public transport — a range of things — effectively, then your role is really critical. I really wanted to make that point.

When it comes to road infrastructure, for instance, the hon Groenewald correctly said that we’ve got many challenges in terms of maintenance, upgrading and so on. Failure to do that sets us further back. He is absolutely right.

He then said that the national Department of Transport needs to get more qualified civil engineers. That may be the case, but a lot of maintenance and infrastructure development problems lie with provinces and local government. This is not necessarily their fault, but we need an intelligent and strategic discussion about how we allocate resources to infrastructure, bridges and so forth. How do we ensure that those resources are then spent on infrastructure?

We think that at a national level, the SA National Roads Agency Ltd, Sanral, is by and large doing quite well in terms of the maintenance and development of road infrastructure, the N-routes. However, the great majority of kilometres of routes are actually with other spheres of government, and there are many challenges.

We think that you have a strategic role to play, one, in terms of oversight, but also, two, in contributing to the policy debate as to how we most effectively allocate resources to make sure that we are doing this.

This also applies to public transport. By the way, hon Cele, in the medium- term budgets for the years 2011-12 the public transport infrastructure grant envisages some R5,1 billion for infrastructure, and government’s perspective is that we need then to shift, in that year, to a major focus on rural transport infrastructure.

We’ve used the 2010 hosting to increase our transport budget quite successfully. Cabinet has let us use 2010 to make sure that we have a legacy of public transport, for the first time. This is because we don’t have decent public transport at all in South Africa. We’ve done quite well in terms of getting a budget, but, of course, that budget, as the hon Cele has correctly said, has tended to go to cities. I understand his impatience, but at the same time we do understand that it’s not just in cities that there are problems of public transport, as there are also huge problems in rural areas. Certainly, it is our intention, particularly from 2011-12, to shift the emphasis of infrastructure transport spending to rural areas.

As we look back on the past 15 years of democracy, we can see that we’ve done many good things together. Led by the ANC government, all of us as South Africans have done many good things in transforming our country. However, there are areas where we seem to have reproduced poverty and inequality, which is by and large racialised inequality.

One of the problems has to do with this spatial arrangement, the spatial legacy of South Africa. What happened before the apartheid period is that the black majority was forced into marginalisation, either into dormitory Bantustans and reserves, or into peripheral townships on the edges of our cities.

That means, from a public transport perspective, moving people effectively and efficiently was hugely complicated. Even today, we have this legacy where public transport is not public transport that is being used all day, throughout the day, and so on. It’s one way in the mornings and one way in the evenings, to dump people back in their dormitory townships. No resources, no facilities and so on. This poses huge challenges for all of our cities and towns as to how we have sustainable public transport that serves people and begins to change things.

What we realise is that we can’t do it alone, as the Department of Transport; we need to work closely with our municipalities and their integrated transport plans and development plans. We need to work very closely with our provinces and the Human Settlements department, which is no longer just the Department of Housing, because we’re not just thinking of housing as rows of RDP houses located in the same distant localities. Let’s start to think about human settlements, where there are resources, facilities, such as sporting facilities, jobs, and so forth, which are not far away from where people have historically been dumped.

We need to also work very closely with the Planning Commission in the Presidency to make sure that we start to change the way in which space is allocated in South Africa, so that we don’t continue just to reproduce racialised inequality, which we have done over the past 15 years. When apartheid ended, the market took over. So, when we built RDP houses, we built one million in five years — which is an amazing achievement — and three million now, after 15 years. In order to do that massive expansion of houses within the space of 15 years, and within the budget, we locate them in the same low-cost areas in terms of property.

Again, the market itself has reproduced these inequalities of space at a huge cost to poor people in terms of travel and in terms of time to get anywhere in order to access their basic rights. So, we’ve got to change that. Transport itself can also be a catalyst for changing this.

Many speakers have already mentioned the fact that we need to have integrated public transport systems, including, but not just, Bus Rapid Transit systems, BRTs. Instead of these sterile freeways congested with cars, we need decent routes where businesses, mixed-income housing, all kinds of facilities and so on, are all along the routes. The routes themselves become democratic spaces where rich and poor, black and white, old and young use the public transport and contribute to a new sense of nation-building and solidarity.

So, public transport is very important and, therefore, hon Cele, I hope you’ll forgive us for spending a bit of money in the cities and towns where there are big problems of congestion, in order to begin to democratise the space, time and allocation of resources in order to transform people’s ordinary lives.

What have been the problems? One of the problems, as we look back, has been that many of the transport responsibilities have been fragmented into different spheres of government. For instance, planning, in terms of the old National Land Transport Transition Act, was primarily a municipal function, as it should be. Integrated development plans also integrate transport plans, and the two obviously needed to be linked.

However, when it comes to subsidies, for instance, the bus subsidies have been a provincial function. The Metrorail subsidy function has been a national function — okay. The regulatory functions, for instance in terms of operating licences, have tended to be a provincial function.

This has been the case not necessarily because people were competing for turf — although sometimes they were — between different spheres of government. It has been a recipe for a lack of co-ordination: planning in one place; regulation in another; and subsidies in another place, and therefore the things not adding up together.

Therefore the NCOP, towards the end of last year – obviously the NCOP of the previous Parliament – passed the new National Land Transport Act. This Act said: Let us, as quickly as possible, locate regulation, licensing, subsidies, where possible, and planning in one place so that you don’t have things pulling in different directions. In particular it said: Let us begin with the 2010 host cities. Let us try and locate all of those things like the operating licensing, the subsidies, the infrastructure spend and the planning with the host cities and any other municipalities that are capable – obviously not all would be capable all at once of doing these things.

We need to move towards the implementation of that National Land Transport Act, which I think will go a long way. We can’t do that unless our colleagues in the NCOP also play a very active role in oversight over the provincial executives and over the towns and cities in their areas. So, we really call upon you to be activists in this process.

The same applies – I see my time is running out – to bus subsidies. My colleagues will remember that at the beginning of this year, we ran out of bus subsidies and there was a huge crisis. This year, we estimate that again we are going to have a similar problem. This year things, from a provincial point of view, have become more complicated because now the subsidy doesn’t go via the national department to provinces; it goes directly to provinces, in terms of the Division of Revenue Act. Therefore, we call on provinces and yourselves in the NCOP to be very vigilant about how we are going to use the bus subsidy allocation. From the national department, we are going to campaign with Treasury to make sure that there is an improved allocation for bus subsidies in provinces.

At the same time, unless provinces make a good case for how they are going to be spending that subsidy, it’s going to be very difficult for us. So, in short, colleagues, thank you for the inputs that I’ve heard so far. My main message is: We need an activist, vigilant, but co-operative NCOP, if we are to achieve a major turnaround — as I’m sure we will — in terms of public transport and transport in South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr D B FELDMAN: Chair, hon Minister, Deputy Minister, hon MEC, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. It should be clear to this House that there is something innately wrong with the transport policy. The policy is premised on the belief that oil supplies are constant, that demand is level and that climate change is not playing a factor. No mention is made anywhere of peak oil. The department is silent on single-passenger cars causing a gridlock on our roads leading in and out of the cities. The fact that our mode of transport has the biggest impact on our environment seems to be inconsequential.

Who can argue the fact that motorised vehicles are the largest emitters of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and therefore the largest contributors of the process of climate change? It is estimated that 160 000 people are dying of climate change each year. Models developed by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change show that climate change will threaten health, particularly in the low-income population and predominantly in tropical and subtropical countries. This means we are first in the line of fire. Heat-related deaths and illnesses, epidemics of infectious diseases after storms and floods and the displacement of population have been forecast. Overall crop yields are predicted to decrease as temperatures rise, and food prices will rise rapidly.

That is just one part of the problem. Fuel prices are rising again. Last year, it rose to R10,00 a litre. Where will fuel prices be in two or three years from now? The increasing demand and the falling supplies, especially of light crude oil, will intensify the pressure on prices. But then what about the pressure on our foreign exchange? What if everybody chose to travel to work in a single car? An individual might afford the cost of fuel, but what about the economy?

Our people have to travel long distances everyday. This has taken a toll on their health, as well as on their pockets. It is one thing when taxi drivers protest. It will be a different thing if the daily commuters begin to protest. That time is very close. If we don’t have any answers, we will have big problems. The season of protests is here. The bus rapid transit system, BRT, still has to get off the ground. The park-and ride system is only being tested on a small scale at this moment. At the rate which our government has been going, it will be overtaken by circumstances beyond our control.

I would like to ask the Minister to come back to this House with new, revised and forward-looking plans that will allow transport to be sustainable and affordable far into the future. Peak oil is here; climate change is here; escalation in the price of fuel is here and pressure on our foreign exchange is here. None of these will be reversed any time soon, and some will never be reversed, ever.

Mr D V BLOEM: Chair, on a point of order: we can’t hear, and the member is busy speaking. Are you going to allow him one minute or two more minutes to … [Interjections.] No, we can’t hear the member speak. That is the issue. [Interjections.] No, it’s not. It started now.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N W Magadla): The Chief Whip is attending to that, hon member.

Mr D V BLOEM: Yes, please.

Mr D B FELDMAN: Cope believes that we cannot afford to be tied into a transport technology that is of fading utility. Cope also believes that our policies must be anticipating the future and not perpetuating the past. What we have in front of us are policies that will plunge us into an abyss. We need a smarter plan, and we need it now. I thank you.

Mr J J VISSER (Western Cape): Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, I thank you for the opportunity to speak and represent my province here. It is so, Deputy Minister, that nothing shapes our cities more profoundly than public transport. Safe, affordable and accessible public transport carries millions to work every day. It takes children safely to school; it enables us to visit our friends; and it takes us to our places of work every day. Transport, in its widest form, carries the fruits of our labours to their market destinations so that we may all prosper.

Public transport offers choice and opportunity. It drives the economy; it shrinks the cities; it softens the scars of apartheid; and it is an inescapable component of our personal freedom and opportunity. The key to a successful public transport system is partnerships. We will master skills of working effectively with a multitude of national departments, municipalities and other provinces to deliver a platform for an effective and efficient public transport system. Partnership, at every level, will be our driving imperative, and it will include the private sector, trade unions, transport operators, NGOs and the people of the province.

The province and the City of Cape Town will bury old differences, eliminate duplication and work together in a host of endeavours that will transform public transport. Within the next year, for example, responsibilities for public transport will, in terms of the National Land Transport Act, increasingly switch from the province to the city and other municipalities capable of managing this function. The province will ensure that it is able to smoothly transfer public transport functions in excellent working order and then lend support to the new transport authorities.

In the quest for public transport for all, the DA will deliver in this province, within five years, the platform of an integrated public transport system whose operating elements are increasingly harmonised, regulated, formalised and complementary rather than competitive. Our objective is to provide excellent public transport, reduce congestion on our roads and in our ports, maintain and improve all our roads, significantly improve road safety, cater for passengers with special needs and ease the movement of freight so that all of these objectives, working together, ensure economic growth and provide meaningful opportunities, choice and a better life for all the people. The characteristics of public transport will be affordability, accessibility, reliability, safety and sustainability.

The minibus-taxi industry is, despite its imperfections, a dazzling example of what can be achieved by previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs without black economic empowerment, BEE, handouts or subsidies in the face of a myriad of difficulties. The DA is totally committed to preserving the wellbeing of the industry and all its stakeholders. We will continue to ensure that no fundamental changes are introduced without negotiation and consensus, and that such changes are always beneficial to the owners and operators. We will guarantee mobility through the taxi and bus lanes, improve the efficiency and efficacy of the regulating authorities and seek, with the industry, for solutions to their most pressing problems. In return, we expect the industry’s fullest co-operation in our safety and regulatory campaigns, as well as a significant improvement in service to their customers.

With regard to the bus rapid transit, BRT, system, the province will collaborate seamlessly with the City of Cape Town to ensure that the first three BRT systems are fully operational for 2010. The BRT system will revolutionise public transport in the Peninsula commuter belt, which includes the city, Swartland, Drakenstein and Stellenbosch. The first routes will serve as a working laboratory to point the way forward. Our Minister, Robin Carlisle, stands shoulder to shoulder with both our President and our Premier in his commitment to BRT.

For the 2010 event, the best will be in the west. The City of Cape Town is the host city contracted to Fifa. As such, it has the greatest responsibility for the success of this seminal event, including public transport. The city’s Mike Marsden will champion the entire project, including the important legacy aspects. In the spirit of co-operation and real co-ordination, all provincial staff working on 2010 will report directly to Mr Marsden. The province is already working in partnership with the city, and it has already transferred a number of consultants to the city. We are confident that 2010 will exceed expectations.

When it comes to roads infrastructure, the physical condition of the provincial road network, particularly our gravel roads, is a matter of concern. Roads are usually designed for a normal lifespan of 25 years. However, about 75% of our roads are already older than this. This has severe implications on road safety and the sustainability of our roads. The road maintenance backlog is currently in excess of R1 billion. On the other hand, the road maintenance budget reflects a declining trend over the medium-term. Additional maintenance funds supplied to us by Treasury will run out over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework. The average allocation over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework is less than half of what the department needs to eradicate the current backlog. The disparity between the budget for road maintenance and the backlog reveals that the backlog will increase exponentially unless current budgetary allocations for road infrastructure are reviewed. This situation is exacerbated by the shortage of engineers and technical skills.

The department’s road infrastructure directorate currently has a 40% vacancy rate. Together with the limited funding for road infrastructure, this poses serious challenges to the capacity of the department to maintain our roads according to required standards. The budgetary limitations are reflected in the budget allocations for road infrastructure, public freight and transport. For example, the road infrastructure has been allocated R558 million, which is still far from what is actually needed to eradicate existing backlogs. A large portion of this is dedicated to the 2010 legacy projects on the N1 and the N2, all of which will be completed timeously. The public freight and transport category has been allocated R96 million, amounting to approximately R73 million less than in the previous year. The reduction is largely occasioned by Treasury withholding funds in an area where there was very heavy spending previously on consultants … I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Ms M P THEMBA: House Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, hon MEC, hon members of this august House, as God was with Joshua when he led the chosen people to the promised land, he is also with us now as the ANC- led government in our resolve to better the lives of people and in our commitment to the five key priorities. These key priorities resulted in the election mandate that our people gave us when we said “Together we can do more.”

The ANC-led government operates very strictly along the lines of effective and efficient accountability from everyone entrusted with public funds. While the ANC government considers the public transport sector to be the heartbeat of our economy as it contributes tremendously to the economic growth of the country, this financial year, this department has been allocated R23,7 billion, which is 5,5% of the national Budget.

Although the amount is reduced by 3,10% in comparison to the 2008-09 allocation, it is hoped that it will meet successfully and complete the following transport strategic objectives, namely to, firstly, effectively manage national innovative research and provide economic advice in respect of all modes of transport; secondly, create an enabling regulatory environment for roads, aviation and maritime transport; thirdly, manage accident and incident investigation in all modes of transport; fourthly, manage and facilitate integrated planning and intersphere co-ordination for transport infrastructure and operations; fifthly, manage the implementation of the transport logistics strategy and the development of freight movement corridors; sixthly, develop integrated, accessible and affordable quality public transport networks that meet the needs of both rural and urban passengers, hence the Moloto Corridor; and finally, develop appropriate mandates and monitoring mechanisms for public entities.

Chair, our election manifesto, from which our mandate is derived, directs that an effective public transport system be put in place in order to address the legacy of apartheid planning, which led to our people travelling long distances to places of work and spending a large share of time and income on transport. This reminds me and most of us here of who we are and where we come from, and which mode of transport we used to have access to.

Besigibela tinkalishi temambongolo kungako lamuhla kufanele sibone kwekutsi bantfu bakitsi batfola kwekuhamba lokuphephile.[We used to ride in donkey carts, and that is why today we must see to it that our people get a safe transport system.]

Most of the unemployed cannot even afford to pay for transport to search for jobs. As South Africa moves towards the 2010 World Cup, our government, through this department, must continue to roll out a public transport strategy, starting with the host cities. This would address the needs of the working people. In essence, this budget is expected to do exactly that.

It is pleasing to note the decrease in the allocation for consultancy and professional services in this financial year. One should take into consideration the fact that in the previous financial year, R90,2 million was allocated and spent, while this year only R49,8 million is budgeted for. We hope that a time is going to come when our government, and this department in particular, will stop making use of consultants, who charge exorbitant amounts for a service that can easily be rendered by our public servants.

In line with the ANC’s key priorities, especially that of achieving an equitable, sustainable and inclusive growthpath that brings about decent work and sustainable livelihoods, education, health, safe and secure communities and rural development, the largest segment of the allocation — an amount of R8,8  billion — went to the integrated infrastructure and network development subprogrammes. This caters for the co-ordination of the needs and requirements of the 2010 Fifa World Cup under the bus Rapid transit system.

We must note that the 2010 Fifa World Cup activities serve as catalysts for transport transformation. In conclusion, it is now ideal for us to emulate Joshua, when God told him to get rid of all the obstacles. We are getting rid of the delaying tactics in relation to the transformation and delivery processes of this government of the people. The ANC supports this Budget Vote. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, I would like to thank the Deputy Minister, Comrade Jeremy, MEC for Transport, Ndosi, colleagues from all the provinces, the director-general and all the speakers present for their contribution and for what they have added to the debate here today. Your contributions are very valuable to us as we go forward.

As Comrade Jeremy Cronin has said, we are going to have constant engagements on matters of transport because transport is one area where we really want to move in a very co-ordinated fashion. As we engage the taxi industry, the bus industry, rail, and the commuter organisations, so too Members of Parliament and members of the NCOP must themselves be engaged in similar interactions with their communities, so that all of us are really on the same wavelength.

Provincial experiences need to be fed back to the national department and the experiences that we pick up as we interact with the communities need to be shared with everyone so that, when we move, all of us are fully conversant with all the issues because we have shared knowledge. It’s quite important for us to share knowledge because knowledge empowers all of us. Knowledge would thus not have come from one side; it would have come from our collective experience.

I would like to comment on a few issues. Allow me to start with the issue of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act. It has become quite an urgent matter, because this Parliament and the NCOP passed that legislation and you cannot have legislation that was passed and is then parked or just shelved. The experimentation that we had agreed on way back, I think, in 1998, was to start with Johannesburg and Tshwane, and thereafter roll-out had to occur. One cannot experiment for 10 to 12 years and thereafter have legislation that is actually not being implemented.

What is also spurring us on is the big story that broke yesterday about the experiment that Johannesburg has been going through where, because of administrative hiccups, we had to refund some R32 million to people who were not properly billed, and so forth. We can’t have a system that works that way.

The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, Aarto, and the demerit system are actually quite important for us and we want to make the best of it. There must be an area in South Africa where abiding by the law is second nature to its citizens. This should then cascade to other areas. I am sure that my colleague Ndosi will know that people who abide by the law in terms of one aspect tend to abide by the law in terms of other aspects as well. But, once you start breaking the law in one aspect, and you get away with doing so, then breaking the law could become second nature.

The demerit system of Aarto is actually meant to ensure that the present carnage on our roads is dealt with. Like HIV and Aids and other medical problems, our transport problems are scientific problems, so we can actually find a cure. But the carnage on our road can’t be put on exactly the same level as a scientific problem. For example, the UK has more cars than us, but experiences far fewer crashes. A number of other countries, with the United States, Germany and Australia being prime examples, have far more cars with far fewer crashes. In South Africa we have between six and seven million cars. Anyway, we have a population of 48 million, in a country that has very wide roads crossing open countryside; people who drive in much more congested circumstances drive with a greater awareness of safety.

Therefore we can do something about this problem. Part of our strategy is to create the understanding that the driving licence a driver might have one day is not something he might possess the next day. That understanding is actually the key. Via the demerit system we want to ensure that the driving licence becomes a document that a person knows can be lost through their own actions. Some people have been complaining about traffic officers hiding under and behind bushes alongside our freeways. We will have to look into that.

Maybe the following will happen: Maybe our traffic officers are actually going to be giving you a demerit and visiting you at home and saying that they have been following you. You have got your licence cancelled. Can you just tell us how you got home? How did you get home today, because your licence is cancelled and your car was being driven by one person? We were following you. How is it that you are driving when your driving licence is cancelled?

This will teach the driving public that what follows on the cancellation of a driving licence might very well be imprisonment, if they drive in defiance of a cancelled or suspended licence.

The other area that we need to look at quite seriously — and MEC Cele spoke about this — is the visitation of victims. Part of what you discover when you visit those victims is that most of them don’t even know anything about the Road Accident Fund. Now, as you leave here and fill up your car, 64 cents per litre of the cost of that fuel goes to the Road Accident Fund. It is supposed to be a very standard insurance. It is an institutionalised insurance that is supposed to ensure that a person injured on our roads does get paid compensation. We cannot have a situation where, on the one extreme, the Road Accident Fund has just paid R500 million to a Swiss national, while on the other, people cannot get paid R50 000 or even R25 000. They actually get nothing. There is something seriously at fault with that. Of the R11 billion that was budgeted for the current year, R2,5 billion went to the lawyers specifically, and R900 million went to the doctors that actually attended to the people who were injured on the roads. So, of the whole R11 billion, only R900 million was actually paid out to settle doctors’ bills. There is something that we need to correct about this.

In conclusion, the issue of 2010 is really an opportunity to thank the members for their contribution and to say that public transport must indeed be one of the key legacies of 2010. That legacy cannot just be urban; it must cover the whole country. It is quite an important thing to do. We want to take the opportunity to thank the portfolio committee and the study groups. It is clear that we need to continue working the way we have, because there is so much to be done in this Department of Transport. We want to assure you that, as we roll it out for 2010, the key feature of our preparations will be the public participation of as many of ourselves as is possible. The department wants to ensure that.

One of the key aspects that we will discuss between ourselves and the provinces is ensuring that every school and every clinic is reachable by road. By 2009-10 there should be no longer a school or a clinic that can’t be reached because the road doesn’t reach there. So the construction of rural roads is one of the main tasks of making this country a developed country. Thank you very much for the participation. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Business suspended at 10:44 and resumed at 14:02.

                          Afternoon Sitting

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate)

Vote No 23 — Agriculture: Vote No 34 — Water Affairs and Forestry:

The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Chairperson of the NCOP, members of the NCOP, the Deputy Minister in absentia — he is away on an official engagement — and my colleague, the Minister, she is on her way; members of the executive councils responsible for agriculture in the provinces; the Director-General of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; the heads of departments who are present here — the head of department of the Western Cape is also here; the chief executive officers of state—owned enterprises; distinguished guests; other senior managers in the department; ladies and gentlemen; and comrades, “dumelang, bomme le borre”. [I greet you all, ladies and gentlemen.]

The 13th ordinary session of the African Union convened under the theme “Investing in Agriculture for Economic Growth and Food Security” in Sirte, Libya, where President Zuma reiterated that we should make agriculture a viable investment. It is this viable investment option that will open more opportunities for enhanced investment and the growth of African agriculture. The summit unfolded against a backdrop of a global financial crisis, high food prices and climate change, which threaten the economic and political gains that the continent of Africa has achieved over the past decade. It further reviewed progress and reflected on the commitment to increase agricultural budgets to meet the Millennium Development Goals with an objective to address hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

Currently, South Africa is the chair of SADC and also the cluster chair on agriculture and food security. We are under scrutiny to lead the continental processes by example.

When the new administration took over after the April elections, our President announced and pronounced that working together we can do more. In recognising the critical importance of sustainable rural economies, a vibrant agricultural activity will be the cornerstone of rural development. To realise this goal, the mandate of the department has been expanded to include forestry and fisheries. This approach is shared throughout Africa where agriculture has been declared a prime sector to turn around the economic fortunes of the poor in the developmental state.

The department will be the catalyst for converting rural assets into economic assets. It will convert dormant assets into viable economic mainstay assets. It will become the cornerstone of building sustainable livelihoods, creating permanent jobs and producing affordable food. We will turn around production and reclaim our position as a net exporter of food.

Following on last month’s Budget Vote in the National Assembly, I am tabling the budget of R2,7 billion, which will be reprioritised according to the new mandate of the ruling party and the department, allowing us to fulfil our functions as a catalyst to stimulate the rural economy. The implementation of the Forest Sector Transformation and Growth Charter will provide extension support services to forestry entrepreneurs and co- operatives with specific focus on rural areas, where we will ensure the provision of fibre and renewable energy supply and develop fuel-wood strategies to ensure a sustainable supply of wood.

The department will also promote forestry manufacturing activities such as sawmilling, charcoal production and pole-treatment plants. In addition, we will also implement community-based fire management pilot projects. To further improve the accessibility of funding support to emerging farmers and co-operatives, we will co-ordinate all the funding grants for agriculture, forestry and fisheries by creating a shared funding facility. Added to that will be other funds co-ordinated through this facility from other government departments and external funders.

The equitable share of budget allocation to provinces is R6,4 billion. A budget of R876,8 million is allocated to the provinces through the Division of Revenue Act, Dora; the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, Casp; Ilima/Letsema; land care; and disaster support. In this financial year, Casp funds will be allocated to provinces as follows: the Eastern Cape will receive R125,3 million, and that is the lion’s share of the budget; Gauteng will receive R72,1 million; KwaZulu-Natal will receive R36,3 million; Limpopo will receive R113,4 million; Mpumalanga will receive R75,8 million; the Northern Cape will receive R56,7 million; North West will receive R96,5 million; and the Western Cape will receive R63,6 million. In the last financial year, the spending of the Casp funds stood at 91%. This year we want it to be 100% because every cent not spent in provinces is an indication of a lack of service delivery.

An amount of R2,5 billion for Casp is budgeted over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period from 2008 to 2011. We will be implementing 115 projects in all the nine provinces, and the breakdown for this is available for all hon members. We will commit R51,4 million to creating 25 000 sustainable jobs just in this category. The overall coverage of this initiative will benefit 400 000 beneficiaries.

The process to identify and verify struggling land and agrarian reform projects is currently under way. These projects, which have been identified as failed projects per province per annum and located within the MTEF, will receive a funding option in order to revive and resuscitate these projects. The first batch of projects will be funded within the existing funds, while the remainder will be covered by the MTEF cycle. The turnaround strategy includes public-private partnerships with the industry. These partnership arrangements will benefit both parties in sharing the existing markets, experience and support.

Subsistence farmers will be supported through targeted programmes to achieve household food security. Amongst beneficiary groups will be indigent households. This programme will support communities through vegetable gardens, limited large livestock, small stock, water harvesting technology and small tractors, to list but a few in our land and agrarian reform transformation strategy. The package will be tailor-made to the environment to ensure maximum success. Implementation partnerships with prisons, schools, clinics and self-help groups will be encouraged as a vehicle to ensure broader outreach.

Smallholder farmers, especially those who are beneficiaries of land reform, will receive specific postsettlement support to ensure that the investment made by government is converted into productive outputs. These farmers will be placed in a structured programme which will ensure that all necessary support systems are developed to turn them into commercial farmers. Key to this approach will be the utilisation of partnerships and different forms of arrangements, which the department will develop together with its stakeholders to ensure coexistence, symbiotic relationships and positive economic outcomes.

Kommersiële boere of produsente is belangrik in die bereiking van ’n breër regeringstrategie in die nasionale voedselsekuriteit en groei in die landbou, bosbou en visserye sektore. ’n Enkele strategie met verskillende pilare sal ontwikkel word as antwoord op verskeie uitdagings wat hierdie sektore in die gesig staar. Hoogste op die lys is waterkwaliteit, kompeterende markte, landboulogistiek, ens. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Commercial farmers or producers are important in achieving a broader government strategy with regard to national food security and growth in the agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors. A single strategy with different pillars will be developed as answer to the various challenges facing these sectors. Top of the list is the quality of water, competitive markets, agricultural logistics, etc.]

We have thus far assessed the impact of logistics on moving agricultural freight across the economy. We will work closely with the Departments of Public Enterprises and Transport, as well as Transnet Freight Rail to move agricultural cargo from road to rail, thus reinvigorating those railway towns that closed down because railway operators were no longer part of those towns.

Ons landbousektor is werksaam in ’n globale verwronge handelsarena waar Suid-Afrika se landbouprodukte soms in kompetisie is met gesubsidieerde invoere. Ons is deeglik bewus van die belange en het proaktief ’n raamwerk ontwikkel oor hoe tariewe aangewend behoort te word rakende landbouprodukte as ’n maatstaf op uitbreiding van plaaslike produksie, en terselfdertyd is gesubsidieerde invoere ook aangespreek. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.) [Our agricultural sector is functioning in a twisted global trade arena where agricultural produce from South Africa sometimes competes with subsidised imports. We are well aware of these interests and have proactively developed a framework on how tariffs should be applied concerning agricultural produce as a measure to the extension of local production, and at the same time to address subsidised imports.]

Since 2001-02, the department has always been concerned with high food prices as this relates to the poorest of the poor and the working class. We have looked at the impact on food security. In response to this, the department established a Food Price Monitoring Unit within the National Agricultural Marketing Council, NAMC, to track food prices across the country. Due to the work of the Food Price Monitoring Committee within NAMC, this Food Price Monitoring Unit has now been escalated by the Competition Commission’s investigations on anticompetitive practices in different food chains. We will continue to work closely with the commission to ensure that food pricing is fair and just.

Our water resources are gradually getting contaminated to the detriment of irrigation in agriculture in some parts of the country and we are concerned. We are working closely with the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, industries and research bodies such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, the Agricultural Research Council, ARC and other stakeholders to get a sustainable solution to this challenge.

Ons sal voortgaan om in verbinding te bly en met die geaffekteerde partye saam te werk aan volhoubare oplossings. [We will continue to stay in touch and to collaborate with the affected parties to find sustainable solutions.]

In partnership with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, together with the provincial departments of agriculture and local municipalities, we will lead delivery in agrarian transformation. Our involvement will include the following: infrastructure development; the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes such as the Taung, the Makhathini and the Vaalharts; the Mokolo River augmentation; and the facilitation of agro- logistics and access to markets. Processes are already in place to support the rural development and land reform pilot projects in Giyani and in Riemvasmaak in the Northern Cape.

The department will continue working together with sector partners to roll out production massification strategies for grain, livestock, fruit, forestry, fisheries and cotton. Government will bring agricultural support through enhanced extension services, training and research to strengthen participation towards a vibrant sector. To this end, we have committed R170,7 million to the provinces to, amongst others, supply the farmer’s green books, where extension services’ monitoring tool can be applied where farmers, especially emerging farmers, have to sign in the book if a service has been rendered to them according to a particular standard. So, reports are no longer just coming from the extension officer. The emerging farmer has to write comments. If they are unable to write or sign, a proxy is able to do it on behalf of the farmer. Extension officers should do what they have been employed to do. They should in fact be focusing on smallholder or emerging farmers.

Forestry will also make a significant contribution to the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme through the successful growing of the forest products industry. This effort will continue focusing on encouraging self- help groups and co-operatives, streamlining the regulatory environment, skills development, as well as the implementation of rural incentives for new providers.

The first wheel of the National Youth Service is turned by our efforts to expose young people to hands-on experience in the field of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

We are close to concluding. I will thank all the hon members properly in the last ten minutes. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr D A WORTH: Chairperson, hon Ministers present, Deputy Ministers, hon members, colleagues and the guests, first of all I would like to congratulate hon Minister Joemat-Pettersson on her appointment as Minister of Agriculture, as well her Deputy Minister, Dr Pieter Mulder. A big thank you to the department, as well, for briefing the committee on the budget; thank you very much.

This is a newly formed department, as it was previously the Department of Agriculture exclusively, but now includes the Forestry and Fisheries components. The vision of the Department of Agriculture is to strive for a united and prosperous agricultural sector with the aim of supporting sustainable agricultural development.

The total contribution of agriculture to the economy increased from R27 billion in 2001 to R36 billion in 2007. South Africa’s duel agricultural economy comprises a well-developed commercial sector and a predominantly subsistence-orientated sector in rural areas.

About 12% of South Africa’s surface area can be used for crop production. High potential arable land comprises only 22% of the arable land area. Some 1,3 million hectares are under irrigation, which amounts to about 1,5% of South Africa’s agricultural land.

The most important factor, of course, limiting agricultural production is the availability of water, as rainfall is distributed unevenly across the country. Almost 50% of South Africa’s water is used for agricultural purposes. Primary commercial agriculture contributes about 2,6 % of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and about 8% to formal employment. However, there are strong backward and forward linkages into the economy so that the agro-industrial sector is estimated to comprise some 12% of the GDP.

Although South Africa has the ability to be self-sufficient in virtually all major agricultural products, the rate of growth in exports has been slower than that of imports. Despite the farming industry’s declining share of the GDP, it remains vital to the economy, development and stability of the Southern African region.

The budget for the department for 2008-09 was R2,819 billion and reduced to R2,792 billion. The major decrease in expenditure are: programme 2, production and resource management; and programme 5, food supply and viable security — which are questionable as these programmes are linked to social reform programmes increasing food security and poverty alleviation.

The DA supports a united and sustainable agricultural sector in South Africa. Land and agrarian reform requires a well placed, efficiently managed and adequately funded plan and must be implemented with minimal disruption to food security.

More field extension officers are required and better training for existing officers is necessary, as was alluded to by our Minister, particularly as the “use it or lose it” factor will no longer be applicable. We must overhaul the failure of our land reform programmes by ensuring that the new land beneficiaries have adequate financial and other support.

The issue of biofuels, if handled well, could increase income and employment in rural areas without threatening food security. Possibly sugar cane could be used for biofuels in certain areas.

The budget allocation for Water Affairs and Forestry was increased from R7 billion in 2008-09 to approximately R7,9 billion in 2009-10 financial year, an increase of 12,2% in nominal terms. Some 23% of South Africa’s rivers are in poor condition and 30% of sewerage plants require immediate attention. There is a shortage of capital, skilled operational and maintenance staff at most sewerage and water installations around the country. Poor maintenance of pipes causes thousands upon thousands of litres of water to be lost annually. Sewerage continues periodically to spill into rivers and wetlands causing outbreaks of cholera from time to time. Is it not time that municipalities are made to allocate a minimum amount from their budgets for maintenance and replacement of ageing infrastructure? Some of this funding is supposedly to come via municipal infrastructure grants, local government equitable share and the capacity- building grants.

Whilst the basic free water supply programme is well-established, the eradication of the bucket system has caused problems, especially in my home province, the Free State. Many people in the rural towns will not accept the VIP toilets and insists on flush water-borne toilets.

Water is a precious commodity and every attempt must be made to conserve our water resources, particularly in view of the climate change and our ever-growing population. Thank you. [Applause.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, the Minister of Water Affairs is out of the country on other deployments, so the Minister of Mining will stand in for the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs.

The MINISTER OF MINING (on behalf of the MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS): Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, I am speaking here on behalf of the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs.

In the manifesto that outlines the programme of the current government, the ANC has committed to the people of South Africa that we will ensure that the best quality water resources reach all our people, especially the poor, and that by 2014, all schools and health facilities will have access to basic infrastructure such as water and electricity. In carrying out this mandate, we are mindful of the expectations of the poor majority in this country and what the ANC stands for in relation to the fulfilment of that mandate. We are delighted, hon members, to repeat the achievement made: In 1996, 62% of the population had access to running water; today the figure stands at 91%.

We are committed to working together to do more to increase access, to build infrastructure, to improve the quality of our water and to embark vigorously on a campaign to reform water allocations so as to benefit poor and emerging farmers, and households. In this regard, the ANC reaffirms our objective of realising universal access to free basic water, electricity and sanitation by 2014.

Water management is becoming increasingly complex and demands an urgent review to ensure sustainable service delivery and contribution to economic growth to meet present and future needs. Water scarcity and an uneven distribution and allocation of resources make this difficult.

South Africa faces significant inequities in the allocation of water for productive purposes. Water allocation is one component of a wider government mandate to address the inequities of the past. Integrated water resources management is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve the objective of efficiency, equity and environmental sustainability in water resources management. The South African national government, as a public trustee of the nation’s water resources, is required to give effect to its legal obligations to ensure equitable access to water.

In accordance with the National Water Act, there is a requirement to redress the effects of previously discriminatory legislation, while minimising the impact on existing users and the economy of the country. The right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe and accessible water, especially the poor. We do this so that, as government, we continue to make sure that we improve the quality of life of all our people, especially the rural poor. As a regulator, we will also play our part in ensuring the capacitating of rural municipalities to meet the required levels of service quality, as mostly the better capacitated municipalities meet the required water supply.

We will also not hesitate to act harshly against those who neglect this responsibility as enunciated in the National Water Act. Our strategic objectives for these five years are to continue maintaining existing water resources and infrastructure, and enforcing raw and drinking water quality standards. It is necessary, therefore, to ensure that we work together with municipalities in ensuring that they perform optimally in the maintenance of quality standards of good drinking water.

The role of our water boards, water users’ associations and catchments management agencies, together with our Water Research Commission, will remain crucial in this regard. The Blue Drop Certification programme recognises municipalities whose drinking water quality meets the set criteria for excellence and enjoins the citizens to monitor municipal performance, and must be intensified.

Let me once again congratulate those 22 municipalities that have reportedly achieved 93,3% national compliance in terms of the Blue Drop Certification programme. I would like to clarify a potential misunderstanding with regard to those who have not achieved the standard. The 93% national achievement does not mean that the water in other areas is unsafe to drink; all it means is that the municipalities have not satisfied all of the technical specifications. Let me reiterate that our drinking water rates amongst the best in the world, and most municipalities play a significant part in this regard. I am sure that working together with municipalities and provinces, we will maintain that drinking water quality standard.

We are now on a collision course with wrongdoers. The commitment we made during our address in the National Assembly on the enforcement of “the polluter pays” principle and the fact that we are adopting a zero tolerance approach on environmental crimes is not an empty threat. We would like to add that, to achieve this, we would need to increase our efforts on public education and awareness to encourage compliance. We will not succeed, unless we educate, educate, educate.

I would like to repeat the fact that we are in the process of expanding the mandate of environmental management inspectors to include the water aspect. Together with the prosecuting authorities, the courts, the police, local government, and provinces, we’ll step up our effort to clamp down on illegal activities. The role of members of this House and all our citizens in supporting us in our efforts cannot be overemphasised. We need you as partners and fellow activists to curb pollution and associated crimes.

Infrastructure remains an important contributor to the supply of water for both economic development and domestic consumption. It is also a key driver in job creation, which helps to improve the living conditions of our people. The ANC has resolved that we must increase the infrastructure construction timelines to allow for more labour-intensive construction. Our infrastructure projects continue to create work opportunities for the poor and the marginalised. With the new injection and investment into more construction work, we will contribute positively to these strategic objectives.

Accordingly, our R500 million investment in the accelerated infrastructure programme, which is aimed at intervening in high-risk areas where there are water challenges, will also assist in creating work opportunities. We will also be investing an additional R2,9 billion over the next three years in the Bulk Infrastructure Programme in order to increase access for those localities where there is dire need.

Over the next five to eight years, we will also spend in the region of R30 billion on the construction and establishment of 15 mega water resource infrastructure projects. This will increase the capacity of existing water resources infrastructure to provide water to strategic installations in the energy sector, namely Eskom; in the industrial sector, namely Sasol; in the mining sector; and for domestic purposes.

I cannot conclude this address without raising this most important matter of our behaviour towards water use. It is time that South Africans behaved appropriately, considering the fact that we are ranked amongst the 30 driest countries in the world. As a water-scarce country, South Africa can no longer afford water losses. It is imperative, therefore, to focus on strengthening water conservation and demand management measures, especially as there is a greater return on investment through water-loss control and water-use efficiency.

The draft Water for Growth and Development Framework, which was approved at the January 2009 Cabinet lekgotla, will be finalised before the end of this calendar year. However, it is important to note that some key aspects of this framework that will ensure water security initiatives, such as expanding the water mix to include desalination, expanding the use of groundwater, and recycling of effluent, amongst others, are being implemented.

The Working for Water programme has cleared and undertaken follow-up clearing of over 775 000 hectares of invasive alien plants, with significant benefits for water, biological diversity, and the productive use of land and other outcomes over the past five years. It has provided 8,6 million person days of training and employment to over 27 000 previously unemployed people, with a particular focus on opportunities for women, at 54%; youth, at over 40%, and the disabled, at almost 2%.

The Working for Water programme and other associated programmes still remains the key vehicle for job creation, poverty eradication and community empowerment. In the next five years, further work on creation of decent work, downstream beneficiation and the creation of small-scale industries, as a contribution to rural development, will be further expanded.

The ANC has committed to the building of the technical capacity of the state to engage with, understand and lead the development of dynamic and globally integrated economic sectors. Building the capacity of the state to deliver on its promises has never been more urgent than now. Accordingly, the water sector has its own set of challenges with regard to skills and capacity, especially at municipal level. The sector is hard hit in the areas of engineering services and other technical skills in water sciences.

The state of our waste water treatment infrastructure as well as our maintenance capabilities needs serious attention. To try to address this, we have established a learning academy to develop scarce high-value technical skills for the sector. Through this academy, we have provided 82 external bursaries for engineering and other scientific fields. We continue with mentorship and on the job training of graduate trainees and experiential learners. Going forward, we want to form partnerships with academic and research institutions to optimise the skills development initiative. Working together, we can make sure that the much needed skills are acquired for the performance of the sector.

In conclusion, working together as a nation, we can ensure the provision of safe drinking water for all South Africans. We will continue to play our part towards realising the government imperative of alleviating poverty, growing the economy and improving the lives of our people. I must reiterate the role of this House, provinces and municipalities in ensuring water security for the current and future generations. Chairperson, I urge the House to support this budget policy review. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mrs A N D QIKANI: Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, the department and my hon members, I will start with water. There are still towns, townships and villages in this country of ours that are being supplied with inadequate and unsafe water. This is a reality that the Ministry alone cannot address, but we are in this together and we all should play a role, especially Parliament.

Unclean water has in the recent months conduced illnesses such as typhoid in the Mpumalanga province, which, along with Limpopo, was hit hard by the cholera outbreak. The illnesses caused by unclean water killed people and that is a serious issue. Proper management of water plantations in all regions is the key to safe and healthy water. Technological advancement remains a need to be given attention to, since it is an essential part of cleaning our water if we are to provide the safest water possible to the society at large.

Municipalities should play an infrastructural and maintenance role and the department should play a management role. This separation of duties can assist with a clear focus on allocations and a decrease in the area of duties to be performed by the local government.

A R1 billion allocation for the bulk infrastructure of relieving backlogs of sanitation at schools is welcomed. The sustainability of water management is dependent on building skills and engineering capacity. The department has, in this regard, shown less consideration, because it has accepted the Treasury’s decrease in its allocation to the cause and diverted it to poverty alleviation.

Let me welcome and admire the projected allocation of R8 billion for the six major water resource projects that are: the De Hoop Dam in Limpopo; the Berg Water Dam in the Western Cape; the Vaal River East and Subsystem Augmentation Scheme that supply sufficient water to Eskom power station and Sasol. The estimated R12 billion for the nine major water capital projects is also a sign of showing seriousness in infrastructural investment. The overall budget increase from R7 billion to R7,9 billion in the current financial year to the departments of water and forestry is however minimal. Considering the challenges and the plans for completing the new infrastructure projects by 2014, we will need a bigger allocation, also considering the forecasted droughts that the country will face in the future.

Masisibulele isabelo sakho samanzi kuba sihle kwaye siyancomeka, kodwa zisekhona zona iindawo ezithi zibe namadama babe abo bantu bengakwazi ukuxhamla kuwo. Umzekelo, eMpuma Koloni kuneLubisi Dam elalakhiwe ngexesha likaMatanzima kodwa libonelela abantu abakude ngaphezu kweekhilomitha ezilikhulu babe abantu abafanele ukuxhamla kumlambo babe bengazuzinto.

Ngoko ke ndicela isebe ukuba likhe liyise iso loo nto kuba la ngamanzi aba bantu kwaye nedama elo lakhiwe kumasimi abo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Let us welcome your outstanding budget for Water and Environmental Affairs, but there are still places with dams from which people who live nearby do not benefit. For example, in the Eastern Cape there is Lubisi Dam, which was built during Matanzima’s regime, which is providing water to people as far as hundred kilometres away, leaving the rightful people without water.

I am therefore appealing to the department to take that into consideration because this water belongs to these people and the dam in question was built on their fields.]

We meet at this juncture whilst storms of the global economic recession are blowing across the globe and onto our shores. As a country, we are determined to ensure that all South Africans have a share in the unfolding South African promise of a better life for all.

While we recognise and pride ourselves on the strides and progress made, there is no doubt that the challenges remain immense, especially where our people remain without access to basic services, in particular those living in rural areas.

I welcome the good and visionary plan that the hon Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has tabulated on the occasion of Budget Vote No 23. Our role as the committee remains that of ensuring that we strive for the implementation of the department’s strategy during this five-year term. We need to ensure that we represent and execute the mandate assigned to us by the electorate.

Last month the economist Mike Schüssler commented that the agricultural sector is bigger than the mining sector. It is argued that it is more likely that the agricultural sector will create more jobs out of every R1 million of investment than any other sector. The Minister has warned in her speech on Budget Vote No 23 that as much as agriculture may seem better off in the global economic crisis, it is by no means shielded from its effects. For the first time in five years, agricultural imports have exceeded exports. This is not only unacceptable, but further vindicates our resolve to support local food production in communities; communities for communities. Already we are witnessing the blow where other sectors are suffering huge job looses. It is therefore becoming the primary responsibility of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to create jobs and contribute to poverty alleviation.

I am thrilled by and fully support the move pronounced by our President, his Excellency, Jacob Zuma, during his address at the World Economic Forum. He encouraged that there should be a conference of agricultural Ministers where these Ministers would meet to discuss and formulate strategies on food production and security. Commercial agriculture has also reacted to legislation intended to protect the rights of workers and farm dwellers by sharply reducing their number, resulting in significant job losses and painful evictions of people living on farms. Currently we have only succeeded in redistributing 4% of agricultural land since 1994, while more than 80% remain in the hands of fewer than 50 000 white farmers and agribusiness. A more equitable distribution of land is necessary, both to undo the injustices of the past, as well as to ensure higher productivity, shared growth, employment and sustainable livelihoods.

Voorsitter, die Departement van Landbou, Bosbou en Visserye is die hart van die land se ekonomie, en daarom mag ons nie fouteer wanneer dit kom by hierdie aspekte nie. [Applous.]

Ons is verantwoordelik daarvoor om te verseker dat ons mense, veral dié wat in die armer dele van die land woon, die nodige dienste sowel as werk het. As ons mense werk en die nodige dienste het, sal hulle in ’n posisie wees om kos op die tafel te kan sit. Om hierdie doel te kan bereik, moet ons nie die bydrae van ons plaasboere vergeet nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Chairperson, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is the heart of this country’s economy, and therefore we may not err when it comes to these aspects. [Applause.]

It is our responsibility to ensure that our people, especially those who live in the poorer parts of our country, receive the required services, as well as jobs. If our people have jobs and receive the required services, they will be in a position to put food on their tables. In order to achieve this goal, we must not forget the contribution of our farmers.]

Chairperson, the Minister said that the broader mandate assigned to us is to ensure that government translates policy statements into practical business plans. That is why we are proud to welcome the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme.

Sihlalo, xa ndivala ndiza kucela kumphathiswa ukuba bakhe bazijonge ezi ndawo zazinamaziko okunkcenkceshela ezingakwazanga kuphila ixesha elide ngenxa yokunqongophala kolawulo. Sicela isebe ukuba lizame ukuwalawula, iindawo ezifana nooNcora Irrigation Scheme, Qamata Irrigation Scheme, wonke amaziko ukuba akhona. Ndiyabulela, siyasamakela isabelo sakho Nkosazana. Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[In conclusion, Chairperson, I would like the Minister to take note of these places which had irrigation schemes, but could not survive because of maladministration. We would like the department to manage places like Ncora Irrigation Scheme, Qamata Irrigation Scheme and all other schemes if they exist. Thank you. I welcome your budget, Princess. [Applause.]]

Mr O DE BEER: Chairperson …

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What is wrong when a person speaks Afrikaans? It seems you are more excited.

Mr O DE BEER: Chairperson, let me also follow the trend of speaking Afrikaans.

Die Kongres van die Mense wil oor vyf kwessies duidelikheid hê met betrekking tot die Minister se klassifisering van haar departement. Eerstens wil die Kongres van die Mense weet of die bateregisters van haar afdelings ten opsigte van die hergroepering deur die President geoudit is.

Tweedens, wat gaan die departement doen oor klimaatsverandering in Suid- Afrika?

Die derde een gaan oor die kwessie van vissery. Aan die Weskus sien ons die visbedryf soos die mynbedryf in Gauteng gesien word. Onder leiding van die ANC-regering die afgelope 15 jaar, het ons gesien hoe die visbedryf krepeer het met betrekking tot die feit dat werkgeleenthede in die bedryf gehalveer is en hoe die infrastruktuur in die visbedryf leeg staan en nie bewerk word deur gemeenskappe wat daarby moet baat vind nie.

Ons wil ook, onder meer, die volgende weet. In Doringbaai staan daar ’n visfabriek terwyl die bronne buite die dorp verwerk word. Die jongste navorsing met betrekking tot werkgeleenthede het getoon dat meer as 39% van die mense werkloos is as gevolg van die feit dat die bron in Velddrif verwerk word.

Ons wil ook van die Minister weet wat die departement gaan doen om die professionele kwotahouers uit die visbedryf te kry en die bedryf weer terug te plaas in die hande van die gemeenskappe wat ’n bestaan maak uit die storms van die water. Dankie, Voorsitter. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The Congress of the People would like to have clarity on five issue regarding the Minister’s classification of her department. Firstly, the Congress of the People would like to know whether her divisions’ asset registers have been audited in compliance with the regrouping by the President.

Secondly, what is the department going to do with regard to climate change in South Africa?

The third one is regarding the issue of fisheries. On the West Coast we regard the fishing industry in the same way as the mining industry is regarded in Gauteng. Under the leadership of the ANC government in the past 15 years, we have witnessed the decline in the fishing industry due to the fact that job opportunities in the industry have been halved and because the infrastructure in the fishing industry is standing empty and is not being utilised by the communities who should be benefiting from it. We would also like to know, amongst other things, the following. Despite the fact that there is a fish factory in Doringbaai, the resources are being processed out of town. The latest research referring to job opportunities indicated that more than 39% of the people are unemployed due to the fact that the resource is being processed in Velddrif.

We would also like to know from the Minister what the department is going to do to rid the fishing industry of professional quota holders and to return the industry into the hands of the communities who make a living off the currents of the sea. Thank you, Chairperson.]

Mr G G MOKGORO: Chairperson, hon Ministers present here and hon members, agriculture is the backbone of nations in the entire world. No nation can survive without agricultural activities. It is important that our government has identified agriculture as an essential contributor to the national gross domestic product, GDP. It is an economic sector that can absorb the majority of our people to be trained to become successful farmers.

Even if they do not have a formal education, this is the time that the department must demonstrate its commitment by supporting the small commercial farmers. Chair, when I grew up as a small boy, our forefathers were engaged in ploughing and growing their own crops. They used to harvest enough to support their families and preserve some for the future. There used to be no hunger, no famine. The advent of the apartheid system, that introduced stringent measures under the pretext of a betterment scheme that was promulgated in 1952, denied our people the right to continue ploughing for themselves.

An HON MEMBER: Skande! [Disgrace!]

Mr G G MOKGORO: Skande, ja. [Disgrace, yes.]

Thank you. In addition to that, there was also a culling of livestock, and people were forced to sell their livestock within a specified period. Failure to do so would mean going to jail. That was followed by devastating poverty, hunger and disease. That is why our people are still suffering today.

It is for these reasons that the real Congress of the People, of 1955, came with a powerful statement and declared that the land shall be shared amongst those who work it. [Interjections.] This is the time that government has to come out boldly and allocate land to our people so that they can start agricultural activities to add to food security in our country. We are encouraged that rural development is the number one priority, and it should run parallel with agricultural development.

It is a concern to see the budget allocation of the department decreasing from R3,47 billion in the 2007-08 financial year to R2,53 billion in the 2008-09 financial year. We appeal to Treasury to increase the budget of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, because it is priority number one.

Government must support emerging farmers by teaching them modern farming techniques, soil management, vaccination of their livestock, rotational farming and the employment of more extension officers. During the preceding year, farmers in the Northern Cape, in the Campbell-Papkuil area, were plagued by an animal disease called anthrax and incurred a great loss, because there were no veterinary surgeons.

Hon members, for one typical example of how our people are really neglected by the department, you must visit the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme. It is one of the biggest irrigation schemes in the whole world, but it serves only big commercial farmers. Adjacent to it, there is a huge community, Taung, with almost 300 000 people, and they benefit nothing from this scheme.

The scheme was built specifically for the white ex-soldiers who participated in World War II. At the end of the war, in 1945, they were compensated by being given farms, implements, houses, schools for their children and finances to start farming. It is this scheme to which our people can only sell their cheap labour during the harvesting season. I am sure that we all know that our fathers, who took part in World War II, were only given a bicycle and a big, heavy solalaphi. [Laughter.]

Not far from this beautiful irrigation scheme, there is the big Spitskop Dam. The dam stretches from the front stoep of the villagers’ houses, but they do not even drink water from the dam. It is built on the side of the land which was, or still is, occupied by the villagers, because it is where they used to plough their fields.

Government must build more agricultural colleges, because there is an acute shortage of skills in the department. There is a shortage of veterinary surgeons, as well as extension officers. More land should be given to those who want to farm. Women and youth must be encouraged to pursue agriculture as a career. Farmworkers must be upgraded by being allocated pieces of land so that they can become emerging farmers.

In conclusion, Chair, we call upon the department to fulfil its responsibility to assist our people and develop agriculture so that they enjoy a better life for all. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mnr K A SINCLAIR: Voorsitter, vir die eerste keer sedert 1994 het die Noord- Kaap twee nasionale Ministers. Een van hierdie Ministers is vandag hier saam met ons, en namens die Noord-Kaap wil ons haar gelukwens en sterkte toewens. Die Noord-Kaap het ook die president van AgriSA en die boer van die jaar, so dit sê baie van landbou in en die landbouers van die Noord- Kaap.

Ek wil nie vandag oor landbou praat nie. Ek wil oor iets praat wat veel belangriker is, en dit is water. In die toekoms van die wêreld gaan dit uitgewys word dat water die nuwe goue standaard gaan word. Water gaan in die toekoms die middel word waarmee welvaart en rykdom gemeet word. Juis daarom, Voorsitter, is dit nodig dat Suid-Afrika, as ’n droë en woestynagtige land, sy waterhulpbronne moet beskerm en uitbou.

Daarom wil Cope, as ’n alternatiewe regering, voorstel dat die Oranjerivierstelsel verder uitgebrei word met die twee damme wat reeds in die vooruitsig gestel word. Die een dam is by Douglas, wat bekend staan as die Torquay-dam, en die tweede dam is tussen Suid-Afrika en Namibië. Saam daarmee, agb Voorsitter, is dit nodig dat die Doringrivierstelsel tussen Ceres en Calvinia verder ontwikkel word om ook te dien as ’n ekonomiese inspuiting vir daardie deel van die wêreld.

Ten slotte is dit nodig om te sê dat die Uitgebreide Openbare Werke-program se tweede fase kan dien as ’n ekonomiese instrument om hierdie dambouprojekte en kanaalstelsels te bevorder. Ek dank u vir die geleentheid. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr K A SINCLAIR: Chairperson, for the first time since 1994 the Northern Cape has two national Ministers. One of these Ministers is with us here today, and on behalf of the Northern Cape we want to congratulate her and wish her all of the best. The President of AgriSA and the farmer of the year also hail from the Northern Cape, and this says a lot about agriculture in and the farmers from the Northern Cape.

I don‘t want to talk about agriculture today, I want to talk about something that is far more important, namely water. In future it will be shown that water will become the new gold standard globally. Water will become the means whereby prosperity and wealth are measured in the future. For that very reason, Chairperson, it is necessary that South Africa, as a dry and desert country, should protect and develop its water resources.

Therefore Cope, as an alternative government, wants to propose that the Orange River system should be extended further, in addition to the two dams that are envisaged. One dam is near Douglas and is called the Torquay Dam, and the second one is situated between South Africa and Namibia. Coupled with that, hon Chairperson, it is also necessary to develop the Doring River system between Ceres and Calvinia further, in order to serve as an economic injection for that part of the world.

Lastly, it is necessary to say that the second phase of the Extended Public Works Programme could serve as an economic instrument to promote these projects for the building of dams and canal systems. I thank you for the opportunity. [Applause.]]

UMntwana M M M ZULU: Mabhoko, Sihlalo waleNdlu, amaLungu aleNdlu ahloniphekile, abaHlonishwa oNgqongqoshe beMinyango yomibili, abanewethu abaphathiswe iMinyango yesifundazwe saKwaZulu-Natali nalabo abaqhamuka eNtshonalanga Kapa naseGauteng uma bekhona.

Dadewethu, uMnyango Wezolimo yiwona mgogodla wezwe lakithi njengezakhamizi.Uyazi ukuthi umhlabathi uma ulimile uyiyona ngubo yakho, uyingubo futhi noma usuya koyihlomkhulu. Lokhu ngikushiso ukuthi abantu bakithi ukuze babhekane nendlala ngazo zonke izindlela kuzomele uMnyango Wezolimo ukwazi ukuhlinzeka abantu ngezinsiza zokulima ezinjengogandaganda.

Njengoba udadewethu waseMpumalanga Kapa ilungu elihloniphekile, kade likhuluma ngalezo zinnhlaka ezazakhiwe, noma zazakhiwe ezinhlelweni zobandlululo kodwa zazisiza. Njengakithi oSuthu Emkhontweni kwakulinywa ngabo labogandaganda. Kwakukhona abeluleki, ababeyizifundiswa kwezolimo, ezazeluleka abantu ukuthi lo mhlabathi ukulungele namhlanje ukutshala amaklabishi, otamatisi nokuthi namhlanje kungatshalwa ummbila. Yilezo zidingo-ke eziyokwazi ukufeza izidingo zabantu bakithi eNingizimu Afrika.

Sengigoqa ngithi-ke kuleMinyango kahulumeni ekulezi zifundazwe lapha ezikhona nina ningoyise beMinyango kufanele niyibheke ngoba asinabo ohulumeni bezifunda zwe abazimele lapha. Lokhu kudliwa kwezimali kanye nokungasetshenziswa kahle kwezimali yinina belusi bayo esizonifaka isibhaxu. Kufanele ukuthi nibeluse nina uqobo ngoba kufanele kusizakale abantu bakithi abanyama baseNingizimu Afrika.

Sengibuyela kuwe dadewethu kudaba lwamanzi, mina njengomzukulu kaSolomoni ngikuthola kungemukelekile ukuthi abantu baseNgwavuma bangawatholi amanzi ngoba amanzi alaphaya eJozini ehambe ayonikezwa abathile. Ngithi amanzi ayimpilo futhi awumgogodla wesizwe kufanele ukuthi abantu bakithi abansundu bakwazi ukuzuza ngalokhu ngemuva kokuvota ngobuningi babo ngo-1994, baphinda futhi banivotela ngobuningi babo ngo-2009. Angeke sakuphika ukuthi izigidi eziyishumi nanye zazivotela kona ukuba zibe nempilo engcono eNingizimu Afrika. Ngiyabonga Sihlalo. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu speech follows.)

[Prince M M M ZULU: Mabhoko, Chairperson, hon members, hon Ministers of the departments, and senior officials from the provincial departments of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as those from the Western Cape and Gauteng, if they are present.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is the backbone of this country. As a community we know that when you grow crops the soil becomes your blanket, and it becomes your blanket again when you have passed on. I am saying this because people must know that in order to fight poverty the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries must be able to provide people with resources such as tractors.

As the hon member from the Eastern Cape said, the structures that were formed were very useful, even though they were formed during the apartheid era. OSuthu, at Emkhontweni, where I come from, we were using tractors for ploughing. There were advisers, specialists in farming, who advised people with regard to the condition of the soil and the type of crops that it was good for at that time; for example whether it was good for sowing cabbages, tomatoes or mielies. Those are the resources that will provide for the needs of our people here in South Africa.

In closing, I would like to say to the representatives of the provincial departments present here today that they are the heads who must monitor the departments because we do not have independent provincial governments. If there’s any embezzlement and misuse of funds, you will be held accountable for it because you have to monitor them so that the black people of South Africa can be assisted.

Coming back to the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, as King Solomon’s grandchild I find it unacceptable that the people of Ngwavuma are not getting water because water from Lake Jozini is supplying other areas. Water is the life and the backbone of our nation; black people must benefit from this after voting for you in their numbers in 1994 and again in 2009. We cannot deny the fact that 11 million people voted for a better life in South Africa. Chairperson, I thank you. [Applause.]]

Ms B P MABE: Chairperson, Chief Whip, House Chairs, hon members, Minister, Deputy Minister, MECs and departmental officials. This afternoon it gives me great pleasure to debate some of the policy priorities of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as presented by Budget Vote No 23.

“Let us make agriculture a viable investment option that will open more opportunities for enhanced investment and growth of African agriculture.” This statement was made by the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union, on Monday, 29 June 2009, whilst addressing journalists at a press conference at the 13th ordinary session of the assembly of heads of state and government of the African Union in Sirte, Libya, under the theme: Investing in Agriculture for Economic Growth and Food Security.

Agriculture and, more specifically, food security is on the minds of everyone. Globally, with the economy in recession, countries are looking at internalising rising food costs by maximising food production within the limited resources that are available. Currently, Africa’s food import bill is at US$33 billion. This implies that there are opportunities for South Africa to export to other African countries.

The policy issues highlighted in the department’s Budget Vote include the need to increase agricultural support to emerging farmers and land reform beneficiaries whilst striving to transform the agricultural sector for the benefit of all South Africans. The inclusion of forestry and fisheries as economic drivers to develop sustainable livelihood in rural areas is an excellent way to focus on developing the economy while increasing the sector’s contribution to the GDP.

This is paramount to achieving success and transformation within the broader agricultural sector, while securing an income for the rural poor. The areas of agriculture, disease control, disaster management and soil conservation are concurrent areas of competence for national and provincial authorities. Therefore, I will focus my debate this afternoon on the policy priorities that have been identified by the executive for implementation with this Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.

The allocation of agricultural grants, according to the Division of Revenue Act, to the different provinces and the spending of this grant will be closely monitored and evaluated by this committee. The department will be held accountable for depriving our communities of these services if these grants are not used properly and returned unspent.

This first programme I would like to speak about is the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme. Expansion and provision of agricultural support services to promote and facilitate agricultural development, but targeting subsistence emerging commercial farmers, are aligned with the strategic prioritise of our government. This policy priority of the department is fully supported as it speaks to achieving one of the strategic priorities of this new government.

The allocation of 60% of the department’s budget for this programme is excellent; this indicates that there is a real increase of 12% after factoring in inflation. The support that was previously insufficient for land reform beneficiaries must now be prioritised and linked with the comprehensive rural development strategy of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to achieve the goals set in the President’s state of the nation address.

The agricultural disaster management programme that provides relief to farmers from the effects of drought, veld fires, cold spells, hail storms and flood via grants to the provinces is fully supported. These grants are vital for the success of the emerging farmers and land beneficiaries who need to buffer themselves from the effects of climate change that can occur in the form of these disasters. This committee is concerned about expenditures and transfers that are not made in time to the communities and will hold the department accountable on these issues. In order for the sector to be productive, grants and support need to be provided to the people and in time within growing season.

The Letsema programme provides universal access to agricultural support service and the amount allocated to the provinces will be scrutinised to ensure that the required funds are transferred to the communities that need them most. KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and the Free State have the highest allocation of this grant and these provinces need to show success in the sector by increasing production and ensuring food security for the people.

The support that the department provides to the beneficiaries in the form of extension services and capacity-building to ensure productivity will be closely evaluated. The committee also intends to monitor the implementation of grants that provide for infrastructure development and agricultural support as the provision of these services to our communities is important for success.

Sufficient postsettlement support should be provided for land reform beneficiaries so that farms which are productive are able to make a significant contribution to decreasing poverty in rural households and are able to provide food to urban households. These linkages between rural and urban areas must not be lost and closer partnership should be forged between the spheres of government to ensure this happens. The rural divide should be decreased and the dependence on each other should be clearly illustrated.

The Mafisa Fund, a financial mechanism to provide access to funds to rural communities for agricultural projects, is commendable, but it has high interest rates, and timeous transfer of funds to the beneficiaries is required in order for the sector to grow sustainably and be productive. The Minister is urged to address the high interest rates and the transfer of funds so that emerging farmers can start contributing actively to the economy.

The focus on the youth, women and other vulnerable groups in agriculture is imperative. The committee is very supportive and excited about the department’s women in agriculture and rural development and youth in agriculture and rural development programmes. The time has come for our forgotten youth and women from the rural peri-urban areas to rise and fight for their rightful place in the sector and economy of South Africa.

In conclusion, the department is commended for consolidating all the national funding schemes into a one-stop shop to facilitate the transfer of funds to beneficiaries and to be more cost-effective. We are looking forward to seeing innovative ways of implementing the current and new agricultural policies that the department has developed. [Time expired.] [Applause.] The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I just want to say this as a lesson to every one of you. I know that most of us are new in this House. When a member is addressing us from the podium, you do not walk in front of him or her. That disturbs the member. You should rather walk at the back or, if you walk on this side, you walk at the back and go and take your seat. Don’t walk in front of the member. Those are the rules. I’m beginning a workshop right now, which I will do in August, actually.

Cllr C JOHNSON (Salga): Hon Chairperson, hon Joemat-Pettersson, hon Shabangu, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs in absentia, I think we are ready as Salga to partner with the Department of Agriculture to ensure that the implementation programme as envisaged by the Minister is being effected. We would also like to call upon the Minister to, as soon as possible, investigate labour practices and the use of labour in the agricultural sector, because, invariably, it makes of our citizens domestic refugees in the use of that labour.

We would also like to highlight to the Minister the fact that there are triple bottomline requirements being implemented currently, and local government is looking at the code of good practice set by the UN, the sustainable use of natural resources within the context of climate change and food security challenges at local level.

Section 27(1)(b) of the Constitution defines water access as a right to every citizen. We could not agree more with the hon Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs in respect of this. Another important right relevant to this debate is indeed the right to an environment that is not harmful and protected for the benefit of the current and future generations, found in section 24 (a) and (b). And local government, in terms of the objects of local government, also has a responsibility to create a safe environment.

I must indicate that in this charging with the above-mentioned rights Salga and its member municipalities have been working closely and have benefited from the support and leadership provided by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs. As an outcome of this co-operation, the recently released community survey by Statistics South Africa in October 2007 indicated that over 88% of households had access to piped water compared to just less than 85% in 2001.

Over 60% of households had access to flushing toilets compared to just under 52% in 2001. The R500 million set aside to intervene in high risk areas to deal with aging infrastructures, sewage spillages and acid management is welcomed. This is very important to local government as it addresses two political matters: Firstly, when municipalities were established and assigned with the water services function, we inherited old infrastructure — some of which was way overdue for replacement. This required huge investments. In a sense, municipalities inherited a liability rather than an asset, because by taking up the water services authority function, we accepted an alienable responsibility of replacing and refurbishing old infrastructure that was associated with the function. This infrastructure had been servicing or was consumed by a fraction of the population, which was mostly white.

The policy thrust of the new democratic government was to extend services to those not served rather than refurbishing and replacing infrastructure that benefited a minority. The effect of this was to postpone investment in infrastructure, refurbishment and replacement and further load this old infrastructure. In a sense, infrastructure replacement liability was transferred to local government without a policy solution as to how this liability was to be financed.

The absence of such a policy solution is now playing itself out in the public domain through the spectacular collapse of infrastructure in many municipal areas. Formulating this policy solution can no longer be postponed and it will be inappropriate to leave it to local government alone to solve this policy problem.

The second issue — and I’m happy that the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs, Madam Qikani, addressed this issue — is that when water services infrastructure predominantly servicing the rural areas with high levels of poverty was transferred to municipalities from the national government, there were agreements that the operation and maintenance would be financed from the national fiscus for a maximum of three years and thereafter the receiving municipalities would take over.

There are two problems that are related to the implementation of these agreements. The first one is that when the infrastructure was transferred, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Dwaf, transferred only labourers together with it and retained the relatively skilled staff and then subsidised the salaries of labourers and not the technically skilled positions. This has led to a situation where municipalities could not have the required resources to employ the required skills in addition to the difficulty of attracting skills, even in cases where some municipalities are able to finance these technical positions.

The commitment to spend R30 billion in the next five to eight years to build 15 mega water resource infrastructures is important to ensure water security and availability at all times. Increasingly municipalities have been facing bulk and rural water shortages. There was not much that municipalities could do about this as our mandate and related financing does not include the construction of dams. With the attention focusing on big national projects, small medium-sized towns that were dependent on small to medium-sized dams suffer water shortages.

Recent engagements with Dwaf and water boards around bulk water tariffs had indicated that there is a need to discuss the financing of the sector as it is apparent that the country may not be making adequate provision for infrastructure development, maintenance and rehabilitation in the water sector as a whole. There is a need to develop a medium- to long-term water sector funding and pricing model.

In the context of the above, there is an apparent untenable relationship between the role of the department as a regulator of the sector on the one hand and as sector leader on the other hand, a supporting institution to local government and a supplier of bulk, raw and purified water by virtue of being a sole shareholder of water boards and the owner of dams. The whole issue of being the regulator, or the referee and being the player at the same time is the cause of this untenable situation. This must be resolved as matter of priority.

The policy changes raised above suggest a need for a mutually supportive relationship and closer co-operation between the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs and local government. Salga would like to work with the department to find solutions to these policy challenges. Salga is very optimistic that the future in terms of infrastructure creation, especially in these bad economic times, will lead to job creation and we believe that when there is a turnaround, there would be infrastructure that has been created for us to capitalise on growth and development of mutual benefits, both in agriculture and in the water sector. As Salga we support the Budget Vote as submitted. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J J VISSER (Western Cape): Chairperson, I am thankful that I still have the privilege to be here and address this House.

When comparing the hon Minister Joemat-Pettersson’s budget speech on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the Western Cape’s budget speech on agriculture and rural development, one cannot help but notice the many similarities and correlations between the two presentations. The hon Minister Joemat-Pettersson said that the national department will broaden and strengthen our partnership with organised agriculture and those components that still need to be organised.

Since the Western Cape contributes a significant 20,8% to the national agricultural output, this is a welcome message for organised agriculture in the Western Cape.

Hon Minister Van Rensburg – that’s the provincial Minister for Agriculture – said agriculture should be a profitable occupation. His statement, together with the national Minister’s hand of friendship towards commercial agriculture, bodes well for the future of agriculture in South Africa.

The hon Minister spoke of agrarian transformation, and the drive to consolidate all the national funding schemes. She included black economic empowerment in agriculture, AgriBEE, the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, Casp, Ilima-Letsema and Land Care programmes in this regard. This is good news, as a consolidated approach could curb the co-ordination problems that are sometimes experienced when communication is lacking between individual funding schemes.

The Western Cape is eager to work together with the national department in this regard. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has allocated 28% of its total budget towards the support and development of new farmers.

Minister Joemat-Pettersson mentioned the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme that is aimed at enabling rural people to play a meaningful role in an inclusive economy, thus dealing with rural poverty. The Western Cape has added rural development to the Ministry of Agriculture, as it believes that agriculture can play a significant role in the development of our rural areas.

Minister Joemat-Pettersson highlighted the need for young people to be attracted to the agricultural sector, and envisaged a national youth service for agriculture. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is equally committed to attracting young talent to this sector, and Minister van Rensburg said in his provincial budget speech that, and I quote:

Landbou benodig dringend talent om die uitdagings wat voedselproduksie in die oë staar, aan te pak. [Agriculture urgently needs talented individuals to tackle the challenges around food production which are staring us in the face.]

The national department’s mandate now also includes fisheries. The Western Cape already has a strategic aquaculture plan, which is supported by civil society, business, labour and government. In this regard, we, as a province, are looking forward to working together with the national department.

The national department plans to train 1 000 extension officers and recruit another 1 000 in the near future. This is excellent news for all farmers, and is another point mirrored in the Western Cape’s budget, which aims to increase its extension officer corps to 119 well-trained officials.

It seems that the table is set for good co-operation between the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on the one hand, and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on the other hand. I thank you.

Mr C J DE BEER: Chairperson, hon members, hon Minister, I also extend my congratulations to the Minister on her appointment as Minister of Agriculture. Coming from the Northern Cape — a province we share — shows that she knows her business, because she was nominated as number one MEC for Agriculture in South Africa for the past two years. I also extend my congratulations to the other Ministers on their appointments to their respective positions.

I am honoured to be part of a developmental state that is committed to work with and for its people to do more and create a better life.

Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

In terms of the agricultural programmes, we must give our people hope to live a purposeful and dignified life.

Agricultural land and agrarian reform have an historical significance in the struggle for freedom and find expression in the Freedom Charter, which says the people shall share in the country’s wealth, and the land shall be shared among those who work on it.

The Freedom Charter became, not only in principle but also in practice, the charter of the people, the content of which has its source in their homes, in the factories, in the mines and in rural services. Hon Sinclair, hon De Beer – the other De Beer – and hon Bloem are not here; you must listen. One of the key performance areas and priorities must be to transform rural livelihoods to enable smallscale farmers to use land more productively. Improved support to farmers is important, but access to long-term finance is a critical ingredient.

Tans is die grootste uitdaging om nuwe landbouers se boerderye lewensvatbaar te maak as hulle op nuwe grond gevestig word. Dit is dus noodsaaklik dat daar ’n deeglike ondersoek gelas moet word om vas te stel waarom sekere boere wat deur die staat op grond gevestig is onsuksesvol was. Deeglike opleiding van sulke nuwe landbouers is deel van die antwoord.

Ek stel voor dat landbouhoërskole, in die Noord-Kaap spesifiek, maar ook landwyd – soos die Hoër Landbouskool Noord-Kaapland in Jan Kempdorp en Hoërskool Martin Oosthuizen in Kakamas – plus die navorsingsinstellings in die gebiede, doeltreffend aangewend word om nuwe landbouers op te lei.

Al die nodige opleidingsgeriewe en landbougereedskap is daar om ons landbouers vaardig te maak, vaardigheidsontwikkeling te gee, en ook om kommersiële landbouers op te lei.

Landbouondersteuningsdienste beslaan die grootste deel van die departement se begroting en het toegeneem sedert die vorige finansiële jaar. Die doel van hierdie program is om nuwe landbouers toegang tot die landbousektor te gee. Verskerpte monitering ten opsigte van die besteding van die fondse sal toegepas moet word. Tydens die begrotingsvoorlegging is aangedui dat R60 miljoen uit die CASP-fondse nie bestee is nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[At present the biggest challenge is to make farming by new farmers feasible once they have been settled on new land. It is therefore essential that a thorough investigation is undertaken to establish why certain farmers who were given land by the state were unsuccessful. Thorough training of such new farmers is part of the solution.

I propose that, especially in the Northern Cape, but also throughout the country, agricultural high schools – like the Northern Cape Agricultural High School in Jan Kempdorp and the Martin Oosthuizen High School in Kakamas – together with research institutions in the areas, be used appropriately to train new farmers.

All the necessary training facilities and agricultural implements are available to produce skilled farmers, to offer skills development, and also to train commercial farmers.

Agricultural support services make up the biggest part of the department’s budget and has increased since the previous financial year. The purpose of this programme is to provide access for new farmers to the agricultural sector. More stringent monitoring, with regard to the spending of the funds, will have to be exercised. During the submission of the budget it was indicated that R60 million from the Casp funds were not spent.]

The departments of Social Services, Health and Education give bursaries to students to study in those fields. What assistance, in terms of bursaries, is given to students to study - not only at university, but also at the FET colleges - in the field of agriculture, in the context of government’s policy to empower our young people, to give them access to opportunities to improve themselves in order to enter the economy?

The Kalahari Kid project is a project in the Northern Cape and an excellent way to get our new farmers into farming with goats in order to produce good quality red meat. They must grow and expand their business to not only supply the domestic market, but also to export to eastern countries like the Emirates, China, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia, etc.

We call on the department to inform this House on the progress made in this regard, not only in the Northern Cape, but across the whole of South Africa.

We note the objectives of the Land and Agrarian Reform Project to redistribute five million hectares of white-owned agricultural land to 10 000 new agricultural producers. The question is: How is the department going to do this and what are the contingency plans to keep these new farmers on the land?

We thank the department for its financial assistance to the Vaalharts Revitalisation Programme, will run over several years. We are also thankful for the assistance of the present Minister who was then the MEC for Agriculture in the Northern Cape who assisted us with that programme. This committee and this House will monitor that project.

We request the hon Minister to ensure that the irrigation scheme starting from Groblershoop to Kakamas also be added to this programme. It is not just about the commercial farmers, but also about the new farmers and farmworkers who are responsible for producing vegetables and fruit for markets. It has an economic effect on all people along the irrigation scheme.

I believe that the lower part of the Orange River can be utilised better, from Vioolsdrift to the mouth of the river into the Atlantic Ocean. At Alexander Bay is a dairy which, many years ago, excelled in producing milk, yoghurt, cheese and butter. Today, the milk cows have been reduced because of a lack of food. No crops are produced on the banks of the river at Alexander Bay. The point is not the dairy. The point is that the extension officers did not do their work. The department will have to monitor the work done by these extension officers in each province because it affects the progress we want at grassroots level.

We call on the department to engage seriously in aquaculture farming with fresh fish. This is a food commodity that is ideal for our poor people as it is rich in protein and cheaper than chicken.

The hon Minister indicated that attention would be paid to our fishermen and quotas issued to them, specifically in the Northern Cape at Hondeklip Bay and Port Nolloth. Presently these fishermen are registered as indigents. There are 39 of them in the Kammiesberg and Richtersveld municipality. I was part of the registration process.

I believe the same situation can be found at towns along the South African coast. If fishing quotas are a problem, then bring these fishermen without quotas into mariculture, seeing that the mariculture plant at Port Nolloth is not progressing as it is supposed to. This is also an opportunity to utilise Casp funds for this purpose.

Hon De Beer, the fishing population is declining. That is why you see less activity. [Interjections.]

There was a conference in Libya a few days ago. If you had listened to the radio and television or read the newspapers you would have seen this. This department, with the departments in African countries, will have to look holistically at the fishing industry in terms of who is going to fish where. That is the point.

Dit gaan nie net oor die leë geboue nie. [It’s not just about the vacant buildings.]

We believe in “one household, one vegetable garden” giving our people access to good food.

The department has to ask itself: what can we do better and how can we work smarter? The department will have to align its strategic plan and budget to address its priorities as well as to finalise the BEE strategy.

The department will have to anticipate challenges over the next 15 to 30 years. There must be better co-ordination between the national and provincial departments.

We wish the new Minister well in her position as Minister. This House and its committees will perform its oversight role vigorously so as to get service delivery at grassroots level. The ANC supports this budget. Thank you.

The MINISTER OF MINING (on behalf of thr MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS): Deputy Chairperson, thank you for the privilege to respond to the Budget Vote. Firstly, I would like to thank the members for supporting this Budget Vote. Chairperson of the committee, hon Qikani, I want to assure you that issues raised by you are a reflection of the past, and we cannot afford to continue in that way. Issues of people seeing water passing through their own areas while they have no access to it will have to be corrected. This is part of the mandate for the current five years. The department of Water and Environmental Affairs will make sure that this happens; hence we are currently talking about it being multipurpose, including supply to communities in various areas. The matter you raised will be taken on board. It includes areas like the Northern Cape, where people were talking about the Taung Dam. Those issues will be addressed. So, we are on board, hon members, in making sure that we address these issues.

Mhlonishwa Bab’uZulu ngempela sivumelana nawe ngeke kwenzeke ukuthi abantu baphile ngokuthi ngaso sonke isikhathi bahlala belangazelele amanzi kodwa abe ebadlula nje engakwazi ukufinyelela kubona. Lezi ngezinye zezinto lo hulumeni kaKhongolose ozama ngakho konke ekusemandleni ukuthi zibhekwe ukuze amanzi afinyelele kubantu.

Lokho okushilo kwaseNgwavuma ngezinye zezinto ezizobhekwa uMnyango wezaManzi ukwenza isiqiniseko sokuthi wonke umuntu ngaphandle kobandlulula akwazi ukuthi athole amanzi ahlanzekile, ukuze izimpilo zabo zibengcono. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.) [Hon Mr Zulu, we fully agree with you that the people should not always wish to have access to water when it passes through their areas and they do not have access to it. These are some of the issues which this ANC-led government is trying its best to address so that the people can have access to water. The issue you raised about Ngwavuma is part of some of the issues that will be dealt with by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs to ensure that everybody can get clean water so that they can live better.]

I want to say to you, hon Sinclair, that the point you raised about water scarcity is a definite issue for this country and for this government; hence we raised it and want to deal with it. I agree with you fully.

But what I don’t agree with is the fact that Cope is a government in waiting. That will never happen. [Laughter.] [Applause.] That is a dream that you will never fulfil in your lifetime. So, just stop entertaining the idea of being an alternative government at some point, because it will never happen. Just abandon that idea.

Hon Johnson, the issues you raised are issues that the government is looking into. We agree with you fully. As you know, currently there has been an issue through the new Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, where workshops or summits were held with the SA Local Government Association, Salga. These programmes and task teams which have been set up will need to be taken on board, and we need to make sure that co-operation between you and the national government becomes a reality in ensuring that we address issues affecting our communities. This is the only way in which we will succeed as this government. There is no way in which we can work in silos. So, it is very critical to make sure that there is always engagement and partnerships with all relevant stakeholders, including Salga. I thank you. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Madam Deputy Chairperson, South Africa’s agricultural trade values were, for some months, disturbed by increased imports of rice, wheat, oil cakes for animal feed manufacturing industries and also imports of whisky.

We know who the whisky drinkers are. When Cope lost the elections there was a sudden rise in imports of whisky. [Laughter.] They really tried to drown their sorrows with whisky but, as the ANC celebrated, there was an import of malt whisky. You can understand that there is a big difference between importing malt whisky and importing cheap whisky. [Laughter.]

So our trade balance is positive and we aim to maintain this and improve our positive tariff balance. We are convinced that by the end of the year our country will be a net exporter of food again, and that this situation would have been stabilised. We need to seek a balance between crops used for biofuel productions and those used for food security. That is why, in 2007, Cabinet took a decision that maize will not be used for biofuel production. Biofuel is used for alternative renewable energy and not for food security. But when farmers grow fuels, it also secures an income from the land and can create jobs, as well as improve their livelihoods. It therefore requires a balancing act and a structured sensitive approach to develop biofuels vis-à-vis food security.

South Africa has approximately six million households that spend more than 60% of their income on food alone, but do not have enough to eat. As part of the response, we are bringing in interventions, which will expand the coverage of the integrated food security and nutrition programme from 70 000 to 140 000 additional beneficiaries.

The programme will deliver through the provision of agricultural starter packs for the production of vegetables, livestock, milk and poultry. These initiatives were tested in line with the implementation of the regional indicative strategic development plan and the Dar es Salaam Declaration Plan of Action on agriculture and food security.

We should not overlook the contribution of women in food security and their role in securing livelihoods, particularly in rural areas. Forty-one per cent of South African women live in rural communities with the balance of the population in these areas made of up of children, the infirm and old people. Women have kept these poor marginalised communities afloat and they will continue to do so.

We will be convening in Polokwane again. This time the Polokwane tsunami will be about the fourth biennial National Landcare Conference and the African Regional Landcare Committee meeting with the theme: Together, caring for our land and caring for our future.

We invite members from especially Cope to get a sense of where Polokwane is actually taking this country, because that is where all their woes started when they lost hopelessly and couldn’t accept defeat. [Laughter.] This time we are inviting you to a landcare programme from 12 to 16 July 2009. There will again be an overwhelming win.

South Africa has a well-established fishery sector and this is currently a net exporter of fish and marine products. South African fisheries are considered to be fully utilised and high value fisheries such as abalone, prawns and linefish are largely overexploited.

At the African Union Summit we agreed that the allocation of fishing quotas will be done throughout the continent and in Africa as a whole, instead of only allocating fisheries per country like South Africa. I think this is an important new development for us on the continent. In conclusion, I wish to thank the Deputy Minister responsible for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Director-General and the entire staff complement of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. I wish to thank the Minister of Mining for her insightful vision and comments on water development.

I also wish to thank the members who have participated in this debate. We wish to collect all the copies of your speeches, because you have made valuable contributions, which we will listen and respond to.

We are looking forward to working with the chairperson and the members of the NCOP. Thank you very much, Madam, for your visionary leadership. We are convinced that, with your leadership, we will be able to take the sector forward. We respect the kind of comments you have made as well as the guidance you are providing us with.

I would also like to thank the staff members and heads of departments as well as MECs and politicians in their provincial departments. I did not know that there was another Minister for Agriculture in the Western Cape. I thought that there was only one Minister at a national level and one Deputy Minister, but nonetheless, it seems we have the united states of the Western Cape and the independent states of the Western Cape.

I also want to thank the state—owned entities in the sector for their co- operation and support to ensure that programmes that are delivered will be successful. I depend on your oversight and know that you will call us to order and to account. We depend on you calling us to order. I thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Business suspended at 15:45 and resumed at 15:58.

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate)

Vote No 14 — Health: Vote No 16 — Social Development:

The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, colleagues, MECs of Health from different provinces, hon members of the House, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen.

I am presenting this budget under circumstances of serious challenges in health care in our country and around the world; namely, the H1N1 influenza and the global economic crisis. During economic crises, social outcomes are usually the first to suffer and the last to recover. Health is usually on the forefront of the social outcomes to suffer, because countries may be tempted to cut all social spending when faced with financial crises.

Let me start this presentation by reminding this House what His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, said concerning health during the state of the nation address:

Fellow South Africans, we are seriously concerned about the degeneration of the quality of health care, aggravated by the steady increase in the burden of disease, in the past decade and a half.

This statement by the President is a clarion call to the Minister of Health and the MECs of Health in the provinces to put their heads together and decisively deal with the state of affairs. I’m therefore calling on my colleagues – the MECs from different provinces – to help me to deal with these issues without fear or favour.

In order to make a good start, we need to accept and acknowledge upfront that among the myriad of factors the following played a significant role and need to be carefully and urgently looked into: First, lack of managerial skills within health institutions; second, failure to act on identified deficiencies; third, delayed response to quality improvement requirements; fourth, unsatisfactory maintenance and repair services of our institutions; fifth, poor technological management; sixth, poor supply chain management; seventh, inability of individuals to take responsibility for their actions; eighth, poor disciplinary procedures and corruption; ninth, significant problems in clinical areas related to training and poor attitude of staff; and last, inadequate staffing levels in all areas.

I call upon provinces to note that, while some of these problems need a systemic approach, others are quite urgent and can be partially solved. That is, some problem areas need urgent impromptu solutions.

Let me take this opportunity to commend the Gauteng province on launching Operation Kuyasheshwa La. [Applause.] I wish to see such operations in all the provinces. At the same time, I want to share with the House our 10- point plan, which has been translated into our programme of action. The ruling party noted that there are problems within the health and education systems during their watershed conference in December 2007 and, hence, adopted and passed far-reaching resolutions. The binding resolution passed expected us to prioritise the health and education systems of the country in the next five years and beyond. The resolution was not just rhetoric, but a realisation of problems that we are faced with.

Since then, the ruling party came up with the 10-point programme, which has been officially adopted by the Department of Health as a programme of action. First is the strategic leadership and the creation of a social compact to better health outcomes. It is self-evident that if we don’t provide leadership at all levels, including in the society, our health outcomes will never improve.

Second is the implementation of the National Health Insurance, NHI, which, unfortunately, has already been debated in the media even before the document was tabled.

Third is the accelerated implementation of the HIV and Aids Plan and the increased focus on tuberculosis, TB, and other communicable diseases.

I attended a session two weeks ago at the United Nations called by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Margaret Chan. It was called because they worry about what governments around the world may do to health budgets when they are beaten by this global crisis, and they wanted to stop that. It was during that session that I was told, especially by leaders within the United Nations, that if South Africa failed to take the lead on the issue of HIV and Aids, the continent wouldn’t be able to move. They were saying that, as the continental power house, South Africa needs to take the lead in the fight against HIV and Aids. For that reason, we need to be equal to the task and know that whatever leadership role and programme we take on HIV and Aids, it’s not only for our country, but for the whole continent.

Fourth is the overhauling of the whole health care system and the improvement of its management. In this case, we will need to evaluate all hospitals’ chief executive officers, CEOs, to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements for effective management of the set facility when instituting corrective measures where indicated that may include retraining and or redeployment of people. We are also doing a feasibility study for the establishment of a leadership academy of health managers.

In further overhauling the system, we’ll evaluate and strengthen the district health care system and primary health care, which is not doing as well as expected. I want to remind the House that when we took over in 1994, the hallmark of the whole health care system and the central issue in our strategy was primary health care, which means the improvement of health right where the people are, in their homes and at clinics. At the moment, I think we are relying too much on hospitals, which is why there is so much overcrowding. So, we are going to have to look into that.

Fifth is the improvement of human resource planning, development and management. In this case, as I spoke about the shortage of staff, it is quite evident that when it comes to doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other related health workers, we are one team as a country. One of the most urgent things we are going to do is to open all the nursing training colleges to make sure that as many nurses as possible are trained. Presently, the training of nurses takes place at universities only. That is wrong and will not take us anywhere because it’s like training an army with generals and no foot soldiers, and that needs to be changed as soon as possible. We also need to speak with our vice-chancellors from medical schools. The fact that only 1 200 doctors are produced by our eight medical schools, yearly, for the past eight years, needs to come to an end because we won’t be able to move as a country if that doesn’t change.

The sixth factor is to improve the quality of health care services.

The seventh factor is the revitalisation of the health care infrastructure.

The eighth is mass mobilisation for better health for the population.

The ninth will be the reviewing of the drug policy, which has been causing running battles between government, the pharmaceutical companies, pharmacists, etc. In this case, the fact that we have been able to bring drug prices down is a good starting point, but the whole policy on drugs in our country needs to be reviewed.

Last is to strengthen research and development in our country.

Let me indicate that by implementing this 10-point programme we will pay keen interest to the following four issues: Firstly, on the whole issue of financial management, whether at institutional, provincial or national government level, we are going to pay urgent and immediate attention to it.

Secondly, there is the issue of infrastructure or engineering services, including maintenance of health facilities, rather than to continue building new ones.

Thirdly is the issue of human resources for both the management and its development is something that we will keenly look into, because, as a country, I don’t think we are doing very well in that regard.

Last is the issue of information communications technology, ICT, because in this modern world you cannot run a sophisticated department like the Department of Health unless the IT and ICT systems are up to standard.

These are the four main causes of the failures within the public health care system and there’s no way we can implement the 10-point plan without looking at them. Our programmes of accelerating HIV/Aids are well catered for in our 10-point plan and when we get an opportunity we would like to expatiate on it. To conclude, if enough time was available, one would have liked to appraise the House about the present contemporary issues of the occupation-specific dispensation, OSD, because I’m sure that at some stage this House will need to know and understand what is happening. It doesn’t help to get issues from the media because most of them have been distorted, misquoted and misdirected. It’s puzzling because one won’t exactly know what is happening in our country. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Ministers, members of the House and guests, it is with utmost dismay and shock that I participate in this debate today. The primary reason for my statement is that these two Budget Votes are separate from each other and have the integrity and status to be handled as such. They both have the character of importance to assure a standard and quality nation, but I think this is nullified by the notion to club them together. This is wrong, although they are in a single cluster or in a social services committee.

Herrangskikking en regstelling ten opsigte van debatvoering moet gedoen word. [The debating process should be rearranged and rectified.]

The Department of Social Development has good structured planning, monitoring and evaluation and other mechanisms to manage it very well.

The 2008-09 financial year recipients for aid in grants total 13 137 million beneficiaries. This will grow by about 9% in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, years. KwaZulu-Natal is the province which is the most vulnerable for the support of grants. It is understandable that government must assist where poverty is hampering the integrity of communities. That we must treasure.

We must eventually pose the question: …

Is dit doeltreffend en effektief om ’n kindersorgtoelae te bestuur, veral indien dit die grootste deel van hierdie ondersteuningsmodel uitmaak? Het dit die beoogde uitwerking op die kinders en gemeenskappe? Sal werkskeppingsinisiatiewe nie beter doelwitte bereik om die menswaardigheid en integriteit van gemeenskappe te bou nie?

U weet die toelaestelsel skep liewer ’n goeie bron van inkomste vir gewetenlose geldskieters en onwettige drankhandelaars wat vet katte in die samelewing word. Die departement sê dat dit moeilik is om die “AllPay”- kaarte en identiteitsdokumente in hierdie mense se besit te polisieer. Dit is egter onwaar, want wanneer daar op die begunstigde se dokumente beslag gelê word, kan die begunstigde geïndentifiseer word. Streng optrede en die intrekking van sodanige toelaes sal baie begunstigdes dan verhoed om hulle aan sulke wanbesteding skuldig te maak. Selfs kommersiële besighede is aan hierdie wanpraktyke skuldig. Dit moet gestop word, want aan die einde van die dag probeer die regering armoede verlig, maar die armes bly arm en slegs ’n klein persentasie raak skatryk.

Kindersorgtoelaes spoor net mense aan om meer en meer kinders te kry en die las en druk op die regering raak net meer. Hierdie stelsel sal hersien en heroorweeg moet word. Om die familie te ondersteun, is ’n baie beter vorm van armoedeverligting. Met ander woorde, ’n kleiner familie met min geld het ’n beter kans om ’n beter lewe te lei as ’n groot familie.

Ons moet ons bejaardes in ouetehuise en inrigtings en kinders wat in inrigtings is beter versorg. Werkgeleenthede moet nooit vir toelaes ingeboet word nie. My tyd is te min en daarom gaan ek nou oor na gesondheid.

’n Goeie gesondheidstelsel is van kardinale belang vir die voortbestaan van ’n nasie. ’n Mislukking voorspel die verval en vernietiging van ’n land. Ons verstaan dat die land in ’n ekonomiese smeltkroes beland het. Daarom is dit moeilik om die begroting met die gevraagde behoeftes te balanseer.

Die begroting is egter besig om gevaarlike tekens te toon en dreig om in ’n krisis te verval. Ek sê so omdat die voorafgaande jaar se verpligtinge in die volgende jaar aangespreek moet word. Hierdie tendens eskaleer en kan nie goedgepraat word nie. Die begrotingsaanbod op meeste van die lynitems was baie meer, maar die Tesourie het baie minder gegee, wat dreig dat die geld kan opdroog voor die jaar eindig. Ek wil veral die Huis se aandag vestig op ’n dokument wat almal gekry het, naamlik die Strategic Plan 2009- 10—2011-12. Op die een bladsy word daar baie duidelik die volgende gesê:

Funding needs and pressures for 2008-09 which could not be funded are as follows: data capturer project, R10 million; vaccine purchases, R15 million; and health information system, R70 million.

So gaan dit aan. Die volgende bladsy gaan oor die “estimates” [begrotings] vir 2008-09:

Budget bids for occupation-specific dispensation, OSD, is R2,5 billion. The actual allocation for OSD is R1 billion. HIV and Aids is allocated R1 billion.

Wat ons gekry het, is R300 miljoen.

… Child mortality vaccines, R315 million …

Wat ons eintlik gekry het, is R50 miljoen. So gaan die situasie aan. Dan word daar baie duidelik gesê dat: … the implication for underfunding is that ARV programmes cannot be rolled out as intended.

Dit sê vir my dat mense wat hierdie gevaarlike siekte onder lede het, die gevaar loop dat hulle kan sterf as hulle nie die middels kry nie. Dit sê vir my baie duidelik dat daar nie goeie bestuur in die departement en die regering is nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Is it efficient and effective to manage a child support grant, especially when it comprises the biggest part of this support model? Does it have the intended effect on the children and communities? Would job creation initiatives not achieve better results in fostering dignity and integrity within communities?

You know that the grant system is actually creating a good source of income for unscrupulous moneylenders and illegal liquor traders who become fat cats in society. The department claims that it is difficult to police the “AllPay” cards and identity documents that are in these people’s possession. This is, however, untrue because it is possible to identify the beneficiary when his or her documents are seized. Firm action and withdrawal of such grants would prevent such misappropriation by many beneficiaries.

Even commercial companies are guilty of these malpractices. This has to stop, because at the end of the day government is trying to alleviate poverty, but the poor remain poor and only a small percentage becomes very wealthy.

Child support grants are just encouraging people to have more and more children and increases the burden and pressure on the government. This system should be reviewed and reconsidered. Providing support to the family is a much better form of poverty alleviation. In other words, a small family that is poor has a greater chance than a bigger family to live a better life.

We should also provide better care for our elderly in old age homes and institutions, and to children who are in institutions. Job opportunities should never be jeopardised at the expense of grants. My time is limited, so I will now proceed with health.

A proper health care system is crucial to the survival of a nation. Failure predicts the decline and destruction of a country. We understand that the country has landed in an economic melting pot. Thus, it is difficult to balance the budget with the needs in demand.

However, the budget is showing dangerous signs of a looming crisis. I am saying this because the preceding year’s obligations have to be addressed in the year that follows. This tendency is escalating and cannot be justified. The budget bids for most of these line items exceeded the actual allocation made by Treasury by far, which could pose a threat in the sense that the funds could run out before the end of the year. I would especially like to draw the attention of the House to a document that we all received, namely the Strategic Plan 2009-10—2011-12. On the one page the following is stated very clearly:

Funding needs and pressures for 2008-09 which could not be funded are as follows: data capturer project, R10 million; vaccine purchases, R15 million; and health information system, R70 million.

It continues like this. The following page deals with the estimates for 2008-09:

Budget bids for the occupation-specific dispensation, OSD, is R2,5 billion. The actual allocation for OSD is R1 billion. HIV and Aids is allocated R1 billion.

We received R300 million.

… Child mortality vaccines, R315 million…

What we actually received was R50 million. This is how the situation carries on. Then it is stated very clearly that:

… the implication for underfunding is that ARV programmes cannot be rolled out as intended.

This tells me that people living with this dangerous illness stand the risk of dying if they do not receive these drugs. To me this is a clear indication of poor governance by the department and government.]

The OSD and the problems running with the situation are a concern. Government has been sitting with this system from 2007. Due to infighting and sectional fighting in the ANC, government was not able to carry on with governance and government responsibilities. Now the ANC government wants to blame the medical doctors and their union for letting patients down, when the ANC government must actually take the blame. Why can’t the people see through the wheeling and dealing of the ANC government? Just say the following words, “We are sorry. Give us more time to solve the problems.”

Dit is baie, baie eenvoudig. Dit is verkeerd. [Tussenwerpels.] [Tyd verstreke.] [Applous.] [It is very, very simple. It is wrong. [Interjections.] [Time expired.] [Applause.]]

Ms M W Makgate: Deputy Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MECs present here and members of this House, I just want to indicate that I’m standing in for the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Social Services.

The legacy of apartheid mismanagement continues to be with us and will be with us for some time to come. [Interjections.] We should not lament the past, but use our history to insure the future. It is impossible to correct the disparities and contradictions we have inherited in the short space of 15 years, but we do need to speed up delivery to our people.

Health, being a fundamental basic human right, compels our government, led by the ANC, the party that received the support of the overwhelming majority of South Africans, to fulfil this basic right. Hence we are beginning the process of implementing the National Health Insurance or NHI, as it is more commonly referred to.

There has been a great deal of speculation from various quarters, mostly negative. But what is it based on? We are still waiting for the tabling of a document that will guide the process to a conclusion that, hopefully, will satisfy all stakeholders.

The recession that we are now experiencing makes the NHI even more urgent in order to provide health care to the most vulnerable in our society. Some may continue to argue for a free market in health, but this cannot be justified when it hampers the fulfilment of a basic human right which our people are entitled to.

Through NHI we can achieve equity in health care as the current disparities cannot be allowed to continue. Also, through the consultation process, we will address the fears and confusion of the general public.

The process of developing the NHI will require reaching consensus with all relevant stakeholders on a few key elements, namely a basic benefit package, national health fund and the role of private funders and providers. The above will naturally follow the normal democratic process of in-depth discussion and engagement, with a view to finding the best solution that is practical and affordable.

In addressing the health care inequities and as a key component of the NHI, we also have to address the issue of human resources. Retention of staff is critical if you want to succeed, particularly in rural and remote areas where staff experience lack of equipment and, more critically, lack of support. It is critical for government to review the incentives it offers to attract health care professionals, but it is equally important to address the issues of equipment, structural deficiencies and support.

It is most unfortunate that health care professionals found it necessary to strike in order to make their point. I am, however, delighted that they have decided to return to work. I hope that government and the trade unions will resolve the issue of the occupation-specific dispensation, OSD, without any further disruptions in services.

Another key priority in this programme is hospital revitalisation, which also incorporates preventative maintenance to ensure good maintenance of our health facilities in the provinces. I am glad to note that five tertiary hospitals, when completed, will render T1 services and serve as provincial referral hospitals. Construction is intended to start at the end of this MTEF, Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, period, and will cover the new Nelspruit, new Limpopo Academic Hospital, the King Edward VIII Hospital, Kimberley and Rustenburg hospitals.

The ANC believes that poverty is created by society and it can therefore be eliminated by society. We believe that people are the fundamental resource of the country since they have the capacity to develop personally and are central to the development of the economy and the nation as a whole. The ANC’s social development policy will accordingly pursue both the development and social services aspects in the context of social reconstruction, development and affirmative action.

ANC policy goals are aimed at the attainment of basic social development rights for all South Africans, irrespective of race, colour, religion and gender, through the establishment of democratically determined, equitable, just and effective social delivery systems; the redressing of the imbalances of the past through a deliberate process of affirmative action in respect of those who have been historically disadvantaged, especially women, youth and rural communities; and the empowerment of individual families and communities to participate in the process of deciding on the range of needs and the issues to be addressed through the local, regional and national initiatives.

ANC policy is based on the belief of human dignity of all in South Africa. We acknowledge that the state has a major role in meeting the legitimate and realistic expectations of all, especially the poor, disadvantaged and other vulnerable groups. We do not encourage the handout approach to social welfare provision, because it does not address the root causes of social problems. We believe in the importance of the family as it is understood within the social and cultural norms in South Africa, in the context of a normally functioning society. Special attention will therefore be given to promoting the reconstruction of family life.

In conclusion, the ANC commits itself to the following national social security system: Social insurance financed through contribution by potential beneficiaries and subsidised by employers, and social assistance for those who cannot provide for themselves because of circumstances beyond their control.

The 51st national conference of the ANC held in 2002 called for care and support for families to be elevated. As a result, care and support services to families experienced increases over the medium-term. At the 52nd national conference of the ANC in Polokwane, concern over the negative impact of poverty on our society was deeply debated.

The following priorities emerged as imperatives for social development from the conference: Firstly, a comprehensive social security net that provides a targeted and impeccable approach in eradicating poverty and unemployment; secondly, establishing a mandatory retirement fund and ensuring that retirement provisions cover low-income groups; thirdly, the child support grant should gradually be extended to the age of 18 years; and fourthly, our co-ordinated national drug campaign must be intensified to combat substance abuse. The ANC supports this Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr O DE Beer: Chairperson and members of this House, Minister of Social Development, I read a story this week about Acacia Park being moved closer to this institution. I would like to see a situation where Acacia Park is moved to Philippi so that our people can benefit from the development that is going to take place at such a high cost for the sake of these members who are sitting here.

This department also has to rectify the perception that exists amongst the people out there that this is the most corrupt department. Every financial year, you will always find a report that reflects corruption involving grants in this department. Secondly, how many of these grants actually reach the beneficiaries? Most of these grants go to the loan sharks and the drug lords. We have to deal with those challenges as well.

Cope also supports the extension of the grant to 18-year-olds, but it must reach the beneficiaries; that is, it must go directly to the people. Thank you. [Time expired.]

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chair, hon Minister of Health, hon Deputy Minister of Social Development, hon MECs of various provinces, colleagues from the National Council of Provinces, distinguished guests and our management from the departments, ladies and gentlemen, and all guests who are here with us, good afternoon.

Chairperson, before getting into the substance of this Budget Vote, I would like to take this opportunity to say, on behalf of all of us here, that we really appreciate the work that was done by my predecessors, Dr Zola Skweyiya and Dr Jean Swanson-Jacobs, for the able leadership that they provided in this department and in this portfolio, in particular.

Social Development is tasked with tackling daily challenges afflicting society’s most poor and vulnerable people. South Africa’s poor, like their counterparts in most parts of the world, face additional challenges on account of the current global financial crisis, which is resulting in a humanitarian crisis, because, indeed, whichever way we look at it, the crisis that we are facing now is a humanitarian crisis. During these past few months, hundreds of thousands of jobs have vanished and hundreds of thousands of houses and other properties were lost, and consequently, the living conditions of the poor and the most vulnerable have indeed worsened.

The additional challenges being visited on the poor necessitate that we, as hon members gathered here today, deployed here in this Parliament and this National Council of Provinces, must deepen our socioeconomic responses, particularly as government responses to this crisis and, thereby, keep us steadfast in the pursuit of the goal of creating an inclusive and a caring society. As stated by our President in his state of the nation address, “We shall not rest; we dare not falter in our drive to eradicate poverty”.

Before elaborating on our responses to the current humanitarian crisis, Chair, and also providing some details of our programmes and interventions, I wish to reaffirm the need for the social development sector, inclusive of all the national departments, our public entities and civil society organisations, to work in partnership. Partnership is indeed necessary, and I’m also referring to our nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, who are up there in the gallery.

Chairperson, last week I met with the MECs responsible for Social Development; some of them are here in this august House. In that meeting we assessed the progress made and also appreciated the tasks that lay ahead us. Collectively, we agreed that we need to work together and much harder as a single unit towards the fulfilment of the hopes of all South Africans to enable them to realise their own ambitions.

Social Development is a concurrent function, as we all know, which is performed by national and provincial departments. On the one hand, the national department, in line with its constitutional mandate, provides policy direction and oversight for service delivery. On the other hand, the provincial departments are responsible for service delivery, mainly in partnership with civil society organisations, hence this necessity for us to become one unit.

It is the policy of our department to ensure that we provide policy leadership and lend support to our provincial counterparts to enable them to improve service delivery in a manner that attains our policy and programme objectives. This commitment, Chairperson, can be seen in the increase of the expenditure on the number of new policy initiatives that speaks to our goal of creating a caring society and, indeed, also creating a better life for our people.

Our close co-operation with the provinces in the past few years has seen marked improvement in the provision for developmental welfare services, the diversification in the methods used to deliver such services, as well as the enhancement of quality. We will continue to accelerate the implementation of key pieces of legislation such as the Children’s Act, the Older Persons Act, and the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act, amongst many others.

The impact of the financial crisis that I spoke about earlier on has been much deeper than expected, highly devastating indeed to many, and very destructive in its severity in respect of those who are on the margin in particular. We all must rally to the President’s call for a decisive response. Drawing on the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, framework agreement, on the response to the financial crisis, Social Development is rolling out a package of interventions.

At present, we do know, as a matter of fact, that over 13 million South Africans receive social assistance benefits, and of these beneficiaries, nine million are children. Whilst concerns may remain about the affordability and sustainability of this particular programme, it is undoubtedly government’s most effective poverty alleviation intervention, no doubt about that. It is important, therefore, to remember also that section 27 of our Constitution makes the provision of social assistance an obligatory function. It makes it obligatory. The state can’t look away from that; we are obliged to help those who are needy.

We have increased the age of eligibility for the child support grant to children up to 15 years in January this year, as was announced, and 70 000 men have benefited from the old-age pension as a result of our phased process towards equalisation of pensionable age between men and women at 60 years. At present it is from 61 years, those who are eligible for the old- age grant. We are moving towards that, and next year men and women will all be eligible for the old-age grant at 60 years of age. [Applause.] Over the medium-term, we will gradually extend the child support grant to children up to 18 years as it is policy and a requirement.

As from April this year, the values of grants were increased to ameliorate the impact of inflation. The old-age grant and disability grants were increased from R960 to R1 010; the child support grant from R230 to R240; the foster care grant increased from R650 to R680 and the care dependency grant from R960 to R1 010, obligatory measures.

In order to intensify the fight against child poverty, we will register an additional 20 000 children under 15 years by the end of August 2009. We will soon table a plan for the phased extension to 18 years of the child support grant to be implemented over the current Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, cycle. I don’t hear what you are saying; you will have your chance to stand here, please. [Laughter.]

The budgetary allocation for the provision of social relief of distress was increased fivefold by means of a special allocation in November 2008 as part of government’s response to rising food prices and the resultant adverse socioeconomic circumstances that our people face. The special allocation increased the social relief budget from R124 million to R624 million. The rapid distribution of this additional fund, that allocation that we received, bears testimony to the positive co-operation between the national and provincial Departments of Social Development. The R624 million enabled us to reach a good number of 765 347 people through cash and in- kind benefits, particularly those not covered by the social assistance grants. These are needy people who have nothing.

From November last year to April this year, 568 909 food parcels and vouchers were issued to eligible poor households, 128 746 school uniforms were issued to eligible learners from poor households and 35 679 cash payments were made to other eligible beneficiary households while 32 013 eligible individuals received other forms of in-kind assistance in the form of blankets and so on. We will seek to augment to our resources and enhance our abilities to reach people who suffer undue hardships not of their own making. In partnership with the provincial departments of social development, we will explore working with faith-based organisations and NGOs, all in good standing also, to assist in the distribution of social relief to those in distress. This year we will introduce into Parliament a new Bill which is intended to amalgamate various relief programmes, being administered by the Department of Social Development. Of course, relevant consultation will take place, and this Bill will provide for the delegation of the administration of such relief programmes to the provincial Departments of Social Development, which will support and exercise oversight over it. We will also exercise support and exercise oversight over this programme.

Chairperson, with respect to improving the livelihood of the poor, our department will support community-based organisations and institutions that work towards the overall wellbeing of our people. This includes supporting community foundations and organisations which are involved in advocating for women’s rights, women’s protection and safety, as well as their inclusion in the economic activities of our country. And I want to say, whilst I’m here, that I may not say lot about issues of welfare, but the Deputy Minister will allude to those issues.

The department is also working with the Community Food Bank Network of South Africa and the Global Food Banking Network to pilot the food bank concept in our country. Four community food banks, which are already in place situated in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and one in the rural village of Umkhanyakude District are being supported through this initiative. I welcome the private sector’s contribution to complement government’s efforts towards the war on poverty, and I take this opportunity to appeal also to other sectors of our society to partner with us in this campaign.

Chairperson, clearly the antipoverty strategy and its concomitant war on poverty campaign are part of government’s overall attempts to improve the livelihood capabilities of our people, and I hope somebody from Cope is listening, especially the speaker just before me. [Interjections.] Here too, our department has specific contributions to make. Our task in this respect is to collate information on the needs of households and communities in 150 wards so that government can respond to those needs adequately and systematically. And it is not only needs about grants, but also needs about what we can do to alleviate poverty and to actually make people able to fish for themselves instead of us, government, fishing for them. This we will do in partnership with provincial Departments of Social Development as well as, relevant civil society organisations and the Independent Development Trust, IDT, working through community development workers and Masupatsela Youth Pioneers, and I will speak about this Masupatsela later, in a few minutes’ time.

The second phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme is important to our efforts in creating job opportunities for the poor. Our department will continue to co-ordinate training of an additional 1 500 community caregivers and over 25 000 early childhood development practitioners for our home-based or community-based care and early childhood development, ECD, programmes.

Chairperson, the issue of early childhood development may be one of our department’s most important contributions to the challenge of promoting sustainable livelihoods and reducing intergenerational poverty over time. I hope also that the hon member from Cope understands that we are working on dealing with intergenerational poverty, even when we are providing food parcels. Early childhood development is indeed part of government’s long- term goal on investing in human capital, which is pivotal to any society’s efforts to beat systemic poverty. We will accelerate the registration of ECD sites from the current 13 743 to 14 401 and increase the number of children in registered ECD centres to 758 000. These goals, Chairperson, are informed by the ideal that everyone counts and everyone has a purpose in life, and, yes, everyone is significant.

We need to pay attention to developing our youth. The most critical aspect of our work with young people is to empower them, to instil the spirit of patriotism in them and also to ensure that they achieve citizenry. It is for this reason that we are implementing a programme called Masupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme as part of our broad national service programme. To date, 2 114 youth pioneers were recruited into the programme, while over 1 780 of them took part in the war on poverty initiatives throughout our country. We will support provinces in the creation of programmes and directorates that are specifically dedicated to youth matters and ensure that their concerns are treated with the attention that they deserve.

Chairperson, we are embarking on strategies to improve our institutional capabilities to better respond to, and indeed also to protect the poor from the adverse effects of poverty. This includes improving the capacity of the South African Social Security Agency, Sassa, as a key service delivery institution. A thorough business process re-engineering initiative will be implemented here in Sassa in order to, amongst other things, ensure that we improve the turnaround time for processing grant applications. I am saying amongst other things; we will do many things through this business process re-engineering, BPR.

We are working with the Post Office as well, on measures to reduce the cost of grant payments. My time is up. Unfortunately, I still wanted to talk about occupation-specific dispensation, OSD, but I’ll find a way of dealing with those issues. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Ms B P MABE: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers of Health and Social Development, hon Deputy Minister of Social Development, MECs from different provinces, hon members, special delegates, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

As you know, 11 days from now Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela will turn 91. People of the world and our country will celebrate the life of this great leader, the icon of our struggle, a legend, a trendsetter par excellence, a true patriot and a hero of our people. It is therefore correct that all of us should join hands and heed the President’s call to celebrate 18 July as Mandela Day. It will indeed be a fitting tribute to this great leader of our people.

I am indeed privileged and humbled to participate in this Budget Vote debate of the Department of Health. The Minister’s speech refers to continuity, innovation and decisiveness on the urgent steps we need to take to improve our country’s health care system. As the Free State province we are combat-ready to implement the issues, as continually raised by the Minister on different platforms, in the aftermath of this global economic meltdown. To us this means the application of new methods of doing things without compromising our priorities.

Our people have overwhelmingly renewed our mandate and they have understood the call that together we can do more. They also believe that together we can create decent work and sustainable livelihoods, that together we can implement a comprehensive rural development strategy, agrarian reform and measures of food security, and also that together we can create a health care system which promotes a healthy nation able to participate in a developing society.

As the Free State health department, we are a service point for 364 589 patients in our district hospitals. Over six million patients visited and were treated at our primary health care facilities. We have progressively expanded accredited locally based sites to provide comprehensive care and treatment for HIV and Aids patients. We have surpassed the 90% national average on immunisation. Our province has the second highest TB cure rate and the lowest TB default rate in the country. All our districts have fully functional governance structures with health plans linked to IDPs.

Whilst preparing for our Budget Vote, which is scheduled for 22 July, the following areas will remain at the top of our agenda this financial year. These are sustainable medicine and antiretrovirals, ARV, roll-out; revamping our health care infrastructure and medical equipment for our facilities; revamping our emergency medical services; reorganising our nursing college and recruiting new ones; promoting primary health care; improving our patient information management system; and improving access to rural health care, including building and consolidating our relationship with traditional healers through the traditional health practitioners’ forum. We will articulate our plans clearly when we present our Budget Vote on 22 July, as I indicated earlier.

It would be unfair of me to leave this podium without setting the record straight on what has been an element of entertainment by opposition parties, especially Cope, when they took part in the Budget Vote debate in the National Assembly. This was with regard to an issue that has been in the public domain: the provision of ARVs in our province. We do acknowledge that there were challenges, but despite the negative publicity that was given, we can say proudly that the target of 27 000 we set for ourselves was achieved far beyond …

Mr K A SINCLAIR: A point of order, Chairperson.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON (Ms T C Memela): Just hold on. Yes, hon member, what do you want to say?

Mr K A SINCLAIR: Hon Deputy Chairperson, in terms of the Rules of the House, the hon member is not allowed to refer to a previous debate or a debate in another House. Thank you. [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON (Ms T C Memela): Okay. That’s fine. Continue, hon member.

Ms B P MABE: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. Despite their negative publicity, we can say proudly that the target of 27 000 we set for ourselves was achieved far beyond our expectations by the financial year- end of 31 March 2009. As the financial year was drawing to a close, more than 35 000 people were on our programme and many thanks go to our national Department of Health and our ANC-led government, not forgetting our donors, for lending a hand during difficult times when the provincial department was faced with a financial shortfall in coping with the numbers that were on the ARV programme, while striving to serve those who were in dire need.

We are determined to maintain this record and make our contribution towards the achievement of reaching 80% of people in need of ARVs by 2011. Our own Operation Hlasela, launched by our premier during his state of the province address, will be our battle cry in achieving our objectives for better health care services — from overhauling our supply-chain management to auditing skills in supply-chain management. With this we will indeed also be looking at the efficiency of our management and personnel in responding to the call that laziness will not be tolerated this time around.

I would also like to extend our appreciation to those doctors in my province and other provinces who stood by their oaths and declarations as the department and unions deliberated issues of salaries. We are humbled by their humane gesture by continuing to serve our people with dignity. In closing, allow me to quote Madiba:

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

Our time has arrived to fight for optimal quality health care services for those living under the South African sun and the Free State as a province. I thank you. [Applause.]

UMntwana M M M ZULU: Mgcinisihlalo, amaLungu ahloniphekile ale Ndlu, abahlonishwa oNgqongqoshe namaPhini abo, oNgqongqoshe bezifundazwe abakhona ikakhulukazi abasekhaya uMkhabela nawe Bhungane - enethunga ayisengeli phansi. Bafowethu ngiqale lapha eMnyangweni Wezempilo ngoba kuyiMinyango ecishe ihlanganiswe noma ihlukene nje. Ngithi uMnyango Wezempilo ungumgogodla ngoba welapha bonke abantu abagulayo ngazo zonke izindlela.

Ngithi kuMhlonishwa uNgqongqoshe laphaya ezindaweni zethu emakhaya, abathi eMpumalanga Koloni kusezilalini, kuyofuneka ukuba uMhlonishwa uNgqongqoshe abhekisise ukuthi imitholampilo ikhona yini kuzona zonke izifundazwe. Ngoba asikho isifundazwe esizimele esingeke silawulwe nguwe njengoNgqongqoshe ophathiswe lo Mnyango. Ngoba uma kukhona okonakalayo siyobe sesifaka kuwena isibhaxu njengoNgqongqoshe ophethe lowo Mnyango, wena-ke bese usifaka ezinganeni zakho.

Bese ngibuye ngithi Mkhabela angisho ukuthi ngithini. Inkiyankiya owangena phezu kwayo eMnyangweni owuphethe ngokutholakala kokuthi kukhona okungahambanga kahle ekukhishweni kwamathenda, ngiyocela ukuba uNgqongqoshe akubhekise ngoba okuyihlazo nje singeze sakuvuma ukuthi kuqhubeke ezweni lakithi. Ngoba uma singaqhuba amahlazo ezweni lakithi ngabe siqonde ukuthi leli phupho elishiwo nguMongameli wezwe lingafezeki.

Ukungena-ke kwabahlonishwa kulezo zinto lezo angikuthandisisi kahle ngoba siyabahlonipha basuke beqokwe ngokwamakhono abo bahambe bayosihola khona. Bese ngithi kuMnyango Wezokuthuthukiswa Komphakathi, Mhlonishwa Ngqongqoshe eMnyangweni wakho ngiyazi ukuthi ungene ezicathulweni lapho bekuphethe khona indoda umhlonishwa uDokotela uZola Skweyiya.

Namanje-ke ngiyasho ngithi laphaya kwesikababomkhulu isifundazwe - angithengi amehlo ngoba mina angiyena uthengamehlo - uBhungane ubesawuqhuba kahle umsebenzi kulezi zinsuku esikuzo ondla labo bafelokazi nalezo zingane ezashiywa ngabazali bebulawa yisifo socansi ingculaza kanye nezinye-ke izifo kubantu abasuke bekhathazwe yizifo ezisuke zibaphethe ngokwenyama.

Ngithi-ke lo Mnyango wakho kulesiya sifundazwe ngokwami nje njengoMuntukaphiwana kaBantubathini kaSolomi kaDinuzulu ngikubona kusewumsebenzi oqhubeka kahle angeke ngaqamba amanga ngoba ngikolunye uhlangothi bese ngithi umsebenzi awusetshenzwa kahle. Bese ngithi-ke kodwa okufanele kubhekisiswe yilabaya bantu abakwizikhungo eziholelayo. Kufanele nibanikeze phela Ngqongqoshe noNgqongqoshe abakwizifundazwe ithuba lokubeka imibono yabo ngalezo zikhungo ngoba zisebenzisa izimali zomphakathi, ziphakela umphakathi egameni likahulumeni. Ngiyathokoza. (Translation of isiZulu speech follows.)

[Prince M M M ZULU: Chairperson, hon members of this august House, hon Ministers and their Deputies, the MECs who are present here today, especially those who come from my province, namely Mkhabela and you, Bhungane – we should not suffer because we have the resources. Gentlemen, let me start with the Department of Health because it looks like an integrated department, although it isn’t. The Department of Health is the backbone because it treats everyone who has any kind of illness.

Hon Minister, you must check if all the rural areas in each province have clinics, especially in the rural areas where some of us come from, which are referred to as ezilalini in the Eastern Cape. Because no province is independent from you as the Minister in charge of this department. If something goes wrong, we will hold you accountable as the Minister who is in charge of this department and you will also hold your subordinates accountable.

And coming to you, Mkhabela, I don’t have much to say because you were placed in a department that was in a mess when it was discovered that there had been a scandal with the awarding of tenders. We will therefore request the hon Minister to look into that because we cannot allow such things to go on in our country. If we allow such scandals to go on in this country, we would be responsible for causing the President’s vision not to be realised.

I don’t like the involvement of Ministers in such scandals because of the respect we have for them, and they were also appointed to those positions because of their expertise so that they can lead us. And when coming to the Department of Social Development, hon Minister, I know that you stepped into the shoes of a man among men, Dr Zola Skweyiya.

In my grandfather’s province - I am not merely putting in a good word for him here, because I am not like that — Bhungane is doing his tasks well so far by taking care of the widows and those orphans who lost their parents due to Aids, as well as other illnesses which attack people physically.

I am therefore saying that according to me, Muntukaphiwana, the son of Bantubathini of King Solomon, the son of King Dinuzulu, your department in that province is doing well so far and I cannot just tell lies because I am from a different party by claiming that the job is not done. But I wish to say that you need to look into those structures which are paying out state grants. Hon Minister, you must also give the MECs a chance to air their views with regard to those structures because they use public funds, and they also render a service to the community on behalf of government. Thank you.]

Mr T A MASHAMAITE: Hon Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, MECs from various provinces, good afternoon. It is true that the Department of Health has to promote the health of all the people of South Africa through an accessible, caring and high quality health system based on the primary health care approach. This aim must be achieved.

With the budget allocation of R17,5 billion for the 2009-10 financial year, we want to see the department ensure that its 10-point plan is implemented without any excuse, such as lack of capacity and human resources.

I heard during his presentation here that the Minister is very serious about seeing his department implement the 10-point plan. We’d appreciate it, hon Minister, if you could ensure that that happens, for the sake of South Africans.

Let me just highlight some aspects that have been reflected in the 10-point plan which we will ask the committee to pay attention to. Of course the Minister has touched on other aspects, such as the finalisation of the National Health Insurance and the implementation plan and improving the quality of health services which, of course, in terms of the 10-point plan, will focus on 18 districts.

We will also pay attention to the strengthening of community-based leadership structures in health through the training of hospital boards. If we don’t have hospital boards that are trained - that know what to do and what their responsibilities are — then we are in for it.

We will also pay attention to the establishment of a well-capacitated office of standards compliance. We will also focus on strengthening management by enrolling 150 chief executive officers of hospitals into the hospital management training programme, as well as the revitalisation of infrastructure.

We will guard against shoddy work by most of our building contractors. We will pay attention to that and we will ensure that your department supports provinces in implementing and reporting on the health lifestyle strategy in all 52 districts.

With those few words, we support the Budget Vote of the Department of Health. Bjalo ke tla go Kgoro ya Tlhabollo ya tša Leago. Modulasetulo, ntumelele ke thome ka go tsopola baswana ge ba re kgomo ga e latswe namane ya e šele; e ka seke. Na se se ra goreng? Ke kgopela gore mohlophegi Tona, ge a ka kgona, a hlalose taba ye moragonyana ge a efa phetolo.

Hlogo ya Naga ge a bolela le setšhaba sa Afrika-Borwa le lefase ka bophara mo matšatšing ao a fetilego, o boletše a ahlame ebile a sa metše le mare, a laetša boitlamo le boikgafo bja mmušo go hlabolla le go kaonafatša maphelo a badudi bja wona, kudu ba dikobo di magetleng. O tšwetše pele ka gore, gome ke a mo tsopola:

Le ge re ka tšwela pele ka seemo sa go hlola dikgoba tša mešomo le tša kgwebo, re swanetše go tseba gape gore go na le badudi bao ba tlago tšwela pele go nyaka thušo ya tšhelete ya go iphepa mmušong. Thušo ye ya tšhelete ya go iphepa ke mokgwa wo o ikemišeditšego go fediša le go fokotša bodiidi setšhabeng sa ga borena. Kgweding ya Hlakola – Matšhe- ka di-31 go be go šetše go na le batho bao ba fetago dimilione tše 13 bao ba amogetšego thušo ya tšhelete ya go iphepa, gomme gareng ga batho ba, ba go feta dikete tše 8 ke bana.

Ke mo tsopotše. Monatsebe a kwe a kwele ruri.

Lehono re eme mo pele ga setšhaba gomme re begela Ntlo ye ka ditekanyetšo tša thuš o ya tšhelete ya go iphepa. Re re di fetišwe gomme di ye go šomela setšhaba sa rantsho go ya ka lenaneo la kgoro morago ga gore lenaneo leo le begwe ga komiti. Lenaneo le le hlalosa ka bophara ditekanyetšo tša ngwaga wa ditšhelete wa 2009-10 le lenaneokgoparara la go fihla ka ngwaga wa 2014. Komiti e tšweleditše dintlha tše di latelago go kgoro: Go kgaotšwa ga thušo ya tšhelete ya go iphepa balwetšing ba bangwe; go se šome ga dikliniki diiri t še 24; go hloma diboto tša maokelo; le thušo ya go bala ditšhelete tša batšofadi mafelong a go lefela, fao e lego gore batšofadi ba ga borena ba a lla gore ditšhelete di na le go se balwe gabotse.

Re le maloko a komiti, re thekga ditekanyetšo tša kgoro tšeo di fihlago go R64 milione. Re tla lebelela tšhomišo ya ditekanyetšo tše ka leihlo le ntšhotšho. Re na le lehutš o la go feta legonono.

Ge ke feleletša, ke rata go tsebiša ba mekgatlo ya kganetšo gore taba ya dimilione tše 13 tša batho bao ba filwego thušo ya tšhelete ya go iphepa ga se nke e diragale mmušong wo o fetilego – mmušo woo ba bego ba o thekga. Ba be ba godiša batšofadi ba ga borena ka morago ga kgwedi tše tharo. Lehono batšofadi ba ga borena ba gola kgwedi-ka-kgwedi. Ke a leboga, mohlomphegi Modulasetulo. (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)

[Now I would like to touch upon the issues in the Department of Social Development. Chairperson, allow me to start by quoting a proverb of the elderly which says that a cow does not lick a calf which does not belong to it; it doesn’t. What does that mean? I would like the hon Minister, if she can, to explain this later on in her response.

During his state of the nation address a few days ago, our Head of State spoke loudly and clearly, indicating government’s commitment and dedication to develop and improve people’s lives, especially those of the poor. He went on to say, and I quote:

While creating an environment for jobs and business opportunities, government recognises that some citizens will continue to require state social assistance. Social grants remain the most effective form of poverty alleviation. As of 31 March 2009, more than 13 million people received social grants, more than 8 million of whom are children.

I have quoted him. The message is loud and clear. Let it be borne in mind.

Today we stand before the public reporting to the House on the budget allocated for social grants. We request that the budget be approved so that the public can get assistance according to the departmental programme after it has been reported to the committee. This programme explains in detail the appropriation of funds for the financial year 2009-10, as well as the major programme up until 2014. The committee has raised the following points to the department: Termination of social grants for certain patients, non-operation of clinics for 24 hours, establishment of hospital boards and assistance with regard to counting the old-age grant monies at various paypoints where our elderly usually complain that their monies were not counted properly.

As members of the committee we support the departmental budget of R64 million. We will monitor how it is used, but we are very hopeful that it will be used appropriately.

In conclusion, I would like to inform the opposition parties that the fact that 13 million people are receiving social grants is something the previous government could not achieve - the very same government they were in favour of. The elderly only received their grants after three months. Nowadays they get it on a monthly basis. Thank you, hon Chairperson.]

Mr S H PLAATJIE: Chairperson, hon members, Ministers present here, Cope acknowledges that departments have to contend with the fact that funding for health services and social development can never be sufficient to match the demand for quality health services and social support systems.

We accept that government’s policies on social development and health care are well intentioned but misguided. For many years, tax revenue ran ahead of targets. This emboldened government to expand social grants. Now that the tax revenue has fallen, government has to fund expenditure from borrowings. When this is projected forward, it means that borrowings will have to be serviced; grants payments will have to be increased; and costs will exceed revenue by larger and larger margins.

There has been a public outcry that many women become pregnant purposely in order to access grants. [Interjections.] We said that the Minister should actually develop a strategy to look into this matter because it’s a very serious matter.

Every weekend, people abuse alcohol and drugs, and many end up as casualties in hospital wards. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle has never been a key plan in the government’s policy framework.

Cope believes that a strong and cohesive community will prevent many of the problems with which the taxpayer is burdened. A healthy community is less taxing on the health system. A socially cohesive society is less taxing on the social support system. By fixing communities, government gets to fix the cause and effects of a multitude of problems all at once.

The Department of Social Development has a constitutional obligation to respond more effectively to the material and social needs of the poor. This is highly commendable. However, ordinary people don’t want to hear what the department’s key priorities are. They want to see actual delivery. They want details in respect of the number of youth and … [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Ms Q D MAHLANGU (Gauteng): Deputy Chair, good afternoon. It’s good to be back here, colleagues. I want to greet the Ministers respectively: The Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Development, the Deputy Minister of Social Development, my colleagues from the different provinces and members of this august House.

I think it is silly to suggest that the young women who get pregnant do so because they want the R240 child support grant. You must find out what it means to raise a child and what it means for a woman to fall pregnant, instead of coming here to make uninformed political statements.

We speak to a number of these women at the paypoints where they get their grants. One of the things that we have committed ourselves to doing in the province is to engage these women by putting them through skills development programmes to help them get out of the system.

It is important to get hold of the missing fathers. The state is not the father of these children; they have their fathers. We understand where men are not employed, the state must take responsibility, but where fathers are employed, maintenance courts must look for them and make sure that they maintain their children; it is not our responsibility to do so.

The ANC election manifesto is unequivocal about the tasks that are supposed to be undertaken to ensure that health outcomes in South Africa benefit the poorest of the poor. The commitment made in the 2009 election manifesto is informed by the consultation we’ve had with different stakeholders. Indeed, we have a mandate from the people of South Africa to say the sort of things we are saying.

When the hon Minister spoke in the National Assembly on 30 June 2009, he tried to deal with some of the problems that bedevil the health system in the country as a whole. Therefore, I will not bore you with some of those details, which are the same across all provinces.

However, we’ve begun a process of having a strategic partnership with DPSA and service providers from the private sector, and those are Netcare, Medscheme and Lifecare, to bring them on board regarding what we’re trying to do in the province. I can guarantee you that in the next two years you’re going to see significant changes in the province. When people go to clinics and hospitals, they will be given good quality health care. They will no longer stand in long queues at pharmacies, because the systems are going to change for the better.

We acknowledge that resources are not going to be enough. What is important is for us to make sure that the resources allocated to the department of health and social development in the province are used for the benefit of the citizens of our province.

Again, in terms of the manifesto, we committed ourselves to dealing with the issues of management and provide leadership in the health care system through Operation Kuyasheshwa La, for instance, which we launched about two weeks ago. According to the programme, we must stabilise and improve the health care system, and we must make sure that it is sustained. If we do not stabilise, improve and sustain it, we will simply be working backwards.

We are committed to making sure that the issues that are identified, such as linen management, equipment, maintenance of infrastructure and the distribution of medicine, form the core of the work of providing health care. These issues further include the personnel: doctors, nurses and allied health workers across the board. The province is committed to this.

However, the fact that citizens generally prefer to be treated in hospitals rather than in clinics or in the community health care centres is also our continuous concern. To that end, we have introduced family physicians in the district health system to make sure that we strengthen the primary health care system in the province. Many people, as I said earlier, believe that when they are sick they must be seen by a doctor. The introduction of the family physician is to ensure that when people present themselves at these facilities, there will be a doctor that will see them 24 hours a day. We are extending hours in many of these community health centres and in some clinics, particularly where the volumes are high.

We are also looking into making sure that the hours of operation are extended and that clinics do not close at 15:00 in the afternoon. Instead, they must close at 19:00 or 21:00 in the evening, and open some Saturdays. We believe that, by doing so, we’ll be giving the citizens in the province better health care.

We’ll continue with our efforts to strengthen the prevention of mother-to- child HIV transmission. I think it is also relevant to indicate that when we came to power we were aware that the issue around mothers who didn’t get the baby formula was a big story. It is important to note that the systems have been stabilised and that we are in the process of making sure that all key service providers in the province are paid, so that we don’t end up at the same point as when we began our term.

The programme is being implemented across the province and we are planning to increase the numbers in the province from the current 185 000 adults and 15 000 children to about 250 000 people by the end of this financial year, that is March 2010. We’ll accredit 10 more sites for antiretroviral treatment and increase the total number of sites from the current 66 to 76.

In terms of the election manifesto, we are also committed to decreasing the new infection rate by 50%. We are working with all municipalities to make sure that the resources allocated to municipalities in the province go to the programmes aimed at creating awareness around testing so that people can continue to test for HIV.

Throughout the province, testing is done in any government facility. On Monday we were at Thembisa, at one of the paypoints for old-age pensioners. We provide health care services there. Old-age pensioners can now test for blood pressure and so forth. We intend extending these services to shopping malls, particularly at the end of the month because there are many people who pass through those shopping malls.

If we were to extend those activities, we would be in a position to make sure that people know their status, not only for comfort purposes, but also to be able to get the necessary treatment.

Chair, I have a few more issues to deal with. As I said at the beginning in response to Cope, as social development, we have committed ourselves to making sure that all the young mothers that receive the child support grant are linked to the Department of Labour. This is done through any EPWP, Expanded Public Works Programme, in the province and is aimed at making sure that these young mothers are given skills and are in a position to get jobs on their own, without relying on the state.

We are also working very closely with professional women’s organisations and the private sector, which came forward and offered to work with us. We are in the process of finalising our plan for these women, including exploring an arrangement in terms of which we let them handle some of the services provided in hospitals, such as doing the laundry, catering, running the kitchen and cleaning services.

Maybe we should be establishing co-operatives. We’ve begun work with a number of women in the province, and they should be travelling to KwaZulu- Natal to learn what that province has done in terms of running hospitals.

We are well in advance in terms of the public-private partnership projects that we want to implement in the province. These relate to hospitals in particular, as well as making sure that all the hospitals that are in operation in Gauteng are in a good state of functionality wherein patients can recuperate.

We are conducting a feasibility study in the province with the aim of making sure that the hospitals that were closed some time ago are reopened. Currently, we are running short of space, particularly for ICU beds and for other general admission purposes. Hence the headlines about Gauteng from time to time; we are trying to manage space.

We are a province that is friendly to children, from Grade R up to the age of 14. The province has a programme called Bana Pele under Social Development. That programme is meant to assist the most vulnerable children. We provide school uniforms for those who get to Grade 1, as well as a nutrition programme. Children also have access to free health care. As you know, former President Mandela introduced this programme in 1994. Government provides scholar transport for those who live more than 5km from school.

Lastly, the other important issue that is going to be a major focus for us in the next five years is making sure that care for the elderly in the province is not left to chance. The majority of senior citizens to date is not cared for properly in our society.

We have clear programmes, and we have worked with different organisations, including the veterans’ league. We want to ensure that old-age pensioners who are currently on the waiting list are admitted to the old-age homes that are currently available. Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.] USEKELA NGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Mphathisihlalo, Ngqongqoshe Wezokuthuthukiswa Komphakathi, uNgqongqoshe Wezempilo, ozakwethu abaphuma ezifundazweni, Abahlonishwa bethu, izihambeli zethu ikakhulukazi omama … (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, Minister of Social Development, Minister of Health, colleagues from the provinces, hon members as well as our guests, especially the women …]

… I would like to join the hon Minister in extending my gratitude to our predecessors, the hon Dr Zola Skweyiya and Dr Jean Swanson-Jacobs. The ANC recognises that poverty, unemployment, violent crimes against women and children, and the increasing number of orphans and vulnerable children, as well as the increasing level of substance abuse in our communities remain areas of major concern.

Our work during the current Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period is geared at addressing many of these challenges. Today, through unity of purpose, we must prepare to implement our progressive social policies embodied in the provisions of various pieces of legislation that were passed over the last 15 years in order to realise the goal of creating a caring society.

The scourge of substance abuse constitutes a great threat to the wellbeing of our society. Only last week, law enforcement authorities intercepted a large consignment of illegal drugs with a street value of more than R10 million. Had those drugs reached their destination, they would have destroyed countless lives, especially those of young people, leaving families shattered and in need of reconstruction services.

Two weeks before that, police shut down a number of illegal drug manufacturing sites in and around Cape Town. There is no doubt that our law enforcement agencies are growing equal to the challenge. There is, however, a great need for more work to be done to bolster the provincial substance abuse forums and community structures: in this case the local drug action committees.

Today dagga, alcohol and methamphetamine are still the most abused substances in South Africa. Methamphetamine is what they call tik. And, as I stated during the debate in the National Assembly a few days ago, our focus will be on reducing the demand for drugs and support for treatment. And in this regard we will continue with our effort to strengthen the implementation of our drug prevention initiative known as Ke Moja – I am fine without drugs - campaign, which targets young people through arts, sport and the transfer of critical life skills.

Equally important is the prevention of substance abuse in the adult population and, in this regard, we are developing a prevention model specifically targeting adults. Research shows that alcoholism and multiple drug abuse have been associated with the alarming rate of crime and exposure to violence. If we can deal with this problem successfully, we will simultaneously address associated problems such as crime, unwanted teenage pregnancies and HIV infections.

The 52nd conference of the ANC in Polokwane recognised that children are the future of our country and that, accordingly, mergers to invest in their development have to be given priority. Our contribution to this commitment is geared towards tackling child poverty and the provision of child protection services. The department will implement the new Children’s Act which introduces the fundamental changes with regard to the protection of the constitutional rights of children in South Africa.

The increasing number of children who are orphaned in this country requires us to utilise all available options and resources to provide for these children not only with alternative care, as in the form of foster and residential care, but with a stable permanent home environment through natural adoption by South Africans themselves.

We know that the numbers of adoptions remain very low, at an average of 2 000 per annum, compared to the number of foster care placements, which stand at more than 450 000. We also know that there are large numbers of children, approximately 15 000, who are moved away from home to residential facilities at any given time, and that many of these young people have been away from home for over a year and are unlikely to be able to go back.

We are rightly putting these children at the centre of our work and we will make several suggestions to improve the handling of orphans and the vulnerable children in this country. We will among other things go out on a campaign to encourage South Africans to adopt children who need permanent placement, and develop a register of adoptable children and adoptive parents. This will ensure that all children who are vulnerable and eligible for adoption are known and matched with prospective parents in South Africa.

We are also undertaking research to determine reasons for the low interest of South Africans in adopting children. I should emphasise that we do not see adoptions as replacing foster care—foster care should remain part of our legal system as it provides a uniform of security with the best outcomes. Through these interventions, we are therefore putting the family at the centre of our strategies to deal with challenges facing children and the society as a whole.

The protection of orphans and vulnerable children is of great significance to us. In this respect, we will continue working with our partners through the National Action Committee for Children Affected by HIV and Aids to improve the quality of our services to children affected by HIV and those living with Aids. We will also develop strategies which outline the kind of support we will lend to child-headed households.

The Minister had spoken about the impact and progress we made in increasing the number of children who are receiving the early childhood development, ECD, services. And we need to improve on the accessibility of this service to children in rural areas. Our plan is to mobilise rural communities in order to support them in the establishment, the registration and the subsidisation of the ECD centres and programmes, because rural children’s rights are equal to those of urban children.

The rate of child abuse, neglect and exploitation in this country is disturbing. To this end, the department will contribute to efforts of mobilising communities to take a firm stand against violence and other crimes committed against children. Our society needs the full involvement of our young people in its remaking. We therefore need to develop strategies of taking children away from criminal activities that put them in conflict with the law.

We agree with the hon Mahlangu that caring for older persons and the protecting their rights is important. During this financial year we will expedite the implementation of the Older Persons Act of 2006 to improve delivery of social services to older persons and develop programmes that are designed to ensure that our elderly are not alienated from their communities. They still have a role to play in our communities and they still have a role in transferring or transmitting positive cultural values, which contribute towards social cohesion in families and communities.

It is encouraging to see that some provinces, like the Western Cape, are setting up recreational activities for older persons. We want to see all provinces embracing the concept of Golden Games and making this an annual campaign solely to honour senior citizens … I still have 20 seconds, Chairperson … Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Laughter.] [Applause.]

Ms B V MNCUBE: Hon Chairperson and all protocol observed, it is a privilege to address this House on the occasion of the Budget Vote for Health. We have made a great deal of progress, but much still has to be done, and the ANC-led government is determined to deliver on its election promises. In this regard, we will be working harder to deliver on the mandate the majority of South Africans gave the ANC.

Our health reform strategy aims to improve performance, efficiency and optimal quality of service. To achieve this it requires improvement in management, performance monitoring and accountability.

As part of the 10-point plan for health there will be a review and refining of the department’s human resource plan for health that is due for completion by March 2010. The Department of Health will then assist provinces with finalising their plans.

We welcome this commitment, which is in line with the research commissioned by the Department for Public Service and Administration, DPSA, in 2005 and also the research undertaken by the National Labour and Economic Development Institute, Naledi, on behalf of Nehawu, which was titled, “Transforming Chris Hani Baragwanath into a people’s hospital.” Chris Hani Baragwanath is the biggest hospital in the southern hemisphere and, as a test case, is plagued by staff shortages, lack of funding, resource mismanagement, low staff morale and poor accountability.

If the 10-point plan is implemented, it will address the issue of doctors leaving patients after operating on them without stitching them up — as happened at Chris Hani Baragwanath in March of this year — because of a lack of drips and other resources.

The department has produced a draft disaster management plan during the 2008-09 terms and, over the next Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period, will produce an integrated disaster management plan as prescribed by the Disaster Management Act. The plan will be phased in, with the first phase being implemented during the 2009-10 period by the national Department of Health and all nine provincial departments.

Phase two will also be implemented during 2009-10 and will involve 45 preidentified hospitals for 2010. An additional 200 hospitals will implement the plan by the end of the MTEF period. We commend the department for budgeting zero for consultants and hope that provinces will copy this.

I am concerned that the emergency medical service plan will not be ready in time for the Fifa World Cup that will take place in our country in 2010. Once again, progress is being hampered by the lack of resources, particularly in rural areas and townships. The problem lies with the inadequate funding of health. I have to emphasise that health, as a key priority for this administration, has to be given particular consideration with regards to funding.

Of concern, as well, is the scarce skills problem that prevails in our health care facilities. We have recently experienced the strike by doctors over unfavourable working conditions and salaries. I am grateful that we are now returning to normal and our people can once again enjoy the service of our health professionals.

The occupation-specific dispensation, OSD, has been implemented for nurses and the 2009-10 period will see the turn of the doctors, dentists, pharmacists and emergency services staff. I hope we will see a speedy and amicable solution to this issue come 25 July 2009.

It is interesting to note that the department introduced some mid-level categories such as pharmacy assistants and physiotherapy assistants who are being categorised as subprofessionals. This, I believe, will go a long way towards relieving the burden of work on our health professionals.

Cuban doctors, who are here serving in a government-to-government capacity, received a three-year extension on their treaty permits, as well as their registration with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa, HPCSA, in 2008. This is most welcome and offers some relief to our problem of scarce skills.

Thirty-six Tunisian doctors were also appointed and deployed to five provinces in 2008. We welcome the refinement of the HR plan for health and the specification of staff shortages and training targets for the next five years that would contribute towards the creation of jobs and the filling of vacancies.

Opening up colleges to train nurses is ongoing and will assist in alleviating the scarce skills shortage in the long term. In the interim, the government will have to continue to enter into treaty agreements with countries that have surplus health professionals. As outlined in our manifesto, this will contribute towards ensuring that there are no long queues at our hospitals. The challenges remain huge and complex, but we cannot be distracted by the enormity of the task at hand.

In conclusion, I refer to an article in today’s Sowetan, which claims that close to 40 million people in South Africa do not have medical aid. A case in point is the one that happened last week, when a domestic worker was knocked down in Sandton by a car driven by a soccer player. The paramedics phoned Charlotte Maxeke hospital, but were told that it was full and too far from the scene of the accident. They phoned Baragwanath hospital, and were told that it, too, was full. They then decided to call Morningside clinic, which was just a stone’s throw from where the accident had occurred.

Had the soccer player needed hospitalisation, the paramedics would not have hesitated to phone Morningside, as the soccer player would have been able to pay the medical bill. The domestic worker, however, was made to wait until the paramedics could phone all the public hospitals, because she did not have money at hand or access to medical aid. Those paramedics thus violated the constitutional rights of the patient. We hope that the Gauteng province and the Department of Health will bring the culprits to book.

I want to close my presentation by saying this: We welcome the implementation of the National Health Insurance system. We hope that it will contribute towards access to quality public health by all the working class. We are awaiting the speedy implementation of the National Health Insurance system and of the Private Patients’ Plan, PPP. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J J GUNDA: Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, all protocol observed. Speaking in three minutes on two budget speeches is impossible. [Interjections.] It is not fair. It will never be fair.

Let me just say that I would like to congratulate the Minister of Health on his recent appointment to what is an extremely challenging position. Let me congratulate the Minister again for his honesty when he spoke about the 10 points he has found to be wrong. He said that that is what he has found out. At least he is honest. When a man is honest, he can get somewhere.

Inequalities in health care have always been a major concern to us, and this is why we have advocated for a national health insurance. We cannot continue to have a situation where only 35% of doctors cater for 35 million people in public health facilities, while 65% of doctors cater for 7 million people who are covered by private medical aid.

However, it is crucial that this mammoth task is performed carefully and with the best interest of our people at heart. The Freedom Charter that was adopted by the people says, “There shall be houses, security and comfort for everybody.” [Applause.]

Let me speak about social development.

The role of the Department of Social Development is crucial in a country where millions of our people are unemployed, live in poverty and are caught up in a daily struggle for survival.

During the current and ongoing recession, however, it is absolutely imperative that we extend the reach of this department to provide a safety net for all the vulnerable people in our society, especially our children. [Interjections.] No, there’s no conclusion yet! [Laughter.]

The department also needs to run joint programmes with the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that vulnerable households are able to access identity documents and therefore the grants to which they are entitled.

We also call on our President, the hon Jacob Zuma, to sign the Children’s Act urgently, which would ensure the provision of money to cash-strapped civil society organizations providing services to children. The Children’s Act itself was passed in 2005, its amendments were passed in 2007, and the full regulations were approved by Parliament last year. So, we call on the President to sign that Act.

Let me say this in conclusion: Let us be fair to the people and also vote for the opposition parties, so that their voice can be heard in Parliament, so that we can have chance of debate. Thank you. [Applause.]

Dr S M DHLOMO (KwaZulu-Natal): Chairperson, hon Ministers present, Minister of Health and Minister and Deputy Minister of Social Development, colleagues, MECs from various provinces, Director-General of Health, Mr Thami Mseleku, and Director-General of Social Development, Mr Vusi Madonsela, on 30  July, I will get an opportunity in the province from where I come to expand on the budget that I will announce as an allocation for our province. It suffices to say that it will be R17 billion.

It is the second highest budget allocation in the province, the highest being the education budget. It is also worth mentioning that 60% of that budget will go to personnel, since health care service delivery in any country, including ours, is a labour-intensive process. However, programmes must continue to be done within those constraints, despite that challenge.

Our Minister has expanded on the 10-point plan, and I will speak about one of the 10 points later in my contribution. It is worth mentioning that at the 14 hospitals that I have managed to visit over the past few weeks since I was deployed to be the MEC for Health in that province, I have met various management leaders in those hospitals, and it is true what the Minister has said: The most common problems you pick up in those hospitals are in finance management; infrastructure and procurement services and processes; recruitment and retention of staff; revitalisation programmes that have been delayed and health information systems.

In my previous deployment as a brigadier-general in the SA National Defence Force, SANDF, it was very humbling to notice that our SANDF has a very good health information system. A soldier in the Western Cape can travel the whole country and be picked up in Limpopo, and you can tell their health profile by just pressing a button. We are humbled to know that our Minister of Health has tasked us to look into these issues in our various provinces, and we will take that responsibility.

The Minister has spoken about the 10-point plan, and some of these points touch on the Millennium Development Goals. I would like to refer to some of them in relation to my province. KwaZulu-Natal has the highest HIV and Aids prevalence and incidence, and we, therefore, probably need to do more than other provinces. Therefore, there is a priority that this department must work in a militaristic approach in the province.

Why do we need the militaristic approach? Because there is evidence that our former MEC for Health, who is now a premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize, once had control of malaria in the areas of Indumo and Ingwavuma. It was a door-to- door campaign identifying those who were infected, spraying homes, giving people treatment and supplying them with bed nets. From over 30 000 people who were infected and more than 1 000 deaths, death controls were achieved, and they had zero deaths in a year. We are, therefore, confident that if it worked on this, we will also be able to achieve that.

Maybe I should indicate what our militaristic approach will be. It will be to deal with the following: It will focus on the 10-point plan called Accelerated Implementation of HIV and Aids. It will zoom in mainly on infant mortality. The number of children who are born, but do not celebrate their first birthday, is unacceptably high. All these deaths are related to preventable diseases which are largely infectious.

We know that there are pockets in the country that are doing well and others that are not. For instance, in my province, Durban North is one of those suburbs that have a low infant mortality as opposed to Inanda, Amawoti and other areas like those. It is not a pleasing picture that children under the age of five die in our country. The highest contribution, again, is related to infectious diseases.

TB is one of the problems that we still have to deal with. There is evidence that if people are tested early and put on treatment, we can prevent HIV progressing to Aids. We also have evidence that if people start treatment with a very high CD4 count of about 200, we then have a low mortality rate amongst those. Therefore, now that we know it works, we need to give it to them.

Sifuna ukubelapha besesesimweni esigculisayo. [We want to treat them before their health deteriorates.]

We would like to also scale up, as an honour to our women in the country, cervical cancer screening in the province. Such screeening is unacceptably low.

With regard to maternal mortality, in some villages in South Africa, giving birth has ceased to be a happy experience. Either the mother or the child, or even both, die before they go home. The highest common causes of these deaths are HIV and Aids, hypertension in pregnancy, and mothers not attending clinic sessions so these can be picked up very early.

In our province, within a month, my colleague, the MEC for Education, and I will be launching a campaign called Siyafunda Sakha Isizwe Esinempilo. As an answer to one hon member from Cope, we will be looking at adolescent health; we will be promoting the “no drugs and no weapons in schools” campaign while we are also putting up the programme of health.

We know that the success of this programme is pivotal to what our province has taken as a point of departure, being agriculture. We want to talk about one school, one garden; one clinic, one garden; one hospital, one garden; and one church, one garden. Those who may not need these gardens must do it for the sake of those who do. We would like you to do this even if you may have to donate this to other people. Food supplements are, strangely, now part of medication. Patients cannot be started on TB and HIV treatment unless they have food parcels. We want to do away with this, and get them food parcels from other sources rather than it becoming part of medication.

Lastly, we hope that doctors in our community will take up government’s offer and stay there and work. In my province, one of the leading doctors had just lost in the by-elections where he was standing as a Cope candidate. [Applause.] We are very mindful that improving patient care and delivery in our hospitals is necessary prerequisite for the National Health Insurance, NHI. Thank you.

Cllr C JOHNSON (Salga): Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Minister, what is important to Salga is a strategic planning process and the family agenda, which we build up from ward-based planning into municipal integrated development planning, IDPs, that informs provincial planning. We also welcome the fact that here we see two important strategic departments’ Budget Votes being dealt with by the NCOP. The SA Local Government Association, Salga, is very honoured and pleased to participate in the first Budget Vote debate on Health and Social Development.

The question of the family agenda that I referred to earlier on is that social problems, social issues and social conditions prevalent in the wider society are experienced to varying degrees at community level: within houses, within streets, within towns, and so forth. The local sphere is the space where the day to day lives of people are lived, where there is the direct interface between the personal, the household, the family, the neighbourhood and the community.

It is here where the social, economic and political processes take place and where there is the greatest potential for action and interaction between government and the different role-players who can pool their resources, knowledge, experience and understanding of local conditions to meet the needs, build community assets and enhance social cohesion.

It is noteworthy that the department has given priority to the building and strengthening of the civil society sectors as active partners in sustainable development. This is a process supported by Salga, who views this sector as a critical element in the enhancing of service delivery, building social cohesion, assisting with job creation and focusing attention on issues of social and economic justice.

We would urge the Minister to enhance the funding flows to local level for the specific coverage of processes that build cohesive communities. Issues of migration, urbanisation and xenophobia are placing pressure on local resources and require a strategic and intergovernmental level response.

If we were to address the issue of poverty alleviation, it is important that mainstream poverty alleviation programmes and poverty must be viewed as a national challenge requiring a multisectoral approach. It is vital that there is ongoing co-ordination and attention to building coherence in implementation processes at all levels.

We propose that the following is needed for the effective implementation of poverty alleviation programmes: Firstly, policy coherence and the integration of different types and levels of policies, for example macro, sectoral and spatial policies.

Secondly, the co-ordination of implementation by different actors and spheres of government.

Thirdly, clear delineation of roles and responsibilities for different dimensions of the policy process from policy initiation and formulation through to implementation. This point in particular raises the question of what is guiding the party political issues within government, but we will get to this when we deal with health.

The fourth proposal is that of coherence and consistency in targeting beneficiaries, and lastly the issue of effective monitoring and evaluation.

Whilst the devolution of developmental responsibilities to local authorities is an important element in furthering community development efforts, there is likely to be little progress on the ground until there is more local and national financial support, together with a concerted capacity-building initiative to enable efficient delivery. Examples that support this need to be given to nongovernmental organisations is important so that together we can do more. We invite the Minister to work more closely with Salga in the furtherance of the department’s aims, and we would encourage greater flows of funding to the local level to better enable effective implementation of social development related efforts.

When we have to turn to the Budget Vote on Health, Salga remains committed to working closely with the department to create an enabling environment in which all South Africans can enjoy accessible, caring and high quality health care. We realise and recognise the importance of an integrated and rationalised approach to delivery of health. On the question of primary health care, the 2005 resolution that triggered the issue of provincialisation of primary health care is something that we, as Salga, feel involved limited consultation and poor communication. Local government and the national government must find a process to ensure that this confusion and the fact that staff are demoralised are attended to.

At Salga’s national members assembly held in June 2009, it was proposed that Salga could opt to support provincialisation on the basis that there must be progressive decentralisation of primary health care to municipalities that have the capacity to fulfil the function.

This position is in line with the constitutional framework for the division of powers and functions. If it is accepted that primary health care is a Schedule 4A function and the provincialisation is therefore supported, the Constitution, section 156(4), instructs national and provincial government to assign the function to municipalities that have the necessary capacity.

Ons raak siek by die huis. Ons raak nie nasionaal of provinsiaal siek nie. [We fall ill at home. We don’t fall ill nationally or provincially.]

Furthermore, this position is in line with section 32(2) of the National Health Act, 2003, which provides that the provincial executive must assign such health services to a municipality in his or her province as contemplated in section 156(4) of the Constitution. The National Health Act thus provides that provinces must assign primary health care services to those municipalities that have the capacity to perform the function.

There are a number of practical issues. A full cost analysis of the assignment must be done, but this we can discuss with the National Treasury and the Financial and Fiscal Commission, particularly on the future division of revenue raised nationally between the spheres of government as required by section 214 of the Constitution.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Is there a point of order?

Mr F ADAMS: On a point of order: Yes, Chair. I just want to know whether it is parliamentary for a member to read a newspaper in the House, and if it’s parliamentary for a member to take photographs with his cell phone in the House, as the ID and DA membersare doing. That is why they are asking all these funny questions, because they don’t listen attentively.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): I think it would be extremely unparliamentary for members to behave in such a manner. We tried to address this matter last week, particularly with regard to the way in which members must behave in the House, and so forth. We said there is nothing wrong with engaging and interacting, but behaviour that is distracting and not in line with the intention or the objective that we want to achieve, is out of order and unparliamentary. Members should desist from doing that, if it did indeed happen. Thank you very much. You may proceed.

Cllr C JOHNSON (Salga): In particular, the issue of emergency medical services needs to be addressed. While the provincialisation of emergency medical services has been put on hold until after 2010, it is recommended that a similar approach be taken with that of primary health care. Essentially, what is also required is an approach which promotes the co- ordination and implementation of services at local government level, with sustainable funding arrangements and not through grants.

In the 2008 national members assembly, the following were raised by local governments as factors which impacted on effective functioning: Firstly, insufficient funding for ambulances and emergency services. Municipalities had to provide for the financial gap and this in essence translated to municipalities funding provincial government.

Secondly, there is a need to approach fire, ambulance and emergency services with adequate funding as integrated services. This will allow for the provision of a critical and co-ordinated response, and efficient, effective rendering of the service as they are all interlinked. A third factor was that of the location of fire services and emergency medical services closest to communities for effective response turnaround time.

Lastly, we have to assign ambulance services to local government with sustainable funding through the appropriate delegation and agreement process.

We are very pleased to note that the delayed audit of the primary health care service and infrastructure in all nine provinces has now been highlighted as a priority for this year’s budget. We would urge that the Minister include an analysis of capacity within this audit and an assessment of the communication and representation processes within the district health councils, where these are established at local levels.

Municipalities need information in order to define their parameters of action, and communities need to have clear mechanisms for raising their health issues and concerns. To this end, we welcome the department’s prioritisation of strengthening the district health information system and other monitoring tools for the delivery of primary health care in all provinces.

Salga is also committed to working closely with the department and the SA National Aids Council on combating the scourge of HIV/Aids and we support the two Budget Votes tabled. Thank you. [Applause.] Dr B M RADEBE (KwaZulu-Natal): Chairperson, thank you. May I lodge a complaint that the microphone is a bit short; it needs to be extended. [Laughter.] Deputy Chairperson, Ministers present, Deputy Ministers, my colleagues from other provinces and members, I just want to start by saying that I’m a bit disturbed, because sometimes we, as the ANC, unveil or discover fraud and corruption, but the opposition will jump up first to announce that as if they are the ones who have found the corruption.

I am not responding; I’m not the Minister, I’m just an ordinary MEC. A member of Cope spoke about corruption, but they can’t tell us the first corruption which they have committed …

… bashintsha amagama beyobhalisa kwa-IEC. [… they changed names when they registered with the IEC.]

That is the highest degree of fraud and corruption when, once you are given a list to submit to the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, then you change the list on the way. But you are not talking about that, you are talking about us.

I am standing here to support the budget speech …

… ka-Minister [Ngqongqoshe] wethu but [kodwa] ngifisa ukuthinta lezi zinto ezibalulekile … [… of our Minister, but I wish to touch on these important issues …] Still talking about corruption as public representatives, there is no pension. All pensions are paid in wards where there are councillors and Members of Parliament deployed in those particular areas. What then are you doing to stop that, rather than coming to make a big noise here? What are you doing?

There are no criminals who fall from the sky. They are within the community. What are you doing, other than making a big noise in this House? I think this is an embarrassment; we are elected because people trusted us, then we come here …

… thina sizokhuluma nge-corruption [inkohlakalo] …[… we are going to speak about corruption …]

… as if we are living in the sky. Let me make an example because this is already public knowledge. One of the spokespersons of my predecessor is out on bail of R30 000 for fraud and corruption. We have inherited …

… i-corruption [inkohlakalo] ebikhona … [… corruption that was already in existence …]

… in the previous government. But because we are revealing this corruption, then it’s us.

Izono zabazali ziyokwehlela kubantwana. [Uhleko.] [The sins of the parents fall on the children. [Laughter.]]

That is my problem. I can tell you, Chairperson…

Ukuthi… [that …]

… I was appointed in November 2006. I only served 28 months in the last term. But this department, which one DA member was saying is corrupt, is not corrupt. I never even fired one chief-director in the department, but we were able to turn the department around. It is one of only a few departments that is respected in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Not only did we do that, we came up with …

… ama-ideas [imibono], ama-one stop development centre … [… ideas such as, one-stop development centres …]

The Deputy Minister was present when the President opened one of the one- stop development centres in Nkandla. In one shelter, Home Affairs, the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, the Department of Labour, Education and the Saps gathered. Under one roof, you could apply for your ID, social grants, disability grant and all the other grants. I finalised with the Minister of Home Affairs on Saturday that they are going to deploy … … abantu … [… people …]

… in those areas. For the first time …

… abantu baKwaZulu-Natali eNkandla … [… people from Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal …]

… are able to walk in, apply for an ID and go back home without paying a cent for transport. It’s for the first time …

… abantu KwaNongoma, Mtwana, eSkokonko … [… that people from Nongoma at Skokonko, Prince, …]

… are able …

… ukukhipha izinkomo bazibeke ngaphandle … [… to take their cows to the grazing fields …]

… and go to apply for a grant, and come back without paying a cent. It’s the first time in Mboza that …

… abantu bakhona … [… the people from that area …]

… are within walking distance from where they can go and apply for social grants, IDs and everything, and go back without paying a cent. What were they doing before us? Yini ekade beyenza yonke le minyaka? Yini ekade beyenza yonke le minyaka? Kukhuluma abantu abenza umkhonyovu emaphepheni okubhalisela ukhetho, bazotshela thina nge-fraud and corruption. [Ngomkhonyovu nenkohlakalo.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[What have they been doing all these years? What have they been doing all these years? Then they come here and tell us about fraud and corruption - the very same people who committed fraud on the voter registration papers.]

It’s an embarrassment. It is really an embarrassment.

I also want to say to the Minister that I’m happy about your stance in trying to assist us at provincial level, especially with the working relationship between us. Our head of department, HOD, and the Sassa Executive Manager are meeting on Friday. They are now fine-tuning the working relationship in our province, and I can tell you that it will be one of the best.

We have already deployed our social workers to these one-stop development centres, which should cost us R56 million. For …

… abantu bakithi … [… our people …]

… as I said, for the first time.

… umuntu waseNkandla … [… a person from Nkandla …]

… will never walk 96km again in order to go and make applications …

… abesegwaziswa; futhi okunye … [… and have to pay a bribe. Another thing …]

… is that as public representatives we need to create a good relationship with the business sector.

Iphini likaNgqongqoshe … [The Deputy Minister …]

… will know an area called Ofafa. There was a disaster. We went to address and ask the business community to assist. They did not build four- roomed houses, but fully furnished five-roomed houses, free of charge. We handed over those houses …

… kubantu. [… to the people.]

The same thing happened in Gobandlovu; the hon Gamede was present. People were sleeping in water, not …

… ukuthi kumanzi … [… that these houses were damp.]

We went and approached the business community. He was there when those houses were handed over – five-roomed houses with furniture and digital televisions, not the old-fashioned ones. [Laughter.] Again, this Thursday, we are going to Umkhanyakude to hand over a house to a nine-year-old child who lives with her aunt because her grandmother was burnt beyond recognition.

It was not through our competence, but if you create a good relationship with the business community, you can do more because our department cuts across almost all departments.

One initiative …

… esiyithathile njenge KZN, ukulekelela abafelokazi. [… that we undertook in KZN, was to assist the widows.]

They are caught in the crossfire in the sense that they don’t qualify for pension because of their age. At the same time, nobody is employed. They have children. I gave the example …

… kwi-Minmec mayelana nomndeni wakwa wakwaMyeni ePaulpietersburg. [… in Minmec of the Myeni family from Paulpietersburg.]

An eight-month-pregnant woman who had three other children decided to kill herself with that child in the stomach because she could not take the pain of her children crying to her almost everyday, going out into the streets to beg, and yet she knew they had nothing to put on the table. She left a note that said that maybe when she’s dead, the government would take care of her kids.

They are now forming co-operatives to make sure that, once people like her are mentored, they will be handed over to economic development to be able to survive, because the majority of them are HIV positive. The previous speaker, Dr Dhlomo, spoke about HIV and Aids. It’s rife in any province.

We are hoping …

… ukuthi sisazofika sizokhala kuNgqongqoshe. Ngoba sizocela ukuthi selekelelwe ngemali siyisifundazwe. [… that we are going to go and plead with the Minister. We are going to ask for financial support as a province.]

We have also started…

… uhlelo lukaMasifundisane i-Abet. Ngoba inkinga ekhona kulaba bantu bempesheni … [… an Abet programme called Masifundisane, because the problem that the pensioners face is that …]

… they go and collect their pension and get 50% of their pension. The rest will be taken away by … … yilabo-stick sweet abakhona. Abakwazi nokuthi bazibalele ukuthi yimalini imali ekufanele iye kubona esandleni. [… the fraudsters who are there. They even calculate the amount that they will steal.]

So I’m saying with my colleague …

… ubaba uDlomo … O! Ngigoqe baba? [… hon Dhlomo … Oh! Should I conclude?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Yebo. [Yes.]

Dr B M RADEBE (KwaZulu-Natal): Oh, okay.

In conclusion, I want to call on Cope to set an example. If they talk about corruption, they must be the ones who must publicly apologise for forging …

… amaphepha ayofakwa kwa-IEC. [… voter registration papers at the IEC.]

I thank you.

Mr I MEYER (Western Cape): Hon Chairperson, hon Minister of Social Development, hon Deputy Minister, hon MECs in the House, hon members of the NCOP, guests, ladies and gentlemen, in the tradition of the West Coast, good afternoon. I want to congratulate the Minister on her appointment and that of the Deputy Minister to the portfolio of Social Development. I also want to express my gratitude for being part of a team whose mandate is to contribute to the fulfilment of the ideals enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

To the hon Minister and the Deputy Minister, thank you for your leadership during our first Minmec meeting last week in Johannesburg. In her budget speech, the Minister outlined the government’s programme for the next financial year.

It is important that we embarked on a road that has, as a commitment, our dedicated service to the people of our country, especially, in the language of the Minister, the poorest of the poor.

Our commitment in this House should be not as a slogan of government, but as a deep personal commitment of people first. Whilst the global economic recession has affected us immensely, we should pull our strings together to ensure that all South Africans have a share in the unfolding of the South African promise, a promise of opportunities for all.

In complementing the work of the government’s programme of action in the Western Cape province, we are deeply concerned about the current state of abuse against children in this province. It has reached crisis proportions, and we are currently mapping out a strategic government response to the abuse of children. The nature, the magnitude and the depth of this problem requires an intersectoral and intergovernmental approach with clear targets to create a safe environment for all children in South Africa.

A report from the Human Sciences Research Council has also revealed that most of these things happen in the presence of family, friends, neighbours and people living on the same land where children are abused.

The Western Cape government has already accorded the establishment of an office for a commissioner of children as its top priority. In line with the Western Cape provincial constitution, we are planning to appoint a commissioner for children. The Department of Social Development in the Western Cape’s key deliverables for 2009-10 moves from the premise that to realise a self-reliant society, opportunities need to be created for all citizens of the Western Cape who are poor, vulnerable and have special needs.

For 2009-10, the department received the total budget of R1,1 billion. Of that budget 59,4% goes for payments for nongovernmental organisation, NGOs. This represents 4% of the total provincial budget.

This will be cost-effective and efficiently spent to create social economic opportunities for all, but it is a deep concern for me. If you have a budget of R1,1 billion and you spend 59% of that budget towards NGOs and faith-based organisations, you must ensure deep quality control over the allocation of this money.

Since accepting office, the Western Cape government has outlined four broad strategic objectives: Firstly, is to modernise service delivery. This goal will address service delivery challenges at the service delivery points, at district offices and facilities under the management of this department. They will be subjected to effectiveness and efficiency audits in this financial year. This goal is closely linked to the theme “people first”.

Later this month, the Department of Social Development will also sign a service level agreement with the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, to ensure effective and efficient service delivery. I am glad that the Minister referred to this in her budget speech when she spoke about business process re-engineering to improve service delivery within Sassa. You can only modernise service delivery, colleagues in this House, if you appoint the right person into the right job. Therefore, in the Western Cape, every manager will undergo a compulsory competency assessment to get the right mixture of competencies to serve the people of the province. [Interjections.] Customer satisfaction surveys will also be conducted in this financial year to ensure that the department is responsive to the needs of the people of the Western Cape. There will be no cadre deployment in my province. [Applause.]

Finally, the modernisation programme will also allow the department to measure its performance through a provincial-wide dashboard system. Officials are already preparing to migrate from the current management information system to a province-wide dashboard system to monitor the performance of government.

The second objective of this department will be to improve financial governance. Part of this governance is to make sure that every one of the 1 800 organisations that our department is funding from the department will comply with the highest standards of corporate governance.

This province has already published live on the Internet for anybody in this House to click and see which organisations of these 1 800 are receiving government money through NGO networks. That’s the depth of transparency in the Western Cape government.

We will also publish on the Internet not only the name, address and other details of these organisations, but their annual reports, MNE reports and the Auditor-General reports. Every single detail you require of these organisations will be published live before the end of this financial year. This will also be done to ensure accountability and transparency to the fullest. The third objective of this department is what we call social entrepreneurship. The vision of the department is to create a self-reliant society. If you want to create a self-reliant society, you need to ensure that you create opportunities for people.

We need to create opportunities so that people will benefit as a result of it. And I am glad that the Minister in her budget speech spoke about social entrepreneurship.

What is new is this, Market fundamentalism has proved not to be the tool for creating opportunities. State fundamentalism – that’s new to you - has also proved not to be able to deliver self-reliance. Market fundamentalism fails because it lacks compassion – that’s new to you.

State fundamentalism fails because it creates a handout system - a dependency culture which is not sustainable in the long run – that’s new to you. [Interjections.] In order to navigate this government out of this predicament, we are committed to social entrepreneurship – that’s new to you. [Interjections.]

Social entrepreneurship is an approach that unlocks opportunities in society. With regard to innovation and creativity, that’s new to you. Thank you very much. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Ms M SEGABUTLA (Limpopo): Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers here with us today, hon members of the House, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the transformation of the health sector and dealing with poverty, as Cllr C Johnson from Salga has indicated, requires collective collaboration across the broad spectrum of government, the private sector and communities.

I take this opportunity to commend all those individuals and collectives who chose not only to point fingers, but to partner with the Department of Health and Social Development in the implementation of the departmental programmes and projects aimed at improving and promoting health care and social development provisions in our province and our country.

We say to all of you that your efforts are not in vain. They are the building blocks towards an integrated, sustainable, accessible and quality health care system and social services that endeavour to create a better life for the poor, the vulnerable and the excluded in our society.

I take this opportunity to pay tribute in memory and honour of our officials who fell in the line of duty, such as Mehloti Hetisani, one of our public servants who fell in the line of duty; the management of the Seshego Hospital that were murdered carrying out their responsibilities; the emergency care providers who die on our roads in the rush to save lives and in general the health workers who at times contract communicable diseases whilst in the process of serving others.

Indeed, the two Ministers have indicated that we are committed. This ANC- led government is committed to doing more in building infrastructure, providing equipment, purchasing more tablets, but indeed you can’t buy compassion, commitment and empathy.

It’s only those that have been there - that know what hunger is, that have slept without food, that have been dehumanised, whose dignity was trampled on - that can talk about compassion. Indeed there are some of our officials who have died, as I said, in the line of duty, showing such commitment. As a department we aim to emulate these individuals and continue from where they’ve left off.

In honouring them, we commit ourselves to serve with pride and rise above the many challenges that continue to impact negatively on the provision of quality health care and social services, which are — the Minister has talked about most of them — limited resources, both human and financial, infrastructure, difficult working conditions compounded obviously, in our province, by the rural nature of our province.

We embrace the call by the hon Premier of our province, Mr Cassel Mathale, who said everything we do must contribute in a direct and meaningful way to the improvement of the lives of our people and that the time for procrastination has passed, and that we have to revitalise a new culture of doing a job today and finishing it today, not tomorrow.

We further commit to address the issues raised by His Excellency President Zuma in his state of the nation address that there is a need to further reduce the inequalities in the health care provision, and the Minister has talked to all those; boosting human resources capacity of the department; revitalising hospitals and clinics; stepping up the fight against HIV and Aids and other diseases and paying urgent attention to the issue of remuneration of health professionals.

Note must be taken of the following top five killer diseases in the province, which are ischaemic heart diseases; cerebrovascular accidents, that is, bleeding into the brain, which causes strokes; infections of the lower respiratory tract, that is TB; gastrointestinal infections in children, attributed mainly to poor sanitation and lack of safe drinking water; and HIV and Aids-related infections.

Factors around maternal deaths still relate to issues of nonavailability of expertise in our institutions, such as gynaecologists and anaesthetists, integration amongst departments and health education within the communities.

A burden of disease project has been initiated, but is unfortunately not functioning optimally due to financial constraints. We will pay more attention to research, and the Minister has also talked to this, which will provide us with accurate baseline information for targeted intervention.

One of the challenges facing the department is a lack of basic information and vital statistics on causes related to infant mortality per district in our province. This is important, as we have indicated. If we are to embark on a targeted approach to reduce infant mortality, we have to be informed of what diseases are killing our children and in which areas, so as to channel all our resources in that fashion.

The budget proposal we are tabling before this august House affords us an opportunity to elaborate on our collective contribution towards further efforts in the creation of a better health system based on a principle that health, like education, is a precondition for development. A healthy nation contributes to innovation and development.

I must indicate that we have an allocation of R9 billion for the financial year 2009-10 and 59,7% of that goes to compensation of employees, whilst 27,2% goes into goods and services and part of that, of course, would be the programmes that we are running for the health branch. For Social Development we have an allocation of R761 million and 27% of that allocation goes for compensation of employees and 26% goes to goods and services.

The issue of poverty has been raised in this House, as well as in many of the forums. For us the passing of the Children’s Amendment Act holds the promise of reversing this picture and is the dawn of a new era in the care and protection of children. To advance this prospect, we are relying on national, provincial and local government, as well as all other relevant stakeholders to implement the Act and to co-ordinate it in a manner that would maximise the limited resources.

As the Minister of Social Development indicated, integral to overcoming the effects of child poverty are programmes such as the Early Childhood Development, ECD, Child Care Protection, Foster Care and Orphans and Vulnerable Children.

In relation to the ECD in the province, we have renewed our registration drive of ECD centres. We have already registered and funded 1 263 sites during the past financial year and we will increase our subsidy from R9,00 per child a day per attendance to R12,00 per child a day per attendance. Going forward, we intend to register another 309 sites by March 2010; this would bring it to a total of 1 572 registered ECD sites.

An amount of R89 million has been allocated for the ECD programme. A call is hereby made on all stakeholders and, most importantly, our communities to ensure that children are taken to these centres and that parents and communities take an active role in monitoring and implementing these programmes as implemented in these centres.

With regard to child care protection, the Minister has talked a lot about it. As a province we have allocated R35 million for this purpose. The amount will be utilised for providing food parcels, supporting institutions that cater for these vulnerable children. We are still making a call to all stakeholders, especially relatives and families of these children, in the spirit of ubuntu …

… gore kgodišo le tlhokomelo ya b ana ke maikarabelo a rena re le setšhaba ka moka. [Tšhwahlelo.] [ Nako e fedile.] [… that it is the responsibility of the whole nation to raise and take care of the child.] [Interjections.] [Time expired.]]

Mr T L BOTHA (Western Cape): Mr Chairperson, hon Minister, Deputy Minister, Deputy Minister, MECs, hon members and guests, thank you for the opportunity to take part in this Vote. I also want to take the opportunity to congratulate all the members who are newly appointed in their positions. I want to start by saying that, from the Western Cape government, we subscribed to most of these 10 points mentioned by the Minister of Health, except, of course, the one regarding the National Health Insurance, but for the others we certainly support that and subscrib to that.

Chairperson, our new provincial government is committed to the principles of an open-opportunity society that offers equal opportunities to all the people in our province dependent on health care.

I acknowledge that there are many things in the health sector that require urgent, radical change, innovation and attention, and that will certainly be my political challenge during my term. I must also place on record our concern that the funds allocated for health services in our province or to our province are inadequate to meet the needs and indeed the expectations of the people of our province.

A couple of years ago, this was also mentioned by hon President Zuma. Health services were certainly in a much better state of affairs than what it is currently in our country and also in our province. I acknowledge the good work of many health workers and staff working under very difficult circumstances, but we should urgently address staff attitudes and all issues relating to the delivery of quality health care services. The fact that poor people are dependent on and also entitled to free health care can never justify poor treatment and service to those people.

An issue of particular concern is the underfunding from the national conditional grant for HIV and Aids, which includes the antiretroviral therapy of which we had a deficit last year of R27 million rand, and we are budgeting for a deficit this year of a shortfall of R60 million in our province. I regard it as my political challenge and objective to narrow the gap between the available budgets on the one hand and the demand and the expectation in health care on the other hand.

Let me turn to key priorities of our Department of Health in the Western Cape: Firstly, through further implementation of the Western Cape comprehensive services plan, our department will address the important issue of the quality of health care delivery.

Secondly, service of tuberculosis, TB, together with HIV and Aids poses a major threat. We have to strengthen the TB programmes aiming to improve cure and management, especially of those patients with drug-resistant TB. We have to take the campaign against Aids and HIV to a higher level. And therefore we support the national Minister’s endeavour and announcement in that regard.

Thirdly, we will have to address service pressures, which are the consequence of increasing burden of diseases resulting from particular trauma and substance abuse. We will have to strengthen services in the areas of mental health, obstetrics, surgery and emergency care. Fourthly, mechanisms should be strengthened to assess the burden of disease. Many of the reasons for people needing health services are not from the health sector, but from other sectors in our society of which we’ve also have today – many many reasons. We need increased funding for maintenance of the backlog in our facilities, which is in the order of about R800 million in our province.

The construction of two new hospitals in our province, one in Mitchells Plain and one in Khayelitsha, are very important projects in our province. The one in Mitchells Plain is really a challenge to our province, as there was now eventually a shortfall in the funding from the National Treasury for this hospital. It remains uncertain as to why this was initially approved by National Treasury along with the Khayelitsha Hospital and then fell by the wayside. It is of utmost importance to ease the burden on our G F Jooste Hospital and to proceed with both these hospitals in our province. I made a proposal, which was approved at our Cabinet, to cancel the current tender and retender within three months with an extended contract period from 36 months to 54 months. Therefore, we will be making our own plans with additional funding from the province to also do the Mitchells Plain Hospital, which is now a shortfall from the National Treasury.

It is about the National Health Insurance, which I want to express some opinion on. It is by now common knowledge that the national government envisaged implementing this National Health Insurance. And it is also common knowledge that the DA, as the official opposition in South Africa, and many other important role-players in our sector, are opposed to this plan and has expressed this concern. The DA has also communicated its alternative to the National Health Insurance. I will not repeat this again in detail this year, but I will instate the review of many of the alternatives to the National Health Insurance that our provincial government will be investigating to implement in our province.

We will establish a much closer working relationship with the private sector and the private health care and all the institutions represented by them. We will, certainly, also explore the possibility of interacting with private health sectors, investors and service providers to provide facilities such as hospitals and clinics or to tender for comprehensive public health care services as operators. We have little doubt that the only viable solution to our enormous challenge to provide and improve public health care can only be achieved through closer relationships with the private sector and not the other way around.

We will address the current mandate and functions of hospital facilities boards with the aim to improve the service ability, the oversight and participation in the operation and functionality of our hospitals and facilities. We will investigate various methods to improve … Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Ms M G BOROTO: House Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Minister, members of the NCOP, our delegates from various provinces, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen …

… ke a le dumediša. Modulasetulo, ntumelele ke kgaleme lenyatšo pele ke tsena ditabeng. [… greetings to all. Chairperson, allow me to correct something first before I get into the debate.]

There is a problem if a person has an identity crisis, which leads to people losing direction. They will listen to everything, but be unable to take decisions. I am saying this because our Cope colleagues do not have an identity. As such…

… ga ba na molao. Molao ba tla o tšea kae? Bjalo, ge ba se na molao ga go na fao ba tlago ya gona. [… they have no manners. Where would they have learnt that? They are going nowhere.]

As such they are going to allow the media to dictate to them and come here to debate issues that are not on the table, such as Philippi. We are not debating the public works budget here. [Applause.]

Again, if they talk about grants and beneficiaries that are not in place, they should know that we have these things in place.

Re na le SAPS le Dihawks. [We have the SAPS and the Hawks.] They will see to it that this thing goes well. As for the DA, self- criticism is part of our life as the ANC. When we falter, we make sure that we assess and evaluate ourselves and come with resolutions that will rectify the mistakes made. We are not going to wait to be told that we should be doing things your way. Remember who gave birth to you — the National Party. [Interjections.]

Let me continue to say that, given that the health needs will always outstrip available resources, we wish to commend the Department of Health for identifying and prioritising the Polokwane resolutions in their 10- point strategic plan and budget.

South Africa has the seventh highest TB incidence in the world and contributes approximately 80% of the total global burden of all TB cases. Having learnt that HIV and Aids and tuberculosis remain the focus area for the National Department of Health, we acknowledge that South Africa’s cure rate is improving. However, we are worried that it is still below the cure rate of many developing countries.

The high defaulter rate has increased the probability for drug resistance. This impacts on achieving the targets for treatment success and cure. If we are to eradicate TB, we need to address the social determinants of the disease. This means that we have to address the socioeconomic needs of the affected people.

Poverty eradication, nutrition, housing and improvement of living and working conditions are imperative in improving the cure rate. Community mobilisation is critical in achieving success. The community is critical in monitoring health and education intervention.

We have a stipend for community caregivers. This is in answer to the 500 000 jobs that the President alluded to. Having more community caregivers coming onto the scene is going to satisfy our needs and promises to our people.

The Department of Health has developed the draft tuberculosis strategic plan for South Africa 2007 to 2011 that will ensure effective public health and clinical intervention. This will certainly assist in ensuring effective management and eradication of TB and its complications.

Lack of access to health facilities also contributes to our people seeking help when the disease is at an advanced stage. However, we are happy, because the Department of Health’s strategic plan includes establishment of the ombudsman’s office, which will receive and investigate all complaints about the quality of health services and recommend appropriate interventions.

Ba ithutile gabotse. [They learnt a lesson.]

They know that they need to get recommendations and interventions. This is highly recommended.

We also welcome the introduction of a directorate in the office of the chief financial officer, CFO, that will work directly with the provinces to strengthen financial management systems and ensure that district management teams are established. We will ensure that we do oversight on this to make sure that these plans succeed.

We want to emphasise that the auditing of nursing colleges and their establishment, that should consider the demographics of our country, should receive speedy attention. Critical to respond to is the Aids pandemic and to ensure that all health facilities have the capacity to provide ARV treatment, notwithstanding the challenges confronting us in achieving this.

Equally, it is important to implement the National Health Insurance that will guarantee that all South Africans have free access to health care. The ANC-led government will ensure that this is implemented over the next five years. We will assist in the consultation process that will be taking place until next year in 2010. The DA will oppose this, because they do not know the pain of the poor who when suffering from illness, are not able to afford the medicine from the pharmacies. [Applause.]

We also want to commend the NGOs such as LoveLife and Soul City for making sure that awareness translates into behaviour change, as well as the Department of Education for including HIV and Aids education as a compulsory subject in the curriculum.

In conclusion, I support this budget as it forms a critical part in achieving the goals we have set for ourselves to deliver quality health care to our people. I want to appeal to all to give their support to the National Health Insurance as it will be beneficial to us. We do not expect it to be a simple process, but I believe that South Africans have the will to find each other on this very important issue. Just as we stand in support of our sport teams, we must also stand together in eradicating inequality in all its forms and build social solidarity. Thank you. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chairperson, I just want to call over members of the opposition, specifically in this case the DA, that as we debate these issues we must be painfully aware of who we are. We are elected here to represent all the people of South Africa. Once the elections are over and we are in these Houses, we represent all of them.

Now the DA likes talking about the Constitution, the country and that we must follow it to the letter. They don’t want us to deviate even a bit. Firstly, we remind you that we held up the Constitution, because you had no way. All you need to do is support, but you are not going to pick and choose which part of the Constitution you support.

The issue of health care is in section 27(1) of the Constitution. It says, and I am reading for you directly from the Constitution, “Everyone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care.” It is a right. Section 27 (2) says, “The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights.”

It is our responsibility as the state to make sure that people have equal access to health care. It’s an imperative of the Constitution; we have got no choice in the matter. [Interjections.]

We are faced with a situation where 41 million people in our country — that is 86% of the population - are not able to exercise this right. Unlike you, I know no member of the DA in this House, not a single one, who’s not covered by medical aid, not a single one, and I know no single ANC member who is not covered by medical aid. In other words, all of us elected members are covered by medical aids.

When our children are sick, they know where to go to; they are safe as we are sitting here, but the people who voted for us can easily die. As with the example of this woman, they can easily die, very easily. The example people like giving here about what happened last week - it’s not the first time. It’s not even happening for the second time.

Let me remind you what happened next to a private hospital in Johannesburg. I don’t remember whether it was in 2007 or 2008, but it was around about there, when somebody got into an accident next to a private hospital and he was asked whether he had medical aid and, on saying no, he was rejected and driven to the public hospital. He died on the way to the public hospital.

Now tell me: If this is not primitive, what is it? When a human being is about to die, you ask them first how much they have got? Tell me if this is not primitive. That is why a person no less than the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr Ban Ki-Moon, on 15 June, not a long time ago, at the United Nations said, and I quote him directly, “Out-of-pocket expenses are the worst form of health care financing and it must be discouraged.”

You can’t keep on financing health care by saying people must pay out of their pockets when they are sick. Nobody decides to get sick. In the same speech he says that in the whole world, every year, a hundred million people are forced into poverty because they are forced to fork out money for their health when they are trying to defend themselves from dying and they get into poverty.

So we talk about health care financing. Let’s forget about being in the opposition and face reality. Let’s forget about which party we belong to. Let’s think about the poor people of this country and show that … [Interjections.]

Mr A WATSON: Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it in order for the member of the ANC sitting right in front of me to say the DA wants people to die when the hon Minister is making a serious speech; to make that type of insinuation? [Laughter.] I ask you to rule on that.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): I think it will be very difficult for me to make a ruling on that, because I don’t even have the benefit of having what the member said, but maybe what you can do, hon member ….

Mr A WATSON: But you can ask him on his honesty as a Member of Parliament to admit that he said so?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Hon member, please do not tell me what to do. Don’t tell me what to do, because I think now you are out of order, hon Watson. I was trying to address your point of order. Now you want to tell me how to address your point of order, which is something that I’m not going to do. Hon Minister, you may proceed.

The MINISTER OF HEALTH: I was still saying when we deal with these issues we must forget which party we belong to, because the issue of health care financing, for your information, is not a South African issue. It’s a global issue now. It’s debated all over the world. That is why the Secretary-General of the United Nations said this.

The Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Margaret Chan, who, by the way, was the Minister of Health in Hong Kong, actually took up this debate and said, “Let me make another obvious point. A health system is a social institution. It does not just deliver pills and babies the way a post office delivers letters. A properly managed and financed health system that strives for universal coverage contributes to social cohesion and stability.”

In other words, she is calling on all of us to properly manage and finance health care systems and move towards universal coverage. What is universal coverage? It’s a national health insurance system that covers every citizen, regardless of their status of employment, of their colour, of their religion and regardless of who they are. As long as they are human beings, they need to be covered.

In the same week when these two people in the United Nations were saying these words, Mr Barack Obama was also debating the same issue, because, while in South Africa 41 million people are not covered, in America it’s 57 million people and he was worried about them. He also wants them to move to universal coverage, because how do you feel when a fellow human being can just die in front of you simply because they don’t have money. How do you feel, in this era in time? It is primitive! It can’t be allowed by humanity anymore. It’s embarrassing. It can’t be allowed.

Don’t ask me where do we get the money to pay you and where do we get the money to cover. Why were you covered? You never asked anybody where the state gets the money from to cover you. I’m repeating that every Member of Parliament is covered by medical aid and that coverage of medical aid is from public financing and none of us stood up to ask … [Applause.]

Really, we should be embarrassed. What is good for you must be good for the rest of the population and we can’t keep on asking where the money is coming from. Why is it that every time when we talk about the poor there must be a debate? For goodness sake, they are human beings like us. I’ll actually get very embarrassed to say that about these people outside. I can’t look them in the eyes. But every time they are sick, they are asked how much they have got. I’ll keep on repeating that no human being must be asked about that because they do not choose.

When you talk about universal coverage of humanity, we must all become human beings, not members of different political parties, please, because we told our people that we want to serve them. We didn’t say we are coming here to this Parliament to obstruct their service delivery. We said we wanted to serve them.

How can it be that today in this democracy we are even worse off than during the era of apartheid? I was a medical student during the era of apartheid and I also worked at King Edward VIII Hospital. We were stopped by apartheid from treating white people. We were not allowed to, and they had to go to Addington Hospital, which was for whites. But when they got into an accident next to King Edward VIII, we were forced to resuscitate them to make sure that they live.

There were many white people who used to have accidents next to King Edward VIII with their scooters. We would take them into a black hospital and resuscitate them so that they would live before sending them to a white hospital.

Today it is no longer an issue of colour. It’s an issue of money. You can’t even be resuscitated in a private hospital before you are taken to a public hospital, not because of the colour of your skin, but because of money. It’s now financial apartheid. Do we want to support it? No, it can’t be! We can’t allow that situation.

I want members of the opposition to please take off their caps as opposition and become fellow South Africans and human beings. Become members of the human race, please. Thank you. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chairperson, let me start by acknowledging all the inputs that were made by hon members, particularly starting with colleagues from provinces as MECs, for sharing with us your programmes as you are implementing them in various provinces. It is very clear that indeed we are on track.

Co-operative governance, as I referred to earlier, is being implemented and I thank you very much for that. That is why we gather in this National Council of Provinces to share views as we do.

I just want to turn to the Western Cape though. Appreciate, firstly, that the Western Cape province, which is part of our national government, does say, hon MEC, that the programme that you have implemented on child abuse — we appreciate that and indeed you did say that — needs an intersectoral approach and a multidisciplinary approach. We agree with that. However, it may be necessary, just as a word of cautionary advice, that we look at the causes of this problem, because you can indeed begin a programme of mobilising people when, in fact, you are not looking at the causes of the problem. In the Western Cape I think, hon MEC, it is necessary to look at the drug problem in this province. We need to embark on a very serious anti- drug campaign in this province, because two out of every five cases of child abuse, child molestation and all of those are actually caused by drug abuse. So let us address the causes and not just the symptoms. Having said that, I would like to say that we are in the situation that was spelled out earlier on of this global crisis, partly and mainly because of market fundamentalism - let’s face it. Now we are being told that there is a province in South Africa called the government of the Western Cape that is actually following policies that we know have actually failed in the world. We have to contend with that and we have to say “yes”.

No, we are not going to be able to do that. The entrepreneurship that we are talking about is indeed entrepreneurship within the context of the policies of this country, mixed economy focused on people, focused on the poorest of the poor, as well as developing them and not only the haves, as it always happens and as it is being propagated by the province of the Western Cape government.

With regard to the province of KwaZulu-Natal, hon colleague, I think we appreciate the fact that we are beginning to work with the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa. One hon member raised the issue about the need to devolve functions of Sassa to provinces. We have gone past this issue in our previous Minmec and we have resolved this issue to say there is a need to work with provinces. However, we cannot go back to the devolution and assignment and/or assignment of functions of Sassa, because of the famous Mashaba case that actually led to the formation of Sassa in the first place.

The hon member of Cope, if this matter of poverty were not so serious an issue, I would have really laughed myself sick at the poverty of ideas that was displayed by you here. Indeed, hon Chairperson, I think Cope deserves to be censured for the absurdity of the views they hold about the poor of this country, and in particular the women. This can only confirm that they are a party of the middle class and the rich, and a party that bears no consciousness indeed for the levels of poverty afflicting the citizens of this country.

Interestingly, what they assert has been contradicted by independent research. We in this department actually conduct research on everything that we have to make decisions on. Listen, for if you are a good listener, you will not repeat the same mistakes. According to research, there is no link between child-support grants and teenage pregnancy. The registration of children happens mainly at the age of two; between nought and two years of age the registrations are low. Now, if mothers were registering or getting babies for the sake of the grant, they would register them at month one. That is the linkage, and there is no linkage at all.

The social grants are self-targeting and that is what research says. The social grants are linked to positive social outcomes; that is what research says. For instance, the school enrolment actually increases where children are being fed; where poor children are being fed and assisted, they stand up and they go to school. Research has shown that access to health improves the quality of life of the people - fact that research has proven. The ability to search for employment — Luthuli House will teach you a lot — occurs where a person has been able to at least receive social assistance — a fact proven by research. So, the poverty of ideas that you come up with here, please leave it somewhere else and not here.

I just want to talk about the issue of the five-year local government plan, as raised by the hon member from Salga. Indeed, we agree that there is no place called national, or geographic space called national. We all converge at local government level. We have made a decision and we have agreed at Minmec level that we will invite Salga representatives to our Minmec and to such fora for the purpose of dovetailing and working together in this sphere of government. We also do know that the very heavy issues the hon member raised here are to be addressed within the context of the entire discussion that is being led by our Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, which is a matter that has to deal with devolution of powers to local government and the future of provinces. That is where this debate is located. Let us wait for that debate and then deal with it as we come to that point.

The Children’s Act has actually been signed by the President; we are just awaiting the finalisation of the regulations. As a caring government, a government that understands what it does, we have been participating in a public participation programme as these regulations were being drafted. We have just finalised that process and now at the end of July we will be dealing with the finalisation of that consultation process, and the President will certainly sign those regulations and the implementation of the Children’s Act will happen.

I also want to touch on the issue of matters raised by the hon member about HIV and Aids and grants. We are currently looking at all these matters within the department and within the social sector in its entirety. But, for now, we actually hear that members in society are suggesting that we classify those who are HIV positive and Aids-infected to fall under the disabled, to consider that as the disability. Cabinet has agreed on a working definition of disability for now, but we do believe that these are matters that have to be looked at to ensure that we assist those who are sick, hon Radebe, because it is a necessary thing to do so that those vulnerable people who may not be working, but are unable to get any income, are also assisted. It is a broader part of discussions that are taking place.

I think that, hon members, on all the issues that have been raised, the remaining ones are fraud and corruption issues. Again, research tells us that here in South Africa, the norms of leakages on fraud and corruption are leakages that you find in any other and every other system. Here in South Africa we are currently ranging between 2% and 3%, and worldwide and globally on average we are between 3% and 5%. We are, in fact, just below that international average. However, that does not necessarily mean that we must be complacent. One of the things that I did not touch on and that I must bring into the speech is that we are actually, in Sassa and in the department, on a day-to-day basis, working on this issue of ensuring that we deal with fraud and corruption.

Very evidently, as the hon member was saying, when we do research and when we institute an investigation, the outcome is that people must be arrested and so on; somebody else must stand up and beat our drum. We are investigating many people on a daily basis. You know that more than 4 000 people were fraudulently on the system of Sassa. They were dealt with by this government. Now there are those that are from the private sector – we are dealing with those as well. So, please watch the space and watch the sky, because we are indeed dealing with these issues. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Thank you, hon members. Before we conclude, there is just one announcement. On the instruction from the Chairperson, the programming committee meeting for tomorrow has been cancelled until further notice.

Debate concluded.

The Council adjourned at 19:15. ____


                         FRIDAY, 3 JULY 2009 TABLINGS

National Council of Provinces

The Chairperson

  1. Referral to Committees of papers tabled:

    1) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations:

    (a)      Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by
         Space Objects, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the
         Constitution, 1996.
    (b)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Convention on International
         Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects.
    (c)      Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer
         Space, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution,
    (d)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Convention on Registration
         of Objects Launched into Outer Space.

    2) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations: a) Government Notice No 1397 published in Government Gazette No 31734 dated 24 December 2008: Standards Matters in terms of the Standards Act, 2008 (Act No 8 of 2008).

      b) General Notice No 211 published in Government Gazette No 31956
         dated 27 February 2009: Interactive gambling regulations: For
         written comments in terms of the National Gambling Act, 2004
         (Act No 7 of 2004).
      c) Government Notice No R.279 published in Government Gazette No
         32002 dated 13 March 2009: Companies and Intellectual Property
         Registration Office: Amendment of Companies Administrative
         Regulations, 1973, in terms of the Companies Act, 1973 (Act No
         61 of 1973).
      d) Government Notice No R.292 published in Government Gazette No
         32002 dated 13 March 2009: Companies and Intellectual Property
         Registration Office: Amendment of Close Corporations
         Administrative Regulations, 1984, in terms of the Close
         Corporations Act, 1984 (Act No 69 of 1984).

    3) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development: a) The President of the Republic submitted a letter dated 29 April 2009 to the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, informing Members of the Council of the employment of the SA National Defence Force for service in co-operation with the South African Police Service in the prevention and combating of crime and maintenance and preservation of law and order within the Republic of South Africa, along the RSA/Zimbabwe international border, to perform borderline control duties.

    (b)      The President of the Republic submitted the following
         letter dated 5 May 2009 to the Chairperson of the National
         Council of Provinces, informing Members of the Council of the
         extension of the employment of the SA National Defence Force in
         Burundi for a service in fulfillment of the International
         Obligations of the Republic of South Africa towards the African
    (c)      Proclamation No R.36 published in Government Gazette No
         32205 dated 6 May 2009: Commencement of sections 2 and 3 of the
         Criminal Procedure Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No 68 of 2008).

    4) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Finance and Appropriations:

    (a)      Submission of the Financial and Fiscal Commission on the
         Division of Revenue Bill for 2010-2011, tabled on 26 May 2009
         in terms of section 9(1) of the Intergovernmental Fiscal
         Relations Act, 1997 (Act No 97 of 1997) [RP 92-2009].
       ( Government Notice No R.646 published in Government Gazette No
         32299 dated 12 June 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 1 (No
         1/1/378), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No
         91 of 1964).
    (c)      Government Notice No R.647 published in Government Gazette
         No 32299 dated 12 June 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 2 (No
         2/316), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91
         of 1964).
    (d)      Government Notice No R.648 published in Government Gazette
         No 32299 dated 12 June 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 2 (No
         2/317), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91
         of 1964).
    (e)      Government Notice No R.643 published in Government Gazette
         No 32299 dated 12 June 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 2 (No
         2/315), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91
         of 1964).
    (f)      Government Notice No R.670 published in Government Gazette
         No 32309 dated 9 June 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 1 (No
         1/3/7), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91
         of 1964).
    (g)      Government Notice No R.671 published in Government Gazette
         No 32309 dated 9 June 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 8 (No
         8/7), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91
         of 1964).
    (h)      Government Notice No R.678 published in Government Gazette
         No 32319 dated 12 June 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 1 (No
         1/1/1379), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No
         91 of 1964).
    (i)      Government Notice No 618 published in Government Gazette
         No 32280 dated 29 May 2009: Determination of interest rate for
         purposes of paragraph (a) of the definition of “Official rate
         of interest” in paragraph 1 of the Seventh Schedule, in terms
         of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act No 58 of 1962).
    (j)      Government Notice No 642 published in Government Gazette
         No 32280 dated 4 June 2009: Determination of interest rate for
         purposes of paragraph (a) of the definition of “Official rate
         of interest” in paragraph 1 of the Seventh Schedule: Correction
         Notice for Venda and Zulu translations, in terms of the Income
         Tax Act, 1962 (Act No 58 of 1962).
    (k)      Government Notice No 582 published in Government Gazette
         No 32246 dated 22 May 2009: The dimension of, design for, and
         compilation of, the year 2009 “FIFA 2010 coin series”, in terms
         of the South African Reserve Bank Act, 1989 (Act No 90 of

    5) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs for consideration and report:

    (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the Commission on
         Restitution of Land Rights for 2008-2009 [RP 39-2009]. (6)     The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on
    Land and Environmental Affairs for consideration:
    (a)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Environmental Affairs
         and Tourism for 2009/1- to 2013/14.
    (b)      Strategic Plan of South African Tourism for 2009/10 to
    (c)      Business Plan of South African National Parks for 2009/10.
    (d)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Rural Development and
         Land Reform for 2009-2012.

    (7) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development for consideration:

    (a)      Annual Performance Plan for the South African Police
         Service for 2009/2010 [RP 23-2009].
    (b)      Strategic Business Plan of the Department of Defence and
         Military Veterans for 2009 – 2010.
    (c)      Strategic Plan of the Office of the Public Protector for 1
         April 2009 – 31 March 2012.
    (d)      Government Notice No R.513 published in Government Gazette
         No 32205 dated 6 May 2009: Regulations under the Criminal
         Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No 51 of 1977).

    (8) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs for consideration:

    (a)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry
         and Fisheries for 2009/10.
       ( Strategic Plan of the Departments of Water Affairs for 2009 –

    (9) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises for consideration:

    (a)      Strategic Plan of the Media Development and Diversity
         Agency (MDDA) for 2009-2012.
    (b)      Strategic Plan of the International Marketing Council
         (IMC) for 2009/10-2011/12.
    (c)      Strategic Plan of the Government Communication and
         Information System (GCIS) for 2009-2012.
    (d)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Communications for
    (e)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Public Enterprises for
         2009 - 2012.

    (10) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Public Services for consideration:

    (a)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Public Works for
    (b)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Transport for 2009/10
         - 2011/12.

    11) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Social Services for consideration:

    (a)      Report of the Central Drug Authority (CDA) for 2007-2008
         [RP 10-2009].
    (b)      Strategic Plan of the National Development Agency for 2009-
    (c)      Strategic Plan of the South African Social Security Agency
       (SASSA) for 2009/10 - 2011/12 [RP 28-2009].

    (12) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations for consideration:

    (a)      Strategic Plan of the Department of International
         Relations and Cooperation for 2009-2012.
    (b)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Trade and Industry for
    (c)      General Notice No 503 published in Government Gazette No
         32229 dated 15 May 2009: Debt Counselling Regulations, in terms
         of the National Credit Act, 2005 (Act No 34 of 2005).

    (13) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Finance and Appropriations for consideration:

    (a)      Strategic Plan of National Treasury (Update) for 2009/12
         [RP 52-2009].
       ( Strategic Plan of the South African Revenue Service for 2009/10
         – 2011/12 (Update for 2009-2010).
    (c)      Strategic Plan of South African Revenue Service (SARS) for
         2009/10 – 2011/12: Revised Activities and Deliverables per
         Corporate Strategic Priority June 2009.

    (14) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Education and Recreation for consideration:

      a) Corporate Strategic Plan of the Department of Science and
         Technology for 2009-2010.
    (b)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Sport and Recreation
         for 2009 – 2013.
    (c)      Strategic Plan of the Departments of Education for 2009 –
         2013 and the Operational Plan of the Departments of Education
         for 2009 – 10.
    (d)      Strategic Plan of the Departments of Education for 2009 –
         2013 and the Operational Plan of the Departments of Education
         for 2009 – 10.

    (15) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Public Services for consideration and report:

    (a)      Strategic Plan of the Public Administration Leadership and
         Management Academy for 20008/09 – 2011/12.

    (16) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises for consideration and report and to the Select Committee on Public Services in accordance with its mandate:

    (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the Construction
         Education and Training Authority (CETA) for 2007-2008,
         including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial
         Statements and Performance Information for 2007-2008 [RP 71-

    (17) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Economic Development and the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations for consideration:

    (a)      Strategic Plan of the Department of Minerals and Energy
         for 2009/10 – 2011/12.

    (18) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Labour and 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).
                         MONDAY, 6 JULY 2009 TABLINGS

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Finance
(a)     Explanatory Memorandum on the Appropriation Bill, 2009:
    Preliminary outline on Inter-Departmental Function Shifts – 10 June

 b) Government Notice No R.685 published in Government Gazette No 32322
    dated 19 June 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 3 (No 3/644), in terms
    of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

(c)     Government Notice No R.686 published in Government Gazette No
    32322 dated 19 June 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 4 (No 4/317), in
    terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).

                        TUESDAY, 7 JULY 2009


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Calling of Joint Sitting


The Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr M V Sisulu, and the
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr M J Mahlangu, in
terms of Joint Rule 7 (2), have called a joint sitting of the Houses of
Parliament for Wednesday, 8 July 2009 at 12:00 to conduct a debate in
celebration of Mandela Day.

M V SISULU, MP                           M J MAHLANGU, MP
SPEAKER OF THE                           CHAIRPERSON OF THE

National Council of Provinces

The Chairperson

  1. Message from National Assembly to National Council of Provinces in respect of Bills passed and transmitted (1) Bill amended and passed by National Assembly on 7 July 2009 and transmitted for concurrence:

    (a) Appropriation Bill [B 5B – 2009] (National Assembly – sec 77) (amended in accordance with section 14 of Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act). The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Finance and Appropriations of the National Council of Provinces.

  2. Referral to Committees of papers tabled:

    1) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations for consideration and report:

    (a)      Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by
         Space Objects, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the
         Constitution, 1996.
    (b)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Convention on International
         Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects.
    (c)      Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer
         Space, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution,
    (d)      Explanatory Memorandum to the Convention on Registration
         of Objects Launched into Outer Space.
    Please note:   The above entry replaces item 1 of the referrals as
                   published on page 361 under “Referral to Committees
                   of Papers tabled” in the Announcements, Tablings and
                   Committee Reports (ATC) of 3 July 2009.


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Finance
(a)     Annual Report of the Bank Supervision Department of the South
    African Reserve Bank for 2008.
  1. The Minister of Trade and Industry
(a)     Government Notice No 380 published in Government Gazette No
    32067 dated 3 April 2009: Introduction of a compulsory
    specification for preservative treatment of timber, in terms of the
    National Regulator for Compulsory Specification Act, 2008 (Act No 5
    of 2008).

(b)     Government Notice No 559 published in Government Gazette No
    32233 dated 22 May 2009: Standards matters, in terms of the
    Standards Act, 2008 (Act No 8 of 2008).
(c)     Government Notice No 560 published in Government Gazette No
    32233 dated 22 May 2009: Standards matters, in terms of the
    Standards Act, 2008 (Act No 8 of 2008).

(d)     Government Notice No 596 published in Government Gazette No
    32253 dated 29 May 2009: Application for an exemption in terms of
    Part A of Schedule 1: Health Professions Council of South Africa,
    in terms of the Competition Act, 2008 (Act No 89 of 1998).

National Council of Provinces

  1. The Chairperson
(a)     Petition from the Sasolburg Masalla Benefits Committee.

(b)     Petition from the committee representatives of Wolvenkop Farm,
    in Mpumalanga.

    Referred to the Select Committee on Petitions and Members’
    Legislative Proposals.