National Council of Provinces - 29 October 2009



The Council met at 14:00.

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




The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon members, I have been informed that the Whippery has agreed that there will be no notices of motion or motions without notice today. I would like to take this opportunity, therefore, to welcome the President of the Republic of South Africa to this sitting of the NCOP.

However, before I call upon the President, I also want to acknowledge, in the gallery, the presence of a delegation from Nigeria, led by His Excellency Vice President Dr Goodluck Jonathan and the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole. Hon members, you are now welcomed — all of you — to the NCOP. [Applause.]

I have been told that there are quite a number of people from nongovernmental organisations sitting in the gallery. I also wish to welcome them. You are most welcome to the NCOP, as is everybody seated in the gallery.

I now call upon the hon President of the Republic of South Africa to deliver his annual address to the NCOP. This is the first address, Mr President, in the Fourth Parliament that you will be delivering to this House. Thank you, Mr President. [Applause.]

Mr President, there is a … What do you call this thing? [Interjections.] A podium. [Applause.] Well, you may have forgotten that, because I am a reverend, I thought this was a pulpit. [Laughter.] But I’m told that it is not a pulpit. I nearly said “pulpit”.


                        (President’s Address)

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson of the NCOP, the hon Mninwa Mahlangu; Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, the hon Thandi Memela; provincial premiers; Members of Parliament; representatives of the SA Local Government Association; the Nigerian delegation, here on the business of the South Africa-Nigeria Bi-National Commission, a relationship structured by our two governments, and celebrating 10 years of existence; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, the NCOP occupies a unique and special place in our democracy.

The Constitution charges the NCOP to represent the provinces in order to “ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government”. This Chamber has to perform this important function mainly by participating in the national legislative process and by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting the provinces.

The Constitution says that representatives of local government may also participate in the proceedings of the NCOP when the need arises. The NCOP, therefore, is the meeting point of the three spheres of government. It is a forum where the elected representatives of our people should jointly discuss the major issues facing our Republic and its citizens.

Our young democracy faces significant challenges. Though we have achieved much, there is much more that we need to do. Just as we cannot allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by these challenges, we dare not underestimate them.

If we are to build the thriving nation for which we have worked so hard, and for which so many have sacrificed so much, we need to appreciate the extent and nature of these challenges. I would like to highlight two critical challenges, both of which, in different ways, have the potential to undermine our efforts to achieve a better life for our people.

The first of these challenges relates to our economy. The global economy is going through a major economic crisis. The impact of this crisis has been felt by every section of our society. Businesses, both big and small, have been closed. Thousands of workers have lost their jobs. As more families lose their livelihoods and businesses risk collapsing, they look to government for assistance. And yet government’s ability to assist them has been weakened.

As the Minister of Finance indicated in his address to the National Assembly on Tuesday, government revenues are down and the budget deficit is up. Our ability to assist those in need has been placed under strain.

With fewer funds available, we nevertheless need to provide health care to the sick, education to our youth, and social grants to the most vulnerable in our society. Our challenges compel us to do more with less. We have to ensure that limited public resources are spent on those things that serve the greater public good.

The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement that Minister Gordhan presented this week underscores this imperative. It presents a spending programme that places the interests of ordinary South Africans – particularly the poor and vulnerable – at the centre of government’s work. It recognises that we will need to borrow more to meet our needs. We are determined, however, to contain our borrowing requirements within sustainable limits, in order to ensure that we do not burden future generations with our debt.

We are facing arguably our greatest economic challenge since the advent of our democracy. We do so against the backdrop of a global recession, not of our making, and in an economic and social environment still dominated by the distortions of our apartheid past.

South Africa has long been plagued by structural unemployment, with the result that a sizable portion of our population has been without work for many years. Many of our people do not have the skills needed to find employment. Though it absorbs a significant amount of our budget, our education system does not produce the outcomes we require.

Apartheid planning continues to have a significant impact on poor people living in both rural and urban areas. The lack of basic infrastructure in these areas, and their location far from economic centres, severely limits opportunities for millions of our people.

These are among the challenges we face. We need to recognise them and properly understand them. For only then can we ensure that we respond appropriately.

It is our firm belief that, indeed, this government is responding appropriately to these challenges. The steps we need to take to respond to the recession cannot be separated from the longer-term task of transforming our economy and society.

That is why we borrow - not to bail out banks and failing businesses, but to invest in economic infrastructure, education, health care, rural development and the fight against crime. That is why we see, in this recession, an opportunity to improve the operation of government and thereby ensure that it uses scarce resources better. That is a task in which we would like to see the NCOP playing a prominent role.

We have created new departments and reformed others in order to focus on the important priorities on which our people expect us to deliver. Here I mention, in particular, the establishment of the new Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, which replaced the former Department of Provincial and Local Government.

The change in the name is more than cosmetic. It draws attention to the role that we think this new department should play. Chapter 3 of the Constitution of the Republic enjoins all spheres of government to co- operate with one another in mutual trust and good faith by fostering friendly relations; assisting and supporting one another; consulting one another on matters of common interest; and co-ordinating their actions and legislation with one another.

The experience over the past 15 years of our democracy has taught us that the three spheres of government have not always lived up to these constitutional injunctions. More often than not, the three spheres of government pull in different directions. Their actions are not co- ordinated.

We have, therefore, established this new department to assist us to ensure that government works in a co-operative and co-ordinated fashion. I ask for your support and assistance to make sure that this department, and all other departments, meet their mandates. In that way, we can use this crisis to ensure that our three spheres of government work better together to improve people’s lives.

Though we may be buffeted by the uncertain winds of the global economy, we are not helpless. Working together, determined that our common national programme will succeed, we can and will weather this particular storm.

The second challenge that I wish to highlight is no less grave. Indeed, if we do not respond with urgency and resolve, we may well find our vision of a thriving nation slipping from our grasp. Recent statistics from the Department of Health, the Human Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council of South Africa, Statistics SA and other sources paint a disturbing picture of the health of our nation. They show that in 2006 nearly 6 out of 10 deaths in our country, were deaths of people younger than 50 years.

If we consider mortality trends over the past decade, we see that the age at which people die has been changing dramatically. More and more people are dying young, which is threatening even to outnumber in proportional terms those who die in old age. South Africans are dying at an increasing rate. The number of deaths registered in 2008 jumped to 756 000, up from 573 000 the year before.

At this rate, there is a real danger that the number of deaths will soon overtake the number of births. The births registered during this period were 1 205 111. The Independent Electoral Commission had to remove 396 336 deceased voters from the voters’ roll during September last year and August this year.

What is even more disturbing is the number of young women who are dying in the prime of their life, in their child-bearing years. In 2006, life expectancy at birth for South African men was estimated to be 51 years. By contrast, life expectancy in Algeria was 70 years and 60 years in Senegal. These are some of the chilling statistics that demonstrate the devastating impact that HIV and Aids are having on our nation.

Not even the youngest are spared. Some studies suggest that, in 2007, 57% of the deaths of children under the age of five were as a result of HIV. This situation is aggravated by the high prevalence of tuberculosis. The co- infection rate between HIV and TB has now reached a staggering 73%. Statistics indicate that the number of citizens with TB is 481 584.

These statistics do not, however, fully reveal the human toll of the disease. It is necessary to go into the hospitals, clinics and hospices of our country to see the effect of HIV and Aids on those who should be in the prime of their lives. It is necessary to go into people’s homes to see how families struggle with the triple burden of poverty, disease and stigma. Wherever you go, across the country, you hear people lament the apparent frequency with which they have to bury family members and friends.

Let me emphasise that although we have a comprehensive strategy to tackle HIV and Aids, one that has been acknowledged internationally, and although we have the largest antiretroviral programme in the world, we are not yet winning this battle. We must come to terms with this reality as South Africans.

We must accept that we need to work harder, and with renewed focus, to implement the strategy that we have developed together. We need to do more, and we need to do better, together. We need to move with urgency and purpose to confront this enormous challenge.

If we are to stop the progress of this disease through our society, we will need to pursue extraordinary measures. We will need to mobilise all South Africans to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing and that of their partners, their families and their communities.

All South Africans must know that they are at risk and must make informed decisions to reduce their vulnerability to infection or, if infected, to slow the advance of the disease. Most importantly, all South Africans need to know their HIV status, and be informed of the treatment options available to them. Though it poses a grave threat to the wellbeing of our nation, HIV and Aids should be treated like any other disease. There should be no shame, no discrimination, no recriminations. We must break the stigma surrounding Aids.

In just over a month, we will join people across the globe in marking World Aids Day. Let us resolve now that this should be the day on which we start to turn the tide in the battle against Aids. Let us resolve now that this should be the day on which we outline those additional measures that need to be taken to enhance our efforts.

Let World Aids Day, on 1 December 2009, mark the beginning of a massive mobilisation campaign that reaches all South Africans, and that spurs them into action to safeguard their health and the health of the nation. Though a considerable undertaking, it is well within our means, and we should start now, today, to prepare ourselves for this renewed onslaught against this epidemic.

We have very impressive awareness levels in our country, well over 95%. We should now work seriously to convert that knowledge into a change in behaviour. We have demonstrated in the past that, working together as a nation, we can overcome even the greatest of challenges. We can and will overcome this one. But we must begin by acknowledging the true nature of that with which we are confronted. We should not be disheartened by what we find. Rather, we should be encouraged to act with greater energy and motivation to overcome.

I have instructed the Minister of Health, as we prepare for World Aids Day, to provide further details to the nation of the impact of HIV and Aids on our people. He will do so next week. The important factor is that our people must be armed with information. Knowledge will help us to confront the denialism and the stigma attached to the epidemic.

Informed by this understanding, we expect that the SA National Aids Council, under the leadership of the Deputy President of the Republic Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, will develop a set of measures that will strengthen the programmes already in place.

We must not lose sight of the key targets that we have set for ourselves in our national strategic plan. These include the reduction of the rate of new infections by 50%, and the extension of the antiretroviral programme to 80% of those who need it, both by 2011. Prevention remains a critical part of our strategy. We need a massive change in behaviour and attitude, especially amongst the youth. We must all work together to achieve this goal.

As we prepare for World Aids Day, and as we undertake the programmes that must necessarily follow, let us draw on our experience of mass mobilisation and social engagement. The renewed energy in the fight against Aids and in mobilizing people towards World Aids Day must start now, by all sectors of our society. Working together, we cannot fail.

The NCOP has led the way in taking Parliament to the People. We should build on this innovation to foster a close working relationship between government and citizens and between Parliament and the people.

I have come before you to ask for your co-operation and support in renewing this communal spirit and co-operation. It will help us to deal with the challenges we face, especially with regard to HIV and Aids and its impact. Whatever challenges we face, we will overcome. Whatever setbacks we endure, we will prevail because, by working together, we can and will build a thriving nation. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Thank you very much, hon President, for your encouraging speech.

Angithathe lelithuba ngibonge uSihlalo, ngibonga kakhulu kuMongameli wezwe lakithi elithandeka kakhulu izwe laseNingizimu Afrika. Ngibonge kakhulu koNdunankulu bonke bezifundazwe abakhona namhlanje kule nkulumo kaMongameli wethu. Ngibonge labo abamele uSalga, abakhona namhlanje kule ndlu yethu.

Ngibonge zonke izithunywa ezikhethekile ezizile lapha namhlanje. Ngiphinde ke ngibonge nabavela kuleliya lase-Nigeria ukuba bazohlanganyela kanye nathi, sifundisane ukuthi kufanele sisebenzisane kanjani singamaPhalamende ezwekazi lethu lase-Afrika esilithandayo. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Let me take this opportunity to thank the Chairperson. I am also very thankful to the President of our beloved country, South Africa. I also thank all the premiers who are here today for our President’s speech. I am thankful to all the Salga representatives who are here in this House today.

I want to thank all the distinguished guests who are here today. And I also want to thank those who have come from Nigeria, who are here with us today, in a bid to educate each other on how to function as parliaments of our beloved African continent.]

I wish to thank President Zuma for gracing this House with his message under the theme, “Together finding solutions to achieving the goal of a better quality of life for all”.

We know, hon members, that our country is still facing a number of challenges, but there is new hope under your leadership, Mr President, as we have already seen in the short time since you have taken up your job as President. [Applause.]

Since the establishment of the NCOP, we have looked at the issues that the provinces and organised local government want us to focus on during this term of Parliament. Informed by the 10 strategy priorities, which were announced during the President’s state of the nation address, we convened the representatives of our provincial legislatures and organised local government to deliberate on the way forward.

The outcome was a draft of the strategic framework plan to be finalised by this House very shortly; and I just quickly want to go through the objectives of this strategic framework:

To promote provincial interests and adherence by the three spheres of government to the principles of co-operative government and intergovernmental relations;

To follow up on the implementation of government priorities as identified for the three spheres of government;

To enhance public participation programmes through educating the people, especially in rural villages, and creating forums for public consideration of issues affecting provinces; and

To initiate and implement programmes aimed at assisting the vulnerable groups in society.

The framework plan identifies seven oversight priority areas, which are in line with our mandate as this House.

Today I would like to briefly talk about a few things which I think are very important, because I don’t have the time to touch on the many issues. The issue of co-ordination, firstly, is vital and all of us who have been elected have a pivotal role to play in terms of establishing and doing our work in a better way.

We have highlighted the importance of co-ordinating our work, as the legislative sector, across the three spheres of government. This has become more urgent to ensure that we use resources efficiently and effectively. That is very important. With a lack of co-ordination we are not going anywhere.

I am also looking forward to seeing all of us in the three spheres of government co-ordinating our work for the sake of saving those resources and channelling them to assist the people on the ground. We have seen the benefit of this; we are not just talking. We have seen the benefit of co- ordination in how we approached our outreach programme in the past, with the national, provincial and local spheres of government working together to attend to the issues facing our people on the ground.

We think that is very important and that is critical, and I want to make a request to each and every one of you seated here today that we go home and think carefully about how all of us, particularly in the legislative sector, can co-ordinate our work.

I want to appeal to the hon premiers who are here with us today, and those who have representatives, because at times we battle to co-ordinate our work with the provinces. At times we ask that our speakers should attend such gatherings and take part in such discussions very openly, because in the legislative sector they are the people who do the co-ordination. They are the people who we contact from day to day, and they are the people with whom we work. This type of co-ordination with the legislative sector will just make our work easy and simple.

We also highlighted oversight as an important tool in the hands of legislators across the different spheres, especially at local level. We welcome your observation, Mr President, during your meeting with the mayors in Khayelitsha last week, that the fusion of the executive and legislative mandate, at the municipal council level, creates problems. It needs to be addressed.

We have put a high premium on monitoring and assessment. As a result of our plan, we envisage an annual mandatory assessment of our performance.

We will use the information and communications technology, ICT, infrastructure to track performance against the targets we have set, because this has been a problem for quite a number of years for the NCOP. We have now, however, found a solution. At the push of a button, we will know if a committee is letting us down or helping us to achieve the objectives. This is not enough; people on the ground must tell us whether our work impacts positively or not.

To do all these things, administrative support will need to be aligned so as to support the new mandate and the work of the NCOP. Provincial delegates are at the centre of the institution. They require appropriate support to carry out the mandate that I am talking about, because they are here daily and they know our problems. They are responsible for the oversight function and they are the people who need to be supported so that they can be in a position to do their job.

We have also identified a few challenges which we think should be addressed, as the President has also said at this podium. We have identified that the wave of the so-called service delivery protests that have hit the country must teach us a lesson - all of us seated here.

These incidents call for introspection. Do our people no longer have the hope that when they are faced with service delivery challenges, institutions such as the NCOP, for instance, could act on their behalf? We need to do introspection. It’s just correct that we should do this and look at ourselves.

We should ask ourselves why people resort to destroying property in order to raise their views, instead of engaging the relevant role-players and stakeholders on the ground because we have the stakeholders — the provincial government, the local municipalities and constituencies offices, we have everybody who wants to assist — on the ground. Why can’t we engage and make sure that we all assist? In fact, this is their property, because it is financed through public funds that are raised through taxes.

Mr President, when you addressed the NCOP workshop in July 2004, in your capacity as the Deputy President and leader of government business, you made reference to complaints about poor municipal service delivery, which included poor customer care.

The President actually raised this some years ago and I want to quote you when you said:

We can do all we can to make municipalities successful financially, but if we do not get the basic customer care or Batho Pele issues right, ordinary citizens will continue to say the local government sphere is failing them.

Mr President, you then proceeded to say:

Provinces should also be on hand to assist in improving these services, thereby providing the seamless, efficient service provision from spheres of government simultaneously, with Parliament, especially the NCOP, being the eyes and the ears of the public.

I want to thank the premiers for the fact that in September we had the chance to visit all the provinces. Our delegations went along. We were received very positively by the cream of the premiers that we have today in this government. I am particularly impressed that some of you did not sit in your offices. You went out immediately to go and check the issues that we told you we had seen needed to be attended to.

Mr Mathale, the Premier of Limpopo, I must thank you very much. Yesterday you went to an area which was critical for the premier to go to and have a look at and take action. And you did that, and we discussed it with you. I must thank you. I thank all other premiers who have done that. [Applause.]

That is the type of co-operation that the President is talking about. That is the type of co-operative governance that we’re talking about. Because all of us are here to represent those very people who have elected us to be here.

We are not here because it is our wish. We are here because we were elected by the people. We are the voices of those people. They are hopeless without us talking on their behalf and getting things sorted out for them. So I want to thank you all that you have stood up and gone out there and assisted us in dealing with all those issues, and I congratulate you on that.

Service delivery and the legal framework is very important. All of us have to be engaged, from the local municipalities to all three spheres of government, as the Constitution directs that we all have to get involved and assist the third sphere of government.

In conclusion, once again, thank you very much to the hon President who addressed us this afternoon. From time to time we will reflect on these issues, Mr President, including the inputs from provinces and organised local government, as we continue to respond to the mandate before us.

The NCOP occupies a unique position in our constitutional setup. It is better positioned to harmonise the interests of the different spheres of government in the spirit of promoting co-operative government and intergovernmental relations. Thank you for listening to me. [Applause.]

Mr A WATSON: His Excellency Mr President, Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy Chairperson, hon premiers, MECs, hon delegates, ladies and gentlemen, visitors, dames en here [ladies and gentlemen] …

… sanibonani nonke bavakashi laphaya phezulu. [greetings to all the visitors up there.]

Kgotsong kaofela ba re tjhaketseng kajeno. [Good day to all our visitors who are visiting us today.]

Voorsitter, die tema van vandag, vryelik vertaal, sou lees dat ons saam oplossings moet vind om die doelwit van ’n beter lewensgehalte vir almal te bereik. Dis eintlik ’n skande, Mnr die President, dat die regerende party, u party, meneer, na bykans 16 jaar van demokrasie nog steeds praat van oplossings vind vir doelwitte wat lank reeds aangespreek en bereik moes word. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Chairperson, the theme for today, loosely translated, would read that together we should look for solutions to achieve the goal of a better quality of life for all. Actually it is a shame, Mr President, that after almost 16 years of democracy the ruling party, your party, Mr President, is still talking about finding solutions for goals which should have been addressed and achieved long ago.]

The hon President has painted a gloomy picture, but he has not said it all, Chairperson, because the address to the House today is tabled in a very different climate from that in which he tabled his state of the nation address just a few short months ago.

Today we find ourselves in an environment of rising unemployment, service delivery problems, a spiralling budget deficit and a bitter fight among the elite of the ruling party for control of the economy. [Interjections.]

You can shout, but the fact is that the high hopes of the public, which accompanied the President’s move into the Union Buildings, have all but faded. Instead, we have returned to the same brand of politics that characterised the previous ANC administrations: more corruption, more ineptitude, more of just the same. So, if the government wants to achieve the goal of a better quality life for all, then it must start now, by doing three things.

Firstly, the ruinous policy of cadre deployment should be discontinued immediately. Cadre deployment and, as a consequence, the fact that these deployed senior party members are often obstructive to political resolutions, is at the very heart of failed service delivery in South Africa. [Interjections.]

When loyalty to the party elite is the most important criterion for appointment, instead of competence and commitment to service, then it is the South African public who suffer. Cadre deployment is the celebration of the closed “buddy-buddy” society. [Interjections.]

In fact, cadre deployment is a formula for a better life for just a few, and it is that culture that makes it all right to spend R50 million on new cars for Cabinet Ministers, without a single pang of guilt, whilst South Africans suffer through a recession. I am glad to see that the President walked here this morning. Well done, hon President.

Secondly, the executive must start respecting independent state institutions. In recent months we have seen an unprecedented intensification in the assault on the notion of separation of powers. I needn’t list every example here, but as long as the executive ploughs through the fragile stilts on which our constitutional democracy rests, we will never be able to properly achieve the goal of a better quality of life for all of our people.

Parliament must be independent from the ruling party, and from the executive. That is why it is so problematic for us, today, to be debating a topic which is merely a merger of the ANC’s last two election slogans.

Thirdly, the DA has long championed the belief that services are best delivered when they are closer to the people. That is why we defended strong provinces and local government during the constitutional negotiations and why we continue to do so today.

Coming from Mpumalanga, as I do, I will be the first to recognise that local government, in general, is not working in South Africa. That is not as a result of a broken system; in most cases, it is as a result of bad leadership and corrupt management. The fact is that local governments are the best-placed agents of delivery for the basic services that are so desperately needed by our people.

In conclusion, it was Thomas Jefferson who once wrote that “the purse of the people is the real seat of sensibility”. How we spend that purse shows how we really care about the poorest and most vulnerable ones in our nation and should be proof that our ideals are not just empty rhetoric and promises.

This government must stop its prolific waste. It must stop tolerating incompetence. Mr President, it must stop covering up for corruption. It must stop turning a blind eye to nepotism. It must stop its petty, internal squabbling for positions, and it must now start to deliver. South Africa is waiting, Mr President. We want you to start doing all that now. I thank you. [Applause.]

The PREMIER OF THE EASTERN CAPE (Ms N Kiviet): Deputy Chairperson, hon President, Chairperson of the NCOP, hon members of this House, our honoured guests from Nigeria, members of the SA Local Government Association, Salga, ladies and gentlemen, may I greet you all. Good afternoon.

The Eastern Cape remains firmly on course to achieve the goals set out in the manifesto of the ruling party, the ANC, which are: eliminating the scourge of crime; improving access to education and the quality of education; creating decent jobs for the people of our province; improving the health profile of our province; and developing our rural communities.

Following our election in April 2009, which heralded the beginning of our term, the fourth democratic term of governance in our country, we designed a provincial strategic framework aimed at providing a practical translation of our manifesto into a coherent programme for service delivery by the government.

Our provincial strategic framework is the provincial equivalent of the national Medium-Term Strategic Framework, and establishes the provincial priorities for the term. All of these are aligned to the manifesto, and display our commitment to changing the lives of the people of the province for the better, through speeding up growth and transforming the economy; creating decent work and sustainable livelihoods; building social and economic infrastructure; rural development; land and agrarian reform and food security; strengthening education; building a skills and human resource base; improving the health profile of the province; intensifying the fight against crime and corruption; building a developmental state; improving public services; strengthening democratic institutions; and, lastly, building cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.

As part of ensuring that our work is aligned to the national programme of action, work on the management of natural resources and matters pertaining to international relations has been integrated into these strategic priorities. The implementation of these priorities is moving full steam ahead, anchored by a reviewable annual programme of action.

Highlights of our performance with respect to the programme of action for the 2009-10 financial year already indicate that significant progress is being made. For example, the crafting of the provincial rural development strategy has been concluded. Work is under way to consolidate and merge all public entities in the province that have a rural development mandate to be under one provincial rural development agency.

In the state of the province address, we announced that a rural development fund will be established. This has been influenced by the words of Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank founder, who once said:

In the world of development, if one mixes the poor and the nonpoor in a programme, the nonpoor will always drive out the poor, and the less poor will drive out the more poor, unless protective measure are instituted right at the beginning. In such cases, the nonpoor reap the benefits of all that is done in the name of the poor.

Therefore, for us, the rural development fund is intended to ensure that the poor determine their destiny, and are indeed their own liberators and are not pushed out by the nonpoor.

As part of the objective of building cohesive, caring and sustainable communities, we have facilitated the establishment of a provincial heritage resources authority with a view to fast-tracking the transformation of the province’s cultural landscape in a manner that promotes nation-building, whilst at the same time deepening and strengthening national identity.

May I also indicate that our audit outcomes have significantly improved, with more departments receiving unqualified audit opinions. For example, for the 2008-09 financial year, eight provincial departments have received unqualified audits; three departments, namely economic development and environmental affairs, public works, and roads and transport, received qualified opinions; whilst two received adverse opinions, namely health and education.

Our efforts, therefore, in the quest to improve the institutional capacity of the state have been focused more on health, and on basic and higher education to ensure that next year we move those two departments to a state of qualified audit opinions. This is done with a view to moving them further, the following year, to unqualified audit opinions. We believe that we can do it. The past has proven that we are able to do that, and we will do it.

That will be our contribution to the campaign of the ruling party: to ensure that, by 2014, all our departments and municipalities receive unqualified audit reports. This is a quest to ensure that there is clean governance.

We also wish, as a province, to indicate and declare that we are ready to host the multitude of soccer fans who will converge on our province for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Our main host stadium in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan has been ready for quite some time now. We announced in the state of the province address that we will create, during this term, approximately 480 000 jobs, 60 000 of which will be created in this financial year.

Noting that my time is coming to an end, I wish, firstly, to indicate to the hon member who spoke just before me that for as long as we take societal ills as ills of the ruling party, we are going to hold this beautiful country of ours to ransom. [Applause.]

We were elected to give leadership to society and we are supposed to do just that. HON MEMBERS: Viva!

The PREMIER OF THE EASTERN CAPE (Ms N Kiviet): Therefore, the blame- shifting exercise must be over. It doesn’t take anyone anywhere. Let us join hands and build our country, and let us talk responsibly. We can’t blame the ruling party for everything.

When you go to church, you find people fighting. You can go to schools or anywhere. It’s a societal challenge, and leaders must rise to the occasion and give leadership to society. I urge that we use this platform to do just that. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Mr S J MOHAI (Free State): Deputy Chairperson, Chairperson of the NCOP, His Excellency the President of the Republic, hon premiers and hon members of the NCOP, this presidential address to the NCOP comes six months after the fourth general elections. We should, therefore, use the occasion of this debate to assess our progress since the President tabled the state of the nation address in June. The state of the nation address deliberately drew from the electoral mandate of the five key priority areas of decent jobs, sustainable livelihoods, health care, education and fighting crime and corruption.

The President, in the state of the nation address, then, announced the 10 priorities of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework to give effect to the five main priorities of the electoral mandate.

The Premier of the Free State, within the policy context set by the President, outlined the provincial government programme which comprises a number of high-impact programmes and projects. In this input I will, therefore, appraise the state of the province with reference to the programmes and projects which the premier announced way back in June.

The mid-term Budget Speech by the Minister on Tuesday, 27 October 2009, sought to reaffirm that we are on track with the implementation of government’s programme of action of doing more and better for the improvement of people’s lives in these trying times of severe economic recession.

In the Free State we are implementing an operation called Operation Hlasela, which is the main thrust of our programme of action for this financial year.

The HOSUE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Chairperson, I rise on a point of order. I want to check if it’s parliamentary for a member of the DA to read a newspaper in the House during a presidential debate.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Right now I can say that it’s very unparliamentary, and I will therefore request the hon member to stop it immediately.

Mr S J MOHAI (Free State): Deputy Chairperson, within the context of the raging community protests, Operation Hlasela has presented itself as an important platform of exchange, communication and liaison with our communities. We now understand the mood and frustration of our people better.

They also get a better idea of what it is that government is doing and the constraints that exist. This operation is helping us, as the government, to get the basics right; for as long as basic services are not rendered to the full potential of government the frustration of our people will deepen.

Operation Hlasela is a clarion call to all our social partners and civil society to collaborate with government to jointly and urgently eliminate duplication and wastage, eradicate poverty, tackle underdevelopment and stimulate our economy to improve the lives of our people. Operation Hlasela is intended to consolidate, and not replace, all existing government programmes to ensure maximum impact.

We are working very hard in the province to develop our provincial economy to create decent work. We are employing measures to mitigate the impact of the current economic recession as well as addressing structural faults in our economy.

At the end of the third quarter, we will report on the progress with regard to the number of job opportunities has have been created, as part of the 50 000 job opportunities announced by our premier during this financial year.

The Harrismith logistical hub remains our high-impact economy project and will be utilised to build a provincial industrial economy. The Bloemfontein- Maseru passenger rail project, which we are pursuing with the national Department of Transport, will go a long way in reviving our economy.

The private sector continues to leverage economic opportunities by increasing investment in the accommodation and retail sectors. In our province hotels and malls are being built at a rate that has not been seen in recent times.

We are resolute in increasing health care, and education and training opportunities. The provincial treasury is working with the provincial department of health to turn the financial situation around so as to increase the efficiency of the supply of medicines and the roll-out of ARVs. Early next year, the province will witness the first reopening of a nursing college, particularly to train auxiliary nurses. [Applause.] In January 2010, we will be handing over 15 school buildings, which are platooning schools.

The Free State government is also looking, with keen interest, at the recent developments at the University of the Free State. It is our belief that institutions win public confidence and trust by way of the extent to which they are transformed. We will play a constructive role in this regard, because we believe that building a truly non-racial South Africa is non-negotiable in our country. [Applause.]

We have major township revitalisation projects in Mangaung, Kroonstad and Harrismith, which will witness the building of houses and restoration of historical sites, upgrading of streets and building of government offices.

We are putting in place measures to ensure that our infrastructure investment of R7,7 billion will help in building the industrial capacity of the provincial economy over a period of three years. We will build a whole value chain in the construction industry to improve contractor capacity to provide quality infrastructure, brick manufacturers and suppliers of building materials.

We will also build other major industries in the province such as mining, agriculture and manufacturing. The declining mining industry has a terribly negative effect on our economy, as it increases unemployment and poverty. Chairperson, as has already been witnessed in our province, we have had a lot of cases of desperation that have led to illegal mining – a situation that we are urgently attending to. We are, therefore, engaging with the national Department of Mining in an exercise aimed at reviving the productive business of mining and the related spin-offs.

Rural development is of strategic importance to us because our province is largely rural. Rural development is a transversal function that has to be performed in collaboration with other government departments, provincial as well as local.

We are in the process of developing a comprehensive rural development strategy for the province. The main tenets of such a strategy will be building social infrastructure, economic infrastructure and public amenity facilities in rural areas, and land reform and agrarian change.

In the province, our focus will be on traditional rural areas such as Qwaqwa and Thaba Nchu, as well as farms that are spread throughout the province, and small rural towns that are concentrated in the Xhariep district particularly. We have R28 million from the province for rural development and R50 million from the national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform allocated to the province. We have already begun work on the following rural development flagship projects which are part of Operation Hlasela, namely the Cornelia Premier flagship project; the Diyatalawa agricultural project, which is a pilot site for comprehensive rural development which is to be launched soon; the agricultural demonstration centre … [Time expired.] Thank you. [Applause.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: May I plead your indulgence? We have a bit of a challenge here, which I want to put to the House with great respect and honour. You know that I always respect you. May I ask the House that those members who have been given 10 minutes reduce their time by two minutes?

The little challenge we have is that the President has another engagement, unfortunately, in Pretoria. He can’t postpone it, and that is the reason I am putting to the House. I am requesting this very nicely so that you can rearrange your speeches. Just two minutes! Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr A G MATILA: Chairperson of the NCOP, President of the Republic, His Excellency Comrade J G Zuma, Chief Whips, Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon premiers, members of Salga, MECs, hon members and ladies and gentlemen, the past few months have seen a spate of violence in township streets throughout South Africa in response to the state’s systematic failure to deliver on long-standing promises of housing and social services. The cause of the discontent and frustration, however, runs much deeper than housing and social services. The poor have felt that they were increasingly being marginalised economically, socially and politically. They felt that the government was seemingly unwilling to listen, let alone act on their concerns. They have increasingly seen protest as the only viable alternative in order to get the attention of the state.

Rates boycotts, alongside other forms of community protests, which were historically linked to the grass-roots struggle of communities against the apartheid government, have once again surfaced as a tactical tool in the ongoing conflict between municipal authorities and their constituencies. The availability of affordable and uninterrupted basic services, huge infrastructure backlogs, problematic political and administrative interference and financial mismanagement have emerged as the main reasons fuelling the protests.

This led the recent State of Local Government Report to conclude that municipalities are in a state of distress. This report makes the following findings: a lack of responsiveness on the part of officials and councillors to issues raised by communities; tensions between the political and administrative sections of the municipalities; ward committees that are not fully functional, leading to poor communication with communities; financial mismanagement and allegations of fraud and corruption; poor planning, maintenance and management of infrastructure, resulting in poor service delivery; and the integrated development plan, IDP, and budgeting processes that are not aligned in some municipalities.

In his address in Khayelitsha on 20 October 2009 to all executive mayors and mayors of all 283 municipalities, the President of the Republic, Jacob Zuma, mentioned the importance of municipalities and their proximity to the community. The President mentioned that municipalities were the first door that our people knocked on when there was a need for assistance from the government. Following his address and the commitment by the ANC to a better working system of local government, an intervention was made in both Tshwane Municipality, by strengthening the executive committee of the metro, and the Lekwa Local Municipality in Mpumalanga, where an administrator was appointed to address issues that led to the intervention.

The picture of municipal service delivery has been inconsistent. It is important to state that the problem is not exclusively a local government problem, as other spheres of government play a fundamental role in our system of intergovernmental relations.

Local government is the coalface of service delivery and, as such, even problems associated with other spheres of government are apportioned to local government. This calls for greater urgency in strengthening integrated and co-ordinated governance machinery. The IDP must be the basis upon which all government plans sit. Local government must be the centre of gravity.

Much has been achieved since 1994 with the provision of basic services to the majority of our people. Major progress has been made with regard to the provision of basic water and sanitation services as access to basic services increased from 59% of the population in 1994, to 94% of the population in March 2007. Households with access to basic sanitation increased from 50% in 1994 to 71% in 2006.

Whatever the situation on the ground, access to basic water supply services improved from 59% in 1994 to more than 80% in 2009, implying that 71% of the backlog has been addressed, which is well ahead of the Millennium Development Goal of halving the backlog by 2015. In fact, reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is the seventh of the Millennium Development Goals.

In terms of sanitation, 4,2 million households do not have access to basic sanitation, although 1,16 million households were serviced from April 2004 to September 2008. This means that access to sanitation has increased from 66% of households in 2004, to 74% of households in 2008. However, the provision of sanitation is characterised by a huge backlog of 3,2 million households that need to be attended to. In order to register significant progress in this area, it is noteworthy that there are currently 8 315 households in informal settlements, mainly in the Free State province, that are still using the bucket system as a form of sanitation. Although the number of households using buckets in the informal settlement sector is not known, the considered number of households in these areas would mean that an unacceptably high number of households using buckets could be found in these informal settlements. What is apparent is that there are growing expectations among the communities in informal settlements that the bucket system in these areas will also be removed, as is being done in formal or established settlements. Thus the expansion of sanitation services to the unserviced population is slow.

The historical mission of the ANC has always been, and continues to be, the creation of a united nonracial, nonsexist and democratic society. This then means that our central task, as a liberation movement, is the liberation of Africans in particular, and black people in general, from political and economic bondage. This means uplifting the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor and the marginalised. This classification then forms the largest part of the character of the national democratic revolution.

The demise of apartheid in 1994 left South Africa with an indelible social and economic legacy of the abhorrent system of apartheid. Virtually every social indicator portrayed the extreme inequalities of racial division, underdevelopment, poverty and unemployment.

After the country’s first democratic election on 27 April 1994, the new, democratic government identified the local government sphere as critical in rebuilding local communities and redressing the legacy of apartheid underdevelopment, as the basis for a democratic, integrated, prosperous and truly nonracial society. Due to closer location to the people … [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr D V BLOEM: Chairperson, thank you very much. [Interjections.]


Mr D V BLOEM: Chairperson, you can see everybody is screaming. I don’t know why they are getting excited, but I want to understand: Is it two minutes or four minutes, Chairperson?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You’ve got four minutes.

Mr D V BLOEM: Chairperson, hon President, premiers and all members present here, our debate is about finding solutions together to achieve a better quality of life for all. Mr President, I want to say here, openly and boldly, that you have my support, as well as the support of my party on this one. [Applause.]

Our history reserves a very high place for our many heroes who fought and died to liberate us. Today it is not government itself that is oppressing the people. Sadly, and in many cases today, it is many of the cadres who were appointed to high places who are doing so. They seek personal riches. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

President, the solution is very simple: Let all offenders, without dilly- dallying, face the full might of the law. [Interjections.] The President must ensure that this government makes an example of those who refuse to work sincerely, honestly and in the interests of the people. Achieving the goal of a better quality of life for all can only come about through weeding out those who do not belong in government or the Public Service.

Chairperson, it is very disheartening to see how many of our trusted leaders with struggle credentials, who now occupy very senior positions, are abusing their offices and positions. [Interjections.]

Let me illustrate what I mean by referring to the fiasco that is playing out in the municipality of Setsoto in the Free State. There, the mayor and the council unanimously suspended the municipal manager for alleged corrupt activities and an inability to perform. Just as the suspension letter was about to be served on the municipal manager, the ANC regional secretary intervened on the basis that the municipal manager was appointed by the ANC and only the ANC could remove him from his position.

I don’t think that you, Mr President, will agree with that. [Interjections.] I humbly request the President to investigate these allegations, because they go to the heart of what is ailing governance in our country today. Especially at the level of local government, there are too many political bosses. If we are serious about achieving our goal of a better life for all, we cannot allow such things to happen. That is just one example. [Interjections.]

Let me, therefore, come to the solution. True freedom fighters remain true to the cause. They do not compromise themselves; they do not become corrupt; and they never let the people down. They would rather lay down their lives.

Chairperson, there are many who go around disguised as true comrades, but they are tsotsis [criminals] and thugs. [Applause.] Let us desist from cover-ups. A true freedom fighter will never be corrupt. One cannot call these thugs comrades. They are thugs. They are selfish and cruel; they are killing the dream of a better life for all. We are sitting with these problems, especially in local government, where there are fires burning in almost all the towns. [Interjections.] One of the reasons is the incompetent people we are appointing to positions. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Just withdraw the word “thugs”, please. It is unparliamentary.

Mr D V BLOEM: Chairperson, let me call them crooks. They are not thugs; they are crooks.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I will still check that one. Your time has expired.

Mr D V BLOEM: Yes, the “crooks” one. Thank you very much.

The PREMIER OF THE WESTERN CAPE (Ms H Zille): Chairperson, premiers, Mr President, delegates, we welcome today’s engagement with the hon President. Co-operative governance is a constitutional principle to which the Western Cape province is fully committed.

As the President says, the Constitution spells out exactly what co- operative governance means. The NCOP, therefore, is the correct forum in which we can iron out differences that get in the way of these constitutional principles, and in this regard, Mr Chair, I have a few matters to raise with the President through you.

In the past month we’ve seen both the provincial government and the City of Cape Town being selectively targeted and harassed by the Minister for Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs over untested allegations of water cut-offs. Now, the President made much of the name of this Ministry, “Co-operative Governance”, and he said it was not a cosmetic name change. Well, I don’t know whether it is an ironic name change or hypocritical, because the Minister even threatened to strip the City of Cape Town and the provincial government of their powers over these untested allegations.

Subsequently we have received sworn affidavits from residents of Mitchells Plain that ANC activists had asked them to cut off their own water at the stop-cock, before the Minister’s visit, as a deliberate political ploy to make it seem as though their water had been cut off, when this was not true.

The City of Cape Town does not cut off water. In the most extreme circumstances, when people have failed to respond to overdue bills for months and months, they may be put on the trickle system. But it is very easy for poor people to prevent this, even if they are seriously in arrears, by ensuring that they are placed on the City’s indigency database.

The City then supplies a free water management device that ensures 450 free litres of water per day, which is the most generous allocation in the country, and fixes people’s leaks for free. This has been an enormous success. Which other city offers this kind of service, including an efficient SMS hotline to report any water problems? In fact, the Western Cape has more homes with access to water than any other province - 91%; and more homes with electricity - 94%.

Another irony is that the vast majority of the DA-led municipalities are in the 58 top performing South African municipalities, according to the Minister’s own Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs database.

That Minister’s own database says we are all in the top 58, and yet he still wants to strip us of our powers! What kind of hypocrisy is the name of that department then? But the same Minister continues to target Cape Town to score party-political points, which is illegal and unconstitutional.

In fact, I have a whole list here, which I’m going to have to cut to save time, of examples of ANC cities and ANC provinces that the Minister should be investigating.

There are babies dying in hospitals and people dying in villages, all because of contaminated water; thousands and thousands of people, with just four water points. Why is the Minister not investigating these? The answer is that these things are happening in ANC-led provinces and that is why they’re being covered up and the DA is being selectively targeted.

That is what’s going on, and now the Minister is going to abuse Parliament as a public kangaroo court against Cape Town, backed up by his SMS campaign, calling on residents to give evidence to a so-called investigation of the City of Cape Town. This is a very transparent ploy and will come back to bite the Minister and his party.

This is the second time this year that the national government has selectively targeted Cape Town. Earlier this year, in the run-up to the general elections, the City of Cape Town was harassed about the new water management devices it is installing across the metro, including in our own homes. [Interjections.]

Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chair, I was asking if the premier would take a question.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Would you take a question, premier?

The PREMIER OF THE WESTERN CAPE (Ms H Zille): No, I won’t. I don’t have any time to take a question, thank you. This is trying to waste my time.

These devices help residents to manage their consumption and their costs and to save water. The portfolio committee found no evidence of deliberate water cuts and the City’s report showed that it offers more free water than any other city in South Africa. It also found that eThekwini, Tshwane and other ANC-run municipalities have also installed these water management devices, and the ANC-run Metro City of Johannesburg has spent the past few years in court, defending its plan to install prepaid water meters. These are prepaid meters, which ours are not.

So why is the Minister picking on the Western Cape? And why is he picking on Cape Town and saying nothing about the others? This exposes the ANC’s agenda once again – to abuse the state for party-political purposes, which is unconstitutional.

We will not hesitate to begin intergovernmental relations procedures, and take this matter to the Constitutional Court, if necessary. We did so before, over the Erasmus commission, and we won, and we will do so again.

On a more positive note, this week we will be submitting a schedule to the President of national laws that are creating unnecessary red tape for provincial and local government, following an invitation that the hon President gave to me on 13 August this year.

We have done this in the interests of streamlining service delivery across the three spheres of government and have included a schedule on red tape affecting municipalities, drawn up after consultation with all 30 municipalities in this province.

The list of laws affecting provincial government is based on inputs from each of our provincial departments, and there are over 75 suggested amendments in total. These include calls for national planning legislation to be simplified so as to avoid excessive delays with crucial infrastructure projects like housing and basic services, especially electricity and roads. In some cases, up to four different laws require four different public participation processes for one project, creating huge delays to delivery, and we will submit this to you, Mr President.

We are also calling for legislation to give greater clarity on the respective roles and responsibilities of national, provincial and local government spheres, as set out in Schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution. The current situation leaves uncertainty, which affects funding allocations and implementation, and often leaves local or provincial governments with unfunded mandates, which none of us want.

This is particularly important in respect of the new transportation legislation that is being phased in at the national level. We have also raised the question of rights and responsibilities regarding ports controlled by Transnet, but which are not always run in a manner that benefits regional economies and communities.

We have also put forward a range of other proposals to close loopholes that allow for corruption and maladministration. There are many others and I would be happy to share the full submission with my fellow premiers, also for their added input. I think we can really benefit from co-operative governance, if we remove all the red tape and get on with service delivery.

I would like to thank the President for agreeing to follow up on these critically important submissions at our recent meeting. This has the potential to fine-tune the legislative framework in which we operate and improve intergovernmental co-operation and outcomes, and not play games with these concepts. It is one of the best ways we can work towards a better quality of life for all our people. Thank you very much.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, order! Just two announcements quickly. Order, hon member! Any speaker who addresses the House, can you please do so through the Chair. That’s procedural in any House.

To the people in the gallery, remember you are not allowed to participate in what we are doing; just watch and be quiet up there.

Mr T W MCHUNU (KwaZulu-Natal): Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, His Excellency the President of the Republic, premiers, representatives from Salga, honourable visitors from Nigeria, as well as all members of the NCOP, good afternoon.

I stand here before this august House with a sense of pride in being part of this country, with its strong institutions of democracy, with the NCOP being a very good example of that.

I am even more grateful that, despite years of oppression, the ruling party, which has been at the forefront of political liberation, produced leaders who are committed to working collectively with leaders from all political parties for the common good of South Africa. Our President is a shining example of this quality of leadership.

The theme of today, “Together finding solutions to achieving the goal of a better quality of life for all”, articulates our quest to place this country on a path to sustainable socioeconomic development.

I am emphasising the need for collaboration. I especially wish to reflect on a matter which I consider extremely important in finding solutions to our problems. I am referring here to the culture of dialogue.

Dialogue and constructive engagement have become the defining characteristics of our politics in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature. Since his inauguration as premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize has made it his priority to always promote peaceful co-operation and coexistence among the different parties within the legislature and government.

This, in particular, was clearly evident in the atmosphere and the general spirit under which the Budget Votes were presented and debated. They were characterised by mutual respect and friendship. Differences in party- political preferences were clearly articulated, without any form of pettiness, hatred or bitterness.

As members of the ANC, which is the majority party, we have resolved to debate issues using an approach that advances the interests of the electorate, rather than those of individuals. We have realised that personal bitterness and grudges are all destructive forces that should be eliminated. They will only distract us from discussing the implementation of future plans that should benefit our electorate.

Because we know that a lot is expected from this term of government, we believe we cannot afford to waste time and energy on unproductive activities. Therefore, in my view, today’s sitting provides a good opportunity for members to reflect on issues of coexistence and a collective approach to finding solutions to our challenges, as opposed to the confrontation and conflict that we have just seen in this House. Legislators have the responsibility to protect the rights of citizens. They have the responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, using the Constitution, obviously, as their guide.

The Constitution is the foundation of our laws and policies in this country. It sets out very clear principles, including those of fairness and human dignity, upon which our country is run. It also protects the fundamental rights of all South Africans.

The Constitution, however, will have no meaning to ordinary members of our communities if there is not peaceful coexistence among the leaders of political parties of our country. Likewise, our programmes as government must be informed by our Constitution at all times. For instance, with regard to people’s health, the Constitution guarantees many rights: everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing; everyone has the right to have access to health care services; and every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services.

Hon members, it is for these reasons that on 9 October we convened a conference of leaders of KwaZulu-Natal to discuss solutions and to form a partnership to fight the scourge of TB, HIV and Aids. This combination is responsible for the high mortality rates in our province as they coexist in about 70% of instances. We invited leaders from all the political parties - provincial as well as local government - traditional leaders, religious leaders and other leaders of civil society to plan and agree on the way forward to turn this around. Such a day arose from the realisation that the fight against HIV and Aids cannot be won by government alone, or on behalf of the society. This realisation led us to believe that we have to mobilise a broad front, in order to defeat the pandemic.

In his address that day, and in his capacity as chairperson of the provincial Aids council, Dr Zweli Mkhize emphasised that the challenge of HIV and Aids is the fact that the pandemic is embedded deeply in the conditions of poverty in which most of our people live. Similarly, its transmission is fuelled by psychosocial and economic dynamics that define our daily lives.

It is the ignorance, the negative attitudes and the prejudices of our people on which the pandemic thrives. It is also evident that a successful fight depends on a very strong and focused leadership to champion the cause of positive living.

It is incumbent upon the contemporary generation of South Africans to act, and act decisively, to turn the tide against this pandemic. This means that the challenge is for you and me to stand up and be counted. The number of people dying in this pandemic is very high. The quiet, slow and lonely death of those who succumb must not distract us from the reality that the course of the pandemic can only be turned by united action from us.

Hon members, we effectively declared war against this pandemic on 9 October. We declared war against poverty, tuberculosis, HIV and Aids. We said for this war to succeed, it has to be a people’s war.

In conclusion, we are also fully aware that the goal of a better life for all cannot be achieved if our communities are still being terrorised by criminals. The programme for the fight against crime requires a collective approach, similar to the approach we have adopted in the fight against HIV and TB.

The provincial government has formulated a holistic package of strategies and programmes which are all aimed at dealing with this scourge. These include the following: a closer monitoring of the SAPS; the monitoring and evaluation of attacks on SAPS members themselves; focusing on access to police stations by members of the community; facilitating dialogue for the resolution of disputes and promoting good relations between farmers and farmworkers; capacitating traditional leadership in the fight against crime; and continuous engagement with communities to reward deserving members of the SA Police Service for service excellence and recognition in order to promote confidence. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J J GUNDA: Chair, hon President, and all protocol observed, in his state of the nation address the President pledged to work closely with nongoverning political parties and he also called on our nation to cut its coat according to its cloth.

Yet, in the current economic recession we still find Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other senior officials spending millions on coats that appear to be much bigger than the cloth according to which the President asked us to cut our coats.

Hon President, you also promised the monitoring and evaluation of the performance of your Cabinet Ministers and their spending. In the past few months we have read in the newspapers about public servants spending millions on lavish lifestyles, living large during a time of tremendous hardship for our people.

It is time for Parliament, rather than the Cabinet, to review the ministerial handbook. Over half of our people regularly go to sleep with empty stomachs. Is it morally right for public servants, who are supposed to set an example to the poor and to encourage ordinary South Africans and taxpayers that we will achieve – in the words of the ANC - a better life for all, to instead spend our money as if it did not come from the hard work and sweat of our people?

Hon President, when will you deliver the first monitoring and evaluation report that you promised?

Agb President, laat my toe om die volgende te vra: Wanneer sal ons mense die vrugte van hul harde arbeid pluk en hoe lank moet hulle nog aan beloftes vasklou?

Hoe kan kinders wat hierdie hele jaar nog nie deelgeneem het aan interskole- atletiek of-sport nie, droom van ’n kwaliteitlewe wat sal realiseer, terwyl hulle ontneem word van ’n basiese reg om aan sport deel te neem? Dit gebeur, byvoorbeeld, by die Rietfontein Gekombineerde Hoërskool in die Noord-Kaap.

Die regering moet daarna streef om ons mense se lewensgehalte te verbeter. Om vir hulle ’n toekoms te kan gee, is dit uiters belangrik om te weet dat ons mense se lewensgehalte verbeter moet word en nie net lewenstandaarde nie. Wanneer gaan die Noord-Kaap se universiteit tot stand kom? Is dit in die beplanningsfase, want dit kan baie van ons mense se lewensgehalte verbeter? Die Noord-Kaap het baie minerale, maar die Noord-Kaap se mense lewe in armoede. Hoe verduidelik ons dit?

Hoe verduidelik ons dat die meeste mense van Suid-Afrika nie kan bekostig om ’n historiese plek soos Robbeneiland te besoek nie, omdat dit te duur vir hulle is? Wanneer gaan ons, as Suid-Afrikaners en hierdie regering, plek maak vir die armstes van die armes om die historiese plekke van hierdie land te kan besoek, sodat hulle kan sien wat dit gekos het om hulle hierdie vryheid te kan gee?

Baie van ons kinders was nog nie eens op Robbeneiland nie, omdat baie mense dit nie kan bekostig nie. Dit is ’n probleem. Daarom wil ek sê dat ek hoop en vertrou dat die dinge sal regkom. Baie dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Hon President, allow me to ask the following: When will our people reap the rewards of their hard labour, and for how long still should they continue to hold on to promises?

How can children, who have not taken part in any interschool athletics or sport for this entire year, even dream of realising a certain quality of life, while they are being deprived of the basic right to participate in sport? This is happening, for example, at the Rietfontein Combined School in the Northern Cape.

The government should endeavour to improve the quality of life of our people. To grant them a future, it is of the utmost importance to realise that it is not just the standard of living, but also the quality of life of our people that needs to be improved. When will the Northern Cape’s university come into existence? Is it in the planning stage, because it can improve the quality of life of so many of our people? The Northern Cape is rich in minerals, but the people of the Northern Cape live in poverty. How does one explain this?

How do we explain that the majority of the people of South Africa cannot afford to visit a historical place such as Robben Island, because it is too expensive for them? When are we, as South Africans and this government, going to make it possible for the poorest of the poor to visit the historical sites in this country, so that they can see that sacrifices were made for them to have this freedom?

Many of our children haven’t even been to Robben Island yet, because many people cannot afford it. This is a problem. Therefore, I would like to say that I hope and trust that these things will turn out all right. Thank you. [Applause.]]

The PREMIER OF LIMPOPO (Mr C C Mathale): Chairperson, the President of the Republic, His Excellency J G Zuma, premiers and MECs, hon members of the NCOP, representatives from Salga and our guests from Nigeria, as the Limpopo province we are working to create a lasting establishment that is capable of improving the living standards of our people.

The provision of basic necessities forms the cornerstone of our priorities within the context of co-operative governance, as outlined by the theme of this gathering. We have set special priority projects for the next five years, which will assist in accelerating service provision to the people.

We wish to indicate that, as a province, we are on course in making our contribution to the commitment made by the President to create 500 000 job opportunities by the end of this financial year. Of that, we must make a contribution of 13%. We wish to indicate that, at the moment, we have already established over 16 000 jobs in that regard. We are guided to do this because of our understanding that our province is part of the integral system of the South African governance system.

We have, of course, identified major areas that can contribute towards job creation around mining and tourism. In this regard, we are promoting investment in tourism that can contribute towards job creation.

Limpopo is advantageously located between some of the SADC countries. We have an accord on tourism with Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in the north, and in the northeast we have an accord with the great Limpopo icon - the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park - which passes through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. This initiative is a great opportunity for the province to expand in the field of tourism and parks.

With regard to the strengthening of our skills and resource base, we have come to the conclusion that there is a need to establish technical schools in the province. These schools will ensure that people are given life skills that will assist them to respond to the challenges we are faced with today.

We have just returned from the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy Summit, to assess the impact of the global economic meltdown on our growth and to discover new frontiers in the battle for a better life for all. The summit resolved to build an economy that is inclusive and able to concretely better the living conditions of our people.

We are currently increasing the number of clinics providing a 24-hour service from 74% to 86%. Antiretroviral treatment sites increased from 47 in the 2007-08 financial year to 64 in the 2008-09 financial year.

The number of patients receiving ARVs was standing at 43 000 as of March this year. We have witnessed an encouraging decline in HIV infections amongst women attending antenatal clinics at public institutions. As a province, we are not immune to the challenges of a shortage in qualified health care officials and of medicine in certain instances.

We are also engaged with the hospital revitalisation programme, where we have concluded construction of two hospitals and are currently refurbishing eight of the identified hospitals. We have completed the building of 20 clinics and are planning to build 14 more.

We wish to indicate that we appreciate the fact that the President has declared one of our areas, Muyexe, as a pilot project for rural development. However, we wish to indicate to the House that the issue of rural development is not just starting now with Muyexe. We had a project in Ga-Kgatla village in Blouberg Municipality, where we turned the situation around in terms of ensuring that this community in the remotest part of the province, that did not have water and electricity, today, as we speak, has water and electricity.

In terms of the provision of electricity to households, we are currently standing at 78% and our aim is to increase the provision of basic necessities to our people, because we understand very well that the provision of electricity and water is central to the development of our own communities.

Agriculture is the third largest employer in the province, accounting for 11% of the labour force. Unfortunately, this sector is at risk of being on a downward trend due to the recession, the shortage of water and the impediment caused by unresolved land claims in the province.

The issue of food security is directly connected to agriculture. In order to boost food security, we will be extending our support to farmers through, among other things, irrigation infrastructure development. Already, 216 farmers are benefiting from the programme for the Revitalisation of Smallholder Irrigation Schemes, Resis, and the number will be increased to cover 423 farmers.

In partnership with the private sector, much attention is devoted to the agenda of stimulating our rural towns. We are relocating and busy building most of our district municipal offices and departmental district offices in these towns. We wish to indicate that we will be relocating the district offices of Sekhukhune to Jane Furse. The plans in this regard are at an advanced stage and we believe this will contribute towards developing those communities round Jane Furse.

Although Limpopo is rated as one of the safest provinces in the country, efforts to fight crime and corruption are not relaxed. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that our communities are free from any form of criminal activity.

It is clear that we cannot tolerate corruption or maladministration. We are proud to report that 8 of our 11 departments managed to receive unqualified audit reports in the 2008-09 audit opinion given by the Auditor-General. We are working at capacitating our municipalities to enable them to acquire clean audit reports by 2014.

This brief picture represents the state of affairs in the province. It is important to note that our efforts to improve the living conditions of the people can neither be deferred nor delayed. Together, we can do more. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mokhanselara P KGOSIENG (Salga): Modulasetulo wa Khansele ya Bosetšhaba ya Diporofense Rre Mahlangu, Moporesitdente Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, Motlatsam-Modulasetulo wa Khansele ya Bosetšhaba ya Diporofense Mme Thandi Memela, maloko a a tlotlegang … (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[Cllr P KGOSIENG (Salga): Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr Mahlangu; President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma; Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ms Thandi Memela; hon members …]

… our continental guests from Nigeria, distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman, allow me to convey the most profound apology from the Salga national chairperson for his inability to attend this sitting. He is abroad at the moment and has requested me to convey his greetings to the President and to the members of this august House.

It is indeed an honour and a privilege to address this sitting a month before we complete a full decade of democratic developmental local government since 5 December 2000.

The President, in his recent address to the mayors and municipal managers in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, adequately and aptly captured the current local government situation. He indicated that discussions about service delivery take place against the backdrop of the impact of the global economic crisis which is depleting the resources of municipalities. Secondly, he noted that many municipalities face serious governance challenges due to internal political power struggles and, thirdly, that there is a glaring need to strengthen the basic administrative systems and institutional capacity of many municipalities.

Please allow me to restate the point that, as we’ve gathered on this important occasion, we are under no illusion that local government faces many challenges. However, we remain optimistic. We know that we can do more, whatever the challenges that we are faced with: ongoing urbanisation and migration, the need to grow our economy and create jobs, the extensive service delivery needs, the negative impacts of the globalising world and the many complexities that we have to grapple with on a day-to-day basis in rural and urban, big and small municipalities.

Whilst we remain painfully aware of our shortcomings, we also know that amongst us resides a wealth of accumulated good practices and experience. We need to continually and carefully identify these, not merely to copy what others do, but to seek to adapt it to the specific local municipal reality. It is regrettable that not much work is being done in this direction.

One of the key developments in the current period has been the mushrooming of the so-called community service delivery protests. Reports suggest that just over 13% of the major service delivery protests recorded since 2004 took place within the first six months of this year. Already the figures show that service delivery protests have exceeded those of 2007 and 2008 and have reached 69 in October 2009, overshooting the peak of 35 recorded in 2005.

From reading these reports, one can make the following observations: the protests seem to be shifting away from the metro areas; there is a significant rise in protests in the North West; Gauteng accounts for 30% of protests overall, followed by the North West at 17%; and, interestingly, the Free State seems to have dropped from accounting for 25% of all protests to accounting for about 16%.

Some of the issues raised by protesters include the apparent dissatisfaction and disgruntlement with the administration and management of municipalities; the vexed cross-boundary processes; the service delivery challenges; intrapolitical party conflicts; greed and crass materialism; and general perceptions of corruption.

Whatever views we may hold of those who have initiated and/or led these protests, their motives or the issues they raise, we cannot run away from the fact that the conditions in which our people live require efforts aimed at improving their quality of life and the elimination of poverty.

There is a clear need to keep our eye on the ball – this being to address issues of poverty and development, and to avoid being distracted and losing focus.

There is a body of evidence which suggests that local government tends to communicate less with communities compared to provincial and national government. We, as local government, need to seriously consider building adequate communication capacity or related basic infrastructure to address this problem. This may include the sharing of centrally located communication resources amongst a cluster of municipalities.

On the question of protests, what is particularly worrying is the fact that some of these have turned violent and anarchic. The President has spoken quite clearly on this matter. We should remain unequivocal in condemning all acts of violence. Whilst protests and similar activities are allowed in our democracy, these remain legitimate only if they are carried out within the framework of the Constitution and the relevant legislation. Our voice will become even louder if it is reinforced by all our political parties and organisations of civil society.

Of further concern is the fact that an assessment conducted by Salga also indicates an increase in the implementation of section 106 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act and section 139 of the Constitution.

The information at our disposal seems to suggest that there are at least 11 municipalities under section 139 intervention; there is inconsistency on the part of provinces about consulting or even informing Salga when they intervene; in many cases municipalities only consult Salga when an intervention is pending, and sometimes after the fact; the NCOP, when faced with these interventions, for whatever reason, has been unable to ensure consultation with Salga or other relevant institutions; and outcomes of court actions challenging the interventions suggest that provincial governments are failing to follow proper procedures when implementing the above-mentioned.

The PREMIER OF GAUTENG (Ms N Mokonyane): Chairperson of the NCOP, hon President of the Republic of South Africa, respected members of the House, distinguished guests, comrades and friends, dumelang [I greet you].

I stand before you coming from a province that is fully committed to the spirit and letter of our Constitution, as opposed to selectively embracing our Constitution. [Interjections.] I stand before you, coming from a province that has a leadership of capable men and women who constitute its executive council. The leadership capacity of both men and women has been created and demonstrated by the ruling party and has affirmed that both men and women have the ability to lead and govern. [Applause.]

I stand before you, leading the delegation of the Gauteng province. I have not come here to represent the interests of the ANC, because I believe that there are capable members of the ANC in the National Assembly. [Interjections.] Here today, we have different representatives representing provincial interests. I call upon all my colleagues, including the colleague who has just left this House, to appreciate the need for taking our responsibilities quite seriously.

We are here to represent the interests of the people of our provinces and, I dare say, it is quite scandalous that even when you have your own deployees in the NCOP and the NA, you will want to steal the thunder and be the representative of the party. Remember your responsibility.

On behalf of the people of Gauteng, we would like to extend our gratitude for being provided with the opportunity to address this House. We gather here today only a few days after the hon Minister of Finance tabled the 2010 MTEF. We, too, like many in the country and abroad, take our hats off to the Minister and applaud him for delivering a pragmatic Budget under very trying conditions.

We believe that the belt-tightening measures announced by the Minister will only serve to drive us, as humble servants of the people, to be more prudent, more efficient and more accountable with the public purse. As they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining. We believe that the global economic recession has necessitated that we become a more effective government and do more with the little that we have.

As the Gauteng Provincial Government, we have made it abundantly clear that we will take to heart the lessons of efficiency, accountability and good governance that the recession has taught us.

We will inculcate those lessons into the culture and way of life of our public servants, as well as ours, the elected representatives. In that light, we have committed ourselves to ensuring that, throughout the Gauteng Provincial Government, our efforts are geared to the realisation of our strategic priorities as contained in the ANC’s election manifesto which we have adopted as the government’s provincial programme.

A few weeks ago, we joined hands with the German automotive manufacturer BMW in Johannesburg when it announced an investment of more than R2 billion in its Rosslyn production plant. The move, as we said then, is a massive vote of confidence by the automotive manufacturer in our province, especially as it takes place during such tough economic times and even before the Automotive Production and Development Programme is finalised.

The investment fits like a glove our goal of creating decent work for our people. What is clear is that the quality of work for the almost 40 000 or so BMW South Africa workers will certainly improve because of the skilling and reskilling interventions that BMW, working together with the department of economic development in Gauteng, will introduce.

We are quite aware that this significant investment would not have taken place if all three spheres of government did not pull together in one direction. And again, because we are a province that embraces the Constitution in its entirety, we did not see this as interference by the central government; instead we saw this as another way of complementing the capacity and potential that provincial government has. Through this investment, we believe that we are all harnessing the economic development of the City of Tshwane.

Therefore, we are not the ones who need to be told or taught about what our Constitution strives to do. We sacrificed; we died; we went to jail; and others never returned from exile precisely because of the aspirations we held. Those aspirations are now enshrined in our Constitution. No one knows that better than those of us who are in the ranks of the ANC. [Applause.]

We believe that this investment embodies what the hon Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe, meant when he said, and I quote:

The achievement of the Government Programme of Action goals assumes exactly that our efforts are well co-ordinated across the three spheres of government, consciously driven by common imperatives.

We are also exploring ways in which the provincial government, in conjunction with the National Youth Development Agency and municipalities, can empower our youth with employable skills. That is why, in our state of the province address earlier this year, we called for a closer inspection of how our Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, is rolled out. We believe that if young mothers, those who are recipients of child support grants or other government social assistance were given opportunities to get employable skills, they would be in a position to break the sad and vicious cycle of dependency on the government much sooner. In the light of that, more funds will be freed up for the government to embark on other service delivery programmes.

In our endeavour to provide better health care for all in the province, numerous challenges were identified. We had to hit the ground running in developing a turnaround strategy to deal with inefficiencies and shortages in our local clinics and hospitals, including the iconic Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. We are glad to say that we have since put measures in place to ensure that tragedies such as the lack of medicines when people visit our hospitals do not ever take place again in Gauteng.

Through the Gauteng department of health’s Operation Kuyasheshwa-la we have managed to stabilise the situation and bolster measures to make sure that suppliers are paid timeously. We have also put in place a team to assist hospitals to deal with the crisis.

Our efforts to build a cohesive and sustainable community have recently been recognised by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN- Habitat. This, after the Gauteng department of local government and housing received the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour in recognition of its flagship programme of urban revitalisation, the Alexandra Renewal Project. The Alexandra Renewal Project was born in 2001 as an urban regeneration project that aimed to bring social, economic, physical and institutional developments to the historic township.

The UN-Habitat said that many commendable candidates were considered for the award. It felt, however, that the Alexandra Renewal Project should receive the award this year for its outstanding efforts in upgrading the housing, social and physical infrastructure of the Alexandra neighbourhood, as well as improving the living conditions for its residents. Indeed, Alexandra shall never be the same again! [Applause.]

The latest Auditor-General’s report identified the many challenges that Gauteng departments and entities face in accounting for public funds used. We have already stated our unhappiness that some officials have allegedly ignored the Public Finance Management Act regulations. And recently … [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Qedela lowo musho. [Complete that sentence.]

The PREMIER OF GAUTENG (Ms N Mokonyane): In conclusion, we are convinced that by working together, in an integrated manner, at all levels and spheres of government, we can achieve more. We are determined that, indeed, the NCOP shall be used as a platform to represent the aspirations of the people of Gauteng, and not party politics. I thank you. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Chairperson, hon President, premiers, special delegates, it is quite interesting - and one cannot just continue with this debate without reflecting on this – that, unfortunately, the hon Watson has become a very active member of the ANC today.

When he so emphatically argues against cadre deployment of the ANC, perhaps it is important for us to ask the hon Watson a question, because very senior members of the DA, such as their excellencies Sandra Botha, Sheila Camerer, Tony Leon and Douglas Gibson have been deployed by the ANC, the President and the government to very senior positions.

Perhaps it is important that the DA tells us if they are against that kind of deployment or whether the President should consider the recall of those deployed cadres of the DA.

The second issue is that it is quite interesting to find that, while the Cape Town City Council was under the leadership of the hon Premier Helen Zille, they encountered so many problems. Even today we are still struggling to find the exact amount that is required for the rapid transit system - or should we smell a rat with this kind of calculation that comes with the history of the time when the hon member was the mayor of the city?

The strategy and tactics of the ANC, of course, command us to create a nonracial, nonsexist and democratic South Africa and central to that is the liberation of our people from economic bondage.

We take into account the strategies initiated by government to create an environment for jobs and business opportunities, but we also acknowledge that there are serious challenges that need to be addressed.

Government recognises that some citizens will continue to require state and social assistance. As of 31 March 2009, more than 13 million people received social grants, of whom more than 8 million were children. This is a very important matter which we have to look at.

The environment must be cultivated to allow for these initiatives to unfold. State-owned enterprises, for instance, and development finance institutions have to play an integral role in achieving the goal of a better life for all our people. Hon Chairperson and Mr President, these institutions must have a clear and concise developmental mandate, without there being any confusion. They need to change their corporatisation and BEE approach, which does not assist the objective of government to fight poverty, but instead enriches a few.

The ANC has been clear on its position, which is shared by many who value the principles of ubuntu, that everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. All citizens, without any discrimination, have the right to equal pay for equal work. Everyone who is employed has the right to just and favourable remuneration, ensuring themselves and their family an existence worthy of human dignity, supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

This is why the NCOP, through its committees and programmes, such as Taking Parliament to the People, reiterates its position that mines, for example, cannot be seen to violate the rights of workers and their families by subjecting them to pathetic working conditions and the practices of labour brokers. These are practices that are not consistent with our principle objective of building a better life for all and of creating a caring society.

We are aware of government’s commitment to ensuring that a comprehensive package of measures is introduced to promote beneficiation programmes, particularly in mining areas, that will ensure that the natural wealth of the country is shared and developed locally, thus accelerating the creation of decent work opportunities in the manufacturing and services industries or sectors.

As part of doing some of these things differently, the ANC calls on some of these companies to change their approach to beneficiation. We think that this is a very important matter that we should argue for.

In the main, their beneficiation programmes take the form of building poor quality roads and a clinic, and then leaving with the natural resources which have been extracted from that particular area. We say that central to the beneficiation programmes there should be the building of human settlements and the building of local economies through the transfer of skills and resources for the benefit of the local people.

In actual fact, it is of critical importance for us to understand and accept that the notion of fighting corruption did not just start anywhere, but was started by the ANC through its resolutions. The ANC made it a point that that particular resolution, of fighting corruption, finds expression through those government institutions that are geared towards fighting corruption.

Unfortunately, it is interesting that as we argue against this particular issue of corruption, our focus tends to be very limited, and that limitation is about the state and local municipalities. We don’t speak about the private sector or the white-collar crime that is taking place. For instance, if today we spoke about price-fixing, the media, and also the opposition parties, won’t see it as corruption, but as price-fixing when, in actual fact, at the heart of it, it is the worst form of corruption and one would have expected other political parties to speak out against it.

After all, if you fix the price of bread, you are denying the poor access to basic food and denying children the opportunity of going to school with something in their stomachs. If you engage in price-fixing of bread, you are actually denying emerging farmers the opportunity to ply their trade in a fair environment.

Right now there is a lot of hype against the implementation of the national health insurance scheme. This is not corruption, because the ANC is fighting for health to be accessible to all the people, including the poor. But who are the people who are against that? It is the very same DA that knows so much about corruption, but only when it comes to local government and processes of that nature. [Applause.]

It is for this reason that the ANC is going to step up its institutions, capacity and vigour to ensure that it fights corruption. To us, corruption involves stealing from the poor; corruption is about preventing the poor from having access to services. That is why the ANC will continue to fight and expose corruption and ensure that a better life is created for all our people. Thank you. [Applause.]

UMntwana M M M ZULU: Sihlalo baba uMahlangu, Phini likaSihlalo lakuleNdlu mama uMemela, Msholozi, nabahlonishwa oNgqongqoshe bezifundazwe, oNdunankulu abakhona bezifundazwe zosishiyagalolunye. Isiqubulo sanamhlanje sithi, ‘Kufuneka kubekhona ukuhlanganiswa kwezandla, ukuze sikwazi ukuba nempilo engcono, singabantu abamnyama kuleli izwe’.

Ngithi kuwe Msholozi njengomzukulu kaMaphumuzana, kunezinto ezinzinyana engithi mhlawumbe ungene kulesi sikhundla mhlawumbe izembe lishisa ngoba umnotho wezwe ungemuhle kahle. Abantu abaswele umsebenzi babalelwa ku 40% njengoba nawe ukushilo lokhu kwinkulumo yakho ukhuluma nesizwe sonke saseNingizimu ne-Afrika, ukuthi kumele kwenziwe okuthile ukuze bonke abantu bathole imisebenzi ngoba uyazi ukuthi uma ulambile awukwazi ukuthi uphume Msholozi uhambe ume ngaphandle, nokuguqa nangamadolo endlini ebusuku wenze abantu awukwazi uma ulambile.

Msholozi ngithe-ke ezintweni eziningi kukhona lapho kufuneka sibhekisise khona ukuthi laba ohulumeni basekhaya baseduze kwabantu bakithi noma basezinhlizweni zabantu bakithi. Laba ohulumeni basekhaya kufuneka kubhekelelwe uma ngabe iMinyango yezifundazwe ingenelela. Kufuneka ingenelele ngendlela yokwakha. Ngoba izimali zisuke zingadliwa amakhansela kwesinye isikhathi, lezo zimali zisuke zidliwa ngabasebenzi eMinyangweni. Uma kungenelelwa amakhansela abe eseyeka ukuqhuba umsebenzi ngoba iMinyango isingenelele. Kuye kube lukhuni ukuthi kutholakale izinsiza ukuthi iminyango isuke ezindaweni, isibonelo, njengakithi nje ukuthi ePietermaritzburg ihambe iye kobona ukuthi eNkandla kwenzekani, kwaNongoma kwenzekani, oPhongolo kwenzekani. Akulula ukuthi kwenzeke kalula lokho kanti lo hulumeni useduze kwabantu.

Ngithi ke mina kumele sibe nendlela yokuthi sibambisane sisonke kanye nani njenqembu elibusayo, ukuba sikwazi ukuhlanganyela ukuthi lapho kunenkohlakalo khona bakithi kuliwe nenkohlakalo.

Masengigcina Msholozi ngoba kungaba inkinga enkulu kabi ukuba ngingakukhumbuzi ukuthi, ngikhathazeka kabi mina Msholozi uma ngabe kukhulunywa ngemit hetho ethinta abaholi bomdabu. Asinayo indlela thina njengosopolitiki yo kunqumela abaholi bomdabu ukuthi benzeni. Kodwa kumele sibameme sibe ndawonye sisungule imithetho esazodingidwa noma esazophasiswa (imithetho ehlongozwayo) ezobusa bona, ngoba izokhunga futhi ibuse bona.

Ngithi ubaba omkhulu iNkosi uCetshwayo wayezobusa khona la, iboshwe ngabelungu beyigqilaza emva kokuba isibashayile eSandlwane. Kuthi ubaba omkhulu

INkosi yasoSuthu, UMawonga woSuthu, UMawonga akabulali uyasizila, Uqotha imbokodo nesisekelo,

Waboshwa St Helena wayeka ukuguqa ngamadolo enzela obaba mkhulu ekhaya eboshelwe lona leli lizwe. Ngithi amakhosi abanomnikelo omkhulu kuleli lizwe Msholozi. Ngikhuluma nawe njengendoda yakwaZulu, ngikhuluma nawe njengomntwana wasebukhosini bakwaZulu. Ngicela lokhu nikwazi ukukubhekisisa kahle ukuthi kwenzekani. Ubaba mkhulu ulele kini eNkandla. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu speech follows.)

[Prince M M M ZULU: Hon Chairperson Mahlangu, hon Deputy Chairperson, Ms Memela, hon members of the executive council, and premiers of all nine provinces present here today, today’s theme is, “We need to come together as the black people of this country in order to have a better life”.

I say to you, Msholozi, as the grandson of Maphumuzana, that there exist some challenging situations, which may prove to be tough and were already in a bad state when you came into this position, because the country’s economy was not in a good state. The percentage of unemployed people is estimated at approximately 40%, as you also mentioned in your state of the nation address, and something needs to be done so that all the people can have jobs. Msholozi, you know that when you are hungry you cannot go and stand outside; you cannot even engage at night in order to reproduce.

Msholozi, I want to say that we need to ensure that these local governments are accessible to the people or are central to our people. These local governments should be taken care of when the provincial departments intervene. Their interventions should be constructive, because funds are sometimes not embezzled by the councillors, but by the workers at the different departments. If there is some form of intervention from these departments, councillors tend to relax and stop doing what they are supposed to do. It becomes difficult to get resources in order for these departments to go to different places. For example, it is not easy for the department in Pietermaritzburg to go and enquire as to what is happening at Nkandla, Nongoma and Pongola. It is not easy for this to happen whereas this government is people centred.

I suggest that we all find a way to co-operate with you, as the ruling party, so that we are able to fight corruption as one, where necessary.

Msholozi, in closing I need to remind you about an issue that concerns me a lot. I become very worried when I hear talk about the laws concerning traditional leaders. As politicians, we don’t have a mandate to decide on what these traditional leaders should and should not do. Rather, we need to invite them when we create laws that will be debated upon or that are still going to be passed and which will govern them, because they will bind and govern them.

My forefather, King Cetshwayo, would have reigned here, but was arrested and enslaved by the whites after defeating them at Isandlwana.

INkosi yasoSuthu, UMawonga woSuthu, UMawonga kabulali uyasizila, Uqotha imbokodo nesisekelo,

He was exiled to Cape Town for our forefathers and this very country. Msholozi, chiefs made a great contribution to this country. I’m talking to you as a Zulu man; I’m talking to you as a Zulu prince. I urge you to look into this matter and get to the crux of the matter. King Cetshwayo was laid to rest in the village where you come from, Nkandla. Thank you. [Applause.]]

Dr C MKASI (Mpumalanga): Chairperson, His Excellency President J G Zuma, members of the NCOP, provincial premiers, MECs, Salga representatives, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege and an honour to be given an opportunity this afternoon to debate before this sitting of the NCOP.

Allow me to take this opportunity to acknowledge the address made by the President Mr Jacob Zuma. I fully concur with all the matters raised in his address, as it is a clear and concise reflection of the challenges facing our young democracy. The only solution is to embark on a quest to find solutions to achieve the goal of a better quality of life for all.

I would like to acknowledge the fact that, 15 years down the line, our society is still sharply divided into the haves and the have-nots. A greater portion of the country is rural and underdeveloped, and Mpumalanga is included here. We also have the other, developed, portion that was protected under apartheid laws and the apartheid government.

Over the past few months, we have experienced a spate of unrest in a number of municipalities in Mpumalanga, where communities have been demanding service delivery. Though we condemn the intimidation, violence and loss of property and lives associated with some of this unrest, it is a genuine fact that, for some, 15 years has been a long time to wait. This has required us, as the provincial government, to review the state of our municipalities.

The Mpumalanga province has, as a result, embarked on a programme of strengthening its municipalities, which will, amongst some of the activities, involve offering capacity support to councillors, redeploying some, tightening controls on our administration, and rooting out any corruption or corrupt tendencies.

Consistent with the theme that we are addressing of “Together finding a solution to achieve the goal of a better quality of life for all” we will pull out all the stops to realise the five priorities as expressed in our 2009 ANC election manifesto.

We note the negative impact that the global recession is having on our economy. The province has recorded a shedding of more than 40 000 jobs since the beginning of the year. While looking for solutions in the private sector to retain and sustain jobs, the government has, through its EPWP, Phase Two, signed protocols to create 28 000 work opportunities for this current financial year. We intend creating 237 000 job opportunities by 2014, with 75 617 being full-time equivalents, and we feel we must still do more as the province.

The province has had a successful economic summit, which was held from 15 to 16 October 2009, and we hope to create more job opportunities, promote investment, accelerate service delivery and build partnerships with various stakeholders in the economy of the province.

Mpumalanga is largely a rural province and agriculture is one of the cornerstones of its economy. We have implemented the Masibuyele Emasimini campaign, which is a programme aimed at assisting households in farming. We supply them with seeds and agricultural implements, and assist them in tilling their land using government-owned tractors. Many households have benefited from this particular programme.

We have also embarked on a pilot project for rural development at the Mkhondo Municipality, which will be launched tomorrow, 30 October 2009. This project is one of the best solutions for poverty eradication and the betterment of the lives of our people. The roll-out of the programme in rural South Africa will change the lives of our communities for the better.

In Mpumalanga we have not been doing very well in our Grade 12 results, and we’ve had this challenge over the past few years. We have now set up systems to address this particular challenge.

We have also started addressing the issue of having a university in the province much more seriously. We hope that, with the support of the Minister of Higher Education, this matter will be concluded in the coming five years.

To address the health care delivery gaps, we are going to upgrade two of our hospitals to tertiary hospital level to offer tertiary hospital level services. We cannot agree more on the issue of HIV and Aids. As you have indicated, HIV and Aids is a scourge on our society. Families have been decimated; we have orphans and child-headed families. The work sector has been affected in terms of absenteeism and production. Indeed, we hope to find a lasting solution to this scourge. There is, however, hope.

To conclude, I agree with the Chairperson that by working together with the municipalities, provincial government and the NCOP, we can do more.

The PREMIER OF THE NORTHERN CAPE (Ms H Jenkins): Thank you, Chairperson of the NCOP, His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Africa Mr Jacob Zuma, Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon premiers, hon members of this House, as well as special delegates, Salga representatives, the esteemed delegation from Nigeria, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

Not only was the address by the President, Mr Jacob Zuma, to this House this afternoon inspiring but it has also set the tone for the elected public representatives in all three spheres of government to strive harder and more diligently in a co-ordinated manner to find common solutions for the everyday challenges our people face, especially the poor and the marginalised sectors of our communities.

As Premier of the Northern Cape province, representing the Northern Cape and not the ANC in this regard, I can safely say that we are committed, as a provincial government, to ensuring that the principle of “Working together, we can do more” is tangibly realised on a daily basis.

Ladies and gentlemen, the government of the Northern Cape province, like so many provinces in this country, is faced with many challenges and issues, like poverty, housing, job creation, health care, water, sanitation, etc. We will fashion and develop our programmes in accordance with your words of inspiration, Mr President, so that the people of the province will, indeed, acknowledge that the three spheres of government, collectively, are both caring and compassionate about their plight.

In addition, the accountability of elected public representatives has to be raised to a level where progress in uplifting the quality of life of our citizens is regularly evaluated and monitored. In this regard, the government of the Northern Cape endeavours to do its utmost to improve the social and economic wellbeing of our people.

In terms of improving governance, the Northern Cape province launched Operation Clean Audit 2014 two weeks ago. Operation Clean Audit 2014 will hold mayors, councillors, municipal managers, MECs and all provincial departments, as well as the office of the premier, accountable for delivering on the mandate we have been given by the electorate. Ladies and gentlemen, the Northern Cape is ready to be subjected to the principles of accountability and transparency, as well as to responding to the challenges facing our citizens. As leaders, we have a duty to step to the fore and provide principled leadership to remove the scourges of poverty, underdevelopment, deepening inequality and challenges of service delivery in our province, as well as in our country.

As the executive of the Northern Cape, we are encouraging all role-players to actively play their part in building and consolidating a democratic and developmental province within the context of the developmental agenda. We are pledging our unconditional support to the Office of the President, as well as all Ministries and national departments, to ensure that we reach out, together, to better the conditions of the lives of all our people, to work tirelessly to turn the tide against HIV/Aids, and to support those infected and affected by these illnesses and epidemics amongst our citizens.

Emulating your example, Mr President, of tackling the multitude of challenges ahead with commitment and sincerity and in a co-ordinated manner, we will be able to impact positively on people’s lives, address their needs and deliver on our mandate. Let us not be distracted by the negativity displayed by some of the speakers here this afternoon.

Ons ken almal die spreekwoord van leë blikke, en ek weet wat hulle doen. [Tussenwerpsels.] [We all know the idiomatic expression about empty vessels, and I know what they are doing. [Interjections.]]

Let us rather focus on the positives and focus our energies on our priority areas to serve all our people in a diligent and dignified manner, and to eradicate the persisting inequalities and injustices. I thank you, Chair. [Applause.]

The PREMIER OF THE NORTH WEST (Ms M Modiselle:): Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, His Excellency Mr President, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, hon premiers, representatives of Salga, members of the NCOP, our fellow Nigerian brothers, esteemed ladies and gentlemen, I greet you. Thank you, Chairperson, for this opportunity.

One of the greatest artists that our country has ever produced, and a social activist who used art to protest against apartheid and narrate the story of the harsh conditions that our people endured under apartheid, Gerard Sekoto, once wrote, “Take your road and travel along.” The address by the President is clearly indicating that the road that our society has travelled remains one of the most fulfilling in our journey to ensuring a better life for all the people of South Africa. We are, however, conscious of the fact that our long walk to total freedom is still at its beginning and that the destination seems very far; yet we remain resolute and even more determined to take the road and travel along in order to address the legacy of apartheid and change the lives of our people for the better.

We are encouraged by the President’s assertion of our historic vision of an inclusive society, a South Africa that belongs to all of us, a nation united in its diversity, and a people working together for the greater good for all.

Hon President, in your state of the nation address on 3 June this year, you clearly committed our government to ensuring that, for as long as our people suffer and endure any form of hardship, we shall not dare falter. Indeed, in the North West we remain committed to our agenda to change the lives of our people for the better.

We want to reassure the President that the North West will remain serious about advancing the lives of the people by doing the following: creating decent work and sustainable livelihoods; ensuring that education remains at the centre of our efforts to break the generational cycle of poverty and underdevelopment engulfing our people; reducing inequalities in our health system and ensuring that our people have access to quality health care; channelling our efforts to improve the lives and conditions of people living in the rural parts of our country; and finally, ensuring that our people are safe in their homes and streets and that government resources are used for their intended purposes. In implementing these priorities, we have identified the most vulnerable sectors of our society, namely women, children, youth, people with disabilities and rural communities. We want to reassure the President that in the North West we remain firm in our commitment to improve the quality of life of these sectors.

We owe it to ourselves and future generations to create a caring society in which human dignity and life are respected and positive values are upheld. As an expression of this commitment we will continue to promote responsible citizenship, nation-building and patriotism through the above initiatives.

Through these programmes, we will pursue our goal of promoting high ethical standards in both government and society, as part of our determination to entrench responsible conduct and stewardship of public resources. We have also prioritised the fight against corruption and abuse of state resources. We will spare no effort to deal decisively with laziness in the Public Service and ensure that those who continue to dip their hands into the public coffers for their own individual benefit face the might of the law. [Applause.]

Hon President, I am pleased to inform this House that the North West Provincial Government is, according to available data, leading the country with regard to complying with anticorruption measures. This was confirmed last year by the Public Service Commission during the anticorruption summit in Durban. Still, we can’t rest on our laurels.

The North West Provincial Government continues to call on all citizens to become the eyes and ears of government in the fight against corruption. Corruption is the enemy of the poor, because resources that were meant for them are diverted to the pockets of the corrupt individuals. The government believes that to defeat the scourge of corruption we need all hands on deck.

In pursuit of good governance, clean administration and quality service delivery, we have committed ourselves to implementing training programmes that promote a culture of ethics of service delivery in the Public Service and offer a viable career path for individual growth and to broaden our provincial skills base.

The advancement of the lives of our people is also centred on our commitment to the principles of a developmental state that cares for the poor and the disadvantaged. In this regard, we have prioritised the provision of basic services to our people, especially the poor.

The North West province remains committed to ensuring that rural development is a central pillar in our struggle against unemployment, poverty and inequality. We have put in place various programmes to deal decisively with the high levels of rural poverty which inhibit the growth of our economy and undermine efforts to ensure that growth is equitably shared.

Hon President, in your state of the nation address, you clearly articulated our government’s approach to human settlement, arguing that it is about transforming our cities and towns, as well as building cohesive, sustainable and caring communities with closer access to work and social amenities, including sports and recreation facilities. We are aware that building sustainable communities and livelihoods requires government to establish comprehensive local economic and social development programmes. We have tasked our economic sector and our local government spheres to ensure that these areas are integrated in our efforts to provide decent housing to our people. I thank you. [Applause.]

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Chairperson, to save time, let me say that hon Shiceka addressed this House two days ago and he informed us of what he found on the ground when he visited Site C in Khayelitsha, in particular. He found about 5 000 people without proper sanitation. [Interjections.] Three people share a toilet. That’s exactly why we must do away with all these boundaries that were created, unnecessarily, just to give power to some people.

The selective delivery of services to and the neglect of townships by the City of Cape Town is an issue that requires all of us to look at it with utmost urgency and vigilance. We want to reassure the hon Helen Zille and her party that the ANC has moved beyond the divisions of the past. We will not sit and watch as her party implements policies that are intended to instigate elements of our divided past and reverse the progress that our nation has made since 1994.

I live in Gugulethu, and even when you were mayor, you cut the water supply. [Interjections.] It is still happening; people in our townships are still holding pink letters, letters of demand. [Interjections.]

Bayagrogriswa ngamanye amagama. [In other words, they are being intimidated.]

It is true that, as we speak, people’s water supply is still being cut. It is true that that programme started in 2006, when the hon premier was the Mayor of the City of Cape Town. It is also true that the hon Premier of the Western Cape is still sowing division. She has really planted racism in our province. [Interjections.]

As people living in the Western Cape, we would have loved …

The PREMIER OF THE WESTERN CAPE (Ms H Zille): Chair, I rise on a point of order.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Yes, hon premier? The PREMIER OF THE WESTERN CAPE (Ms H Zille): Chairperson, is the hon member allowed to mislead the House so blatantly?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Well, I wouldn’t know whether she’s misleading the House. I don’t think that’s a point of order, really. Continue, hon member.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: We want to know …

… ukuba yintoni oza kuyenzela abantu baseNtshona Koloni eza kutshintsha ubomi babo, ukuze basuke ebugxwayibeni, ubomi babo bube ngcono? Sixelele ezo zinto. IBhunga lamaPhondo leSizwe lilungiselelwe ezo zinto.

Ingaba uze kuthetha apha njengoSodolophu okanye njengeNkulumbuso? Ngaphezulu, … (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[…what is it that you will do for the people of the Western Cape to change their lives, so that they can move away from being the disadvantaged, and make their lives better? Tell us about those things. The National Council of Provinces is intended for those things.

Have you come to address this Council as a mayor or as a premier? In addition…]

… I think we must charge you for misleading this House. Your party must also know that you have dual membership. You are so deep in ANC policies that you are a member of the ANC. I think your leader behind you knows that better than I do. Why did you not give evidence before the commission you agreed to in the legislature?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon Chief Whip!

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Why did you mislead the legislature?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon Chief Whip! Hon Watson? [Interjections.] Could somebody sort out my microphone, please?

Mr A WATSON: Talk about disorder! Chairperson, is it parliamentary for the member to stand at the podium and accuse the premier of our province, who is an hon member, of being a racist?

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: But I never said that!

Mr A WATSON: She said, “She is sowing racism”.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: She is! I can maintain that.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! No, she never said, “She is racist”. However, we can check the Hansard to verify that.

Mr A WATSON: Please do, Mr Chairman.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Chair, as I conclude, we want to make it categorically clear that we shall not falter in leading national efforts to build a society in which all South Africans, regardless of their background, race or gender, will have a better quality of life.

We shall brazenly dismantle all political and geographical boundaries to ensure that all the people of South Africa enjoy the fruits of freedom, regardless of their location within the borders of our country.

The hon Premier of the Western Cape must rest assured that our common struggle to build a better South Africa and to ensure a better life for our people will be realised, either today or tomorrow.

We would fail in our duty and historic resolve to change the lives of our people for the better if we do not move decisively to address the issues of the people of the Western Cape. We need to vocally defy any policy of exceptionalism by any political party that has the sole intention of excluding the Western Cape and its people from the rest of our nation.

We are one South Africa, one country, and we are led by one President, none other than the hon President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma. [Applause.] You must understand that, as a province, your role is to make sure that national government is assisted in taking services down to the people. You are not a government. You are a province; you are an administration.

An HON MEMBER: You’re jealous!

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: I can’t be jealous of racism.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon Chief Whip! We are dealing with hon members in this House. Please refer to the premier as an “hon member”.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: I’m very sorry, Chair.

Mr D A WORTH: Mr Chairman, thank you for making that point – that was my point of order.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: As I conclude, I want to say that in March 2010, the NCOP will visit the people of Sekhukhune in the rural parts of the Limpopo province. We want to make sure that whether you live in Sekhukhune or Gugulethu, you are a real citizen of this country. It can’t be that when you live in a township, you don’t look like a person who lives in a suburb. This is one South Africa.

The PREMIER OF THE WESTERN CAPE (Ms H Zille): What’s happening to the poor people in the townships in the ANC-governed provinces?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! No dialogue between you and Ms Zille, hon Ntwanambi. Please!

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: We will not allow government resources to be used for anything else other than the intended purposes.

The PREMIER OF THE WESTERN CAPE (Ms H Zille): Unomona! [You are jealous!]

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Chairperson, I do want to tell the people of other provinces … [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Whoa! Hon premier, we will not allow a dialogue between you and hon Ntwanambi. Please!

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Thank you, Chairperson, for the protection. I have also never heard of or seen a premier who interjects or howls in the House like the one we have in this province. This tells us that we still need a premier. Maybe, Mr President, in the next three years, the Western Cape should have its own provincial elections. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members!

Ake nithule bo! Yehlisani umsindo. Thulani. [Please keep quiet.]

I now want to call upon the President to come and respond to all the things that have been said.


Kucacile ukuthi izintombi zaseKapa ziyalwa. [Uhleko.] [It is clear that the women from the Cape are fighters. [Laughter.]]

Hon Chairperson, hon members and hon premiers, thank you once again for the opportunity to say something after the very vibrant debate that has taken place.

When I spoke earlier, among other things I raised two challenges that are facing us as a country. The first is the one that the entire globe is facing, namely the economic crisis, which I believe we should take note of. It doesn’t matter which part of the world we are in, it affects us.

It’s true: reality was reflected in what the Minister of Finance said a few days ago. He indicated that, as a country, we had to adjust our spending and prioritise very carefully as to what it is that we can do. It is an important issue and, as Parliament, we should talk about this and be certain that we will support one another and co-ordinate our efforts to come out of this crisis.

The second challenge is that of HIV and Aids, with the statistics indicating how deep the problem is. As the leaders we need to recognise this and then take very clear measures, which must be extraordinary, to tackle this problem. The leadership — political and in government — should lead the people in dealing with very specific issues. To fight the stigma, we should encourage our people to get tested and to know their status.

Ngisamile lapha anyakazise amabhodlela lomthakathi. [Uhleko.] [Whilst I was waiting, this witchdoctor shook the bottles. [Laughter.]]

It is critical that we make the point to our people that testing is very important. It doesn’t matter whether you test privately or publicly. What is critical is that the results are confidential. As leaders, we need to preach that everybody must get tested.

It does not mean that when you get tested everybody will know your status. The results will remain confidential, but at least you will know your status so that you can take care of your health. It is very important that the leadership should do this. I am sure we will say more about this as we approach World Aids Day on 1 December 2009. It is an important issue that should be taken very seriously.

Let me thank the hon members for the very vibrant discussion that we have had today; and the statements by hon premiers, which helped to paint a picture of what is happening in each and every province and what it is that our leaders in the provinces are doing to address the challenges and the plight our people are facing.

Among these were other statements relating to the challenge of the protests that have, in a sense, affected a number of areas. I think speakers have tried to identify what the issues were. Among the issues was the lack of service delivery, which was the main cause of the outcry. We would all agree that 15 years is certainly not long enough to redress the legacy of centuries. I think that must be taken into account.

The very fact that the country is structured in the manner that it is tells the story - there are some areas that are called townships and others that are not. Therefore, the conditions are not the same. It is not going to be an overnight affair to address these matters. It is going to be a long walk. Therefore, no one can deny the fact that in this short time, much as we have tried our best to do as much as we could, we could not have resolved all the issues.

Faced with this, after the elections we reconfigured government departments, in order to change the manner in which things were done when addressing the question of service delivery, and increased the speed of government, which was often very slow when addressing issues.

Nevertheless, I think it is important for people to indicate that they need to be prioritised because they are at the bottom of the ladder. Speakers also indicated that there was greed that has come out and has made people call upon some of the serving government officials to resign. That is not an easy matter because when allegations are made that have not been tested and proven, it is difficult to issue a verdict.

Of course, there was also a huge outcry about corruption. Again I think it is an accepted fact that corruption has been here for a long time. Simply because we are aware of it, since 1994, with the birth of our democracy, we itemised it then as an issue to be dealt with. For the first time it was talked about and we adopted strategies to fight it. [Applause.]

At times people forget the fact that it was the 1994 democratically elected administration that launched an attack on corruption. Before that nobody talked about it and it was rife. Therefore, when people call upon those who are corrupt to be dealt with, they are in fact taking further the struggle we launched in 1994 against corruption. What we must do is to quicken the pace of dealing with it.

I have spoken about this because I’ve held the view that the methods we are using in dealing with corruption are taking too long. We need to change the manner in which we handle this matter because if we don’t, people are going to take the matter into their own hands. It is also important to say that if we have not proven it, it is still an allegation. The quicker action will help us in addressing and testing the allegations and checking whether they are true or not. We need to change the way this is done.

At times people are suspended for a long time, with pay, whilst the issue is being handled and sometimes it is very difficult to handle. We should accept that it is an important and legitimate fight against corruption. Therefore, we should do that. Somebody indicated that some of the reasons leading to these protests have been the political tensions among people. Having said that, to me, the critical point as a democrat, or a person who believes that people should be free to express themselves, is that there is nothing wrong with people protesting and drawing the attention of the authorities to the problems they are facing.

What I do not agree with is the violence that accompanies these protests, the trashing of roads and burning of houses. That is not acceptable. It undermines the importance of the reason why the people are demonstrating and showing their dissatisfaction or drawing attention to complaints, which is for their problems to be resolved. It absolutely undermines it. The protests don’t make it better but, instead, they create more problems rather than helping people in dealing with them.

Speakers also very much supported the co-ordination of all spheres of our government. Since we have agreed that co-ordination is important, what we are then left with — we who are in the leadership of the three spheres — is how to work it out in detail and to make it work. How do we deal with it, including looking at what the rules are and the constitutional provisions? As we co-ordinate our work, are we in keeping with the constitutional provisions? I think that is important. There should be nothing out of place. We should be able to play and work within the rules. Therefore, as the three spheres of government, instead of confronting we should be complementing.

I’m also very happy with the very clear message by the Premier of Gauteng, demonstrating that as premiers they are here to represent their provinces, which is different from representing their parties.

I have made this point to the leaders of the political parties with whom I meet from time to time, who are represented in Parliament, that when I go abroad, whether it is to the AU or UN or whatever, I don’t go there to represent the ANC but the people of this country. [Applause.] I told them that precisely because of this: I should respect the fact that whichever percentage they got in the elections, there was a percentage of people in this country that respected and supported them, and I should support and respect that.

Therefore, I am able to give reports to leaders of political parties about what happens. At times when I go to these places I seek their wise advice on the issues that affect them, for example climate change, relations in the country, the position of the continent, and so forth.

This emphasises that if you are a leader of a country or a province, you lead on behalf of the citizens, even though you were elected by the party. It is automatic and everybody understands that once you are elected, you then lead the province and the country. [Applause.] I was very happy that that point was made because it is helpful.

Mageba, you raised the issue of traditional leaders. I have been interacting with this question for a long time, even while I was still a freedom fighter. As history indicates, the traditional leaders led the anticolonial wars. Nobody should forget the fact that part of the colonisation process was to ensure that the dignity and the authority of the traditional leaders were taken away and given to magistrates and other levels of colonial government. That informed the decision that was taken as we crafted the Constitution about what was going to happen with the traditional leaders.

For the first time since 1910, we have established two houses, the House of Traditional Leaders, nationally and provincially. It was the first time that something like that happened. Therefore, the argument that nothing has been done for the traditional leaders would not be correct. They have some responsibilities, as outlined in the Constitution, for example to look at the Bills as they affect the traditional leaders, and to have a word with them and to give advice.

In actual fact, there has been no debate. Although we debated this matter, we did not necessarily acknowledge the fact that, indeed, this has been done. Probably we are looking for something else.

The debate about what happens between the councillors, mayors and traditional leaders has been at the level of local government. It has been an ongoing debate. A lot has been done in trying to deal with this issue. To me, the matter is easy, because I see no reason why there should be a fight between councillors and traditional leaders.

Traditional leaders are born and others are elected. Therefore, they come and go. Traditional leaders will be there forever. What we have been trying to find is a formula as to how to co-ordinate this and work together for the benefit of the local people. That is what we should say we need to do. At times the matter is put as if everything has been taken away from the traditional leaders.

It was after 1994 that a role was enshrined in the Constitution that the traditional leaders had to play. Historically, they all had to bow their heads and say “Nkosi” [Your Honour] to the magistrate. The magistrate had the final word, and at times even deposed them, if he thought they were not behaving themselves well. We need to address the matter differently and ask, “How are we going to arrive at a point where we will all be happy and satisfied?”

The reality is that all areas are not the same. In most areas, traditional leaders and local government are working very well; there are no problems at all. But in some areas there are problems. Part of the problem is that the matter also gets politicised. At times you can’t differentiate between the political party’s views and those of traditional leaders.

It is important to look at the matter because it is being discussed all the time. I just thought I should make the comment that a point should always be fair. We should be able to say that much has been done, but we still think something more needs to be done. We should be able to identify issues that need to be addressed, so that we don’t all feel guilty, as if we’ve done what the colonialists did. Instead, we have tried to bring dignity and to say, “Let us find a way to work together.”

Mageba, you touched on that point, so I just thought I should touch on it briefly as well. I was once involved in this process. As a Deputy President, I led a subcommittee trying to resolve this question. In the discussions we thought that maybe we should amend something in the Constitution. Those we reported to arrived at a different conclusion. They concluded that we could deal with the matter without necessarily having to amend the Constitution. The matter has been discussed and debated thoroughly. It doesn’t mean that we cannot discuss the matter further.

I was also happy when the colleague from Mpumalanga indicated that this time the Grade 12 results might look better. [Interjections.] At this time we hold our breath when it comes to the matric results. Critical to that is the issue of education in general, which we have made a priority. In fact, we have to deal with this matter.

As we were doing the monitoring work, we discovered that half of the time the former black-only schools spent only 3,5 hours being taught, whilst the former white schools spent 6,5 hours. Then you wonder why the results are a problem.

In terms of education, there are things we need to deal with as a society. We are trying to deal with the fundamental issues in education, which should include increasing the time allocated to teach the students. I am touching upon it because I think you have raised an important point.

Many issues were raised here and one cannot go into all of them. Firstly, I would just like to thank all colleagues for giving me an opportunity to say something and also to respond to some of the issues very positively. I also want to thank them for being very free and frank in exchanging their ideas and views. Towards the end of the debate I realised that we were in Parliament. [Laughter.] Once you find the members standing up, one after the other, raising points of order, you must know that you are in Parliament! [Laughter.] You must know that there was a lively debate.

Thank you very much for the opportunity given to me. I really appreciate this. As we all know, the NCOP is an important meeting point, because this is where we all meet and share views about all three spheres of government at the same time.

I would like to apologise to the person who was representing Salga, because he was just getting to the point, trying to tell us what we needed to do, when his time expired. That is Parliament for you. At times you slip with the correct views, having not stated them, if you started by dealing with other things. That’s why old parliamentarians start with the point and end up with other things aside. Thank you very much for a very good debate. [Applause.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We can sit down. Thank you, hon President. Just before I adjourn the House, all members, including the President, are invited for a snack in the Queen’s Hall here. There’s a snack prepared for you.

Omama kanye nobaba abalaphaya kugalari kukhona ukudla enilingiselwe kona. [There are some refreshments prepared for the men and women who are seated in the gallery.]

It would be fruitless expenditure if you didn’t go and eat! [Laughter.] Lastly, can all the members remain in their seats whilst the procession takes place.

Debate concluded.

The Council adjourned at 17:31. ____


                     WEDNESDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2009


National Council of Provinces

The Chairperson

  1. Referral to Committees of papers tabled

    1) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Finance for consideration and report:

    (a)      Green Paper on National Strategic Planning.

    2) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Finance for consideration and report in terms of section 6(3) of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act (Act No 9 of 2009), and to the Select Committee on Appropriations for consideration and report in terms of section 6(8) of the Act, the committees to confer with their counterparts in the National Assembly and to consult with any other committee when necessary:

    a) Medium Term Budget Policy Statement 2009 [RP 246-2009].

    3) The following paper (tabled on 23 October 2009 and referred to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration), is referred to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration and report:

    (a)      Termination of Section 139 Intervention in Ditsobotla
         Local Municipality (North West).

TABLINGS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Transport
(a)     Report and Financial Statements of  the Department of Transport
    Vote 33 for 2008-09, including the Report of the Auditor-General on
    the Financial Statements and Performance Information of Vote 33 for
    2008-09 [RP 227-2009].

(b)     Report and Financial Statements of the South African Maritime
    Safety Authority (SAMSA) (including the Maritime Fund) for 2007-08,
    including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial
    Statements and Performance Information for 2007-08 [RP 231-2008].

(c)     Report and Financial Statements of the Cross-Border Road
    Transport Agency (C-BRTA) for 2007-08, including the Report of the
    Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance
    Information for 2007-08 [RP 131-2008].

(d)     Report and Financial Statements of the Cross-Border Road
    Transport Agency (C-BRTA) for 2008-09, including the Report of the
    Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance
    Information for 2008-09 [RP 235-2009].

(e)     Report and Financial Statements of the Driving License Card
    Account  for 1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05,
    2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09, including the Report of the
    Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance
    Information for 1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-
    05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 [RP 131-2008].
  1. The Minister of Finance
(a)     Report and Financial Statements of the Reconstruction and
    Development Programme Fund for 2008-09, including the Report of the
    Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance
    Information for 2008-09 [RP 244-2009].

(b)     National Treasury – Consolidated Financial Information for the
    year ended 31 March 2009 [RP 245-2009].
  1. The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
(a)     Accession to the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement:
    Agreement Amending the Partnership Agreement between the Members of
    the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one
    part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the
    other part, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution,

(b)     Explanatory memorandum to the Accession to the revised Cotonou
    Partnership Agreement: Agreement Amending the Partnership Agreement
    between the Members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of
    States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member
    States, of the other part.

                      THURSDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2009 ANNOUNCEMENTS

National Council of Provinces

The Chairperson

  1. Withdrawal of paper tabled and referred
(1)     The following paper (tabled on 29 September 2009 and referred
    to the Committee on Petitions and Members’ Legislative Proposals)
    is withdrawn:

       Legislative proposal with regard to the amendment of the
       Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No 32 of 2000) (Hon D B
       Feldman, Permanent Delegate to the National Council of


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Human Settlements
(a)     Report and Financial Statements of the National Home Builders
    Registration Council (NHBRC) for 2008-2009, including the Report of
    the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2008-2009.