National Assembly - 01 June 2010

                        TUESDAY, 1 JUNE 2010


The House met at 14:00.

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


                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Mr G R KRUMBOCK: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move the following motion on behalf of the DA:

That the House debates the cut in funding to SA Tourism amounting to R160 million over the MTEF period, its likely effect on tourism and its consequential impact on the national economy, and alternatives to the decision.

Mr N J J VAN R KOORNHOF: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move on the next sitting day of the House, on behalf of Cope: That the House debates the wide gap between remuneration packages in South Africa, with specific reference to the salaries of chief executive officers, and the growing gap between the rich and the poor.

Mr K S MUBU: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move the following motion on behalf of the DA:

That the House debates the government’s stance on human rights violations, in particular in Africa, and the official stance with regard to these violations irrespective of current and future relationships with violating countries.

Ms H N MAKHUBA: Madam Deputy Speaker, I give notice that I shall move on behalf of the IFP:

That the House debates the growing crisis of youth unemployment which, as Statistics SA figures show, is steadily increasing.

Mr G R MORGAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move the following motion on behalf of the DA:

That the House debates the state of South Africa’s protected areas, in particular the growing destruction of the Ndumo Game Reserve in KwaZulu- Natal, and solutions on how to promote opportunities for people neighbouring on protected areas while protecting the integrity of these areas.

Mrs A T LOVEMORE: Madam Deputy Speaker, this is World Environment Week, and I hereby give notice that I shall move the following motion on behalf of the DA:

That the House debates the state of the South African natural environment and the urgent interventions required from the relevant spheres of government to effectively address the continued deterioration thereof.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House –

  1) notes with the gravest concern reports  that  Israeli  forces  have
     attacked a flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza  and  that  there
     are casualties following the attack;
  2) condemns this action, which reportedly took place in  international
     waters, 65 km off the coast of Gaza, in the early hours of  Monday,
     31 May 2010; and

  3) prays that those feared missing or injured will be found unharmed.

Agreed to.

                   SUPER 14 RUGBY FINAL IN SOWETO

                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House –

  1) notes that Saturday was the second time since the Super 12 started
     in 1996 (it became the Super 14 in 2006) that two South African
     rugby teams met in the final;

  2) further notes that this was also the second time that Soweto played
     host to a rugby match;

  3) acknowledges that Soweto residents again showed their hospitality
     and that this is an indication of what the rest of the world can
     expect during the 2010 Soccer World Cup;

  4) further acknowledges that it was a special day for South Africa -
     with blacks and whites singing together, sharing beers, braaivleis
     and celebrating until late – and that the rugby match in Soweto was
     marked by a magical atmosphere powered by the sounds of vuvuzelas
     and boeremusiek;

  5) congratulates the Bulls on winning their third Super 14 title in
     four years;

  6) further congratulates Francois Hougaard on winning the Man of the
     Match award in his first Super 14 final; and

  7) acknowledges the role played by Parliament in ensuring that these
     two historic matches were played in Soweto.

Agreed to.

                      SUPPORT FOR BAFANA BAFANA

                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move without notice: That the House –

  1) notes that earlier today  the  management  team  of  Bafana  Bafana
     announced its final 23 member squad for the 2010 Soccer  World  Cup
     which “kicks off” in just 10 days;

(2) further notes that on 31 May 2010 Bafana Bafana continued on their winning streak of the past two weeks when they recorded their biggest win to date, by decimating Guatemala 5-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium and that the three victories over Thailand, Colombia and Guatemala respectively in the past 14 days are precisely the kind of momentum the team needs to build upon going into the 2010 Soccer World Cup;

(3) recognises that last night Skipper Aaron Mokoena became the first South African Soccer player to reach 100 caps for his country;

(4) further recognises that the team’s success was due to a fantastic collective effort by the players;

(5) acknowledges that in a stressful and pressurised final countdown to the 2010 Soccer World Cup the team has acquitted itself admirably in all of the fixtures it has played;

(6) expresses its confidence that in light of the team’s recent performances Bafana Bafana will make South Africa and its people proud; and

(7) congratulates Bafana Bafana on yet another superb victory and wishes the management team, coaching staff and the final Bafana Bafana squad everything of the best as it commences its final preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup and enjoins all South Africans to take up the call by the coaching staff of Bafana Bafana to get behind the team and into the spirit of the 2010 Soccer World Cup: Feel it, it’s here!

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mrs C N Z ZIKALALA: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes –

        a) last week’s disappearance of 98 firearms from the  SA  Police
           Service, SAPS, station in Inanda;

        b) the subsequent recovery of only four of these firearms; and

        c) that these firearms were used to commit crimes in the area;

(2) welcomes the arrests and court appearances in connection with this theft;

(3) urges that the police investigation into the matter be intensified to bring it to a conclusion; and

  4) further urges the SAPS to take credible measures  to  prevent  such
     brazen instances of theft from reoccurring in future.

Agreed to.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! I know you might be sharing the Bafana Bafana 5-0 victory, but you are going about it in the wrong way. I can’t hear the speakers. Please!


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

That the House –

  1) notes that Professor Ahmed Bawa has been appointed to the  position
     of vice-chancellor of the Durban  University  of  Technology,  DUT,
     with effect from 1 September 2010;

  2) further notes that Professor Bawa  has  previously  served  as  the
     deputy vice-chancellor and principal of the University of  KwaZulu-
     Natal's Durban campus and is a former chairperson of  the  National
     Research Foundation and a member of the National  Advisory  Council
     on Innovation;

  3) acknowledges that during the course  of  his  distinguished  career
     Professor Bawa has received numerous  accolades  for  his  articles
     which have been published in prestigious journals, is  a  Professor
     of Physics and an associate provost at the City University  of  New
     York and has previously served as a programme officer for the  Ford

  4) recognises that Professor  Bawa  is  a  worthy  recipient  of  this
     prestigious position and expresses its  confidence  that  Professor
     Bawa will be an invaluable asset to this institution; and

  5) congratulates Professor Bawa on  his  appointment  and  wishes  him
     everything of the best for the future.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House –

  1) notes that on Sunday, 30 May 2010, the world's oldest  and  largest
     ultra marathon  race,  the  Comrades  Marathon,  was  held  in  the
     province of KwaZulu-Natal between Pietermaritzburg and Durban;

  2) further notes that more than 18 000 athletes crossed  the  starting
     line of the 85th  Comrades  Marathon  to  the  stirring  sounds  of
     Chariots of Fire;

  3) recognises that this 89,28 km marathon, which was first run in 1921
     with only  34  contenders,  has  been  run  every  year,  with  the
     exception of the five-year break during World War II, and  that  in
     total the race has been run 85 times;

  4) acknowledges the  overwhelming  enthusiasm  of  the  athletes,  the
     support of the fans and the hospitality of the people of Durban and
     Pietermaritzburg during this race;

  5) congratulates Zimbabwean national, Stephen Muzhingi, on winning the
     open category for males in a time of 5:29:01 and the female winner,
     Russian national Elena Nurgalieva, who  finished  in  6:13:04,  one
     second faster than her twin sister Olesya;

  6) further congratulates the winners of all the other categories,  the
     Comrades  Marathon  Association  and  its  sponsors  on  organising
     another successful Comrades Marathon; and

  7) commends the more than  18  000  athletes  who  took  part  in  the
     marathon on their courage and commitment  to  take  on  this  ultra

Agreed to.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr C T FROLICK (ANC): Deputy Speaker, when the hon Dexter was moving towards the microphone, we were under the impression that he was going to inform us of the latest developments in his political party. [Interjections.] However, I’m sure he will keep us posted.

Deputy Speaker, very often here in the House we are told how well the City of Cape Town is run. We are told how there are no tender irregularities, no corruption, no financial mismanagement under their watch, and also how the city is an example of how a city should be governed. However, reports we received earlier suggest that the DA is wasting half a billion rand of taxpayer’s money on consultants in the city to advise them.

While we acknowledge that the DA needs all the advice they can get on democratic practices, these contractors are not worth the money that is being spent on them. What makes this expenditure more alarming is the fact that almost half of the money is being spent on consultants without public tender.

One of the DA’s self-appointed contractors was paid R20 million to advise the municipality on the Integrated Rapid Transport System. The self- appointed contractor ended up costing the DA an extra R80 million in unforeseen expenses, after erroneously saying that the city wasn’t liable for VAT.

Another company was then roped in to advise the city following the VAT blunder and was paid an additional R1,9 million; again without tender. They are among several companies hired by this DA-led City of Cape Town that have cost the city almost half a billion rand. Of this figure, R241 million has not been put out to tender. The DA must practise what they preach. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mrs S P KOPANE (DA): Deputy Speaker, the DA finds it unacceptable that the Department of Health has not complied with the National Health Act, which requires that the Office of Standards Compliance should be established to ensure that all hospitals are inspected and meet minimum standards.

The Office of Standards Compliance is severely undercapacitated. It is our view that the needless and tragic deaths of six babies at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, and reportedly of more than 180 babies – people, human beings - at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha, may have been avoided had this office been functioning properly. The DA calls for a full, independent investigation into these incidents. Furthermore, the Department of Health should admit responsibility, offer compensation to the grief-stricken families and provide help with the funeral costs. The DA wants the assurance from the Minister of Health - he’s not here - that all possible efforts are being made to prevent this from happening again.

The DA has made calls over the past seven years for the ANC government to act in order to curb a looming disaster in the public health sector. Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi’s public apology, albeit very sincere, is of little consolation to the families of the babies - 180 human beings - who died as a result of his department’s failure to properly carry out its duties. Thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr W M MADISHA (Cope): Deputy Speaker, Cope commends the Minister of Labour on his efforts to rein in his problematic and controversial director- general. [Interjections.] But his efforts are clearly not enough.

He will need wider support from Cabinet colleagues and the Presidency to help rein in Mr Manyi. The mere fact that Mr Manyi is driving his interests as chairperson of the Black Management Forum, BMF, through his position as director-general has been problematic ever since his appointment.

That is why we welcome the solid stance that the Minister of Labour adopted when he posed an ultimatum to his director-general to choose between the two positions.

Mr Manyi’s latest move to lobby the Norwegian government to strike private deals for business represented by the BMF has caused huge diplomatic embarrassment for the country. In an unprecedented step the Norwegian ambassador lodged a formal complaint with the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. We therefore say to the Minister of Labour that he must go ahead with what he has indicated he will do.

Soos u gesê het, laat die poppe nou dans. Dankie. [As you said, the fat is now in the fire. Thank you.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr K B MANAMELA (ANC): Deputy Speaker, the Young Communist League, YCL, of South Africa convened the National Jobs for Youth Summit from 20 to 21 May 2010, in Johannesburg. It was attended by more than 84 youth formations from religious, political, economic and civil society represented by more than 250 delegates.

The need for this summit stemmed from the high rate of unemployment amongst young people. According to Statistics SA, more than 3,1 million young people are either unemployed or not in formal education or skills development institutions. The summit agreed to launch a national jobs for youth coalition whose mandate is to formulate and advance a youth employment charter to be launched in June 2010.

The summit also strongly felt that education, skills development, entrepreneurial development and a strong focus on local manufacturing should be placed at the centre of employment creation for our youth.

The National Jobs for Youth Summit will be an annual summit with a mandate to access progress made by the youth of our country in their support for or their initiatives related to youth employment.

The summit welcomed the commitment made by Cabinet in dealing with youth unemployment as a priority for the current administration. Further, it felt that it would pave the way for interaction and engagement with Cabinet and the ANC-led government in endeavours aimed at assisting our unemployed youth. Thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana) (IFP): Deputy Speaker, the IFP joins President Jacob Zuma and other African leaders attending the Franco-African summit taking place in Nice, France, in expressing its disapproval of France’s invitation to the military rulers of Guinea and Niger to attend the said summit.

It is the responsibility of world powers, including France, not to recognise undemocratic, military juntas, as they undermine Africa’s efforts to bring peace, stability, co-operation and development to the continent and its people.

A strong Africa is capable of effectively taking its rightful place among the nations of the world, including occupying a permanent seat on the Security Council of the United Nations, as France is now advocating.

President Zuma is right: A new African order should not only be about economic markets for external trade, it should also be about the recognition and protection of the fundamental rights and liberties of all the peoples of the African continent, in particular women and children, who are the most vulnerable. It is an empirical fact that in world trade the economically strong nations of the world continually and with impunity write the rules of trade in their favour. The president of France is, therefore, correct in saying that it was time that African nations were allowed to participate in world decisions, including participation at the level of the Security Council of the UN. Thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mnr P J GROENEWALD (VF Plus): Adjunkspeaker, ’n mosie waarin plaasmoorde in Suid-Afrika as ernstige menseregtevergryppe veroordeel is, is deur die Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organisation, UNPO, se algemene kongres in Rome aanvaar. Die mosie is deur Dr Pieter Mulder, VF Plus leier, voorgestel en gemotiveer.

Die bywoning van die kongres en die stel van die mosie is deel van die VF Plus se plan vir die internasionalisering van die Suid-Afrikaanse situasie, want dit help nie om te wag totdat dit te laat is en jou dan eers op die wêreld vir hulp te beroep nie. Die wêreld behoort deurlopend op hoogte gehou te word oor prestasies, maar ook oor menseregtevergrype, in Suid- Afrika.

Die feit dat meer as 3 000 boere en hul werkers sedert 1994 in Suid-Afrika vermoor is, regverdig internasionale aandag. As ’n groep, verteenwoordig dit ongeveer 300 moorde per 100 000 van die bevolking. Dit is ook genoegsame rede om plaasmoorde as prioriteitsmisdaad te verklaar, en ’n ernstige beroep word in die verband op die Minister van Polisie gedoen.

Die komitee wat in 2003 aangestel was om plaasmoorde te ondersoek het toe reeds bevind dat die kanse dat die slagoffer in ’n plaasaanval beseer sal word, twee maal so groot is as in transitorooftogte. Die kanse dat die slagoffer sal sterf is dríé maal so groot as in transitorooftogte. Dit alles is genoegsame rede vir internasionalisering van plaasmoorde.

As verder in ag geneem word dat meer as 5,56 miljoen mense in Suid-Afrika net die afgelope sewe jaar slagoffers was van geweldsmisdade, is Suid- Afrika ’n geweldadige land.

Dr Mulder is ook tydens hierdie kongres op UNPO se dagbestuur of presidensie verkies.

Die kongres het verder die posisie van minderhede binne ’n demokrasie behandel. Politieke oplossings soos magsdeling, federalisme en selfbeskikking is bespreek. ’n Algemene mosie wat deur die kongres aanvaar is beklemtoon die belangrikheid van die behoud van ’n eie taal en kultuur in die beskerming van minderhede. Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)

[Mr P J GROENEWALD (FF Plus): Hon Deputy Speaker, a motion in which farm murders in South Africa are condemned as serious human rights violations, has been accepted by the general congress of the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organisation, UNPO, in Rome. The motion was introduced and motivated by the leader of the FF Plus, Dr Pieter Mulder.

Attending the congress and introducing the motion was part of the FF Plus’s plan to internationalise the South African situation, because it is of no use to wait until it is too late and only then ask the world for help. The world should continuously be kept abreast of achievements, but also of human rights violations, in South Africa.

The fact that more than 3 000 farmers and their workers have been murdered in South Africa since 1994, justifies international attention. As a group, it represents approximately 300 murders per 100 000 of the population. It is also a good enough reason to declare farm murders a priority crime, and an urgent appeal is made to the Minister of Police in this regard.

The committee, which was appointed in 2003 to investigate farm murders, found at that stage already that the chance of a victim being injured in a farm attack was twice as high as in a cash-in-transit robbery. The chance of the victim dying was three times as high as in a cash-in-transit robbery. These findings are adequate reason for the internationalisation of farm murders.

If it is also taken into consideration that more than 5,56 million people in South Africa were victims of violent crimes in the past seven years alone, then South Africa is a violent country.

Dr Mulder was also elected to UNPO’S executive committee or presidency during this congress.

The congress also discussed the position of minorities within a democracy. Political solutions such as power-sharing, federalism and self- determination were discussed. A general motion that was accepted by the congress emphasised the importance of the preservation of an own language and culture in the protection of minorities. Thank you.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr H P CHAUKE (ANC): Deputy Speaker, the South African unemployment rate rose to 25,2% in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Labour Force Survey released by Statistics SA last week. In response to that trend, the Department of Labour launched the Training of the Unemployed Project earlier this year. One of the project’s objectives is to train and reskill South African workers, who were retrenched as a result of the global economic recession, so as to minimise the negative effect of the recession.

The project currently trains electricians, boilermakers, welders and mechanics to be employable and to start their own businesses. So far, approximately 750 trainees have been registered for the project in Gauteng.

People who are currently undergoing training were drawn from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, UIF, database. Once they have completed their training the department will also assist with placement. Once the trainees have completed their training, another group will be called in by the Department of Labour. The aim is to train as many South Africans as possible.

The department has said that the qualification that the trainees obtain at the end of the course meets the qualification requirements of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority.

The department, together with other stakeholders, is currently looking at the possibility of further rolling out this project to make sure that the majority of the unemployed and the youth are able to gain this experience and be employable. Thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Rev K R J MESHOE (ACDP): Deputy Speaker, the ACDP would like to commend the former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, for challenging African leaders to show what he calls “tough love” to their counterparts.

At the release of the Africa Progress Report in Johannesburg, Mr Annan bemoaned the fact that African leaders don’t speak up or get involved in the internal affairs of other countries on the continent.

Some African leaders have looted their countries and caused untold suffering to their own people, yet their counterparts, who are probably part of the brotherhood, refuse to speak up in defence of the suffering, the humiliated, the poor and the vulnerable in such countries.

The only notable exception to this unacceptable attitude and silence from African leaders is the Botswana president, hon Ian Khama, who believes in justice and is not afraid to speak his mind and stand up for what he believes.

The ACDP trusts and hopes that African leaders will heed the call of Mr Kofi Annan and start speaking up whenever their counterparts on the continent show signs of corruption, or commit human rights abuses against their own people. Thank you.

Mrs S V KALYAN: Deputy Speaker, I am sure that there is a problem with the order, because the IFP has already had its second turn, and the DA hasn’t come up yet. Will you please check that?


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mrs H S MSWELI (IFP): Deputy Speaker, the IFP wishes to express its shock and horror at the recent death of 17 newborn babies in Gauteng, six of whom died at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg from dehydration and diarrhoea.

In the Eastern Cape, we have had confirmation from the health department of the deaths of approximately 200 premature babies between January and May this year at the Nelson Mandela Hospital complex. These are terrible tragedies and ones that could easily have been avoided, had the abovementioned hospitals’ standards of hygiene, cleanliness, equipment and general nursing been up to standard.

The majority of South Africans rely on our public hospitals for their health needs. Is this the type of service delivery our people should expect from our public health department? Is this how we look after our people? The hon Minister must give this matter urgent attention. Heads must roll. Hygiene and nursing equipment standards must be investigated in all public hospitals and where they are found wanting, this must be addressed immediately. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms N R BHENGU (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, with more than 70% of South Africa’s energy needs being supplied by power stations in Mpumalanga, coal is being ferried in trucks from the mines to the power plants. This is resulting in the deterioration of and damage to our roads where these operations take place.

The maintenance of our coal haulage routes has always posed a challenge. In line with the ANC government’s massive public investment programme for growth and employment creation, the government of Mpumalanga has budgeted R1,243 billion for the construction and maintenance of roads in the province over the next 10 months.

Investment in road infrastructure remains one of the major priorities of the government. The role of road infrastructure in economic development and job creation is critical. Thus construction and road maintenance projects have created jobs for 2 026 female-headed households through the Siyatentela programme, which employs poor women to do labour-intensive road maintenance work in their communities.

The ANC government welcomes this initiative and hopes that our provinces will follow suit. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mrs S V KALYAN (DA): Deputy Speaker, the decision by Malawi to release Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga from prison and the intention of Malawi to introduce antihomophobia legislation is indeed most welcome.

The continued harassment in many African countries, especially Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda, of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is a gross violation of human rights. In allowing this kind of abuse, the door has been opened to reverse progress on human rights, including the right to dignity and freedom of expression. Unjust, obsolete, homophobic laws hinder social progress and need to be repealed.

South Africa is the only state in Africa to recognise equality for sexual minorities, and we call on the government to offer asylum to these two men, who have had to go into hiding for their own safety, if they choose to seek it.

We also welcome the stance of the United Nations in supporting the rights of sexual minorities in Africa. However, much more needs to be done. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr D A KGANARE (Cope): Deputy Speaker, yesterday’s predawn assault by Israeli forces on the freedom flotilla in international waters off the coast of Gaza resulted in the death of 10 civilians and the injury of many others.

This unfortunate attack has strained relationships with Turkey, a country that has long supported the right of Israel to exist. Now Turkey’s foreign Minister, Ahmed Davutoglu, has told the United Nations delegates that Israel has lost all legitimacy.

The UN Security Council president has condemned these acts by Israeli forces, which resulted in loss of life and injury to civilians.

An HON MEMBER: Which Cope are you?

Mr D A KGANARE (Cope): I am not responsible for your ignorance!

The Security Council has requested the immediate release of all ships and civilians held by Israel. It has also called for an impartial investigation into the Israeli attack on the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.

It is appropriate that the UN Security Council intervenes objectively and decisively to contain what could become an explosive situation.

Cope calls on South Africa to work through the United Nations to allow sanity to prevail and for a lasting solution to be found. Thank you.

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I am sure you won’t allow what happened just now to go by without some kind of reprimand, but the fact that somebody could use the microphone to shout whilst another member is speaking is absolutely unparliamentary.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member. I was going to address that at the end of this session, in fact. Hon members are supposed to know that they cannot use the microphone to interject when another hon member is speaking. [Interjections.]

Mrs J D KILIAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, can we just determine who the member was and will the hon member just please apologise to the House? [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have called for the ANC member’s statement.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mrs E THABETHE (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, the ANC-led government believes that economic and political co-operation with other countries can improve the lives of our own people; and we will continue to work towards a better life for all, a better Africa, and a better world.

To this end, President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Algeria culminated in the two countries signing a nuclear co-operation agreement and a memorandum of understanding between the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of SA, PetroSA, and Algeria’s Sonatrach. South Africa and Algeria will also have exchanges in producing medical radioisotopes and in training staff.

The ANC government is committed to ensuring the supply of energy and pursuing an energy mix that includes clean and renewable resources to meet the demands of our fast-growing economy, without compromising our commitment to sustainable development.

Furthermore, the ANC-led government will continue to work towards regional economic integration in Africa on a fair, equitable and developmental basis to promote regional integration based on a developmental model that includes infrastructure development, co-operation between regional economies and the development of regional supply chains. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Dr S M VAN DYK (DA): Agb Adjunkspeaker, die afgelope drie weke het Suid- Afrika homself gediskrediteer in die oë van die wêreld met die Transnetstaking, en dit net voordat die Fifa-wêreldbeker sal plaasvind.

In plaas daarvan dat Suid-Afrika geleenthede soos Republiekwording, en Uniewording toe die vier kolonies in 1910 saamgevoeg is, vier, soos ons gister op 31 Mei gedoen het, en in plaas daarvan dat ons voluit die Fifa- wêreldbeker vier, moet ons van die miljarde rande wat die ekonomie skade gely het as gevolg van die staking en dat die ekonomie deels lamgelê is, hoor.

Cosatu, as deel van die tri-alliansie van die ANC, het geen poging aangewend om hierdie staking te voorkom nie. Dit wys vir ons dat Cosatu glad nie in hierdie Fifa-wêreldbeker geïntereseerd is nie. En net so het die Zuma-administrasie ook geskitter in sy afwesigheid tydens hierdie staking wat die groot gebrek aan leierskap in die ANC aandui.

Watter ander land ter wêreld sal nog so ’n geleentheid soos ’n wêreldbeker misbruik om homself te saboteer? Dit is net totaal onaanvaarbaar. Dan hoor ons ook nou dat Cosatu besig is om ’n Eskomstaking te organiseer om die wêreldsokkerspele lam te lê en donker te maak.

Dit is onaanvaarbaar en die DA vra vir die Minister van Openbare Ondernemings, wat vandag nie in die Parlement teenwoordig is nie, dat sy dringend ingryp om orde in hierdie openbare ondernemings te herstel. Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)

[Dr S M VAN DYK (DA): Hon Deputy Speaker, in the past three weeks South Africa has damaged its reputation in the eyes of the world with the Transnet strike, and that just shortly before the start of the Fifa World Cup.

Instead of South Africa celebrating events like the founding of the Republic, and the founding of the Union when the four colonies were joined in 1910, as we did yesterday on 31 May, and instead of a full-out celebration of the Fifa World Cup, we have to hear about the loss of billions of rand that the economy suffered as a result of the strike and that the economy has been partially paralysed.

Cosatu, as part of the tripartite alliance of the ANC, made no attempt to avert this strike. This demonstrates to us that Cosatu is not at all interested in this Fifa World Cup. And the Zuma administration was also conspicuous by its absence during this strike, which indicates the great lack of leadership in the ANC.

Which other country in the world would misuse an event like a World Cup to sabotage itself? It is just totally unacceptable. Then we also have to learn that Cosatu is actively organising an Eskom strike to paralyse the World Cup games and plunge them into darkness. This is unacceptable and the DA wants to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises, who is not present in Parliament today, to intervene as a matter of urgency to restore order in these public enterprises. Thank you.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mrs E M COLEMAN (ANC): Deputy Speaker, the ANC welcomes the recognition by the International Monetary Fund, the IMF, of the ANC government’s good leadership during the recent global financial crisis. The IMF has described South Africa as a classic case of a country building buffers in the good times and using those buffers when the crisis hits, predicting a 3% growth in the country’s economy this year. This is yet further confirmation that the country has been in capable hands under the ANC for the past 16 years of constitutional democratic rule.

Continuing with the trend of adhering to sound economic policies under the stewardship of President Jacob Zuma and the Cabinet collective augurs well for the country’s future. The steady increase in economic growth also confirms the message articulated by Minister Gordhan in his Budget Speech, when he said:

In recognising the return of growth, we also realise that it will take a few years to reach the levels we achieved in 2007.

Let us salute the ANC-led government for their sterling work in driving good economic policies for greater economic growth. It is indeed true that working together we can do more to alleviate poverty, and create decent and sustainable jobs for our people. Thank you.




                        (Minister’s Response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Deputy Speaker, first of all the hon Kganare quite correctly said that he could not be held responsible for other people’s ignorance, but let me help him with identifying himself.

As the hon Dexter will know, in India there are several communist parties. One of them is the Communist Party of India, CPI (ML), for Marxist- Leninist. We now have a Cope (ML), but it does not stand for Marxist- Leninist, it stands for Mosiuoa Lekota, and I think Cope (ML) is where you come from. I suppose that is better than being Cope (SS), which has another set of references! [Laughter.]

I am standing up in particular in regard to the Transnet strike. I think what we should be doing today is congratulating the management of Transnet, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa, and the trade unions – not just Cosatu, but also the United Transport Allied Trade Union, Utatu – as well at the Minister of Public Enterprises and this government, for ensuring that what was a very difficult situation was brought to a conclusion; and a good conclusion.

We must not just blame workers in these matters. In the case of Transnet, the legacy of labour broking has caused tremendous problems. Some 10 000 workers in Transnet are on short-term contracts and they get rehired over and over again. That is why, as the ANC government, we welcome the settlement which stipulates that many of these workers should now be employed as full-time workers with all of the rights that other workers enjoy.

In the case of Prasa, what we are dealing with is a legacy of a racially divided labour market in which certain categories of artisanal workers, formerly all white, enjoyed particular privileges. What we have done in the settlement is begin to close that gap as well.

Rather than complaining and whining, what we should be doing is acknowledging the very important active labour market that we have in South Africa, and the ability of South Africans, led by the ANC government and the tripartite alliance, to reach effective resolutions in difficult situations.

The hon Ruth Bhengu correctly raised the important question of the Mpumalanga province allocating R1,24 billion to road maintenance and construction over the next 10 months. It is a province that is facing particular challenges with coal haulage on our roads and it is very important that we do so.

Last week we held a very successful road summit at which we agreed that we have a major backlog in respect of road construction and road maintenance, and I am quite sure that this government will now move ahead effectively with ensuring that we begin to address that significant backlog. Thank you. [Applause.]




                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Deputy Speaker, we would all agree that Dr Motsoaledi has very clearly indicated government’s perspective with regard to the tragic death of babies in a number of hospitals throughout the country. I think Dr Motsoaledi has acted with speed, empathy and full commitment to ensure that government implements its determination that health will be and is a priority; and that the improvement of the quality of health services provided to the people of South Africa is a priority that it will continue to address.

None of us can make political capital out of the death of children. We are all saddened by these tragic events, and each one of us must make a contribution to ensuring that we support the health services to protect the lives of all the children in these services.

We certainly would agree that the Young Communist League, YCL, has taken a very bold and important step in convening young people to discuss the important matter of youth unemployment and opportunities available for young people in our country today. We would link this to government’s work to ensure that more is done to integrate young people in South Africa into the development priorities that it and a number of institutions in the country are pursuing.

With regard to the employment growth that was mentioned by the hon member of the ANC, I would just want to indicate that there has been a growth of 2%, not “to” 2%, but “of” 2%. That is an increase in the number employed, and this is a very positive development. As government, we are working hard to ensure that even more job opportunities are available for the people of our country and on the continent.

Finally, I would want to say that the DA does not only signify duplicity with regard to what is being done with tenders and contracts in the city, but even the statements it made about it having achieved victory in Ward 44 have indicated this duplicity. It certainly did not win Guguletu; it won Ward 44. Thank you. [Applause.]



The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon members, the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, represented the triumph of inhumanity over the common good. It symbolised the victory of racial segregation and discrimination perpetuated by colonial authorities over nonracialism and equality advanced by the downtrodden black majority.

The institutionalisation of racial discrimination through the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, as well as the proclamation of the Republic 13 years later in 1961, served as a consolidation of the inhumane, racist projects of 31 May 1902 and 31 May 1910.

It was therefore the democratic breakthrough of 1994, 84 years following the formation of the Union, that represented the triumph of the common good over inhumanity. It ushered in an era of democracy, freedom and nonracialism in a popular rejection of the centuries old system of colonialism and apartheid oppression.

It provided us with the hope to live again. It also gave us a belief that a better tomorrow for all our people was possible, and granted us an opportunity to bring into reality the aspirations of those who came before us.

The centenary anniversary of the Union of South Africa invokes ambiguous feelings on our journey to the democratisation of our country. It is geared at rolling back the effects of the legacy of the brutal system of exclusion, white supremacy and illegitimate rule over the majority by the minority.

The results of the 1910 parliamentary elections - the first under the Union’s constitution – showed a government that was committed to bringing about reconciliation between Boer and Brit, and the exclusion of blacks from the political life of the country. It was this government, which was dedicated to promoting the exclusive interests of whites and the degradation of black people, that took office on 31 May 1910.

Even the African franchise in the Cape, which was entrenched in the Union’s constitution, was a flimsy protective cover, which in time was scrapped and thereby rendered all Africans voiceless. It placed the Afrikaners and English in a position to determine the place of Africans in their scheme of things.

Subsequently, in the very first session of the Union Parliament in 1911, the government fired the first shot in what would become a barrage of legislation that was designed to strip Africans of the means to defend themselves. This was to render them helpless in the face of capitalist exploitation by mining and farming interests.

Two important statutes were passed in that first session. The Mines and Works Act reserved certain occupations in the mining industry for whites only, and thus laid down the principle of the industrial colour bar. The second piece of legislation passed during the same session of Parliament was the Native Labour Regulation Act.

In terms of this Act, the government armed itself with powers of control over the movement of Africans. Not only was the movement of Africans from one area to another strictly determined by this law, but their vertical mobility was to be strictly controlled through subsequent legislation, which condemned the African worker to a position of menial labourer.

The government was able to create a pool of cheap labour in the native reserves by controlling the movement of African labourers. They could be drawn up to satisfy the needs of employers in the white areas, be it the mines, manufacturing industries, commerce or farms.

After the defeat of the African kingdoms, the British imperialists and the colonialists faced what came to be known as the Ethiopian or Native Problem. This coincided with the partitioning of Africa by European powers and the discovery of gold around the Witwatersrand in 1885. The mining industry not only made the Witwatersrand the gravitation point of African labour, but also an important centre for missionary work.

Racism and racially discriminatory practices as well as the suppression of African culture and traditions in the missionary churches in Africa and the Diaspora, led to the secession of the African converts from the missionary churches. This resulted in the formation of African independent churches, popularly known as the Ethiopian churches. These were notably the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the USA, and the Ethiopian Church of South Africa, established by Rev Mangena Mokone.

In 2009 President Zuma posthumously honoured Mokone as the father of African Ethiopian theology. But the Dutch and English colonialists saw Mokone and his Ethiopian movement as the biggest threat after wars of resistance. Ethiopianism was indeed a threat to racism, which was becoming the cornerstone of their policies.

However, during the Anglo-Boer War, now the South African War, of 1899 to 1902, African people fought on both sides hoping that in the event of victory, they would regain their civil and political rights. In 1900, while the war was still raging, W E du Bois told the first Pan-African conference that the biggest problem of the 20th century would be the colour line. The conference also condemned the atrocities perpetrated against African people during this war.

At the end of the war, the Dutch and the British concluded the Peace Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902, which made racism or the colour bar the cornerstone of their constitutional vision. Meanwhile, delegates from the First Pan- African Conference joined officials of the AME Church in Cape Town, from where they spread Ethiopianism and Pan-Africanism into the interior. At the same time, Ethiopian Christians swelled the ranks of the emerging Native congresses, which were formed in all four colonies, and came together to form the Union of South Africa in 1910.

Ethiopianism was so influential that the Orange Free State Native Congress used the rules of the Ethiopian Church as its constitution. Ethiopianism became such a threat to the racial ideology of the colonialists that they appointed the SA Native Affairs, SANAC, Commission to investigate it. The Commission found that many Ethiopian Christians participated in the Bhambatha War.

This growing unity and co-operation of black people, including Indians and Coloureds, forced the colonialists towards greater unity. Their unifying factor was the threat of Ethiopianism rooted in the slogan “Africa for Africans”, at home and abroad. This resistance movement came to be known as the “black peril” or “swart gevaar”.

This was the birth of the Native problems. The birth of Ethiopianism meant that there were two constitutional visions in South Africa at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the racial ideology of the colonialists and the nonracial ideology of Ethiopianists and Pan-African nationalists who were profoundly influenced by, inter alia, the nonracial Christian message, which was distorted by the missionaries. These two constitutional visions became clearer with the whites-only national convention held in Durban and the blacks-only national convention held in Bloemfontein, in the same year, in 1908.

The passage of the South Africa Act of 1909, which gave birth to the Union of South Africa in 1910, marked the triumph of racism over nonracialism. The formation of the SA National Native Congress, SANNC, renamed the ANC in 1923, marked the beginning of a national political resistance against colonialism and its underlying racial ideology.

However, on the contrary, as early as 1892, John Langalibalele Dube had called for a different society; a society that would be spiritual, humane and prosperous. Dube was a self-confessed Ethiopian Christian. His vision of a new Africa was echoed by Pixley Isaka ka Seme, convener of the founding conference of the ANC, in his oration entitled: “The Regeneration of Africa”.

Seme also called for the creation of a unique civilisation for Africa and Africans based on both spirituality and humanness. Both Dube and Seme had come under the influence of Ethiopianism during their studies in the United States.

The Ethiopian Movement was more than a religious movement, as our icon Mr Mandela observed. It went beyond the African interpretation of the Scriptures to address native grievances side-by-side with all sectors of society. Its fundamental tenets were self-worth, self-reliance and freedom. These tenets drew the Ethiopian Christians to the growing political movement of the early 1900s that culminated in the formation of the ANC in 1912.

The Ethiopian clergy and lay preachers, including people like S M Makgatho, the ANC president from 1917 to 1924, used the church platform to recruit members for the ANC. In this sense, Nelson Mandela observed, the ANC traces the seeds of its formation to the Ethiopian Movement of the 1890s.

Nelson Mandela has observed, quite correctly, that the links between the Ethiopian Church and the ANC and the struggle for national liberation, go back to the activism of the 1890s, when the products of missionary education observed and recorded that African people were not only dispossessed of their land and cattle, but also of their pride, dignity and institutions.

As we mark 100 years since the formation of the Union of South Africa, it should also be noted that Ethiopia is this year observing the 114th anniversary of the victory of the Battle of Adwa, where the Italian fascists who attempted to colonise Ethiopia were defeated by the Ethiopian army led by Emperor Menelik II in 1896. The defeat of the Italians by the brave, ancient Ethiopian martyrs represented the rejection of racist, colonial oppression in defence of African sovereignty.

When the fascist Italian forces made a second attempt at invading Ethiopia in 1935, African and other Third World countries expressed solidarity with that country. This Pan-African solidarity culminated in the Fifth Pan- African Conference, which called on peasants, workers, women, students and intellectuals to use all means in their power to fight for freedom and the independence of their countries. The Ethiopian clergy in the ANC also played a critical role in shaping its moral vision. For instance, Rev Mahabane, the ANC president in the 1920s, challenged the colonial status of the African people in terms of which they were treated not as adult citizens with full rights, but as children to be spoken for and controlled.

Mahabane argued that the racist rulers of South Africa had denied Africans their basic human right to self-determination and that any advance in human rights in the South African context had to begin with the affirmation of African humanity.

As I conclude, the point we are making here is that today we are celebrating the victory of humanity over inhumanity and the future that lies ahead of us. Thank you. [Applause.]

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, the passing of the controversial South Africa Act by the British parliament in 1909 was the first irreversible step in setting our country on its voyage of self- determination and, ultimately, the election of a free constitutional democracy. The passing of this Act was the precursor to throwing off the yoke of colonialism.

However, the opportunity cost was the exclusionism provision which would exclude black South Africans from any form of suffrage. The then Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, William Schreiner, and a South African delegation to Britain tried in vain to oppose the exclusionism provision.

The main objective of the formation of the Union in May 1910 was an endeavour to unite the divided white population, namely those of English origin and those regarded as Afrikaans-speaking South Africans.

The two defining events in this regard were, firstly, the Anglo-Boer War – the South African War that the Chief Whip of the Majority Party referred to – that took place from October 1899 to May 1902, where neighbours, friends and families fought to the bitter end in the name of Afrikaner nationalism.

The second defining event was the Bhambatha Rebellion, where Zulu-speaking South Africans revolted against British colonialists over disputes concerning land and tax grievances.

Another issue of immense political importance at this time was the fear of an emerging black consciousness and growing African nationalism. These myopic fears resulted in inexplicable displays of racial intolerance, violence and outright discrimination which culminated in the dreaded Natives Land Act of 1913.

This discriminatory legislation not only allowed for the systematic dispossession of land belonging to indigenous black South Africans at the beginning of the 20th century, but it continued to be a key tool in subjugating black South Africans during the apartheid years. Obviously, this milestone in our political pilgrimage will invoke different emotions among different communities in South Africa.

The same can be said of many of our national days. Such national days include days like Human Rights Day, when we remind each other never to allow past human rights abuses to happen again; and Youth Day, when we remind ourselves that young black heroes sacrificed their lives in order to protest against apartheid and Bantu education, which prevented the use of mother-tongue education in black schools.

So, too, we have the Day of Reconciliation, formerly the Day of the Covenant, which was used by some to celebrate the Voortrekker defeat of the Zulu izimpi at Blood River. Others, namely ANC activists, used this day to commemorate the beginning of the armed struggle to overthrow apartheid.

Today we celebrate this day as the Day of Reconciliation. I mention these three days of the eight national holidays as they invoke mixed emotions, but serve as milestones of where we have come from. They also serve as salutary lessons and reminders that we must never go there again.

The only way we can effectively and authentically confront the demons and challenges that face us as a nation is to respect and confront these milestones; not as a means to reinforce our segregated history, but as a way to overcome it. The Spanish-American philosopher, George Santayana, said in this regard:

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

There looms another very significant milestone on the horizon that is poised to form part of an unprecedented celebration in this country, and probably on the continent and, indeed, the rest of the world. The centenary celebration of the ANC, as a liberation movement pre-1994 and a first democratic government of South Africa post-1994, is, indeed, worthy of celebration.

The DA will be the first to wish you well. However, allow me to quote the former President and current Deputy President, hon Kgalema Motlanthe, who said, and I quote:

Our collective history must be acknowledged, no matter how painful. There is no merit in reviewing the past with a selective memory.

We must avoid the temptation to elevate the importance of certain days by politicising them at the expense of denigrating others, or by promoting different interpretations of these days by various communities. By attempting to change our recollection of our history or by contextualising it, we run the risk of undermining how far we have travelled in overcoming it.

The formation of the Union in 1910 was ironically the first unsteady step of a newborn nation that culminated in the coming of age of our rainbow nation in April 1994.

The growing pains of our country during the more than eight decades between the formation of the Union and our first democratic election - which were so painful for so many, especially those that were disposessed, suppressed and disadvantaged in so many painful manifestations - are a cause of deep regret to all of us.

We will never forget these milestones or fail to respect and honour those who sacrificed so much in the creation of the South Africa that we celebrate today. Thank you. [Applause.]

Dr G W KOORNHOF: Madam Deputy Speaker, we welcome the approach of having this debate today to allow ourselves to reflect on where we stand as a nation. One hundred years ago, South Africa was in serious need of reconciliation between all cultural groups, and we messed it up.

History was unfolding on the continent of Africa, driven vigorously by the imperialists and, in our case, the British to serve their own needs. It was clear that they would only allow some sort of a country on their terms. So, the Union of 1910, whether it was conceived in sin or not, has no doubt influenced the path of our history and followed other examples in the world, such as Canada and Australia.

The Anglo-Boer War, let me remind this House, was a war in which black South Africans participated and also died at the hands of both forces. This saw the restoration of the two Boer Republics in 1907 and then followed the Union.

The F W de Klerk Foundation summed it up quite correctly yesterday, referring to the Union, and I quote:

There was no supreme constitution, no distribution of real power, no Supreme Court to interpret the constitution and no limit to the actions of the executive – there were hardly any rights for black people.

As Keir Hardie, the Scottish socialist leader, observed during the debate in the British parliament on the South African issue, and I quote:

The purpose of the Union was to unify the white races, disenfranchise the coloured races and not to promote union between the races of South Africa. In 1914 a section of the Afrikaners - my grandfather and my uncle were rebels - rebelled against the British, showing displeasure at what had happened to them in South Africa. Fortunately, they were not the only group. The majority who were left out of the Union started to regroup, but for almost 50 years it was a struggle between two white groups, until the Republic was proclaimed in 1961.

However, in June 1955, the Freedom Charter, as a statement of core principles, was adopted at the Congress of the People’s convention in Kliptown. As you know, the second day of that convention was broken up by the police and Madiba escaped by disguising himself as a milkman. Nobody knew that he would become the most famous delivery man of hope, peace and reconciliation in world history!

He, together with other leaders, such as F W de Klerk, allowed us to become reborn and today we stand proudly as a teenager on the world platform.

Today we proudly show off our South African flag and our culture; and more importantly, we are showing the rest of the old democracies - many of whom have exploited Africa - that because of sound monetary and fiscal policies we are today an example of how to run state finances.

Barney Mthombothi wrote in the Financial Mail, and I quote:

A second decade into our liberation, we are a people still grappling with what it means to be South African.

Let us use our lessons of the past 100 years and use this 2010 Fifa World Cup, and the many other events that will follow, to grow the love for our flag, our country and ourselves. That would be the real mark of patriotism. I thank you. [Applause.]

Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Madam Deputy Speaker, the acting President of the Republic, hon Ministers and hon members, in our country we have dedicated a day to the celebration of human rights, Africa, our heritage, freedom, workers, youth and women, and rightly so; but the celebration of the centennial of South Africa’s birth as a united nation goes by almost unmarked.

Just now, hon Mr Koornhof said that it was conceived in sin; well, it does not mean that if a child is conceived in sin then we must deny its existence.

In this debate, we need to consider how our national identity has been shaped by events both noble and deplorable, and accept that history cannot be painted over with prettier colours.

In remembrance of the signing of the Act of Union of 31 May 1910, I have said, in a certain article that even bastards are entitled to celebrate their birthdays. There is no doubt that there is great controversy around the events that led to the genesis of South Africa as a united country. We did not have a glorious process of unification creating a mythology with which we can all comfortably identify. However, the unity of the country and the moment of its birth are facts which can neither be denied nor ignored.

We no longer talk of bastards, but rather children born out of wedlock, because we recognise that at the time of birth no one is to bear the sins or faults of his or her parents. The unification of South Africa was preceded by the Anglo-Boer War, the Anglo-Zulu War, the so-called Kaffir Wars in the Eastern Cape, the resistance of King Sekhukhune, and other conflicts which bear memories of horrors, glory and mixed feelings.

The founding fathers of our liberation struggle reacted to this white unilateral declaration of South Africa as an autonomous state by meeting in Bloemfontein in January 1912 to found the South African Native National Congress, later the African National Congress.

Four years prior to the Act of Union, a last attempt was made by black South Africans to throw off the yoke of oppression through revolutionary violence. After the Zulu Rebellion, often referred to as the Bhambatha Rebellion - the last armed struggle within the borders of this country - the white presence in this country and the destruction of the boundaries of the then existing black kingdoms became realities that had to be faced, willy-nilly. A new multiracial South Africa had come into existence and the options were either war or participation.

It is a tribute to the statesmanship of early black leaders that they elected to begin campaigning for the inclusion of blacks in the newly born Union through peaceful means. The Act of Union made black South Africans citizens, but denied them fundamental social, political and economic rights.

As black South Africans turned to grasp at new realities and to evolve tactics and strategies aimed at gaining full acceptance of blacks as citizens of the country, a new political tradition was born and a long struggle began.

The Act of Union was the culmination of very problematic processes and sets of events, but in itself did not necessarily carry the sins and stains of that which preceded it. It was an act of hope for a better future. That hope was realised for a minority, while the majority remained hopeless. But the fact that hope was asserted was of immense importance for, a century later, we may now rise to celebrate its final triumph for all South Africans.

Other countries have been unified by a shared national identity, ideology, religion or common interest, which is what underpinned the unification of Germany, Italy, the French Revolution, or the American Declaration of Independence. These events acted as the crucible for the birth of a new nation.

In our case, the birth of the nation was the result of an accommodation arising out of the settlement of many conflicts, all of which were rooted in greed, the need for survival, fear of those who were different, the quest for more land or the desire to protect one’s own ancestral land, depending on who tells the story.

The moment of birth was not the act of a phoenix, as it were, rising out of a crucible of fire, but rather eight years of lengthy negotiations after the Anglo-Boer War, which resulted in the type of compromises that underpin our country, having been born out of mutual accommodation rather than a collective will.

We ended up with three capitals, spread between Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein, with Durban becoming the seat of railways and ports; a situation which persists 100 years later. We ended up with cohabitation between the then two ruling groups, the English and the Afrikaners, which then led to a bilingual society which they imposed on the rest of us, a country that has 11 official languages.

It was a political marriage of convenience. From that time, we blacks became a problem. When I was growing up, white politicians openly spoke of us in this Parliament as the “Native Problem”. And I can visualise my mentor, Professor Z K Matthews at Fort Hare University, complaining one morning during his lecture, when the Federasie vir Vrouens was making statements about the black problem; and worse - we became “die swart gevaar”!

All this might be less than desirable, colleagues. But we are what we are and neither a country nor a person can deny the fact and significance of South Africa’s birth. Like many other countries, we should have had the courage, self-respect and pride to organise a grand parade which could show to ourselves and to the world where we come from.

This would have been particularly poignant coming just nine days before the kick-off of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, as the eyes of the world are upon us. We may have used this opportunity to open a debate on the independence of nations and the interdependence of history.

We could have shown the world how a country like ours, born out of compromise, could grow into a shared identity. We should be proud of our diversity, and this was an opportunity for us to showcase it, for to me it represents the very strength of our nation.

The patriotism on full display in South Africa is not diminished by reminders of where we come from, but rather enhanced. On the centennial anniversary of our country’s birth, I would have liked to see celebrations across the country, a dedicated day and all the other public and private activities which have marked the significant striking of the clock of history in our country. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Dr C P MULDER: Deputy Speaker, hon Acting President and hon members, the issue that we are debating today remains as relevant as it was 100 years ago.

I have listened to what some of my colleagues before me have said. It is not a question, as far as I am concerned, about “swart gevaar” or not “swart gevaar”, about racism or inhumanity. It is a question of how to get the recipe right in this country to live together as one nation, understanding the cultural diversity, the reality of South Africa, of how to become a winning nation.

Why do we have this debate today? We have this debate because the centenary of the Union is part of our history, something that we cannot deny. That is what happened 100 years ago. Somewhere down here in the basement is a huge picture of the National Convention. That is part of our history. Maybe one day we should display it, together with new pictures of the new South Africa and the new Cabinet and the new Presidents, because that is all part of our history.

I listened to the Chief Whip of the ANC, and he made the point that we are celebrating the victory of humanity over inhumanity, the victory of nonracism over racism. Yes, we are all brilliant with hindsight, but sometimes it is not that simple.

Ek kan u verseker dat vir Afrikaners wie so pas uit die Anglo-Boereoorlog gekom het waar hulle alles verloor het – hul vryheid; hul huise; hul geliefdes; hul alles – het 1908 of die Nasionale Konvensie nie oor ’n oorwinning oor swartmense gegaan nie.

Dit het daaroor gegaan om te probeer herwin en teen Britse imperialisme op te staan; om te probeer om selfregering en selfbeskikking in daardie tyd terug te kry. Ons moet ons geskiedenis in die regte konteks sien. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[I can assure you that for those Afrikaners who had just come out of the Anglo-Boer War where they lost everything — their freedom; their homes; their loved ones; everything — 1908 or the National Convention was not about a victory over black people.

It was about reclaiming, and standing up against British imperialism; an attempt to reclaim self-rule and self-determination at that time. We must look at our history in the proper context.]

On 31 May 1910 the Union of South Africa came into being, precisely eight years after the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging, which brought an end to the Anglo-Boer War. It was a Union under the British imperial flag. The head of state was King George V. The British had achieved with the war what they had set out to achieve right from the beginning. Why? The world’s richest gold mines were now safely under the control of British imperialism, not Afrikaner nationalism. They were in the hands of British imperialism.

It was expected of Afrikaners to rebuild the destroyed Boer Republics and the Union of South Africa, and for that they received limited self-rule under British supervision.

The birth of the Union in 1910 was a direct result of the deliberations of the National Convention that started in October 1908 in Durban, and that National Convention – I mentioned the picture – consisted of 30 persons: 12 from the Cape Colony, 8 from the Transvaal, 5 from the Free State and 5 from Natal. Now of those 30 people, 16 were of British descent and 14 were Afrikaners – my time is long gone.

The point I wanted to make is that Afrikaners were there at that stage to play their role. They have been here over the past 100 years to play their role. They have played their role and they will continue to do so. The challenge that we all have is: What is the final recipe to make us a winning nation in all respects? The goodwill is there. We still need to find that final recipe. Thank you. [Applause.]

Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, Acting President, whilst understandably there are those who have no desire to celebrate the centenary of the Union of South Africa because it was the beginning of suffering for the majority of South Africans, it remains an event that we cannot ignore or wish away.

In 1910, the original South African constitution came into being to bring to an end the Anglo Boer War to an end and unify the four colonies. The draft constitution appeared to offer an end to antagonism. Sadly, the existing antagonism between the Boers and the British took precedence over all other considerations, resulting in the trampling of other people’s rights, specifically those of the blacks, coloureds and Indians.

The Union and the constitution nearly failed because of the refusal of the more northern colonies to accept the extension of the Cape’s nonracial franchise. A delegation led by W P Schreiner, a former Prime Minister of the Cape, and his fellow petitioners told the British House of Commons that the only method of securing peace, harmony and contentment was by granting equal political rights to qualified men, irrespective of race, colour or creed.

We look back with 20-20 hindsight and see the foolishness of not embracing all peoples living in the nation and regret the time wasted when we could have walked side by side and learned from one another. Like the coming Soccer World Cup, unification promoted a more rapid modernisation of the country than might otherwise have been the case. The infrastructure passed on to the government in 1994 compared favourably with developed nations.

Today South Africa is a unified rainbow nation and the result of efforts both helpful and harmful by all over the past 100 years. Our willingness to consider celebrating our unity on a day like today shows, I think, a degree of maturity which offers hope for all who live in and love South Africa. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mrs M N MATLADI: Chairperson, some see the Union of South Africa centenary as something that should be celebrated or commemorated, but what is it that we should commemorate about this Union? Is it the fact that the British and the Afrikaners, in spite of their contentions with each other, agreed that the country needed to put in place laws to limit black access to political power? Or is it the fact that the Afrikaners and the British agreed that they needed to unite in order to secure cheap black labour and exploit our minerals? To me, this is what marks the Union of South Africa’s centenary.

I hear the blabbering about this being a milestone, but all it really reflects is the white race uniting to oppress native black South Africans. This we must not forget. [Applause.] We cannot afford to forget, especially when looking at the economic situation for blacks and the reluctance of many whites to address and redress this.

The need to address economic and land ownership disparities is urgent, because when we today reflect on the Union of South Africa centenary today, the legacy we see is whites really having united in acquiring wealth at the expense and through the exploitation and oppression of native South Africans. That legacy needs to change as a matter of urgency. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mnr W P DOMAN: Adjunkspeaker, net soos die totstandkoming van die nuwe Suid- Afrika as ’n wonderwerk aanvaar word, kan die onderhandelinge van die Nasionale Konvensie wat op 12 Oktober 1908 in Durban begin het en op 31 Mei 1910 tot die totstandkoming van die Unie van Suid-Afrika gelei het, as ’n staatkundige wonderwerk vir sy tyd beskou word. Dit was egter een wat ongelukkig nie aan al sy inwoners gelyke regte gegee het nie.

Dit was egter ’n wonderwerk omdat, toe die Nasionale Konvensie begin het, die drie jaar lange Anglo-Boereoorlog maar ses jaar vantevore op 31 Mei 1902 met die Vrede van Vereeniging ten einde geloop het. Gevoelens tussen Boer en Engelsman was nog rou. Verder was daar sterk wantroue by die bevolking. In die Transvaal was daar diégene wat gevra het waarom die ryk goudopbrengste met die res van Suid-Afrika gedeel moes word, en ook waarom hulle die gevaar moes loop van die hoë belastings wat in daardie tyd in die Kaapkolonie gegeld het.

In die Kaapkolonie was daar weer diégene wat gevrees het dat die Transvaal met sy ekonomiese voorspoed die res van die land sal oordonder en die vrees dat die Kaapkolonie die stemreg van sy swart en bruin bevolking sou moes inboet. In Natal was daar gevrees dat hulle hul sterk Brits-gebaseerde karakter en vryhede sou verloor, en in die Vrystaat was daar weer die vrees dat so ’n klein republiek binne ’n Unie deur die ander oordonder sou word.

Die 30 afgevaardigdes — 12 van die Kaap, agt van die Transvaal, en 5 elk van Natal en die Oranje-Vrystaat, plus drie afgevaardigdes sonder stemreg van Rhodesië — het inderdaad ’n wonderwerk vir hul tyd bewerkstellig. Dis maklik om vandag vinger te wys na die gebreke van die Nasionale Konvensie.

Ons moet egter hul tydsgebondenheid verstaan. Twee voorbeelde is onder andere: die 33 mans het byvoorbeeld meer as een petisie van vroue gekry, een met meer as 7 000 handtekeninge, om tog nie stemreg aan vroue te gee nie, iets wat eers twee dekades later sou kom, en niemand minder nie as genl Jan Smuts het sterk geargumenteer dat die Parlement die hoogste gesag moet wees en dat die onverkose regbank nie finale uitsluitsel oor wetgewing mag gee nie. Abraham Fischer, premier van die Vrystaat, het vir Smuts hierin teengestaan.

Daar kan met reg gesê word dat die Uniewording se hoofdoel was om ongelukkig net die Afrikaners en die Engelssprekendes bymekaar te bring, hul versoening na te streef, en in die proses Suid-Afrika ekonomies op te bou.

Dit is interessant om daarop te let dat 16 afgevaardigdes van Engelssprekende afkoms en 14 Hollandssprekend was. Lees ’n mens die debat van die imperiale Parlement in Londen wat op 16 en 19 Augustus 1909 die Zuid-Afrika Wet gedebatteer het, is dit ook duidelik dat die hoofsaak vir Brittanje was ’n welvarende land wat tot die imperiale ryk moes bydra. Oor die regte van die res van die inheemse bevolking is daar in dié debat wel vrae gevra, maar die wet is onveranderd deurgevoer.

Lof vir die afgevaardigdes se leierskap – met veral die voorsitter van die konvensie, Sir Henry de Villiers, Hoofregter van die Kaapkolonie wat uitgesonder is – is uitgespreek, want die nuwe Unie het Britse belange eintlik volledig verteenwoordig.

Ja, die vinger kon gewys word dat die konvensie die totstandkoming van ’n sterk Unie as die enigste manier gesien het om die inheemse vraagstuk, soos dit genoem is, vorentoe op te los. Wat stemreg betref, is die Unie dus in sonde ontvang en gebore. Die Transvaal en die Vrystaat wou niks weet van stemreg vir swartmense, bruinmense en Indiërs nie.

Die wete dat die Britte ten minste 60 000 swart en bruin mans onder wapen gebring het om teen die Boere te veg en veral ten opsigte van wat hulle op die plase aan weerlose vroue en kinders gedoen het, het waarskynlik tot hierdie onverbiddelikheid bygedra.

Selfs die Natalse afgevaardigdes, kol Greene en Sir Hislop, was onverbiddelik teen die uitbreiding van stemreg, omdat hulle gevrees het dat die Zulus met wie hulle vantevore in oorloë was teen hulle sou draai. Op die ou end is die status quo gehandhaaf. Geen stemreg vir swartes, bruines en Indiërs in die Transvaal en die Vrystaat nie, terwyl swartmense in Natal stemreg kon bekom, maar dit was onder sulke moeilike voorwaardes dat dit stemreg eintlik uitgesluit het.

Net in die Kaapkolonie is daar betekenisvolle stemreg vir swart en bruin kiesers behou. Adv F S Malan wat gedurende die oorlog deur die Engelse in die tronk gestop is oor sy koerant se ondersteuning vir die Boere en ook ander Afrikaners uit die Kaap het regdeur geveg vir die behoud van die Kaapse stemreg.

Oor ander moeilike kwessies is geredelik eenstemmigheid gekry. ’n Unie en nie ’n federasie nie sou tot stand kom en dit sou wel onder die Britse Kroon plaasvind. Oor ampstale is die volgende voorstel eenparig aanvaar: Beide die Engelse en Hollandse tale sal amptelike tale van die Unie wees en sal gelyke vryhede, regte en voorregte besit en geniet. Alle verslae, joernale en verrigtinge van die Unie-Parlement sal in albei tale wees, en alle wetsontwerpe, aktes en kennisgewings van algemene publieke belang en betekenis wat deur die Unie-regering uitgevaardig word, sal in albei tale wees.

Verskeie sake en sommige wat vandag selfs geld, is so in goedertrou besleg. Pretoria is die administratiewe hoofstad, Bloemfontein is die regterlike hoofstad, en hier sit ons in Kaapstad in die wetgewende hoofstad.

Laat ons leer uit die foute oor uitsluiting wat destyds gemaak is, maar laat ons ook positief wees. Uniewording het hierdie mooi land van ons tot ’n geografiese eenheid gebind. Die staat Suid-Afrika wat ontwikkel het, het tot die suksesvolste land op die Afrika-vasteland ontwikkel.

Die bevolking het van 6 miljoen tot 50 miljoen gegroei. Die lewensstandaard het dramaties gestyg, en staatkundig het ’n kieserslys wat oorheers is deur blanke mans ontwikkel tot ’n volwaardige stemreg vir almal bo 18 jaar. Na die monargale stelsel van 1910 het ons in 1961 ’n Republiek met ’n President as ’n staatshoof gekry wat behou is toe ons in 1994 ’n volwaardige demokrasie geword het.

Soos in 1910 en 1994, kan ons weer eens in ons nasiebou en in ons ekonomiese opheffingstaak wonderwerke laat gebeur. Ek lees die volgende aanhaling deur Antonio Gramsci, ’n Italiaanse filosoof: The old is dead and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, many morbid symptoms appear.

Ja, daar was na 1910 vir baie jare morbiede simptome, en daar is ook morbiede simptome in die nuwe Suid-Afrika wat ons nie verwag het nie, waarteen ons veg, maar die nuwe moet gebore word: ’n nuwe Suid-Afrikaanse identiteit waarin ons onsself kan wees en deel met almal; ’n nuwe identiteit waarin ons almal in ons land, die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, tuis sal voel. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr W P DOMAN: Deputy Speaker, in the same way that the establishment of the new South Africa is considered to be a miracle, the negotiations of the National Convention, which started in Durban on 12 October 1908 and led to the establishment of the Union of South Africa on 31 May 1910, could also be seen as a constitutional miracle for its time. It was, however, one that unfortunately did not afford all its residents equal rights.

Nevertheless, it was a miracle because when the National Convention started the Anglo-Boer War, which lasted for three years, had ended only six years before when the Peace Treaty of Vereeniging was signed on 31 May 1902. Feelings between the Boer and the Englishman were still raw. In addition, there was a feeling of deep-rooted distrust among the population. In the Transvaal there were those who questioned why the high returns from gold had to be shared with the rest of South Africa, and why they had to run the risk of paying the high taxes that were levied in the Cape Colony at that time.

In the Cape Colony, in turn, there were those who feared that the Transvaal with its economic prosperity would overshadow the rest of the country and that the Cape Colony would have to forfeit the franchise of its African and Coloured population. In Natal, the fear existed that they would lose their strong British-based character and freedoms, and in the Free State there was the fear that such a small republic would be overshadowed by the others in a Union.

The 30 delegates — 12 from the Cape, 8 from the Transvaal, and five each from Natal and the Orange Free State, plus three delegates from Rhodesia without the right to vote — did indeed accomplish a miracle for their time. Today, it is easy to point fingers at the shortcomings of the National Convention.

However, we have to understand that they were time-bound. Two examples, amongst others, are: the 33 men, for instance, received more than one petition from women, one with more than 7 000 signatures, not to give women the franchise, something that would only happen two decades later, and no less a person than Gen Jan Smuts put forward a strong argument that the Parliament had to be the highest authority and that the unelected judiciary may not make the final pronouncement on legislation. Abraham Fischer, premier of the Free State, opposed Smuts on this.

It could justifiably be said that the main aim of establishing the Union was unfortunately only to unite the Afrikaners and English-speaking people, and to strive towards their reconciliation and build the South African economy in the process.

It is interesting to note that 16 delegates were of English-speaking descent and 14 were Dutch. When one reads the debate of the imperial Parliament in London, which discussed the South Africa Act on 16 and 19 August 1909, it is also clear that the main objective for Britain was a prosperous country that had to contribute to the imperialist empire. Questions were indeed asked about the rights of the indigenous population during this debate, but the Act was promulgated without amendments.

Praise was expressed for the leadership of the delegates — singling out the chairperson of the convention, Sir Henry de Villiers, Chief Justice of the Cape Colony in particular — because the new Union actually fully represented British interests.

Yes, it could be said that the convention saw the establishment of a strong Union as the only way to resolve the indigenous question, as it was called, in the years ahead. With regard to the franchise, the Union was, therefore, conceived and born in sin. The Transvaal and the Free State wanted nothing to do with enfranchising Africans, Coloureds or Indians.

The knowledge that the British had called up at least 60 000 African and Coloured men to take up arms against the Boers, and particularly with regard to what they had done to defenceless women and children on the farms, probably contributed to this implacability.

Even the delegates from Natal, Col Greene and Sir Hislop, were implacably against extending the franchise because they feared that the Zulus, with whom they had been engaged in wars before, would turn against them. In the end, the status quo was maintained. Africans, Coloureds and Indians in the Transvaal and the Free State were not allowed to vote, while Africans in Natal could be enfranchised, but it was under such difficult conditions that it actually excluded franchise.

Only the Cape Colony retained meaningful franchise for African and Coloured voters. Adv F S Malan, who had been imprisoned by the British during the war for his newspaper’s support for the Boers, as well as other Afrikaners from the Cape fought throughout for the retention of the Cape franchise.

Other difficult issues were readily agreed upon. A Union would be established and not a federation and it would indeed be under the British Crown. The following recommendation was accepted unanimously with regard to official languages: Both English and Dutch would be the official languages of the Union and they would have and enjoy equal freedoms, rights and privileges. All reports, journals and proceedings of the Union Parliament would be in both languages, and all Bills, Acts and notices of general public interest and significance issued by the Union government would be in both languages.

In this way several matters, and some that are still relevant today, were resolved in good faith. Pretoria would be the administrative capital, Bloemfontein the judicial capital, and here we are in Cape Town in the legislative capital.

Let us learn from the mistakes made back then in respect of exclusion, but let us also be positive. The establishment of a Union brought together this beautiful country of ours as a geographical unit. The South African state that emerged developed into the most successful country on the African continent.

The population has grown from six million to 50 million. The standard of living has improved drastically, and constitutionally a voters’ roll which had been dominated by white men has developed into a full franchise for everyone above 18 years. Subsequent to the system of monarchy of 1910, we got a Republic in 1961 with a President as the Head of State, which was retained when we became a fully fledged democracy in 1994.

As was the case in 1910 and 1994, we can once again make miracles happen in our task of nation-building and economic upliftment. I am reading the following quote from Antonio Grasci, an Italian philosopher:

The old is dead and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, many morbid symptoms appear.

Yes, after 1910 there were morbid symptoms for many years, and there are also morbid symptoms in the new South Africa that we did not expect, that we are fighting against, but the new has to be born: a new South African identity in which we can be ourselves and share with everyone; a new identity in which we will all feel at home in our country, the Republic of South Africa. [Applause.]]

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon members, when the Blue Bulls won the Super 14 Cup at Orlando Stadium, whilst many may have missed the significance of the occasion, the Blue Bulls coach offered us an important respite when he remarked amidst the euphoria, and I quote:

One day we will look back and appreciate what it was about. This was not an insignificant or minor occasion. In the same way, the founding of the Union of South Africa was an important event 100 years ago. Those of us who are lucky to be alive today are accorded that precious moment to look back and appreciate what it was about. We carry with us the responsibility to find what was positive, if any, in that act and yet to negate through our present day deeds, its destructive legacy of exclusion, racism, class oppression and gender discrimination.

Before we proceed, we need to remind ourselves that the colonisation of South Africa, as was the case with the other colonies, had been spawned by the emergence and spread of capitalism as a global system.

In 1776, Adam Smith wrote that the discovery of America and the passage to the East Indies via the Cape of Good Hope were the two greatest events recorded in human history. The full extent of those consequences at the time, although they very great, were still impossible to fully comprehended. However he said and I quote:

To the natives, both of the East and West Indies, all the commercial benefits which can have resulted from these events, have been sunk and lost in the dreadful misfortunes which they have occasioned.

Almost a century later Marx said these events “signalled the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production” and were “the chief momenta of primitive accumulation”.

They not only shaped the modern South African state but also laid the foundation for the subsequent dreadful misfortunes that black people were to experience for almost a century.

More than anything else it was the discovery of diamonds and gold that was to play a decisive role in the course of political and economic development in South Africa. It created new conditions which were, in many ways, different from the general situation of the classical colonial system pertaining throughout the African continent.

As a result of these discoveries, the settler communities decided to settle here permanently, which accordingly created a peculiar situation in which both the colonial ruling class, with its white support base, and the oppressed majority shared a single country.

In this arrangement, all white classes benefited, albeit unequally and in different ways, from the internal colonial structure and conversely, all black classes suffered national oppression and economic exploitation albeit in varying degrees and different ways. This is what came to be known as “colonialism of a special type”.

The discovery of mineral wealth propelled conditions for an advanced capitalist economy in South Africa, but within the broader system of colonial domination in the imperialistic epoch.

This created new levels of economic greed and political ambitions amongst the British imperialists and set them along the path of war. The so called Anglo-Boer War was an imperialist war fought to decide the ownership of the richest gold mines in South Africa. Despite its being regarded as a family quarrel to forge white unity, many Africans participated in the war and suffered in one way or another. Their contribution was neither acknowledged nor rewarded.

This was deliberate as neither the Brits nor the Boers wanted to be seen to owe the Africans anything out of the war. The defeat of the Boers and the end of the South African War resulted in the consolidation of the British Empire over all of South Africa. In the postwar arrangements, the Afrikaners emerged as junior partners even though they were never to accept this position.

They began systematically capturing the levers of the state and the economy in order to better position themselves in the new settlement, forging specific economic interests and referring to themselves as a “volk” [people].

Critical in what they did, was the use of “korrektiewe aksie” [corrective action] in order to enhance their political and economic aspirations as a group. They, today, think that the victims of the legacy of this marriage of convenience achieved in 1910, do not deserve the same “korrektiewe aksie”.

The Union partially settled the native problem by uniting the two central political blocks of the white establishment and excluding the black majority in the settlement. The priority now was the unity of the two main white groups to resolve the native question, the proverbial white man’s burden.

In this arrangement, these two groups would have no concern for what black people thought or aspired to. Unsurprisingly, in the Union race was to play a primary role. South Africa was dubbed a white man’s country and democracy itself was defined as a white man’s democracy. Accordingly, we see that the Union of South Africa was, throughout its existence, an anti-African union wherein black people had neither a political role nor an economic stake.

It was predicated on this notion that Africans were cheap and expendable labour, and were not South Africans. By failing to grant black people political rights, their economic exploitation was turned into law and created a situation in which race, class and gender oppression were so enmeshed to a point where national liberation would be meaningless without, at the same time, pursuing gender equality and class emancipation.

This meant that they could neither pursue their political aspirations nor realise their full economic rights in the Union that would condemn them to be perpetual producers of wealth, which they produced not for their own benefit but for its appropriation by the white minority. They were treated not as human beings but as beasts of burden — cheap labour without rights.

Furthermore, it was to ensure that they did not become a political threat to the establishment. They feared that by offering them a franchise, they would use their numbers to unseat them, take over the state and transform them from the status of producers without rights, to that of masters of their own destiny.

The natives were an ever present menace in the Union. Accordingly, the exploitation of their labour, going hand in hand with their political oppression, became a vital instrument for the pursuit of economic plunder.

The exploitation of the country’s resources depended upon black labour. For this reason the colonial regimes would put in place a battery of laws to control and exploit black labour such as that pertaining to Bantu education and intended to ensure that black people would have no skills, generation after generation.

This explains why the European settlers and successive white regimes relied on unskilled African labour and consequently why South Africa is today faced with such an enormous lack of skilled labour and high unemployment, particularly amongst Africans. [Applause.]

Amongst whites, the unemployment rate has always hovered at 4% from 1970 to 2008 and only went up to approximately 6,1% during the recession, which disproves the lie that the white youth have been negatively affected by affirmative action and black economic empowerment, BEE.

The current structure of the South African economy was created over a century ago and was pursued with unyielding zeal and an unnerving totality during this period that started in 1910. Clearly, the Union economic structure was so perverse that it negated its own possibility for further development and modernisation and eventually became a fetter to capitalism itself.

From the white minority state, established in 1910, we see that Africans got the rawest deal, which is why in 1976 Walter Sisulu characterised the central feature of the revolution in South Africa as an African revolution and wrote:

In the first place, the oppression and exploitation of the African people is the pivot around which the whole system of white supremacy revolves.

By this he meant that the liberation of the African people was a necessary condition for removing the oppression of all other national groups in South Africa.

1994 achieved what the founders of the Union of South Africa in 1910 had been too shortsighted to envision, which is the creation of a nonracial Union of South Africa. Standing as we do at this historic juncture, only our extravagant imagination can allow us to go back a century earlier and imagine what could have been achieved, had the Brits and the Boers sat together in Vereeniging with the leaders of black people, such as Dr Abdullah Abdurahman, Prof Jabavu, Dr Dube, Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme and Charlotte Maxeke, to found a nonracial union on the basis of universal franchise.

Indeed, the past 100 years would have turned out vastly and qualitatively different and the previous century of racial strife would have been avoided. South Africa would have long been a nonracial nation. This is precisely what the Union of South Africa failed to achieve. Whilst it united South Africa, it deliberately and dismally failed to forge a united, nonracial and democratic nation.

By precipitating as it did the unification of South Africa, it also helped to precipitate the forging of a liberatory African nationalism that eventually culminated in the formation of the African National Congress, bringing together the various native congresses that already existed in the colonies and compelling them to forge a congress of the African nation in the whole territory of South Africa.

The formation of this congress of the African nation was an answer to the Union of South Africa and set us along a path of a truly democratic and nonracial nation. The antithesis of the colonial state of 1910, must find expression in the fulfilment of the social aspirations of all South Africans, black and white, so that they can all identify themselves with the new state.

The new South Africa we are constructing today is consciously duty bound to be inclusive and biased towards the poor and vulnerable of all racial groups. To say this does not mean that the liberation of the Africans and black people in general is no longer relevant. However, it acknowledges the new political and social dynamics spawned by the progress of the national democratic revolution such as that there are poor and vulnerable white South Africans who equally need the support of the new democratic state.

The new South Africa established in 1994 has been premised on the noblest values of the Freedom Charter that South Arica belongs to all who live in it, black and white. No government can justly claim authority, unless it is based on the will of all the people. Our country will never be prosperous and free until all our people live in brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities. Only a democratic state based on the will of all the people can secure to all their birth right without distinction of colour, race, sex or belief.

This remains a revolution of all the people whose liberation of the most oppressed would simultaneously result in the liberation of white people in general from the burden of apartheid, which they have carried for centuries around their necks like a heavy chain. In particular, it would free the white working class and the white poor from the pact they made with white capital to defend the status quo.

It would bind them into a new, principled pact with their black counterparts and free them wholeheartedly to pursue their genuine interests together with black workers, without having to pay allegiance to a system that negated their genuine interest as a class and made them partners in its depravity.

This is what a real Union of South Africa should have been about in the first instance. I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, as we all know, yesterday, 31 May 2010, marked the centenary of the Union of South Africa.

We are gathered in this National Assembly as public representatives in the democratic state of South Africa. We are not assembled here to apportion blame or to exclude others from sharing in nation-building and social cohesion programmes. In our approach to commemorating history, we should neither be eclectic nor silent. As has been said by speakers before me in this House, the formation of the Union was a significant milestone in the establishment of the nation-state we now know as the Republic of South Africa. This marked the culmination of engagements of the victorious British economic interests on the one hand, and the defeated Boer republics on the other, in a manner which excluded the African people, who had also participated in this South African War.

It is worth noting that this war was referred to by the Afrikaner historians as …

… die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog … [… the Second Boer War … ]

… eVryheid baba ngapha eNatali … [… in Vryheid, sir, in Natal …]

… and by the British or English historians as the Anglo-Boer War, implying that only Afrikaners and British participated in the war. And yet, we know today that the Sesotho language is richer because of the observations the Basothos made during this war, when they described a fierce war or a fierce contestation. In Sesotho they say…

Ke ntwa ya dibono ena ntate; ho hobe. [Man, this is a war that is very tough; things are bad.]

This is an idiom informed by the fact that a contingent of Scotsmen, a Scottish regiment, also participated in that war. When the Basothos came across the bodies of the dead Scotsmen lying there with their kilts not quite covering the lower part of their bodies, they coined this idiom, which they use up to today to describe fierce contestations. [Laughter.]

The founding of the Union is one singular event that determined the contours of modern-day South Africa since the South Africa Act of 1909.

Hon members, engagement with the Union of South Africa as a chapter of our history will not only help us understand where we are today as a nation, but also, based on this historical understanding, help us find correct ways out of our present conditions.

We are a people who have always been ready to engage and discuss what is of concern to us as a nation. Throughout the history and experience of dispossession, African people opposed exclusion and never accepted being left out of processes that affected their lives. Therefore they always posited principles of inclusivity as opposed to exclusion.

It is thanks to visionary leaders such as Dr Abdulla Abdurahman, Mohandas Gandhi, Prof John Tengo Jabavu, Sol Plaatje and Dr John Langalibalele Dube, and many others, that our people were kept abreast of all the developments leading up to the formation of the Union. These brave men and women could unpack and translate every part of the debates to their chiefs, elders and ordinary fellow Africans.

Hon members, as an answer and a direct response to this act of exclusion, these leaders came together in Bloemfontien on 8 January 1912 to form the South African Native National Congress as a parliament of the people.

Because they were excluded from the main body politic of this country, they formed their own parliament. Most importantly, the seeds for nonracialism in South Africa can be traced back to this era of activism in which leaders opposed the rendering of Africans as temporary sojourners in the land of their birth.

As public representatives, we are obliged to take the lead on behalf of our people by relaying our history as our forebears did in the past. Let us engage with history in its entirety and shun the silence to inaction. I believe we are ready to take on the meanings and implications emanating from the centenary of the Union of South Africa.

Since the dawn of our constitutional democracy, we have always demonstrated a collective maturity to deal with inconvenient truths, as uncomfortable as they may be. The task before us, irrespective of where in the political spectrum we reside, is one requiring us to engage with this history comprehensively and objectively. We have to deal with this history in its entirety and embrace it for what it is, failing which, history will become subjective and reflective of the interests and viewpoints of the victors. As one old African idiom states: Only once lions have historians, will hunters cease to be heroes.

Therefore, our task, as a nation united in its diversity, should not be restricted by a willing embrace of only what is positive in our eyes, because those negative elements in our historical record are there to alert us to the directions from which we should steer clear.

Ordinarily, this centenary celebration should be a subject for national discourse, discussed in every town and village, dorpie and township. But, as matters have turned out, it is not. Instead, we find ourselves in a headlong rush to move forward without understanding where we come from.

Let me not delve into the details of events that occurred leading up to the formation of the Union 100 years ago, as this has been covered by other hon members.

For practical purposes, this epochal moment signalled the beginning of the long period of exclusion of the majority of our people from meaningful participation in the main body politic of our country. This exclusion also meant that race continued to be a significant index in both the polity and economy of our country.

The consequences of the establishment of the Union of South Africa are reverberating in all aspects of society today, 16 years into our democracy. And so, if we are to address the challenges besetting us in present day South Africa – challenges of poverty and inequality, social cohesion, and residues of racism and sexism – we can only do so guided by a clearer comprehension of this collective past from which none of us can escape.

Of course, reflection on odious acts in our past does not call for a common interpretation of history. Instead, it encourages all of us to be candid and open about our shared past with a view not only to prevent repetition of such mistakes, but also, more importantly, with a view to use such mistakes to rebuild our nation.

This is our history and a ledger of memory upon which our present socioeconomic conditions are based. Admittedly, our past is a past of pain for many of our people. The majority of South Africans have suffered much from policies of dispossession and from practices of exploitation. Yes, we are saddled with monuments reminding us of this pain and suffering. Yes, there is a temptation for us to consider wiping the slate of our history clean.

Every event in our lore, dating from the arrival of the Dutch East Indian Company in 1652, should, of necessity, be objectively catalogued and narrated for posterity. If we decide to make feel-good history our focus, we are most likely to repeat the errors of our past. Should we be remiss in this task, I believe we would be betraying the memory of those who lived and died in the course of this history.

Hon members, in embracing the past, especially its negative and unappealing aspects, such as those resulting from land dispossession, we do not by any stretch of the imagination intend to rub it in among certain sections of our population.

What we need is an all-inclusive process that involves the participation of all communities and social groups in determining our collective history and shared destiny. This is what would happen if we remain silent about our history and select to focus instead on episodes favourable to our purposes. Only this time, those condemning history to the bin of forgetfulness will not be agents of oppression, but all of us, through our silence and selective amnesia.

As it is commonly said, there is no silence without a language to make it so. Instead, it is our duty to betray silence, since there is no sorrow as deep as a sorrow of the unknown and what is denied.

I am convinced silence would not be the correct approach. We need to have a dialogue with the events from whence we come. We have to negotiate our presence by preservation of the unimaginable acts that took place during South Africa’s period of slavery, colonialism and apartheid. There cannot be any lasting comfort in razing material testaments which, I would suggest, need to be imaginatively recaptured by our artists, architects and historians, so that the tales continue to live on, not only in the oral narrative but in the material representations such as museums and place names. After all, in the dialogue of slavery, colonialism and apartheid are stories of survival and of ultimate triumph against inhumane systems.

The project of nation-building and social cohesion that we began 16 years ago demands nothing less than inviting every group and community in deciding on how we approach and relate to our shared history and common destiny.

I am of the view that if everyone is made to feel welcome in communicating the narrative of South Africa, we would then be a step closer to convincing them to feel patriotic as South Africans.

Hon members, our history when viewed in its entirety offers us salutary benefits on how to deal with issues of racial politics, building programmes of unity and forging ahead to build a society all its inhabitants can be proud of.

In conclusion, let us remember the fact that silence is as much an omission as it is a commission. The late national laureate, Mazisi Kunene, with these words, offers us a reason to preserve our history:

We must congregate here around the sitting mat, to narrate endlessly the stories of distant worlds. It is enough to do so, to give our tale the grandeur of an ancient heritage and then to clap our hands for those who are younger.

I thank you for your attention. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.



The MINISTER OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon Ministers, guests in the gallery, boys and girls from all over South Africa, I am happy to be participating in the debate on International Children’s Day. The World Conference for the Well- being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, proclaimed this day, 1 June, to be International Children’s Day in 1925.

Twenty years ago, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With the advent of democracy 16 years ago, South Africa became a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The convention incorporates a full range of human rights for children and it creates an international legal framework for the protection and promotion of the rights of all persons under the age of 18 years.

As we celebrate International Children’s Day, we have an opportunity to reflect on the changes it has brought in realising the rights of children. The period from 1994 to date brought significant changes to the political, economic and social landscape of our country.

While there has been a significant change in the lives of our people and children, many challenges must still be addressed. These include the abuse of children through abduction, rape and murder; human trafficking for sexual and other forms of exploitation; use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, which is all illegal for under-18-year-olds; the use of children as subjects of pornographic material; and children’s access to pornography.

We cannot rest while we still have children who are living on the street. They are our children and we have to ensure that the problems that drove them away from home are addressed.

While there are still challenges, we also have to acknowledge that a lot of progress has been made to advance the realisation of children’s rights in South Africa since 1994. Children are now free to express their views and perspectives about issues affecting their lives without fear of being gunned down like the young people of Soweto in 1976.

Our government has committed itself to respond to the issues that pertain to children and created a Ministry responsible for the mainstreaming of children’s rights issues into all programmes of government. Progress has been made in promoting the rights of children in South Africa coupled with other free services like no-fee schools, housing, health and minimum access to water and electricity. Social grants are assisting many families, including child-headed families, to provide food and a better livelihood for children.

Birth registration is being expanded as birth certificates are an important requirement for accessing all of these government services. There have also been a number of positive legislative developments relating to children. In April this year, we witnessed the coming into effect of at least two critical pieces of legislation relating to children – the Child Justice Act and the Children’s Act.

The implementation of these two Acts of Parliament helps South Africa to take major steps forward in complying with the provisions of the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child and our Constitution.

As you know, the Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities was established to ensure that children’s rights are integrated into all programmes of government. In line with this mandate, we will be introducing systems to enhance the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, including compliance with the reporting obligations to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

I need to emphasise that effective implementation of national legislation, policies and programmes can only be assured through mobilisation and strong collaboration between government, civil society and other sectors of society.

Parents, as primary duty bearers of their children, have a constitutional obligation to ensure the fulfilment of the rights of children and to seek support where necessary. Parents have an obligation to take children for immunisation against childhood diseases and to enrol in programmes such as the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, PMTCT, of HIV to protect their children from infections. All of us need to inculcate and promote child-friendly families and communities. As we sensitise the children to their rights, it is of paramount importance to also make them aware of their responsibilities. As much as they have a right to education, they have a responsibility to study and do their homework. As much as they have a right to be respected, children also have a responsibility to respect their parents, peers and other people.

I would like to use this opportunity to inform the House that, earlier today, we celebrated International Children’s Day with children representing almost every province of our country. These children dialogued on issues affecting them, and expressed their opinions within the context of the theme for this year which is, “All Rights, All Children”.

This event also recognised that we are celebrating International Children’s Day just nine days before the historic Fifa World Cup. We, therefore, launched a Children’s Rights and Responsibilities Development Programme for the Fifa World Cup and beyond. The main objective of this programme is to empower children and communities on children’s rights and responsibilities. We are appealing to parents and caregivers to ensure that proper supervision of children takes place and that precautionary measures are taken during the extended closure of schools for the mid–term holidays.

All provinces have put in place plans to increase awareness and respond to cases of the violation of children’s rights during the World Cup. Social work professionals will be deployed at public viewing areas and in all host cities to help children who may go missing with emergency referrals and placements.

The justice system has dedicated courts, and SAPS personnel are also trained to ensure that the best protection is provided to our children.

We cannot allow any child or woman to be exploited as a result of the hosting of the Soccer World Cup. Every one of us has rights and let us work together to ensure that whilst we enjoy this most important event in our country, the rights of all women, children and persons with disabilities are respected. Let us all enjoy the 2010 Soccer World Cup and look forward to a Bafana Bafana win. I thank you. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Thank you, hon Minister. Hon members, please let us keep our conversations a bit reasonable; we’re drowning out the speakers. I now call upon the hon B Thomson.

Ms B THOMSON: Chairperson, Deputy President, hon members, distinguished guests, children and caregivers in the gallery, this year’s International Children’s Day theme of the United Nations, UN, is, “All Rights, All Children”.

The background to International Children’s Day can be traced to the World Conference for the Well-being of Children held in Geneva, Switzerland, in

  1. The first official International Children’s Day was celebrated in 1954, upon the recommendation of the UN General Assembly that all countries should observe and institute a Universal Children’s Day.

The day was to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity for children and for promoting activities devoted to the ideals and objectives of the declaration of the rights of the child worldwide. The UN Assembly proposed that governments should observe the day on the date each country considers appropriate for itself, and 1 June was popular for most countries of the world.

In South Africa, 1 June coincides with National Child Protection week, which is an annual campaign running from 24 May to 1 June. The campaign was first launched in 1997. Child Protection Week highlights the rights of children and ensures that they are placed as a priority in each department and organisation’s agenda.

Therefore, the child protection system should strive to protect children from all forms of abuse, neglect and exploitation through accessible and co- ordinated services, and a response based on a multidisciplinary and intersectoral approach. In 2010, the campaign was launched by President Jacob Zuma on 21 May, together with the launch of the Children’s Act under the theme of celebrating the Fifa World Cup legacy for children.

Internationally, children’s rights are protected under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention reaffirms that because of children’s vulnerability, they need special care and protection. It places special emphasis on the primary caring and protective responsibility of the family; the need for legal and other protection of the child before and after birth; and the importance of respect for the cultural values of the child’s community and the vital role of international co-operation in securing children’s rights.

The following has been achieved. Child survival and development: worldwide deaths of children less than five years old decreased from 12,5 million in 1990 to less than 9 million in 2008. This was achieved through immense efforts to prevent and control disease, enhance food security and provide integrated health services. Advocacy on child protection issues has increased markedly, and UN special representatives have been appointed on key issues such as armed conflict and violence against children.

The drive for education has also intensified with an estimated 84% of children of primary school age currently attending school. This has reduced gender gaps in primary school enrolment. Though the above paints a positive picture, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are well behind other regions on most human development indicators. Their progress on primary health care and education still lags behind and affects progress in attaining the agreed developmental goals.

The ANC supports the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the supporting plan of action. The ANC believes that the convention and the plan of action must work to protect the lives of children, promote the full development of their human potential, and make them aware of their needs, rights and opportunities. The needs of children must be paramount throughout all programmes aimed at meeting basic needs and socioeconomic upliftment.

The ANC believes that the welfare of children is a priority. In this regard, the ANC government must develop, monitor and measure tools that define and deal with child poverty. Within this context, the best interests of the child are paramount, with child-headed households as a priority for protection and care.

In order to assist with abject poverty, provisions such as free health care and immunisation to children under the age of six will be strengthened to benefit the poor. The massification of the registration of children eligible for the child support grant has long been undertaken and has had positive results in dealing with poverty.

The continued development of a comprehensive strategy on early childhood development must ensure that we strengthen child development centres, and urge communities to understand and deal seriously with the rights of children.

Ake ngicaphune ebhukwini le-Unicef, elicacisa ngesimo somntwana okhandlekile. Likhuluma ngomntwana ohamba indlela ende kakhulu mhlawumbe amakhilomitha amahlanu kuya kwalishumi ngaphambi kokuba afike esikoleni: “Uvuka ekuseni kade elele ecansini eselugugile elihlabayo; ulala emkhukwini obandayo ongenisa umoya nemvula uma lina izulu; uzovuka angafaki lutho esiswini ngoba ikati lilele eziko; aphinde aqale enze imisebenzi yasekhaya; uma esefika esikoleni ufundela ngaphansi kwesihlahla; uhlezi phansi emhlabathini; bayiqoqo elikhulu okwenza ukufunda kungabi lula; ushoki wokubhala kuyenzeka uthisha angabi nawo kanye naye umntwana akanalo ipeni lokubhala nezincwadi kazikho.

Konke lokhu esengikubalulile kungacishe kufaniswe nephupho noma nensumansumane kwabanye abantu. Yizo kanye izinkinga uhulumeni wethu azama ukuhlangabezana nazo. Nakuba singencome, sincincize nokho kuningi osekwenziwe uhulumeni wethu. Kuningi futhi okusadinga ukwenziwa. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Let me quote from Unicef’s book, which clarifies the plight of an overburdened child. It talks about a child who walks a very long distance which could be about five to ten kilometres before reaching school. He or she wakes up in the morning after sleeping on an old prickly grass mat; he or she sleeps in a cold shack which allows in wind and rain if it is raining; he or she will wake up without eating because there is no food; he or she starts the day by doing household chores; upon arriving at school, he or she learns under a tree; he or she sits on the ground, as part of a big group, which makes learning difficult; sometimes the teacher does not have chalk for writing and the child does not have a pen for writing and there are no books.

All that which I have mentioned can nearly be likened to a dream or a folk- tale to other people. These are the very problems our government is trying to address.]

With regard to schooling, affordability, disability or social conditions must not deny children access to education. The provision of nutrition programmes to children at primary school level has been extended. These programmes must result in effective utilisation of nutrition schemes and projects. The methods of recovery of outstanding school fees must ensure that no child is denied access to a school on the basis of his or her parent’s financial status.

The current safety nets that deal with child poverty, ongoing murders, disappearance, abuse and neglect must be strengthened. In this regard, the improved services that will be provided by the reconfigured family protection units are critical. Orphans and children in distress should ideally be provided for by family members or in their communities, with support from government and other social institutions. In this regard, the community must play a role in protecting children. The shift from curative to preventative measures in the protection of children is a fundamental pillar of ANC policy.

This is the idea that has been practised over the centuries and current challenges within society, which are mainly economically driven, should not change this. The dialectical challenge is that in the African tradition the community takes responsibility, whilst we are aware that individuals in the very same community can pose the greatest threat to children. In order to address this, ANC policy calls for the raising of community awareness on the effects of abuse on children and the services available to assist in their protection.

The ANC government will continue to ensure that the necessary measures are taken so that children with disabilities have access to education facilities. At the same time, children with disabilities in sheltered projects must have meaningful socioeconomic opportunities so that they can be both socially and economically productive within the working environment.

The ANC’s 52nd National Conference called for a greater focus on the rights of children, but noted the unacceptable levels of child poverty and abuse. The conference noted:

At the same time we need to address the challenges of crime, particularly unique features such as random violence, disrespect for human life, as well as woman and child abuse. These are in part a consequence of social conditions, gender stereotypes and negative value systems such as greed.

Violence is a reality for millions of children around the world, affecting girls and boys of all ages, from all walks of life and countries across the world. In every part of their lives, their homes, families, schools, institutions, workplaces and communities, children may be beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured and even killed. The perpetrators of this violence are often the very individuals who are responsible for protecting children, for example, parents, guardians, teachers, employers and the police. Violence is a global phenomenon of huge proportions, violating every child’s right to a safe and healthy environment.

Sengikhuluma nani bantwana abahleli phezulu, nakuba siwavuma, futhi siyawahlonipha amalungelo enu, nani siyaniqwashisa ukuthi yazini futhi niqonde ukuthi nani ninomthwalo osemahlombe enu wokuzinakekela loko kuzinakekela nikuhlanganise namalungelo enu. Nani ninomthwalo wokuhlonipha ngendlela yobuntu ninodwana. Njengoba ninamalungelo okuthi niphephiswe kuko konke ukuhlukumezwa nani futhi ninomthwalo wokuqaphela ukuthi ikakhulukazi ezikoleni njengoba sike sibone kwenzeka, ningahlukumezi abanye abantwana noma abanye ozakweni. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[I’m now talking to you children who are sitting up there. Although we acknowledge and respect your rights, we are also making you aware that you must know and understand that you also have a responsibility upon your shoulders of looking after yourselves and that looking after yourselves should go hand in hand with your rights. You also have a responsibility to respect in a human way amongst yourselves. As you have rights to be safe from all types of abuse, you also have a responsibility to make sure that you do not abuse other children or your counterparts, especially at schools as we sometimes see happening.]

In South Africa, numerous cases and incidents involving the abuse, mistreatment, neglect and abandonment of children are reported. Violence meted out against children and child rape cases are still very high in South Africa. According to a study by Women and Men against Child Abuse, 45 cases of child violence were reported within 10 days in selected locations in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The study also revealed that 90% of rape cases go unreported, thus indicating a high number of children that are at risk. Ngiyabonga Sihlalo. [Thank you, Chairperson.] [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Sir, may I rise on a point of order?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Is that a point of order?

Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Yes, please! I just wanted to explain to my colleagues that in the absence of the President, Deputy President Motlanthe is the Acting President. I am sure some people were a bit startled when he stood up because he is an Acting President. He is the head of state in the absence of the President. It is correct that he should be addressed as such. [Applause.]

Mrs D ROBINSON: House Chairperson, hon Acting President, and members, today, as we are observing International Children’s Day, I am calling on the government to do more to protect the children of South Africa.

Every day we hear how the most vulnerable of our society, our children, are abused and neglected. Just last week, the television programme Carte Blanche revealed some shocking footage about the plight of babies and small children who are traded as commodities by unscrupulous and heartless adults who use the them to elicit sympathy from motorists while standing on street corners begging.

Inhliziyo yami iba buhlungu uma ngibona lento. [My heart aches when I see such things.]

The investigation by Elsabe Coetzee of Siphumelele Children’s Home for abandoned and orphaned children in Johannesburg, revealed the “rent a baby” scheme, where they were being rented out at R20 per day to professional beggars. Some of the children were doped to keep them passive if they were not already suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion.

The programme found that one little girl had had her toes burnt off, she was deliberately maimed, so that she would remain passive and not crawl. Some mothers who were returning to Zimbabwe were selling off unwanted babies at about R20 000 to raise cash! Are children commodities to be sold, either for muti or as begging accessories? What depravity or desperation would drive people to do that?

That was a shocking indictment on us as South Africans who pride ourselves on having an outstanding liberal democratic Constitution and on being the leaders in the human rights field in Africa. This is a crime against international law. Helpless children are being sold into servitude. Dare we call it slavery?

Why was it that this brave human rights activist was not able to persuade the authorities to raise the alarm about this shameful practice? Where is our humanity? Where is our ubuntu? And yet we regularly launch our campaigns of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, with much fanfare and many T-shirts and caps. This is a sham. What happens to women and children for the rest of the year?

Let me quote an extract from the United Nations Children’s Fund of 1997:

The day will come when nations will be judged, neither by their military or economic strength, nor by the splendour of their capital cities and public buildings or stadia, but by the well-being of their people and by the protection that is afforded to the growing minds and bodies of their children.

Section 28 of our Constitution provides for additional protection, tailor- made for our vulnerable children, amongst other things, protection against abuse and neglect.

Now there is some light at the end of the tunnel because we do have the right legislation in place that can protect our children. The Children’s Act is appropriate and empowering, and in harmony with international law and the various international conventions that have been ratified by South Africa. However, an Act is only as strong as its practical implementation.

To quote the well-known authors and practitioners, Hester Bosman-Sadie and Lesley Corrie:

Knowledgeable legal practitioners, social workers, social service professionals, education and health professionals will be required for the many services envisioned in the Act. The political will and the availability of funds will have a great impact on the efficacy of the Act.

Also, from the SA Law Commission:

The African Charter blends children’s rights with respect for family and community. Looking at the number of children removed from their families, abandoned or orphaned and poverty, drug and alcohol abuse that tears families apart, legislation is no more than the end of the beginning of the war against harm to children.

South Africa has a sound legal framework. The only problem is the implementation.

Let us reflect on what we, as leaders in our communities, as mothers, fathers, gogos [grandmothers] and, yes, grandfathers, are doing to stop the abuse of children and to make sure that the laws are implemented, that the funds are made available. Do we have the political will to make a change, and to put the money where our mouths are?

Bills and their implementation should be properly costed. We need closer co- operation between the police, social workers, magistrate’s courts, community workers and the general public. Special training, skills and counselling need to be given to the police to help prepare them to deal better with the problems they encounter.

The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child must become a reality. We must not become silent partners of this disease of child abuse and neglect. Let us become proud, caring South African legislators. [Applause.]

Ms S P RWEXANA: Chairperson and hon members, do the children of our country know that today is International Children’s Day? I doubt it. I believe that this sitting should have occurred in the morning. If that had happened, all the schools could have received the broadcast and the learners would have had firsthand information about International Children’s Day.

In Sawubona, the SAA in-flight magazine, of May 2010, there is an interview with Mr Miyere Miyandazi, a Maasai warrior from Kenya, who started his walk from Kenya to South Africa in August 2004. He said his work involved restoring the respect and dignity that children deserve, and I quote:

We have done a lot of damage to these kids for so many years, but are children not our future? What kind of a society turns away from its own future?

Cope believes that after we have made our speeches everything will be as it was the day before, last week, last month and last year. Millions of children in South Africa will continue to be abused emotionally, physically, psychologically and sexually. Young girls will continue to be raped and be threatened with death to keep them quiet. Many will fall pregnant while still at school. The number of vulnerable children, orphans, and child-headed households will continue to increase. Thousands of young children will be exposed to drugs and alcohol, become drug smugglers and addicted to drugs and alcohol.

The Maasai from Kenya further said, and I quote:

Despite the hardships, the abuse, the misunderstandings, the children are worldly-wise beyond our own experience, able to survive better than any of us without access to money or support. They know the ins and outs of the city, where to find shelter and food, whom to trust and whom to stay away from.

After we finish speaking here today, millions of children in our country will still receive an inferior education. Very few learners will take up science and mathematics. The vocabulary deficit in respect of mother tongue and English will remain the single biggest hurdle in education. Computer education will also remain out of reach and very few children will have access to the internet.

While it is correct that we should celebrate childhood and make today a memorable day for children, we should also take a hard look at the balance sheet. Nationally and globally, each year should see an advance in the rights of children.

In Africa, particularly in our country, the scale of human suffering caused by HIV and Aids is staggering and children bear the brunt of the scourge. Today we have many orphans and child-headed households and our children do not know how to be children. Their role as children has been overtaken by parenting roles. As a result, our children experience a very harsh existence.

Each year on 20 November Universal Children’s Day takes place. The United Nations General Assembly first proclaimed this day in 1954. We can use 1 June and 20 November to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children; and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of our children, as well as children around the world. Every Children’s Day must be seen as a symbol of worldwide fraternity, understanding and as an opportunity to promote the welfare of children.

Cope appreciates that each year we will have an opportunity to talk about children. However, if we are only going to be paying lip service, we will neglect our constitutional duty. South Africa as the host country for the 2010 Fifa World Cup is lagging behind in criminalising, investigating and prosecuting child traffickers. On behalf of Cope, I trust that next year action will take precedence over words. Our children are our future and right now, in many ways, we are not doing enough for them. Please, let us change our attitude and show more commitment for the welfare of our children. Let us reclaim our ubuntu and use the adage, “Your child is my child and my child is your child”, with much conviction and pride.

Therefore, it is our responsibility as a host country that has signed and ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, to provide measures to protect, assist and educate potential victims and the general public. The World Cup is starting in 10 days. Can we say we have made great strides in providing the above measures?

This day, each year, must be an important day in the school calendar. Last year, Chinese president, Hu Jintao visited two primary schools in Beijing on the eve of International Children’s Day as children get a day’s holiday on 1 June.

He joined the children in language classes, games and kite painting, and wished them a healthy and bright future. At another school, he happily joined several other students in finishing a mosaic map of China, using pieces of egg shell. Let all South African parliamentarians follow suit. The children of Gaza are suffering the physical effects of violence and relentless war is destroying the mental health of children. As the Israeli blockade continues, the children suffer acutely. It was during the 1925 World Conference for the Well-being of Children, held in Geneva, where 1 June was proclaimed International Children’s Day.

Lastly, Cope would like to applaud the way Bafana Bafana played last night and wish them success in the World Cup. South Africans, the World Cup is here. Feel it! [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Ms S P LEBENYA-NTANZI: Hon Chairperson, today the world community join hands in observing International Children’s Day, amongst other things, to renew our commitment to improving the lives of our children around the world.

Each year, the significance of the celebration of International Children’s Day lies in the fact that we examine how far we have come to better the lives of our children. This also gives us an opportunity to espouse a fresh vigour in the level of engagement so that we continue to prioritise issues which are affecting our children and continue to strive to find ways of improving their standards of living. We should also strive to improve the lives of children by seeking innovative solutions to eradicate poverty.

As we celebrate International Children’s Day, it is of the utmost importance that we look very critically at our progress in promoting children’s rights in this country. While it is important to co-operate and comply with international agreements, we dare not forget that our most important responsibility lies in ensuring that South African children’s rights are protected at all costs.

In terms of our Constitution, there is a huge responsibility to put in place systems and to take positive action to ensure that all the rights entrenched in our Constitution do not only remain on paper, but are implemented; and above all that our children should enjoy their rights.

The link between education and public health is strong. According to the Global Campaign for Education, if all children received a complete primary education, as many as 700 000 cases of HIV could be prevented each year. According to recent studies, Aids kills over two million people per year, or about one person every 15 seconds worldwide.

This death toll shockingly includes lots of children who are often infected with HIV during pregnancy or through breastfeeding. The toll is worst in Africa where million of parents have died leaving children as orphans. It is very sad that HIV and Aids deprive children of their parents.

Recent estimates put the figure of orphans in Africa in the range of 13 million to 15 million children. If children are left orphaned and are not given the care and education enjoyed by those whose parents remain uninfected, there will be an increasing inequality amongst the next generation of adults.

One of the most unfortunate responses to death in poor households is removing children from school, often because school requirements are unaffordable for the families. It is hard to overemphasise the trauma and hardship that children, who are affected by HIV and Aids, are forced to bear. The epidemic does not only cause children to lose their parents and guardians but sometimes their childhood as well.

The Inkatha Freedom Party is of the view that the South African government should expedite means to strengthen and develop community structures which can assist in providing care and protection for children from discrimination, exploitation and other physical and emotional harm.

It is extremely important that girl children have access to education. I’m saying this, very mindful of the fact that the majority of our children, especially in rural areas, are still taught under trees. These are just some of the obstacles that prevent our children from getting access to quality education.

It is important to note that women with some formal education are more likely to seek medical care to ensure that their children are immunised and will be better informed about their children’s nutritional requirements. As a result, their infants and children have higher survival rates and tend to be healthier and better nourished.

The Inkatha Freedom Party is extremely concerned about the recent deaths of 17 babies in our public hospitals almost on the eve of International Children’s Day and this is testimony to our day-to-day outcry that our public health facilities are not equipped to provide proper health care for all, especially the most vulnerable of our society.

The IFP calls on the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, in conjunction with other relevant clusters, to put measures in place to reduce the risk of child-trafficking during the Fifa sports extravaganza.

I wish to conclude by quoting Anne Landers when she said, and I quote:

In the final analysis, it is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.

I thank you. [Applause.]

Mrs H H MALGAS: Chairperson, I greet all the members of the House, visitors in the gallery, the Deputy President in his absence, the Chief Whip and the two Ministers that are here.

Chairperson, I am not going to speak to the background of International Children’s Day because the Minister and the Chairperson spoke very ably to that background.

To me, this is a very important day. It is normally celebrated with discussions and activities related to the well being of children, as we are doing now in this debate. We are looking at child survival; a phenomenon that not only affects the children within South Africa, but globally. It covers a number of issues as alluded to by speakers before me.

The Constitution of our country has enshrined within the Bill of Rights the freedom and security of persons. This right is violated when a child is exposed to violence such as rape, gun violence or domestic violence, to name but a few.

The goal of child protection is to promote and fulfil children’s rights to protection from abuse, negligence, exploitation and violence as expressed in our national laws and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other human rights — humanitarian treaties and conventions to which South Africa is a signatory.

The Chairperson alluded to Child Protection Week, but I would like to speak to it because my speech is based mainly on Child Protection Week.

On 21 May 2010, President Jacob Zuma launched Child Protection Week, including the Children’s Act. Our President characterised Child Protection Week as a community’s commitment to and participation in caring for our children during the World Cup and beyond.

This is a clarion call to go back to the basics which we, as the ANC, are always calling for in building a caring society. The spirit of ubuntu reminds me of a saying that goes: “It takes a village to raise a child; your child is my child”.

At this launch, the President said that it would remind parents and caregivers of their responsibility to protect children during the World Cup, given challenges such as child trafficking, which unfortunately sometimes become associated with huge events such as the World Cup.

The aim of this campaign, introduced by the government, is to raise awareness; to educate; to mobilise communities to put children first; and to see that the protection of children begins at home. Our President should be commended for his foresight and being proactive regarding the protection of children. It is commendable that the government is placing children high on its agenda and has prioritised them. Remember, investment in our children today is the best guarantee for equitable and sustainable development tomorrow.

I would like to speak to partnerships, because many speakers who came to the podium spoke to what government should do. I would like to speak about what community members are doing on the ground. In heeding this call, mothers and caregivers within the constituency I come from, the northern area of Port Elizabeth, are very busy within the community to empower, maintain and support children emotionally at both primary and secondary schools.

They also teach parenting skills and address any challenges their children may have at school. Principals and teachers make it very clear to you that they can listen to a child’s problem, but they do not have the energy to take it further because of their workload.

These mothers bridge this gap by actually doing counselling at different schools. When community members organise themselves into a collective that takes action, it is important for the government to respond positively with support and resources. It is also wise that the community should be educated on how they could tap into these resources from government.

This group of women — they call themselves “Tahlita Khumi” [Daughter Arise] — works closely with the ANC constituency office in the northern areas. And they know the key challenges facing the teenagers in the community, for example, no maintenance paid, abuse, lack of access to immunisation, no birth certificates and malnutrition.

Without the provision of basic services, health care and access to existing programmes, children’s survival is compromised. Therefore, government needs to work in partnership with communities to ensure the effective implementation of the integrated programmes to promote children’s survival outcomes and child protection.

Chairperson, recently there has been a focus on child trafficking in the wake of the World Cup. It is of the utmost importance that the community in which the child finds himself or herself is made aware of this scourge because children living in poverty and unemployment are vulnerable to the advances of persons who try to solicit them. Recently, a proactive initiative was facilitated by the ANC parliamentary office in conjunction with these ladies and community members in the northern areas of Port Elizabeth.

This initiative was meant to ensure the protection of children; it was called, “Tips for parents by parents”, and included going back to the basics. This was in connection with the trafficking of children. Tips that came up were that children should not trust strangers - like I said, going back to the basics - or accept anything from strangers; parents should monitor children who are allowed access to MxIT or Facebook; and children should know their contact details as well as parents’ details and other important numbers like the police’s.

Quite a number of role-players, including social workers from the Department of Social Development, churches and NGOs have programmes for children during the period of the World Cup within the northern areas, but a requirement was made that those having programmes should get together, pool their resources and have one extensive programme.

Parental involvement in the protection of children is very important. Children as a whole require age appropriate supervision and care to be protected as far as possible from harm or injury. Therefore, parents and caregivers should be equipped with the requisite skills.

During the festive season and holiday periods, children without supervision or with limited supervision are prone to injury, exposed to situations likely to leave them unprotected. In the case of the World Cup, children of school-going age will be at home for an extended period. Therefore, I am making an appeal that certain measures should be put in place to ensure the protection of children. Chairperson, government has signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, has an integral role in fulfilling the rights outlined in the convention as well as imperatives outlined in the Constitution.

To this end, government departments, as duty bearers have an obligation to fulfil the rights of children. While all departments have a role to play in achieving child survival, I will highlight two departments because there will be other speakers from the different departments.

The Department of Social Development provides children with access to social services and social security. As previously stated, NGOs play an integral role in the provision of these services, hence it is imperative that adequate funding is allocated to these NGOs to improve the lives of children.

The Department of Police had the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units. These units, according to a report of the Minister of Police on 18 March 2010, will be reinstated by 1 June 2010, which is today. Such an initiative will directly impact the protection of children and communities they live in, hence oversight in this regard is crucial.

At local government level, there are still many children who do not have access to clean water, sanitation and electricity. The lack of these basic services leads to preventable childhood diseases, which can be fatal as in the case of diarrhoea.

Whilst it is commendable that we commemorate International Children’s Day and uphold Child Protection Week, this awareness-raising and clarion call for action must be pursued 365 days a year. Government, as a duty bearer of children’s rights, has an obligation to ensure that adequate funding is allocated to programmes aimed at the protection and wellbeing of children.

In conclusion, I would like to end with two quotes and I would like the members to take note of these quotes. The first quote is from one of our previous presidents, O R Tambo:

A country that does not care for its children has no future.

The second quotation is from another former President, Nelson Mandela:

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.

These quotes embody the idea that children form part of our communities. They are the assets of today and the leaders of tomorrow. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M H HOOSEN: Hon Chairperson, as the world celebrates this International Children’s Day, it is time for us, as a society, to reflect on both the advances that we have made and the road ahead we have yet to travel in terms of children’s rights as enshrined in section 28 of our Constitution. According to our Constitution, children are the only group entitled to second-generation human rights.

Indeed, as a country, we have made some advances in protecting the rights of our children. The extension of the school feeding scheme to high schools is one of many such achievements, because hunger does not stop at primary school level.

The ID adds its voice to the chorus of condemnation of the recent deaths of innocent babies in our state hospitals. The noble attempts by our hon Minister of Health to reduce infant mortality are being undermined by sheer negligence on the part of some health care workers. There can be absolutely no excuse for such negligence and human error.

As we are preparing to polish and shine our cities for the 2010 Fifa World Cup in about 10 days, many of our municipalities are busy with operations to rid our streets of street children. This is in order to make our cities more aesthetically pleasing.

Obviously, these roundups, as they are commonly called, are conducted because street children are seen as an eyesore for our visitors. It is regrettable that instead of dealing with the source of the problem, we hide it from the public eye and pretend it does not exist.

Ethekwini Municipality has been the biggest culprit with these cleanup operations, as was seen during previous international events held in the city. In February this year, a shocking operation was conducted by the Metro Police in Durban.

They forcefully bundled children into police vehicles and used pepper spray to prevent them from escaping. Some children were seen with bloodied faces, screaming from inside police vehicles.

As the ID, our call is for the immediate suspension of these illegal roundups and the abuse of street children. Government must rather focus on strategic interventions that will allow for proper engagement with street children. This should include therapeutic interventions, which will create an environment that is conducive for their sustainable integration into society.

The Child Justice Act also makes provision for corrective action rather than punitive measures. This is, therefore, not a problem to be dealt with by our security services, but rather our social services. These are our children. They are not rubbish to be discarded.

The already rampant sexual abuse of children has recently increased even further and this despicable behaviour continues in our society. While we may have sufficient legislation in place, there are very few proactive and preventative measures being adopted, especially in high-risk areas, where drug and alcohol abuse is prevalent.

This day must not become yet another opportunity for us to just reflect on our failures for only one day. We must continue in our resolve to promote the rights and dignity of all children.

This is the responsibility of our entire society and not just government’s alone. Let us build a country where we live by the principle of “Your child is my child”, instead of us just talking about it. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr N M KGANYAGO: Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and hon members …

… ka Sepedi re re, bana ke bohwa bja setšhaba; bana ke bohwa bja setšhaba. Ke a boeletša, bana ke bohwa bja setšhaba. [… in Sepedi we say, children are an inheritance of the nation; children are an inheritance of the nation. I am repeating, children are an inheritance of the nation.]

Now, the surest measure of a successful state is the health and happiness of its children. Whilst we pride ourselves on having attained freedom 16 years ago, we must realise that our country is far from the kind of place where all children are nurtured.

The recent spate of infant deaths at hospitals in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape are only the tip of a statistical iceberg. Despite the advent of democracy, the rate of child mortality is at a shockingly high level. There are few countries in the world where such numbers of children suffer and die from such a wide range of causes. Malnutrition, neglect and violence negatively affect the lives of many South African children. Regular reports of horrific crimes of violence and abuse that are perpetrated against children cannot be denied. We live in a society where children are targets.

Aside from child abuse, there is also a general state of affairs that is detrimental to the development of millions of young children in South Africa. Great numbers of children are born into poverty, often living in informal dwellings whilst receiving inferior education. To make matters worse, thousands upon thousands of these children are orphaned in the wake of the Aids pandemic.

We have to ask ourselves what we have done to address their plight. Indeed, what are we doing to ensure that they do not simply repeat the cycle of poverty and suffering? I say “we”, because all of us have to recognise that the injustices perpetrated against the children of South Africa are an attack on the entire structure of democracy.

A democracy that allows such conditions to prevail will have no legitimacy in the eyes of new generations that are still to come. If we look at the young and angry faces that are in the vanguard of widespread community protests, we are already seeing the first wave in a rising tide of frustrated and disenfranchised children.

We can celebrate how much we have done since the fall of apartheid, but we must be extremely careful of hiding our heads in the sand. We need to act now, and act decisively, to improve the quality of life of the majority of people in this country.

Ke a boeletša: Bana ke bohwa bja setšhaba. Ke a leboga. [Legoswi.] [I am repeating: Children are an inheritance of the nation.] [Applause.]

Adv A D ALBERTS: Mnr die Speaker, Jesus Christus het in sy tyd op aarde dit baie duidelik gestel dat Hy en die Vader ’n spesiale plek vir kinders het, tot so ’n mate dat dit beter sou wees vir dié wat kinders seermaak om eerder nie gebore te gewees het nie. Dit is ’n baie sterk sentiment en sluit aan by die ander Bybelse opdragte aan die sterkeres om die swakkes, soos bejaardes, vroue in minderwaardige posisies en dan ook kinders, te beskerm.

Hierdie sentimente word ook in ander geloofskodes gevind, en vind wêreldwyd neerslag in internasionale en nasionale regstelsels. Daarom is die beskerming van kinders ’n universele beginsel en is ons dankbaar vir dae soos hierdie wat daarop gerig is om die wêreld te herinner aan die gebod om kinders lief te hê. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Adv A D ALBERTS: Mr Speaker, Jesus Christ, in his time on earth, made it very clear that He and the Father have a very special place for children, to such a degree that it would be better for those who hurt children not to have been born at all. This is a very strong sentiment and it corresponds with other commands in the Bible that the strong have to protect the weak, such as the elderly, women in inferior positions as well as children.

These sentiments are also present in other religious codes and are reflected in international and national systems of law. Therefore the protection of children is a universal principle, and we are thankful for days like these that are aimed at reminding the world about the commandment to love children.]

It is unfortunately also part of the human condition that humankind falters and fails many times when it comes to adherence to the moral code that thou shall not bring harm to children. I see this when news reports appear about child abductions, child rapes, murders, physical and mental abuse, and trafficking. This happens everywhere, but especially in South Africa.

As far as the FF Plus is concerned, these actions are not mere crimes, but true manifestations of evil. They are not driven by survival issues, but are part of the many faces of evil. We, as the elected representatives of this country, must find ways to fight this evil.

Hoe sal ons dan aandag gee aan hierdie oorlog teen die bose? [How will we devote attention to this war against evil?]

South Africa has institutions and mechanisms to break this onslaught against our children, but we have to adequately capacitate or recapacitate them. This means the following: Firstly, the Minister must engage with the Minister of Police to recapacitate the SA Police Service with expertise. I say “recapacitate”, as South Africa, pre-1994 and until recently, had the best child protection unit in the world. Its head, Anneke Pienaar, was regularly invited by other countries and the United Nations to showcase the unit’s skills. Yet, even in those days, they were undercapacitated and had to rely on free handouts from the private sector and free upskilling from lecturers at universities.

Very little expertise remains today, and the rest has been dispersed to stations all over the country, essentially diluting the good forces that must face up to the evil threatening our children. Mistakes of the Mbeki administration must be addressed by reconstituting the Child Protection Unit, separately from the Family Violence Unit, and recapacitating it with the best people.

Tweedens moet ons die beste kandidate as maatskaplike werkers aanstel by wyse van beter salarisse. Baie maatskaplike werkers bedank weens swak salarisse, of brand uit weens die werkslading, of gaan sommer net oorsee.

Daar is ook ’n behoefte aan die daarstelling van ordentlike hulpbronne, soos kospakkies; leefbare, veilige hawens vir kinders en vrouens; asook beter subsidies vir kinderhuise. Intussen wag baie maatskaplike werkers en hofbeamptes vir opleiding in die nuwe Kinderwet, wat net nie gebeur nie.

Minister, as ons nie aan hierdie praktiese sake aandag gee nie, dan gaan ons faal in die beskerming van ons kinders, en dit sal ’n skande wees. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Secondly, we have to appoint the best candidates as social workers by means of better salaries. Many social workers resign because of poor salaries, or burn out as a result of their workload, or just go overseas.

There is also a need to ensure decent resources, such as food parcels; liveable shelters for children and women; and better subsidies for children’s homes. Meanwhile many social workers and court officials are waiting for training in the new Children’s Act, but this is not happening.

Minister, if we do not give attention to these practical issues, we are going to fail in protecting our children, and that will be a shame.]

I thank you.

Mrs G SAAL: Hon Speaker, Ministers and Deputy Ministers hon members, guests in the gallery, ladies and gentlemen, International Children’s Day is celebrated on June each year; this year, nine days from the kick-off of the soccer World Cup. International Children’s Day is said to have originated in Turkey in 1920 and later in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1925.

Children’s Day was coincidentally one of two very important events that took place on June. The first was the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva; and at the same time the Chinese Consul-General in San Francisco gathered a number of Chinese orphans to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. Since both these events had the idea of child welfare at their core, June began to be celebrated as International Children’s Day.

Section 28 of the Constitution establishes a range of rights that provide additional protection for children beyond the rights that apply to all South Africans. Children are by nature more vulnerable than adults due to their age. Children, therefore, require a set of rights relevant to their specific needs, over and above the constitutional rights they have in common with everyone else.

Primary health care, social support, school feeding schemes, early childhood development and education are among the many programmes that make up the prevention component of the state’s plan for giving effect to protection from abuse and neglect.

The goal of child protection is to promote, protect and fulfil children’s rights - protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence, as expressed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, human rights, humanitarian and refugee treaties and conventions, as well as national laws. As a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, these rights must be protected and upheld in order to ensure the protection and safety of all South African children. Despite our Constitution, which is renowned worldwide, and the legislative overhaul that safeguards children’s rights, South Africa still has high levels of violence against women and children. According to the SA Police Service, approximately 50 000 children were victims of violent crimes between 2008 and 2009. The following key issues must be considered if child protection is to be ensured.

South Africa continues to deal with significant numbers of incidents of child abuse and neglect due to a range of reasons. The causes of abuse and neglect are due to myriad reasons and are complex in nature. The added constraints that render children more vulnerable to abuse and neglect are attributed, but not necessarily limited, to gender-based violence; domestic violence; a preponderance of sexual exploitation of children, including increased prevalence of child abuse images; the impact of the HIV and Aids pandemic; drug abuse; economic recession; poverty and high unemployment; all of which may negatively affect stress levels of parents and caregivers, leaving children more vulnerable to be abused and neglected.

It is also important to note that children fall victim to accidents and injuries - for example, poisoning and drowning - if not supervised and cared for appropriately.

Child protection, when understood more holistically, extends beyond a focus on the abuse and neglect of children. If children are not protected, their rights to survival and development are violated. Many children in South Africa continue to die from largely preventable causes of death as the protection mechanisms have either failed them or were not in place.

This failure has a direct bearing on the country’s ability to make progress with respect to Millennium Development Goal 4 of reducing child mortality. However, children are also victims of murders, firearm fatalities, motor vehicle accidents and intentional injuries.

Government has prioritised child abuse as a focus area within the criminal justice system. To this end, the President noted at the launch of Child Protection Week that dedicated provincial antihuman trafficking police co- ordinators and task teams have been established, and that there are competent human trafficking investigators in every organised crime unit.

Regular training workshops are presented to the police, especially to frontline officers working at police stations. Furthermore, the Children’s Act makes it a crime to traffic children.

In addition, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act of 2007, contains provisions which criminalise human trafficking for sexual purposes or for any other purpose. Moreover, the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill was tabled before Parliament. The Bill addresses the shortcomings of existing legislative infrastructure on human trafficking. It provides for more extensive domestic legislation to combat and curb this crime. Specifically, it provides for the protection of and assistance to victims of trafficking and the prosecution of persons engaged in trafficking.

According to Missing Children South Africa, there have been more than 1 000 children that have been reported as missing since 1994. The ANC-led government has decided to do its outmost to help these families and the police to get these children safely back home.

The organisation has also linked missing children to the demand for children who are trafficked for cheap labour or for sexual exploitation. Duty bearers of children’s rights have a responsibility to ensure that all children’s rights are protected and not violated. Section 28 of the Constitution of South Africa outlines a package of socioeconomic rights for children.

The extent to which these international instruments and laws would improve the lives of children across the world is dependent on the extent to which state parties implement them and adopt domestic measures to comply with the relevant obligations. In addition to providing a clear constitutional provision that gives expression to children rights and the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, South Africa has in turn ratified all of the above treaties. Furthermore, policies, norms and standards, guidelines and programmes have been developed to assist victims of gender- based violence. An example of such programmes is the Victim Empowerment Programme.

The South African Constitution also contains a number of socioeconomic rights that only apply to children. In terms of section 28, every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health services and social services. Compared to everyone’s socioeconomic rights, these rights are basic in nature. They are also free of internal limitations in terms of progressive realisation. I thank you, Chairperson.

Rev K R J MESHOE: House Chairperson, the ACPD is pleased to see the response to the call to look out for our children during the World Cup. We particularly commend and bring attention to an initiative called “Our Children 2010”, which asked, and I quote:

While you are watching the World Cup, who will be watching your children?

A grandmother and her granddaughter got together with the idea of engaging the whole nation in childcare during the World Cup. They are presently doing everything they can to encourage churches and communities to assist parents who will have to work during this period by arranging simple childcare facilities for children in the immediate vicinity, who would otherwise be left alone at home during the extended school holidays.

They were calling for every church, organisation and home from coast to coast to provide what they could to assist in caring for children in their areas, who would not be supervised and would therefore be at risk. Their dream was to have safe spaces for children in every single neighbourhood across South Africa.

As this is a noble dream that should be widely supported, the ACDP urges everyone who can to be part of the initiative to care for the future stars of our nation, who happen to be our children today. Help to plan and organise the month can be acquired by visiting their website,

Child Protection Week is a campaign to mobilise communities to put children first. In addition to our own children, the Act aims to offer protection for all children in South Africa. Regrettably, this noble sentiment is often forgotten when another lost, crying refugee child who has endured all manner of hardships in their home environment looks to us for help.

Reports say Zimbabwean children without identity papers are being picked up on the streets by the police, and regardless of their age, they are locked up in cells for deportation. This is in contravention of the Children’s Act which provides for destitute children to be referred to a social worker and treated like we would our own. Even inside children’s homes, there are reports that refugee children are being separated from South Africa’s school-going children and, unoccupied, face a boring wait for the Zimbabwean authorities to confirm their status.

We believe that this undermines the rights of the child that we are speaking about. I believe that this Parliament has to do more to ensure that we do not continue debating International Children’s Day every year, while no visible improvement in the lives of the children is achieved. We need to do more to eradicate child exploitation, drugs and child trafficking, sexual violence and exposure to violence and pornography.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, hon Gigaba, for his resolve to protect our children from the harmful effects of pornography by fighting for its removal from our streets, TV and Internet. [Applause.] The ACDP supports his noble efforts and hopes that his dedication will be rewarded and that our children will enjoy the protection of adults that they deserve and that their innocence will be promoted and advanced in our community. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, as we celebrate International Children’s Day, it gives us an opportunity as a nation to assess firstly, how we are prioritising the needs of our children and secondly, how we rise to the challenges facing them. You can always measure a nation’s worth by the way it responds to and protects its children.

If I told you that there was a country where nearly one out of every 10 children would die before their fifth birthday, you would be as horrified as I was and find it as completely unacceptable as I did. That is a sickening 138 children dying per day! How many countries can claim that 20 000 babies are stillborn every year? That is 55 per day. A further 22 000 die before they reach their first birthday; that’s 60 babies per day. And a further 33 000 babies die before they reach the age of five, that’s 23 babies per day.

You would be forgiven if you thought I was reading war time statistics. Unfortunately, hon members, I am not. These are our very own statistics and our very own children. We are not at war with a foreign country, but at war with our own children. To put it mildly, it is totally unacceptable, that a country with the available resources that we have, fails year after year to reduce the infant and child mortality rates.

I found the audacity of the Minister of Science and Technology quite incomprehensible when she stood here and, in her reply to a statement earlier today, said that one of the top priorities for this ANC government was health care. It is not.

I shudder to think what nonpriority is, and the kind of service delivery you are giving to other departments, if this is what you give to health care as a top priority! [Interjections.]

The statistics are reason enough for us to hang our heads in shame. We are about to host the most successful football tournament the world has ever seen, yet we cannot reduce the number of children dying unnecessarily. Why is that happening?

South Africa signed the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Goal Number 4 is to reduce the child mortality rate by two thirds by 2015. Some countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Egypt, had a similar mortality rate to ours in 1990. Now they are on track to meet this goal and have halved their under–five-years mortality rate. That was according to a recent Unicef report.

Conversely, South Africa is among a handful of countries, 12 to be precise, where the child mortality rate has actually increased since 1990. In order for us to achieve our millennium goal in 2015, we would have to achieve an average annual rate of reduction of 14% in infant mortality.

The blame for the rising number of deaths of babies lies with our inadequate health system. If a pregnant mother cannot go to a clinic and expect a nurse to attend to her immediately and to have her quickly transferred to hospital, if she needs it, then our health system is simply not working. A woman in a predominantly rural province, such as the Eastern Cape, has a much higher rate of not having any skilled attendance during birth. The DA is determined to reverse this trend in provinces where we govern.

We will firstly focus on making our hospitals work effectively. [Interjections.] Yes, where we govern. [Interjections.] Our report presented at the Fourth South African HIV/Aids Conference in Durban revealed that between 50% and 60% of all the national Health Department’s employees are political appointees, with no management training.

Firstly, the DA will ensure that every person in the health system is appointed on the basis of their skills and experience and not their connections to the ANC, and that they have formal contracts and performance requirements. Secondly, we will find more doctors and nurses so that all our hospitals and clinics can be properly staffed and that a mother can receive attention when she needs it.

We cannot allow the situation where mothers that are in need of immediate medical attention are not afforded such care, due to failed policies by the ANC government; for example, the closing down of nursing colleges without thinking through the consequences of their actions.

The number of doctors graduating from our universities has not increased for over a decade. We will allow private medical schools to be established, so that we can train more doctors. We will remove the barriers that stop doctors and nurses who have trained in other countries from working here.

Another step which was a great success, particularly in the Western Cape, where the DA is governing, was the implementation of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Research indicated that currently infant mortality in the Western Cape was approaching levels seen before the advent of the HIV epidemic. This has been achieved through the provision of two antiretroviral drugs to the mother and baby during pregnancy and at delivery of the baby.

The current levels of transmission in the Western Cape are at around 4%, which is the lowest in the country and is expected to decrease further with the triple antiretroviral therapy interventions that we have started as from 1 April. [Interjections.] Are you saying since when? Since we were the first province to roll out anti-retrovirals back in 1999, when we started governing the Western Cape! You as the national ANC tried to prevent us from doing it. [Interjections.]

The DA is determined to reduce infant and child mortality rates; we see it as a gender and human rights issue. In 2010, we should be celebrating our achievements in reducing child deaths, not mourning the ever-increasing baby deaths that we have recently witnessed at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital - 180 deaths. It is long overdue that child mortality is placed at the top of the political agenda.

As Members of Parliament, we should be ashamed that so many of our children are dying unnecessarily. If we had the political will, we could do something about this disgrace. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mrs I C DITSHETELO: Chairperson, we often snub international instruments like the universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child, as being Western and irrelevant to Africa. Contempt prior to investigation has never failed to keep man in ignorance, because often the contents of such instruments have embedded in them what we all wish our children to have.

Who amongst us doesn’t want any child to have quality health care, access to clean water, nutritional food, education, protection from sexual abuse and abduction? If we all want these things for our children and for any child, then we must display a political willingness to ensure the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNCRC, not only in South Africa but on the rest of the continent. We, as adults and as government, should desist from treating children as less than human. We adults often do to children what you would not do to an adult person. We find the use of violence acceptable when directed at children, yet we would lay charges of assault, crimen injuria, etc, if the same act of violence were to be directed at an adult.

Children are not second-class citizens and we should not treat them as such, because if we do, tomorrow we’ll have adults and leaders who see themselves as second-class citizens, who lack the confidence to take this nation forward and to address longstanding issues. Former President Nelson Mandela rightly echoed that, and I quote:

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.

When we continue to fail to protect our children from violence, drug abuse, malnutrition, etc, whatever else we claim as victory, is void and has no value at all. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms S C N SITHOLE: House Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members of this august House, and our guests … avuxeni. [Good day.]

HON MEMBERS: Ahe! [Hallo!]

Ms S C N SITHOLE: Minjhani? [How are you?] [Interjections.]

This debate takes me back to the years of my childhood. I had just finished the Standard 6 exams and had travelled to central western Jabavu to join my daddy as my next school was Morris Isaacson High. He took me to town with him. I felt so good. We got to his place of work where there were a lot of papers on which was written, “SA Congress of Trade Unions”, Sactu. This held no fascination for me.

A white woman came with a packet of sweets and she said:

Hi, Sheila. Call me Mom Ruth.

My mother confirmed that this was Mom Ruth First, wife of Comrade Joe Slovo. Baba Slovo also greeted me. Mom Ruth brought me tea and very nice scones. She asked me about my school, Fofoza Primary School in Tzaneen, and I told her about my teachers, their lessons and my examinations.

At the end of the day she said, “Mark, your child is a blue stocking. I am going to require that she comes here every Saturday for Maths lessons.”

Sheila Weinberg, who was at Wits University, became my teacher. [Applause.] I was so happy. I became so knowledgeable, and fell in love with figures - a love that I still cherish today. This love was instilled in me by the liberation movement in the person of Mom Ruth First.

My father left to go into exile. One Saturday, as I came from my lessons, a police van stopped next to me. They bundled me into the police van where there were many women and young children like me. We were taken to a police cell, which was overcrowded. We slept without water or food. In the morning, the door opened and we were told to appear before a magistrate. Our sins were read out.

My name, Sheila Shope, was called. I went and stood near the magistrate. I was told that my sin was that I had no fixed abode in Johannesburg. The magistrate asked me what my name was and I said “Sheila Shope”. He proceeded to ask where I stayed. I told him that I stayed at 600 CWJ. I was discharged, and Aunt Sophie Mashele who stayed at 601 came to fetch me.

The next thing that happened was that the house in central western Jabavu was taken from us, which left George, Ntombi and me without a home. Many times the special branch police came to my mother’s house. They searched and took our photo albums, including my certificates, and never returned them.

In 1972, my younger brother, Stepford George Shope, who was studying at Fort Hare, was beaten up by the police and sustained head injuries. The police followed him the following year to the University of the North where he was doing his second year BSc in maths and physics, and they killed him. The damage caused by apartheid prior to 1994 is severe. The pain is still in my heart.

A lot of South African children’s rights were violated left, right and centre. All we can afford to do is forgive and work hard to make sure that no child in our land, black and white, irrespective of religion or belief, must suffer what we have suffered through the apartheid era. But we will not forget.

Thanks to God that the ANC took over the government in 1994. As soon as they took over the government, the ANC started applying the established ANC policy position on children. We support the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and the supporting plan of action.

I also want to thank all parties that were in this House from 1994 to date that, together, we have passed many pieces of legislation. We must congratulate ourselves. [Applause.] We must see reason in the call of the President: “Together we can do more.” We made these laws together.

I heard the hon member from the DA talking about his success in the Western Cape. I just want to offer free education. I have realised that there is a lot of ignorance in this House. If you are a Member of Parliament in the NA, you are not a local councillor.

You are responsible for every inch of this country. You are responsible for every failure in every corner of the Republic of South Africa. [Applause.] South Africa is one unitary state. I want you to know that, as a House, what we should do is engage government together and question when the state’s next report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child is due.

We must also ask the Minister and government officials going to Geneva for a presentation of the report to the state, the committee or the House. This we have to do together. It does not help us to sit here slinging mud at one another and passing motions of no confidence which will end up hurting all of us.

It is in our togetherness that we will be strong, that we are going to hold government to account. I would like to ask the Minister, who is responsible for the rights of children, what the plans are for this department in making sure that the rights of children are observed by all departments in the Republic of South Africa. [Applause.]

In conclusion, I would like to declare in this House that I love the ANC because it took from me all the pain that I had gone through as a child. I love the ANC. I honestly do. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mev P C DUNCAN: Voorsitter, die DA is ernstig ten opsigte van kinderregte in ons land, en die afwesigheid van die agb President en die meeste van sy agb kabinetslede in die Huis is beslis ’n klap in die gesig van ons families en kinders, en so ook ten opsigte van die internasionale gemeenskap. Die ANC is beslis nie ernstig oor kinders nie.

Ek is verder bekommerd dat die Huis altyd maar so lyk wanneer ons oor kinders, en veral ook oor vroue, praat. Ek hoop dat die ANC die erns van die DA hoor. Dit herinner my ook verder aan die Wes-Kaap toe ek in 2007 die ANC gewaarsku het dat hulle in 2009 die Wes-Kaap nie weer gaan regeer nie. En dit het gebeur. En ek vertrou dat u die waarskuwing hoor. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Mrs P C DUNCAN: Chairperson, the DA is serious about the rights of children in our country, and the absence of the hon President and most of his hon Cabinet members in this House is definitely a slap in the face of our families and children, and this is also the case in respect of the international community. The ANC is definitely not serious about children.

Furthermore, I am concerned that the House always looks like this when we talk about our children, and about women in particular. I hope the ANC is listening to the earnestness of the DA. Besides, it also reminds me of the Western Cape, when I warned the ANC in 2007 that they will not be governing the Western Cape again in 2009. And it happened. And I trust that you are able to hear the warning.]

Today, together with countries around the globe, we commemorate International Children’s Day in honour of all our children. I wish to share a poem written by Francis Eileen Africa:

Let the child live, a message to parents

We did not choose you You chose us We did not ask to be in this world You brought us here

We never wanted to feel hurt You are causing us grief We never wanted to be hungry You are starving us

We never wanted to feel the cold You are taking away our shelter We never wanted to feel so lost You are abandoning us

We never wanted to see anger You are showing us hatred We never wanted to feel so lonely You are keeping the distance

We never wanted to leave your side You are isolating us We always just wanted to be loved You are not sharing it with us

Since you chose us Why then all the fuss? All you have to do Is accept your choice and to see it through.

Francis Africa was a health practitioner who served the most vulnerable groups, including children, with great passion, empathy and commitment for 41 years. When seen through her eyes, many others like her, and those of our children, is it not evident that the social constructs of our children, families, communities and society at large – not only in South Africa, but worldwide – have come to haunt us?

The challenge, given the facts and figures in the South African context, is whether we are ready as a nation to vigorously address this major challenge. Our children’s future is at stake and the future is currently in the hands of government, civil society, the private sector, the justice system, nonprofit organisations, NGOs and, most of all, parents and families at large.

On behalf of the DA, I therefore appeal to the ANC-led government today, and in particular, to hon President Jacob Zuma, to stop corruption and immediately curb the wasteful and fruitless expenditure of government departments, institutions and organisations. This funding can surely be best utilised to ensure faster delivery on all the rights of our children.

To all parents and families, let us take the responsibility to love, care for, protect and ensure the wellbeing of all our children. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mrs Y R BOTHA: Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members, children of South Africa, comrades and friends, I am singularly honoured and privileged to be given this opportunity to make a contribution to celebrate International Children’s Day. Children have a special place in our society and in our hearts, and Parliament has every reason to celebrate this.

We celebrate the fact that more than ever before, access to primary and secondary schooling has almost reached universal enrolment. More children have greater access to free primary healthcare, and more than 8 million children in South Africa receive social assistance transfers.

As we celebrate International Children’s Day, we should resolve to accelerate our progress towards the full realisation of the rights of children as envisioned in our Constitution.

Now, after the 1994 elections, South Africa under the visionary leadership of our former President Nelson Mandela committed itself as a country to implement the First Call Principle for Children. In demonstrating its commitment to the cause of children, South Africa has become a signatory to and also ratified international treaties and conventions, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Both make provision for the survival, health, social security, protection and development of our children.

The Children’s Act of 2005 as amended, which came into operation on 1 April this year, gives effect to these national and international instruments that bind our country. The protection of children is one of the priorities of our government. The protection of children’s rights leads to an improvement in the lives of other sections of our community.

In response government, under the leadership of the ruling party, the ANC, has introduced a range of child benefits, namely the Child Support Grant, the Foster Child Grant and the Care Dependency Grant. In addition, caregivers are being supported with income by way of the old age grant, disability grant and social stress relief. In addition, there are a range of services, including a free primary healthcare service for children less than six years of age, the school nutrition programme, no-fee schools, the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, the early childhood development programmes, community home-based care, the housing and free municipal services - I can go on and on.

As the ANC, the protection of our children is not a cheap political slogan, but a commitment to securing a brighter future for our children and for generations to come.

Hon members, poverty and unemployment have been persistent over a long period in South Africa. It is estimated that 47% of the population could be living below the per capita poverty line of R322 per month. Unemployment rates are generally high, especially for African women and female-headed households.

Poverty impacts on the wellbeing of children and threatens their protection, their rights and their needs. Children’s growth, development, welfare and safety depend to a large extent on the ability of their parents or guardians to provide for them.

Poverty is a major cause of child separation and lifting a family out of poverty can make the difference between a child growing up in a loving family environment or growing up frightened and alone. In South Africa, six out of every 10 of our children live in poverty, with children in rural areas more likely to be poor than those in urban areas.

Poor households have less access to essential services, such as water and sanitation and have long distances to travel to health facilities. Children in poor families are less likely to complete their schooling and are more likely to be subjected to crime and violence.

With this in mind, ladies and gentlemen and hon members, the early years of a child’s life are regarded as a critical stage of human development.

Children need early stimulation and the early childhood development programme is one of the key priorities of social development and government as a whole. The best way to break the vicious cycle of poverty is to ensure that children from poor households receive at least a complete primary education.

Investment in this programme is an investment in our future. Most ECD facilities are run by welfare organisations, NGOs, community organisations and private providers. Provincial departments of social development provide subsidies to children whose parents cannot afford ECD and who qualify according to a flat rate of subsidisation. Parental involvement is viewed as key to ECD. As part of the EPWP, unemployed parents and caregivers are provided with skills and job creation opportunities.

I am now coming to a very important issue, hon Chairperson, and that is the issue of adoptions. Improving the wellbeing of our children is not only the business of government, but of society too. When we, as the ANC, stated that together we can do more, we were not merely babbling clichés and slogans, we were asking South Africans to act in solidarity with each other.

We were particularly asking those of us who have resources to support policies that seek to support the vulnerable. At times we should directly support those who are in need of assistance. We have thousands of children whose lives would be improved beyond measure if those of us that have the resources, and who can, would adopt orphans and vulnerable children.

I take this opportunity to ask South Africans to put a smile on a child’s face, provide the space where you can and where they can be nurtured so that they can indeed become our future. You can do that by adopting children in need of care and protection.

So, let’s work together to increase the rate of adoptions in our country. Caring for our children is an investment in their lives and ultimately ours as it contributes to a more equitable, caring and stable society. Hon Chairperson, the murder of the late Caleb Booysen of Manenberg at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend shocked the citizens of the Western Cape, especially those living in Manenberg. But what were also shocking were his pictures as he lay dead on the couch in a daily tabloid newspaper. It showed pictures of several parts of his body on three pages.

Now I know that the decision to use gruesome pictures is up to the editors of newspapers, but shouldn’t that be weighed up against the respect for the deceased’s dignity and the potential trauma of family and friends? Children can be significantly affected by reading newspapers in which gruesome visuals appear — images on the front page are extremely traumatic to children.

Little Caleb received no dignity in death. He received no respect for privacy. His face was exposed as well as the whole of his body. The focus was on his dead body and not on the story or the event, which is poor journalism.

I want to urge the Department of Social Development and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to look into developing a protocol that will protect the dignity and privacy of our children, especially in cases of trauma and gruesome events.

As we undertake this exciting journey with the future leaders of our country, I would like to remind our children that the rights they enjoy come with responsibilities. They have a responsibility to respect their parents and the elders in their communities.

I just want to respond to hon members Walters and Duncan. I want to tell them that healthcare to the poor, especially children, is a priority for this government. We all know that the prevalence of HIV and Aids has a negative impact on the infant and maternal mortality rate.

The Minister has said that in the House and we agreed with him. It is there in the UN for everyone to see. We have a challenge as Members of Parliament to motivate all pregnant women to know their status so that they can go on treatment as soon as possible.

I also want to add, just to remind hon members, that the DA has been in power for one year. So they are building on the good legacy of the former ANC provincial government. Hon member Robinson lamented the fact that the ANC government hands out caps at events, and so on. [Interjections.]

I want to say that it is very important for the government to keep in touch with its citizens. Keep it up, Minister! We have to carry the message of government to the people so that we can all work together as a government and as a society.

Advocacy is very important in getting the priorities of government across and getting the buy-in of your citizen. I understand the negativity of the hon member of Cope and her despondency.

If I look at her speech, it reminds me of Nigerian Chinua Achebe’s book that I read when I was a student: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. [Applause.] We, as MPs, need to work together so that we can make South Africa a better place to live in. I thank you.

Debate concluded.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry will introduce the reports.

Mrs S V KALYAN: Chairperson, the DA has requested a declaration. Are you aware of that?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Well, we are still waiting for the chairperson to formally present the reports then we will come to that issue later.

Ms J L FUBBS: Chairperson, I realise that we have only five minutes for these very important treaties. As you know, the one before us is on the ratification of the Preferential Trade Agreement between the Southern African Customs Union, Sacu, and the Common Market of the South, Mercosur.

I shall read the committee report on that, which simply indicates that, indeed, having considered this request from Parliament on this agreement, we recommend that the House approves the said agreement in terms of section 231 (2) of the Constitution.

However, we would like the House to take into account the following challenges: the lack of engagement between the respective parliamentary committees of Sacu and Mercosur countries to promote the agreement; and the capacity constraints of our custom’s authority to monitor our borders effectively, with respect to compliance as regards the imported goods and the rules of origin considerations and to ensure that measures are put in place to address this. If I may, with your consent and approval, hon Chairperson, I shall immediately go through our Report on the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Zimbabwe for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments, dated 14 April 2010.

Very briefly, we did consider this request and after lengthy deliberations over a couple of days in which we also went to Nedlac and consulted more broadly, the committee, in fact, recommends that the House approve the said agreement, in terms of section 22 (3) 12 of the Constitution.

However, I also wish to make one or two statements in this regard, because in the first place, this investment treaty has been ongoing since 2002. It was mandated by the South Africa-Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission for Co- operation at that time.

The important thing, however, is that while this moved on, as it were - the agreement in June 2004 again went to Trade and Industry -it was during the third session in 2009 that they recommenced in earnest, and it was then that there was a request entitled “The scope of the Agreement” by Zimbabwe to have a certain amendment with respect to article 11.

This amendment concerns investments related to Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme. I mention this because it is the only article which some members of the committee felt that they could not support. They used this article 11 and said that, in view of the inclusion of that article, they couldn’t support the whole agreement.

In short, it is a holistic approach to the agreement, which in fact is broadly supported by business and industry in South Africa. They have sent a chain of people to the Minister’s office and to the Department of Trade and Industry, begging for this agreement to be signed, so that South Africa too can not only support Zimbabwe in its change to greater democracy and increased economic development, but also benefit as a neighbour in this regard.

Nevertheless, it was the DA that did not support article 11. Obviously, they are going to be making a declaration just now in this particular regard; but the conclusion of the negotiations reflects a compromise that provides enhanced protection for South African investors in Zimbabwe and vice versa. It also ensures that the global political agreement, which has established an inclusive government in Zimbabwe, is protected. In other words, it is a step forward, democratically and economically; and therefore, the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, broadly speaking, supported this and recommends that the House do likewise. Thank you. [Applause.]

There was no debate. Preferential Trade Agreement, PTA, between the Southern African Customs Union, Sacu, and the Common Market of the South, Mercusor, approved.

Declaration of vote:

Mr S J F MARAIS (DA): Chairperson, expectations of both current and prospective South African investors in Zimbabwe were high prior to the signing of the agreement, especially as the future Zimbabwean economy would clearly be reliant on South African investment support.

On the surface, the agreement creates the illusion that our government will promote and protect South African interests. However, it is my view that the agreement offers little support to investments, should they be expropriated.

The ruling of the SADC tribunal in favour of South African investors and its registration by the South African courts was evidently ignored. Expropriation, particularly of South African-owned farms, continued to be the norm in Zimbabwe despite this.

The indigenisation policy promoted by the Mugabe regime caused further confusion. The implications of article 11 of this agreement and the protection provision afforded to South African investors should have been much more thoroughly interrogated. The deputy director-general informed the portfolio committee that if the government was not prepared to give way on the article 11 content, Zimbabwe would most likely not agree to this treaty.

We call on the Minister to explain why government pandered to the demands of the Mugabe government in conceding to the article 11 content and signed an essentially toothless agreement; and in so doing, placed the interests of our investors at risk.

In the portfolio committee, concerns were expressed that Parliament is not consulted before treaties are negotiated. This would ensure that the interests of South Africans are better promoted and protected.

If this agreement is passed in its current form, South African investments will not be properly protected from random expropriation. If this is allowed to happen, our government would have failed in its most fundamental responsibility to protect the interests of our citizens.

Today, in Windhoek at the SADC Tribunal, there is again another application by those investors to force Zimbabwe to comply with these agreements. And for that reason, it is most difficult to support a treaty that is already showing signatories who cannot abide by it. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Are there any other parties that wish to make declarations of vote? None.

Question put.

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments approved (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

                             AT DAVEYTON

                        MAGISTRATE AT ERMELO

                              AT UMLAZI

                             AT PRETORIA


There was no debate.

Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Chairman, can’t we suspend Mr Chauke - our own one - while we are going through this list of Chaukes? [Laughter.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): It must go through the committee meeting first somewhere and be recommended here.

Question put: That the recommendations of the committee be adopted, namely that the provisional suspensions of the magistrates in question be confirmed.

Agreed to.

The recommendations of the Committee adopted and the provisional suspensions of magistrates L B Maruwa, W J M Prinsloo, M T Masinga, M K Chauke and D Jacobs accordingly confirmed.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Order! Before we conclude the business of the day, the Deputy Speaker, who is the Acting Speaker now, has requested that I make the following announcement.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): As agreed by the Chief Whips’ Forum, Members of Parliament are encouraged to wear their soccer T-shirts during the 2010 Fifa World Cup debate on Thursday, 3 June 2010.

Members are also requested to observe the decorum of the House in the rest of their attire. Please do not wear jeans or running shoes, but wear your Bafana Bafana running gear to show your support. Members of Parliament, feel it, because it is here!

The House adjourned at 18:10. ____


                         MONDAY, 31 MAY 2010


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Assent by President in respect of Bills (1) Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Bill [B 7B – 2009] – Act No 2 of 2010 (assented to and signed by President on 27 May 2010).

  2. Calling of Joint Sitting


The Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr M V Sisulu, and the
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr M J Mahlangu,
in terms of Joint Rule 7(2), have called a joint sitting of the Houses of
Parliament for Thursday, 3 June 2010 at 14:00 to conduct a debate on
the 2010 FIFA World Cup.



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Trade and Industry
(a)    Government Notice No 280 published in Government Gazette No
     33049 dated 23 March 2010: Commencement of Northern Cape Liquor
     Act, 2008 in the Northern Cape Province in terms of the National
     Liquor Act, 2003 (Act No 59 of 2003).
(b)    Government Notice No 244 published in Government GazetteNo 33059
     dated 1 April 2010: Proposed amendment to the compulsory
     specification  for respiratory protective devices in terms of the
     National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, 2008 (Act No
     5 of 2008).

(c)    Government Notice No 245 published in Government Gazette No
     33059 dated 1 April 2010: Amendment to the compulsory specification
      for motor vehicles of Category M2/3 in terms ofthe National
     Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, 2008 (Act No 5 of

(d)    Government Notice No 246 published in Government Gazette No
     33059 dated 1 April 2010: Amendment to the compulsory specification
      for motor vehicles of Category N2/3 in terms of the National
     Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, 2008 (Act No 5 of

(e)    Government Notice No 295 published in Government Gazette No
     33086 dated 9 April 2010: Call for nominations for the appointment
     of three candidates to the Arts, Culture and National Heritage
     Distributing Agency of the National Lotteries Board in terms of the
     Lotteries Act, 1997 (Act No 57 of 1997).

(f)    Government Notice No 344 published in Government Gazette No
     33137 dated 23 April 2010: 2010 Soccer World Cup Liquor
     Regulations: For written comments in terms of the Liquor Act, 2003
     (Act No 59 of 2003).

(g)    Government Notice No 351 published in Government Gazette No
     33139 dated 30 April 2010: Designation of places to be counterfeit
     goods depots and appointment of persons as the persons in charge of
     the depot in terms of the Counterfeit Goods Act, 1997 (Act No 37 of

(h)    Government Notice No R. 348 published in Government Gazette No
     33152 dated 7 May 2010: Introduction of a compulsory specification
     for Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s) (VC 9091) in terms of the
     National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, 2008 (Act No
     5 of 2008
  1. The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
(a)    National Policy Framework on Child Justice, drafted and
     submitted for tabling in terms of section 93 of the Child Justice
     Act, 2008 (No 75 of 2008).

                        TUESDAY, 1 JUNE 2010


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Draft Bills submitted in terms of Joint Rule 159
(1)    Defence Amendment Bill, 2010, submitted by the Minister of
     Defence and Military Veterans.

Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development.

  1. Introduction of Bills
 (1)    The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

      a) Defence Amendment Bill [B 11 – 2010] (National Assembly –
         proposed sec 75) [Explanatory summary of Bill and prior notice
         of its introduction published in Government Gazette No 33126
         of 23 April 2010.]

         Introduction and referral to the Portfolio Committee on Defence
         and Military Veterans of the National Assembly, as well as
         referral to the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) for
         classification in terms of Joint Rule 160.

         In terms of Joint Rule 154 written views on the classification
         of the Bill may be submitted to the JTM within three
         parliamentary working days.

National Assembly

The Speaker

  1. Candidates recommended for appointment as Icasa councillors

1) A letter dated 1 June 2010 has been received from the Minister of Communications, requesting approval by the National Assembly of the following four candidates for appointment to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) in terms of section 5(1B) of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act (No 13 of 2000), as amended: Mr W H Currie, Mr J M Lebooa, Dr S S Mncube and Ms N Ndhlovu.

Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Communications for consideration and report.

  1. Membership of Committees
(1)    The following members have been appointed to the Ad Hoc Joint
     Committee on South Africa’s Readiness for the 2010 Fifa World Cup:

     African National Congress
     Bhengu, Ms R
     Ngele, Ms N
     Dlakude, Ms D
     Maake, Mr J
     Ngwenya-Mabila, Ms P
     Maluleka, Mr H
     Duma, Mr N
     Chikunga, Ms L
     Makasi, Ms X
     Gumede, Mr D
     Maluleke, Ms J M
     Schneeman, Mr G
     Van Wyk, Ms A
     Thabethe, Ms E
     Radebe, Mr S
     Gololo, Mr C
     Dikgacwi, Mr MM
     Lishivha, Ms TE
     Mentor, Ms V
     Mokoena, Mr A
     Mathibela, Ms F
     Frolick, Mr CT
     Madasa, Mr Z
     Petersen-Maduna, Ms P
     Sulliman, Mr E
     Goqwana, Dr B
     Dube, Ms C
     Gasebonwe, Ms TMA
     Komphela, Mr B
     Suka, Mr L
     Mmusi, Mr G
     Tseke, Ms G

     Democratic Alliance
     De Freitas, Mr D
     Farrow, Mr S
     Krumbock, Mr GR
     Ross, Mr D
     More, Ms E
     Mnqasela, Mr M
     Van Der Linde, Mr JJ

     Congress of the People
     Poho, Mr P
     Schafer, Ms D
     Njobe, Ms MA
     Nhanha, Mr M
     Mackenzie, Mr GD
     Balindlela Ms Z
     Kganare, Mr D
     Inkatha Freedom Party
     Gcwabaza Mr N
     Lucas Mr E
     Dlamini, Mr BW

     Independent Democrats

     Greyling, Mr L TABLINGS

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Finance
(a)     Annual Report of the Bank Supervision Department of  the  South
    African Reserve Bank for 2009.
  1. The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
(a)     Report and Financial Statements of the Commission on
    Restitution of Land Rights for 2009-2010 [RP 41-2010].
  1. The Minister of Social Development
(a)     Draft Policy Framework on Accreditation of Diversion Services,
    drafted and submitted for tabling in terms of section 56 of the
    Child Justice Act, 2008 (No 75 of 2008).


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

CREDA INSERT - T100601e – insert1 – PAGES 1835 - 1928

National Assembly

CREDA INSERT - T100601e – insert2 – PAGES 1929 - 1963

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the appointment of four candidates to serve on the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Council, dated 01 June 2010.

The Portfolio Committee on Communications, having considered the request from the Minister of Communications for appointment of Dr Stephen Sipho Mncube, Ms Ntombizodwa (Miki) Ndhlovu, Mr Joseph Morakile Lebooa and Mr William Currie to serve on the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Council in terms of section 5(1B)(a) of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act (No13 of 2000), as amended (see ATC, 01 June 2010), recommends that the House approves the appointment of Dr Stephen Sipho Mncube, Ms Ntombizodwa (Miki) Ndhlovu, Mr Joseph Morakile Lebooa and Mr William Currie.

Report to be considered.