National Council of Provinces - 22 April 2010

THURSDAY, 22 APRIL 2010 __


The Council met at 14:01.

The Deputy Chairperson (Ms T C Memela) took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.


                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate)

Vote No 27 — Economic Development: Vote No 28 – Energy:

The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, Minister Peters, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, Lubala is a small settlement about 35 km from Lusikisiki, and a bit more than an hour’s drive from Port St Johns.

The road to Lubala cuts through the green hills of Pondoland, with occasional stray cattle sharing the space with cars on the road. The settlement has 83 households, and has been described as one of the poorest areas in one of the poorest provinces in our country.

Last week I was part of the team that, with Deputy President Motlanthe, visited Lubala where government’s antipoverty strategy was launched in

  1. The area remains poor and underdeveloped. Our team visited about a quarter of the households and spoke to fellow South Africans who live without electricity, without running water and without modern sanitation or refuse removal.

Nomantombi Mhluthwa is a 74-year-old grandmother, who is the head of a household of three children. Her story of struggling under bitterly poor conditions was repeated by grandmothers in neighbouring households. Health care and educational opportunities for her and for the people of Lubala are limited.

The residents of the little village rely largely on income from social grants and some limited subsistence farming to feed their families. The village consists mainly of children and old people. This is the story of many, many rural areas.

Young people in Lubala struggle to find jobs in their village or in the surrounding areas and often leave as soon as possible, in many cases sending very little money back to Lubala. About 400 km from Lubala is the industrial town of Dimbaza. A decade ago it had about 140 factories providing work for people from neighbouring villages and towns.

By last year there were only four factories left in Dimbaza. As Dimbaza was deindustrialised it left poverty and development challenges in its wake. Many of those displaced by the contraction of economic activity have not found sustainable alternative employment; some have remained unemployed years after losing their jobs in Dimbaza.

In highlighting the challenges that Lubala and Dimbaza pose for us, hon members, we stare our reality, the South African reality, in the face. We seek through our policies and our implementation to change this reality.

There are opportunities to grow the Eastern Cape economy and expand its industrial base. Let me mention one example: The Eastern Cape currently produces about 20% of the country’s milk; so, statistically, every fifth glass of milk you drink comes from the Eastern Cape. Almost half of that milk is processed outside the province.

My staff in the department are now working with the milk producers organisation and government agencies to determine whether there is a viable case for more agri-processing capacity in the province. We need to assess how much of this apparent imbalance is due to poor infrastructural development or lack of support for enterprises and how much is due to what you call bottom-line economics.

Hon members and Chairperson, I have spoken about the challenges of one little village in the Eastern Cape and one industrial town, but you will know from your experience that these stories are not unique to that province. Throughout the country in the provinces that each of you come from, as the official unemployment and income data shows, we face significant and, in many cases, very similar challenges.

The Economic Development department strategic plan and budget has to make a difference to the lives of residents in areas such as Lubala and Dimbaza and those in each of the provinces. I believe that the budget we have tabled and gone through today, together with the provincial and local budgets for economic development, can make a positive difference in the lives of our people. The Economic Development Department, EDD, budget allocation is R418 million, which covers the work of the department and certain entities that report to the department.

We have proposed the distribution of the budget as follows: The amount of R25,8 million for economic planning and co-ordination; R18,2 million for policy development work; R11,2 million for economic development and for dialogue; R44,8 million for administration, the work of the Ministry and capital expenditure; R152 million for small business funding through transfers to Khula and the South African Microfinance Apex Fund, Samaf; R102 million for the competition authorities to strengthen their work; and R64 million for trade administration and promotion to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa, Itac.

Hon members will see that the larger part of the budget, namely R318 million of the funding, will be transferred directly to entities that report to the Economic Development department. An important part of our capacity will be the partnerships we forge, particularly with provinces and local governments, to tap into the wider pool of knowledge, people and money that exists out there to address the country’s challenges.

Last week, I met with members of the Select Committee on Economic Development when we presented our strategic plan and budget. I would like to thank the chairperson, hon Freddie Adams, and members of the select committee for the stimulating and fruitful engagement. I don’t know why I’m coming in so infrequently to the NCOP when the engagement is so fruitful. I advised the select committee and we have done some work on the economic development budget of each province and of the main metros for a report that we shared with the members of the executive council, MECs, for economic development. We called them to Pretoria and we said on a PowerPoint presentation, “This is each of your budgets”. Last year, these two levels of government, the provinces and the metros, which excludes many of the smaller local authorities, budgeted R6,7 billion for economic development. I’m excluding here the allocations for tourism – only economic development — with the metros accounting for R2,1 billion of this figure. For each three rands that we spend below national level, one rand comes from the budgets of the metros for economic development.

The point of this study was to determine the full value of potential resources for our joint mandate and to work with each other to improve this impact of our spending. If you add the budgets of the national Departments of Economic Development, Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, and Tourism as well as the development finance institutions, we have a potentially large funding resource available and this has to be focused on our priority of development and decent work.

However, economic development is not only promoted through the spending of line departments responsible for this function. The full Budget of the country is a resource we need to tap into.

My colleague, the Minister of Finance, announced in his Budget Speech in February this year that government in all spheres plans to spend R907 billion this year, and R2,9 trillion over the medium term. Over half of this amount goes to provinces and municipalities for education, health, municipal infrastructure and human settlement.

Now, clearly, this money is intended for these functions, but how we spend the money has a dramatic impact on economic development. We can do more for our people if we identify additional opportunities for local procurement by all three levels of government and by other public entities and state-owned enterprises.

To this end we have set funding aside and put it into the economic development budget to establish an office on local procurement and we have budgeted R3,8 million for work in this area. Through the department’s programme on planning and co-ordination, we intend to ensure greater synergy in economic development across the different spheres of government.

Our work in partnership with the provinces may be of interest to hon members. We seek to identify the competitive advantages in each province; maximise the employment impact of these provincial strengths and benefit all provinces through exploiting the economic linkages between them.

Some of our work will identify or strengthen corridor opportunities across provinces and projects for economic clusters across sectors and regions. We have built greater coherence between national and provincial development agencies; we have built a strategic relationship with the South African Local Government Association, Salga, and metropolitan councils; and we have worked closely with the National Planning Commission and Minister Manuel to develop special and sector economic development plans, including those for the distressed sectors and regions.

Our work on sector policy will also support the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap, announced by Minister Davies two months ago, as well as rural economic development initiatives. By the end of this financial year, we intend to have reviewed or produced at least five sector plans and ten special plans. National government manages key levers of economic development, including funding for small business development.

On 1 April the Economic Development department, EDD, assumed responsibility for three development finance institutions, namely the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, Khula and Samaf. If we join their budgets they have in excess of R16 billion available for industrial development, a portion of which will go to business support. Our work will be to ensure that the R16 billion is spent wisely with the best development and decent work outcomes.

We recently announced the R2 million industrial development bond at very attractive interest rates that the IDC placed and which will allow it to expand its resources for job creation. This development bond has been fully taken up by the Unemployment Insurance Fund, UIF, which has placed surplus funds with the IDC.

Nelie Kok and his wife live in Keimoes, a town on the biggest island in the Orange River. They are members of a co-operative consisting of 82 members, which supports 450 people. They are Fairtrade accredited and their products are sold by Fairtrade all over Europe.

Their chief export is raisins and they would like to expand to make use of the 2 000 ha of land that they have, of which only 600 has access to some kind of an irrigation system. What is significant is that they would like to have more control over the value-adding process. In the period ahead, we will examine how well we have assisted entrepreneurs such as Nelie Kok to realise their potential and to create more jobs.

The EDD guides the work of three economic regulatory bodies, namely the Competition Commission of South Africa, the Competition Tribunal of South Africa and the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa called Itac. The commission agencies have had considerable success in recent months with their investigations and actions against companies that are involved in price-fixing and collusion. Over the past decade, about R1,1 billion has been collected in penalties from companies that have been found guilty of anticompetitive behaviour. The global economic recession has had a damaging impact on employment in South Africa. Even before the recession, our economy was struggling to create sufficient jobs for those South Africans able and willing to work. Faced with these realities and the challenges of very high inequality and deep levels of poverty, we are working on ways to improve the employment performance of the economy and create many more decent work opportunities and better social outcomes.

This work we group under our policy work and we call it the “development of a new growth path”. The central idea of this developmental growth path is to enhance the labour-absorbing capacity of the economy; to build the lower carbon emission economy; and to find ways to connect knowledge and innovation to the challenges of jobs and growth.

Through this work we’ve identified a number of areas where we believe new jobs can be created, namely infrastructure development; the green economy; the manufacturing sector; the knowledge economy activities; the rural agricultural and agro-processing sector; tourism and business process services; the social economy, which includes co-operatives; public sector growth; and the continental and regional economy. We are now working on bedding that down into real opportunities and identifying the provincial dimension.

The green economy, for example, has huge potential for employment creation in the energy, agricultural, manufacturing and service sectors, including ecotourism. Government departments, working together, are pursuing these opportunities in solar, wind and nuclear energy generation; solar heating geysers; biofuels and co-generation; repairing environmental degradation; ecotourism; smart manufacturing; waste management; the regulation of energy efficiency of commercial buildings; and the installation of more energy- efficient equipment.

It is apposite that my colleague, Minister Peters, follows immediately after me because she’s been a leading proponent of turning the energy challenge into a green economy opportunity.

In our own budget, we will allocate R2 million for work on the green economy and green jobs and we will mobilise additional resources for investment. The IDC is already investing in a number of green economy projects ranging from solar power plants to manufacturing activities in the green economy.

We are conscious of the number of policy challenges; one of them is in skills development. We are a country with a relatively weak skills base for the modern economy that we are seeking to build. We need to produce more engineers, artisans, technicians and agricultural specialists to strengthen the economy and improve our competitiveness. By the end of this year, we plan to have the core of an economic development institute in place, which will draw together leading economists and development practitioners. It will commission research, seminars and workshops; and create a database of global economic development initiatives and institutions. We will make its resources and ideas available to provinces and use it as a means to develop a common knowledge platform across government.

I believe that there is no contradiction in advocating strong and vibrant competition in the private sector on the one hand, while supporting joint planning, co-operation and sharing to promote economic development, on the other hand. Competition and co-operation are not mutually exclusive; it’s about finding the balance. One big part of our work, therefore, will be social partnerships to draw in the ideas of business and labour and to share that with communities.

Last year we hosted a very successful policy platform on rural development in KwaZulu-Natal. By the end of the financial year we will hold an economic development conference, which will also deliberate on the special dimensions of economic planning and co-ordination. For the year ahead, we are planning to develop social dialogue on growth and social equity issues at sector and workplace level so that we can build partnerships at the very heart of the wealth-creating machinery of the economy.

We have established a subprogramme to address the role of productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship in driving economic growth and development. The department will promote workplace productivity agreements and foster entrepreneurial endeavours in the economy, particularly among black entrepreneurs.

In the first month that the EDD was officially established, it took responsibility for co-ordinating government’s work within the framework of South Africa’s response to the international economic crisis. We have now launched 20 actions in this programme. One example is the training layoff scheme as well as the funding that the IDC is providing to companies and sectors in distress.

I spoke earlier of the challenges of the recession; we are confident that we can repair the damage of the recession and build an inclusive economy. We will maximise the economic development impact only by working together. Each of us has a role to play because the economy is about all of us, and employment growth and development are in the interests of all of us. I thank you.

The MINISTER OF ENERGY: Chairperson, Minister Patel, hon members of this august House, the National Council of Provinces, in September last year, working together with Ezinqoleni municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, we launched the Safe Illuminating Paraffin Stove Project in the town of Ezingolweni.

As we did that, we were once again reminded of the scale of poverty and underdevelopment that characterises our communities. In particular, what stood out was the plight of one resident who barely had a house to live in, let alone the bare necessities for survival. Working together with business leaders in the area, we were able to offer the lady and her two teenage sons a home and a sense of hope for a better tomorrow.

There was also a story that was shown on television last year of the death of three children from KwaZulu-Natal, who died when the generator they were using exploded. This happened after they had travelled for 10 km to watch the soccer game between our national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, and Uruguay.

It is these tragic events that continuously remind us of the enormousness of the tasks that face the democratic developmental state as it seeks to usher in a new era in energy planning, modelling, forecasting and service delivery.

Tomorrow, 23 April, I will be travelling to Grahamstown at the invitation of our national oil company, PetroSA, to participate in the opening of classrooms at a primary school that was established by the nuns of the Anglican Church in 1844. The new structure will provide a science and computer laboratory for about 200 children.

We are also going to offer these children a sense of hope and a promise of a better tomorrow. To date, PetroSA, a subsidiary of the Central Energy Fund, has spent a total of R260 million on such initiatives throughout the country.

For us to achieve social justice, we will continue with the implementation of the Integrated National Electrification Programme as a vehicle for social change. In spite of the challenges facing us as a department in relation to the implementation of this programme, we have made significant progress. I must indicate that, out of the 237 local municipalities, 128 of them will eradicate existing backlogs with regard to the electrification of formal households by 2011 and 2012.

The majority of these municipalities are in Gauteng, North West, the Western Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape. Accordingly, my department will prioritise the extension of the rural electricity network capacity to ensure that the rural communities of Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape achieve the same level of electrification as the provinces mentioned above.

To indicate our commitment to the goal of making sure that we prioritise these provinces, 64% of the total allocation of R2,8 billion has been allocated to the three provinces. In this regard, we have identified the municipalities that have backlogs of less than 5 000 to achieve universal access to electrification. In the Eastern Cape, we are targeting about 14 municipalities with a backlog of less than 5 000; in the Free State it is 17; in Gauteng it is 4, in KwaZulu-Natal it is 11; and in Limpopo it is 18. In Mpumalanga it is 4 municipalities; North West, 11 municipalities; Northern Cape, 26; and the Western Cape, 23.

You would have understood that these are the municipalities with backlogs of less than 5 000. Those with backlogs of more than 5 000 are as follows: In the Eastern Cape it is 24; Free State, three; Gauteng, eight; KwaZulu- Natal, 40; Limpopo, seven; Mpumalanga, 14; North West, 10; Northern Cape, one; and the Western Cape, two.

Out of the totals, there are 128 municipalities with a backlog of less than 5 000, and 109 municipalities with a backlog of more than 5 000. As regards the total budget for these municipalities in the year 2011-12, the Eastern Cape will receive about R167 million; Free State, R198 million; Gauteng, R80 million; KwaZulu-Natal, R180 million; Limpopo, R270 million; Mpumalanga, R35 million; North West, R216 million; Northern Cape, R94 million; and the Western Cape, R186 million. This makes a total of about R1,426 billion.

All metros have been left out of these arrangements, except Ekurhuleni, where 64 000 formal households still have to be electrified. In this regard, the rest of the metros will work on eradicating their backlogs and this they will do through the Breaking New Ground programme of the Department of Human Settlements.

I am pleased to report that restructuring of the distribution side of electricity has gained tremendous momentum over the past year. The state of readiness for the consolidation of the 187 municipalities and Eskom distribution systems into single, viable regional electricity distributors, REDs, as directed by the Cabinet decision of 25 October 2006, has reached its highest level ever.

Working together with the SA Local Government Association, Salga, our mayors, councillors and officials of the 147 municipalities out of 187 that distribute electricity, EDI Holdings has signed accession to co-operative agreements with these entities. They have subsequently committed themselves to actively participate in the EDI restructuring process.

Furthermore, over 30 municipalities, which together with Eskom constitute about 90% of the entire electricity distribution in the country, have undertaken the process of ring-fencing their electricity distribution assets in preparation for incorporating their electricity assets into REDs. Thus far, EDI Holdings has spent about R62 million to assist municipalities and Eskom with the ring-fencing exercise.

The huge backlog in maintenance, refurbishment and investment in EDI infrastructure, which is estimated at no less than R27 billion, continues to be a major challenge. This continues to have a negative impact on service delivery. The government has established an Interministerial Committee on Energy to urgently redress this situation, amongst other things. The process of integrating this programme into the overall Local Government Turnaround Strategy is under way.

The main focus in the months ahead for my department and its implementing agency, EDI Holdings, is to ensure that all stakeholders agree as soon as possible on the implementation plan to ensure the acceleration of the establishment of the six wall-to-wall REDs as agreed upon by Cabinet.

We expect the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to finalise the processing of the proposed Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill after which we will be able to table the RED Establishment Bill.

Members of the National Council of Provinces are the ones who actually understand better than those of the National Assembly the impact of electricity distribution on municipalities, because you are the ones who are dealing directly with municipalities and provinces. You would know the challenges that municipalities have in relation to decaying infrastructure, where in some instances there is electricity, but people would be sitting without lights going on, primarily because the network that leads to the household is unable to provide that service to them.

It is important, therefore, ladies and gentlemen, that all parties who have the interests of South Africans at heart should support the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill so that when people switch on the lights, there will be light.

As electricity tariffs increase, our main concern is the impact on the impoverished, the poorest of the poor. We will mitigate the adverse impact of tariff increases on the poor through a number of mechanisms over and above the free basic electricity programme.

The first mechanism is based on inclining block tariffs, and the second one is related to savings on the electricity bill which are derived from the solar water heating programme. For example, the tariff increase applicable to the indigent will be the lowest part of the block tariff proposed by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Nersa, and this is minus 10% for year one for consumption below 50 units per month, followed by 5,4% for year two and 5,5% for year three.

The highest increase is applicable to customers who consume more than 350 units per month, which is in line with the user-pays principle. If you are sitting in this House and your lights are on, your pumps are on, and everything is running, you must pay for that. You must also pay for what you waste, even for the electricity that you are not using. You will have to pay for that.

We will work with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, and the National Treasury to sort out the funding of municipalities in so far as electricity distribution infrastructure is concerned. We need municipalities on our side as energy champions, and we call on them to apply surcharge increases in a manner that is sensitive to the circumstances of the indigent. We also appeal to the hon members of this House to support the restructuring of this sector.

You will remember that municipalities – and I am sure they have come a number of times to this House — indicated that they rely on the electricity revenue to be able to sustain themselves. Unfortunately, while electricity is providing the revenue, that money is not being used to sustain the infrastructure for electricity. It is being used for other services that municipalities need, so that is why we are appealing to you to engage with the finance committee.

You should be able to motivate for a better funding model for municipalities, so that they do not rely on what we call low-hanging fruit, which is easy for them to get. The increased electricity surcharge means increased revenue for municipalities.

However, that also works against energy efficiency, because if municipalities have to rely on the electricity charges, they would motivate people to use electricity so that they can have more revenue. It also works against their own challenge of revenue collection, because they are not able to collect the full revenue. So, as people use more, municipalities would believe that they would get at least half of that from electricity tariffs in order to sustain their programmes.

In order to encourage energy saving, a financial incentive scheme, to be known as the standard offer, will be introduced. In terms of this, project developers will be able to claim a rebate in respect of the amount of energy they have saved from the electricity system.

It is expected that these interventions will emanate from, firstly, the residential sector, by the replacement of incandescent lighting with energy- saving bulbs; secondly, the industrial sector, through the power conservation programmes in terms of which industrial customers will be able to claim incentives due from less energy-intensive production methods; and lastly, the commercial sector, with energy efficiency interventions like improved insulation in buildings.

We intend to intensify energy efficiency in the estimated 100 000 public buildings, which will be retrofitted to comply with energy efficiency standards. We urge the Department of Public Works to ensure that all provincial governments participate in this project. We once again call upon the hospitality industry to embrace the spirit of this campaign.

We would also like to congratulate the Department of Arts and Culture for working through the SA National Energy Research Institute, Saneri, on making Robben Island one of our major greening projects.

Solar water heaters are one of the key interventions in energy efficiency and demand-side management, EEDSM, in terms of which we are making a commitment to progressively deploy solar water heating for water heating in all residential dwellings. The outcomes of this programme are expected to include electricity demand reduction of about 3 600 megawatts, and localisation of solar water heating technology, design and production.

I am sure you have heard the Minister of Economic Development indicating the type of interventions his department will make to ensure that we emphasise and support localisation and the production of this technology locally. Issues of climate change mitigation and job creation as well as skills development are further expected outcomes.

As you may be aware, next week on 28 April President Zuma will launch the first massified solar water heater project in Winterveldt. This is a precursor to numerous other projects, which will ultimately result in the displacement of coal by the sun as an energy carrier for water heating in this country. Very soon, we will also be launching 5 000 units with the Sol Plaatje municipality.

We will also be working with the Departments of Public Service and Administration and Public Works on a framework to roll out solar water heating systems to public servants. We want to take this opportunity to thank the Japanese Embassy for being the most energy-efficient foreign mission in South Africa. We also want to congratulate the Legacy Group’s Da Vinci hotel in Sandton for its retrofitting, from conventional water heating to solar water heating.

This year, the department will be launching the Working for Energy programme, with the primary objective of using the feedstock created from clearing alien biomass vegetation to produce power. We are happy to announce that we are working with municipalities, the Department of Water Affairs and the Department of Economic Development with regard to waste-to- energy projects. You heard the Minister announce the green economy initiatives.

Chairperson, we would like to reaffirm our commitment to establishing more integrated energy centres, IECs, throughout the country in order to reduce the impact of energy poverty. This programme is one of the vehicles that the department is using to contribute to government’s commitment to rural development and sustainable job creation.

An integrated energy centre is a one-stop energy shop owned and operated by community co-operatives and organised as a community project. The IECs act as community information hubs and energy shops that sell illuminating paraffin, liquid petroleum gas — which is LPG — candles, petrol and diesel from oil companies directly to the community at more affordable prices.

The department, working together with the affected stakeholders, is currently reviewing the IEC sustainability strategy that was developed in 2005 in order to ensure that these IECs are achieving the desired results.

Discussions are under way with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to ensure that the IEC programme is aligned with the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme. This year, we intend to launch two IECs, in King Sabata Dalindyebo and Mbizana Local Municipalities in the Eastern Cape.

My department is also actively involved in assisting operating IECs in places like Ratlou in the North West, Mutale in Limpopo and Moshaweng and John Taolo Gaetsewe municipalities in the Northern Cape.

Through this House, I would like to appeal to you to engage with municipalities to make sure that they can process applications for land, in particular for sites for the IECs as quickly as possible, because the IECs are an instrument with which we can deal a blow to energy poverty.

Illuminating paraffin is the most commonly used and purchased fuel source for low-income communities in the country. It is used in varying degrees in almost half of all South African homes. Like all other fuels, illuminating paraffin is a hazardous substance which, when not properly handled or used, can result in unacceptably high levels of harm to humans, with financial and economic consequences.

To address this problem, the department together with the Central Energy Fund has embarked on a pilot programme to test the efficacy of new, safer illuminating paraffin appliances in areas previously devastated by paraffin- related fires. These areas are: Alexandra in Gauteng, with 350 beneficiaries; Ezinqoleni in KwaZulu-Natal, with 350 beneficiaries; Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, with 150 beneficiaries; and Imizamo Yethu in the Western Cape, with 350 beneficiaries.

The monitoring and evaluation consultants will issue a close-out report to the department in June 2010, and I believe that we will also be reporting back to this House on matters related to the outcome of this investigation or pilot programme. Chairperson, out of the 15 400 licences lodged in the petroleum industry so far, 12 431 have been processed. For the 2009-10 financial year, 3 041 licences were processed. From 1 April 2010, all regional offices were opened and running, and applications can now be lodged in the regions.

I have instructed the department to process licence applications within the stipulated time of 90 days, with the ultimate aim of reducing that time. The licensing of petroleum business activities also assists the department to monitor and enforce the economic empowerment of historically disadvantaged South Africans, as outlined in the Liquid Fuels Charter.

I also want to use the platform of this House to request members, through their constituencies and also through engaging with municipalities, to encourage municipalities to look at ensuring that people are not given sites for trading in petroleum products before getting their licence from the department. It happens at times, and then the licence application is turned down, which creates a problem for the particular individual. This is especially true of people who are just emerging in this particular industry.

The national oil company, PetroSA, is pursuing a number of strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing the national security of energy supply. One of these initiatives is Project Mthombo, the main objective of which is the construction of a crude oil refinery in Coega. My department is currently evaluating information which will enable government to take a decision on proceeding with the front-end engineering and design phase.

The GTL, gas-to-liquids, refinery is PetroSA’s main revenue generator and supports a total staff complement of about 1 800 workers. It has generated thousands of jobs in and around the Mossel Bay and greater Southern Cape region, leading to a massive direct and indirect impact on the local economy. It continues to provide support to the local business community and has generated income through wages and salaries for most of the families in this area.

There is a continued search for oil and gas resources, with the primary aim of further sustaining operations at the Mossel Bay GTL Refinery beyond its current estimated economic life. To this end, there is ongoing exploration off the coast of Mossel Bay. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr F ADAMS: Chairperson, hon Ministers and MECs, the president of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union, Sadtu, colleagues and members, I don’t know when the hon Harris was appointed as the official timekeeper of this House, but I see him rising every time. I don’t know if he has a new position or portfolio that we don’t know about. [Interjections.]

Let me thank the Minister of Energy for being here today after getting up from her sickbed to deliver this Budget Vote. That speaks of commitment and we thank her for that. We wish her a speedy recovery from her illness.

This debate is all about new ways of doing things in order to improve on them, especially new opportunities with a focus on the threat of global climate change, such as alternative, cleaner and renewable fuels or energy sources. This is very true regarding energy. Our brand-new Department of Economic Development is presenting its first full budget before this Council.

On behalf of the committee I want to thank and congratulate both Ministers and their departments on the hard work they have done in preparing and presenting these budgets under the present economic climate. They have also done a sterling job in enlightening us on the content and details of these budgets.

Both departments are affected by the quest to seek greener, cleaner, meaner and other energy sources for our daily use and sustainable development.

In line with the ruling party’s Polokwane resolutions, emphasis is placed on the utilisation of alternative sources and on the clear intent of our government to find a way of gradually replacing fossil fuels with new and better alternatives; and also to create green jobs to tap into the new green economy. [Interjections.]

I know now why the hon Sinclair is making a noise, because his party has no resolutions. [Interjections.] So that’s why he is making that noise, as well as the hon Gunda, who doesn’t even have a policy.

I wish to commend the Ministers and their teams for the strides they have made to advance the use of better technology as regards existing energy sources, such as coal and liquid fuels emitting undesirable gases. The focus on the preferred solar carrier for water heating or even wind energy is much needed, but our country also has extensive coastal areas where wave power could also be investigated, not to speak of thermal, ground or earth energy from our vast land areas which could be tapped to our advantage. [Interjections.]

Yes, hon Plaatjie, many countries have taken leading roles in the further refinement and development of alternative energy sources, such as the sun and wind, with technologies that are becoming cheaper and easier to implement.

Minister Peters, under your guidance and leadership, South Africa may become a world leader in harnessing natural powers such as the eternal movement of our coastal waters and energy from below the surface of the ground. I wish to point to the objectives of driving back poverty and growing the opportunities of a new, green economy. Yes, it is understandable that more nuclear capacity is needed to supply the bulk demand, but to reduce the demand-side needs by employing more alternative options for small-scale individual and even remote users is the way to go, hon Gunda.

In this regard solar cookers and other safer and cleaner methods of household use such as biofuels should be further explored to help the poor and especially marginalised people on farms in remote areas, where people up to now have had to prepare food using animal dung. This will go a long way in assisting our women and more specifically marginalised African women.

We can employ the latest technology or even improve on some internationally developed gadgets to be used to improve the lives of our poor people in rural areas and reduce energy poverty, but it can also create much-needed job opportunities to promote decent work for our people.

In the past, South Africa was a world leader by developing and inventing various products here. If we use the brain power that we already have, we may even develop new products for the prime international markets to the benefit of our people and our country’s economy. We may even consider strategic partnerships to reach our goal also with other countries and those neighbours within our developing region, hon Gunda.

Our government should also further investigate the possibilities of agriculturally produced fuels, especially in the more arid or marginal production areas, with crops that are less prone to the consequences of climate change. [Interjections.]

I wonder, Chair, if the hon Gunda knows what climate change is, but we will leave that.

We welcome the announcement of a solar park, but would like to see more alternative uses all over our country. We also know that our electricity sector is vulnerable and under pressure. With soaring prices and huge dependency it is understandable that Cabinet resolved that 30% of new energy generation should come from independent energy producers.

Mr J J GUNDA: Chairperson, I would just like to ask if the member will take a question.

Mr F ADAMS: No, sir. Maybe next week, but not now, sir.

But we could also have more people becoming independent of grid supplies, or at least reducing their dependency on it by consuming fewer units from the grid. This is possible if people have installed their own mini producers or have tapped into natural sources with alternatives such as solar and wind technology.

It is also to be welcomed that feed-in back into the grid be investigated. This will also ease the demand for more kilowatts to be generated as well as the capital needed to finance very expensive operations. We also welcome the proposed regulation by the hon Minister Peters of the price of liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, or gas for residential consumers.

The hon Minister’s plans for abalone farms in stricken coastal towns are most welcome. I urge the Minister to expand this cultivation programme to benefit more towns that have a very high unemployment rate and to explore other species, such as the large-scale production of mussels and even crayfish — if the hon Plaatjie knows what that is.

New life could be given to agricultural and rural areas if some green industries could be developed there. In this regard, stimulation of cottage industries along international practice lines could assist many people in the second economy to be mainstreamed.

Expanding rail transport holds enormous potential for rural development and should receive priority to open up these areas economically.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone for the work done to fight and eliminate the unacceptable and exploitative practice of price—fixing. I thank the Ministers, the DGs and departmental staff who have always been available to assist the committee, as well as the committee members for a good and fruitful debate, as the Minister has already pointed out.

These Budget Votes are fully supported by the Select Committee on Economic Development. I thank you.

Mr R A LEES: I approach this House with some trepidation. I am due to debate the Budget Vote for a department that we believe should not exist at all. Essentially we believe that there should be no funds appropriated for the Department of Economic Development and that the department should be stillborn and fade into history as soon as possible.

A year ago this department did not exist at all. Is there something new, as hon Adams seems to say, that this department is doing, or is it simply making up for the dysfunctionality of the Department of Trade and Industry? There is no place in a modern global economy for the kind of centralised economic planning and consequent economic ruin that characterised the now defunct Soviet bloc, and still lingers on in today’s failed states such as North Korea and Zimbabwe. There is far too much regulation already in our economy.

Hon Chairperson, the more you treat people like children unable to control their own destiny, the more they will behave like children and require the services of a nanny state. This approach stifles initiative and condemns people to lives of mediocrity.

What is required is a deregulation of the economy in such a way that opportunities are created for people to take control of their own lives and become drivers of economic growth and thus wealth in South Africa.

We have no doubt that South Africans of all communities and backgrounds are capable of initiating new ideas and hard work. What they need are the opportunities for them to achieve their potential. Few, if any, of our people, wish to be dependent on social grants with no real hope of any chance of self-fulfilment or advancement. All our people want a better life for themselves and in particular for their children.

It should be self-evident that there are key areas which the state should prioritise. Probably the most important of these areas is education. There is no way in which we, as a country, can possibly compete globally with the largely abysmal education system that we have in South Africa today.

There can be no doubt that economic development can only take place on the scale that is required in South Africa if our people are healthy and an excellent health system is in place. We agree wholeheartedly with the ANC on this. Unfortunately the ANC has reduced health care in South Africa to a state of near collapse with whoever can afford it clamouring for the services of the private health care sector.

Then there is the rampant crime which our people face every day of their lives. This includes fraud and corruption as well as violent crimes such as hijackings, assault, rape and murder. No amount of gung-ho, “shoot to kill” bravado will solve this crime crisis.

Hon Chair, the Department of Energy has as a result of poor planning had to concentrate on stabilising and increasing the supply of electricity. In order to achieve this ability and increase the supply of electricity, Eskom was given the authority to build coal-fired power stations as well as the Ingula Power Station near Ladysmith.

We are all aware of the involvement of Hitachi in the coal-fired power stations, but we have been informed that Hitachi is also a supplier for the Ingula Power Station. If this is true then this is an additional source of profit for the ANC through Chancellor House, and yet another conflict of interest.

The ANC must come clean with the people of South Africa and tell us exactly the extent to which Hitachi is involved in the Eskom projects. In addition, Hitachi must divulge the extent of dividends which will likely accrue to Chancellor House, and thus the ANC, as a result of all the contracts awarded by Eskom to Hitachi.

It is irrelevant what the ANC wants done with these dividends as it is Chancellor House, as the shareholder, who will be due these dividends and not any third parties who may or may not be nominated by the ANC to receive them.

Eskom has also been given the authority to proceed with a concentrated solar power, CSP, project, a commendable source of clean and renewable energy. However, this simply puts more generation of electricity in the hands of Eskom which already has a monopoly. If the CSP project is a condition of the World Bank loan then it should be put on the market for other players to enter the electricity-generation industry.

The most obvious solution for new generation capacity would be the sale of existing power generators. However, this has been rejected and as a result consumers are going to have to pay massive increases in the cost of electricity.

Hon Chair, I have another four or five pages, but I see my time is now down to 23 seconds and I cannot say much more. Thank you so much. [Applause.]

Mr K A SINCLAIR: Hon Chairperson and Ministers, according to Prof Haroon Bhorat, using the Gini coefficient index as an indicator, South Africa has overtaken Brazil as the country with the widest gap between the rich and the poor. South Africa is now the most unequal society in the world and the gap continues to increase.

This must be a wake-up call for all of us, especially the ANC government. The government is doing something wrong and certainly failing the mandate given to them by the electorate, a year ago today.

Chairperson, what are the realities of South Africa today? First, South Africa moved in 16 years from a race-based to a class-based society, with a majority of poor, neglected and forgotten citizens, who only become important during the run-up to elections.

Secondly, South Africa is no longer a developmental state but a welfare state, where the majority of especially the rural poor survive only on the monthly grants paid by the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa.

Thirdly, the current spatial development frameworks and patterns are not addressing or supporting the urgent and dire challenges of especially the poor and the rural areas.

In striving to address these challenges, economic development and energy are the flipsides of the same coin. This ANC has the privilege to decide if this coin can be a valuable gold coin or a meagre 50c coin. Currently, according to Bhorat, this coin is not even a 10c coin.

These two departments are indeed central and instrumental in building a sustainable and prosperous nation. These strategic plans have the ability in theory to enhance the five priorities in government’s electoral mandate.

Chairperson, the current realities, however, remind us that if the government continues on the road they have embarked on, especially regarding energy, more questions will remain than answers. The Eskom monopoly, blackouts, secret deals, the Chancellor House debacle and the World Bank loan are proof of that unfortunate legacy that seems to haunt South Africa.

Alan Zarembo said, and I quote:

Coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, is the crackcocaine of the developing world.

On World Earth Day that we celebrate today, it is essential to acknowledge that the future must be green. Alternate thinking and energy resources must be the guiding imperatives that abort fossil fuels as the considered form of energy.

The key focus of economic development on partnership-building with social partners and within sectors is the right one, but productivity, entrepreneurship, innovation and social dialogue must be the cornerstones of these activities. Key to these developmental opportunities, Chairperson, must be the energy needs of our country and region.

A relook at the spatial developmental framework of South Africa must put the Northern Cape, as an example, on par with Gauteng in terms of economic development. Gauteng’s economy must be stabilised, but we need to grow the rural and marginalised areas of our country. Chairperson, only then will the 10c coin that we currently have, according to Bhorat, be transformed into a gold coin — even with a Mandela face on it! Collectively we owe that to the poor and forgotten people of our country. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr B A MNGUNI: Chairperson, hon Ministers, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure for me to debate the first ever budget of this department that has a great responsibility for transforming the economy that the country inherited from the neoliberals or after 40 years of National Party rule.

We should take cognisance of the fact that the policy that we inherited was capitalistic in nature and thus embraced the free market ideology. Therefore, the department has its work cut out in turning around the economy to address the socioeconomic ills that the democratic government has been grappling with for the past 16 years.

We have a few programmes in the department, including the administration programme. I should say that key appointments still need to be made, and other vacant posts need to be filled for this department to run smoothly. It is, however, encouraging that the department intends to use as few consultants as possible in all of its activities in order to save money.

It is also noteworthy to mention that the Minister will ensure that he has competent and skilled staff who will ensure that delivery is not compromised.

I would, however, like to make the Minister aware that cadre deployment of competent and skilled party loyalists to carry out the mandate of the people as espoused in the manifesto is not a sin. It is a developmental state that needs to implement policies that realise the objectives and aspirations of the populace.

Hon Lees has had the guts to say that our economy is overregulated. He forgets that we were able to weather the storm of a financial crisis because our regulations were still in place. Most countries that went for deregulation, that liberated the economy — wholesale liberalisation — are today facing an economic crisis; they didn’t escape the storm of the financial crisis.

However, because we as South Africa were careful about liberalising our economy and we were careful about keeping some of the regulations in place, we were able to weather the financial storms a year or two ago.

I should also point out that the programme on economic development is key in order to make our economy viable. The bulk of the funds are put into this economic planning and development and one of the core functions of the programme is policy co-ordination. We are, therefore, looking forward to a seamless policy implementation within and between government departments in the near future as the department of policy development takes off.

However, it is worrying that most of the funds or the bulk of the funds in this department are channelled or transferred through to the development finance institutions, DFIs. Now, the DFIs have a history of not serving the needy, of not serving the poor, because at the end of the day they are chasing profit.

We do believe and hope that the mandate of these DFIs will be looked at and that the funding models will be changed, so that they address the needs of the poor and the economically downtrodden.

I think hon Sinclair is aware that his moving from the ANC to Cope was a mistake. He is well aware that the ANC is central — or the majority of the people are central — in making policy within the ANC. Cope still has to sit down and attend their conference to have their policies in place.

I think it’s a hangover or, rather, he finds it very cold in Cope as they are unable to come up with policies that can take Cope or this country forward. The doors are still open so that he can come back home; he’ll be much more welcome.

South Africa has never been a developmental state. He said that the developmental state is no more, but I would like to make him aware that South Africa has never been a developmental state. We took a conscious decision when we took over this Fourth Parliament that South Africa needs to be a developmental state.

Now, what is a developmental state? A developmental state is a state that makes sure that its citizens, its populace, benefit from the economy of the country. One of its key issues is to make sure that it deploys its cadres into key government institutions to make sure that the policies of the movement are implemented. So, we are not ashamed to say that the Minister should look into cadre development, deploying cadres who are skilled and competent to make sure that our policies are implemented.

Therefore, one should take solace in the fact that the government is in good hands and has a visionary leadership that knows what the needs of the people are. The leadership we are talking about is the people who are sitting here, those who are in Luthuli House, who are looking into policies to make sure that this country goes forward. Thank you. [Applause.]

Dr M B KHOZA (KwaZulu-Natal): Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, first of all let me express a word of gratitude from the KwaZulu-Natal province for being able to take part in this policy debate on Budget Vote No 27 on Economic Development.

We are meeting at a time when in KwaZulu-Natal we have had some exciting things happening on the economic development front. We have the King Shaka International Airport that is about to be opened. We are already beginning to see the Dube TradePort, which has a 60-year vision, showing signs of success.

We are also grappling with some of the challenges because we are forward- looking in KwaZulu-Natal; and, finally, we are also now looking at post- 2010 sustainability issues because the reality is that we had a lot of investment towards 2010. I just want to share with the House that economic development actually should not be taken for granted. South Africa is a country that has a lot of contradictions. If you go to one part, you feel as if you are in a developed country. When you go to another part, you feel, well, I am in a developing country. But as soon as you move to the periphery, you actually find that you are in an underdeveloped country.

Therefore, economic development should not be taken for granted, because it is there to bridge that gap and to facilitate policy that is going to enable those who were disadvantaged by racial capitalism to fully participate in our trade and industry and not as survivalist participants.

I also want to say, Minister Patel, in your budget speech you stated that some 5,8 million people are unemployed or no longer looking for employment. Indeed, there is no way we can simply think that these people, without any support from us as government, will be able to see the light of day. It is important, therefore, that all budgets — the budgets of national, provincial and local government – should make a difference.

I am very encouraged, and I know my province is very encouraged, that we are beginning to see intergovernmental relationships begin to work. We are no longer working in our own silos, but we have begun to leverage on the strengths of all the different spheres of government.

We also have the challenge, though, that as you have said, we have R380 million that is transferred to agencies. This is also important to us because even in KwaZulu-Natal, 65% of our economic development and tourism budget goes to public entities.

What becomes important is how we do oversight of these public entities, because at the end of the day it is clear that a large part of our deliverables will be happening at that level where a lot of money is going to. So, it becomes important that we actually begin to focus on that.

We are also encouraged by the fact that the department is focusing on a development path. This is also important, because there are signs that an economy that is driven by super greed has led us to the global recession that we now have.

Therefore, it is very important for the state to be able to have a balancing act where you balance the role the market forces can play but also protect your own citizens in the way that we have done. Noam Chomsky describes that as “profits before people”, and I would love to believe that we as this government would like to put people before profits, because we know that super greed can be catastrophic. The KwaZulu-Natal government led by the ANC is putting people first. We have a “one home, one garden” campaign. This campaign is very important in revitalising people’s belief in themselves so that they become their own liberators.

They have to recover from disillusionment and despair and see the beautiful day that comes with being alive. Therefore, it’s very important that we do not simply accept that people have become withdrawn. We should be worried about why people are withdrawn and we should be finding something with which to encourage them.

We also feel strongly that we need to invest in reviving the African merchant who was squeezed out by apartheid segregation policies. There are limited economic activities in most African townships. It is even worse if you go to the rural settlements.

In order to grow a sustainable economy we need to focus on the areas where most of our people reside and create economic activities in those areas. We cannot speak of economic development if our people have to travel many kilometres, sometimes hundreds of kilometres, and end up spending their very meagre wages on transport rather than food.

Co-operatives are very important, but are meaningless if not coupled with access to markets. Our lesson in KwaZulu-Natal is that we have had a 95% failure rate of co-operatives. The study has come out very strongly in making the point that the failure of those co-operatives was not because they did not have the quality of produce, but the problem was access to markets. Therefore, access to markets becomes a very important point.

I also want to share with you that I met a woman from KwaHlomendlini, in one of the rural settlements in KwaZulu-Natal, who had singly farmed dry beans that were almost filling half of her rondavel. These beans were not stored properly, and most of them went to waste because they started to have iinunu [worms].

Yet South Africa imports most of these dry beans; so now the challenge for economic development is how we begin to identify these people who are there and are making up the statistics of unemployment, because they are not registered. They are registered as unemployed, but these people have the skill and the ability.

However, they probably have inadequate or no exposure to how markets work and how to send their products to the markets. We need to identify these people in an organised fashion and we will certainly bring down unemployment statistics. We may, in fact, review our definition of “unemployed”.

Local economic development remains central in developing, growing and sustaining our economy. Every investment or every disinvestment happens within a municipal area of jurisdiction. I am glad that in our province the premier, hon Zweli Mkhize, is very much involved with the municipalities. MEC Mabuyakhulu is also working very closely with municipalities to make sure that local economic development begins to become an expression of provincial development.

I am encouraged by Minister Ebrahim Patel’s commitment, as was well illustrated in his budget speech, that the Department of Economic Development will promote workplace productivity agreements. It will foster entrepreneurial endeavours in the economy, particularly those of black entrepreneurs. I think that with regard to the black entrepreneurs, we should really be declaring this a decade of black entrepreneurs so that we begin to encourage that culture. To survive in the market one has to have that resilience.

Finally, Chairperson, I want to remind us in this House that each one of us has a responsibility to grow this economy and to sustain it. Remember, the moment you employ one person you are already beginning to play a role in promoting the economic activity in your area. You are also beginning to reduce the statistics on unemployment. I thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Ms B V MNCUBE: Chairperson, hon Minister Patel has highlighted, throughout his speech, the importance of employment creation and the plight of the people in our country, who, through their inability to find work, cannot support themselves or their families. This resultant unemployment of 5,8 million people affects the poverty status of people as well as causing inequality.

The Minister has highlighted the precarious existence of South Africans, with inadequate jobs and far too high a level of working poor. The 2009 ANC electoral manifesto highlighted the importance of creating decent work through inclusive, labour-absorptive economic growth.

The focus on decent work is an important approach of the ANC government, geared at creating work and decreasing inequality while gradually alleviating poverty.

Hon Sinclair, this is a result created by the previous apartheid regime of the National Party to which you once belonged. You jumped to the ANC and now to Cope.

The national department plays an important role in developing policies and guiding the framework within which the provincial departments align and act as the operating arms of the national department. The Gauteng provincial department of economic development is fully aligned with the strategies and policies as outlined by the national Minister.

The primary mandate of the Gauteng provincial department is to create decent work, through inclusive, labour-absorptive economic growth that promotes sustainable livelihoods and alleviates poverty and inequality. However, the provincial government has been innovative, and bold in the manner in which this priority is achieved.

The provincial department has acknowledged that there is structural unemployment, where unemployment rates have never broached the 21% level in the province, despite an average economic growth rate of nearly 6% over the period 2005 to 2007. The recession has exacerbated unemployment rates and poverty levels.

The department has focused on addressing the mandate of the provincial and national government by focusing on transforming the provincial economy through improved efficiency; sustainable employment creation; increasing economic equity and ownership; investing in people and sustainable communities; and social cohesion.

There are a series of short—term interventions as well as medium- to long- term interventions that will be implemented over the next year and over the medium term. The short-term interventions aim to address the structural unemployment and the impact of the economic recession, while the medium- to long-term interventions aim to progressively transform the Gauteng provincial economy.

Hon Sinclair, do you hear what Gauteng is going to do? The phasing-in is important, as is the vision to develop a growth path that focuses on the primary and secondary sectors, on the formal and informal sectors, on institutions …

Mr K A SINCLAIR: Chairperson, I was just going to ask the hon member if she is aware that many of the people who are sitting in the ANC were also members of the National Party. [Laughter.]

Ms B V MNCUBE: Key short- to medium-term interventions include the following. Firstly, there are the increased public employment programmes that target people excluded from mainstream economic activity or formal employment, particularly in rural areas, informal settlements and townships. This contributes to an employment safety net and is a form of employment guarantee.

Secondly, there are the youth employability programmes.

Thirdly, there are active industrial and sectoral development strategies to support labour-absorptive sectors and sectors in distress, while encouraging exports as well as localisation.

Fourthly, there is financial and nonfinancial support to small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, and co-operatives in the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

Fifthly, we have pilot projects that focus on green jobs and green technology investment in the areas of energy efficiency, waste management and rural agricultural development and food security; and sixthly, increased strategic, socioeconomic and bulk infrastructure investment, encouraging infrastructure-led growth and effective spatial planning that unites the economy.

Furthermore, the infrastructure investment needs to focus on developing the necessary networks that bring people in the province closer together and address the backlogs in service delivery.

Thus, much like the national department, the Gauteng provincial department of economic development aims to promote a vision of an inclusive and sustainable Gauteng economy that promotes a developmental and equitable society, hon Sinclair. This is to be achieved through a series of short-, medium- and long-term interventions that will set Gauteng on an endogenous growth path that will create decent jobs and enterprise opportunities in an economy that is innovating, inclusive and green. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J J GUNDA: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, this Ministry needs to be more than just an economic think-tank. It must possess the machinery and political will to ensure that the necessary interventions are driven through all government departments. Laat my toe om die Minister te bedank dat Nelie Kok ten minste aandag kry. Ons het vyf jaar baklei. Die provinsiale regering het dit al die pad geïgnoreer. Hulle het die potensiaal om vir hulself werk te skep, indien u hulle werklik gaan help. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Allow me to thank the Minister for at least giving attention to Nelie Kok. We have been fighting for five years. The provincial government ignored this every step of the way. If you truly intend helping them, they will have the potential to create jobs for themselves.]

Many government departments failed to implement the measures required from the first industrial policy and created bottlenecks in the system. This cannot be allowed to happen again for the simple reason that delays serve only to worsen the inequalities in our society.

In this regard, I would like to quote Andile Mngxitama, the publisher of New Frank Talk, who wrote in the Sowetan, and I quote:

The truth is that most blacks experience increased poverty, disease, bad education and health care … Economic racial inequalities lead to racism in the everyday interaction between blacks and whites. Basically, life for blacks remains an experience of humiliation. I believe that the extreme wealth of a few black individuals does not make the humiliating day-to-day poverty of 20 million black South Africans less bad.

My onlangse ervaring in Limpopo met “Taking Parliament to the People” is dat die mense wat in die omgewing van ’n myn bly nie mede-eienaars van die minerale is nie.

Die Onafhanklike Demokrate glo dat die enigste manier om armoede te verlig, is om mense aandeelhouers te maak in die betrokke myne waar hulle werk en in die omgewing waar hulle bly.

Die Noord-Kaap het baie minerale soos diamante, ystererts en mangaan, maar die mense het nie ’n aandeel in die rykdom van hul provinsie nie. Dit is baie vreemd.

Al wat ons in die Noord-Kaap het om te wys vir die lang jare van mynwese, is mense wat siek is van asbestose. Dit moet eindig. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[My experience recently in Limpopo with “Taking Parliament to the People” is that the people who are residing in the vicinity of mines are not co- owners of the minerals.

The Independent Democrats believe that the only way to alleviate poverty is to make people shareholders in the particular mine where they work and in the vicinity where they live.

The Northern Cape is rich in minerals like diamonds, iron ore and manganese, but the people do not have a share in the wealth of their province. This is particularly strange.

The only thing we have to show for all the years of mining in the Northern Cape is people who are sick as a result of asbestosis. This must end.]

This government that claims to be implementing policies according to the Freedom Charter must prove that “The people shall share in the country’s wealth!”

Where is the wealth of this country? It is only in the hands of the old white elite and the new black elite.

Hoekom moet mense hof toe gaan oor hul eie rykdom, soos die Richtersveld se mense? Hoekom moet ons mense in die hof gaan baklei? [Why do people have to go to court for their own wealth, like the people of the Richtersveld? Why do our people have to fight in court?]

It is the apartheid regime that has done it. So, I want to ask the question: Hoekom moet die mense hof toe gaan? Dankie. [Why do the people have to go to court? Thank you.]

Mr F ADAMS: Chairperson, this is a debate on energy and not mineral resources.

Mr M C WALTERS (Western Cape): Chairperson, Ministers, hon members of the NCOP, thank you for the opportunity to speak. Some things emerged during the debate that I would like to bring especially to the attention of the Ministers; both Minister Patel and Minister Peters referred to rural families who are burdened by extreme poverty.

If there is one case of neglect by the ANC, it is the neglect of those people. Thirty per cent of the highest-potential soil in South Africa is situated in the former homelands. That ANC government — from Derek Hanekom — has been given the technology to develop that land. With that technology you could double South Africa’s maize yield; those people who are suffering rural poverty can be helped very easily and cheaply with known technology.

However, that soil was created by the good Lord and needs to be developed. Countries across the globe continue to struggle to rebuild their economies following the worst crisis since after 1929. After the past 18 months many people have been thinking about the issue of development and we have seen some very good examples in the speeches today — they have been making their voices heard!

A powerful new ideal has taken root and you have heard much of the green economies. It is an ideal that says we will fight pollution; we will take climate change seriously; we will intensify our efforts to identify and produce cheaper forms of energy; and we will commit ourselves – all of us — to building a better life for all, especially the poor people of the world.

At this point I would like to touch on the question of energy in our country and the role played by Eskom in its production and distribution. In February, at a media briefing to set out government’s view of the massive tariff increases, national Energy Minister Peters fell prey to a serious bout of what one could call gobbledygook.

After stating that the positives of the decisions far outweighed the negatives, the Minister added that the time had come to consider energy intensity in the relative context of the jobs that we can create, in comparison to other less energy-intensive industries.

Then she said that without energy security, the levels of economic activity necessary to create new jobs could not be achieved. Perhaps the Minister needs to revisit the old Eskom plans for the Congo River, the second largest river in the world after the Amazon. Its hydroelectrical potential, as is known, is sufficient to power all of sub- Saharan Africa and bring energy security to all Africans. This should have been a major focus of the Nepad policy, but it has never been addressed.

I want to be quite blunt about this: The increases granted to Eskom will prove to be calamitous for small, medium and micro enterprises. And, should anyone have forgotten, let me remind you that SMMEs have long been regarded as an essential element of the South African economy.

Indeed, recent studies have shown that small and medium enterprises, especially, have overtaken the corporates in the provision of employment opportunities for the people of this country.

My question is: Where to now for small businesses? Perhaps the national government should tell us what they intend doing to alleviate the plight that awaits those small businesses. What we are seeing here is small businesses with their backs to the wall and with their knees squeezed tight against a steel gate.

It would, therefore, simply not be good enough to advise them to use less electricity. And it would be as tactless to pull out the tattered notepad containing that overused, scribbled sentence that says: “Our electricity is still the cheapest in the world”.

The question that the people of this province and South Africa want answered is: When will our standard of living start to improve again?

Chairperson, I would like to raise another question about Eskom. In its present form, in this day and age, should it be entrusted with the responsibility of running the South African grid?

This is why I am asking: There is an increasing belief among proponents of a green economy that Eskom is far too unwieldy to be an effective, modern distributor of electricity. It was great for the 1980s, but in this second decade of our third millennium, it has become like a sumo wrestler sprinting against a Jamaican athlete.

At a time when energy institutions around the world have become renowned for innovation and a commitment to finding green sources of energy, Eskom continues to soldier on regardless. Perhaps it is time for those who judge performance and who make these decisions to have another look at the model.

There is a good reason for being critical of Eskom, just as there is a good reason for my party’s criticism of national government’s slow progress in developing a green economy for South Africa — in spite of the encouraging words that we have heard here this afternoon.

The DA acknowledges that there is some wonderful talent in South Africa, and of course, especially in the Western Cape. We know that there are thousands of people who want to give something back to this country. All of us must encourage them to contribute by creating the conditions that will enable them to continue playing a positive role.

We believe that it is crucially important to promote a can-do spirit in South Africa and to unite to crush the will-take culture that seems to continue to raise its head. The DA takes its role in opposition at national level and as a governing party in the Western Cape very seriously. We do not believe in criticising for criticism’s sake; wherever we can we will try to offer alternatives.

The DA believes that the Western Cape has the potential to become the green technology hub of Africa, especially with regard to alternative sources of energy. There are a number of things that we believe count in favour of our province.

If we look at how successfully wind has been used to generate electricity in several countries around the world, it’s quite easy to understand why people become excited at the prospect of generating wind-powered electricity all along our West Coast. That is not all: High energy, coast wave-generated electricity is a big possibility; within 150 km of Cape Town we have the Karoo starting, with its possibility for utilising the sun to generate electricity; and then bio- energy as well.

The rise of a global green economy has sparked a number of international developments of which I would like to mention just two. The first is the traditionally poor and in some cases very poor countries, which have embraced and developed green opportunities. The second is the way information flashes across the globe.

Perhaps we can look at Bangladesh and the microcredit arena where Grameen Shakti has launched a programme to bring renewable energy technologies to rural households. Since its launch, Grameen Shakti has installed photovoltaic solar systems in 205 000 homes across Bangladesh. Every month an additional 8 000 homes are fitted out, and by 2014 they contemplate 7,5 million such homes.

Grameen Shakti has also installed 6 000 biogas plants which can utilise dung and organic litter, and can generate gas for cooking as well as for electricity and organic fertiliser.

The same thing has happened in Germany where 280 000 jobs have been generated through renewable energy and offshore wind parks. Here we are looking at another 30 000 jobs. The retrofitting of buildings has been mentioned. I hope that the government and national government will pursue that with great energy.

Recycling in the USA is a US$236 billion industry and certainly something that South Africa must emulate and the government must stimulate to the maximum of its capacity.

I would like to just quote Mark Swilling, a South African academic, when he referred to what Gordon Brown had written:

… governments across the world have made green investment a major part of their economic stimulus packages. They have recognised the vital role that spending on energy efficiency and infrastructure can have on demand and employment in the short term, while also laying the foundations for future growth. … the economies that embrace the green revolution earliest will reap the greatest economic rewards.

I think, for the sake of our children, Chairperson, that this is something that the national government and all provincial governments should pursue with the greatest energy. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr A J NYAMBI: Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, DGs, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I will be failing if I do not assist you, hon Walters. I was impressed that you were quoting and it is clear that you are interested in learning.

I will pose questions to you as homework. Who created the current challenges? Who created the homelands you are talking about today?

Hon Gunda, I was checking with the DG on that side and she was surprised: “Who is this one?” You are the only one from one party who has never attended our meetings. No wonder the confusion.

Hon Lees, what an insinuation about the department of Education! Yesterday, we were told here that it is a fact that there is an overhaul of these further education and training, FET, colleges. There is a serious focus on engineering.

And hon Sinclair — hopping and jumping as he spoke here! My advice to all of you is that here in Parliament you can register for a basic economics class instead of blaming the department, and Parliament will pay for that.

Chairperson, it is an honour to be afforded an opportunity to participate in this debate on this historic day. It is on this day last year that the majority of the citizens of this country gave the ANC another opportunity to lead the fourth democratic Parliament.

After going through the department’s strategic plan, indeed, we agree with you, hon Minister, that the decision taken by the President in May 2009, in this fourth democratic Parliament, to have a dedicated Energy department, has imposed enormous responsibilities on you to take on your mandate with the necessary dynamism and vigour.

Chairperson, allow me to quote the President of our country, His Excellency J G Zuma, while addressing the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. He said, and I quote:

Climate change is a practical matter for the developing world … Developed countries are historically responsible for 80% of the current emissions in the atmosphere. Developing countries are most affected by climate change and are least capable to adapt to the impacts. As they justifiably pursue their own development paths, it is expected that developing countries’ emissions will increase.

In recognition of the reality of climate change, the ANC Polokwane conference resolved to recognise that climate change is a new threat on a global scale that places an enormous burden upon South Africans and Africans as a whole.

In recognition of the undisputed reality, the conference resolved to set target reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. This is part of the ANC’s responsibility to protect the environment and promote sustainable development, and to participate in sharing the burden with the global community under a common framework for action.

The Constitution makes it important for the state to “… respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights”, thus imposing upon it the obligation to protect the rights of the citizens to a healthy and clean environment.

In that regard, government is enjoined to ensure that the impact of climate change is rolled back and that alternative forms of energy are forthwith explored and added to the energy grid in a negation tactic progressing towards the total elimination of fossil-fuel-based energy production. This should be done either through coal combustion for electricity production purposes or industrial production inventories.

In complying with that imperative, we are pleased with the strategic plan and the speech presented today in taking the country forward despite the challenges identified.

Hon members, the budget as presented is in line with what has been identified by the ANC and the Minister of Finance, to mention but a few examples: support for labour-intensive industries through policy interventions, skills development, public employment programmes and a rural development strategy.

The Minister of Finance, in taking these things forward, further highlighted the obligation to assist industries to manage scarce resources more efficiently and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the appropriate pricing of energy. He saw this as a requirement for enabling investment in sustainable technologies. In this regard, he said, and I quote:

Green economy initiatives will create new opportunities for enterprise development, job creation and the renewal of commercial and residential environments. This must play a part in our new growth path.

The demand for green energy in South Africa cannot be an opportunity for other countries to increase their exports to our country, whilst turning our economy into nothing more than a warehouse for assembling and distributing finished goods. It is incumbent upon our government not only to ensure that intermediary and final goods are produced by South African firms, but also to ensure that the skills needed to produce such inventories are produced and used locally.

In that regard, South Africa will indeed create jobs, attract investment as a result of increasing her use of clean energy and in the same vein, be able to ensure sustainable energy supply.

The ANC is committed to ensuring a sustainable economy, where all South Africans, present and future, realise the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing. In doing so, the question of energy utilisation should be explored further in order to ensure that posterity is neither burdened with energy liabilities nor deprived of energy reserves due to overutilisation of energy resources.

The ANC is further committed to mobilising the public, business and other players to act responsibly and save energy, both collectively and as individuals, including through a mandatory national energy efficiency programme.

Hon Minister, your strategic plan commits the department to the continuation of the electrification programme to effect socio-economic development, job creation and poverty alleviation as well as addressing the past imbalances. The strategic plan views this programme as a vehicle for the department to achieve universal access in formal households by 2014. Indeed, on the programme of Taking Parliament to the People, what we have seen and the outcry of the people of the Greater Tubatse Municipality in Limpopo, will definitely be a thing of the past.

Energy plays an important role in the lives of the people who use it in different forums for various purposes. However, the disparities in modern energy provision brought about by the lack of access to infrastructure impact largely on poor urban and rural people. In the rural areas, women are the main users of fuel wood. Woodlands have been depleted in many areas while in others they are under heavy pressure.

The campaign for communities to save energy through using few appliances will assist the communities not only through savings in energy consumption expenses, but also in lowering the demand for electricity. On the other hand, human settlements, including the rural ones, should be electrified to ensure their integration into the main economy. [Interjections.]

Chairperson, we indeed commend what has been done for the people of Ezingolweni. It is indeed important that reliance on paraffin and other such unsustainable yet expensive sources of energy should indeed be phased out and replaced with universal electrification. In this regard, a case is for the building of more production capacity by Eskom and other envisaged players in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be responsible global neighbours. [Interjections.]

In conclusion, Chairperson, allow me to conclude by quoting the Minister on her strategic overview statement … [Interjections.] The ANC supports the budget. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr F ADAMS: Chair, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for another member to refer to a speaker and say that he is lying? Hon Gunda is shouting here, saying: “He is lying”.

Mr J J GUNDA: Hon Chair, I did not say the hon member is lying. That is why I asked him: “When?”

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Which member are you referring to? Because I do not have the benefit of having heard hon Gunda. May I first establish something? Hon Gunda, is it true that you said to the hon member that he is lying? Hon members, can we just refrain from using words that will undermine the decorum of the House and allow the member to conclude his debate, please?

Thank you very much, hon member. May I, therefore, take this opportunity to call on hon Minister Patel to conclude the debate. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Hon House Chairperson and hon members, a number of very helpful ideas and many supportive comments have been made in the debate, and there appears to be a wide consensus on the importance of the green economy.

Hon Adams has cautioned us to go beyond abalone. I am happy to report to him that the programmes that we have in a number of areas will attempt to focus on the broad range of aquaculture and we hope that this can be an important part of job creation in coastal communities.

He also referred to the importance of acting firmly against price collusion. I am happy to advise hon Adams and members that we took action over the last number of years and eight motor vehicle companies have paid R51 million in penalties as a result of the work of the competition authorities.

Four airlines have paid about R108 million and three companies were levied with penalties totalling a combined R340 million for fixing the price of bread.

Hon Lees has said he is not convinced that we need economic development departments. I am happy to advise that in the province where the DA is in government, it does indeed have an economic development department. I am also happy to report that that department has asked us to work closely with it in addressing the economic challenges of the province.

More seriously though, hon Lees has raised the question about economic planning. I would like to point out that we put ideology aside and look at the facts out there in the world. Some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, that of China, India, Korea and other countries, have very substantial economic planning capacity that is available to the modern state and, therefore, outperformed many economies that have not had that capacity.

Finally, I would suggest to hon Lees most respectfully that simply repeating the mantra of deregulation doesn’t constitute coherent policy. The experience out there in the world has been that countries and governments have to grapple with the right balance between the state and the market.

To find that balance is an evidential issue; it is based on the evidence before us. Indeed, the simplistic cause for deregulation lies at the very heart of the global economic crisis. The failure of government to effectively regulate financial markets has caused enormous damage to growth and to our joint efforts to address the challenges of poverty all over the world.

I have taken note, hon members, of the various comments that have been made with regard to particular provinces. In respect of the Northern Cape, I would say to hon Sinclair that the province is depending very highly on the primary sector. We need more balanced economic growth in the Northern Cape, but we have to do this while being mindful of the locational and physical challenges of the province.

We think there is an enormous opportunity for a major energy initiative. My colleague, Minister Peters, has spoken about the work that her department and others are doing to bring a large solar generating capacity on stream. We are now conducting studies to see how feasible this is.

A number of members have spoken well about the challenges of jobs. The hon Mnguni and hon M B Khoza have elaborated on aspects of this. I would like to make a point in support of what the hon Khoza has said. Take a photograph of Sandton and Lubala and compare them: one country, two realities.

What that points to is that economic growth, important as it is, is not sufficient. We need high and sustained economic growth. You need development policies that ensure that the growth takes place equitably across the country and that growth draws in opportunities for decent employment for the poorest South Africans. I believe the comments made by hon Khoza are particularly appropriate to that challenge.

You have also pointed, hon Khoza, to the importance of the economic agencies in KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere. We have a challenge as far as economic agencies are concerned. Economic agencies are part of the machinery that is available to the public sector, but some degree of disconnection has begun to develop between the plans of Cabinets, whether it is a national Cabinet or a provincial cabinet, and the programmes and activities of many of the agencies. We need to find ways in which we can reconnect these so that we develop accountability.

Accountability would have at least four or five characteristics to it. Firstly, it would be to ensure that we have proper and tight oversight. Ultimately, the shareholder, the public sector, must take responsibility for the agencies that act in the name of the public. Secondly, there must be clarity on the mandate; if the agency knows what it is that the government expects from them and what their shareholder expects, then their conduct must be aligned to the requirements of their mandate.

Thirdly, we need to address the funding models of a number of the agencies to ensure that we have the sustainable capacity to finance the industrialisation and other economic development challenges. We have done some work now, looking at Brazil and Germany, to see what the underlying industrial funding model is that these economies are using to grow their manufacturing sector faster.

Germany is arguably the world’s most competitive and advanced manufacturing sector. So, we are learning from their experience and seeing how we can catch that experience and share it with our development finance institutions, DFIs, and how we can get the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, and other institutions to benefit from that.

Finally, it requires a regular evaluation of the impact of our development agencies at national, provincial and municipal level. Also, perhaps we can share a lot more of the joint work on this issue.

Hon Walters made two comments; one was on the importance of the green economy and I’m glad that hon Walters is supporting the government’s thinking on the green economy. However, hon Walters has said, or certainly implied, that rural poverty had been caused by what he calls “the neglect of the ANC”. This is a stunning denial of our history and disrespect for the facts because it implies a model that says that under apartheid, before the ANC came into power, there was a wealthy, prosperous and happy rural population in the homelands.

The reality is sadly not so. We sit with the legacy of migrant labour, poor infrastructure, weak skills and land dispossession. Our challenge as government is to reverse all of that. If we are saying, and if our paid people are saying that we must make this a greater priority than it has been in the past, then as the government we agree completely.

We have five priorities and we have elevated rural development to one of those five. We have created a dedicated Ministry to address this issue and we are working collegially to strengthen rural development.

In conclusion let me say that the challenges that we are facing cannot be addressed only at national level. They require fundamentally a better and a more effective system of intergovernmental co-operation and co-ordination. When national, provincial and local government work well together; when we take our separate resource envelopes and we try to find ways in which we can synchronise that; when we find ways of avoiding waste and duplication between the three levels of government, we can release the resources to address the challenges of our people.

We owe that to the people of Lubala, we owe it to the people of Dimbaza and we owe it to the people in each of your provinces. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF ENERGY: Chairperson, I think I need to indicate here that I thank all the participants; and particularly the chairperson of the select committee for the way in which he drives the work that is intended to make it possible for us to do what we have set ourselves to do: to create a better life for all.

In particular, in this instance we are saying that we would work with all the progressive forces to make it possible that we can do much more to improve the lives of our people.

Chairperson, I would be failing in my duty if I did not indicate also what the department is doing in relation to issues of the targeted groups like gender and the youth. I just want to indicate here that the department has started facilitating aggressively to show the participation of young people and women in the energy sector.

I need to indicate that because of the work that the department is doing in the energy sector, and by also encouraging the skills development programme and so being able to produce quite a number of young people who are interested in the nuclear sphere, we are going to be the host of the International Youth Nuclear Congress, which is going to be held immediately after the World Cup in South Africa.

This will bring all the young people who are interested in the nuclear field together on the shores of South Africa to make it possible that we can discuss the future of nuclear energy and make sure that we can produce electricity; that we make it possible to use nuclear energy for medicinal interventions and to get people fresh water and sustain household food security.

The department is also pleased to announce that it has already started to enjoy the benefits of its efforts in facilitating the empowerment of women through their participation in an energy and oil project in Bethlehem. This project is called the Bethlehem hydroelectric power scheme and was duly launched by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Ms G L Mahlangu- Nkabinde.

I also want to indicate here, ladies and gentlemen, that we are committed to ensuring that as South Africa we participate in ensuring that we make a success of this green economy. Those who were monitoring the economic developments around the economic meltdown would have realised that stats indicated that more jobs were created in the energy sector whilst the other sectors were shedding jobs. It would be wrong for us as South Africa not to grab this opportunity with both hands.

I want to indicate once more that it seems that some of the members, when they don’t belong to the ruling party, become selective in their listening. I just want to say that listening is a skill. If you listen you will hear well.

I don’t know why, hon Lees and hon Walters, you speak about Eskom’s monopoly. We have said it several times — including last year when the President said it in his state of the nation address when all of you in this House were present — that we are establishing an independent system and market operator to be almost like a competitor to Eskom. This is because we are trying to break the monopoly of Eskom, a state entity.

Where have you seen that government actually says that they realise that we cannot have a state entity being a referee and a player! We are going to create another entity that is going to buy this power from the independent power producers. This will make it possible for everybody and every stakeholder to have access to the grid.

So, I just wanted to indicate that we are busy with legislation to make it possible that this state entity is established. We did indicate that within the next six months we are going to have an interim arrangement that will make it possible to start signing up the power that is generated through the wind and other energy sources that will be coming to the fore.

As I have said, I will indicate here that listening is a skill. We did indicate that we have done the feasibility study with the Clinton Climate Initiative in the Northern Cape for concentrated solar power. We are going to make it possible for the independent power producers also to participate, because if we create an industrial solar park we will be creating one zone where everybody will participate.

This is almost like creating a Coega in the Northern Cape, but for solar power in this instance. So, whoever is interested would not be doing environmental assessments because it would have been done for the entire industrial zone. We are saying that we are also creating this opportunity for all those who are interested to come and buy into this initiative.

The Minister of Trade and Industry released the new Industrial Policy Action Plan Part 2, Ipap 2, within which are located issues related to the green economy. The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs has released indicators of when exactly the green economy policy documents will be released so that we will then be able to know the exact areas that have been identified for these green initiatives. This is because a green economy is an indication that we are alive to the environment, we do want environmental sustainability and we want to protect the environment for generations to come. We know that we are custodians of this earth for the generations that are yet to be born.

We, therefore, are responsible leaders who are saying, “What can we do so that we don’t have the challenges that we have today that were created by climate change, because of reckless industrial development?”

We are actually saying that it would be wrong for us not to learn from the mistakes of the developed countries, in terms of driving development greedily and selfishly. As my comrade has said, super greed created the challenges that we have today. So, we are saying that we need to be responsible and think about those who are still going to come after us.

When we were holding the Climate Change Conference here in Cape Town, there was a child who told us that he doesn’t want to go and live on the moon or somewhere else on a planet that he doesn’t know. And so he asked us to protect this planet so that even his grandchildren could also live on mother earth – a nine-year-old! So, it is up to us as leaders to make sure that we are alive to the challenges of the environment. The hon Walters also spoke about the majestic Congo. Remember that we are in South Africa and the biggest rivers we have in South Africa are the Vaal and the Orange Rivers. We are also working together with the Department of Water Affairs to make it possible that going forward – whatever dam development there is – we are going to ensure that there is integration in terms of hydroelectric power generation.

However, we cannot have a situation where we as South Africa can say that we are going to bulldoze our way into the Congo and build a hydro scheme there. We need the partnership of the Congolese and that is why we are working together with the other four countries, including the Congo, to be able to develop the Western Power Corridor, Westcor, initiative. We are working with them.

I am saying that we are doing it because we want to make sure that within the Southern African power pool, South Africa is an equal partner with the DRC and the other Southern African Development Community, SADC, members. We would like to make sure that all the water on the continent and particularly in the region would be used for the benefit of creating energy.

However, we cannot just go in there without getting the support, without working together with the Congolese, because we cannot only focus on using that water for hydro schemes. We need to be able to look at a continental or a regional integrated plan. Now, on the 29th there will be a meeting of the Ministers of energy in the SADC region. One of the key agenda items will be Westcor, under which Inga 3, the Kunene River and the majestic Congo fall; so it is important that you understand that issue.

You would also remember that in the case of the Amazon River no single country can benefit from it without making sure that the seven other countries that share the waters of the Amazon River also benefit from it. So, members should not come to the House and raise issues that they know are not true.

Chairperson, I just want to take this opportunity to thank the chairperson of the select committee, members of the committee, departmental officials, my colleagues in Cabinet and President Zuma for his foresight in leadership to ensure that energy can be central.

We know that energy is the lifeline of all socioeconomic development imperatives. Without energy one would not be able to give birth to a healthy child, and without energy one would not even have a decent funeral. So, it is important that you understand that from conception to the grave we would be part of your daily life.

That is why it is important that when we debate and participate here we should remember that this is about people’s lives and the life of economies. And it is about making it possible that we can grow the economy. That is why in working together with the Minister and his team we are going to make it possible to create the number of jobs that we set for ourselves. We set ourselves a target of 10 million jobs in the next couple of years that will come directly from energy.

It is important that we understand that energy will make it possible to live, but that it can also contribute to the quicker degradation of the environment. That is why we say that it is important that we become holistic, integrated and look at every other aspect of our daily lives.

I want to thank members for participating in this debate. We should also continue with the debate about electricity generation in South Africa, and about how much it costs before we can come here and talk about Hitachi as if we are so fixated on Hitachi.

Hitachi gave their story; why don’t you listen to them? Why don’t you listen to Chancellor House? Why don’t you go to the ANC and get their side of the story about this thing? [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate) Vote No 36 — Transport:

The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, hon members and the MECs who have been able to come here, the MEC for transport in the Western Cape, hon Carlisle; the MEC for transport in KwaZulu-Natal, hon Willies Mchunu; and the MEC for transport in the Eastern Cape, Ms Barry, I thank you very much for gracing this debate.

It is now only 49 days to the start of the World Cup. This is an African World Cup. To begin with, all 53 African heads of state will be part of this World Cup. They have been formally invited.

Secondly, for the first time in the history of Fifa, six countries from Africa will be participating in the World Cup. Plans are already under way for the transportation of general spectators from Algeria, Cameroon, the Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria when they arrive in South Africa, and throughout the tournament. Already the six African Ministries of transport participating in the World Cup are co-ordinating plans on how all the spectators will be transported. This will be finalised in Ghana next month when we meet all the participating countries from Africa.

A number of participating teams will be using SADC member countries as base camps. This has vast transport implications and will culminate in an update at the SADC Ministers of transport meeting to be held in Maputo next month. Through the Local Organising Committee, we are co-ordinating with all the participating countries to ensure smooth and efficient transportation of fans.

As you know, Chairperson, the backbone of any World Cup is the massive participation of the host country. In this regard South Africa will not disappoint and transport will not disappoint.

A command centre based in Gauteng with co-ordinators in all the nine host cities will be operating by the end of May. Two days ago, President Zuma officially opened the O R Tambo International Airport upgrade. This is a R2,3 billion investment. Later that day, we launched the country’s transport plan for the World Cup.

The transport plan is a statement of our readiness to transport fans to stadiums in all nine host cities and to all corners of our country, during and after the World Cup. After the World Cup, the infrastructure left behind must change forever the way we travel for leisure and business. After the World Cup, infrastructure and services left behind must benefit the rural and urban poor in urban and rural areas.

Notwithstanding the progress we have made over the the 15 years, we are facing challenges with regard to the maintenance of our secondary road network. Nothing best indicates a country’s state of development than the condition of its roads. The following figures indicate how much we still need to do to become a fully developed country.

The numbers give a summary of schools which are without any road access in South Africa in 2010. In the Eastern Cape 859 out of 5 401 schools are not accessible by road. In the Free State 28 out of 2 472 are not accessible. In Gauteng — which of course is our developed province — out of 2 202 schools, only 2 are not accessible by road. In KwaZulu-Natal, out of 5 331 schools, 403 are not accessible by road. In Mpumalanga, out of 1 793 schools, 17 are not accessible. In the Northern Cape, out of 473, 9 are not accessible. Out of 4 131 in Limpopo, 129 are not accessible. In North West out of 2 257, 47 are not accessible. Lastly, out of 1 577 schools in the Western Cape, 16 are not accessible by road.

Add to these figures a total of 31 clinics in the country which do not have reliable access by road: 21 out of 695 in the Eastern Cape, five out of 485 in KwaZulu-Natal and some provinces have one or two clinics without access by road.

In addition to the lack of access roads, we have challenges with regard to maintenance backlogs. The total paved and gravel network at provincial level is 184 816 km. At least 40% of this network has reached a crisis point. The total paved and gravel network at municipal level is 339 849 km. We are developing a means to quantify the backlog at the municipal level so that we can have accurate localised numbers. What we know is that our country needs R75 billion over the next five years to arrest this decline.

This year we are addressing these challenges by implementing an integrated national maintenance programme and a rural transport strategy for South Africa. This is not a new programme. Successive Ministers of Transport from 1994 have spoken out for the increase of the budget for road maintenance. The absence of roads defines who we are, either as a developing country, a developed country or an underdeveloped country.

This leads me to the next intervention that we are making — the provision of road infrastructure in our rural areas. The rural access improvement programme is part of a comprehensive rural transport strategy for South Africa which aims to do the following: to build bridges and nonmotorised transport facilities; to develop and implement the integrated public transport networks for regular transport services; to develop and upgrade the airport network with a proper road-link infrastructure; and to revitalise rural railway operations by expanding rail passenger services and freight operations to the rural areas.

Furthermore, through the Expanded Public Works Programme, we will contribute to job creation through the implementation of labour-intensive projects. To kickstart this process, we have secured initial funding of R1 billion dedicated to rural road infrastructure. We will also be institutionalising our rural infrastructure and services portfolio through the establishment of a dedicated agency.

This, hon MECs, will be over and above what you have in your budgets. A project management team and unit have been appointed to drive this programme.

In many municipalities and provinces we have identified the lack of dedicated funding for road maintenance, poor asset management and capacity challenges as the causes of poor road conditions. Insufficient investment in maintenance of the road infrastructure is a huge challenge. To address this, we are planning to develop a ring-fencing mechanism through the creation of a maintenance fund. Road maintenance cannot happen by accident.

This strategy is not only about sourcing additional funding for maintenance, but also about ensuring that existing funds are used for the purpose they were intended for. The strategy is also about better management of our road assets. The advantage of this programme is not only that it will arrest the decline of our infrastructure, but that it will also create thousands of jobs in the process.

The Department of Transport has the responsibility to address access and mobility challenges facing learners who daily walk more than 3 km in a single trip to school. The primary project beneficiaries are learners in rural, semirural and peri-urban areas who have no access to public transport. Provinces are required to prepare business plans for the identification and selection of schools. They are also required to enter into agreements with municipalities to put control measures in place. The Department of Transport will procure and distribute bicycles to the provinces.

South Africa experienced a rail tragedy yesterday. On behalf of our government and our people, we would like to express our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved. Yesterday I was able to trace two of them and I spoke to the survivors. Personal safety remains a priority to ensure that rail continues to regain its market share in the public transport sector. So far, our co-operation agreement with the SA Police Service has seen the roll-out of more than 2 000 rail police officers in our provinces.

We have to come to terms with the fact that the passenger rolling stock fleet has reached the end of its economic life. The average age of the coaches is between 35 and 40 years, with a maximum economic life of 46 years. Ours is now far beyond this lifespan. Let us state this very clearly: If we do not act now, that is, to recapitalise our rail fleet, the urban passenger rail system could collapse in all our cities within the next decade.

An efficient, reliable and affordable public transport system is at the centre of our transformation agenda. Our role as government is derived from our belief that the provision of public transport is primarily a public responsibility, and not for gain.

We use various instruments: licensing, municipal transport planning and subsidies to ensure universal access for commuters. The operating license is the central instrument for government to ensure reliable, efficient and affordable public transport. This responsibility has been executed by provincial licensing authorities.

We have decided to restructure the licensing system such that our interprovincial operations are licensed through the national regulatory authority, the national transport regulator. Metro councils with capacity will be tasked with the licensing responsibilities within their cities.

With reference to the recent strikes by some taxi operators we must state the following. Whilst we acknowledge that taxis provide the public operator services for gain, we must emphasise that they provide an essential service. It is a contract between operators and the commuters. It is because of this principle that withdrawing services by operators without due consideration for commuters’ interests is unacceptable. We want a pledge which commits all of us on procedures and instruments regulating our rights and responsibilities.

It is against this background that in March 2007 Cabinet approved the public transport strategy and action plan. It is this pledge that we will be finalising with my colleagues in the provinces. It will then be signed between us and the taxi industry.

If someone has a problem with some traffic officer, what has that got to do with Mrs Molefe who is travelling from Diepkloof to town? It has absolutely nothing to do with that person. We cannot use our people with disrespect. For example, a taxi operator cannot have a quarrel somewhere and then leave people stranded. That is totally unacceptable.

Phase 1 of the action plan targets 12 cities and six districts for initial implementation. Because the transformation of public transport is incomplete without taxis, a national joint working group has been established. The national joint working group has the mandate to address all matters of concern to the taxi industry.

Moving violations remain among the greatest threats to road safety. We all know drinking and driving, and speaking on the cellphone while driving are threats to road safety. However, to send an SMS while driving is more dangerous than speaking on the cellphone. Twenty-one per cent of crashes are due to this malady. An average of 40 people die on our roads every day and this cannot be treated as a normal situation. The Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC, will intensify efforts on tight and visible law enforcement.

This year we are implementing the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Bill which removes road offences from the court system, unless one chooses to have his or her matter considered by the court. Traffic offences will be dealt with administratively. This is already having an effect.

By the end of May we will have formed community road safety councils in all nine provinces. The community road safety councils will help us create safer environments through road design, enforcement and education.

Through partnerships with the Ministers of Basic and Higher Education, we are intensifying road safety education in our schools. All 18-year-olds in South Africa must have a driver’s licence and help us introduce a new culture of driving on our roads.

In line with this, by July we will have appointed a new service provider for the tamper-proof card licence which will be integrated into the country’s identification system. These developments in transport will in time move South Africa from being a developing to a developed country. I would like to thank the department, Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin, the portfolio committee, and the select committee for the assistance and the co- operation we have received over the year.

I thank the director-general, Mr George Mahlalela, and his staff for their work and dedication in delivering transport infrastructure and services to our people. We also acknowledge the role played by the chief executives of our entities, the managing directors, chairpersons and boards of all our agencies in the delivery of our transport programme. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr H B GROENEWALD: Thank you, Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members of the NCOP and guests.

The way the Select Committee of Transport was treated by the Department of Transport during their presentation regarding the strategic plan is unacceptable. Neither the Minister nor the director-general was available when the committee was addressed. Fortunately the deputy director-general, DDG, did the presentation to the committee, and I must say she did well under the circumstances.

The statement made by Sake24 in Rapport last Sunday is horrific for any person who uses our roads in South Africa. An audit done by the SA National Roads Agency Ltd, Sanral, shows that 80% of South African roads are older than their lifespan of 20 years. It costs government – ie the taxpayers – more than R75 billion to maintain 300 000 km of roads in South Africa. According to the audit, gravel roads in South Africa are even worse than the tarred roads.

The time has come for local government and provincial authorities to take responsibility for roads in their areas and get the necessary skills to keep roads in a good condition.

The Deputy Minister, Mr Jeremy Cronin, also said that the information Sanral used in their audit was from the provincial and municipal authorities. He also mentioned that the money allocated for roads and maintenance from government to local authorities has not been used for these specific purposes, but for many other priorities.

The DA wants to know from the department: What happened to the responsibility and control mechanisms to allow the South African economy to slip to where it is now by sheer mismanagement of the maintenance of South African roads, caused by the loss of both financial and human skills? Any delays on road maintenance can cost up to six times more than the general cost when it is done timeously.

Despite this, Sanral is doing a good job in keeping our national roads in a reasonable condition, obviously at the cost of the motorist. There is no such thing as free roads, but for how much longer can we carry on delaying every time that a section of road reaches the end of its lifespan and needs reconstruction?

Hon Minister, the DA approves of what you and your department have been saying about the dedicated road fund. After all, this has been part of our DA policy proposal to your Ministry for a number of years now. The time has come to consolidate all fund streams into this fund. This, Minister, is the only way forward.

Sanral must do the necessary audit of road conditions and, as engineering skills at provincial and local government levels do not exist, Sanral with their higher skills based on experience would be able to optimise both scarce human and financial or capital skills required to keep our roads safe and pothole free.

The Minister and the Deputy Minister made mention in their forewords of the strategic plan and the role transport is playing in the economy of South Africa and how much money has been spent on roads, airports and other infrastructure and around cities hosting the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup event.

What about the roads in our rural areas? These are the places where we need sustainable growth to help our people who stay there to make a living. The economy is dying in the rural areas because contractors are not willing to get into the areas where the roads are in such a bad state. Public transport is not available and people must get to their workplaces on foot.

In provinces like Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West province, roads have totally disintegrated and it is better to travel next to the roads as opposed to on the roads. The whole road project budget for the North West province of R525 million for the year 2009-10 has been spent in three months! How is this possible? We are hardly touching the tip of the iceberg in this province.

The DA started a pothole campaign in the North West province recently, just to remind government how dangerous it is to use roads in such a bad condition and to tell government to do their job properly. I’m sure that those of you who travelled in those parts will love our beautiful DA warning signs.

The Taxi Recapitalisation Programme is definitely not on schedule. Many taxi owners are unhappy with the progress in this programme. With only 10 142 taxis being scrapped, it seems to the DA that this programme will never end, and that the budget for scrapping taxis is increasing year by year. Something new and innovative must be done, and the money rather put into a public transport programme such as the BRTs.

The DA believes that subsidising public transport is essential and happens in most countries in the world. [Time expired.] [Applause.] The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): I now call upon the hon member Carelse.

Mr R CARLISLE (Western Cape): Thank you, Chair. No disrespect, but my name is “Carlisle”.

It gives me great pleasure to follow on the previous speaker, and particularly to follow on my hon national Minister. I also recognise my MEC colleagues from KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

One of the earlier Ministers speaking here said one of the problems - he mentioned certain politicians, but I think it applies to most politicians — is that we don’t listen. Now I wonder how many of you listened carefully to what the national Minister had to say, because that was one of the most serious and concerning speeches I have ever heard in politics.

He said a number of things, but he said two things specifically. He said that R75 billion was required to bring the maintenance backlog into some kind of manageable form and to that he could contribute an extra R1 million.

He went on to say — let us take it that this is very clearly with regard to Metrorail and our whole passenger community service – that if we do not act now, that is to recapitalise our rail fleet, the urban passenger rail system could collapse in all our cities within the next decade.

I cannot overstate to members in this Place how serious those two statements are. I happen to know that they are factually correct. I believe that they go far beyond the boundaries of party politics. There is no place here to score political points.

We listened earlier to debates on economic development. Let me tell members economic development is not worth a fig if your transport systems fall apart. Don’t even waste your time with it. And what we are witnessing and what the hon national Minister of Transport is telling us is that our transport systems are falling apart.

Now the importance of this body, sir, is that it’s a transversal body as far as the country is concerned; and I would hope that every member within this body will be asking himself or herself, “How do I work with my colleagues here regardless of their party affiliation to try and change the situation which the national Minister of Transport has put to us?”

How do we bring pressure to bear on the National Treasury to change the spending priorities? Because as any of my colleagues here who have been to parts of Africa and Central America, as I have, know, when transport goes, the economy goes and everything else goes with it. Let me just supplement certain of the things that the hon Minister said. He said he had inherited a gaggle of public entities and that his inheritance was in many cases chaos or corruption or both. His passion for road safety, which I share, is blunted and destroyed by the failure of the justice system to bring consequences to bear on the killers on our roads.

I want to concentrate, as in a sense he did, on the key area of public transport. Now, our apartheid cities make public transport a very difficult thing. They provide us with the longest commutes in the world. They make our cities upside down because whereas normal cities are highly concentrated in population terms at the centre and it declines outwards, ours go the other way. Therefore, in Johannesburg the dense concentrations of population are far out and they have to be brought in. Only public transport can bridge that apartheid divide.

However, if we look at patterns of mobility, and this is where I believe this House has a key role to play, what we are seeing is the use of private transport. This is largely restricted to the middle, upper middle and upper classes — largely white but also obviously including other population groups. That pattern is on the rise.

There is huge congestion. The hon Minister has spoken about maintenance. In fact, that’s where the funding is going: on huge periphery roads, particularly in the Gauteng area. We are not prepared to have them here, okay.

So what we are doing is putting the money where the private transport is and yet the imperative of public transport is to provide mobility to those who do not have their own transport. And so we have to bring pressure to bear on National Treasury to begin to shift that priority from the creation of these massive periphery roads into the needs of Soweto and Khayelitsha and Mabopane’s public transport. That’s where the shift has to occur.

With regard to the situation with public transport, the hon Minister spoke of rail so I can speak about a few other things. The situation is such that the subsidy, the Dora, Division of Revenue Act, grants from Transport are effectively declining for the three areas that have a bus subsidy, and the department looks upon the subsidy as an expense when in fact it’s an investment that grows the economy of this country. Bus transport is in decline in every single city in South Africa; in some it has virtually disappeared — like eThekwini.

Taxis will never be able to take up that total shortfall that is occurring in our public transport. They themselves are faced with overtrading, with overcompetitive attitudes, and congestion is killing them as surely as it is killing the bus trade.

Train and rail needs to be the backbone, sir. We have, certainly in the Western Cape, in the area of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, a very good rail network; no question about it, that can carry millions of people to work.

We are, however, short of 8 000 coaches and motor coaches, and very few are being built. At the current rate of building it will take about 70 years to make those up, by which stage the whole situation will be out of control.

We cannot cope without rail in South Africa and the situation that is now being created by this is appalling. If you travel from Khayelitsha into Cape Town, which is the busiest commuter line and has the heaviest volume in South Africa, higher than Mabopane, then you have trains that are meant to carry 2 300 people that are carrying in excess of 4 200 passengers. And I must tell you, the conditions under which the commuters travel are an outrage to their human dignity and human rights. It is a situation that we have to change. As I say, it goes beyond petty party politics.

Virtually every commuter coming into Cape Town or into the employment areas — and not only in Cape Town, but also in the other metros — is almost inevitably late for work no matter what they do. Buses and trains in Cape Town run on average about 40 minutes late. In some of the other metros it’s much worse than that.

It’s pointless to talk about economic development and deregulating Eskom if we can’t make our transport systems work. So, we are faced with this: There is no magic about a public transport system. It’s not difficult to run. The legislation is there, the skills are there. We have the manufacturing capacity in South Africa to build what we need at Capital Park, but we do not have the money. But the money is there!

I don’t want to talk about where some of the money went — the money is there, the country has the money to do it and it has no alternative but to spend money here.

What we have to do between ourselves is to establish how we change the spending patterns and the spending priorities so that the people may move and enjoy the freedom which they deserve.

Mr M P JACOBS: Chairperson, hon Chief Whip, hon Minister of Transport and my hon fellow Members of Parliament, allow me to start by quoting a clause from the ANC manifesto which says –

… work together with the farming community to improve the living conditions of farm dwellers, including the provision of subsidised house and other basic services.

My entry point in this debate is rural development with a specific focus on the development of roads and public transport. It would be a disservice to our rural people if we fail to connect them with where the economic activity is located. Their linkage with the civilised world is through the provision of well-deserved infrastructure and the construction of good roads and bridges.

During our oversight visit to Mpumalanga, we visited Mbekeni, a village which is more than 30 km from Nelspruit. It is a remote area that is isolated from civilisation.

The only road that links them with Nelspruit is badly constructed and without a bridge. During the rainy season pupils cannot go to school. Teachers, who are commuting daily, can’t reach their schools. When we asked them what their personal needs were, they responded by requesting us to provide them with a constructed road, a bridge and public transport that would link them with the civilised world, because all their other needs would be addressed by the first one.

From where I’m standing, I can hear their call and feel their desperation back at Mbekeni. It is against this background that we are making a humble request to the Minister to accede to their request.

We promised to be their voices and articulate their aspirations to Parliament to the best of our abilities. We hope that when we go back to Mbekeni village next year we will not be empty-handed. The Minister has said he has allocated R1 billion for road construction in rural areas. I think they will get their slice.

The youth is the future of this country. We cannot talk about any rural development that excludes them. We must be duty-bound to ensure that they are at school on time daily and learning.

Schools in many rural areas are still inaccessible to them. They have to walk from one farm to the other, from one village to the other in order to access education. As the ANC, we are therefore making a public clarion call that the Minister should provide them with scholar transport. It should not be left to the discretion of provinces to make choices.

National education allocations should be reinforced and the department should monitor the implementation of this service. The provision of scholar transport goes hand in hand with economic empowerment.

We hope most of the scholar transport owners who come from farms and villages will be afforded the opportunity to benefit from this economic activity. It would be rural economic empowerment in the true sense of the word.

Although the department came up with the Shova Kalula initiative, it has its own shortcomings, constraints, challenges and limitations. No audit has ever been made of the bicycles that were issued. There is no maintenance plan. The bicycles are of no assistance during the rainy and cold seasons. The intention was good, but has not achieved its desired results. The department needs to review this initiative.

We are approaching the Fifa World Cup in June. We are concerned about the safety of our people who are using the Airlink company for their flights.

We recently experienced a nasty incident at Limpopo airport during the period of Taking Parliament to the People when an Airlink plane failed to take off due to the failure of the ground power supply. This resulted in members missing their connecting flights.

The second incident also took place in Limpopo, still involving an Airlink plane which took off but immediately landed again due to a technical fault. We feel that its operation for the World Cup should be reviewed and their planes should be airworthy.

We have come far with the World Cup preparations and we cannot allow our country’s name to be tarnished by one unscrupulous, irresponsible and greedy operator, whose intention is to destroy our dream of hosting a spectacular World Cup that will be remembered for many years to come. We call upon the Minister to review their licence because that will be a good thing to do.

Therefore, we support this Budget Vote. A o bokwe. [Let it be praised.] [Applause.]

Mr T W MCHUNU (KwaZulu-Natal): Chairperson, on 13 April 2010, Minister Ndebele presented his budget speech in the National Assembly. He highlighted all the activities that government had initiated to ensure that our transport system provides a seamless, multimodel transport service throughout the duration of the World Cup to facilitate movements to all parts of the country.

Today, he has shared his views with this House. In KwaZulu-Natal we fully concur with the Minister. We certainly regard 2010 as a unique year in many ways. It will go down in history as yet another significant turning point for South Africa and the African continent.

We are also doing our part as the department in ensuring that this World Cup is a success, particularly with regard to public transport matters, road infrastructure development and safety initiatives on our roads, to mention but a few. However, Minister, we also agree with you that we must take cognisance of the fact that our planning must go beyond the World Cup.

Our department is operating in the midst of budgetary cuts and recessionary pressures on the national coffers. Notwithstanding that, we cannot shy away from discharging our duties and responsibilities.

Our budget seeks to strike a balance and we seriously want to share this with the House. We want to strike a balance between building new road infrastructure and the maintenance of the existing infrastructure. That is very important. There is nothing that you can overlook.

Those who have lived where roads are good will never think about expanding into new areas which have never had road infrastructure before; not through any fault of their own, not through the fault of this government, but through the fault of the history and the legacy of all the political parties before.

Therefore, there is no question of us not concentrating on building new roads in the rural areas. We would like to share with this House that our road infrastructure has been allocated R3,72 billion. Of this infrastructure budget, R1,9 billion is for the construction of new roads and R1,6 billion is for the maintenance thereof.

A serious challenge facing our department is the ongoing floods which can never be anticipated. Due to the budget constraints and the increase in volumes of traffic, the rehabilitation and periodic maintenance programme is falling behind. Our road network is deteriorating at a rapid pace and additional funding will be required to ensure that our road network is conserved in an acceptable manner.

To crown it all, more than 70% of our road network is also beyond its design life and if not attended to immediately, it will end up in a state of disrepair. In the long run, it will cost the government 18 times more to construct these roads if they are not attended to urgently.

The state of our roads combined with high traffic volumes, overloading of heavy vehicles, poor drainage and high levels of rainfall contribute to the high occurrence of potholes, especially in our province. Our department receives only R1,6 billion of the required annual funding of R3,2 billion for maintenance. This shortfall increases the backlog at a rapid rate.

It would require at least an additional R2 billion over a three-year period and R2 billion to bring the road network back to the required minimum level of service. Therefore on that score, Minister, we are extremely excited about your idea of forming a road maintenance fund. We are extremely excited, especially if it is designed to help us in the provinces and in the municipalities because that is where the backlogs are.

What I would like to say to my colleagues who have spoken before me is that instead of being negative, we should be applauding what the Minister is doing now. He is beginning to address all these issues that we are all complaining about. We should not present them in a negative manner at all times.

What I’ve also noticed is that one of my colleagues is beginning to remind me of what’s happening in many legislatures – time and again the DA claims that it’s been their policy all the time and, therefore, the ANC is now implementing it.

I regard that as a very clever way of trying to find answers where you do not have answers. You cannot have policies that are older than those of the ANC. The ANC is older than you. You are new. Your policies are just policies that are copied from the policies of the ANC. You do not have new answers. That’s the story you must relate. You just don’t have new answers. We have policies that are a foundation for democracy that have been introduced since 1994.

As I have indicated, Minister, this year is unique in many ways. It is also momentous in that it marks the 20th anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. We remain anchored in his principles of peacemaking as we, together with the leadership of the taxi industry, facilitate conflict resolution and peacekeeping within this industry.

Like you, Minister, we hold the view that the taxi industry depicts black economic empowerment at its best. Therefore it’s closer to our hearts as government. It is on that score that the issues of instability in the industry have been elevated to the level of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster so as to ensure that a comprehensive and an integrated strategy of dealing with taxi violence is achieved.

We can also share with this House that to support the transformation and development of the taxi industry within the province, we have allocated R6,5 million which will be controlled by the government. The R6,5 million will be run through the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA, and so we don’t suspect any wrongdoing at that end.

To this end, we are also prepared to support you, Minister, and the department to deal with the subsidies of buses, because all of these are legacies. When we deal with the buses, you must remember how these bus subsidies were allocated in the past.

They were never allocated by the ANC government. Before that they had excluded millions of people in South Africa. When we deal with these legacies within the context of the shortage of funds, people must appreciate that. The best that you have done we applaud and we cherish it, Minister.

Regarding road safety, again, it is our concern and view that government has over the years embarked on a number of road safety initiatives; yet road accidents, crashes and fatalities continue. Our department plans to take road safety initiatives a step further by opening a platform for a symposium where communities and ordinary people will share with us what their ideas are in trying to curb this ongoing saga.

I want to say that in keeping with the government’s response to unemployment, we also continue to create job opportunities through the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme. This programme emphasises the need to focus on our investment in social infrastructure in a manner that addresses severe conditions of underdevelopment and entrenched poverty.

That is why we have programmes such as Zibambele, which has been instrumental in creating a number of jobs within the tight economic environment, focusing especially on youth and women. Our Zibambele programme is still the key to eradicating poverty. Thanks go to you, Minister, for the introduction of such a good programme during your time as MEC in the province.

The Vukuzakhe programme is one of those that are designed to help emerging contractors, to provide opportunities and to empower them through the transfer of skills to all historically disadvantaged communities.

In conclusion, in the light of the budget constraints mentioned above, we continue to provide access to and advocate the safety of all our road users. We firmly believe in working together with our communities to realise our departmental vision of prosperity through mobility. I thank you.

Mr Z MLENZANA: Chairperson, hon Minister, hon MECs, hon members, good afternoon. I greet you in this august and honourable House which always demands equal respect with any other House of Parliament. I’m happy that the Minister is here in person, unlike on the 14th when we saw the Select Committee on Public Services being undermined by his department.

I greet you today, the 22nd of April, the day which marks a year after the people of South Africa endorsed, through their votes, that there needs to be a patriotic, nonreactionary opposition party which will not deviate from the principles of the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of this country. Hence I stand here today representing that political party, Cope. [Interjections.]

On a more serious note, it was on this day last year that Comrade Gerald Yona was gunned down in Port Elizabeth. May his soul rest in peace. Comrade Ntandazo Gewu suffered stray bullet injuries in Mount Frere. All this was a process of intimidating people because of the victory of Cope.

Njengenkwenkwe yasezilalini, andizokuthetha zinto zasezidolophini. [As a rural boy, I will not talk about urban issues.] As a rural boy I want to see an integrated rural road development programme in action. This would include, but not be limited to, the declassification and reclassification of roads as informed by municipal integrated development plans, IDPs, the Provincial Growth and Development Plan, PGDP, the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme, ISRDP, and the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme.

The consideration of road construction and maintenance – I agree with you, Minister – should be high on our agenda. Through that we will see rural economic development and improved rural access in action. A well- constituted and integrated public transport system, eg the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, and scholar transport, is the answer if you want to deal with the ills of our nation. Hence Cope agrees with the Minister in calling for the upgrading of the existing infrastructure and promoting the use of rail for freight and passenger services.

Cope advises that the scholar transport function should be implemented uniformly. There should also be a tailor-made overarching national policy on scholar transport. The scholar transport function should in its totality reside within your department as your department has the capacity in terms of all operations.

In conclusion, I have deliberately left out some issues, particularly those that relate to accidents on our roads because, as the Minister would know, I have taken the matter up with him. So, I will follow up on my question to which he has replied.

I don’t want to be seen here as someone who is posturing as if we do not interact. The same with hon Barry; I have deliberately left out issues around the Eastern Cape because it is not that we don’t interact. I have time and I know where to interact. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Mufumakadzi L MABIJA: Mudzulatshidulo, Minisiṱa, Vho Sbu Ndebele, vhalangamavunḓu vhoṱhe vhane vha vha hone fhano ṋamusi, dzi MEC dzine dza vha hone, vhatatisei vha NCOP, vhashumeli na vhaeni vhoṱhe vhane vha vha ngeo nṱha vho ḓaho u ri thetshelesa ṋamusi, ndi khou vha losha. Ndo vha na mashudu mavhi vhukuma ngauri ndi vho tou nga ndo vha ndi na Minisiṱa mulovha musi vha tshi khou ṅwala tshipitshi tshavho ngauri vho tou kanda henefhaḽa he nda vha ndi tshi khou ṱoḓa u kanda hone. Zwine nda nga amba zwone ndi zwauri vho tou mvala mulomo nga guḽuu. Ndi ḓo tou kanda henefhala he vha kanda hone, ndi tshi khou ṱuṱuwedza. (Translation of Tshivenḓa paragraph follows.)

[Ms L MABIJA: Chairperson, Minister Sbu Ndebele, all the premiers present today, MECs who are here, hon members of the NCOP, staff members and all the visitors sitting in the gallery who came to listen to us today, I greet you. I am very unfortunate as it looks as if I was with the Minister yesterday when he wrote his speech, because he has mentioned exactly what I am going to say. All I can say is that he has taken the words out of my mouth. I will just anchor and motivate what he has said.]

Chairperson, the ANC promised a better life for all. That is why, following decades of neglect and racially skewed transport legislation, planning and development, South Africa has embarked on a process of improving the public transport infrastructure.

This initiative stems from the realisation that public transport has a significant role to play in enhancing rural and urban mobility, reducing road congestion, decreasing the impact on the environment through harmful emissions and serving the economy.

In line with its conception of transport as the heartbeat of South Africa’s economic growth and social development, the ANC-led government, through its Medium-Term Strategic Framework, has committed the Department of Transport to revamp the public transport infrastructure to ensure that it is accessible, efficient, reliable and affordable.

Vho Minisiṱa vho no ḓi zwi sumbedzisa na u zwi ṱanḓavhudza nga vhuḓalo zwauri vha khou ṱoḓa u ita mini. [The Minister has already indicated and explained in full what he intends to do.] Transportation systems in the country are characterised by and riddled with both intra- and intermodal inherited and acquired problems. To this effect, various transport components of the current transport systems are operated and regulated by different governmental agencies and private operators in all three spheres of the government.

In most cases there is little co-ordination amongst those responsible for the operation of various components of both rural and urban transportation systems. This has resulted in each agency and operator attempting to improve those elements under its jurisdiction without consideration of efficiency and effectiveness of the overall rural and urban transportation systems.

At times, this has been at the expense of other elements of the various modes of transport. It has also resulted in the exclusion of alternatives or modal system operations that do not have institutional sponsors.

A typical example is the lack of co-ordination in many urban areas between agencies responsible for providing operating infrastructure facilities and public passenger transport systems. Another example is the general inability of the taxi industry, Metrorail and bus operators to plan and operate their transport systems in an integrated manner, crippling South Africa’s transportation systems. The hon Minister has already indicated how he is going to integrate the transportation systems.

Some communities live in remote areas where accessibility is almost impossible throughout all four seasons.

Ndi ḓo fha tsumbo nga ha madalo e ra vha nao ngei ha Sekhukhune, he ra wana uri nḓila dza hone dzoṱhe dzi na matombo nahone dzo tshinyala vhukuma. U tshimbila nṱha ha matombo hu na uri u tshimbile badani. Ro dovha hafhu ra ya u dalela muṅwe muvhundu une wa vha na mulambo muhulu. Masiani oṱhe a mulambo hu na tshiendedzi tshine tsha vhidzwa u pfi ‘segwaigwai’. Vho Groenewald na Vho Tau vho ita na u tshi ṋamela vha tshi khou ṱoḓa u pfa uri tshi tou itisa hani.

Sa izwi Minisiṱa Vho Sbu vhe muthu ane a shuma lwa shishi, ndi khou ṱoḓa u vha humbela uri vha sedze-vho na shango ḽa ha Sekhukhune. Zwi nga vha zwavhuḓi arali hu tshi nga tshintshiwa ‘segwaigwai’ ha tou itiwa buroho ya vhukuma u itela uri vhathu vha kone u pfuka vha tshi bva kha sia ḽiṅwe vha tshi ya kha ḽiṅwe; vha tshi ya u vhona mashaka, u renga vhurotho, na zwiṅwe- vho.

Hangei ha Sekhukhune hu na mimaini ine ya swika henefha kha 40 na miṅwe miswa ye ra pfa uri i khou ya u thomiwa, ine ya nga swika henefha kha ṱahe. Nga fulufhelo ḽine nda vha naḽo kha Minisiṱa, ndi khou humbela uri vha ite zwauri havhala vhathu vha songo sokou bwa lupfumo fhasi mavuni, vhathu vhane vha dzula henefho tsini vha si na na dzibada, zwa u ḓimvumvusa, dziburoho na dzinḓila, ngeno lupfumo lu tshi khou bva lu tshi ya nnḓa ha Afurika Tshipembe. Vhathu vhane vha khou dzula henefhaḽa u mona na Sekhukhune, ho lalaho lupfumo, vha sa khou vhuelwa nga tshithu. Vhathu vha ha Sekhukhune vho sinyuwa vhukuma. Muṅwe na muṅwe o zwi vhona zwauri vhathu vha khou sinyuswa nga zwi pfalaho. Ndi khou humbela Minisita uri heḽi fhungo vha ḽi sedzese nahone vha ḽi dzhiele ntha.

Ndido dovha hafhu nda amba nga bada ya N1 ire henengei Limpopo. Vhuponi ha Levubu, hu na buroho yo waho. Zwino ri tshi khou amba, zwo no vha na miṅwaha mivhili yo wa. Vhathu a vha khou pfesesa uri a i lugiswi ngani ngauri muvhuso u na tshelede. Vha tshi ita mugaganyagwama zwi amba zwauri vha tea u lugisela nayo. Ndi khou tou sumbedzisa-vho uri kha vha zwi dzhiela nṱha zwauri hu na houḽa muratho wo waho, nahone zwino wo no fhirelwa nga tshifhinga.

Hu na iṅwe hafhu yo waho ine ya vha vhuponi ha Khalavha. Na yone yo no fhirelwa nga tshifhinga. Zwine wa nga amba zwone ndi zwauri mushumo une muvhuso wa khou ita kha sia ḽa vhuendi ndi muhulwane. Ndi nga si vhuye nda ṱwa ndi tshi khou ambesa nga hazwo sa i zwi Minisiṱa vho no ḓi zwi sumbedzisa zwoṱhe. A hu na ane a nga hanedza uri zwi nga si itee ngauri vha tshi vhuya vha zwi pulana; zwi amba zwauri vha ḓo zwi ita, nahone vho no ḓi thomisa. Musi vha tshi vhewa sa Minisiṱa, vho tenda uri vha ḓo zwi kona. Ndi na fulufhelo ḽa uri vha ḓo zwi kona.

Ndi khou ṱoḓa u humbela Minisiṱa uri vhuḓifari ha vhareili vhashu, na … [Tshifhinga tsho fhela.] [U vhanda zwanḓa.] (Translation of Tshivenḓa paragraphs follows.)

[I will give an example from our visit to Sekhukhune, where we found that all the roads have rocks and are in bad condition. You drive on rocks instead of the roads. We also visited another area where there is a very big river. On both sides of the river, there is a form of transport called “segwaigwai”. Mr Groenewald and Mr Tau even rode on it just to test how it is.

Since Minister Sbu is a hard worker, I appeal to him to also focus on the Sekhukhune area. It will be good if “segwaigwai” can be replaced by a real bridge so that people will be able to cross from one area to another, to visit relatives, to buy bread and other things.

There are more or less 40 mines in Sekhukhune and we have heard that another nine new mines are going to start operating. With the confidence I have in the Minister, I request you to make sure that those people do not only dig the wealth from the ground when people who live near these areas have no roads, entertainment facilities, bridges and paths, while wealth is being taken out of South Africa. People who live around Sekhukhune where wealth is abundant are gaining nothing. The Sekhukhune community is very angry. Everyone knows they have valid reasons to be angry. I appeal to the Minister to look into this matter seriously and give it first preference.

I will also speak about the N1 highway in Limpopo. In the Levubu area, there is a collapsed bridge. As we speak, it is two years since it collapsed. People don’t understand why it has not been repaired, because the government has money. Please include it also in your budget. I’m just trying to bring to your attention that there is a bridge that collapsed a long time ago and has not yet been repaired.

There is another one that collapsed in the Khalavha area. It too needs to be repaired. One can only say that the government is doing a great job with regard to transport. I won’t say much since the Minister has already explained everything. Nobody can say this is impossible, since you have planned it; it means you will do it and you have already started. When you were sworn in as Minister, you agreed that you will deliver. I am confident that you will deliver.

I want to request the Minister that the behaviour of our drivers, and … [Time expired.] [Applause.]]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Thank you, hon Mabija. I must state that I found it quite interesting that when the hon member started speaking in Tshivenda, it was only the hon Mofokeng and I who did not go for the interpretation — taking into account that it was the Free State and the Northern Cape. Everybody else went for the interpretation! [Laughter.]

Ndo tshi guda hangei Limpopo. [I learnt it in Limpopo.]

We hope that all members will do the same when participating in debates in this House.

Ms G BARRY (Eastern Cape): Chairperson, hon Minister of Transport, hon MECs present, all hon members of the NCOP, government officials, distinguished quests, ladies and gentlemen, today we are going to bring the hon Minister good news from the Eastern Cape regarding the integrated public transport system that the hon Minister spoke about previously.

The debate takes place a few days after a historic agreement was concluded between government, the bus and taxi industries and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, which marks the turning point in the provision of public transport services to our people.

Taxi operators and operations, as we know it, will be phased out because they will become part of an integrated public transport system which will be operated on specific timetables and will make use of a variety of vehicle sizes from articulated and standard buses to minibuses, as part of the ANC-led government’s effort to provide a safe, reliable and affordable transport system.

They will form five co-operatives and, as the Eastern Cape government, we will be supporting them in sourcing funding for these co-operatives as well as with any administrative services that they would need in order to run these five co-operatives.

On behalf of the Eastern Cape provincial government, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the Dora, Division of Revenue Act, allocation of R148 million from the Department of Transport for the Algoa Bus Company in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. But I would like to reiterate the words of the MEC of KwaZulu-Natal to the hon Minister, to seriously consider the extension of the allocations to bus passenger services in rural areas, because it is in provinces like the Eastern Cape where the majority of our people who really need this service reside.

Already on the other side, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is currently implementing a coach refurbishment programme to improve its rolling stock fleet in the Eastern Cape. A total of 17 coaches have been targeted for refurbishment. Ten coaches will be destined for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to be used during the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. Special train services will be made available between Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth on match days. And renovations at North End station, which is closer to the new stadium, will have been completed by then.

Hon Chairperson, we have successfully implemented the national Department of Transport’s special regulations for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup, in terms of the National Land Transport Act, Act 5 of 2009. Public transport operators were advised to visit the district offices of the Department of Transport to apply for the special operating licences for this event.

Through our Blue Skyway Aviation Strategy, we have been able to commence with the first phase of the upgrade of the Mthatha Airport in order to ensure that this airport adds value to local economic development and improves access to the Wild Coast, which is an internationally renowned tourism destination.

This upgrade will further enable the airport to receive more flights, including evening flights. These developments have prompted Airlink to introduce a flight service on the route between Port Elizabeth and Mthatha on Fridays as from 26 February 2010. This means that three of our airports, ie East London, Mthatha and Port Elizabeth, are now ready to contribute to the provincial growth and development plan of our province and our 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup plans. The remaining challenge is to make sure that all four airports, including Bhisho Airport, complement each other. Our main intention is to have an Air link between Cape Town and Mthatha via Bisho. An important goal is to link Port Elizabeth to Mthatha via Bhisho with the service geared for faster movement between these three areas.

Port Alfred-based 43 Air School continues to train student pilots at the Bhisho Airport and we are now challenged to build more accommodation complexes for this airport. Chairperson, it is gratifying to bring to the attention of this House that the airport is fast becoming the top training airport for pilots in Africa.

Regarding rural development, the award-winning Kei Rail project continues to inspire our efforts of “Moving Back to Rail”. Due to our high safety standards, the Department of Transport has been granted a rail safety permit by the Railway Safety Regulator for the next three years from 2009 to 2012.

Today we are running a daily service between AmaBhele and Mthatha with an average of 12 000 passengers per month. In the last financial year this project has already created 370 employment opportunities in activities such as track maintenance, train operations, traffic management and other general maintenance of coaches and station buildings.

In an effort to improve the mobility and accessibility of our communities in the eastern part of our province, we have allocated R23,675 million for Africa’s Best 350 Ltd Bus Operations. It is worth noting that this allocation is insufficient considering the challenge of access to public transport experienced by our rural communities, especially when they want to access government services like hospitals, clinics, schools and pension points.

This year we expect 24 new buses to commence operations in Butterworth and 15 additional buses to operate in the Lusikisiki area. We have allocated R39,209 million for the Mayibuye Transport Corporation, and its operations are 90% rural. There is a dire need for a greater injection of funds into this corporation in order to enhance its capacity through the refurbishment of its fleet and to ensure that its services reach more rural communities. May I just add that this corporation may go under if there is no additional intervention by government.

With regard to nonmotorised transportation, currently we have 18 containers that were converted into bicycle shops and distributed in all districts to service bicycles that were distributed through our Shova Kalula Bicycle Project.

The communities themselves have identified suitable candidates, who were trained to become sustainable bicycle shop owners or managers. Through our community-based transportation programme, we have been able to create 21 451 work opportunities for the poorest of the poor and exceeded our target of 18 000 work opportunities.

This achievement puts the department in the lead nationally in creating jobs through the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, in the 2009-10 financial year. In recognition of this achievement, the department is in line to receive an amount of R17 million in terms of the EPWP Incentive Grant for exceeding performance targets.

Our community-based transportation programme was recognised by the national Department of Public Works and was the recipient of the Komoso Award for developing and implementing the best innovative project in using labour- intensive methods in the entire country.

In the new financial year, because of the transfer of the roads, we will only create 801 work opportunities in the construction of pedestrian paths. We will increase our road rangers from 240 to 450, we will concentrate on the maintenance of our junior traffic training centres and we will also be concentrating on the maintenance of public resting places.

I think it is worth noting that the Eastern Cape was the first province to establish the provincial road safety council, which is a structure that seeks to make road safety everybody’s responsibility, and this year we are going to ensure that 507 500 children and 7 829 adults are reached through the road safety education programme. With the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup around the corner we have increased our number of provincial traffic officers to 719 and they include a 187-member roving special operations task team that will be specifically focusing on tournament traffic enforcement operations. And in partnership with South African Breweries, SAB, we are going to launch the Eastern Cape’s first alcohol testing centre in Port Elizabeth shortly before the start of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup tournament. [Applause.]

Mr E XAYIYA (Gauteng): Chairperson, hon Minister of Transport, members of the NCOP, ladies and gentlemen, today, in this House, I am speaking on behalf of the MEC for roads and transport in Gauteng.

The Gauteng government heralds the plan that our government will execute in the current Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period. These plans have been carefully laid out to meet the national outcomes highlighted by our President in his state of the nation address.

We are, therefore, confident that the plans brought to this House today will not only be the signposts of what we will achieve, but also of what we have done and still intend improving upon in our service delivery models.

The Minister in his Budget Vote elaborates extensively on the preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup soccer tournament. As the transport fraternity, we will concern ourselves with the mobility of both local and international fans and spectators. As the Gauteng province we welcome the Minister’s budget speech and assure you that we have developed a transport plan for 2010 that is aligned to the plans tabled by the Minister. We have developed a transport plan that identifies the core network relevant to provincial transport operations and which considers the main internal and external linkages in and out of the province.

We have also taken into consideration that it had to be relevant to land- based transportation movement. The conception of our plans is based on three levels of transportation networks. These are as follows.

The interprovincial services which we envisage will be provided by the national Department of Transport, but the Gauteng province will do the planning for the services that will be provided to ensure integration with provincial and intercity services in the province.

The intercity services will be provided by the province itself. Local or intracity services will be provided by the cities at two levels, namely high frequency services that will operate from a primary network, and a feeder and distribution system to be provided either by buses or accredited minibus taxis, thereby maximising coverage.

Unlike the 2009 Confederations Cup, our concept for the 2010 World Cup will be different given that the profile of the spectators is that of international visitors with prebooked travel packages and direct access to the stadium’s precinct. We intend to provide less of the Park and Rides than we did previously during the Confederations Cup.

Our concept largely focuses on a strong rail backbone system supported by services rendered through the other three spheres of government. Hence the formation of institutional structures called the 2010 transport provincial forum to play a co-ordination and alignment role, so as to ensure a seamless delivery of transport through the province during this World Cup.

We have classified routes into categories that will cater for our citizens, our visitors and spectators. The most important routes are the protocol routes that will cater mainly for our VIPs and teams. The tourist routes will be focusing on our main tourist destinations in Gauteng, such as the prestigious Dinokeng and Cradle of Humankind, including the world-renowned Vilakazi Street and other destinations or offerings.

Despite the Gautrain project, which is not specifically meant to service the 2010 soccer tournament, we will be opening the O R Tambo International Airport route to Sandton in order to give transport services to the visitors from the airport to Sandton. On public transport, the Minister reiterated the importance of public transport and, therefore, I wish to endorse the statement by highlighting some of the programmes that the department has been engaging on in order to integrate land transport functions with land use and economic planning. These programmes ensure that transport demand is managed and our investments used effectively.

Because of the importance of transport in the economy of the country, we have decided to advocate for the promotion, regulation and development of an integrated public transport system. This system seeks to incorporate the transformation of the bus and taxi industries, as well as the integration of the Gautrain, into a public transport network and commuter rail system.

The transfer of the bus services functions from the North West province into Gauteng, after the demarcation process, has enhanced our bus transportation services because this has not only resulted in increased subsidies, but has actually promoted transportation services offered in those areas.

Regarding the taxi industry, we support the engagements that have taken place in the National Joint Working Group and the minibus-taxi industry. These have made positive contributions and inspired new initiatives that aim to grow the industry. This process will result in the growth and empowerment of those who were previously excluded from the broader public transport offerings, especially as they relate to other supported modes.

This Ministry has the responsibility to ensure road safety. That actually means that all spheres of government involved in carrying out transport functions are required to act upon the Minister’s initiatives, like working with the Minister of Basic Education to intensify road safety education in our schools.

The department has come up with a plan aligned to the national call of providing every learner in high school with the opportunity to matriculate with a valid South African driving licence. Our proposed concept will concern itself mainly with all learners in high schools situated within our 20 Priority Township Programme in Gauteng.

We intend employing and training approximately 100 driving instructors on a permanent basis, thereby ensuring the sustainability of this programme while also creating job opportunities that are long-term based. In assuming this huge responsibility we will ensure that all the intended objectives, as indicated by the Minister, are realised, especially regarding the bookings and testing backlogs.

Regarding road infrastructure, the Minister and broader society’s concerns about the backlog of road maintenance is noted. I must indicate that we are now working on strategies to overcome this challenge in a cost-effective and sustainable way.

The capital project programme of the Gauteng department of roads and transport has, in the period 2009-10, completed three of the major projects namely Phase 2 of K29, Malibongwe Drive, P174, and Phase 2 of the K15 route. Beyers Naude, Cayman Road and Voortrekker will continue and be carried over to the 2010-11 financial year.

All projects concluded by the department are Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, compliant. Five hundred and fifteen jobs were created and 20 subcontractors were given the opportunity to work on the projects in line with the promotion of SMMEs. They targeted 60% of the projects on women, 40% on youth and 2% for people with disabilities.

The issue of corruption is a concern in all spheres of government because it does not only hinder service delivery, but also slows the responsiveness of government to its citizens. A draft strategy on risk and anticorruption in Gauteng has been prepared, mainly to deal with the corruption at the driving licence testing centres, DLTCs, in Gauteng, a situation that has been viewed as spiralling out of control.

As interventions, we have planned to increase random inspections at DLTCs by the compliance unit from the community safety department; conduct monthly audits at these centres; randomly take tests over from examiners; and randomly make changes to the booking schedules and the deployment of the department’s representative for daily observations and report writing at the call centre.

We also envisage electing a policy management committee that will address all legislative policies, procedures and administrative gaps that exist within the business unit following the above-mentioned principles. These are some of the areas that the strategy will cover and this will be forwarded to the national department as it is soon as it is finalised.

We, therefore, endorse the budget tabled by the Minister of Transport in the National Assembly and express our appreciation for the ongoing support that we receive from the national Department of Transport. We would also like to use this platform to assure the National Assembly, the NCOP and the people of South Africa of our continuous effort to provide transport infrastructure and services that are not only effective and efficient, but also advance the agenda of enhancing Gauteng City Region’s global competitiveness. I thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr M P SIBANDE: Hon Chairperson, hon Manzankosi and hon members, all protocol observed.

Ayahlokoma amahlokohloko inhlokomo ebangelwa ubunyoninco bomkenenezo wemvelo. Ayajangaza ayatanasa kuhle kwamaqembu aphikisayo ngenxa yamathuba enziwa uKhongolose wabantu ngempela i-ANC. Baxakekile oxamu amathe abuyele kwasifuba ngenxa yesivinini umkhumbi kaNoah,i-ANC belu, ogijima ngaso ukuletha izinguquko ikakhulukazi ezimpilweni zabantu abampisholo. Phezu kokuba bona ogombela kwesabo behlulekile ukuletha izinguquko eminyakeni engama-342 eyedlule. Ngingakhohlwa ukudlulisa umyalezo ophuthumayo kulamabhoxongwana azelwe ngonyaka owedlule ukuthi bezalwa nje sebekwazi ukukhaphela okaMsholozi ngoba sebezibona bewumbimbi ohlelweni lokuthi uMsholozi abukeke njengendoda okungafanele siyethembe.

Ngizothanda ukwazisa lemisheshelengwana ukuthi imizamo yabo yezinkomba zokungamethembi uMsholozi ibhuntshile. Umyalezo wami uthi: badlala ngegeja kuziliwe. Abogawula babheke ngoba bayinyathele emsileni. Ngizothanda nokukhumbuza iNdlu yesiShayamthetho ukuthi kulo nyaka ka-2010 enyangeni kaMbasa ziyodela izimfamona futhi ziyohlala zibhocobele ngokuba bonke abantu baseNingizimu Afrika nomhlaba wonke wonke jikelele usahlonipha futhi usalugubha usuku lokukhumbula umholi wabantu uThembisile Chris Hani, sohlala simukhumbula njalo nje kuze kubuye indodana. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[The yellow weaver birds are making a noise because of the din caused by the sound of nature. They are boastful and walk in a contemptuous manner like the opposition party on account of the real Congress of the People, the ANC. The traitors are desperate and disappointed because of the speed at which Noah’s ark, the ANC, is moving, fast in bringing changes to the people’s lives — mostly black people. These capitalists failed to bring about change in people’s lives in the past 342 years. Let me not forget to pass an urgent message to these scoundrels who formed a party last year, who have the guts to betray Msholozi because they see themselves as an alliance in the move to show a vote of no confidence in him.

I would like to tell these informers that their efforts in displaying their distrust of Msholozi have failed. My message is: They are playing with fire. They must be careful because they have angered him. I would like to remind the National Assembly that this year, in April 2010, the jealous people will remain lethargic because all the people of South Africa and the whole world will still commemorate the day of Thembisile Chris Hani, the people’s leader; we will commemorate his death until the second coming of Christ.]

The apartheid transport policy deprived the majority of people of South Africa in transport matters and has led to the payment of huge transport subsidies; exposed commuters to vast walking distances; failed to regulate the kombi taxi industry adequately; largely ignored the country’s outrageous road safety records; paid little attention to the environmental impact of transport projects; and facilitated transport decision-making bodies that were unwilling, unfocused, unaccountable and bureaucratic.

An effective publicly owned passenger transport system is what the ANC is promoting, which includes integrating road, rail and air transportation. Privately controlled passenger transport must be effectively regulated and controlled.

The ANC transport policy ensures that …

Kukhona oke wakhuluma ngenqubomgomo yenye inhlangano, nansi-ke eye ANC. [There is someone who talked about a certain party’s policy — here is the one for the ANC.]

… it promotes co-ordinated, safe, affordable public transport as a social service, to ensure that the system is flexible enough to take into account local conditions, in order to make the best use of the available transport infrastructure as far as possible.

We promote accountability for the service that is provided: We provide a transport system that takes into account the transport needs of disabled people; clearly defines the responsibility of the various authorities and ensures comprehensive land use and transport planning; promotes road safety; revives subsidies for both operating and capital costs and provides funds for long-term planning; as well as facilitating high-density development to ensure efficient use of public transport.

Ngingakadluli lapho ngizothanda ukukhumbuza uMnu Ngoqngqoshe we-DA ukuthi … [Before going further I would like to remind the DA MEC that …]

… he said that economic development in this country is worth nothing. That does not surprise us because some of them were part of collapsing our economy.

The majority of our people are unable to afford private transport and are dependent on public transport. Given the need for increased mobility costs and the environmental impact of accommodating the private motorists, the future emphasis must be on the provision of safe, convenient and affordable public transport.

Commuters are being encouraged to use public transport and should be actively discouraged from using cars. The revenue raised by way of a dedicated tax levy must continue to be used to direct the benefits of the provision of public transport.

Rail transport must be extended, not in the urban areas, but in rural areas in particular, where our people are most vulnerable and do not have the financial ability to pay for other forms of transport, thereby locking them into a geographically defined area. Rural areas require more frequent public transport and improved facilities at affordable costs.

Bese ngiyabuya futhi kubaba uMlenzana. Uyabona, okuningi kwenu akusethusi thina ngoba i-Cope yenza lokhu edume ngakho iyaphuma ihambe. EPolokwane naphuma nahamba, makumele kukhulunywe niphuma nihambe, eNdlini Yesishayamthetho naphuma nahamba, ngesonto eledlule kunomhlangano naphuma nahamba. Nezingane zenu mazingazalwa kusukela manje zizoba ophuma bahambe. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[Let me come back to the issue of Mr Mlenzana. You see, most of what you do does not scare us because Cope is doing what it is famous for — it stages walkouts. You staged a walkout in Polokwane; when we ought to talk you stage a walkout; in the National Assembly you staged a walkout; last week in the meeting you staged a walkout. You must not give birth to any children from now on because they will stage walkouts.]

Lines must act as feeders to rail service as prime movers if rail is not available. Taxis must act as feeders to bus and rail services, as prime movers if neither rail nor bus services are available. The subsidisation …

Mr D V BLOEM: It’s just a point of clarity; I don’t understand the member when he’s talking about “march out”, maybe he can explain. The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon member, you just want to stand up and talk.

Mr M P SIBANDE: Wenze kahle. Awuthi ngidlulise nakhu futhi okunye. [Well done. Let me mention this again.]

During our oversight visit to Gauteng and Mpumalanga and Taking Parliament to the People in Limpopo, as well as the visit by Parliament to host cities, the following recommendations by the people were raised.

Isiphakamiso sokuqala, abantu bacela ukuthi eMpumalanga kunomgwaqo ohlanganisa iPienaar neKwanyamazane ibhuloho lakhona seliyoqeda unyaka akucaci kahle ukuthi ubani omelwe ukulilungisa, ingabe uhulumeni kazwelonke, wesifundazwe noma wasekhaya. Esikhundleni sokuthi balungise umgwaqo kunaleyo nkulumo-mpikiswano.

Okunye futhi ukuthi kunendlela eya eMpakeni edlula ngaseMthethomusha iyadabukisa, uma ngabe imvula ina akungeneki kanti futhi nakwi-Bus Rapid Transit, i-BRT, abantu be-BRT bamatekisi abayali futhi abayivumi kodwa bacela kube nokuqguqguzelana ukuthi sisebenzisane kakhulu. Okunye abakucelayo kwi-BRT ukuthi bacela ukuthi kunamagatsha amaningi phakathi, abaxhumanisi, nokuyinto edla imali eningi kakhulu uma sekukhulunywa ngalabo bantu. Ngalokho bacela ukuthi sengathi singabona ukuthi kungenziwani ngalezo zindaba. Bese ngiyabuya ngiyaqhubeka ngithi … (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[The first proposal from the people is that there should be a road in Mpumalanga that connects Pienaar and Kanyamazane. The bridge has been left incomplete for about a year and it is not clear who is supposed to fix it — whether it is national government, provincial government or local government. There is debate around the issues instead of attending to the problem.

The route that goes to Mpakeni which goes past Mthethomusha is heartbreaking, since it is a no-go area when it rains. With regard to the bus rapid transit system, the BRT, the taxi people neither accept nor reject it but they request that the parties concerned should be encouraged to work together. What they also request from the BRT is that since there are many branches in between, envoys require a lot of money if you talk about those people. With that, they request that we should consider what to do with those issues. Let me continue and say that …]

… the planning of transport in metropolitan and major urban areas must be in accordance with the urban and metropolitan growth management plan. This should guide the financing of infrastructure improvement and the payment of operating subsidies for public transport. Travel nodes should not compete against each other in urban areas, but rather transport provided must be integrated. In rural areas provincial government and district councils need to ensure that transport plans take into consideration the need for extensive road building and improvement.

The issues of road safety education, enforcement and road engineering are critical, and road safety must be given the priority it deserves. The transport authority must be charged with the task of reducing accidents and must be given funds to achieve that goal.

For all public transport services to be fully integrated, their functioning must be co-ordinated and/or regulated. These operations must be accountable to the public and responsible for the provision, co-ordination and funding of all public transport and infrastructure necessary for public transport. Policy development should be especially addressing the current problems such as unco-ordinated tariff structures, duplication of services and conflicts as a result of different forms of ownership.

With respect to other forms of transport, international conventions and treaties determine part of the legal framework for sea and air transport. Infrastructural development must, however, be extended through democratic consultation with various stakeholders.

The ongoing harmonisation of infrastructural, legal and operational aspects of the Southern African regional transport system must continue to be a priority and the work with cross-border transport has to be strengthened.

Ngingachithi isikhathi, siyikomidi loMkhandlu weziFundazwe siyaseseka isabelomali sakho futhi siyacela ukuthi sengathi abantu bamatekisi bangasebenzisana nathi futhi imihlangano le ehanjwa nabo yaziswe emphakathini ngoba abanye babantu bayabushintsha ubuso ngenkathi kuyibo bodwa. Nakubo abantu bamatekisi sithi abahloniphe, angeke sikuvumele ukuthi bakhiphe izimvume baphinde basebenzise izindlela okungezona ezabo ngoba zidala ingxabano.

Kodwa noma kunjalo, sicela ukuthi kuxoxiswane mhlawumbe uma kulokhu kuphenywa kuboniswane ukuthi kungenziwa liphi isu kungaze kulimaze iNdebe yomhlaba ka-2010 ezoba khona lapha eNingizimu Afrika. Ngalokho siyaseseka kakhulu isabelomali sakho. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[Let me not waste time. As the committee of the National Council of Provinces, the NCOP, we support your Budget Vote. We also request that the taxi people work with us and that these meetings that are held with them should be announced to the community, because some of the people change their tune when they are alone. The taxi people must also show respect; we shall not allow them to issue permits and use routes that are not theirs, because that causes some wrangling.

In spite of that, we request that there should be some talks whilst there are investigations on what plans can be made so that it does not affect the 2010 World Cup which will be hosted in South Africa. With that we fully support the Budget Vote. [Applause.]]

The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson and hon members, thank you very much for a very stimulating debate, both in content and spirit. It is much appreciated.

Perhaps I should just start with housekeeping matters. To the hon member Mr Groenewald I would like to say that if he would just take the time, he would find out that we have been part of the struggle to create a democratic system of governance. We cannot be part of not respecting those structures.

With regard to the meeting that the hon member was talking about – that is why Mr Carlisle didn’t talk about it – if he had just found out from the hon chairperson of the select committee, he would have known that it was set for a Wednesday.

Wednesdays are Cabinet days, and therefore particularly the Deputy Minister and I were both in Cabinet on that day. The DG, Mr George Mahlalela, was in Johannesburg, dealing with the taxi conflict. Had he not gone there, it would have disrupted so many other lives.

It was not because of disrespect to the committee. Why should we suddenly say that if you are sitting on this side, you will disrespect somebody sitting on the other side? There would be no need for that, and one doesn’t operate in that way. So, let’s put that one to rest.

Thank you very much, hon members, and I appreciate the input that Mr Carlisle made. We are encouraged that the member succinctly outlined the key challenges facing public transport, and we really appreciate particularly his understanding that there should be a meeting of minds on matters that deal with the reconstruction of our country.

It’s quite a critical thing to do. Apartheid was one of the most successful experiments in human engineering. It separated people and communities and caused devastation in the lives of people. Our government now, and particularly Transport, must be able to overcome the ravages of apartheid, by saying that just as apartheid used transport to divide people, we must use transport to unite people. That is quite a critical point for all of us.

Let me then just outline the key issues that we have been presenting and which one appreciates that the members have supported. Firstly, we achieved our freedom in 1994, but for many of our people 1994 has not yet arrived, because they live in the back of beyond. School kids aged 8, 9, 10 and 11 years travel 9 km to 10 km per day.

It must be a matter of concern to all of us, and we should ask ourselves what we can do about it. Therefore, the provision, in the first instance, of roads is critical. We should be able to say that it is April 2010. Where should we be in April 2012, in terms of this table that you have presented here, which is far from being a complete picture of the backlogs that are there? Just to connect clinics and schools, if you look at the thousands that you were counting here for each province, it is a state of emergency for all of us.

Therefore, what do we do? That’s why we say a dedicated fund, ringfenced to actually deal with that matter, is necessary. It won’t affect competencies and powers of authorities, whether they be local, provincial or national, but we must work in a co-ordinated fashion to say that we should be at a specific point by 2012. We should have reached so many schools and so many clinics, so that it can be taken for granted that you can drive a car or go there by public transport and so forth, and that there will be no day when you cannot reach a school or a clinic.

That is a state of emergency for us, and it is something that we need to put on the table and say, together with the entire transport family, which is made up of MECs and all the people dealing with matters of transport, that this is where we are going to be doing what we will be doing in the next two years. We operate in terms of outcomes. We entered into an agreement with the President, hon Jacob Zuma. Each one of us said that we in Transport are going to do one, two, three. Up to now, one has not said things that one is not going to be able to do, and my colleague MEC Mchunu will know that we set ourselves tasks, and we then move.

If the tasks are higher than what you’ve set, then you go and strive further. We are going to do that. If we then say that this is what we are going to do, those bridges that you are talking about, those inaccessible clinics and schools that we are talking about, let’s put them on a programme and say that this is what we are going to do within this time and mobilise all the necessary forces.

The fortunate part of it is that we in Transport don’t just spend money. In spending every R1 000, R100 000, R100 million, we are creating jobs in the process. We create jobs in that people are employed as they build, but we also give out those contracts.

We are able to do that programme in a very transparent manner, in a manner that is envisaged by our policies. We say that that is a piece of road that we are going to do; we are doing 100 km here. You and you and you are forming a co-operative to do 10 km of that or 20 km of that; you, this group or community, are going to maintain those roads. And that is what we are going to do.

Secondly, the major issue that all of us should be united on is road safety. The carnage on our roads is just not acceptable. I saw that mudslide in Brazil. It is a natural phenomenon, and there were those clouds that happened and stopped the flights and so forth. These are natural phenomena.

However, you cannot have a situation where each day you are going to ask how many people have died and get the answer that there are 27, Minister. An hour later there might be 29, and two hours later, there might be 36. This happens each day, and it cannot be allowed. It is not a natural phenomenon.

It’s a carry-over from apartheid days, from when we disregarded human life, and said, “I must show my macho side” and all that. What needs to happen is that now we say that it must stop. It will stop due to using enforcement.

As my colleague, Ms Barry, is doing in the Eastern Cape, as my colleague, MEC Mchunu, is doing famously in KwaZulu-Natal, we need to say that there is zero tolerance, and zero tolerance must be zero tolerance.

We will tighten that. Just the first six months is going to show it, because once you obey one set of laws, you will obey other laws as well. You might be troublesome somewhere else but on the road you are not going to be troublesome, because we are just going to lock you up. That is what is going to happen.

People are going to know that the licence that you have is now in our legislation — the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act is precisely meant to ensure that road offences are not part of the 11 000 traffic cases that are waiting here. It is going to be done in a manner that says there shall be consequences for not obeying the law.

Colleagues, I want to thank you very much for supporting this budget. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Debate concluded.


                      (Subject for Discussion)

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Chairperson, hon Ministers and all protocol observed, today is an important day as we debate Freedom Day under the theme: Celebrating our shared pursuit of a united, democratic, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa.

Freedom Day is a reminder of the struggle for a free and just South Africa, which culminated in the first democratic elections, on 27 April 1994. On this day, South Africans of all races embarked on a new and common project to build their country, guided by the values enshrined in the interim Constitution and later in the Constitution adopted in 1996.

As we are preparing to commemorate Freedom Day next week on Tuesday, 27 April, firstly, we should not forget that Freedom Day marked the start of a democratic process in which South Africans came together to chart the way forward for their great country; secondly, we should not forget that as public representatives we have the responsibility to always remind South Africans about the importance of Freedom Day and what it means for our country and, thirdly, we should not forget that 16 years into our democracy, our country boasts of the many inroads it has made towards transforming our society.

As such, we must take pride in that, in line with our Constitution and political objectives, we have, firstly, established a new society that is based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights and secondly, laid a firm foundation for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and where every citizen is equally protected by law.

We have worked hard to improve the quality of life of millions of South Africans, and have built and continue to build a united and democratic South Africa that is able to take its rightful place in the family of nations. This is evidenced by our hosting of the Fifa World Cup, 40 days from now.

Freedom Day is a time for us to reflect on and celebrate the journey that we travelled to achieve our freedom and democracy. As we prepare to commemorate Freedom Day, we cannot help but remember all those who personified the sacrifices of our people in the fight for the realisation of our freedom.

Amongst the many recognised and unsung heroes and heroines, we recall the then president-general of the African National Congress, a Nobel Peace Laureate and a leader renowned for his immense contribution to the fight for nonracialism, and that is Nkosi Albert Luthuli. He defined the march to freedom, where there was no oppression of one race by another, as the most exacting and colossal one.

At the height of apartheid, he reminded peace-loving South Africans that the success of the struggle would only come if we face the threat of racism with indomitable courage and tenacity of purpose. We must build a formidable force of freedom lovers on the basis of a broad freedom front.

The colossal struggle for freedom that Nkosi Luthuli spoke about has given our country countless possibilities. Examples abound in the development of our communities, economic front and promotion of African solidarity and development.

The living conditions of many or previously marginalised South Africans have improved significantly, and democracy has become a defining picture of our political life. Government is working hard in ensuring access to free quality education for all. Quality health care services are being extended to benefit even the poorest of the people and, as we speak, the task of creating decent work and sustainable livelihoods for our people is one of the priorities of government.

As a result, in 2010, South Africa still needs a formidable force of freedom lovers, as Nkosi Luthuli said. The difference is that while the task at hand is still a colossal one, it has since shifted to improving the quality of our freedom.

In improving the quality of our freedom, we need, amongst other things, to work hard at facilitating better relations amongst the people of South Africa without regard to race, sex and language differences.

As President Jacob Zuma said when he took office last year, we cannot afford to be cynical about the changes that are facing our society. Rather, through our collective efforts, we must promote social cohesion and help engender a sense of patriotism.

In this regard, we would like to see Freedom Day being celebrated by young and old South Africans of all races and not just by the previously marginalised section of our population.

As we are preparing to commemorate Freedom Day in our provinces, next week, we must not forget to remind South Africans, young and old, about the debilitating injustices of the past, the real opportunities of today and the limitless possibilities of tomorrow.

Some of the people seated here will remember that there was a time when all of us used to sing the song, We shall overcome. To others’ ears that was nonsense. But as the ANC, we’ve ensured that the sacrifices of the young and old, for the freedom of our people, are shared equally. And I say, never forget where you come from. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mrs E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, MECs, colleagues and guests, many important freedoms are protected by our South African Constitution. And our Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic.

The Bill of Rights contains our rights and freedoms, as herein protected, specifically referring to the freedom and security of the person; the freedom of religion, belief and opinion; the freedom of expression; the freedom of association; the freedom of movement and residence; and the freedom of trade, occupation and profession.

So, we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights to protect our freedom in South Africa. It is a freedom which many of us believe we have fought for; a freedom from racism and oppression; a freedom for equality of education; a freedom to be an equal citizen of South Africa and freedom of speech. I don’t want to hear you labelling me a Nationalist because I never was one. [Laughter.]

To protect our Constitution and our rights, we have an independent judicial system, which is vested in the courts, and I quote from the Constitution:

The courts are independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law, which they must apply impartially and without fear, favour or prejudice.

We have had a serious number of violations against our freedom as South African citizens and it is growing daily. It started with the arms deal, and I quote Helen Zille:

The criminal justice system has been perverted as an instrument for persecuting political opponents and protecting political allies. This abuse of the system is continuing on a daily basis. [Interjections.] Maybe I must look at you, hon Adams, so that you can hear me nicely.

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe, should be asked what his views are on the constitutional prescriptions for his department where prosecutorial excellence, independence and labour rights should be the order of the day. Why are the functions of the Asset Forfeiture, Specialised Commercial Crime and Priority Crimes Litigation Units fragmented and placed at a provincial level?

Why is the institutional independence of the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, reduced by moving its administration to the Department of Justice? Why is there such a concerted effort to reconstruct the NPA? Why is there this continuous rush to purge effective members in the justice system? Is it to protect the ruling elite from prosecution?

Die Burger van vanoggend verwys op bladsy twee daarna dat die Minister nie bewus was van die herstrukturering van die Nasionale Vervolgingsgesag nie en dat hy nie deur adv Menzi Simelane in die saak geken is nie. Ons wil graag glo dat hy iets hieromtrent gaan doen. Ons maan egter dat, ten spyte van die feit dat dit vanjaar die jaar van aksie is, ons weinig aksie tot dusver gesien het. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.) [Page two of this morning’s Die Burger makes reference to the fact that the Minister was not aware of the restructuring of the National Prosecuting Authority, and that Adv Menzi Simelane did not consult him in this regard. We would like to believe that he will do something about this. However, despite the fact that this year is the year of action, we would like to caution that we have seen very little action as yet.]

Our Constitution, as the supreme law, states in section 165(3) and I quote:

No person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the courts.

It continues in subsection (4) and I quote:

Organs of state, through legislative and other measures, must assist and protect the courts to ensure the independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility and effectiveness of the courts.

But how is the Minister enforcing this through his leadership and oversight role? Is he protecting the freedom of the South African citizens and equality before the law?

Our Constitution also rules that freedom of expression does not include incitement of imminent violence or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

The fact that a court interdict has not silenced the ANC Youth League’s leader and the fact that the ANC leadership cannot take charge and responsibility to enforce discipline, to protect our rights and freedom, is a clear indication that there is a severe lack of leadership and accountability within the ANC.

Freedom in South Africa is threatened by the lack of political will to enforce the supreme law, the independence of our judicial system and its processes.

We are approaching a quagmire of a failed state, with tenderpreneurs for self-enrichment of the elite of the ruling party, with corruption and with cadre deployment, where the law and order of our Constitution only applies to ordinary citizens and taxpayers. These things threaten to violate our constitutional freedoms.

The DA will continue to protect our Constitution and the independence of our judiciary. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr D B FELDMAN: Chairperson, hon MECs, hon members, “Celebrating our shared pursuit of a united, democratic, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa” — frankly speaking, there is no reason why we are not united.

Fifty thousand years ago human beings left Africa to populate the world. The great Ice Age had wiped out life everywhere else. The remnant of 5 000 or so people who helped to save humankind lived in Africa. That is why every human being today carries a gene of an African mother.

Over the past few centuries people seem to have forgotten this. Our world, therefore, saw racial oppression of one race by another. Today, Mr Obama is the President of the United States; today black and white govern South Africa together. Even so, unfortunately, race is deeply imbedded in the consciousness of many people; not only white people, but black and brown as well.

The laager, however, is no longer a safe place in the world to live. We therefore need to see the bigger picture. Climate change, globalisation, and resource depletion put all of us in vulnerable positions. We need one another like never before. The lesson of four millennia of history is that we must live co-operatively.

Whatever we hope to achieve in international relationships will depend on what we achieve in our national relationships. In recent weeks, Ventersdorp brought to the surface what we had all hoped had gone away. Clearly, our journey of the past 16 years left many people at the station from which we departed. This means that this honourable House must, therefore, add active nation-building to its agenda. Every city, town and village should engage in a programme of bringing people together.

A common curriculum should inform the nature and manner of discourse. We, in Cope, believe there is considerable goodwill to work with, but very little common understanding. We also believe that all leaders, whether adult or youth leaders, should sign a charter based on our constitutional principles and values. Let this House take the lead in this. Racist and sexist conduct in behaviour offends against our constitutional principles.

We need to educate our people to appreciate our Constitution, which is why we need to frame the question of democracy, unity, nonracialism and nonsexism within our constitutional context. People in the country, all of the people, must be encouraged to buy into the Constitution, and encouraged to take ownership.

Cope believes that this House has a big role to play in furthering an acceptance of the Constitution by all South Africans. This must be done in the letter and in the spirit of the Constitution. Ventersdorp is a wake-up call. We have a great solution and we must make it work for us. Long live our Constitution. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr S S MAZOSIWE: Chairperson, I’m privileged to take part in this debate, which narrates the story of our nation and the resilience of our people in triumphing over apartheid. This day remains an outstanding hallmark of our people’s determination to fight for their liberation, and is one of the most solemn chapters in the history of our national liberation struggle.

This debate takes place in a month when our movement commemorates the lives of some of its illustrious fallen sons and daughters, whose lives remain so dear in the hearts of our people. In this regard, I would like to pay special tribute to Comrades Oliver Reginald Tambo, Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, Leslie Massina, Thembisile Chris Hani, Violet Seboni, Dr Molefi Sefularo, and many more unsung heroes and heroines of our movement who lost their lives in the month of April.

We also pay tribute to many of our people who lost their lives as they stood firm in their conviction and bold in their deeds, when they confronted the might of armed apartheid forces. I am sure that their spirits join us today in recognising the journey that our nation has travelled under the leadership of the ANC.

Our freedom came at the highest price. We cannot forget the hundreds of our people, including women and children, who died at the hands of the police, inside and outside the country, as well as the victims of the apartheid state-sponsored violence that engulfed our townships during the period of the state of emergency.

Again, I just want to contextualise this debate, and if I could be allowed to take this opportunity to convey our condolences to the family of Comrade Dr Molefi Sefularo, who recently passed away in a tragic accident. Comrade Molefi Sefularo was one of the warriors of the national democratic revolution and a patriot of the people of South Africa.

We can confidently say that when the roll call is read on the parade ground he will be among those present, and ready to work for the ANC. May his soul rest in peace.

On 27 April South Africa will celebrate 16 years since the dawn of democracy in our country. In the past 16 years, the lives of our people have undergone a dramatic change, and for the better.

Umama obethetha apha, uMama wethu uMam’ uMemela uwucacisile lo mba. Ngale mini … [The lady who was speaking here, the hon Memela, clarified this issue. On this day …]

… I remember vividly that I was deployed by the ANC to monitor voting stations in the Eastern Cape, in the Queenstown, Lady Frere, Tarkastad, Whittlesea, and Sada areas. It was an historic day. We were learning how to run elections for the first time as the ANC inside the country. I will not forget the days I was deployed in that area.

The ANC-led government has made significant strides in addressing the challenges facing our people. We have taken active steps to ensure the protection and progressive realisation of their rights. We have moved decisively to redress the social imbalances created by apartheid. We have broadened access to basic services such as housing, electricity, clean water and health care.

We are proud that about 19 million of our people now have access to clean water and almost 11 million have been provided with sanitation, with the number of households using the bucket system reduced from more than 605 000 in 1994, to just under 113 000 currently.

We have built over three million RDP houses, providing shelter — a roof over their heads — to almost 11 million families. We did not build open toilets for our people, the majority of whom are women. Our movement has taken bold steps to dismantle apartheid settlements, and ensure that our people are given decent houses.

I heard Mr Carlisle talking about the human settlements that were created by apartheid. I have been to the kind of human settlements that were created by apartheid. I know what they are. In Fort Beaufort, where I grew up, we had so many houses in the township, had more than 3 000 people living in them, and had about 10 toilets provided for us by the apartheid government.

It was bad! It was a nightmare to live in that township. I grew up in those conditions. I know what apartheid means. I know what apartheid has done to our people, to our families in this country. We will never forget how brutal that system was.

We have also made huge progress in the provision of basic health care to our people, including the construction of clinics and hospitals in the rural areas, most of which had no facilities before the advent of democracy. We have seen an increased proportion of households with proper sanitation facilities. Clearly, these are signs that our nation is on a course to dismantle the pillars of apartheid.

The ANC-led government has also been working very hard to address the challenges of poverty in which many of our people live. Currently, our nation has the most comprehensive social security system in the world. More than 13 million people receive social grants.

A few years ago, I visited an overseas country – I think it was either Thailand or Bangladesh. When we were asked about what government was doing to assist poor people, even in Africa, for that matter, in terms of things like social security systems and the like, they were surprised and asked what we were talking about. So, I’m saying that this country is one of the best in trying to make sure that its people are taken care of.

We remain committed to sending a clear message to those who criticise our caring government for continuing to seek more ways to protect our people from the bondages of poverty. We want to say to our people that we care, because we, the ANC, understand their conditions better than those who benefited from the opulence of systemic protection by the apartheid regime.

As the ANC, we’re aware that much more still needs to be done. We are aware that some of our people are still battling with some of the most inhuman conditions and face the harshest living conditions of poverty and unemployment.

Our nation is faced with some of the challenges that we never anticipated when we fought against apartheid. Our people are held to ransom by those who continue to steal the resources for self-enrichment. Incidents of corruption in both the private and public sectors in our country seem to have reached disproportionate levels and have reinforced the view postulated by the great epic work of the late Mazisi Kunene in his poem The Rise of Shaka, when he said:

Those who feast on the grounds of others often are forced into gestures of friendship they do not desire. Let me say without any hesitation that the ANC is committed to fighting corruption. We view corruption as a blatant violation of the rights of our people and as an intolerable crime. Perhaps this is where the problem lies in our country: When the ANC government is open and sets up laws and systems to uproot corruption; when the ANC government talks about corruption … [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr R CARLISLE (Western Cape): Thank you, Madam Chair, for allowing me to take part in this debate.

I was very interested in what hon Feldman had to say because, strangely enough, that had come into my speech as well. I do think it is important that we take note of that. It is easy to get up here and make racial distinctions, you know: If you are white you were apartheid, if you are black you were struggle.

It’s easy to make those distinctions, but it actually fails to take account of the most extraordinary thing about ourselves and our country. That is, very simply, as Mr Feldman said, that mankind came into being in this country. We know now without doubt that the first men and women, from whom every human being in the world is descended, lived here in South Africa first, and, if we go back far enough, then I will find that my ancestral mother is the same woman as your ancestral mother.

It is so important that we who live in the cradle of mankind should accept that we are human beings, no different from one another.

It is also important that we recognise that here, in this, the beloved country, long before anyone anywhere else was, was first the family, was language, was culture, was fire, was technology, and most importantly, was compassion, ubuntu.

We need to know how special we are. Whenever I am asked to welcome a conference of people who have come from overseas to do whatever – to talk about trains or transport or whatever it is they are going to talk about – I always say to them: You have come home to Africa. Because that is what it is: They have come back, after so many years. And when they come – in hopefully their hundreds of thousands in five or six weeks’ time – we should say: You have come home to Africa.

In this Chamber, about 54 years ago – I was alive then, long before most of the members were born …

An HON MEMBER: How do you know these things?

Mr R CARLISLE (Western Cape): I know, because I was alive.

An HON MEMBER: Where were we?

Mr R CARLISLE (Western Cape): Unborn, I’m afraid, but I’m sure that you have made up for it ever since! [Laughter.]

There was a debate in this Chamber – it was then the old Senate – and, on the decision of the Senate, the few coloureds who were on the common voters’ roll were removed. That was the last straw …

An HON MEMBER: And what did you do about it?

Mr R CARLISLE (Western Cape): What did I do? Well, let me tell the hon member what I did. Before she was born, I was being interrogated by the Special Branch – which was the predecessor of the Security Police – because of my pursuit of a South Africa in which all South Africans would be equal. Before you were born! [Applause.]

But, in this Chamber the decision was taken to remove the coloureds from the roll after a previous decision had removed those few blacks from the common voters’ roll. From there we rolled forward to 4,5 million forced removals over the next 36 years; to 12 million imprisonments for pass offences; to 100 000 detentions without trial; and to 25 000 violent deaths.

It is important that we, looking back to that black day in South Africa’s history, recognise how we comport ourselves as representatives of the public. It is very important.

I would like to invite hon members from here to come to my legislature. Come and visit us.

An HON MEMBER: Where is that?

Mr R CARLISLE (Western Cape): The Western Cape. I would like to invite you, because I believe that freedom is the business and responsibility of every citizen. Freedom and truth must transcend collective loyalty and party affiliation.

The reason that I would like to invite you is that there is no better example of this than the Western Cape provincial legislature, where robust debate and ruthless oversight have made it one of the most free and democratic assemblies on earth. [Applause.]

The DA and the ANC fight each other savagely in the House, but, together, they fight corruption and maladministration even more savagely.

When the ANC government of Premier Lynne Brown came to power, they stopped a number of questionable and dubious projects, and they shone bright lights into dark places where the rats lived. The cause of South Africa was served in that legislature, because some brave people put freedom and truth above party.

Of course, I did not agree with everything that the ANC did; far from it. But I publicly salute those of its members who put freedom and truth first. They were true South Africans.

Finally, I want to come to those millions of South Africans … and hon Mazosiwe referred specifically to this and I want to follow up on what he said. I want to come to those millions of South Africans who are not free: Those who are enslaved by hunger, want, unemployment, homelessness and despair, those that cannot be freed … [Interjections.] … and shouting at me won’t make them free.

There are many reasons for this enslavement. Much lies in our oppressive and racist past; some in our current legislation. All those things are difficult to change and much has been done. This, every politician here, regardless of party, knows: Every rand stolen in corruption, every rand wasted in mismanagement; every rand lost in crooked contracts to tenderpreneurs; every rand lost – and they amount to billions – was stolen form the poorest of the poor. Those billions could have housed the homeless, educated the illiterate, transported the poor, created employment and provided better health care for the sick.

Let me conclude with this: There are two iron laws of freedom. The first one is: If some of us are not free, none of us is free. Nobody should know that better than South Africans. The second is: Where corruption flourishes, freedom cannot flourish. [Applause.] Mr J J GUNDA: Chair, hon members, allow me to speak from the heart today.

It is strange that today the DA wants to teach us a lesson while the DA was part of the suffering and our people are still poor. It is strange today that people want to talk about suffering while they don’t know anything about what it is to suffer.

We, as black people in this country, have a beautiful heart. We have forgiven these people for all the wrong things they have done to us, and yet these very same people want to come and tell us how we should live our lives.

They are the reason why some of our dads, moms and aunts never went to school. They are the reason. They must stop this thing of trying to tell black people that they are better than us. They are not better than us. [Applause.]

Another thing I want to say today is: Freedom Day is not something that I hear. I have paid with my life.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon Gunda, just hold on. May I please know why the gentleman is up?

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Agb Voorsitter, is dit reg dat ’n agb lid die Huis mislei? Is dit parlementêr? [Tussenwerpsels.] [Hon Chair, is it correct for an hon member to mislead the House? Is it parliamentary? [Interjections.]]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon member! Hon member, I would prefer not to answer that, because it is my right, but you know the truth in your heart. Continue, hon Gunda.

Mr J J GUNDA: Chair, let me just put things straight today.

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Agb Voorsitter … [Hon Chair …]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon member, please do me a favour. Could you sit down, because I am not going to answer the question you are posing to me because, really, to me, it’s not relevant. Continue, hon Gunda.

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: It’s not relevant?

Mr J J GUNDA: Madam Chair, thank you. Let me just say this one thing. When our black brothers were on death row, I was part of the Upington 26 …

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hold on, hon Gunda, Okay, can you say what you want to say, Mr Lees?

Mr R A LEES: Madam Chair, with all due respect, and on a point of order: A question was put to you by a member of this Council and, on a point of order, you need to rule whether that question is correct or incorrect. Please rule.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): If it is not antiparliamentary, I’m not going to be drawn into it. It is not deliberately against the policies. Continue, hon Gunda.

Mr J J GUNDA: Thank you, Chair. Let me say, I wonder how these people will explain this: You go and visit your friends, standing up for their rights, they were on death row, you were shunted around by these people, telling you what to do. And yet, we paid. Some of our mothers and brothers paid for this freedom. This freedom did not come cheaply.

I don’t want these people to come and tell us that this freedom is cheap. It is because of the goodness of our hearts that these people are still here today. It is not because we are bad people.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon Gunda, hold on! Mr Faber, what is your problem? [Interjections.] Order, members! Let me hear what the gentleman has to say.

Mr W F FABER: Madam Chair, I would just like to ask Mr Gunda who “these people” are that he is referring to, as we are a democratic party. Thank you.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Reference is made to people who know the truth. Continue, hon Gunda.

Mr J J GUNDA: Thank you, Chair. Let me just say this to you, Chair. I am sorry, you can just see the attitude in how they stand up and speak because they don’t understand the word — what it is to suffer and the word ubuntu. They don’t know it.

They have never even heard the song of what we did in the struggle years. They do not know what it is to sleep and your mom and dad are woken up at night, the door is kicked open, and a light is shone on your mom and dad. They don’t know those things. They don’t know the humiliation; they have just heard about it. They have never seen it with their own eyes.

Today, all I want to say is: On Freedom Day, let us remember the heroines and heroes of this country – the people who paid with their blood. We are free today because we have said to ourselves — and I agree with what you have said, Madam Chair — we shall overcome. We have overcome and we will always succeed. We will never turn back. [Applause.]

Mr D V BLOEM: Chairperson, I just want to ask Mr Gunda what he had for lunch today. [Laughter.]

Mr J J GUNDA: Chair, I just made up my mind that I would speak from my heart on Freedom Day. I want to say this today in this House: People must remember. The world, today, marvels at freedom in South Africa because they thought we would have bloodshed. They did not know that these black people in this country understand the term “human being”. They were human beings all these years. That’s why we could forgive the people who oppressed us. We have forgiven them; we have even given them a million chances. Up till today, they reap the benefits.

Let me just say this one thing. You see the companies. Look at BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz, etc … They have grown. In apartheid years they never sold so many cars. So all I want to say is that, on Tuesday, let us remember the heroes and the heroines of this country. Thank you. [Applause.]

Ms M P THEMBA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon members …

… modiri wa lebala, modirwa ga a lebale, [the doer forgets, but the one to whom it is done never forgets,]

Umenzi uyakhohlwa kodwa umenziwa akakhohlwa. [The perpetrator forgets but the victim does not forget]. I will ask hon Mabija to tell me what it says in Tshivenda, but not now. [Laughter.]

Chairperson, I am actually disturbed by hon Van Lingen on the theme, “Celebrating our shared pursuit of a united, democratic, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa”. Until when are you, as a woman, going to be on the opposite side when we should be sitting down as South Africans, especially as South African women, discussing issues?

Through which glasses are you looking at South Africa? If you could also explain, but not today, when you say Minister Radebe is removing effective people from the justice system, who is effective and what criteria are you using or why do you come to that conclusion that that person is effective?

Chairperson, this theme recognises our collective responsibility to work together in all spheres of government, all sectors and formations of our society towards a prosperous South Africa. It recognises our collective duty to unite our people and work tirelessly to dismantle all forms of discrimination and shy away from our atrocious, divided past.

Chairperson, as we were preparing for the elections last year, while travelling across the country, our people told us stories that are crucial in assisting us to reflect on the path that our nation has travelled since

  1. Many of them told stories of how their families are still ravaged by the brutalities of the past — detentions without trial, disappearances of family members in detention, the hanging of those opposed to apartheid, imprisonment because of which many of them lost all opportunities for advancement and how family members were forced into exile.

Many women told us stories of how their lives were affected by apartheid. They have recounted stories of how their lives were destroyed by forced removals and banishment through the Group Areas Act and many other laws that made their lives unbearable.

After the elections, the ANC recognised the need to realign all government policies to ensure that there are policies on women, especially on those women in rural areas. We agreed on a strategic approach that led to the creation of a new Ministry for women, which was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring a co-ordinated approach towards the advancement of women in our country.

We have made it clear that this Ministry has a duty to forcefully implement its mandate and ensure that all government departments, provinces and municipalities ensure the protection of women. We have no time for petty talk and misguided political talk.

Chair, it is saddening that after 16 years on our democratic path, we see some acts of racism, racist undertones and commentaries about black people. We continue to read stories of women who are brutally murdered within the walls of their homes by those they regard … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Mr Carlisle, the three of you there, can you please be respectful. Someone is still busy talking to all of us and we want to take in the message. Please be with us.

Ms M P THEMBA: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. The current context of the conditions of women in South Africa can be assessed in relation to a number of factors and issues that have been raised by women in the fight against apartheid.

Central to this is a list of demands that was drawn up by the Transvaal Federation of South African Women for submission to the convenors of the real Congress of the People for incorporation in the Freedom Charter in

  1. It was titled, What Women Demand. It listed several factors that have informed the ANC’s policy on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Chair, after a robust consultative process, the women of South Africa made the following demands: the right to vote; four months’ maternity leave with full pay for working mothers; compulsory free and universal education from primary school to university; proper houses; indoor sanitation; a water supply and proper lighting in their homes; the right to own property; and the list goes on. In the last 16 years of democracy in our country, the ANC has moved with speed to redress the footprints of apartheid and patriarchal relations. Our legislative and policy framework does not only enforce gender equity, but also protects the advancement of women with the aim of redressing past imbalances and discrimination.

A number of laws and policies were passed to empower women to improve the quality of their lives and open up space for their voices to be heard on matters concerning their lives. Most importantly, opportunities for women to have access to basic services and social, economic and political opportunities have been actively promoted.

We are aware that in some provinces, like the DA-led Western Cape, women are still regarded as unworthy of leadership positions and that some public leaders have no shame in publicly stating that the position of women is in the kitchen.

Chairperson, the private sector is one of the sectors where the leadership of apartheid is still most prominent despite many initiatives since 1994. Women’s position in the business sector remains weak and many women are marginalised and subjected to sexist tendencies.

Helang, nako e a tsamaya. [Time is running out.]

We have seen the advancement of policies that are targeted at women’s empowerment at the frontiers of poverty in our country. We have seen an expanded focus on the improvement of the livelihood of women and mothers through the system of social grants and other poverty alleviation programmes.

We are proud that the participation of girls in education in South Africa is one of the highest in the world. Our nation has reached its commitment in implementing the Millennium Development Goals with regard to expanding educational opportunities.

Chair, you will agree with us that eradicating gender inequality and addressing factors such as respect, dignity and freedom should not be resting on the shoulders of only the government and the ruling party. It also remains the duty of the businesses, community, civil society and every citizen in this country. That is why we say that in working together we can do more. And surely we will achieve more if we undertake a shared pursuit of a united, democratic, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa.

Ke a leboga. Thank you.] [Applause.]]

Dr M B KHOZA (KwaZulu-Natal): Hon Deputy Chair, members of the House, the previous speakers are prompting me to just comment on one thing before I read through what I have prepared.

You see, the process of decolonising the mind is not just the responsibility of the formerly colonised. The former coloniser also has to decolonise the mind. Therefore, even when we talk about realising a nonracial South Africa, both sides have to work on it. If we don’t work on it together, there is no way that we can realise it.

We need to avoid the temptation of letting freedom be influenced by our ideological convenience and probably trying to excuse the past. Let us not make it a crime for black people to speak out about the pain they went through. Even today, on the National Geographic and Discovery Channel, on DStv, digital satellite television, we still talk about what happened to the Jews during the Second World War.

An HON MEMBER: Exactly!

Dr M B KHOZA (KwaZulu-Natal): That’s because we don’t want a repeat of the past. Therefore it is very important for us to remember that we all have the responsibility to work at this.

In KwaZulu-Natal, we have learnt the hard way that freedom is not an event, but a continuous process that has to be improved upon on an ongoing basis. We have had to reflect on our past, and critique our present. Through this process of self-assessment and dialogue we have come to understand that it takes two to tango.

Most of you would know that we had civil war in KwaZulu-Natal. We had violence that was portrayed as black-on-black, and yet we know that it was an apartheid-sponsored war. Therefore, we have learnt that you have to sometimes swallow a bitter pill and allow the process of reconciliation.

The hon member who spoke before me has made me remember that, by the way, as women today we can claim that we are free, but it doesn’t mean that the struggle is over. This is because freedom is a continuous process, although freedom is the outcome of the struggle. Both of these things are a continuous process.

We owe our rights as women to women like Mkabayi kaJama, a Zulu matriarch, who played a critical oversight role on at least three Zulu kings to protect her nation against the abuse of power. This she did without any colonial influence.

When women speak about their rights, these are not rights that they are borrowing from the colonisers or the missionaries; they were also intellectuals in their own right. Ingcuce — the young maidens – today speak of pro-choice and we think this pro-choice just came now, but we had ingcice during the 1800s. There were young Zulu maidens who revolted against King Shaka’s policy of forcing young women to marry older men. [Interjections.]

Those women died; yet we speak of pro-choice today. Let us remember women like Charlotte Maxeke; she was a philosopher, a real revolutionary, a visionary. Our history books are doing a disservice to this woman who was the first African woman to receive a BSc degree in 1905.

This woman spoke about African unity long before the founding of the Organisation of African Unity. We talk of her only when reducing her role to one of liberating women, but she was actually talking about the liberation of the continent. She saw the importance of unity.

On this particular day I also want say we must not forget Pixley Ka Seme. Today we are speaking as a nation because it was he who actually challenged all the ethnic groups to say, ”Let’s come together; we are not going to win this war if we fight as ethnic groups, as tribes, but let us unite and build a democratic country”.

Today we stand here in this Parliament and all of us have been exercising that right to speak freely. In 1964, that was unheard of. Now you have just made a deep testimony. All of us have been speaking freely since then. As South Africans, we also have to stop underplaying the role that has been played by the ANC Women’s League.

Women like Lilian Ngoyi, who was the first woman to serve on the national executive committee, NEC, of the ANC – we sometimes think that things in the ANC have always been equal, and the reality of the situation is that there are struggles within struggles – should not be forgotten.

We also have to learn that national reconciliation does not just come because you have allowed people to speak about the pain of the past. For pain needs healing, and healing is a process. We have had to learn from Comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela that national reconciliation cannot be founded on bitterness; neither can you notice that freedom is on your doorstep if you think selfishly, for only those who are selfless understand the true meaning of freedom.

I just want to close with this quote from R V Selope Thema, who had this to say about Pixley Ka Seme:

After finishing his studies in America and England, this ambitious young African thought of returning to South Africa, his fatherland. The free life of the United States and Great Britain, with its pleasures and happiness could not hold him. He realised that the knowledge that he acquired was not only for his self-aggrandisement and enrichment, but also for the upliftment and the emancipation of his downtrodden people.

Let us remember on this Freedom Day that we have to fight corruption because it is a counterrevolutionary force. It is antichange and it is taking us backwards. [Applause.] Mr T E CHAANE: Hon Chairperson, and hon members …

I have had to separate myself from my dear wife and children …

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Order! Just wait. Hon Rantho, hon Mazosiwe, I call for order, please. Continue, member.

Mr T E CHAANE: On 26 June 1961, at a London press conference, Nelson Mandela had this to say:

I have had to separate myself from my dear wife and children, from my mother and sisters, to live as an outlaw in my own land. I have had to close my business, to abandon my profession and live in poverty and misery, as many of my people are doing.

He pledged that —

I shall fight the government side by side with you, inch by inch, mile by mile until victory is won … I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender … The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.

Indeed, this was a long walk to freedom, a journey well travelled. It is an ideal he lived to achieve. This was a journey encouraged by stories and tales of many victories, of many battles fought by our ancestors, Dingani, and Bambata, Squngati and Dalasile, Hintsa and Makana, Sekhukhune and Moshoeshoe, who became the pride and glory of all Africans for defending our fatherland.

It was a journey born out of love, passion, loyalty and dedication to the emancipation of our people through fearless yet bitter struggles led by our heroes and heroines like Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Joe Slovo, Steve Biko, Lilian Ngoyi, Moses Kotane, Winnie Mandela and Chris Hani plus many more, who laid down their lives to secure our freedom.

These were men and women of character who lost everything for our freedom, and whose losses can never be measured or compared. Today I stand here as a free son of the soil. Yes, I am indeed free, free from the bondage of apartheid, from the chains of brutal oppression by the then government of the few by the few, from laws of tyranny that declared our people and forebears terrorists, killers and slaves in the land of their forefathers, laws that made them inferior because of the colour of their skin. Those are the laws of brutality that forced masses of our people out of the country, and millions to their early graves.

As we celebrate our hard-won freedom it becomes critical to remind each other never to cease remembering and retelling the story of our struggle. Blade Nzimande was right when he said:

How we go forward into our future is very much determined by how we recall our past.

He was right when he further said that our 1994 democratic breakthrough was the outcome of a protracted struggle over many decades, if not centuries. It was the outcome of a hard-fought victory for change in the balance of forces. Those who distort our past hope to disarm and demobilise us in the present and we will never allow that.

We celebrate this freedom, because it was fought for and won for us not to abuse it but to build a better future and better life for all. We celebrate because we have achieved more in just less than 15 years than any of our oppressors ever achieved during their 300-year reign of terror.

We celebrate because of the many things that we have achieved. A lot of speakers today have given statistics of things that we have achieved. I am not going to repeat that. The facts will speak for themselves.

As we celebrate, we are conscious of the challenges that our country is still facing. We are confident and positive that with the plans and leadership we have, victory is certain. Our pace might be slow, but the truth is that the slow movement of a tiger is not a mistake, but a calculated accuracy. A mother will never forget a child on her back. The ANC has not forgotten its people. We are alive to the reality that the freedom we are celebrating did not only bring about positive change, for sooner than we had expected, the draconian forces of racial hatred began to rise.

The demon of self-enrichment and greed is fast creeping in to reverse our gains. We should all stand firm and fight all these things with all we have. We must all unite against poverty, hunger, disease, unemployment and crime.

In the true spirit and sense of reconciliation and ubuntu, I challenge the critics of the ANC, in particular the DA and its white supporters, and all those whose minds accepted the distortions of our history to jump off their high horse and stop criticising the very party that created the freedom platform they are today abusing.

I want to give you advice from Mahatma Gandhi, who once said:

To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.

I challenge you to be true and honest to the belief that we share a common pursuit of a united, nonracial, democratic country. Stop criticising and not offering alternatives. Remember the North American Indian proverb that says, that before you criticise a man, you must first walk a mile in his moccasins, hon Groenewald. I challenge all those who want to rob us of our rich history and distort it by telling repeated lies about the cause of killings of farmers — as if our townships and suburbs are immune from such barbaric acts of criminals — to tell the nation the truth.

This truth is that as long as the DA continues to shout slogans during elections like, “ANC gevaar!” [“ANC threat!], “Stop Zuma!”; as long as Afrikaners continue to hold high the apartheid regime flags and sing De la Rey; as long as white farmers continue to treat our people badly, killing them and saying they mistook them for baboons, pigs and guinea fowls; for as long as our people are killed by being thrown into lions’ dens alive; as long as they are called “kaffirs” and are subjected to abject poverty and misery; as long as the lives of white farmers are seen as more valuable and important than those of black farmworkers; as long as our courts allow a situation where when a white person who has killed a black person such a white person is declared mentally unstable, and blacks are treated as the only people capable of being murderers; and as long as blacks still live in appalling and hazardous conditions as we see here in the Western Cape settlements, the struggle continues.

The people will ask questions, and stories will be told. The people will feel at a particular point that they have been generous enough, and that they have been provoked, they have been robbed and will think that it is justifiable for them to fight back. That will not help us in our peace and reconciliation mission. So, stop playing a blaming game, but play your part. Stop abusing reconciliation and the generosity of black people and please play your part because we deserve better. You are not fit and capable to lecture us on what our people want, for yours is nothing but a skewed and selfish political agenda.

During his treason trial Nelson Mandela said:

We of the ANC had always stood for a nonracial democracy, and we shrank from any action which might drive the races further apart than they already were.

But the hard facts are that for every one step that we move forward to close the gap, the majority of our white people move three steps away to widen the gap.

Despite all these things, Mandela taught us that the ANC, as the mass political organisation, could not and would not undertake violence because its members had joined in the express policy of nonviolence.

ANC leaders have always and up to this age prevailed upon the people to avoid violence and pursue peace through peaceful means. On the contrary, the same white community and their political leaders are failing to master this and at any slightest act of crime they advocate war instead of peace. It is in a period like this that one would expect the DA and FF Plus leaders to provide leadership instead of making a meal out of the death of a farmer.

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Deputy Chairperson, can I rise on a point of order, just to say to Mr Chaane that the DA is a liberal democratic party.

Mr T E CHAANE: Chris Hani’s assessment of the prevailing conditions is as prophetic and relevant today as it was when he said:

We as the ANC-led liberation alliance have nothing to fear and everything to gain from a climate of political tolerance. We do not fear open contest and free debate with other organisations. Open debate can only serve to uncover the bankruptcy of our political opponents.

And today’s debate has demonstrated just that. On that note I want to say to all these other parties, wake up and take the challenge. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon members, thank you very much for these deliberations. English speakers will actually agree with me when I say that the fangs of the truth have sharp edges.

Let’s celebrate Freedom Day in a holistic manner. I can actually say openly that I am very proud to be a black South African woman. If the scars of the past history could be seen on our faces, many people seated here would not even like to look at us.

I am thus pleading with everybody here to say that we, as the ANC, are very proud of having walked that rough path with pride and being able to accept the losses we experienced during the days of the struggle.

Debate concluded. The Council adjourned at 19:19. ____



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Draft Bills submitted in terms of Joint Rule 159
(1)    Geoscience Amendment Bill, 2010, submitted by the Minister of
     Mineral Resources.

  Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Mining and the Select
     Committee on Economic Development.


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Science and Technology
(a)     Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on
    Science, Technology and Innovation, tabled in terms of Section 231
    (3) of the Constitution, 1996.

COMMITTEE REPORTS National Council of Provinces


The Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, having considered Budget Vote 3 of CoGTA, reports as follows:

  1. Introduction

1.2 On the 16th April 2010, the Committee met with the Department to be briefed on their medium-term budget and strategic plans for the 2010/11 financial year. This was done as part of the Committee’s role in conducting parliamentary oversight and ensuring executive accountability, especially with regards to budget expenditure of the Department.

  1. Background

2.1 The Department’s officials that appeared before the Committee for the briefing on the budget included Mr T Faba (Acting Director-General), Ms T Mketi (Deputy Director-General for Monitoring and Evaluation) and other departmental officials. The main objective of the meeting was to allow the Department to brief the Committee on its 2009/10 medium term budget, priority projects per programme and how it intends to address the challenges encountered with regards to realising its expanded mandate.

  1. Departmental Budget Vote

  2. An apology was given for the absence of the Minister and the Deputy Minister due to their regional and international engagements. Ms T Mketi presented the Departmental Budget Vote and focused on the five key strategic priorities and deliverables of the Department. A breakdown on the budget’s economic classification with respect to the departmental programmes and public entities was also presented to the Committee (See table below).

Programmes 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
1. Administration 188,131 197,680 205,088
2. Policy, Research and Knowledge 50,076 51,383 53,081
Management Support      
3. Governance and 43,570,837 50,076,543 56,850,59
Intergovernmental Relations     0
4. National Disaster Management 41,563 42,750 44,222
5. Traditional Affairs 70,863 80,793 85,292
TOTAL 43,921,470 50,449,149 57,238,27

2010 MTEF Allocations as in the Estimate of National Expenditure (ENE).

  1. The five departmental strategic priorities presented to the Committee included the Department’s contribution to building the developmental state in national, provincial and local government; strengthening accountability and clean government; accelerating service delivery and supporting the vulnerable, improving the developmental capability of the Institution of Traditional Leadership as well as fostering development partnerships, social cohesion and community mobilization.

  2. Departmental Strategic Priorities

(A) Priority 1: Contribution to building a developmental state in national, provincial and local government

  1. The main thrust of the above-mentioned strategic priority is on the implementation of Local Government Turn-Around Strategy (LGTAS), legislative reforms and spatial planning. The aim being to strengthen the capacity of municipalities by supporting them in the development and implementation of municipal specific turn-around strategies.
  2. In terms of the implementation of LGTAS the Department aims to play a significant part in building a democratic developmental state by strengthening intergovernmental planning and co-ordination for the LGTAS. It will provide support to the provinces to improve performance of municipalities in signing performance agreements and co-ordinating the review of Siyenza Manje Programme. The Department also intends providing support to the municipalities on disaster risk management and risk reduction, and co-ordinating and rolling-out the support on the LGTAS.

  3. In terms of legislative reforms, the Department informed the Committee that it will be developing disciplinary code and procedures for section 57 managers; developing regulations on human resource systems and procedures; developing green paper on co-operative governance and reviewing councillors’ remunerations and ward committees institutional arrangements.

  4. Within the framework of development and spatial planning, the Department informed the Committee that it will be developing differentiated approach to municipal financing and planning support. The review on legislation on land use planning and management in planning law will be conducted. During the financial year, the Department will also provide geographical information system technical support to provinces and municipalities, and co-ordinate the finalization of national legislation on spatial and land use planning.

(B) Priority 2: Strengthen accountability and clean government

  1. The central emphasis of the above-mentioned strategic priority is oversight and accountability and ethics management. The aim being to strengthen and build the administrative, institutional and financial capabilities of municipalities in order to restore their institutional integrity.

  2. In relation to oversight and accountability, the Department informed the Committee that it will be reviewing municipal performance awards; improving governance and reduce red-tape in the district family of municipalities; supporting provinces on implementation of municipal performance regulations.

  3. In relation to ethics management, the Department informed the Committee that it will be developing ethics management in provincial CoGTA Departments and local government; combating corruption and promoting integrity; fighting corruption and promoting good financial management and supporting the review of anti-corruption legislation relating to local government.

(C) Priority 3: Accelerate service delivery and support vulnerable

  1. The main focus of the above-mentioned strategic priority is on capacity building, national disaster management, access to basics services, and functionality of ward communities and community work programme.

  2. In relation to capacity building, the Department stated that it be developing a framework for the deployment of professionals and scares skills, supporting the implementation of HIV/AIDS framework, and implementing the classification and national capacity building framework. Within the framework of disaster management, the Department indicated that it will be conducting an assessment on disaster risk and vulnerability, reviewing fire services legislation, supporting municipalities on disaster risk management, and implementing contingency plans in provinces and all host cities.

  3. In terms of access to basic services, the Department stated that it will be accelerating households access to free basic energy, conducting audit on municipal infrastructure grant reviewing the local government equitable share formula, as well as promoting and facilitating municipal service partnership and developing standard national indigent register and ensuring 70% functional ward base cooperatives.

  4. In relation to the functionality of ward communities and community work, the Department indicated that it will be providing capacity building for ward committees, utilizing the community works programme to support the establishment of co-operatives in each ward. Furthermore, it intends ensuring the creation of 57 368 work opportunities through the community work programme as well as strengthening the functionality of ward committees and developing policy framework on community development programmes.

(D) Priority 4: Improve developmental capacity of the Institution of Traditional Leadership

  1. The main thrust on the above-mentioned strategic priority is on internal capacity and capability of the Department of Traditional Affairs, research, policy and legislation development and institutional support. The Department aims to do this by improving the vertical and horizontal co-ordination and alignment, by reviewing the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act (2005) and other related legislation, interventions, and oversight support programmes.
  2. Concerning the internal capacity and capability of the Department of Traditional Affairs, the Department stated that it will ensure the development and approval of organizational structure, provide accommodation, resources and new furniture, develop and implement communication and marketing strategy to popularize the Institution of Traditional Leadership and Khoi-San Leadership. Furthermore, it will also facilitate the signing of Memorandum of Agreement between the Department and the Department of Traditional Affairs.

  3. In relation to research, policy and legislation development, the Department stated that it will develop regulations on the relationship between municipalities and traditional councils so as to facilitate sustainable development and service delivery, facilitating development of policy and legislation regarding initiation, Ukuthwala, traditional healing as part of indigenous knowledge system and provision of remunerative benefits and tools of trade for traditional leadership and traditional councils across provinces.

  4. In terms of institutional support and co-ordination, the Department indicated that it will develop and implement skills development framework and facilitate the launch of the SADC Kgotla. Furthermore, it will ensure that 840 traditional leadership institutions are supported on policies and legislation impacting on traditional leaders, and conduct skills audit for all levels of Traditional Leadership.

(E) Priority 5: Foster development partnerships, social cohesion and community mobilization

4.17 The main deliverables emphasised by the Department in support of the above–mentioned strategic priority included the development of national support programme for associated institutions; putting in place effective and efficient ministerial and media liaison system; provision of communication support to public participation activities; building developmental partnerships with regional and international development institutions and conduct departmental publicity programme on Siyenza Manje and Operation Clean Audit.

(F) Priority 6: Strengthen the organisational capacity and capability of the department to deliver its mandate

4.18. The main deliverables emphasised by the Department in support of the stated strategic priority included the review of departmental strategic planning process, implementation of project management approach, development and implementation of internal audit plan, providing and enhancing legal and ICT support and developing a national support programme for all associated institutions.

(G) 2010 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (METF) Allocations

  1. The 2010 METF allocations focused on departmental programmes and public entities. The Departmental programmes allocated in the 2010 METF included the Administration, Policy, Research and Knowledge Management Support, Governance and Intergovernmental Relations, National Disaster Management Centre and Traditional Affairs.

  2. The Public Entities allocated in the 2010 METF allocation included South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), South African Cities Network, Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes Claims and National House of Traditional Leaders.
  3. Committee Observations

5.1 The Committee is of the opinion that there are many stakeholders such as SALGA that can contribute to achieving the Department’s strategic objectives. The Department should work more closely with them both to transform them and tap into their knowledge, experience and resources.

5.2 In moving forward, the Department should also lead and co-ordinate support initiative of various institutions such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) in order to improve the impact of public resources. Having considered the Budget Vote 3 of the Department as an accountability and oversight mechanism, the Committee has observed that the Department 2010/11 budget was inline with its strategic priorities over the medium-term.

5.3 The Committee has further observed that the Department’s 2010/11 Performance Plan is configured towards amending section 100 and 139 of the Constitution, including the processes established by these sections. This was based on the Committee recommendations in the last sitting of the NCOP in order to ensure that they find expression in the Department’s statutory frameworks.

  1. Recommendations

  2. In the interest of co-operative governance, the Committee recommends to the National Council of Provinces as follows, that the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs should:

    6.1.1 Submit to the Committee the Departmental Funding Model on Ward Committees. 6.1.2 Forward the Committee with a comprehensive list of municipalities that have been placed under section 139 of the Constitution. 6.1.3 Submit to the Committee a progress report on the White Paper on Co-operative Governance. 6.1.4 Submit to the Committee the Departmental 5-year National Strategic Agenda. 6.1.5 Submit to the Committee the Departmental Framework and Guidelines on Disaster Management Strategy. 6.1.6 Table to the National Council of Provinces the departmental Local Government Turn-Around Strategy. 6.1.7 Facilitate a workshop with the Select Committee on Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs on the Department’s Local Government Turn-Around Strategy during the Third-Term of 2010 parliamentary session. 6.1.8 Table quarterly reports to the National Council of Provinces on the implementation of the Department’s strategic policy priority areas, as well as challenges encountered.

6.2 The Committee recommends that the National Council of Provinces should approve Budget Vote 3 of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Report to be considered.