National Council of Provinces - 27 May 2010

THURSDAY, 27 MAY 2010 __



The Council met at 14:00.

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


                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that I shall move on the next sitting day of the Council:

That the Council –

  1) notes that the DA has recorded two remarkable victories against the
     ANC in by-elections in the City of Cape Town (Gugulethu-Heideveld)
     and Theewaterskloof (Grabouw) municipalities;

  2) further notes that the DA has never won these wards;

  3) recognises that the result in Grabouw is particularly significant,

       a) the DA polled 48,13%, up from 9,6% in 2006 and the ANC
          received 44,8% of the vote, down from 71,7% in 2006;

       b) in Gugulethu-Heideveld, the DA polled 60,3%, up from 26,2% in
          2006 and the ANC polled 37,7%, down from 53% in 2006;

  4) realises that this victory follows a campaign marked by ANC-
     perpetrated political violence and intimidation and this campaign
     unmasked the ANC’s intolerance for democratic competition;

  5) notes, in contrast, that the ANC continues on its path of steady
     decline and the victories mean that since the 2009 national
     election, the DA has won eight seats previously held by the ANC;

  6) believes that today’s results bode well for the next year’s local
     government elections, where the DA aims to continue this trend.

Mr R A LEES: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –

  1) notes with deep concern -

      a) the violent disruption of a DA meeting in Gugulethu on Monday,
         25 May 2010, allegedly by members of the ANC...


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Mr Lees, is that a notice of motion or a motion without notice?

Mr R A LEES: My apologies, Mr Chair. It is not a notice, and I apologise because I was not listening to you properly.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We are still busy with the notices of motion. Is there any member who wishes to give notice of a motion? Yes, I saw that hand and it is a second bite at the cherry; I just wanted to look at hands first.

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that I shall move on the next sitting day of the Council:

That the Council –
   1) notes that the Western Cape provincial government planned to
      revise its human rights policy after hearing the access problems
      disabled persons have, who depend on dogs for help;

   2) also notes that people who have the knowledge to train these guide
      dogs are few and it is a scarce skill and that the waiting list
      for guide dogs is currently two years;

   3) realises that this is a very good and important step by the
      provincial government of the Western Cape and also urges other
      provinces as well as national government to do the same; and

   4) congratulates the standing committee of the department of the
      premier, gender, disabled and youth on this discussion and blesses
      them with the best wisdom to come up with the best policy.

I so move. [Applause.]


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr R A LEES: Hon Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I hereby move the following motion without notice:

That the Council -

(1) notes with deep concern -

    (a) the violent disruption of a DA meeting in Gugulethu on Monday,
          25 May 2010, allegedly by members of the ANC;

    (b) the alleged participation of an ANC councillor in the
          destruction of DA property;

    (c) the alleged presence of ANC councillors and an ANC MPL at the
          scene of this violence, who made no attempt to control the
          violent actions of persons who are allegedly members of the
          ANC; and

    (d) the serious threat that these actions, allegedly on the part of
          the members of the ANC, have for constitutional democracy in
          South Africa and for free and fair elections in particular;

(2)     therefore calls upon the ANC to take immediate steps to ensure
       that its members and others stop all forms of violence and, in
       particular, violence aimed at the DA and other political parties
       which oppose the ANC; and

(3) in addition, calls upon the SAPS to arrest and charge those persons who were involved in the acts of violence against the members and property of the DA on 25 May 2010.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there any objection? [Interjections.] In the light of the objection the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will therefore become a notice of motion.

                TICKET SALES FOR 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP

                         (Draft Resolution)

Ms M W MAKGATE: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council -

  1) notes the announcements by Fifa General-Secretary Jerome
    Valcke that 164 000 tickets for the soccer World Cup covering all
    64 games will go on sale this coming Friday, 28 May 2010;

(2)     further notes that the sale of tickets will be the last round
    before the official kick-off on 11 June 2010; and
(3)     takes this opportunity to call on South Africans to show
     support for the World Cup. Feel it, it is here!

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


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr T E CHAANE: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –

  1) notes that the DA-led Council of the City of Cape Town has passed
     its R23 billion budget for the next financial year, but without the
     support of opposition parties, which labelled it antipoor, while
     also putting an increasingly unsustainable burden on the ratepayer

  2) further notes that the mayor, Dan Plato, continued to use the DA’s
     racial undertones blaming its inability to provide houses,
     transport and other services on the migration of people from rural
     areas and other provinces looking for jobs; and

  3) acknowledges that the statement by the DA mayor is an indication of
     the DA’s continued neglect of the poor and an expression of its
     disguised agenda to preserve the old apartheid policy of pushing
     our people to reserves and of being undeserving to be in the urban
     areas of our country.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there any objection? [Interjections.] In the light of the objection the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will therefore become a notice of motion.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mnr H B GROENEWALD: Voorsitter, ek stel sonder kennisgewing voor:

Dat die Raad –

  1) kennis neem dat die DA sy kommer uitspreek oor die algemene
     toestand van die Suid-Afrikaanse paaie;

  2) verder kennis neem dat R75 miljard in die volgende vyf jaar benodig
     is om die verval van paaie landwyd te stuit;

  3) voorts kennis neem dat dringende aandag aan die tekort aan
     ingenieurs en mense met tegniese kennis gegee moet word;

  4) erken dat 30% van paaie baie swak is, 40% van paaie in ’n krisis is
     en 80% van alle paaie ouer as hul 20-jaar ontwerpleeftyd is; en

  5) ’n dringende beroep op die regering doen om na die nasionale
     Begroting en die besteding daarvan te kyk.

Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans draft resolution follows.)

[Mr H B GROENEWALD: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –

1) notes the DA’s expression of concern at the general condition of South Africa’s roads;

2) further notes that over the next five years R75 billion will be required to halt the deterioration of roads countrywide;

  3) also notes that urgent attention should be given to the shortage of
     engineers and people with technical knowledge;

  4) acknowledges that 30% of our public roads are in a very poor
     condition, 40% are at crisis levels and 80% are older than their
     intended 20-year lifespan; and

  5) urgently appeals to the government to look at the national Budget
     and how it is spent.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] In the light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.

Hon members, remember that motions are only for 20 minutes. I can’t take all of your hands.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr D D GAMEDE: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –

(1)     notes with utter dismay the brutal public slaying of Lieutenant-
      Colonel Francis Pillay, who was shot and killed in front of his
      wife at his home in Lotus Park at Isipingo in KwaZulu-Natal
      yesterday afternoon;

(2)    further notes that Lieutenant-Colonel Pillay was one of the best
      policemen at Isipingo and held in high regard by his colleagues
      and the community for his dedication in the fight against crime;

(3)    takes this opportunity to condemn in the strongest possible
      terms this heartless and cowardly criminal act; and

 (4)    calls on the police to ensure that the perpetrators are brought
      to book to face the full might of the law.

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


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr T A MASHAMAITE: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –

  1) notes that the dramatic implosion of Cope took another turn on 26
     May 2010 when members of the party exchanged fists and one of its
     members, Mr Willie Madisha, who is also a Member of Parliament, and
     a Mr Mofihli Likotsi had to be separated after an altercation
     turned physical at the meeting of the party’s congress national

  2) further notes that factions supporting Cope president Mosiuoa
     Lekota and his deputy, Mbhazima Shilowa, have waged a legal fight
     to prevent the party’s elective conference planned for this
     weekend; and

  3) takes this opportunity to call on all those who were disillusioned
     by disgruntled people who could not accept internal party democracy
     to come back home to the ANC where they belong.

I so move.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] In the light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mrs E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:

That the Council -

(1)     conveys its condolences to the family of Mrs Maria Kemp of
     Willowmore, who passed away early this morning;

 (2)    notes with gratitude the assistance to the family by SAPS
      Inspector Jonathan Ketchem and his team as well as that of Petty
      Officer Mrs Maureen Peters of the ambulance services in Graaff-

 (3)   further notes that –

      (a)    there is no medical doctor in Willowmore;

      (b)    there were no provincial ambulance staff on duty to
            certify the death of a community member;

         c) the ambulance staff member on duty, Mr Isaac Human, was
            present in Willowmore but was scheduled for training in
            Graaff-Reinet and therefore refused to assist the bereaved

         d) the regional office for ambulance services in Graaff-Reinet
            had not rescheduled the roster for ambulance personnel to
            facilitate the training programme;

         e) an ambulance was sent from Steytlerville, 80 km away, to
            certify the death of the patient; and

         f) in another incident, on Friday, 21 May 2010, an elderly man,
            Mr Noorman, was seriously injured when knocked down in the
            main street of Willowmore by a car and eventually died as
            there was no ambulance available to transfer him to Port
            Elizabeth; and

(4)     calls on the Minister to investigate the lack of ambulance
    services in Willowmore.

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


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr C J DE BEER: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –

  1) notes that the Democratic Alliance-led City of Cape Town continues
     to show its lack of leadership and understanding of governance
     issues by splashing out almost a billion rand on consultants in the
     last financial year;

  2) further notes that -

      a) in the last financial year the DA has spent over R500 million
         on consultants, with almost half of this sum being paid for
         contracts not put to tender;

      b) one contractor was paid about R20 million to advise the
         municipality on the Integrated Rapid Transit, IRT, system and
         ended up costing it an extra R80 million in unforeseen
         expenses after saying erroneously that the city was not liable
         for VAT;

      c) PricewaterhouseCoopers was then roped in to advise the city
         following the VAT blunder and was paid R1,9 million without a
         tender; and

      d) Astii Consortium was paid R10,2 million to do work on the
         transport management centre without a tender; and

(3)     takes this opportunity to condemn in the strongest possible
    terms the utter disregard of good governance by the DA-led City of
    Cape Town and its continued flouting of the Municipal Finance
    Management Act.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] In the light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mrs R N RASMENI: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council -

(1)     notes that more than 180 premature babies died at Mthatha’s
      Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital since January 2010;

(2)    further notes that a preliminary report found that the death of
      the babies was due to several factors, including –

   a) a poor oxygen system;

         b) concealed pregnancies among young mothers making it
            clinically impossible to administer an effective course of
            antiretroviral treatment;

         c) repeated termination of pregnancy among young women; and

         d) poor referral systems between the district hospitals where
            the babies were born and the Nelson Mandela Academic
            Hospital; and

(3)    calls on the MEC for health in the Eastern Cape to take a firm
       stand against the management of the hospital and devise proper
       interventions to ensure that this situation never occurs in any
       of our hospitals in the province again.

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


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr D B FELDMAN: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –

  1) notes that Amnesty International in its report recorded the
     following: “Corruption and nepotism impeded community access to
     housing and services, and led to the collapse of some municipal
     governments and to widespread protests among affected communities”;

  2) notes further that Amnesty International also recorded the
     following: “Persistent poverty, rising levels of unemployment, and
     violent crime, together with the crisis in the public health
     sector, posed significant challenges for the new government”; and

  3) therefore calls on government to improve its image by combating
     corruption and nepotism and to deal effectively with the
     socioeconomic challenges lest the situation gets out of control.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] In the light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.

                          CAPE TOWN STADIUM

                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr A WATSON: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –

  1) notes that the Cape Town Stadium was handed over to Fifa for the
     state–of-the-art competition, the 2010 Fifa World Cup;

  2) further notes that this stadium was built in 33 months, employed 2
     500 workers and almost 1 500 received training on site by the

  3) recognises that the stadium, built by Murray & Roberts and WBHO,
     has 500 toilets, 360 urinals, 115 turnstiles, 16 lifts and a ring
     of fire, thanks to the 360 floodlights, and many more facilities;

  4) acknowledges that the 68 000-seater stadium is also hailed by Fifa
     as one of the country’s best and has added to the green status of
     environmental standards; and

  5) therefore congratulates the DA-led Metro Council of Cape Town on
     this wonderful achievement.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Are there any objections to the motion? [Interjections.] In the light of the objection the motion without notice may not be proceeded with and will become a notice of motion. ESTABLISHMENT OF AD HOC JOINT COMMITTEE ON SOUTH AFRICA’S READINESS FOR 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP

                         (Draft Resolution)

The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL (Mr S S Mazosiwe): Hon Chairperson, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

That the Council –

  1) notes that the 2010 Fifa World Cup tournament is set to commence on
     11 June 2010 and that, since 5 April 2010, a group of members of
     the two Houses has been conducting oversight activities to assess
     the country’s overall readiness to host the World Cup tournament;

  2) further notes that the group of members consists of 11 members from
     the Portfolio Committee on Transport, 5 members from each of the
     Portfolio Committees on Energy, Tourism, Police, Sport and
     Recreation, Public Enterprises, Home Affairs and on Health, and 5
     members from committees of the National Council of Provinces;

  3) establishes, subject to the concurrence of the National Assembly,
     an Ad Hoc Joint Committee on South Africa’s Readiness for the 2010
     Fifa World Cup, the committee to -

       a) consist of those members that are mentioned in paragraph (2)

       b) conduct co-ordinated oversight activities to assess the
          country’s overall readiness to host the World Cup tournament
          and identify any outstanding challenges;

       c) exercise those powers in Joint Rule 138 that may assist it in
          carrying out its task; and

     (d)     reports by no later than 1 June 2010; and

  4) ratifies the work done by this group of members since 5 April

Question put: That the motion be agreed to.

IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.

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

                           (Policy debate)

Vote No 37-Water Affairs Vote 29 – Environmental Affairs:

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, hon members led by the chairperson of the select committee, in terms of my acknowledgement, you are all distinguished guests and indeed ladies and gentlemen.

It is important that I start by apologising for the many requests that we have made to the Council to reschedule this Budget Vote. In the same vein, I must express appreciation to the Chairperson, Deputy Chair and all the members that you have at all times tried to accommodate us.

It is not as if we do not attach importance to this House. I sometimes get instructions from above to do certain things that throw me out of the country. Firstly, I really want to apologise and, secondly, express our appreciation for your understanding.

The world will descend on our shores in less than 14 days, amidst reports that by 2025, 1,8 billion people will be living in areas where water is scarce. This clearly depicts the “thirsty world” referred to in the recent issue of National Geographic. I hope that during the stay of the people of the world, we will teach the world a thing or two about the importance of partnerships and shared responsibility in tackling water issues.

Allow me to remind this House of our shared constitutional responsibility towards water management in South Africa. As national government, we are the custodians of water resources management, but local government has the primary responsibility to provide the pipes, maintain them and deliver quality, potable and safe water to households and for other users.

Quite often, these constitutional roles get blurred, especially when there is the challenge of the fulfilment of our various mandates. Even when confronted by these challenges, we do not seek to extricate ourselves from the commitment to support local government in the delivery of water to South Africans.

Our support, as the Department of Water Affairs, for the local government turnaround strategy, is in fact premised firmly on that commitment and the pledge we made during our countrywide stakeholder road shows. You will appreciate that this support to local government is limited and guided by the budgeting process of government.

Our water is fit for consumption by all our citizens and the visiting nations of the world. I am sure that hon members are aware that in this country, our crystal-clear drinking water is not hidden in dangerous mountain ranges and other secret locations. Our water is found in taps. It is for this reason that we should intensify programmes like the Blue Drop Certification for our drinking water quality. We introduced it almost two years ago as an incentive-based regulation for our municipal drinking water business.

We are even more encouraged that our municipalities have intensified their own efforts. This is to ensure improved water quality as reflected in the 2010 Host Cities Blue Drop Report. The assessment period saw 94% of all water service authorities being assessed, in comparison to 66% in the previous reporting cycle. This speaks directly to the commitment of most municipalities and their sterling efforts to improve on their drinking water quality responsibilities.

Members will be pleased to hear that in total, 38 water supply systems obtained the prestigious Blue Drop Award for the 2010 assessment cycle. This is a 40% improvement from 2009. It is unfortunate that nine water supply systems lost their Blue Drop status for this assessment period; but we are encouraged by the fact that we have 24 new Blue Drop certified systems in 2010.

I however wish to clarify that the quality of water in those systems that failed to obtain Blue Drop status, is not necessarily poor or the water unsafe to drink. What it means is that we need to focus more on areas that require improvement in the systems.

Actually, what we are saying with this Blue Drop system is that we want 100% quality. Anything that is below 100% will still be scrutinised as we want to ensure that we reach the 100% quality. So, as we speak, it is safe to drink from a tap in any part of this country.

We are accordingly working closely with those municipalities that still have challenges to improve systems, so that they are able to meet the required standard. We are also assisting the good and excellent performers in maintaining the good quality standards so that …

… njengokuba silungisa nje, zingashiyeki zisihla ezinye ezi besele zifikelele kulo mgangatho siwufunayo. Ngoko ke, sizigadile zonke kwaye asiyekeleli ngenxa yokuba ezinye zenze kakuhle. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[… as we are improving others, those who have already reached the level we want must not drop their standards. Therefore, we are keeping a very close eye on them and we are not relaxed just because others have done well.]

We must join hands to fix the state of our waste water systems. As I mentioned last month during the release of the Green Drop report, we did not suddenly wake up to the news that our waste water treatment works needed urgent attention. The report is in fact our department’s own initiative and is aimed at assessing the state of our waste water systems. This is also to devise interventions to deal with the challenges as identified therein.

The 2009 Green Drop assessments found that 203 out of the 449 waste water service systems that were assessed scored better than the 50% measured against the stringent set criteria. That constituted 45%. Of all waste water systems, 7,4% were classified as excellently managed, which is encouraging and proves that the benchmark is not an impossible feat.

We must therefore appreciate the findings of the report as an indication to strengthen our joint efforts to deal with these problems. It is a fact that some or most of these problems are not of our own making. The design capacity of some of these systems has been stretched to the limit, due to population growth and other economic factors.

Shortcomings in the local government funding model, as well as the skills deficit in the labour market, exacerbate the problem even further. We are also glad that this report has brought matters of waste water treatment firmly to the fore of the local government turnaround strategy.

For far too long, little effort and time has been spent on the operations and maintenance of these systems. It is indeed pleasing to put greater focus on these, so that we are able to identify funding requirements and other interventions necessary to improve their management.

We are also strengthening our institutional oversight capacity so that we can make the required positive impact in water delivery, especially through our water boards. I am accordingly pleased to mention that all water boards, with the exception of two only, are financially viable. This presents adequate leverage to enhance delivery of water at the local government level.

Our investment drive in water infrastructure is on course. The department has completed a supply and demand analysis on the status of water resources within the five metros. We plan to complete seven new bulk raw water augmentation projects during the 2010-2014 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period.

To date, 35 regional bulk water schemes are under construction, of which 10 will be completed during the 2010-11 financial year - this financial year. Next year when I would be coming here for my Budget Vote, those 10 raw bulk water projects will have been completed. Approximately 588 000 people will benefit from the 10 projects to be completed during the 2010-11 financial year. This work will contribute towards ensuring security of water supply for economic growth and social development. These projects will in total cost us approximately R13,6 billion.

We cannot afford to fail our people and falter on our President’s promise, which is captured in this quotation:

Never rest until every one of us has access to water. After all, it is in partnership with the masses of our people that we will deliver the promise of a better life for all.

I now present the 2010-11 Budget Vote of the Department of Water Affairs for your concurrence. I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Chairperson of the NCOP, the natural systems that support economies, lives and livelihoods across the planet are at risk of rapid degradation and collapse unless there is swift, radical and creative action to conserve and sustainably use the variety of life on earth.

That is the principal conclusion of a major new assessment of the current state of biodiversity and the implications of its continued loss for human wellbeing. This statement was taken from the United Nations Global Biodiversity Outlook, UNGBO, which was released on 10 May 2010.

Hon comrades and Minister, the news is clear: Our environment is in serious trouble, and we need to act now if we are to secure a safe and healthy environment for our children.

Minister, your department, the Department of Environmental Affairs, is at the forefront of service supervision. The constitutional right to a healthy environment and to safe drinking water is your mandate, and ensuring that our communities have access to these rights is vital in ensuring that this administration provides what we promised the people.

South Africa’s environment is fast deteriorating. Currently, we are ranked among the world’s 20 biggest greenhouse gas emitters. The Minister’s drive for a new climate change programme within the Budget Vote of Environmental Affairs is supported. This is indeed necessary, considering the ongoing and anticipated negative consequences of climate change for South Africa, especially for the agricultural, environmental and water sectors.

This will ensure South Africa has an effective national mitigation and adaptation response to climate change. Food security and access to water are policy priorities of our administration, and the mandate of the department to facilitate this is paramount. The select committee will be monitoring this programme carefully, as there’s a large budget allocation provided in this area, but no clear road map on implementation.

The other key strategic priorities of the Budget Vote are in line with the department’s vision of creating a prosperous and equitable society living in harmony with the natural environment. This policy’s priorities imply that a budget and efforts are dedicated to the protection, conservation and enhancement of environmental assets and natural and heritage resource to ensure a sustainable, healthy environment.

It contributes to sustainable economic growth, livelihoods and social cohesion by providing leadership on climate change action and promoting skills development and employment creation by facilitating green and inclusive economic growth to create a better Africa and a better world by enhancing national environmental interests through a global sustainable development agenda.

Although there has been a slight increase in the budget allocation for this financial year, this allocation is minimal when it comes to implementing the environment mandate, especially when it comes to the implementation of the new legislation that this Parliament has passed recently. Minister, we are really concerned about the inadequate budget in this regard.

Other areas of concern that the department needs to focus its attention on include water and air pollution; waste management; management of natural resources; water quality and availability; health of the aquatic ecosystem; destruction of wetlands; water to sustain the national environment; and provision of services such as purification.

Coastal development and overexploitation of natural resources from the ocean and coastal zone threaten the environment, as do mining activities.

Minister, I would like to acknowledge the role you played during the Climate Change Summit 2009 in driving the negotiations and the progress made in drafting the Copenhagen Accord. The Minister and her team were excellent in keeping the South African delegation informed on the status of the negotiations and the challenges they were experiencing in the negotiations.

As part of the oversight on international agreements, the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs was satisfied with the process the department followed as well as the wide consultation.

Minister, we are pleased that the department is in good hands under your leadership, and it is well managed by the director-general. You have illustrated this by receiving an unqualified report for the past year. The Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs fully supports Budget Vote 29 - Environmental Affairs.

I will now come to water affairs. Our President emphasised in his 2010 state of the nation address that South Africa is a water-scarce country and, as a result, our government intends to put in place measures to reduce by half unacceptably high water losses through leaking pipes and inadequate infrastructure by 2014.

Water is a unique commodity. It is not only a physical resource but also a cultural and social resource, with great economic and political significance. Water is a crosscutting resource that poses critical risks to economic growth and the environment.

It is also becoming one of the most significant international issues, considering the fact that some rivers cross international political boundaries. The water sector in South Africa, as elsewhere, is grappling with the challenges of access and quality, combined with concerns about resource availability.

The concern about water conservation and protection, as articulated in the 2010 state of the nation address, is certainly not matched by the current Budget Vote commitment to the department. To have access to water is a basic human right, and the department has almost achieved most of the targets in this area. However, Minister, far too many of our rural communities are without water. Access to water, which is a basic human right, is not provided to all, and this, in turn, impacts on the country’s productivity, since agriculture is affected when land lies fallow.

Within the context of budgetary constraints, the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs supports your department’s key policy priorities for the 2010-11 financial year.

The emphasis placed on contributing to effective economic and social development to ensure sustainable and equitable water resource management by promoting rural development; providing effective support to local government; ensuring meaningful contribution to global or international relations; and improving the department’s capacity in delivering quality service, is vital in order to achieve your mandate.

The provision of effective support to all municipalities is critical in ensuring access to water and sanitation by all throughout the country, beginning with prioritised or poorly resourced municipalities. High- performing municipalities should share their success stories with underperforming municipalities, and build capacity in the process.

Furthermore, improving the department’s capacity to deliver quality services involves improving the public understanding and evaluation of water by all, as well as the development of sustainable skills for the water sector. Suffice it to state that realising these preceding priorities of the department and the associated activities influenced the current budget allocation to the Departments of Water and Environmental Affairs.

Minister, your mandate of ensuring a sustainable environment and good water quality is a big task that requires a large budget; but constantly your department tries to do more with very little within this context and the priorities that you have identified. The Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs supports your budget. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr D A WORTH: Chairperson, hon Minister, Deputy Minister, chairperson of agriculture and environmental affairs from the Western Cape and hon members, first of all, I wish to thank the department for its budget presentation to our committee.

One of the duties of the NCOP is that of exercising oversight in the various provinces. I must therefore congratulate the Department of Water Affairs on the impressive De Hoop Dam in the Limpopo province, which our committee visited during the Taking Parliament to the People campaign. Delivery of water is scheduled to begin in April 2011.

South Africa must conserve every drop of water as a country cannot afford wastage, particularly in view of global warming. Desalination of seawater is taking place and will be introduced in the coastal towns such as Knysna, George, Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay.

The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs has stated that it needs at least R60 billion to R100 billion to renew infrastructure and to build dams over the next three years. In my province, the Free State, the situation is shocking. According to the Green Drop Report, only 35 out of 102 Free State waste water treatment plants – that’s 30% - took part in the survey, and had an average rating of only 15%.

Last year, during our provincial week visit to Welkom and Odendaalsrus in the Matjhabeng municipality, raw sewage was being pumped into the pans and rivers. It is a disgrace. This is, however, not only the fault of the Department of Water Affairs. As the department supplies the bulk water, the municipal authorities must ensure safe drinking water and the treatment of waste.

Municipalities can use funds such as the municipal infrastructure grant funds, can borrow money or ring-fence amounts to ensure that ageing infrastructure is renewed or replaced. As the department said, funds follow function.

Instead, there is misuse of the funds by the municipalities. The mayors and municipal managers would rather purchase expensive vehicles than ensure clean water and protection of the environment. The department has at long last started with legal action against certain municipalities, and is attempting to implement a turnaround strategy in others.

In reply to a question, the Minister revealed that R1,2 billion was owed to water boards by municipalities. The National Treasury, which has a mandate to mediate between water boards and municipalities in terms of section 44 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, must pressurise or rather force the municipalities to start paying their outstanding debts.

Chairperson, with regard to environmental affairs, some of the challenges facing the department are increasing water pollution; poor waste management, as has been evidenced by the dumping of hazardous medical waste in Welkom in the Free State; the impact of mining activities on the environment; and acid mine drainage.

About 17 000 tons of medical waste has already been removed from Welkom in Matjhabeng municipality. The clean-up operations of medical waste in Welkom have been stopped by the Departments of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs as the waste was being excavated faster than it could be removed from the site. The operations were limited to daytime hours only and investigations by a hydrogeologist indicated that the amount of buried waste was double the initial estimated volume.

The DA in the Free State welcomes the removal of the medical waste, but would like to urge the department to be more vigilant in ensuring that this kind of environmental crisis be dealt with more urgently. It is therefore necessary that the provincial department ensures that the required measures are put in place so as to ensure that situations like these do not occur again.

The fact that South Africa ranks amongst the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters and that an estimated 50% of our wetlands have been destroyed or converted to other land use is ominous. Climate change is one of South Africa’s, and indeed the world’s, greatest challenges. However, the compliance and enforcement capacity of the Department of Environmental Affairs is improving. The DA welcomes the dedicated Environmental Courts which have been established.

Chairperson, the continuing plundering and pillaging of our natural resources, as the Minister herself has stated, is of great concern. Examples are poaching, such as the increase in the killing of rhino; and the destruction of our ecosystems which are crucial to South Africa’s water and survival, and are under great stress. Increased vigilance and action against illegal environmental activities is required.

Whilst two thirds of our planet consists of water, very little of this is drinkable water. We will always have droughts, which prejudices food security and could affect industry and electricity generation. We must conserve our water resources and manage them well, otherwise the verse from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner will apply: Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink.

I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon members, there has been a mistake here. The Minister thought that we are dealing with Water Affairs firstly and then we would come back to deal with Environmental Affairs later on.

You would remember I said both Orders when I announced, so when she finished speaking, I was surprised because she still had eight minutes left. I would therefore want to give the Minister that time to talk about environmental issues, so that members are also able to comment on that. Hon Minister, sorry for the confusion.

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, this is the NCOP, that’s what the Member of Parliament is saying. I would like to reiterate the commitment we made in the National Assembly - that our work as a department is dedicated to the legacy of Tata Mandela.

As the department, we have a duty and responsibility to ensure that the right to a clean and healthy environment, as enshrined in the Constitution, is extended to all our people, irrespective of their station in life. This year, we also join our international counterparts in celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity. This gives us an opportunity to heighten awareness of biodiversity, which we will consistently carry out with our partners in the sector, including the South African National Biodiversity Institute, Sanbi, and the South African National Parks.

As promised last year, the new National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, which repealed the old 1965 Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, came into full effect on 1 April 2010. The ultimate outcome of the efficient and effective implementation of the Air Quality Act is, of course, ambient air that is not harmful to the health and wellbeing of all. And I must say that the municipalities have warmed to this programme; they are very involved and implementing the law.

In the spirit of co-operative governance, with effect from 1 April 2010, the district and metropolitan municipalities and provincial departments became the atmospheric emission licensing authorities. This responsibility was previously carried out by the national government. We have to decentralise these responsibilities because the provinces and local governments are at the coalface of delivery. Therefore, if we want to see implementation, we have to hand it over to decentralisation. That is what we have done.

Hon members, as already alluded to by some, climate change will continue to pose an enormous threat to our economic growth, political stability and sustainable development. There is a prediction that by 2080, about 70 million people and up to 30% of Africa’s coastal infrastructure could face the risk of coastal flooding because of sea levels rising and an increase in storm intensity and frequency over the oceans.

I am sure that people who live in Durban, especially along the coastline, will believe me because we are beginning to see the impact of climate change.

Hon members, I wish to remind you that the oceans absorb 40% of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. With industrialisation, it was made to absorb more and more carbon dioxide to the extent that we now have acidification of our oceans.

This leads to the dissolving of calcium carbonate and thus threatens our coral reefs and other shelled aquatic animals. The oceans, covering 70% of the earth, thus play an important role in the climate change debate.

South Africa, as a responsible global citizen, has committed its fair share to the global effort to reduce emissions in dealing with climate change.

Furthermore, South Africa will host the Climate Change Conference of Parties, COP, at the end of 2011. Something like Copenhagen 2009 will be here in South Africa, it will not be called “Copenhagen”, but “Johannesburg” or “Cape Town” or maybe “Port Elizabeth”, which is where I come from.

We are also on track in developing a national climate change policy that will facilitate a new growth path. We are also developing the green policy that the chairperson has alluded to. We are working with NGOs and stakeholders from government, business and labour.

It is in this context that as a country we are developing a green economy strategy. Surely we will have to come back and report to you on what that means, and that will allow recognition that clean technology development offers significant business opportunities, while also giving us a low- carbon, low-pollution and low-waste economy with positive employment and growth outcomes.

Hon members, we have set aside R400 million for the ecotowns programme, Buyisela, that we are rolling out to 10 municipalities in the country. We are very worried about the state of cleanliness of our cities and towns; but I still maintain that the townships and villages are also very important. Actually, it is something that we should prioritise.

We also identified three towns per province that will be implementing the cleaning and greening programme in all provinces. We have already started at Mthatha.

This is a project that we are implementing in collaboration with Indalo Yethu and the Department of Water Affairs. We, of course, also partner with local municipalities. The project aims to create 10 eco-towns, which is going to be a legacy project, but we are aiming to expand the project.

Some of the challenges that we are facing include illegal dumping, which creates problems of waste in our cities, and pollution from domestic and other industries. All of these things are resulting in health and safety risks and, of course, in medical waste.

We recently launched the National Biodiversity Framework, which articulates the country’s vision for biodiversity management for the next five years, and this will be a key mechanism for delivering the mandate of the government. This framework has 33 priority actions for our country.

South Africa is covered by 29,5% of grassland; it is rich in plant species and this grasslands biome is second only to the internationally renowned, biodiversity-rich Cape Floristic Region. All of these aspects fall within biodiversity, which we need to manage to ensure that our environment is safer and cleaner. Forty-four per cent of South Africa’s mammals are found in the grasslands biome, and many people also live there. In fact, this biome supports many of our country’s industrial sectors, including agriculture, forestry, urban development, mining and tourism.

The transfrontier conservation areas programme is a key output of the department its aim is the creation of cross-border animal corridors and the promotion of cross-border ecotourism. We are managing the borders with all other countries. And …

sijonga izilwanyana, ukuze kubekho ukhenketho olwenzekayo nje ngaphaya kooMapungubwe … [we look at animals, so that we can have ecotourism just like in Mapungubwe …]

so it is important that we manage it. Working together on integrated coastal management is very important in order to ensure that we conserve and protect our oceans and our coastline.

The Act itself came into effect in December 2009, and we think that it is very important and it is going to guide us in the task of managing the coastlines and the oceans.

With regard to crime, we will very soon introduce the environmental courts in collaboration with the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. Our pilot sites will be in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape. Therefore, you will have courts in those places.

I must state that we are ready for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. There is a programme that will ensure that wherever we are, at fan parks, we will be able to watch Bafana Bafana beat Bulgaria and Mexico in a clean environment.

I herewith present the Budget Vote of the Department of Environmental Affairs for your concurrence. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs N W Magadla): Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, MEC present, hon members of the House, distinguished guests, we must emphasise that the ANC, a movement of the people in its 98 years of existence, is committed to improving the lives of the people.

This can be attested to by the commitment of President Jacob Zuma to improve the capacity of the state to achieve better alignment with the developmental changes that need to be addressed to speed up effective service delivery to the people.

We have seen the commitment of the President to eradicating poverty when he paid a surprise visit to Sweetwater informal settlement after receiving numerous complaints about the area through the presidential hotline. We have no doubt that the lives of the people of Sweetwater will change soon, if not sooner, because we have confidence in the President.

Minister, as you have mentioned, our towns and cities are dirty.

Andazi ukuba singenza njani ukuze zicoceke. Abakhona amaphulo okucocwa kweedolophu, kodwa ayincedi loo nto. Loo nto, Mphathiswa, ibangela ubungozi empilweni. [I do not know what we could do to keep them clean. There are clean-up programmes for our towns, but that does not help. Minister, that is a health hazard.]

I also congratulate the department on its programme of cleaning the host cities. As elected public representatives, we are confident that the Constitution, as the supreme law of the land, has since its adoption served as a tool in guiding our country to create a good society. This is the Constitution that we, as members of the NCOP, are prepared to defend at all times and at all costs.

This Budget Vote debate takes place in the context of water affairs following the reconfiguration of the Departments of Water, Land and Environmental Affairs. Access to water is a constitutional right. Section 27(1)(b) of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water.

We must remember that the ANC is the key to monitoring service delivery. Minister, all is not well …

… ngamanzi emaphandleni. Amadama asiwaboni kweziya ndawo sihlala kuzo emakhaya. Mphathiswa, imbi ngakumbi into yokuba ngapha eSisonke kubekho umlambokazi uMkhomazi, ngapha ngasePort St Johns ibe yimilambokazi uMzimvubu noMzimkhulu, kodwa kungabonakali madama. Kukho iindawo ekufuneka sizihloniphile, njengeKomkhulu laseQawukeni elikuMasipala weSithili sase-O R Tambo. Akukho kwanto esa amanzi kweziya lali zisondele phaya, kanti yindawo ekufanele ukuba ihloniphekile leya. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[… with water in the rural areas. We do not have dams in our areas. Minister, it is terrible to have the Mkhomazi river in Sisonke and two huge rivers in Port St Johns called uMzimvubu and uMzimkhulu, but still to find that there are no dams. There are places that we are supposed to respect like the royal homestead of Qawukeni, which is the under O R Tambo District Municipality. There is no water supply to those villages that are near the Great Place and that is the place to which we were supposed to show respect.]

However, water still remains a scarce and useful resource. As members of the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs, we met with the department as part of our constitutional oversight responsibility over the department. During our meeting, the committee was briefed on the Budget Vote and strategic plan of the department. It is against this background that we are participating in this debate in order to give unwavering support to the department.

Following our engagement with the department, we have highlighted a number of issues that should be looked at to address challenges relating to water. The key challenge that also affects the department is the shortage of skills. The committee is deeply concerned about the shortage of skills in the water sector. This poses a high risk in relation to the provision of effective water services and water resources management in our municipalities.

From the point of view of the state of the nation address, President Zuma identified the issue of water as deserving special attention when he said:

We are not a water-rich country, yet we still lose a lot of water through leaking pipes and inadequate infrastructure.

We are content with the fact that the President’s call emanating from the state of the nation address indicates that this policy debate on the Budget Vote is an adequate expression in addressing the challenges of water in our country. Without doubt, this action is not the sole responsibility of the Departments of Water and Environmental Affairs. There is a need for the department to co-operate with other departments such as the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in carrying out its mandate.

We also noted with great enthusiasm the commitment of the department to align water and sanitation targets with 2014 for sustainable human settlements, which will ensure that there is alignment and better co- ordination between water, sanitation, electricity and housing targets.

Goals of sustainability and efficiency, as well as the responsibility of South Africans and Africans to share and use water, cannot be divorced from these needs. We have also learnt, with great interest, of the support that the department is providing to municipalities as a strategic partner in providing water services to the people.

We have no doubt that this department, under the political leadership of Minister Sonjica, is capable and committed to successfully delivering water and sanitation to all our people.

In conclusion, our committee will consistently monitor the programme of action of the department by ensuring that the department implements its mandate in accordance with expectations of the policy of the ruling party.

The ANC supports the Budget Votes No 37 and 29: Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M C WALTERS (Western Cape): Deputy Chairperson, Minister Sonjica, members and colleagues, thank you. I am speaking on behalf of the Western Cape MEC for local government, environmental affairs and development planning, Anton Bredell. Let me also convey his best wishes to Minister Sonjica with the deployment of her budget in the coming year.

There needs to be a balance between the care and protection of the environment versus the need for socioeconomic planning. As we know, change is the only constant. How well we adapt to change in our environment will define our success.

The primary question we need to ask ourselves is: What are we doing now to ensure that our future generations enjoy the very same scenic beauty and resources of this province that we have been experiencing?

Our Constitution requires that we should administer reasonable legislation and enforce measures that will prevent pollution and ecological ruin. We also need to promote conservation. However, this must be accomplished by securing ecologically sustainable development, while using the natural resources to promote justifiable economic and social development.

Mark Twain once said:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

We are an administration tasked by the citizens of the Western Cape to deliver on high expectations. If we do not commit to realising those expectations, we will be committing a serious injustice and in years to come, speak more of disappointments than of effective service delivery.

The Minister’s stance communicated through her initial budget speech was that most major threats to our natural systems were from human activities. That is still standing. Effectively maintaining the balance between caring for the environment and socioeconomic development becomes more challenging due to the rapid development of the Western Cape, and other resource-use inefficiencies evidently resulting in environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.

The Minister painted a picture for the House: any increase in the repetition and intensity of extreme weather conditions will definitely have a negative impact on our provincial economy; the province is currently experiencing climate change, meaning drier conditions on top of increasing economic challenges and an increase in population; and the fact that research indicated that the southwestern corners of the three continents in the southern hemisphere will be most influenced by climate change. The Western Cape is one of those corners.

Our destiny is coupled to biodiversity. We depend on this diversity to supply us with food, fuel, medicine and other services. However, our rich biodiversity is challenged and it is being lost at a very fast pace, due to human activities. The key question is twofold: What does this mean for the Western Cape citizen, and what are we planning to do as an administration to address the effects, which will impact on the lives of future citizens and communities?

Agricultural practices are dependent on the utilisation of the three major natural resources, namely land, water and climate. If any of those three resources were threatened, the negative impact would cause food insecurity, migration to towns, increased unemployment and a reduction in foreign earnings.

According to MEC Bredell, a major consideration is progressive population increase due to migration. That significantly impacted on waste management throughout the province, while consumption was linked to economic growth. Waste generation was growing at an alarming rate, estimated at 7% per annum, while the population increased by between 3% and 4% per annum.

Inappropriate spatial planning, as well as a lack of suitable land and time- consuming applications for permits and increased waste generation are all strengthening this situation of pressure on our biodiversity. Unacceptable levels of air, land and water pollution further exacerbate this pressure.

Our vision drives our efforts, but it is a fact that the wide scope of environmental management, coupled with typically compartmentalised government organisational structures, policies and legislation will always pose challenges both at provincial and national levels. Translating this vision means that we should come face to face with fragmentation of environmental management and land-use control functions and legislation; unclear areas of jurisdiction; limited integration of functions between levels of government; and limited funding and some perverse incentives and systems that are not conducive to achieving solutions to strategic challenges.

The budget allocation for the Western Cape, Vote No 9, was nearly R305 million. That amount was divided between CapeNature, which received R160 million, and the department of environmental affairs and developmental planning, which received R144 million.

I would like to talk about renewable energy. We are facing continuous electricity supply constraints and the threat of energy insecurity affects us all. The Western Cape is the first province to formulate a climate change strategy and action plan from which flowed the sustainable energy strategy and action plan. The provincial department has also developed a White Paper on Sustainable Energy. A submission to Cabinet on the White Paper has been drafted and will be gazetted after approval by the provincial cabinet.

The White Papers, together with the draft sustainable energy Bill for the province were all aligned with national policy. It was our aim to fight climate change by reducing our carbon footprint, fight poverty through access to energy and the creation of green jobs and ultimately have energy security. An immediate impact on the communities of the Western Cape has already been achieved by the deployment of 1 300 solar water geysers, which have been rolled out in various low-income communities.

That service also created many jobs and provided skills to most of our community members. They can use their skills in securing employment outside of the provincial government. We are also looking at the development of wind farms and spatial plans to indicate where the excellent platforms for wind generation of power are situated.

In terms of spatial planning, we are also looking at the densification of settlements rather than the lateral development typical of private enterprise. We are of the opinion that the developmental needs of the present generation should be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In this regard, we will be looking at ecological integrity, social equity and economic welfare, and we will also nationalise the legal aspects attached to development.

The Land Use Planning Act, Lupa, process, inclusive of extensive municipal and public participation, will proceed as a high priority throughout the year. In 2011 Lupa’s aim will be to have an integrated planning law in the Western Cape that will supplant all other regulations. Currently, we are busy drafting the Act together with the municipalities to ensure that it will be constitutional. This Act aims to provide for only one application, one public participation process, one decision and one appeal.

We are also facilitating the development of a spatial development framework and plans for municipalities in line with the provincial spatial developmental framework. One of the most important components of this is planning for public transport, which will have to play a much more significant role in structuring settlements in future. Key to the province’s vision of an open opportunity society for all is the provision of an enabling environment for shared and integrated, sustainable development. In this regard, the municipalities of the Western Cape are playing a key role and the province will be supporting them as far as possible. We have an integrated unit in the department, which will support municipalities.

CapeNature is a very important component of the department. Ecotourism is one of the main thrusts of CapeNature. They are going to receive dedicated, earmarked funding of R20 million for the implementation of the organisation’s strategic action plan to develop new products.

Despite an extremely difficult operational environment in the biodiversity area, CapeNature is the custodian of one of only six floral kingdoms in the world, and is responsible for the world’s three biggest conservation hotspots.

CapeNature is also the custodian of the water catchment areas of the Western Cape. We saw its role in Working on Fire and Working for Water in the creation of jobs as extremely significant.

They are looking at a total of 262 500 days’ work for the coming year and 2 626 job opportunities. They are also very involved in youth development, and this has been elevated to the status of one of their main strategic objective thrusts. In this respect they are very involved with the National Youth Service programme. I thank you. [Applause.] The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Deputy Chairperson, hon members, we all know that water is life and that without it there will be no life. Our department is taking serious steps to address the developmental challenges facing water security in the country.

There is an old American Indian saying: “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives”. This means that saving water is the business and responsibility of everybody in our country, and it should be a way of life for all South Africans.

While many of us in this Chamber today may rank with the more privileged and merely have to turn on a tap to enjoy bright, clean water, the hard fact and the reality is that there are still people out there without clean drinking water and people who still travel some distance to get water.

An even harder fact is that poor people, both within and beyond our borders, continue their daily struggle to access safe water. This struggle represents the frontline in the fight against poverty and the spread of water-borne diseases that are so closely linked to poverty.

Whilst we are grappling with the challenge to ensure that all our people have access to safe drinking water, we also have to ensure that we build and maintain infrastructure that will support economic development and poverty alleviation initiatives in our country. We know we have a big challenge of ageing infrastructure that is there, and also infrastructure that was built when the population was still small.

Now that the population has grown, it becomes a big challenge. It is for this reason that we are strengthening our partnership with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, other departments and the private sector in order to achieve an integrated approach that will enable us to speed up service delivery.

The launch of the turnaround strategy by the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has been embraced with great enthusiasm by our department. We have identified key water priorities, which, I believe, are of concern to most members here. These are the refurbishment and operation of infrastructure; development of appropriate skills; delivery of water and maintenance of infrastructure; upscaling of water conservation and water demand management programmes; focusing on fixing leaks; and the active participation of women in water resource management.

We admit that the water conservation programme has not received enough attention and focus in the past. However, we are in the process of upscaling the programme. We are implementing water conservation programmes in all nine provinces with more emphasis and investment going to unaccounted-for water and to municipalities that are water-stressed.

We are grateful for the co-operation we have received from cities like eThekwini, Cape Town, Johannesburg and the Nelson Mandela Metro, which have invested millions of rands of their own funding in this programme. A lot more still needs to be done.

Hon members, we are concerned about water losses through leaking pipes and the poor maintenance of infrastructure. As we reported previously to Parliament, we launched the War on Leaks project in Mogale City during the National Water Week awareness campaign. I think this is something that we can do in our own constituencies and surroundings – to find out the extent of unaccounted-for water lost through leaks and to encourage communities to report these. People should not just report, but things must happen: Municipalities should then repair them.

Our Free State region is way ahead in this regard. They have implemented projects where women contractors have been trained to fix leaks and make a living from this programme. So there are a lot of jobs we can create through water leaks. Our preparations are advanced for the roll-out of this programme to all municipalities with high water losses. Unemployed youth will be trained to fix the leaks with users who are affected by or who have leaks.

Our department’s intervention in the O R Tambo municipality, where we have invested millions in refurbishing dilapidated infrastructure, thereby preventing water shortages, is an example of what this programme can achieve. You know, you must excuse my tongue today. I have travelled a long distance from abroad to be here.

I am also pleased to announce to this House that we are intensifying public education and awareness programmes to educate the citizens of our country about the value of water and its importance to economic growth and development. The department has initiated collaboration with water boards, water utilities and the private sector, provincial governments and municipalities, NGOs, civil society and traditional leaders. We are engaging in proposals towards an integrated approach to water resource management. This will ensure sustainability.

We have learnt that when local people are empowered with knowledge and appropriate skills, they are able to participate in all of these programmes, and our water supply will be sustainable.

We also need to fight to improve our water security and we will not win if we neglect the integrity of our ecosystems as enablers of water availability. We have neglected our indigenous knowledge of protecting water sources and rivers. Our rivers and dams are silting up because of that negligence.

During our National Water Week, we launched the Adopt-a-River project, which seeks to mobilise our people, all spheres of government and the private sector. All of us must assist with this programme.

We are particularly excited about developments in the Western Cape and the Free State in this regard where, in the former, within this year a catchment management strategy for the Breede-Overberg Water Management Area will be published. This will be a blueprint for water resource management. This is the first stop in our country to steam ahead in our quest to clean up our water resources. All these things are some of the projects that we are trying in order to get clean water to all our people. The Working for Water programme, you know, has a good track record – actually, even globally.

In conclusion on the water issue, we must ensure that we have enough water, and it is the responsibility of all of us here and the people out there.

Coming to our environmental issues, we say that we are crying. We are complaining that – oh, no, we are not complaining, it is the truth – we have many challenges. All these challenges can be overcome through education and awareness. We need to ensure that we arm our communities with information.

On the issue of waste management, we are working with our partners, Indalo Yethu, which does education awareness, and Buyisa-e-Bag. We have changed the focus. We are now saying Buyisa-e-Bag should operate in a way that creates employment - small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs - through collecting waste and recycling.

It is also important to change the mind-set, even if we only pick up litter and clean the streets. If we have not changed the mind-set of our people, those who come after us are going to litter. We therefore must change the mind-set of our people so that they see waste as wealth, waste as money, and that, as we clean our environment, we are going to have a healthy society.

In addition, we will not have achieved cleaning the environment if we do not clean our air and we ignore cleaning up the pollution in our townships. At the moment we are rolling out the Clean Fires campaign, the Basa njengo Magogo programme, because we believe that even if industries clean the air, we still have a lot of smoke in our townships. Because we are dependent on coal, we will not have won our war; so, as we roll out the campaign in your areas, please join us in cleaning the air.

Coming to the issue of waste management again, we will be taking a draft policy on basic refuse removal to Cabinet. It seeks to extend the provision of basic refuse removal services to indigent families in our country. We have not only done this but we have even gone as far as doing cross-border clean-ups with countries that border ours. We have been cleaning with them.

Mr A WATSON: Madam Chair, I am sorry to interrupt, but will the Deputy Minister take a question? [Interjections.] I did not ask you!

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: No, you must hear this, so that when you leave here, you do what we are saying here.

Mr A WATSON: [Interjections.] I would like to know what you are doing about mining pollution.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Minister, just hold on. Mr Watson, the Minister is still on the stand and I will not allow any questions. Thank you. Continue.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: As a department, we are extremely concerned about the cases of health care risk waste, or medical waste. Medical waste treatment challenges require a multipronged approach which has short- to long-term deliverables. We are developing a health care risk waste policy which will include national standards for the operation of all health care risk waste treatment facilities, including both burning and nonburning technologies.

I am sure you have been following the case of the health care waste battle that was going on. We are working hard so that this should not occur again.

This policy will also identify a process and timeframes for the closure of all noncompliant technologies and the enforcement of these requirements. In order to stimulate health care risk treatment capacity in the country and to ensure that the national health care system is assured of the availability of compliant treatment capacity at all times, a public-private partnership process will be initiated with National Treasury, and we are working with the Department of Health.

On biodiversity, we are going to be hosting the fourth national dialogue on people and parks in August this year. We invite you, and we will still remind you about it and about the venue, because it is important that the management of these parks also benefits the communities that border them. It is, of course, in line with the World Parks Congress Durban Accord.

We also have projects on saving our wetlands, because we all know that wetlands are the lungs that clean our water. We get food and medicine- related products from those wetlands, and we also make a lot of things out of what comes from the wetlands. However, we also always go back to the issue of climate change, which affects not only us but everyone, everywhere. Even the oceans are affected by the issue of climate change, and the Minister has alluded to that.

We will continue, because we know our poor are the most vulnerable, especially those in the rural areas. We see the extreme flooding that takes place there. We see the extreme drought that causes hunger, because when there is drought, of course, there will not be anything for them to harvest. So in all these problems and programmes that are there, we appeal to you to be part of them, and we will work together.

We are also working tirelessly. We worked tirelessly during 2009 to establish women and environment forums in the nine provinces. The 2010 Women and Environment Conference will serve as a platform to finalise provincial consultations. That will take place in August this year, when all the provinces will be reporting back. We will see how far we have gone in terms of the women and the environmental challenges that we, as women, face.

We will be focusing on enhancing the role of South African women in leveraging economic opportunities from the ecosystem services.

Hon members, this is our game plan for the financial year. I would like to thank all of you and the Minister, the director-general, and the staff in both departments, who work tirelessly in order to make it happen. We appeal to you to allow us to work together. Let us look at our surroundings, where we come from, at all the challenges that are there, and at these programmes to make it happen. All of us can make it happen. I thank you.

Cllr C JOHNSON (Salga): Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, members of the NCOP, hon Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica, Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi, scientists first brought the effects of carbon dioxide on climate change to the world’s attention in 1967. Many governments were, and some still are, conservative in their responses. To do nothing when the situation is changing very rapidly is not a conservative thing to do.

During the past four decades, our knowledge and experience of the phenomenon have increased exponentially. According to Jacques Cousteau, and I quote:

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.

It is time to flip from scepticism to activism. It is time to respond appropriately and aggressively to safeguard our water security and supply; and indeed, environmental integrity is a key component of good governance.

We, as the SA Local Government Association, Salga, are also committed to achieving not only our soccer goals, but also our green goals in this, the Year of Biodiversity, 2010. We thank the Minister for her visionary leadership and support to local government to achieve these goals, not only financially but also through the institutional support that has been given.

The sustainable delivery of water services cannot be realised without bulk water resources such as dams and regional bulk and waste water treatment schemes. The Minister’s intention to convert single-purpose dams into multipurpose dams is, therefore, welcomed.

The raw water infrastructure investment outlined in the Minister’s budget speech is also of paramount importance to future water security. These initiatives will hopefully stimulate the desired social and economic development required to uplift our most vulnerable, particularly the rural poor.

However, I would also like to say now that the urban poor need attention. Yesterday I looked at this very city’s integrated development plan, IDP, and budget, and Parliament is levied the same tariff as homes for the homeless. Therefore there is no pro-poor strategy in place, and we must ask that the NCOP play a more intense role to see that the strategic intent of government is enhanced. Salga applauds the Minister for the direction taken by way of these initiatives.

The polluting of water resources is of great concern to us. The recently published Green Drop Report highlights the fact that our municipalities are not managing their waste water treatment facilities according to required norms and standards, and this is to the detriment of the environment. We therefore call upon the Minister to ensure that tougher measures are taken against defaulters. The polluters must pay.

Hon Minister, the industrial and agricultural sectors are the largest polluters of our water resources. We suggest that a similar certification programme be introduced for the mining, industrial and agricultural sectors. A programme such as this will enable us to quantify the magnitude of our pollution challenges.

We believe that such an approach would assist with the design of appropriate solutions at various levels, but, more importantly, would ensure that all players in the sector take responsibility for their actions.

We need to pay more attention to crosscutting issues and caution industry that they now place their company directors in jeopardy if they are found to be guilty of violating environmental and antipollution laws and regulations. Similarly, water should be identified as being at risk, as we are a water-scarce country. This has been provided for in the new Companies Act.

We, as local government, will do our part through monitoring, sampling and awareness-raising, and through improving our by-laws, particularly those applicable to mining.

Water loss in South Africa’s distribution infrastructure and in the homes of low-income households has reached unmanageable levels. We lose between 20% and 40% of the water delivered by our bulk infrastructure. A significant part of the problem is that many water and waste water treatment schemes that municipalities inherited from pre-1994 authorities lack documentation such as updated drawing designs.

Some municipalities do not know where infrastructure such as pipes are laid, or were laid, how old these pipes are, or what materials were used, etc. Increasing use and pressure on these pipes lead to regular pipe bursts and leaks.

We are in dire need of a major, countrywide intervention of the magnitude of the Working for Water programme to address the problem. The purpose of such an intervention would be to locate pipelines, assess their condition and implement a refurbishment or replacement programme. Local government calls upon national government through the Department of Water Affairs and the Department of Public Works to partner with us in this proposed initiative.

The proposed programme can be part of the Expanded Public Works Programme in which unemployed youth can be trained and used. This could serve as a pioneer initiative to locate and register the state of all public service infrastructure such as roads, water and waste water treatment plants, electricity, clinics, schools, and so on.

The register could inform infrastructure maintenance and refurbishment programme plans. In this way, we would create jobs and reduce the wastage of our increasingly scarce and expensively treated water, while simultaneously improving the efficiency with which we use our natural resources. We must measure what we manage.

The recent drought in both the Southern and Eastern Cape suggests that we might have to upscale seawater desalination, since this is one of the renewable natural water resource options available in some parts of our country. We reiterate the Minister’s concerns about the impact of desalination on the marine environment and would like to add our concerns about the high cost of producing desalinated water and the colossal energy required to achieve this.

It is therefore imperative that renewable energy sources be used to attain this. We are therefore pleased that recycling and proper management of our current available resources will receive concurrent attention.

The establishment of the economic regulator for the water sector has become a priority for the Republic, and we appreciate the fact that the Minister has also prioritised it. This year’s high bulk-water price increases are a direct result of the lack of economic regulation in the sector. Furthermore, the entire water sector funding model for water infrastructure development and management should be scrutinised to ensure a common water- pricing regime. Working together on this particular project, we can do more and stretch our rand.

Salga supports Budget Vote No 37, the Water Affairs Budget Vote, and Vote No 29, the Environmental Affairs Budget Vote. I thank you.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Before I call the next speaker I would like to address hon Watson. You may take your seat, hon Watson. You enquired whether you could ask a question. With regard to that I had to communicate with the hon Minister, and she said no. That is why I then took a ruling that the debate had to continue. Thank you.

Mr A WATSON: Madam Deputy Chairperson, may I address you on the ruling you have just made?

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon Watson, could you do me a favour? Please put it in writing and I will respond to you. Mr D B FELDMAN: Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members and guests, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ended with no clear path to a treaty with binding commitments. This means that we are gambling with the very future of humanity.

On the bright side, the agreement on technology development and transfer in support of mitigation and adaptation is a positive development. Cope believes that South Africa should take full advantage of this acquisition of new technology.

Furthermore the department must provide Parliament with details of South Africa’s reduction, mitigation and adaptation strategies on a regular basis.

Cope ondersteun ten sterkste die voorbehoue ontwikkeling deur korrekte koördinasie van omgewingsbestuur. Ons ekologiese gebiede en siklusse asook ons biodiversiteit moet ernstig aandag kry, voordat dit te laat is.

Cope versoek dat ’n meer omvattende, spesifieke benadering aangeneem moet word. Verder wil Cope weet wat gedoen word oor ons kwesbare land ekostelsel. Boere veroorsaak ernstige probleme, want hulle is te naby aan rivieroewers, gebruik voermetodes wat veroorsaak dat miljoene ton bogrond wegwaai of wegspoel en laat chemikalieë toe om in ons waterstelsels te spoel. Minister, ek wil nou ook die volgende punt aanraak, wat noodsaaklik is vir ons oorlewing. Dit is varswater. Die probleem van afbrekende varswaterbronne is ’n struikelblok vir Suid-Afrika en nog meer, ’n massabesoedeling. Hierdie departement het nog niks gedoen om hierdie ernstige kwessie aan te spreek nie.

Die tweede groot probleem wat deur huishoudelike produkte veroorsaak word, is die vryvloeiing van fosfor en skoonmaakmiddels in ons riviere en dreine. Dit lei tot eutrofikasie in ons oseane wat rooigety, sowel as die dood van miljoene visse veroorsaak. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Cope strongly supports sustainable development through correct co- ordination of environmental management. Our ecological areas and cycles as well as our biodiversity need urgent attention, before it is too late.

Cope would like to appeal for the adoption of a more comprehensive, specific approach. Moreover, Cope would also like to know what is being done with regard to our vulnerable land ecosystem. The farmers are causing serious problems, because they are too close to riverbanks, use feeding methods that result in millions of tons of topsoil being blown away or washed away, and allow chemicals to flow into our water system.

Minister, I would also like to touch on the following topic, which is essential for our survival. That is fresh water. The problem of deteriorating sources of fresh water is an obstacle for South Africa and, moreover, it is large-scale pollution. This department hasn’t done anything yet to address this serious issue.

The second major problem, which is brought about by domestic products, is the unchecked flow of phosphorus and cleansing agents into our rivers and drains. This leads to eutrophication of our oceans, resulting in red tides as well as the death of millions of fish.]

Minister, is the issue of a water price increase in the pipeline or not, and, if so, what will the price increase be? Can you settle this matter, once and for all?

This brings me to the second point, namely sewerage. Reports suggest that this is a serious national problem. It has been estimated that R125 million would be needed to improve the sewerage system. What will happen if the money is not available? Is there a plan B?

Ek glo dat ons onsself in ’n baie moeilike situasie bevind. Ons bestaan en ons voortbestaan hang af van hoe u en u departement die omgewing en waterkwessie hanteer. Ons vra u om saam met die mense te werk, voordat dit te laat is. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.) [I believe that we find ourselves in a very difficult situation. Our existence and our continued survival depend on how you and your department manage the environment and water issues. We would like to appeal to you to work in collaboration with the people, before it is too late. Thank you.]

Mr M P SIBANDE: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, and distinguished guests …

…Sihlalo, tshiyotshiyo. Lowo msindo, leyo nyoni ehaya ngayodwana. Lowo umkenenezo wezinyoni zizibongela kuKhongolose. Yinhlangano kaKhongolose kuphela enakekela imvelo nabantu bayo. Ngaphezu kokuba izindlavini abasebenzela isandla esinoboya behlulekile ukuvala umlomo noma ukubulala uKhongolose ngisho noma sebebulala amakhosi endabuko anjengenkosi uBhambatha kaMancinza, inkosi uMhlabunzima Maphumulo, inkosi uMbongeleni Zondi, onkabi abagcinanga lapho, amaqhinga abo abhuntshile ngokuzama ukubulala umntwana uZebulon Bhekizizwe Zulu owasinda kanye nomndeni wakhe esigamekweni kwaNongoma ngonyaka owendlule lapho abagaseli bagadla futhi baqhulula ngenqwaba yezinhlamvu emotweni abebehamba ngayo.

Ngalokho ke thina singuKhongolose siyafunga siyagomela futhi siyazibophezela ukuthi sizoqhubeka ngomgangatho wokuguqula, ukuletha impilo engcono, ukuxosha indlala kanye nokuvikela imvelo nabantu. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[…Chairperson, tweet! tweet! That’s the sound of a bird singing praises alone. That’s the sound of the birds singing their praises to the African National Congress. The ANC is the only organisation that looks after the environment and the people. The rebels involved in covert operations failed to ban or to destroy the ANC even when they killed the traditional leaders such as Bhambatha the son of Mancinza, Chief Mhlabunzima Maphumulo, and Chief Mbongeleni Zondi. These rebels did not stop there; their plans failed when they tried to kill Prince Zebulon Bhekizizwe Zulu who, together with his family, survived an incident in Nongoma last year in which his attackers fired a hail of bullets at the car in which he was travelling.

As the ANC we vow that we will continue with the campaign to change, to ensure a better life, to alleviate hunger and to protect the environment and the people.]


                          (Point of Order)

Mr T D HARRIS: On a point of order, Chair: May I ask you to rule whether this diatribe of the member is relevant in terms of Rule 36. [Laughter.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): At this juncture, hon Harris, can you put your complaint in writing. I’ll answer … [Interjections.]

No, wait, hon Watson! I’m talking to hon Harris, neither am I deaf. I’m making a proposal and you are throwing things around. [Interjections.] No, no, you must not have tantrums! You must not have tantrums; you are old enough to understand. I am putting a proposal, right now. We have dealt with the issue that when people are talking there are interjections. I’ve just pleaded with you, Harris. Could you then put it in writing? Thank you.

Mr M P SIBANDE: Bayazi ukuthi bahlatshwa yini. Noma kukubi, noma besidubula,noma besibulala singu Khongolose kanye nombimbi lwayo siyaya okhethweni lomasipala siyimbumba. [Ubuwelewele.] [They know what bothers them. Even if things are not looking good, even if they shoot us, even if they kill us, the ANC and its alliance will contest the local government elections as a united front.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Just wait, hon Sibande. Mr Lees, if it’s on the same matter can you please allow the person on the podium to continue; I’ve made a ruling. Thank you very much.

Mr R A LEES: Madam Chair, I’m afraid I cannot; I’m rising on a point of order. A member of this House has asked you to rule on a point of order. As I understand the Rules, Madam Chair, you need to either rule or delay the ruling till later. But I am not aware that in the Rules it states that you can ask a member to put it in writing and I would ask you to then point that out to me if it is in the Rules. Thank you.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): May I read out Rule 36, Mr Lees, for the benefit of everybody in this Chamber:

The officer presiding may order a member addressing the Chair to stop speaking if that member, despite warnings from the Chairperson, persists in irrelevant or repetitive arguments. Could you please do me a favour: If you want to pursue it further, Mr Lees, with due respect, could you then put it in writing; I will answer it. Thank you.

Mr T D HARRIS: Madam Chair, I’m on a point of order. Could you please point out to me in the Rules where you have the authority to ask for a point of order to be put in writing?

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms TC Memela): It is part of my duties to take a decision; and that’s what I did. Thank you. Could both of you do me a favour and sit down.

Mr T D HARRIS: Chair, I have a new point of order that perhaps might resolve the situation. Sorry, Chair, may I confirm. I rose … The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Mr Harris, with due respect, I have asked you to do one little thing and I’ve just asked you to sit down and you are now questioning the powers that be. Could you, for the last time, sit down?

Mr T D HARRIS: Chair, what I’m saying is that I want to clarify the ruling that you made.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Mr Harris, there is someone speaking here. Could you then respect me, once again? Thank you. Mr M C MAINE: Chairperson, I want to find out if it’s parliamentary for members to disregard the ruling of the presiding officer?

Mnu M P SIBANDE: Isikhathi sami ngizosicela. Yebo ngiyawasekela amazwi ashiwo nguMongameli uZuma wokuthi kwamanye amaqembu aphikisayo kwembula kuyembeswa, ngesilung aku-ICU Nokuba zibekhona ezinye izingqinamba okhethweni lokuchibiyela eNtshonalanga Koloni, kodwa ke ngizothanda ukusho ngokungangabazi kumaqembu aphikisayo ukuthi ayihlabi ngakumisa, niyohamba nize nibambe utalagu uKhongolose uzobe lokhu elihola lelizwekazi. Bese ngiyabuya sengiyakuphendula. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[Mr M P SIBANDE: I will ask for my time. Of course I support the words spoken by President Zuma - that other opposition parties are in a very bad state and could be referred to, as one would say in English, as being in the ICU. Although there were some problems during the by-elections in the Western Cape, I would like to say without a doubt to the opposition parties that you don’t judge a book by its cover, and that is your pipe dream. The ANC will always be in power in this country. I want to answer you now.]

Hon Walters from the DA, I don’t think it’s true that the Western Cape is the first to develop a strategy on climate change. [Interjections.] No, it’s not. Listen to this one: The ANC-led government has developed policy instruments that guide decision-making in water resource management, current and future water needs of the various sectors of our economy and a regulatory framework for compliance with legislative requirements.

UKhongolose lowo. Futhi ungaphinde ubuye ubuyekeze isitatimende sikaMongameli uZuma sika-2010 eCopehagen uKhongolose kodwa i-DA into eyenzile kuphela iyisifundazwe sokuqala esingaqikeleli ubulili. [That is the ANC. Furthermore you may revisit President Zuma’s statement made in Copenhagen’s in 2010. The DA’s province is the only province that does not comply with gender equity.]

The shortage of water is mainly caused by climatic conditions through low rainfall and high evaporation rates, rapid population growth and economic development. South Africa is a semidesert country with only 8,6% of rainfall available as surface water, and this rainfall is one of the lowest percentage ratios in the world. Similar to surface water, ground water resources are relatively limited compared to the international average. This has led to an increased demand from the rising population for the available water resources in the environment.

The total amount of waste that pollutes the country’s ground and surface water and contributes to water scarcity is difficult to measure. This is mainly industrial effluent, domestic and commercial sewage, acid mine drainage, agricultural run-off and litter.

Some rivers in coastal provinces and the Vaal in Gauteng have high levels of inorganic salts. These salts are detrimental to animal and human health if proper quality tests and purification processes are not carried out. Though sewage is normally processed at water treatment plants across the province, failure to maintain or upgrade infrastructure results in increased shortages and low levels of water quality in the country.

A recent example is the future plan by the Grootvlei Mine in Springs, Gauteng, to treat the acid-contaminated underground water that flows into the Blesbokspruit wetland. This wetland, which is one of the tributaries of the Vaal River, is a high-priority conservation area. It is a habitat for birds and water plant species, and also supplies water to nearby mines and workers.

The department’s strategic plan mentions a low increase in its expenditure for 2010-11 compared to other years. The impact of this on new investment in dam construction for rural and other water infrastructure for rural communities is therefore a concern. New infrastructure is vital for the provision of clean water, the prevention of water losses through pipe leakages and the prevention of occasional flooding caused by the absence of retaining walls.

With regard to rural programmes, the supply of rainwater tanks to rural schools and subsistence farmers and the Working for Water programmes have resulted in temporary job opportunities. These interventions, whilst short- term, address the lack of bulk and sustainable water infrastructure in rural areas.

There has been a great improvement in the provision of water supply to South Africa, especially the poor, from 59% in 1994 to 96% in 2008, but no information is made available on the quality of water supplied to communities to match the qualitative success of more than 90% for basic water access. For instance, there is a large section of the population that depends on raw water harvested from rivers and streams, that leads to the spread of water-borne disease.

More data needs to be provided on the department’s programme on water quality across the provinces and municipalities.

Any debate on environmental affairs that does not refer also to global warming and climate change will be incomplete. Global climate change is possibly the greatest environmental challenge facing the world in this century. Although often referred to as global warming, global climate change is more about the serious disruption of the entire world’s weather and climate patterns, including impacts on rainfall, extreme weather events and rising sea levels, rather than just moderate temperature changes.

Nazi ezinye izinselelo engifuna ukuzedlulisa Ngqongqoshe isikhathi singakapheli ngoba basuke babamba isikhathi sami. [Here are other challenges that I would like to present to the Minister before my time expires because they wasted my time.]

Ministers, here are some of the challenges.

Ngizoqala emanzini. [I’ll start with water.]

Please Minister, we have concerns about rehabilitation. Is it sustainable or not? Of course, it is not enough just to rehabilitate the environment.

Lapho kugujwa khona ezimayini ngaphansi komhlaba, izinkwali ezivulekile kanye nalapho bekugujwa khona i-asbestos kanye nama-granite lapho umhlabathi usolo unjalo. [In the mines underground, in open-cast quarries, in the asbestos and the granite mines the land still remains the same.]

And the worst part of it is: Who owns those people who are busy with the rehabilitation?

Laba abenza amatshe amancane okwakha. Kunemifula kanye namadamu amaningi eMpumalanga, kunamadamu i-Driekoppies, iMaguga, i-Badplaas, uMkhondo, i- Heyshope, i-Jericho kanye ne-Loskop. Ngingawabala. [For those who make small building stones, there are many rivers and dams in Mpumalanga, rivers such as Driekoppies, Maguga, Badplaas, Mkhondo, Heyshope, Jericho and the Loskop. I can count them.]

There is Driekoppies Dam, Maguga Dam, Badplaas Dam, Umkhondo Dam, Heyshope Dam, Jericho Dam and Loskop Dam, to mention a few - and other municipalities’ dams - but people are still suffering in getting water.

Another challenge concerns Silulumanzi in Mpumalanga in Mbombela municipality where people are forced to buy water, which is very expensive. This means that it’s even expensive to go to the toilet since you have to flush.

I also have a concern about the dumping of hospital waste such as needles. These people must be prosecuted. Who are the people who have been brought to book so far? This needs to be investigated. The ANC supports both Budget Votes No 37 and Budget Vote No 29. Ngiyabonga. [Thank you.] [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I think it’s going to be difficult to follow on after such a vibrant speaker. Everybody became animated when Mr Sibande was at the podium. Thank you, hon Sibande. It would otherwise have been a very dull debate.

Let me start with a matter that rightfully seems to be a concern - the issue of acid mine drainage. I want to dispel the notion that the department is not doing anything about it.

Firstly, we have a programme in the department, which we initiated ourselves, where we are looking at the looming crisis that is confronting us. We put money into that programme, about R6,9 million. That is why you saw us launching this programme together with one of the mines.

We could not fold our arms when there was a looming crisis. We are quite aware of the “polluter pays” principle, but we could not wait until there was a crisis before we acted, as government. We try to be proactive, and we are taking the mines on board.

Secondly, we are issuing directives. As we speak, we have issued 22 directives to all the defaulting mines. The reality of the situation is that the issue of compliance is difficult because our capacity to enforce our laws was very limited. That is why we are now busy with both the Blue and the Green Scorpions.

We have even begun to employ people, some of whom we are busy training. I was signing some kind of certificates which my director-general for the environment gave me. I am still waiting for my DG for water. We are training those people as we speak. They need to be trained to have a technical understanding of both water and the environment; so we are busy with this.

That is also why we are saying, much as the polluter will pay and the directives will be given, what happens thereafter? They get away with murder. Hence we are bringing back the courts. We are bringing back these courts because the present criminal courts do not take environmental crime as their core function. They are quite right; they have problems of crime in the country. That is why we are bringing back the environmental courts.

We should have launched the courts already, but there was a delay on the side of the other department we are working with. We are set to launch them, and they are going to start as soon as possible. So, all of those things, Mr Watson, are meant to deal not only with mine pollution but also with other industrial problems such as medical waste, which is becoming a health hazard. All of these things are on track in terms of the plans that we are putting together. The other issue that is important for us to appreciate is the national environmental management plan, EMP, which is guiding us in terms of environmental matters. There has to be an alignment between the national EMP and the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, Act 28 of 2002, which is the mining law that was amended to accommodate mines. We are trying to bring these together.

As long as we have not made that alignment, we will be falling short, but we are not folding our arms. There are measures to address that. I am happy that people are concerned about this. If people ignore our directives, we charge them. We have an example, for instance, where Grootvlei has been charged for polluting the Blesbokspruit. [Interjections.] My department will give you the date, but it has been charged. There is a lot that we are doing with regard to that.

The chairperson is not here, but she spoke about the sharing of best practice. The Blue Drop and Green Drop programmes are about ensuring that the best practice within municipalities is shared.

The issue of raw sewage is another big challenge. However, we don’t call it that; we call it the waste water treatment works. This must be understood in its proper context. The Constitution gives the ownership of those systems to municipalities. These systems are owned by municipalities.

As we all know, function is followed by funding. So, whatever we want to do

  • be it support, help, etc - we can’t take full responsibility for the maintenance, refurbishment and operations of those systems because we do not have the necessary funding.

What happens with municipalities is that some of them do not have the technical capacity, so you’ve got a mismatch of problems. The turnaround strategy for local government is busy addressing this. We were part of the turnaround strategy development. We are working together in this regard. I think it is also a very important issue that I should respond to.

I really agree with whoever raised the issue of the skills shortage. We need to be prioritising on the shortage of skills. Ours is a specialised function. You need specially trained people. It takes about seven years to produce one engineer. That is a fact of life!

The economy, as we speak, is in need of engineers. It is a situation where we are competing not only with each other as departments but also with the private sector. And, of course, you know that when it comes to money, the salaries of the private sector are much more lucrative. It’s a challenge, but we are doing something about it.

We have a training institution for the Departments of Water and Environmental Affairs where we are beginning to build some of the skills within the department. We are also working with the Seta, Salga, the Department of Higher Education and Training and some of the academic institutions. On the … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Excuse me Minister, just hold on. Hon Lees?

Mr R A LEES: Madam Chair, I need to apologise sincerely to the Minister, but I cannot sit here and have someone in the public gallery shining a laser light on me while the House is sitting. I request that you clear the public gallery.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon Lees, can you point out where that light came from? Members in the gallery, who is using a laser light? Can that be stopped with immediate effect or I’ll be forced to clear the gallery. Can that be stopped immediately! Continue, Minister.

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: On dams, it’s still a work in progress. The projects that I referred to in my speech are mostly to do with dams. We are bringing back plans for Umzimvubu, especially for those who are in the Eastern Cape. The plans are on track and we are looking for money.

The reality of the situation is that we have a huge responsibility, especially as the Departments of Water and Environmental Affairs. Our budget stands at R7,9 billion. We need more than R100 billion so we have to look at other sources and be innovative in terms of bringing resources for us to be able to carry out the responsibility. We appreciate that the cake South Africa has has to be shared amongst all the interests of government.

I am happy with the inputs that have been made in relation to climate change. We are going to continue to engage and we really want you as partners towards 2011. We are going to unfold a plan that seeks to bring every South African on board.

We don’t want a COP 17 that is a government COP 17; we want a South African COP 17. Please, watch this space; we will find a way of involving you. We are now busy writing a draft on how we are going to approach COP 17. We want as many people as possible to participate.

Carbon intensity is part of the programme of mitigating against climate change. We are dealing with all that relates to it.

Lastly, with regard to the illegal killing of rhinos, we have established an interim national wildlife crime reaction unit within the department. This unit brings all security agencies together, including international agencies like Interpol. They are all converged there because we are dealing with highly sophisticated syndicates.

They are highly sophisticated because they fly in a helicopter – some of them from Asia - and shoot at the rhino from above, not …

… abantu abancane nje ebulesini. [… just a few people involved in crime.]

We are talking about sophisticated, moneyed and, if anything, well- resourced criminals. We have to ensure that our capacity is able to meet their might. I don’t even want to call it “might”, but the “strength” they have. We are doing a lot in terms of our law as well.

I am getting intimidated; my time is ending. I really want to end by thanking all of you. With regard to those issues I did not respond to, it is because of the lack of time.

I want to thank you, Deputy Chairperson, all the members who participated and all of those who really enlivened the debate by asking questions, making interventions and saying that there are people up there who are doing strange things. All of that made this debate. The total sum of that is equal to this debate and I thank you for the support that you’ve given to us for the Budget Vote.

I really want to thank my Deputy Minister, my two DGs and all the officials for the sterling work that they have all done in ensuring that we succeed as a department. We do have many challenges. We appreciate your oversight work. Please bring issues to our attention, even through questions. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon members, I would like to clear the air before I close. Mr Harris, you used Rule 36. Please, take a seat; we are not in court. Rule 36 provides the Chair with the discretion, firstly, to rule a member addressing the Chair out of order if that member, despite warnings from the Chair, persists in irrelevant or repetitive arguments.

I appeal to members to understand the Rules before attempting to use them. I did not warn the hon Sibande about irrelevant or repetitive arguments, therefore I had no reason to rule him out of order. In summary, hon Harris’s basis for his point of order was flawed, and I ruled accordingly.

The hon Lees asked me to rule on the point of order after I had read out Rule 36. I would like to express my utmost disappointment in the behaviour of the two members.

I would also like to caution that, in future, if hon members do not adhere to the decorum of the House and respect the authority of the Chair, I may feel compelled to use Rule 37 or Rule 38. Thank you.

The Council adjourned at 16:20. ____



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Draft Bills submitted in terms of Joint Rule 159
(1)    Constitution Amendment Bill, 2010, and Superior Courts Amendment
     Bill, 2010, submitted by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional

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


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs (a) Government Notice No 393 published in Government Gazette No 33184 dated 14 May 2010: Invitation for written representations or comments on the Draft National Strategy on Sustainable Development and Action Plan 2010-2014.
(b)     Government Notice No 400 published in Government Gazette No
   33186 dated 14 May 2010: Delegation of powers under regulation 3 (3)
   of the CITES Regulation, 2010, in terms of the National
   Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of
  1. The Minister of Police
(a)     Draft Regulations made under section 9(2) of the 2010 FIFA
   World Cup South Africa Special Measures Act, 2006 (Act No 11 of

National Council of Provinces

  1. The Chairperson
 a) Discrimination by the South African Police Service (Mr  L Masomi,
    Representative of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union
    (POPCRU), Steynsburg, Eastern Cape).

    Referred to the Committee on Petitions and Members’ Legislative

 b) African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Country Review  Report  No.  4

    Referred to the Select Committee on Education and  Recreation,  the
    Select Committee  on  Social  Services,  the  Select  Committee  on
    Economic  Development,  the   Select   Committee   on   Trade   and
    International  Relations,  the  Select  Committee  on   Cooperative
    Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Select  Committee  on  Land
    and Environmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Public Services,
    the Select Committee on Labour and Public  Enterprise,  the  Select
    Committee on Security and Constitutional Development and the Select
    Committee on Women,  Children  and  People  with  Disabilities  for
    consideration and report.

 c) African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Country Review  Report  No.  5
    (September 2007)

    Referred to the Select Committee on Education and  Recreation,  the
    Select Committee  on  Social  Services,  the  Select  Committee  on
    Economic  Development,  the   Select   Committee   on   Trade   and
    International  Relations,  the  Select  Committee  on   Cooperative
    Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Select  Committee  on  Land
    and Environmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Public Services,
    the Select Committee on Labour and Public  Enterprise,  the  Select
    Committee on Security and Constitutional Development and the Select
    Committee on Women,  Children  and  People  with  Disabilities  for
    consideration and report.

 d) First Report on the implementation of  South Africa’s African  Peer
    Review Mechanism (APRM) Programme of Action ( January 2009)

CREDA INSERT - T100527e–insert1 – PAGES 1733 - 1811

    Referred to the Select Committee on Education and  Recreation,  the
    Select Committee  on  Social  Services,  the  Select  Committee  on
    Economic  Development,  the   Select   Committee   on   Trade   and
    International  Relations,  the  Select  Committee  on   Cooperative
    Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Select  Committee  on  Land
    and Environmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Public Services,
    the Select Committee on Labour and Public  Enterprise,  the  Select
    Committee on Security and Constitutional Development and the Select
    Committee on Women,  Children  and  People  with  Disabilities  for
    consideration and report.