National Council of Provinces - 01 June 2010

TUESDAY, 1 JUNE 2010 __


The Council met at 14:04.

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



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I have been informed that the Whippery has agreed that there will be no notices of motion or motions without notice. However, before we proceed, I would like to bring to the attention of members that the Minister of Health and the Minister of Sport and Recreation have tendered their apologies. Therefore, I have asked that responses to their questions be in writing.

We will now proceed with the questions on the Social Services cluster. I can see that not all our Ministers have arrived. Therefore, I will rather go to questions to those particular Ministers when they are here.

                      QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY

                           SOCIAL SERVICES
                              Cluster 2


Implementation of measures to address high failure rate and poor pass rate of matriculants, and statement on the matter

  1. Prince M M M Zulu (IFP) asked the Minister of Basic Education:

    (1) Whether her department has considered implementing measures in concurrence with schools to address the (a) high failure rate and (b) poor pass rate of matriculants in the country; if not, why not; if so, what measures;

    (2) whether she will make a statement on the matter? CO222E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, yes, the Department of Education has launched the Rapid Assessment and Remediation Intervention, Rari, programme in January 2010. The Rari programme specifically targets those schools that have achieved below 20% in the 2009 national certificate examination. The provincial departments of education developed plans to assist these schools. The plans have been presented to the Department of Basic Education. The Department of Basic Education and the provincial departments of education will monitor and support these schools.

Provincial departments of education provide quarterly progress reports on the plan to the Department of Basic Education for monitoring and evaluation and to ensure that the plans are implemented effectively.

In addition, both the Minister and I have been visiting provinces, and we tend to ensure that we visit those schools that are dysfunctional or underperforming. We do so in collaboration with the provinces.

With regard to the second part of the question, the department has analysed existing data within the system as well as the pass rate of matric learners and developed a plan to improve the performance of 2010 matriculants. The data analysed suggests that the largest number of schools performed between 40% and 60%. The plan is therefore targeted at these schools.

Information derived from the survey conducted on underperforming schools indicated that the biggest challenges related to textbooks, teacher development and management issues. The plan was therefore structured around these challenges and focuses on the following four pillars: firstly, teaching and learning; secondly, ensuring functionalities in schools; thirdly, community mobilisation; and fourthly, district development and support. The department will develop guideline documents for teachers, learners, parents, NGOs and other community structures to assist with defining roles and responsibilities and helping the community to assist schools with challenges.

Finally, yes, the Minister and the director-general have made statements from time to time and will continue to do so at the appropriate time. Thank you, Chairperson.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you, Deputy Minister. This is just to remind members that the time for replies is five minutes; the time for asking a supplementary question is two minutes; and the time for a reply to a supplementary question is four minutes. Only four supplementary questions are allowed per question.

Prince Zulu, do you have a supplementary question?

Prince M M M ZULU: No, I am satisfied with the reply.

Mr D A WORTH: Chair, I would like to ask the Deputy Minister what overcrowding in classrooms and schools contributes towards the poor pass rate in schools. Thank you. The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Thank you very much, Mr Worth, for the question that has been posed. Obviously overcrowding does contribute to the poor performance in that educators would not have the opportunity to pay particular individual attention to the learners. So, one of the consequences of overcrowding is a lack of attention to the learners and a lack of the kind of support that would be provided to the learners under normal conditions.

We have, as the Department of Basic Education, working very closely with the provinces, been trying to ensure that we reduce the educator-learner ratio significantly. We have succeeded in most provinces. However, a reality that confronts us is the fact that there is a huge migration that’s occurring, particularly from rural areas, and it is intraprovincial and interprovincial. In other words, this takes place within a province, from rural to urban areas, as well as from one province to the other. For example, you will discover that many of the learners from the Eastern Cape are studying in the Western Cape because their parents are employed in Cape Town. This contributes to the overpopulation in township schools and a reduction of learners in the rural schools.

In conclusion, we have introduced a learning tracking system called the Learner Unit Record Information Tracking System, or Lurits. We have completed about 70% of the data on this. What this would do – this is by March next year - is that we would be able to punch in the name of a learner and get the learner’s information of previous schooling in primary and high school, the subjects the learner did and the learner’s performance report. This would also assist us in determining what the migration patterns are within districts and provinces. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Mr R A LEES: Mr Chairman, through you to the Deputy Minister, does the analysis of the reasons for poor performance include the impact or nonimpact that teaching in the home language may have had upon those results?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, the Department of Basic Education has been aware for some time of the importance of teaching in the mother tongue. Therefore, it is the policy of the department that at least in the first three years, the language of learning and teaching must be the mother tongue. This does not exclude a first or second additional language. What we have been arguing for is the assimilation and integration of the additional language because by doing that too late, the learner would be disadvantaged in the sense that he or she would have to acquire skills in a new language. But the language of learning and teaching should be a mother-tongue language. This has contributed significantly to the improvement of the results on the basis of assessments that have been undertaken.

The mother-tongue programme is again supported by the Foundations for Learning programme, which pays particular attention to literacy and numeracy. The resource materials of this particular programme are in all 11 official languages. We can state that we have even gone beyond that this year. Every Grade R class in the country has resource materials as well as a guide for educators in each one of the official languages. So, for the first time we have a national curriculum that has been provided to more than 550 000 learners who are in the preparatory classes in the school. We do believe that this will impact positively in terms of performance. Thank you very much, Chairperson and hon member.

Mr A WATSON: Thank you, Chairperson. Deputy Minister, thank you very much for your reply with regard to the plans that your department has put in place to halt the failure rate and the poor pass rate. I am also pleased to hear that you and the Minister worked on a fact-finding mission to the provinces, particularly at those schools where problems are at the highest level.

Now, I would like to know how the plans you have made impact on and embrace the problem we have in Mpumalanga? As we all know, we are entering the mid- year exams and the schools are closing in nine days’ time. How will these plans solve the problem of matriculants who still do not have textbooks in Mpumalanga because the department is failing to pay the supplier of the school books, despite the fact that they are now writing mid-year exams? This is a big problem for us. I would like to hear your answer.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, one of the central approaches of the department to achieving success in schools that are underperforming is, firstly, to ensure that every learner has a textbook in his or her possession. This is an intervention. In fact, this is our task.

Secondly, the department has to ensure that educators or teachers have the appropriate content knowledge in the areas that they are teaching. Pedagogy is one part, but the content, or substantive issues in relation to the subject that is being taught, is critical.

Thirdly, the department will - in fact, I am very happy to announce that all provinces have bought into the suggestion in terms of our last discussion - utilise this period of the World Cup as an opportunity to ensure that learners get the benefit of the mornings. So, educators and learners will be meeting in schools. Some provinces, like the Western Cape, have a programme from Grade R to 12 and some province have it from Grade 10 to 12, where learners are going to utilise the time for winter vacation to ensure that they have a further opportunity to make up and augment learning that is critical, especially for Grade 12 learners.

So, there is a programme. We cannot be prescriptive. Each province will look at its challenges. I can tell you that Mpumalanga definitely forms part of this particular programme. The two provinces that have been at the forefront in this regard are Gauteng and the Western Cape.

I have been to the Free State, and the Minister has been to Mpumalanga and Limpopo. I can tell you that all the provinces are utilising this opportunity because what we want to create is an opportunity where we can balance the academic performance of the learners with recreation and sport.

So, we are saying that the World Cup is there to celebrate; they must participate in it. But the games take place in the afternoons and in the evenings. How, then, do they spend their mornings productively to ensure that they are not disadvantaged academically ? It seems there is great enthusiasm from the learners, and we will mobilise communities on this particular issue as well. Thank you, Chairperson and Mr Watson.

Mr S D MONTSITSI: Pardon me, Chairperson. My question is on Question 30. The Minister is still dealing with Question 25. Thank you.

Mr B L MASHILE: Chairperson, I actually just want to raise the issue that the matric pass rate in the Bushbuckridge area is very low, but the corresponding Grade 11s are recording a high pass rate. There is a disjuncture that exists between the two. I just want to know whether the department has already picked up this kind of problem - that the Grade 11 learners have a different assessment, which does not correspond with that of Grade 12 learners, and whether there is anything the department is doing about this. Thanks, Chairperson.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon member, it is a matter of great concern, when there is disparity in terms of the assessment and ability of learners’ performance in Grades 11 and 12. Certainly what the department does is in relation to your system. We have a National Curriculum Statement for the GET band, which is from Grade R to Grade 9, and the FET band, which is Grade 10, 11 and 12. We are trying to work towards a single system from Grade R to 12. This means that there shouldn’t be a distinction between grades. There should be continuity; education should be a continuum.

Secondly, we do believe that assessment is critical and central. External moderation is very important so that learners are not allowed to pass from grade to grade without having the appropriate ability to move to another class because ultimately you then pay the price in Grade 12. So, the external moderation from circuits and districts becomes central to the performance of schools.

Thirdly, we have produced guidelines in terms of assessment and in terms of the teaching and learning of different subjects so that teachers would have a better sense of how to assess learners.

With regard to Bushbuckridge in particular, besides the abject poverty in which the community lives, there have been huge problems in relation to the support that the schools receive from districts. There have been a lot of political battles fought in the particular area in relation to management issues. These have now been corrected.

There has also been poor leadership, which has contributed to nonfunctioning in schools. The Minister has sent out a team to the place and she personally visited the schools on no fewer than two occasions. I personally had the benefit of going to Bushbuckridge in the previous term.

This is quite amazing, and perhaps I should share this with you anecdotally. We have two high schools within a kilometre of each other. The one is performing at over 80% and the other is performing at less than 30%. The reason for this is the commitment, leadership and management of the schools. So, these are things that the department is looking at. We have a dedicated team that has been sent to Bushbuckridge to assist the provincial department in ensuring that we improve on the overall results of the school.

So, our focus is not only on Grade 12, but on the school as a whole because it’s how a learner progresses from grade to grade that counts. So, the hon member is indeed correct to say that one can’t pay attention to Grade 12 and forget about Grade 11. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Progress made with building of dam in Vioolsdrift area and possibility of partnering with Namibian government to build dam

  1. Mr C J de Beer (ANC) asked the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs:

    (1) What progress has been made with the building of the dam in the Vioolsdrift area in the Orange River;

    (2) whether any talks were held with the Namibian government on the building of the dam in partnership; if not; what is the position in this regard; if so, what was the outcome? CO203E

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, once again I feel a little bit embarrassed that I have to take you backward on the programme. So, I want to sincerely apologise to you and to the House as well.

The response to the question raised by Mr De Beer is that a joint prefeasibility study undertaken between South Africa and Namibia has identified the construction of a dam near Vioolsdrift as a viable alternative to increase the available water yield from the Orange River.

However, a feasibility study to confirm water demands, the environmental flow requirements, optimisation of the size of storage that is required and the engineering design and cost of development is still required. So, there is still outstanding technical work that should reinforce the initial sense that we have as a department.

Prior to this feasibility study, both countries will embark on an initial baseline environmental monitoring of the river this year. Currently, there are ongoing negotiations with Namibia regarding the sharing of costs of the feasibility study, as well as the principles for sharing development costs and sharing water resources. Thank you, Chair.

Mr R A LEES: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Minister, with regard to the funding required for this dam, would there be any implications for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project? In other words, would there be a trade-off between the schemes or is that not an issue?

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, there will not necessarily be a trade-off, hon member. Maybe this is a prediction of certain things that will happen in the future if you do well in your election campaign. [Interjections.]

No, it is not going to be like that. These countries have been working together, even on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. We have, for some time now, been eyeing that kind of arrangement for the Orange River itself. So, there is some form of working together. I don’t know what you actually mean by “trade-off”. But the Lesotho Highlands Water Project remains that project. If there is to be a second phase of that project, we will then have another process, and that process is already under way. So, there is not going to be a trade-off, if you mean it in that context.

If we need funding, of course, the manner in which we have been funding projects of this magnitude – through the TCTA, the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority– will still prevail, even for this particular project. This is because the TCTA is not confined to only helping Lesotho. We will look at the same model with other projects of this size — that is, raising money from the bond markets and so on. Thank you.


Mr W F FABER: Not Bafer; Bafer must be a soccer star. [Laughter.] I am just Faber, the German Faber.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, I’m trying to memorise your name.

Mr W F FABER: Chair, in the Orange River system, where we in the Northern Cape always suck on the hind teat of the cow, there was a possibility a year or two ago that a dam would be built downstream. We would like to find out from the Minister if that possibility still exists.

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: I did not get the question from Mr Faber very well. Could he repeat the area that he is asking about?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Could you repeat that, Mr Faber?

Mr W F FABER: It was from the Upington area down to the Springbok area, more towards the vast areas. They were speaking about perhaps building a dam in that area.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is it clear, hon Minister?

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: I don’t have those details yet, Mr Faber. I will come back to you in that regard. However, I know for a fact that the area in which the De Beers mining shaft is – where the Orange River divides Namibia and South Africa – has had some activity in terms of how we share the water in that area. Should we look at constructing a dam or should this dam also be an answer to that? But I will get the actual details of this. This is my old knowledge of the story. I don’t know what the latest developments on the matter are as we speak. But I promise to come back with that information. Thank you.

Mr D A WORTH: Chair, I’m sorry that I have to harp on about the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. But I’m from the Free State province, so I’m interested in this.

We have the Katse Dam there, and I think it has been agreed that a second dam is in the process of being built. However, the overall Lesotho Highlands Water Project makes provision for three dams eventually, or there is a possibility of a third dam. Has that been explored? Do you think that is a possibility, Minister? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: This has been explored and it is a possibility. That is what will constitute phase two.

Mr D B FELDMAN: Chair, since we are talking about building dams and the scarcity of water and so on, especially in a place like the Eastern Cape province, I would just like to ask the Minister, as I think I did in my debate speech, whether there is any price increase for water in the pipeline and when will it be effective. Thank you, Chair.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That sounds like a new question altogether. When we ask supplementary questions, Mr Feldman, they should deal with the Questions written on the Paper. So, I don’t allow new questions.

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Chairperson, I would like to ask the Minister whether there is a memorandum of understanding between the two countries, and what the percentage of the budget is that will be shared for building the dam.

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, there is a standing co-operation agreement in this regard. But the details of working out cost-sharing will come when the business plan has been completed. I think it would be premature for me to give a response on how we will deal with that matter. However, there is a mechanism to work out the cost- sharing burden between countries. Fortunately, the experience that we gained from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project will guide and inform us. But this is still very much in the early stages. These issues come almost towards the end of the process.

In spite of the fact that the Chairperson ruled that I should not answer the question, I am tempted just to say one thing. There is no price increase for water tariffs in the pipeline. This is a long process that starts with the ANC and goes to all stakeholders, then there is consultation with all players, water users and the society of South Africa at large. We cannot just increase water tariffs because any increase in this has an inflationary effect. So, there is no way that we can just take this lightly because this is not a decision we can take lightly.

But I want to say that water boards, on an annual basis, do increase the tariff in line with annual inflation. But this is not a general increase in the price of water. If we were to increase the price of water by way of a general increase, it would then have an impact on the tariffs that the water boards charge.

In other words, the percentages that they demand now to increase their tariffs annually would then be even higher. Let us make an example of the 18 times that has been touted in the media. If we were to do that, it would mean that the prices that we have now would become 18 times higher. When, a percentage is put on that, one would surely come out with a bigger amount.

So, I’m saying that we cannot take that lightly. That is why I was tempted to answer this question, so that people are clear. But if hon members want to pose a new question on this matter, I can come back and explain. Thank you.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Okay. I am sure your temptation has worked for Mr Feldman. Thank you very much, Minister.

State of readiness of social grant payment system, strategies to contribute towards poverty alleviation and results of strategies

  1. Mrs R N Rasmeni (ANC) asked the Minister of Social Development:

    (1) With reference to the statement made by the President in the 2010 state of the nation address, that an additional 2 million children will access government social grants, (a) what is her department’s state of readiness to accommodate these children into the system of social grant payment and (b) what strategies has her department put in place to contribute towards poverty alleviation;

    (2) whether these strategies are yielding the intended results so far; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO230E

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chair, in response to the question asked by hon Rasmeni I have to say that the two million children who are to be taken up will be progressively registered. They will go into the register and the social assistance safety net over the next three years as a result of this policy change, which allows all children born after 31 December 1993 to access child support grants. The expected number of children who will be taken up this year is 734 000.

The SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, has already started taking applications from qualifying children. As at May 2010, we had already registered and begun the distribution of grants to 276 142 children aged between 15 and 16 years. Of this number, 26 767 are about 16 years old. This represents 41% of the target to be reached, which is one of the largest registrations we have done in such a short space of time. Sassa is in a position to take up the additional children over the next three financial years.

The social assistance grants are government’s major poverty alleviation programmes. To date, as we may well be aware, a total of 14,1 million people here in South Africa receive these grants, which are paid on a monthly basis and no longer on a quarterly basis, by the way. We do this in order to alleviate poverty. Sassa and the department are in possession of very good evidence-based knowledge that indicates that indeed this proves to be one of the largest poverty alleviation measures.

This programme is also implemented in partnership with other stakeholders to ensure that we access and reach out to many outstanding people. Departments like Home Affairs, Health and Social Development, our traditional leaders, municipalities, the SAPS - obviously working with Sassa - are some of the stakeholders. The programme is a one-stop government service - Integrated Community Registration Outreach Programme, Icrop - which is intended to ensure that grants are accessible to as many people as possible.

Other poverty alleviation initiatives include the strategy to link existing social grant beneficiaries to sustainable economic opportunities that are available, as well as the conditional extension of child support grants, which we know has been put in place this year. It is intended to ensure that children who receive child support grants remain in school. This programme of ensuring that children remain in school is indeed the ANC-led government’s major contribution to ensuring that our children have access to education because we know that education is the most important tool in breaking intergenerational poverty.

As I have already said, the evidence-based research that we have conducted clearly indicates that the various grants contribute positively to school attendance and job seekers - people who are able to get up and look for jobs. It ensures that the poor are able to meet basic needs like food, clothing and so on.

We also have a programme called Icrop, which I referred to earlier on. This programme has ensured that we reach about 200 000 additional people who are able to access social grants.

The conditionality of the social grants has also been introduced as from this year, as we know. This has been done so that we can reach as many people as we should.

This is the response I felt I should give to the two areas of the question that has been asked by the hon member. Thank you very much. Mrs R N RASMENI: Chairperson, I am satisfied.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Any other follow-up question? We are all satisfied. Hon Bloem, you can’t raise your hand now, after everybody is satisfied. [Interjections.] Ask your question, hon member.

Mr D V BLOEM: Thank you very much, Chairperson. I hear the Minister saying this is part of poverty alleviation. But can the Minister tell us if these social grants are sustainable, and if so, for how long will they be sustainable?

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you, hon Chair. I have indicated in this august House before that the social assistance programme, in its entirety and totality, is a poverty alleviation programme. “Alleviation”, in simple English, means that we are temporarily alleviating poverty and not really eradicating it. There are other programmes that are intended to really eradicate poverty. This is an intervention mechanism to ensure that our people are able to live.

I have also indicated that this programme has had an impact in that children who receive this kind of grant are able to be enrolled in school. Those who are poor and don’t have food, etc, can buy food, clothing and so on. So, this is an intervention mechanism. It is going to be there as long as our people are still suffering and until we have completely eradicated poverty. [Applause.] I thank you.

Programme of integrating different races and teaching different cultures, and putting into practice policy of being united in diversity

  1. Mnu D D Gamede (ANC) ubuza uNgqongqoshe wezobuCiko namaSiko:

    (1) Ingabe ikhona yini indlela noma uhlelo (a) lokuhlanganisa izinhlanga ezahlukene kunye (b) nokufundisa ngamasiko ohlukene ikakhulu ezindaweni zasemakhaya; uma akunjalo, kutheni; uma kunjalo, ithini imininingwane;

    (2) kanti futhi siwuqhuba kanjani umgomo othi sibumbene yize kuno kwehlukana ngempilo (united in our diversity)? CO232Z (Translation of isiZulu question follows.)

[29. Mr D D Gamede (ANC) asked the Minister of Arts and Culture:

  (1)   Whether there is a way or programme of (a) integrating different
        races and (b) teaching different cultures, especially in the
        rural areas; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so,
        what are the relevant details;
  (2)   how do we put into practice the policy that stipulates that we
        are united in our diversity?                 CO232E]

The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Chairperson, the approach to integrate all races is central to the mandate of this department and, as such, to the advancement of social cohesion, which is our comandate. It has therefore been done through various programmes within the Department of Arts and Culture.

In October 2009, we held the social cohesion colloquium in Durban, KwaZulu- Natal, mainly to start a national dialogue on social cohesion. A national conference on social cohesion will be held later this year, and it will be led by President Jacob Zuma.

The department supports rural community projects that educate young people, women and people with disabilities about the arts, culture and heritage sector. We have signed a framework of collaboration with the Department of Basic Education through which we collaborate in the promotion and education of our children in schools about arts and culture programmes. We have also ensured that we assist the department by deploying some of our artists as art teachers to support the department. We set up community art centres even in some of our rural areas in partnership with the provincial and local government.

The department also offers funding through its agencies like the National Heritage Council and the National Arts Council, which are accessible to many people, including those in the rural areas. We have looked at the promotion of African classics, which is a project that promotes African classical literature written in indigenous languages and the culture of reading. These include books such as Mhudi by Sol Plaatje, and A C Jordan’s Ingqumbo Yeminyanya, The Wrath of the Ancestors, and many others in our indigenous languages.

The department will use Youth Month as a platform to popularise the correct singing of the national anthem and the internationalisation of the etiquette thereof. The national anthem should be regarded as a national prayer, which is sung with seriousness and calmness. We don’t expect our young people to be walking around when we sing the national anthem. We expect all men to take off their hats. We don’t expect everyone to put their hands on their chests - unless you are the President of the country. [Applause.] All of us must simply stand to attention and sing it properly.

Ungazonwayi nokuba uhanjwa ziimpukane ebusweni, nyamezela, uziyeke zehle zisenyuka ezo mpukane kude kugqitywe uMhobe weSizwe. [Do not move your hand, even if flies are irritating you, until the singing of the national anthem is finished.]

Through most of the projects above, and many more, we have demonstrated that we are indeed united in our diversity. As we all know, our national anthem is sung in five South African languages. It is inclusive of all races and most of our different tribes and languages in the country. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Mnu D D GAMEDE: Sihlalo, uNgqongqoshe uphathe indaba yosuku lwabantu abasha, u-June 16. Ngqongqoshe, ingabe-ke njengoba siya ku-June 16, zikhona yini izinhlelo ezikhona zokuthi lolu suku silugubhe sonke singabantu baseNingizimu Afrika, singaboni abamnyama bodwa begubha lolu suku? Nokuthi, ngabe zikhona yini izinhlelo ezihlelwa uMnyango, ikakhulukazi ngokubambisana nohulumeni bezifundazwe, njengaKwaZulu-Natali. Ngiyabonga.

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOBUCIKO NAMASIKO: Sihlalo, ngempela ukhona umsebenzi esiwenzayo ukugqugquzela ubunye bethu nobunye besizwe okubhekene no-June 16.

Kunohlelo elwenziwayo, sizobe sisebenza nentsha singuhulumeni. Kuzobe kunemashi ezobe iyisikhumbuzo saloluya suku, mhlazana abantwana bemasha besuka e-Morris Isaacson, bahambe baze bayofika lapho kwangwcatshwa khona u- Oscar Peterson.

Sizosuka lapho-ke sihamba nazo zonke izihambeli zethu nabadlali bethu abazobe beze kwiNdebe Yomhlaba ka-2010, ikakhulukazi labo abavela emazweni ase-Afrika. Sinawo-ke namakhonsathi namafestivali. Siqalile nge-Afrika Day, ukwenza amakhonsathi, lapho ebesigxile khona kwabomdabu balapha eNingizimu Afrika, nababuya e-Afrika ngobubanzi. Sisho sithi sizobambisana nabo noma sekuyiwa emicimbini yokuvula nokuvala, bazobe bekhona labo ababuya emazweni ase-Afrika, ikakhulukazi labo abaphumelele ukungena emqhudelwaneni, esibabiza nge-6 pack. Amazwe ayisithupha ase-Afrika aphumelele ukungenela umqhudelwano [The six African qualifying countries], simbandakanya neNingizimu Afrika. Sithi Bafana Bafana ndizani. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Mr D D GAMEDE: Chairperson, the Minister touched on the issue of Youth Day, June 16. Minister, as we are approaching June 16, are there programmes in place for all of us to celebrate this day as the people of South Africa, not only as black people? Are programmes being prepared by the department, especially in partnership with the provincial governments, such as KwaZulu- Natal? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Chairperson, indeed there is work which we are doing, to encourage our unity and the unity of the nation which is about June 16.

A programme has been launched which is aimed at government working with the youth. There will be a march by the youth to commemorate June 16, which will start at Morris Isaacson High School and proceed to where Oscar Peterson was buried.

We will start there with all our visitors and our players who will be here for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup, especially those who are from African countries. We also have concerts and festivals lined up. We started staging concerts when we celebrated Africa Day, where our emphasis was on indigenous South Africans and those who come from the rest of Africa. We told them that we will partner with them even in the opening and closing ceremonies; they will be there, especially those who managed to qualify for this competition and whom we call the 6-pack. They are the six African qualifying countries, which include South Africa. We say: Bafana Bafana, make us proud!]

Bafana Bafana has really made us proud.

Ngakho-ke, ngazo zonke lezi zinhlelo sizoya kuma-PVA, nasezifundazweni, nakulawo madolobha azosingatha imidlalo. Sizohambisa amakhonsathi, sinabo nabaculi ababuya e-Afrika nabuya ko-Sadec, kanye nabethu b alapha eNingizimu Afrika. Sizobe sithi-ke sibambisana kanjalo futhi silwisana nokucwasana ngobuhlanga, silwa nokucwaswa kwabantu abaphuma emazweni angaphandle. Sibonakalisa ukuthi siyakwazi ukuthi sisebenzisane ngokubambisana njengezwe nanjenge-Afrika yonkana. Ngiyabonga.

USIHLALO WOMKHANDLU KAZWELONKE WEZIFUNDAZWE: Labo abangazange babukele umabonakude izolo, iBafana Bafana iphumelele ngamagoli ayisihlanu eqandeni

  • 5-0. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follow.)

[Therefore, with all these programmes we will go to the Public Viewing Areas, PVAs, in the provinces and the cities that will be hosting the games. We will be staging concerts - we have musicians from Africa and SADC, who will be performing with our musicians from South Africa. We will be working together and, at the same time, fighting racial discrimination and xenophobia. We are showing that we are able to work together as a country and Africa as a whole. Thank you.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Those who did not watch television yesterday - Bafana Bafana won five-nil. Thank you.]

Mr S D MONTSITSI: Chairperson, I just want to make a slight correction. I think the Minister, in her haste to expand and explain about the processes that she has been talking about, unfortunately mentioned the name of Oscar Peterson, who is an acclaimed jazz pianist and one of my favourites, instead of saying Hector Pieterson. [Laughter.]

The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: I am sorry, Chairperson. I meant to say Hector Pieterson. It is just that I support artists, and I wish that Hector was also going to be one.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It is understood, Minister.

Mr D B FELDMAN: Hon Chair, I want to thank the Minister for her response. I want to say that we all sing the same anthem and that we are working together for a better life. I would just like the Minister to elaborate on one thing. When will the Department of Arts and Culture think of giving us all a national identity, or is there already a programme in action to give us all a national identity? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Well, I think we already have a national identity through all our national symbols, especially our flag. I think South Africans are all flying the flag. I think when we go to our townships and even when we are driving our cars, many South Africans are flying the flag. When we also go to the stadia, we see South African flags proudly flying from all our population groups. Our young kids and the youth also have their faces painted, showing off their flag and our colours.

I also believe that, through the national anthem, we have been able to unite the nation. This is an anthem that is a product of many consultations and debates, and all of us agreed that there is something that makes us proud and makes us have a sense of belonging in our national anthem. I have already referred to the different languages that are used in the national anthem.

I think the whole programme and focus of our department, which is social cohesion and nation-building, is a programme that builds and unites South Africa to ensure that we have one national identity. I am also reminded by the Minister here that our coat of arms is also another important symbol that goes way back and uses the language of our ancestors, the Khoisan people of South Africa. Therefore, I think this government has gone out of its way to ensure that we are united. The onus is now upon all of us to teach our children and our constituencies.

This year the President has even launched a new campaign stipulating that all political party leaders in Parliament must attend national days. They have also been given an opportunity to speak at the national days because when we have Freedom Day or Human Rights Day, it is all about our liberation and freedom. All of us have a responsibility to defend this hard- won democracy if we claim to be democrats. [Applause.]

I think the government has done all it can. But I want to say that “Working together we can do more”. [Applause.]

Monitoring of implementation of inclusive education, and challenges and progress in respect thereof

  1. Mr D D Gamede (ANC) asked the Minister of Basic Education:

    Whether her department is monitoring the implementation of inclusive education; if not, what are the challenges; if so, (a) what has been the progress and (b) where, especially in KwaZulu-Natal? CO233E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, Mr Gamede, thank you for raising this important issue.

The Department of Basic Education is monitoring the implementation of inclusive education in our provinces. The department monitors the implementation in the following ways. Firstly, provinces provide reports on progress made in the implementation of inclusive education at provincial, district and school levels. The reports highlight successes as well as challenges faced in the implementation of inclusive education.

Secondly, specialised audits are conducted to measure progress made and make recommendations for interventions at both full-service and special schools.

With regard to where the implementation has taken place, the first stage of the policy implementation took place in 30 districts, 30 full-service schools and 34 special schools in the poorest part of all nine provinces between 2002 and 2009. During this phase, the Department of Basic Education aimed to introduce a number of systemic measures that would lay the foundation for a system-wide implementation of the policy for inclusive education in South Africa.

With regard to progress achieved, I will just name a few things. The budget for implementing the policy was expanded by the National Treasury from zero to R1,5 billion over a period of three years, that is from 2008 to 2011. More than 7 000 educators and officials have been trained on the key policy implementation guidelines. These include guidelines for inclusive teaching and learning and the National Strategy on Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support. Guidelines for full-service or inclusive schools and guidelines for quality education in special schools and special school resource centres have been distributed to managers throughout the system of education, and they are also used by universities as material for teacher development.

The principle of environmental access has been included in the national school infrastructure norms, and no new schools that are not accessible will be built. Officials in 30 districts in the country have been trained on the requirements of running an inclusive education system. Special schools know what the implications of the changing role are within an inclusive landscape. At least 30% of the budget allocated by the National Treasury has been made available to raise standards of physical infrastructure in curriculum delivery in special schools to improve quality education, quality teaching and learning. A total of 912 children in 34 schools have received appropriate assistive devices, which will enable them to have access to education. We spent R20 million in the current year, and more money will be spent for this particular purpose.

With regard to progress in KwaZulu-Natal, this province has developed a provincial strategy for the implementation of inclusive education. The roll- out of the provincial strategy to establish schools as inclusive centres of learning, care and support commenced in 2008. The strategy shows that the first phase of implementation would span the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period 2008 to March 2012. This would cover the establishment of 50 full-service schools, the piloting of a provincial model of a special school as a resource centre and the strengthening of 16 special schools identified to be potential SSRCs, or special schools as resource centres. These identified full-service schools and SSRCs are allocated in all 12 educational districts within the province. The exact location of these schools can be obtained from the provincial education district offices.

In conclusion, we recently had a mini World Cup, and we had 6 884 schools participating. I’m very proud to stand here and say that amongst the categories of learners - the under-18 and under-16 boy and girl learners - we had a special category for our special schools. Amongst the 96 games that were played in the finals, there was a category devoted, to learners with disabilities. This means that they are caring. A humane society would pay particular attention to learners with special needs. Yet, the challenges are great. But together we can do more. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr D D GAMEDE: Chair, I would just like to ask the Minister to forward a copy of the response, if possible.

Mr S D MONTSITSI: Chairperson, I appreciate the response from the Deputy Minister. The concern I want to raise hinges on other provinces and certain towns. This is mostly in the rural areas, where you find that there are certain pockets in towns and provinces where inclusivity and access are not promoted. We, still have some schools using residence, fees and language to exclude others.

I’m looking mostly at the principle of the transformation of our schooling system to ensure that it becomes inclusive of both the disabled and various nationalities without any discrimination. I want to know if we have a process within the Ministry that has begun to outline steps that could be taken, particularly against schools, or rather some rules that could be applicable, to ensure that the problem of inclusivity and access to schools becomes something that all South Africans can enjoy. Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Thank you very much, hon member, for raising this concern. Indeed, we share the concern. It’s for this reason that there has been a paradigm shift. Chairperson, you would probably be aware that, prior to 1994, special schools were located principally in white areas, cities and towns. So, you would have them in Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Johannesburg, and hardly inside a rural area. We have moved quite a long way in this regard in order to ensure that we provide access.

In fact, the 30 districts that have been identified are all rural, with particular needs. The special schools that have been established are all in those areas that are rural by nature and where there were no facilities available. The conversion of schools into full-service schools is also in areas where there has been no access in the past. So, there is a particular bias in terms of equity and opportunity for access to our historically disadvantaged areas. Therefore, this indeed is a paradigm shift in terms of what we have to do.

But the challenges are great. In fact, if there is one difficult area, it is the area of disability. You cannot look at individual deficits, but you have to look at this systematically. Because of its very diverse nature, there are very complex arrangements that have to be taken into account. There are issues of mainstreaming wherever possible, screening, facilities, resources and training. This in itself is a largely complex area.

What I can share with the hon member in the House is that we have moved forward. Yet, as I indicated before I satdown, the challenges are still great, and we have to do much more in order to achieve that. But as for the concern with regard to where the emphasis is, this is certainly in the rural areas, amongst the poorest of the poor, particularly with a view to ensuring that people are not discriminated against on the basis of class, language or culture. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Mr B L MASHILE: Chairperson, I want to raise a concern, especially with regard to the situation we are facing in Bushbuckridge. We only have one FET college in Acornhoek. Up to now, this is the only institution of higher learning in an area of about more than 1 million people.

Now, I want to know from the Deputy Minister whether there is any further bias towards these kinds of FET colleges, where there are not even other universities or residences as compared to towns, where there is a choice to go to an FET college or a university or a technikon. The situation in Bushbuckridge is that this particular FET college is the only one in the area. Is any attention being given to this so that the people can get … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, on a point of order: May I just assist the hon member. Question 31(a) has been asked to the Minister of Higher Education and Training. I believe that he will be able to adequately deal with the matter. Thank you.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I was going to rule this question out anyway.

Funding for further education and training colleges for learners from rural areas, and programme for learner applications

  1. Mnu D D Gamede (ANC) ubuza uNgqongqoshe weMfundo ePhakeme noku- Qeqesha:

    (1) Ingabe izikole zokufundela amakhono nazo zizoluthola yini uxhaso lwezimali zabafundi abantulayo, ikakhulukazi labo abahlala emakhaya, njengako Gingindlovu, Nkandla, Mbonambi, Mnambithi, njalonjalo; uma akunjalo, kutheni; uma kunjalo, ithini imininingwane;

    (2) ingabe luzoba nini uhlelo lokuthi abafundi bafake izicelo zokufunda esikhungweni esisodwa vo, bese kubhaliswa lezo zicelo kwezinye izikhungo, ukuze abafundi balekelwe ekukhokeni kakhulu befaka izicelo nje kuphela? CO234Z

[31. Mr D D Gamede (ANC) asked the Minister of Higher Education and Training:

  (1)   Whether the further education and training (FET) colleges will
        receive funding for learners from rural areas such as
        Gingindlovu, Nkandla, Mbonambi and Mnambithi who cannot afford
        to pay for their fees; if not, why not; if so, what are the
        relevant details;

  (2)   when will there be a programme for learners to send in their
        applications to one institution, which will then send those
        applications to other institutions in order to help them save
        the money that they spend on sending applications to many
        institutions?                     CO234E]

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZEMFUNDO EPHAKEME NOKUQEQESHA: Ngibonge bab’uMahlangu, uSihlalo waleNdlu ehloniphekile, ngibonge nakwiLungu ubab’uGamede ngokubuza lo mbuzo. Impendulo yethu ithi uhulumeni uvele uyayikhipha imifundaze yokusiza abafundi abantulayo futhi abazimisele ngokuqhubeka nezifundo zabo emakolishi.

Bonke abafundi abafunda ezikoleni zokufundela amakhono ezandla bathola umxhaso womfundaze, okungumfundaze okhishwa wuMnyango Wezemfundo Ephakeme Nokuqeqesha. Kodwa ke umfundi silindele ukuthi uma sikhipha leyomali ukuba akhombise ukuzimisela ekuphaseni izifundo azibhalisele, ukuze akwazi ukuthola usizo lomfundaze wokuqhubekela phambili.

UMnyango Wezemfundo Ephakame Nokuqeqesha uyaye ukhiphe umfundaze ukuxhasa abafundi abantulayo. Leyo mifundaze iyiswa emakolishi bese kuba yiwo amakolishi ashoyo ukuthi-ke ngokukhethwa kwabo abafundi kuzonikwa baphi abafundi, yibaphi abafundi abadinga lolu sizo. Abafundi bangabhalisa kunoma yiliphi ikolishi abalithandayo ukuthola lo mxhaso w omfundaze. Ngaleyo ndlela abafundi abahlala ezindaweni ezifana noGingindlovu, Inkandla, KwaMbonambi kanye naseMnambithi ababhalisele ukufunda ezikoleni zokufundela amakhono ezandla bayasizakala kumfundaze wamakolishi okhishwa yilo Mnyango wethu.

Mayelana nodaba lokuthi kube khona indawo eyodwa lapho abafundi bethumela khona izicelo zokuya emakolishi, Alikakabi bikho lolu hlelo njengamanje kodwa-ke umsebenzi esiwenzayo ukuthi besifuna ukuthi uma kuphela lo nyaka ozayo sibesesibhekene nale nkinga. Into eyenza ukuthi kuze kube ukuphela konyaka ka-2010 mningi umsebenzi wokwenza lento.

Siyakubona kunesidingo impela ukuthi abafundi abacela ukuya emaNyuvesi noma ukuya emakolishi ukuthi ibe yinye indawo lapha beyocela khona. Bangalokhu bekhokha izimali bebhalela izikhungo eziningi. Into eyenza ukuthi ithathe isikhashanyana, sinenkinga ukuthi uzothola ukuthi yileyo naleyo Nyuvesi, yilelo nalelo kolishi linohlelo lwalo lokwenza lezi zinto esithi: ulwazi Lwezobuchwepheshe. Kusho ukuthi kofanele ukuthi senze isiqiniseko sokuthi wonke amakhompuyutha lawa ayasebenzelana, ayakwazi ukuxhumana ukuze kube lula ukuthi sikwazi ukwenza lolu hlelo.

Kodwa-ke umbono omuhle lona ovezwa ubab’uGamede okuyinto nathi esiyibhekile. Sizosebenza-ke futhi singoNgqongqoshe beZemfundo sobabili nomam’uMotshekga ukubhekelela ukuthi lento singenza kanjani ukuthi yenzeke ngendlela eyiyo, ukuze kubukisiswe ukuthi uhlelo olufanayo lokufaka izicelo zabafundi luyazeka kanye nasezikoleni ukuze sazi ukuthi lolwazi lukhona ukuthi umfundi uma esesikoleni izokwenzeka kanjani yonke leyonto. Ngiyabonga Sihlalo.

Mnu D D GAMEDE: Sihlalo, Ngqongqoshe, Mphephethwa siyabonga ukuthola impendulo nokuzwa ukuthi kuzothatha isikhashana.

Kodwa-ke mhlawumbe ukuzama ukubuza ukulandelela Ngqongqoshe, ukuthi kulesi sikhashana kungakalungi, ngoba abafundi abahlala ezindaweni zasemakhaya bayahlupheka. Njalo uma kuqala unyaka, abanye nje bayashoda ngemali yokuthi bangene ezikoleni. Lukhona yini mhlawumbe olucatshangwa yilo Mnyango ukwazi ukusiza ukuthi bangene nje ezikoleni, bese kuqhubeka ngoba basuke bembondelane ndawonye ngesikhathi esisodwa. Ngiyabonga Sihlalo.

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZEMFUNDO EPHAKEME NOKUQEQESHA: Lungu elihloniphekile, bab’uGamede okunye engikhohlwe ukukucacisa embuzweni wakho ukuthi abafundi abacela ukuyofunda emakolishi, abakhokhi mali ngokwenza izicelo. Imali abayikhokhayo kuphela kuba yile yokubhalisa, kodwa kusukela kulonyaka njengoba ilungu elihloniphekile lazi. Sithe laba bafundi abantulayo abavele bezothola uxhaso lukahulumeni abangalindelwa ukuthi kubekhona imali enye abazoyikhokha phambili.

Lizokhumbula-ke futhi ilungu elihloniphekile ukuthi njengamanje siphezu komsebenzi wokucubungula izincomo ezenziwe yilela komidi engangilikhombile ukuthi keliphenye mayelana nesikhwama esisiza abafundi “i-National Student Financial Aid Scheme”. Ezinye zezincomo ezenziwa yileliya komidi engingasho ukuthi sengizamukele kodwa esizibukayo. Abafundi abantulayo abaya emakolishi bangakhokhi ngisho isenti, sisazokucubungula lokho ukuthi kusho ukuthini ikakhulukazi emakolishi.

Nanokuthi emaNyuvesi nakhona lolo hlelo siyoluqala kanjani. Zonke lezi zinkinga ubab’uGamede akhuluma ngazo zikulosomqulu wombiko wekomidi leli engangilikhombile. Njengamanje nje siwuMnyango siphezu komsebenzi wokuyibuka lento siyifakele izibuko ngendlela yayo, ngenhloso yokuthi izincomo zethu sizithathe sizise kwiKhabhinethi, iSigungu sikahulumeni esiphezulu ukuze sikwazi ukuba sithathe isinqumo esiphelele ngenhloso yokunciphisa zonke lezi zinkinga ilungu elihloniphekile ubab’uGamede akhuluma ngaso.

UMntwana M M M ZULU: Ngibonge Mphephethwa, ngithi silamulele ngoba kukhona abantu abafundile laba okuthiwa abasebenzi bezikhungo zemfundo ephakeme ngenkathi sifika emaNyuvesi sasingafaki izicelo ngezigaba zemfundo enyuvesi noma ngokwezindawo lapho kufundelwa khona imikhakha ehlukene.

Kodwa manje sekwanele kwaba nemikhakha ehlukene eNyuvesi kwase kubakhona abasebenzi bezikhungo zemfundo ephakeme base bethatha umsebenzi wokwengamela. Usuyabona ukungena kwabantu ukuthi sekuhlungwa kakhulu benzela ukuba babenabafundi abanele ekilasini.

Angazi Ngqongqoshe ukuthi lo msebenzi wokwengamela ungehluka kanjani ukuthi izifundiswa lezi zethu zingathathi phela umsebenzi wokwengamela. Akwenziwe umsebenzi wokwengamela ubonakale ukuthi iNyuvesi mhlawumbe mayithi ifuna abafundi abasha abayizi-15000 noma izi-7000 kungenwe ngalolo hlobo. Abasebenzi bezikhungo zemfundo ephakeme banciphise amandla abo okugwamandela ngoba bona bengabafundisi. Ngiyathokoza.

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZEMFUNDO EPHAKEME NOKUQEQESHA: Lungu elihloniphekile uMageba, kuzokhumbuleka ukuthi kungekudala sike saba nengqungquthela kaZwelonke yeZemfundo Ephakeme, ebesihlanganise kuyona yonke imikhakha, amaNyuvesi, sibize abafundi, abasebenzi, abafundisi, nabaphathi bamaNyuvesi kanye namakolishi. Esinye sezinqumo esathathwa lapha okuyisona esibaluleke kakhulu, ake ngithi nje zimbili. Esokuqala, ngesokuthi izikhungo zethu Zemfundo Ephakeme kufanele zazi ukuthi umsebenzi wazo wokuqala ukwenza impilo yabafundi ukuthi ibe lula uma befunda. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Thank you, hon Mahlangu, Chairperson of this august House, and thank you too, hon Gamede, for asking this question. The response is that the government does grant bursaries to assist needy students who want to further their studies by attending a college.

All, the students who attend classes at the technical colleges also receive bursaries that are granted by the Department of Higher Education and Training. But we expect a student to show commitment to his or her studies by passing all the subjects that he or she has registered for so that he or she can receive another bursary to further his or her studies.

The Department of Higher Education and Training usually grants bursaries to needy students. The colleges are tasked with identifying students who qualify to receive these bursaries. Any student can receive these bursaries, irrespective of which college they are registered with. In that way, students who live in areas like Gingindlovu, Nkandla, KwaMbonambi and Mnambithi and have registered at technical colleges can receive these bursaries granted by this department.

The proposed programme, which is aimed at students sending their applications to attend college to a central place, is not in place yet but we are working on it. We are certain that by the end of next year we will face that challenge. We set our deadline for the end of 2010, but there are so many issues that we need to address before we come to that point.

We really see a need for students to send their applications to a central place when they want to go to college or to university, rather than spending money by sending applications to different institutions. Another thing that causes this process to take longer is that each and every university and college has its own programmes to deal with what we refer to as information technology. This means that we need to ensure that all these computers are compatible with each other – that they can be connected to each other for us to be able to apply this programme.

Anyway, this is a good idea that is suggested by hon Gamede, which we will also keep a watchful eye on. As the Minister of Higher Education, I will work together with hon Motshekga to see how we can make this programme work properly. So we can consider using the same programme for schools to ensure that students also know about it and that they have access to this information. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr D D GAMEDE: Chairperson, hon Minister Mphephethwa, thank you for the response and for informing us that it will take a while to implement this programme.

Just as a follow-up, hon Minister: I want to know what will happen in the meantime, while the programme is not in place yet, as the learners who are living in the rural areas are still impoverished. At the beginning of each year, most of them do not have enough money for registration at schools. Is there anything that this department is thinking of that can be of assistance to these learners, so that they can gain admission to schools without paying anything, whilst you are still sorting out this issue, because they are just crowded into one place? Thank you, Chairperson.

The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon member Mr Gamede, the other thing that I forgot to clarify for you is that students who are applying for admission to colleges do not pay anything for doing that. They only pay money for registration, but starting from this year, as the hon member knows, we said that the needy students who already qualify to receive this bursary are not expected to pay any money upfront.

Again you will remember, hon member, that we are currently reviewing recommendations that were made by the committee that I appointed to look into the affairs of the bursary fund known as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. I have accepted some of the recommendations but we are still reviewing them. The needy students who want to go to college do not have to pay even a cent, but we are still going to look at the implications this might have for colleges in particular.

We will also look at how we can implement this programme at the universities. All the challenges that hon Gamede is talking about are contained in the report of the committee that I appointed. As the department, we are at present looking closely at this issue as you wish to see it happening, with the aim of taking these recommendations to the Cabinet, the government’s executive council, so that we will be able to take a decision with the sole objective of minimising all the challenges that the hon Gamede is talking about.

Prince M M M ZULU: Thank you, Mphephethwa. I am appealing to you to come to our rescue because there are these learned people who are lecturers at the institutions of higher learning, who do not indicate the different levels at which learning will be taking place when applications reach the universities.

But I think everything is going well now because there are different levels at universities as we speak, although there are some lecturers at the institutions of higher learning who are taking over the managerial duties. They do the sifting and decide which of the students are admitted to these institutions so that there can be a smaller number of learners in the lecture hall.

I do not know, hon Minister, how these managerial duties can be separated out from lecturing so that our learned lecturers need not perform managerial duties. Let the managerial duties be performed by the university’s management – say the university announces that it needs 15 000 or 7 000 new students, then admission must follow that procedure. The lecturers should minimise their powers of intervention because they are just lecturers. Thank you.

The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon member Mageba, you will remember that not long ago we had a conference on national higher education here, where we brought together all the different stakeholders in education

  • we invited universities, students, staff members, lecturers, and university and college managers. The most important resolution taken at this conference – no, there are two - was that the institutions of higher learning must know that their main objective is to make the lives of the students easy while they are studying at these institutions.]

We want student-centred institutions.

Into yesibili enye esayisho ukuthi siyazi yebo nokho ukuthi abafundi bethu uma bephuma ezikoleni okwamanje njengoba kuhulumeni sisazama ukunyusa izinga. Abanye babo abalungiselelekile kahle. Kodwa-ke futhi sasesithi akwenele nje ukuthi silokhu sikhomba abafundi ngenjumbane.

Zona izikhungo Zemfundo Ephakeme kufanele zizibuze ukuthi, uma ngabe sithola lolu hlobo lwabafundi, thina siyizikhungo sizilungiselela kanjani ukukwazi ukubhekana naleyonto. Ngaleyo ndlela ngicabanga ukuthi lezi zinqumo zizohamba indlela ende ukubhekana nalento oyishoyo bab’uMageba, ukuthi senza kanjani, ukuthi abafundi impilo yabo yenziwe ibelula, nanokuthi bathathwa kanjani ezikhungweni Zemfundo Ephakeme, nanokuthi bangena kanjani kwimikhakha eyahlukene njengoba ubeka nje. Ngiyabonga Sihlalo. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[The second issue we mentioned is that we know that there are still no jobs for school leavers, but the government is in the process of improving the situation. We are aware that some of these students are not well catered for. We also said that it is not appropriate to always blame the students.

The institutions of higher learning should also ask themselves what they are going to do to face that challenge when these learners come to their institutions. In that way, I think, these resolutions will go a long way in facing the challenges you have mentioned, hon Mageba - how to implement this, how to make the students’ lives easy while studying, how they are going to be admitted to institutions of higher learning and how they can access different levels of tertiary education, as you have just mentioned. Thank you, Chairperson.]

Mr K A SINCLAIR: Chairperson, I just want to ask the hon Minister if he doesn’t believe in striving to achieve effectiveness in the bursary system and the fact that it would be better to have one bursary fund in South Africa. I am referring to the issue that, at many levels in the provinces, there are premiers’ bursary funds and in some departments there are bursary funds that are allocated to serve the interests of the students.

I am asking this question specifically regarding its practicality. In many instances, students apply for bursaries but for various reasons, be it administrative difficulties or whatever, they don’t succeed in getting the necessary bursary funds to go to an institution of higher education at the right time at the beginning of the year. So, the question relates to the effectiveness of the system. Thank you, Chairperson.

The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Thank you, Chairperson, and thanks to the hon member. Of course it would be ideal if we could have a single loan and bursary scheme in the country, wherein everything that is a bursary could be centrally administered. We are not yet there now. This is because, for example, a premier’s office might want to offer bursaries in line with what that premier regards as priorities in that provincial government or in the province as a whole.

The challenge we have, which we have begun to grapple with, is to try and create a framework for national bursaries and loans without necessarily having a single centre. For example, the work that I have asked the department to do now is to harmonise bursaries that we receive from many countries overseas – for example the European Union and United States of America - particularly at a government-to-government level, so that we would be able to say how we use these bursaries to advance our goals.

At the same time, this won’t be possible. Many governments, private institutions in other countries and other universities from outside the country directly call for applications and say, for instance, that they have bursaries for 15 South African students and that those students should apply directly to them. So, this is a big challenge, including bursaries that are given by private companies.

We are engaged in this so that we can have a bursary system in the country that will give us a complete picture of what is going on, even if it is not from the same source. We should at least have a complete picture. In this way we will be able to direct resources in a manner that would enable them to have the maximum possible impact. Thank you.

   Monitoring by SA Social Security Agency of services of medical
 practitioners signing for social grants, and toll-free fraud number
  1. Mr D D Gamede (ANC) asked the Minister of Social Development:

    (1) Whether the SA Social Security Agency monitors the services of medical practitioners who are contracted to sign for social grants, especially in the rural areas like Gingindlovu; if not why not; if so, how;

    (2) whether his department will have a toll-free fraud number for this matter; if not, why not; if so, when? CO235E The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Deputy Chairperson, in response to Question 32, I would like to respond as follows. There is a unit called the Disability Management Unit within Sassa that manages and monitors activities of contracted medical practitioners who are doing evaluations throughout the country.

We manage these activities and evaluate them through the following activities. One, we ensure that the contracted doctors remain registered within the Health Professions Council of South Africa. This means that they have to do what the council or the professional body wants them to do, as professionally as possible. Two, we ensure that there is provision of continuous training and that seminars and refresher courses are attended by these doctors dealing with people with disabilities. Three, we ensure that continuous quality assurance is completed by these doctors when they do medical assessments and that they complete relevant medical forms. Four, we also ensure that meetings are held regularly to discuss concerns and issues emanating from the work of contracted doctors. This is what we also do when continuing to monitor them. We also ensure that there is a focus on the cancellation of contracts of those doctors who do not comply with their contractual obligations regarding assessment procedures and that there is appropriate conduct when dealing with clients.

The performance contracts of doctors serving in Gingindlovu are being evaluated through the Inkanyezi local service office, which is near Eshowe. They are being monitored on a continuous basis by Sassa’s in-house doctors within this unit as well.

With regard to the last question, we would like to indicate that Sassa does have a toll-free fraud number. We would also like to indicate that it is not really cost-effective to have a toll-free number for every service that is provided throughout the department as well as Sassa itself because of the number of services we have to deliver to our people in that regard. We therefore use one toll-free number for all the services at Sassa even though we actually call it a toll-free fraud number. For the purposes of those of us who may not have ever had this number - if I may just indicate

  • the number is 0800601011. That’s the number that everybody has to use when lodging complaints with Sassa, even about the services of these doctors. Thank you very much.

Mr D D GAMEDE: Deputy Chairperson, I thank the Minister for the response, which is very helpful. Fortunately the Minister touched on grants for people with disabilities. There are people who are classified as permanently disabled. They would also have a challenge with these doctors, irrespective of the fact that initially they had been classified as permanently disabled. Would the aggrieved person go the same route to complain? This is because the situation won’t change with regard to doctors. They would normally identify another illness, which would then require a person to continuously pay for a headache or whatever illness, so that there are continuous visits to the doctor. Would this be the same office for laying complaints such as this - the fraud line?

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Deputy Chair, indeed, the route to follow will be the same. However, there is a question down the line that relates to this matter, which we are still going to cover.

Let me just be as economical as possible at this point. We have a process within Sassa where we do reviews of all our beneficiaries of grants. As we speak now, this is the time when we do these reviews. When these reviews are done, even people with permanent disabilities would have gone through them.

In other words, they would have been rechecked as to whether the disability has increased, grown or decreased. Even if it was a temporary disability, that would also be checked. So, this process is an ongoing one. This also helps in determining whether there are problems within the sector of people with disabilities as much as with every other person. Yes, if there is any other issue that needs to be dealt with urgently, that is the number to call. Thank you.

Effect on some farm schools in Mamusa of persons moving to townships and plans in this respect

  1. Ms M W Makgate (ANC) asked the Minister of Basic Education: (1) Whether she has been informed of the effect caused at some farm- schools, in Mamusa by persons moving to townships, causing a drop in farm-school, enrolment and overcrowding in schools in the townships; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (2) whether her department has any plans to ensure that the department does not end up with (a) farm schools not being utilised and (b) a shortage of classes in the townships; if not, why not; if so, what plans? CO241E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, thank you to Ms Makgate for the question. The issues of migration, as I indicated earlier, are a huge problem that government faces, whether with regard to health, education or any other service.

Whilst we did not receive a formal report in relation to what the situation is in Mamusa, we have received reports from the North West province in relation to the challenge of migration, which results in the depleting of numbers in rural schools and an increase in numbers in urban and township schools.

This phenomenon expresses itself not only in the North West province but across the nine provinces. This calls for an innovative approach. The North West, together with the Free State, has been in the lead in doing several things. Amongst them is the merging of schools. As we speak today, if my memory serves me right, some 2 000 schools have fewer than 100 learners making up the learner population. This results in multigrade teaching, and difficulties in retaining staff and providing adequate infrastructure.

In terms of what provinces are doing, Limpopo is also looking at this more closely because in the past many of our learners from the urban areas and our townships would go to Mpumalanga and Limpopo, where there were hostels and where quality education was provided. We are now reverting to that. Hostels have been established in the Free State and in some parts of the North West. This would address problems in those areas where there is a drastic reduction in learner numbers in order to ensure that they go to a facility that is adequately resourced, has good infrastructure and where good learning and teaching takes place.

So, provinces are looking at creative ways of doing this. As indicated earlier, the learner tracking system will assist us a great deal in ensuring that we are able to monitor the migration of learners from one area to the other.

One of the challenges that we face as the Department of Basic Education is to ensure that we continue to retain good educators in rural areas. Some of the reasons for migration are that parents send their children to urban and township schools in order to ensure that they receive a better quality of education.

We have incentives for educators and rewards for teaching in the rural areas and for teaching scarce-skill, subjects such as mathematics, science, accountancy and languages. We thought this would assist in retaining educators. We are also looking very closely at the possibilities of providing accommodation in rural areas to ensure that we are able to retain those educators. In that way we will ensure that the number of learners in our rural schools are not dramatically reduced. These are some of the measures that have been taken.

Migration is a problem that faces not only South Africa, but countries throughout the continent and across the world. It is something that we have to be very attentive to at all times. Thank you.

Action to be taken by department to solve problem of double allocation of Reconstruction and Development Programme houses in Dr K Kaunda region

  1. Ms M W Makgate (ANC) asked the Minister of Human Settlements:

    What action will his department take to solve the problem of double allocation of the Reconstruction and Development Programme houses in Dr K Kaunda region, where one person has a key and another has a letter indicating the ownership of the same house? CO242E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson and hon member Makgate. In order to respond effectively to this question, the department would need to get the details of the specific situation, including the project name, its location and the details of the beneficiaries affected. The details will be used to analyse available data to determine what had transpired, and from that information identify the reason that happened.

In a situation where the national department is aware of such double allocation, checks are made on the housing database system to determine the rightful occupant of the particular house, and the house gets handed over to the rightful owner. I thank you.

Mr Z MLENZANA: Hon Deputy Minister, does this type of answer imply that there is a gap in terms of knowledge between the national government and the various provinces? If there is such a gap, how is this knowledge gap managed? Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: No, in this instance there is no gap between our knowledge and that of the provinces. But the person who posed the question didn’t give us the details of the project and those of the persons involved so that we would know exactly what we are dealing with. Even at a provincial level, we would want to know exactly which project is being referred to. So, it is just that the member did not give us the full details when posing the question.

Policy to ensure uniformity with regard to learner transport in each
  1. Ms M W Makgate (ANC) asked the Minister of Basic Education:

    When will her department put a policy in place to ensure uniformity with regard to learner transport in each province? CO243E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, in 2009 the Department of Transport, in collaboration with the National Department of Basic Education, developed a draft learner transport policy. This document is currently being discussed internally in the two departments and will soon be released for public comment. The two departments are working together to finalise the policy by the end of 2010.

I may just mention for the benefit of the hon member that there is unevenness in provinces in relation to learner transport. Some provinces have the responsibility of learner transport entrusted to the department of basic education and other provinces have it entrusted to the department of transport. There is a strong view from the Department of Transport that this should be passed over to the Department of Transport nationally and provincially, and this is being debated amongst the provinces. We have made some progress in terms of the discussion. We do hope, as indicated, that we will be able to release a document soon for public comment once the Cabinet has approved it. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Mr T D HARRIS: With regard to the Deputy Minister’s answer, can the Deputy Minister inform us which provinces are leading the way in terms of learner transport? And in those provinces, does the responsibility lie with the department of transport or with the department of education?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: This is not really a follow-up question.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is it a different question?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, with your permission and just to assist the hon member, I don’t think it is a question of which provinces are leading. If you look at the geography of the Western Cape and Gauteng, it differs significantly from that of the Northern Cape, Limpopo or the Eastern Cape, where they are principally rural with large distances that learners have to travel. In Gauteng, for example, you can move from one part of the province to the other within two to three hours, but you cannot say the same about the Eastern Cape or the Northern Cape. So, each province has its own, new answers.

Therefore, in developing a policy, one has to pay particular attention to the context of the different provinces. Therefore, there wouldn’t be a leading line. One could certainly say that as a result of urbanisation and disproportionate development of provinces attributable to apartheid policies of the past, some provinces are better favoured and better positioned to provide access to learners as compared to other provinces.

Our task, then, is to correct these deficiencies in order to ensure that we provide easy access for all our learners, irrespective of where they reside in whichever province. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Mr K A SINCLAIR: Chairperson, in terms of the question, I just want to ask the hon Deputy Minister to make a pronouncement regarding the quality of the vehicles that are being used. There have been cases of horrific accidents involving schoolchildren. In many instances, these involve bakkies and in some instances unroadworthy vehicles. What is the department’s position on that? Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, we share the same sentiments in that regard and we certainly don’t want our learners to be conveyed in vehicles that are unroadworthy or that are not safe. Therefore, we have to work closely with the Department of Transport, traffic departments, local authorities, etc, to ensure that our children are not prejudiced or at risk in any way whatsoever.

The conversation that is taking place between the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Transport speaks specifically to this particular area. The Department of Basic Education, for example, cannot prescribe standards with regard to the conveyance of passengers within a vehicle. You require the Department of Transport to do that. That is why this collaboration becomes critical, so that when we develop the policy, we have the ability, in collaboration, to implement it.

The hon member from the Western Cape raised the issue of transport being the responsibility of the province. But transport and education are both concurrent responsibilities. So, in terms of our dispensation and our approach as the Department of Basic Education - and as government, for that matter we work closely and in collaboration with provinces to work in the best national interest of the constituents that we represent. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Mr R A LEES: Through you, Chair, to the hon Deputy Minister, you quite rightly said education is a concurrent function. In terms of my own province, I am not aware of any transport being provided to school pupils - certainly to no great extent. So, this is obviously the choice of that provincial authority to not do that. Are you going to encourage our province to provide this transport in your policy? Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon member, there are norms and standards with regard to transport. We don’t expect learners to walk for more than 10 km. All in all the standard is that if the distance is greater than 5 km, then transport has to be provided. It might be somewhat unequal. It depends again on the context. In Gauteng 5 km is a long distance, whereas in Limpopo it is regarded as a short distance. So, that’s relative. But norms and standards are certainly applicable.

What we are trying to do is to ensure that we have uniform standards that apply across the country. At the centre of what we do are the interests of the child. I think this should be the primary and principle consideration. But we wouldn’t want provinces to feel that because they have a particular responsibility, they are then going to inconvenience learners and create unnecessary burdens. So, these norms and standards do apply. They are being looked at again in terms of the review of the policy to see how, again collaboratively, we can do better in order to ensure that we provide easy and better access for our learners. Thank you very much.

Plans to ensure learners can make up lost time occurring as a result of service providers not being paid

  1. Ms M W Makgate (ANC) asked the Minister of Basic Education:

    What plans her department has put in place to ensure that learners can make up for the lost time which occurred as a result of any service provider not being paid? CO244E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Deputy Chairperson, the response to Question 36 is very short. They might think I’m getting all the questions because I originally come from this House, but that’s not the case.

Learners in public schools are taught by teachers who are employed by a provincial department of education. Service providers are not used by government to provide daily lessons to learners. To date, there are no reports that teachers have not been in the classroom or that they have lost time for learners.

However, provincial departments of education - in fact, this occurs quite frequently - may use service providers for Saturday classes, winter classes or spring classes. I’ve given the example of how we are going to utilise the period of the World Cup, and here service providers will indeed be used. Therefore, it is important that when provincial departments engage these service providers, they should ensure that they are remunerated appropriately and in good time. Therefore we agree, in fact, that they should be held accountable when they engage service providers.

However, the norm with regard to teachers is that they are appointed by the department. They would have to do their job. It’s not the service provider that comes to school, but the teacher who was appointed by the department of education. Thank you very much.

Ms M W MAKGATE: Deputy Chairperson, this is not a follow-up question but a concern because my question was very specific. I mentioned the name of the school where children did not attend school for seven weeks and the fact that there was a problem between the department of education and the department of transport as to who was supposed to pay the service provider. My question was very specific. It is just unfortunate that they decided to leave some of the issues off the Question Paper. I thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Deputy Chairperson, I do know that we have a very committed chair in the select committee. What I will personally do is to take up the matter, discuss it with the hon member and ensure that we are able to raise this with the province. This will enable us to sort out the problem in the best interest of the school and the learners. Thank you very much.

Reviewing of quintile ranking system for schools, tabling of review in Parliament and consideration of other funding systems and impact thereof on budget

  1. Mr J J Gunda (ID) asked the Minister of Basic Education:

    (1) Whether her department is reviewing or has reviewed the quintile ranking system for schools; if not, when will it be done; if so, when will it be completed;

    (2) whether the review will be tabled in Parliament; if not, why not; if so, when;

    (3) whether her department is considering any other funding systems in schools; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) what are the relevant details and (b) what effect will this have on the budget? CO248E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Deputy Chairperson, the current state of quintiles is as follows. Quintiles are still used to determine whether the schools may charge school fees or not. They are also used to differentiate the amount of funding allocated to schools in a pro-poor manner. The following are the 2010 national quintile amounts: R855 per learner in quintile 1; R784 per learner in quintile 2; R641 per learner in quintile 3; R428 per learner in quintile 4; and R147 per learner in quintile 5.

For the benefit of the hon members of the House, quintiles are basically ranked on a scale of poverty. What is happening - in fact, this is the reason the hon member has asked this question; and thanks, Mr Gunda, for doing so - is that there has been a dramatic change in the learner population of those schools. Whilst schools might have infrastructure that could appropriately rank it as a quintile 4 or 5 school, the learner population is so poor that indeed it should not be so. This is a concern that we share with the MECs for education.

The entire quintile system is being reviewed. As I speak to you right now, quintiles 1, 2 and 3 have been reduced or contracted into one quintile. This was not in terms of law, but was in terms of a policy decision that was taken by the Ministry as well as the MECs for education. We are looking at quintiles 4 and 5. In fact, we have a law that allows an MEC for education to change a quintile. For example, if it is quintile 5, the MEC for education may change it to quintile 4 or to quintile 3.

We can also celebrate the fact that not very long ago - some three years ago - schools in some provinces were receiving something like R250 to R350 per learner. Now the norm is not less than R700. In fact, it’s above R800 per learner, which means funding has improved.

So, quintiles 1, 2 and 3 have, as I’ve indicated, been contracted. They are all beneficiaries of the nutrition scheme. They all receive better and more appropriate funding. They also have the benefits of weighted advantage in terms of educators and administrators of services in those schools. The review process has not been completed. The moment it is completed, it will be presented to parliamentary committees for consideration, debate and discussion so that they can make recommendations to the department before we finalise it.

We could also say to you that as a result of this dramatic change in terms of learner population in schools, funding - which is going to be pro-poor, obviously - would be reviewed as well. So, there are two processes. One is the review of the quintile system, and the second is the pro-poor funding that has to take place to deal with the consequences of, amongst other things, migration. We spoke about migration. Here’s another example of how migration changes the nature of a system in terms of funding and otherwise. So, thank you very much for raising this question. I do hope the response is of some assistance to you. Thank you.

Mr J J GUNDA: Deputy Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, I have just one follow-up question on this very same system you are referring to. The question is: How will the department then assist a quintile school? As you have just mentioned, the population has changed, and the school is assisting our children right now; but it is a previously advantaged school. Right now it has more than 65% of our children, and some of the parents cannot afford the amount of money that is required. The school has to now write off more than 13% from their normal budget, and it seems like this is affecting our children now.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, the response could be looked at in three different ways. One is that no learner is obliged to pay fees when his or her parents cannot afford them. That is an exemption. Whether you are in a quintile 1 school or quintile 5 school, it doesn’t matter. However, our quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools across the country are no- fee schools. Today we can say that 60% of our learners in all our schools are in no-fee schools. So, that is a huge stride. We can say, for example, that 7,5 million of our learners receive nutrition every day at school. That is a wonderful achievement.

However, coming to the issue that you raised here, the kind of legislative change that is being envisaged has already been discussed at a particular level in the Council of Education Ministers meeting. Where a school has a certain threshold of exemption - say 50% or 60% - the funding model of that particular school has to change. There also has to be compensation for the exemptions that have been provided for that particular school so that the school is not at a disadvantage. That matter has been discussed. There were issues with regard to where the threshold should be. The heads of department are reflecting on the matter, and it will come back to the Council of Education Ministers meeting.

What I want to assure you is that this is not something that is occurring in the minds of people; it is already there. Discussion documents have been prepared and there have been discussions amongst political principals. So, we do hope that sooner rather than later this matter will be resolved in the best interests, especially, of the poorest of the poor. Thank you.

  Action taken to address housing backlogs, use of conventional and  alternative methods of building houses and provinces currently encountering
                   biggest housing backlog problem
  1. Mr H B Groenewald (DA) asked the Minister of Human Settlements:

    (1) Whether the government is taking any action to address the housing backlog; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (2) whether the government intends to continue using conventional methods of building houses; if not, (a) what is the position in this regard and (b) what alternative methods will be used; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (3) which provinces are currently encountering the biggest housing backlog problem? CO250E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Deputy Chairperson, at present the housing backlog is 2,1 million. The major challenge in terms of housing is the issue of the availability of well-allocated land to build houses.

We have the Housing Development Agency, whose task is primarily to acquire land and to ensure that land and properties that are not utilised are acquired from state-owned enterprises so that we can refurbish them for the purpose of building houses.

We’ve also agreed to have a multipronged approach in terms of the building of houses. Firstly, there is the issue of medium density so as to ensure that the housing rental stock is in place. The billion rand we got from government now is to help the market to lend money to the lower end of the market - the people who cannot access housing subsidies because they are too rich, but too poor to get access to a bond. So, the billion rand is going to assist them in doing so.

Regarding the issue of instituting the upgrading of informal settlements, we are also going to ensure that this happens. We assist people through the community-driven approach, which is where people build their homes through the People’s Housing Process, PHP.

Human settlement is now a priority for Cabinet. We had a Presidential Co- ordinating Council meeting on 18 May, where only human settlement was on the agenda. This is going to be followed up in July, as well as during the Housing Indaba on 4 October, UN Habitat Day.

On the second part of the question, we already have provinces that are piloting innovative ways of building houses. Gauteng, the Northern Cape, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape have pilot projects with regard to different forms of building houses - the technology thereof. We also have a conference that is coming up on innovative technology with regard to houses.

On the third part of the question regarding provinces, we have Gauteng with a backlog of 350 000 units, KwaZulu-Natal with 360 000 units, and the Western Cape with 300 000 units, as well as the Eastern Cape with 280 000 units. I thank you.

Mr H B GROENEWALD: Hon Deputy Chair, arising from the hon Deputy Minister’s reply, I would like to ask a question about housing in the North West province, especially in Meriting, where 1 500 houses have been built and not one of those houses is complete. Is the Deputy Minister aware of this?

In the Vryburg district also, only two houses in two years have been built in a project there. I want to know if the Deputy Minister is aware of this and what she is going to do about it.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, we are aware of the challenges in the North West, particularly those areas that the member is talking about. We are in the process of engaging with the MEC. The matter is before the Department of Human Settlements and the technical team, the head of department in the province and the Director- General of Human Settlements. We are dealing with the matter because we want to address those issues.

We understand the challenges regarding the issue of the developer who was assigned to build those houses. Some of the houses are now in a dire state and being demolished. But we have seized the issue, and we are dealing with it to resolve the challenges in both areas that the member talked about.

Action taken to ensure eradication of alien and invasive vegetation and carrying out of programme in Tintwa area of Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal

  1. Mr R A Lees (DA) asked the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs:

    (1) Whether any action has been taken to ensure that alien and invasive vegetation like wattle, which is the target of the Working for Water programme, is fully eradicated in a target area/portion of land before the project is closed and handed over to the landowner; if not, why not; if so, what action;

    (2) whether the landowners in the Tintwa area of the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, near Ladysmith, are allowing the programme to be carried out on their land; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO249E

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Deputy Chairperson, I think I want to put the blame on the devil now. The devil must be chased away. [Laughter.] You always have to go back to my question.

Let me thank the hon Lees for the question, and thank you for being kind to me, especially for the fact that you had to go back to the question.

Yes, the Working for Water programme ensures that where an agreement is entered into with a particular landowner, setting out the specific target for clearing on his or her property, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is approached to issue a directive on the affected property when a target is reached, which the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries monitors in terms of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act. It should be noted that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries pursues legal recourse in instances where issued directives have not been adhered to.

The Working for Water programme is negotiating for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to delegate the authority of issuing directives to the Working for Water programme to allow for a more streamlined management arrangement. It is also envisaged that such delegations must be addressed in the promulgation of proposed regulations linked to the management of invasive species under the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act.

In the meantime, the Working for Water programme has also adopted a new approach where the landowner is required to contribute some of the operating costs such as transport and equipment for clearing the work from the outset to ensure that the risk of undertaking the work is equitably shared, as well as to ensure ownership of the work by the landowners.

Yes, landowners in the Tintwa area have previously allowed the Working for Water programme to work on their land. Although the area was handed over to landowners with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, there was clearly inadequate monitoring of the maintenance of the land in a cleared state. The Working for Water programme has committed to work with the landowners and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to rectify the situation. Thank you.

Mr R A LEES: Madam Chair, thank you to the Minister for the answer. I am encouraged that there is more work to be done in this particular area. But in general the Minister is saying there is a change of approach to give landowners “ownership” of the process by making a financial contribution. That, I think, is probably a very good approach in a general sense, but there will be many landowners who simply don’t have the means to make a financial contribution. Is the Minister contemplating any way of getting the job done even if the landowners are simply unable to make a financial contribution? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Chair, this is a tricky one because if you set a law, the law should apply to everybody. I don’t know which people would qualify because they are not emerging farmers. If they were emerging farmers, then we would be able to put them in the scheme and then they would be able to access capital for all of these things under that scheme.

I must confess that we never thought through this particular matter. If you lay down a national law that creates norms and standards, it should be applied equally to everybody, unless you want to accommodate a special category of people. In this instance, we never thought that particular issue through.

Steps taken to improve waste water treatment systems that are not complying with international standards, plans to prevent inflow of raw sewage into rivers, and plans to ensure sufficient drinking water for South Africans

  1. Mr H B Groenewald (DA) asked the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs:

    (1) Whether the government has taken or is taking any steps to improve the waste water treatment systems that are not complying with international standards; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (2) whether there is any plan to prevent the inflow of raw sewage into our rivers; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (3) whether any plan is in place to ensure sufficient drinking water for South Africans; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO251E

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Let me thank Mr Groenewald for the question, and you, Deputy Chair, for giving me the opportunity to respond. I want to, in my response, preface my comments by saying that our intervention must be understood in the context of our constitutional mandate that we are a regulator.

In this context, the kind of support that we give to local government must also be understood as mainly support that would ensure that norms and standards are adhered to and also that if there is any technical expertise needed, we would be able to make ourselves available and identify where such technical support is needed.

To respond to the question directly, I can confirm that my department introduced stringent criteria for the management of waste water systems, which include treatment standards and asset management. In the current Green Drop assessment cycle, assessors are conducting consultative audits to inform the rectification requirements and process control adaptations required for waste water process optimisation.

My response to the second part of the question is that I can confirm that the department’s regulatory initiatives are being intensified, with a stronger focus on the following areas: the reduction of waste water-related risks, with the objective of improving effluent quality - this speaks to the quality of all effluent that comes from our waste water treatment works, whether it will be going to the rivers or to the sea or not going anywhere; the monitoring of compliance and appropriate engagement as per the enforcement protocol; and the improvement of a skills base through the initiation of coaching programmes for technical staff at underperforming waste water treatment facilities.

You will appreciate that some of the problems that we have are the consequence of a lack of skills, especially in the smaller municipalities that are actually the owners of these assets. Waste water management improvement will be facilitated by means of an incentive-based regulation known as the Green Drop Certification programme. The Green Drop is really an incentive. We are trying to provide incentives and encourage municipalities to take action in dealing with waste water management.

In terms of the provision of sufficient drinking water, planning and funding of this function is the responsibility of the municipality. We are just concerned about the fact that many municipalities do not plan properly, and some of them do not allocate sufficient funds to this function. It is also not only this capital investment that is needed, but proper asset management that would speak to the maintenance of the systems themselves, the institutional arrangements and, most importantly, properly qualified staff and skills.

Part of this function should be regarded as an economic service. Indeed, sufficient funds should be generated from our own income as well as from appropriations of the equitable share allocation to fund such services. So, it is indeed an economic service because if the infrastructure is not well maintained, this would impact on the activities of the municipalities, especially not only on water supply but also on the effluent that would be released from the waste water treatment works. So, it is very important that we take it as such because, at the end of the day, if all of these things are not well attended to, they will impact on the areas where we live through pollution and all other problems that come with this. Thank you, Chair.

Mr H B GROENEWALD: Deputy Chairperson, I just want to know from the Minister what the department is going to do to assist municipalities regarding the problems we have with the sewerage in our towns. Is there a plan, and what is she going to do to see to it that we can have skilled people appointed in these areas? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Deputy Chairperson, I started by saying that our intervention must be understood in the context of our mandate. Our mandate is to regulate. The Constitution gives the ownership of all water supply and water works infrastructure to municipalities. As we will all appreciate, the functions that are created there are followed by funding. So, funding that goes with this function will go to municipalities because these are assets of municipalities. That is the first thing we must appreciate. What this means, then, is that we, as a department, do not have funding that would specifically target the issues that you are talking about. That funding is located within municipalities. That is the first thing.

Secondly, the Constitution itself does not make the municipalities directly accountable to the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs. This applies in the same way to the Department of Energy. For all basic services, local municipalities are accountable to the Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. This is the second thing that creates a problem, which then creates two problems.

Firstly, resources are directed to local government, and I have no say in this regard. The best thing I can do is to develop a programme that is going to allow me to regulate and then expose the problems that exist within those systems. The Green Drop Certification programme is actually about that. But we don’t fold our arms because we are also part of this government. We see this as a collective responsibility. If there is a need for us to help with technical support, we do that. If there is a need for us to contribute some funding, we look at our contingency fund, and we do that. So, the kind of plan that you are looking for may be located in the turnaround strategy of local government, the development of which we have been a part of and have been very involved with.

I hope that some of the aspects of the turnaround strategy may lead to the amendment of the Constitution and the amendment of legislation. There will be some alignment of all of these functions so that we can work together in a way that will make a positive impact on the problems we have. The only plan we have – I am long-winded in response to a very straightforward question – is located in the Green Drop Certification programme, which is more about our regulatory function. This, then, should be taken in the context of the regulatory function.

We have already started to implement the plan. Is it helping? I would say, yes, it is beginning to help. This is because it has exposed what the problem is at that level and the extent of the problem. Are we doing anything about that? The answer is also yes. We are doing something. We are busy approaching people. I can’t disclose that at this point. This would include the Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration because even if we are the regulator, we can’t fold our arms. So, there are efforts under way. But again, in terms of the plan itself, it would be difficult for us to have an operations and maintenance plan because that doesn’t fall within our function. Thank you very much. Sorry, Deputy Chair, my reply took long.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): No, it’s fine.

Mr D A WORTH: Deputy Chair, we had a debate the other day and we know that water boards supply water in bulk to municipalities and that municipalities are supposed to then ensure safe and clean drinking water and also purify the sewage. In view of the fact that municipalities owe over R1 billion - and I take it that this is certainly to the water boards - the Water Boards then can’t function and provide for infrastructure. A lot of the poorer municipalities can’t even pay to maintain their equipment. How does the Minister envisage obtaining this money from the municipalities under those circumstances? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Deputy Chair, this is a very complex situation, especially for those municipalities whose revenue base is low. They would have to access that from the equitable share or the municipal infrastructure grant, MIG, funding. That in itself has its own challenges, hon member.

I want to go back to Kuruman. I am going to Kuruman, Deputy Chair, if you could allow me to be anecdotal a bit here. There was a visit by the Deputy President and, when he came back, he instructed me to go and intervene in the situation, which I did, just like all of us do. When I got there, a water master plan was presented to me. When I wanted to know the cost that would have to be incurred in realising the objectives of the master plan, I learnt that the cost of the master plan was over R1 billion. It was definitely over R1 billion, or R1,2 billion, to turn the water situation around - somebody from Kuruman seems to be whispering. Then I asked them what their total budget was. They said that it was R25 million. Then I asked them what that was for. They said that was a MIG budget and that everything together was R25 million.

Then I asked them why this was the case. Then they said they had inherited 30 villages from the redemarcation that recently took place. Hon Faber knows about this. They inherited about 30 villages, and that responsibility was not followed by funding from the province that handed over to them. That is the first thing.

I asked them why they didn’t write and explain because there is room for them to access money from the MIG, even if it doesn’t constitute part of the allocation. Then they said they couldn’t because the authorities at the MIG were creating a problem for them because they said the census didn’t have the statistics that they were giving them and that it was only the census that could verify those statistics. So, they were at that point when I left them.

Clearly, if you are talking small municipalities, this is the problem. It is a systemic problem that we need to address. This is one of the challenges that we are dealing with under the turnaround strategy. But I do appreciate the point you raised.

But in the funding that we are trying to access, we are aiming to look at what we will refer to as hotspots. Most of the hotspots are actually the smaller municipalities. Sorry, Deputy Chair.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): No, that is fine. I was just tempted to stop you for a few minutes to allow the hon member to be taken outside, because he is feeling cold.

May I draw the attention of the House to Questions 42, 43, 44 and 47? NCOP Rule 246(4) provides that each Minister only takes a maximum of six questions. Where more than six questions have been received, the excess questions are converted to Questions for Written Reply so that these questions do not have to stand over until the next round of questions in the cluster for social services. Written correspondence was sent to hon De Villiers, hon Gunda and hon Feldman, and their questions were all published on the Internal Question Paper dated 28 May 2010.

Significant job creation resulting from implementation of Masupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme and achievements under this programme in each province

  1. Mr Z Mlenzana (COPE) asked the Minister of Social Development:

    Whether any significant job creation had resulted from the implementation of the Masupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what has been achieved under this programme in each province for the period from 30 May 2009 up to 15 May 2010? CO257E

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Chairperson, the Masupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme is not a direct job-creating programme. It is a value-based youth development programme that aims to skill and to also develop young people in order for them to be patriotic to their country, South Africa, and also to prepare them to become cadres for social change here in this country.

For the period between 30 May 2009 and 15 May 2010, the programme called the Masupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme has recruited, as I indicated in this august House during the Budget Vote, some 2 099 pioneers who have so far been trained. The number of those already trained and skilled, who have gone through the programme certification and are currently about to receive their certificates, stands at 1 784.

The Masupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme is being pioneered together with the Department of Higher Education and Training because these certificates are issued by universities - the University of the Free State in particular

  • which ensure that the training is of a good quality.

These Masupatsela youth are already involved in activities that are quite developmental in nature, ranging from household profiling, which we do under the antipoverty strategy, to the registration of early child development sites and involvement in Operation Hlasela. Those who come from the Free State province will understand the importance of this programme. They are also engaged in the Social Relief of Distress rogramme as part of ensuring that they gain practical experience working within our communities.

They have also participated in several programmes within the department, which led to some of them being employed permanently as we speak. The programme has also created some 115 jobs nationally for unemployed graduates who have been employed and trained as mentors of a pioneer on a contract of about three years.

In response to this question, I have decided to table a very clear report through a database - it is quite long - that indicates our achievements, where these young people are placed, the opportunities they have been exposed to and so on and so forth. It will be attached to the response, and that will be circulated. Thank you, hon Deputy Chair.

Below is a database of achievements per province:

DATABASE OF EXIT OPPORTUNITIES FOR PIONEERS |NAME |PROVINCE |DISTRICT |EXIT OPPORTUNITY| |1. Lekanya |Free State |Motheo |SAPS | |Ntshiuwa | | | | |2. Visagie |Free State |Motheo |Councillor | |Sylvia | | | | |3. Motaung SM |Free State |Thabo |Admin Clerk | | | |Mofutsanyana | | |4. Morapela |Free State |Xhariep |SANDF | |Mokete | | | | |5. Mangesi M |Free State |Xhariep |Sports, Arts and| | | | |Culture | |6. Plaantjies S |Free State |Xhariep |Municipality | |7. Setshego |Free State |Lejweleputsa |SAPS | |Kabelo | | | | |Jacob | | | | |8. Van Wyk |Free State |Lejweleputsa |Employed | |Desere | | | | |9. Thinyeka |Free State |Lejweleputsa |Employed | |Josephine S | | | | |10. Teboho Simon|Free State |Lejweleputsa |Hoopstad Clinic | |Mangena | | | | |11. Motebang |Free State |Lejweleputsa |SAPS | |Dinah | | | | |Chaka | | | | |12. Mpolai |Free State |Motheo |Department of | |Moche | | |Health | |13. Moleboheng |Free State |Motheo |Department of | |Sentsho | | |Home Affairs | |14. Mojalefa |Free State |Motheo |Municipality | |Machedi | | | | |15. Thabang |Free State |Motheo |Air Force Tempe | |Mokoena | | | | |16. Twala Letta|Free State |Fezile Dabi |Teaching | |17. Radebe |Free State |Fezile Dabi |Municipality | |Vusimuzi | | | | | | | | | |GAUTENG | | | | |18. Jabu Maphosa|Gauteng |Ekuruleni |Municipality | |19. Sisanda Joko|Gauteng |Ekuruleni |SASSA | |20 Nomthandazo |Gauteng |Ekuruleni |Youth Mentor | |Xipu | | | | |21.Thulisile |Gauteng |Ekuruleni |Municipality | |Msimango | | | | |22. Philisiwe |Gauteng |Ekuruleni |Youth Mentor | |Nkosi | | | | |23. Bongegile |Gauteng |Ekuruleni |Municipality | |Mabusa | | | | |24. Khuthala |Gauteng |Ekuruleni |Municipality | |Tshantsha | | | | |25. Jeanette |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Department of | |Novela | | |Health | |26. Nomhle |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Greater Midrand | |Adoons | | |Development | | | | |Centre | |27. |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Employed at the | |Nomathamsanqa | | |Eastern Cape | |Mtshubungu | | | | |28. Julia Leso |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Social Auxiliary| | | | |Worker | |29. Marcus |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Employed at a | |Dustin | | |private sector | |30. Thato |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Department of | |Mocoacoeng | | |Home Affairs | |31. Charles |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Department of | |Khumalo | | |Health | |32. Zikhona |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Department of | |Siphango | | |Health | |33. Claudia |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Department of | |Bapela | | |Health and | | | | |Social | | | | |Development | |34. Siyabonga |Gauteng |Johannesburg |Employed at | |Selepe | | |ANC’s Regional | | | | |Office | |35. Tsogo Majake|Gauteng |Tshwane |Employed: No | | | | |details | | | | |mentioned | |36. Daisy |Gauteng |Tshwane |Employed: No | |Raphela | | |details | | | | |mentioned | |37. Tebogo |Gauteng |Tswane |Employed: No | |Maponya | | |details | | | | |mentioned | |38. Tshepo |Gauteng |West Rand |SAPS | |Mabena | | | | |39. Nontokozo |Gauteng |West Rand |SANLAM | |Mazibuko | | | | |40. Octavia Sole|Gauteng |West Rand |South African | | | | |National Defence| | | | |Force |

Mr Z MLENZANA: Deputy Chairperson, just a small follow-up question, with an understanding that the Minister indicated that I will receive the response. May I please get the exit strategy, particularly for those in the Eastern Cape.

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Chairperson, I have already indicated that there are already 115 of these young people who have been employed. By the way, let’s also recollect that this programme started last year. The various departments that we are working with and the municipalities have also identified the skills that these young people are acquiring. It cannot be guaranteed that all of them will be appointed, but we are certain that after this training they stand a better chance of being employed.

The exit strategy is inherently built in, ensuring that they are developed capacity-wise. In fact, we know that every one of our people who has developed capacity-wise is employable and can easily be employed elsewhere. It’s very difficult to say that this particular one will be linked to this and that particular one will be appointed there. However, it has happened already that some of them have been taken in.

Department’s role in ensuring visitors to South Africa during 2010 Fifa World Cup soccer tournament are encouraged to visit heritage sites and museums

  1. Ms B V Mncube (ANC) asked the Minister of Arts and Culture: Whether her department has been working with the entities and departments which are directly involved in the planning of the 2010 Fifa World Cup soccer tournament to ensure that persons visiting South Africa are encouraged to visit our heritage sites and museums; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO265E

The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Deputy Chair, yes, the Department of Arts and Culture has been working with various departments, including the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Department of Sport and Recreation, the Department of Tourism and others, as well as the Local Organising Committee, LOC.

Regarding the promotion of our heritage sites and museums, the Department of Arts and Culture has renewed its contract to keep artworks or posters depicting World Heritage Sites at the O R Tambo International Airport’s arrivals corridor. The department will also take up space next to the Gauteng-based tour operators at the O R Tambo International Airport to promote our institutions and heritage sites as part of places of interest.

We are also part of the welcome campaign that has been launched by the government. We have promoters who will be situated at all three international airports in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. These promoters, who are actually unemployed young people who will be employed for the period of the World Cup, will be handing out a tournament guide, which we are producing. The guide is with the printers at the moment. It has a list and description of all our heritage sites, theatres, playhouses, African villages and public viewing areas, PVAs. They will be distributed in our airports as tourists, fans and the teams arrive in the country to promote and encourage them to visit our heritage sites and all the institutions that fall under our department and tourism. Thank you, Deputy Chairperson.

 Engagement of department to ensure South African artists have more   opportunities to perform national music genres at celebrations and theme
  1. Ms B V Mncube (ANC) asked the Minister of Arts and Culture:

    Whether her department has engaged with the entities arranging celebrations and theme parks to ensure that South African artists are given more opportunities to perform our national music genres; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO266E

The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Deputy Chair, yes, we are part of the interministerial committee, which is chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. The interministerial committee has been meeting every month for the past year, and it includes Ministers of relevant departments such as Transport, Communications, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Arts and Culture, Sport and Recreation, Energy, and many others.

We have also been working as a tripartite grouping with the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality and the LOC in overseeing the production of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 World Cup. We have also been working together in ensuring that our South African artists as well as African artists from the continent, particularly those that come from the five African qualifying countries, are part of the opening and closing ceremonies and all the other arts and culture activities during the 2010 World Cup.

The Department of Arts and Culture has also focused its attention on PVAs. As we know, there will be a PVA in every district in our country to ensure that all our people, including rural communities, can enjoy the World Cup. The national Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs is leading various government departments in the intergovernmental committee responsible for ensuring that all systems are attended to in planning for these PVAs.

The Department of Arts and Culture has also forged a partnership with the SABC to activate 10 PVAs per region. At these events the Department of Arts and Culture and the SABC will showcase performing arts and do a live broadcast of the events via television and radio. Each province and district will give artists the opportunity to showcase their talent.

The department has also teamed up with the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality and the Gauteng province to host the Welcome Village at Ekurhuleni, where we will host an African village. This is where all our African countries that want to showcase their crafts, arts, handicrafts, song and dance will be received and hosted for the duration of the tournament. Here also the Department of Arts and Culture, working closely with the Gauteng province and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, will own an amphitheatre where local up-and-coming talent will be showcased and celebrated.

We will also showcase African artists from various countries on the continent at this African village. This will be the main stage to host our local and African artists. We will also host fashion shows for African traditional attire and entertain guests and fans with African cuisine. Thank you, Chairperson.

Ms B V MNCUBE: Deputy Chairperson, I thank the Minister for her comprehensive response. We would like to have her response so that we can market and showcase the good plans that she is telling us about. Thank you. [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon Mncube, there is a concern from the rest of the members that you actually spoke without standing up.

Ms B V MNCUBE: My apologies.


The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Deputy Chairperson, we will make copies of the response. We will also distribute the tournament guide, which has all the heritage sites and activities, so that members can assist us in distributing them and informing their communities. These activities will not just happen in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, but also in the host cities, provinces and all the districts in the country where we will be having PVAs. We will also host African artists and South African artists, including local and emerging artists. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr R A LEES: Madam Chair, the Minister mentioned that there will be a PVA in every district, and she also talked about PVAs and regions. Could the hon Minister tell us whether she is saying regions and districts are the same thing or whether she means district municipalities. Furthermore, could the hon Minister tell us who will be funding these PVAs because I know that at my own home there is concern that the local municipality doesn’t have funds. Is your department going to fund such PVAs in each of the district municipalities?

The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Chairperson, I think the hon member has answered for me. Yes, it’s not regions. As Arts and Culture we have been allocated 10 PVAs throughout the country. So, perhaps we will fund one district per province. The others are funded through the Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the DTI, municipalities and provincial governments are also involved.

Mr T D HARRIS: Chair, the Minister referred to the work that her department and other entities have been putting into the opening ceremony of the World Cup. Could the Minister tell us how long ago they started rehearsing for that opening ceremony and whether she believes that there is enough time, considering that the Chinese began rehearsing years before the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Thank you.

The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Chairperson, I was at the rehearsals at Nasrec on Sunday. I believe we have experts in the area - choreographers, artistic directors and creative directors. They are out there in the field. Those people meet there from 8:00 sometimes right up to 20:00 in the evening. I believe they are ready, and I already have a clear picture of what is going to happen from my visit on Sunday.

I don’t know about China. Maybe their dances and songs are very complicated. But I think South Africans are artists and songstresses by nature. So, the question of rehearsing comes naturally. For example, I can call on the Deputy Chairperson to dance and she will dance right now. [Laughter.] So, I don’t think there will be a problem in that regard. I am confident that we are going to have a super and extraordinary African celebration during the opening and closing ceremonies. Thank you, Chairperson.

 Assistance by department to senior citizens registering for social
 pensions, bottlenecks at state agency offices and staff complement
                         processing pensions
  1. Mr F Adams (ANC) asked the Minister of Social Development:

    (1) (a) What assistance will her department provide to senior citizens who are queueing during the night for a place to register for social pensions and (b) what causes these bottlenecks at the state agency offices;

    (2) whether her department has enough staff members to process pensions for senior citizens; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO267E

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, it should be noted that Sassa and the Department of Social Development do not support the notion of people sleeping at offices overnight whilst waiting for services. Indeed, everything in our power will be done to eradicate and discourage this. In order to assist in managing this situation, our community members and leaders are earnestly requested to support the actions that are taken by Sassa and to also ensure that accurate information is disseminated to the public.

All our regions are currently experiencing challenges. This may have come to the attention of this august House, particularly our select committee. The challenges are related to trying to manage the number of people reporting to Sassa offices for assistance. This is indeed as a result of pressure both from people wanting to make applications for grants and from those responding to requests to review their grants. I did indicate earlier on that we are currently at a stage where we are reviewing beneficiaries.

The number of people who want to apply for grants has indeed increased exponentially as a result of the changes in policy, which also allow all children born after 31 December 1993 to apply for child support grants. The one policy area that has also necessitated these changes is men over the age of 60 years being allowed to apply for grants for the aged, as well as the increases in the means test limits.

In order to manage this influx, a number of initiatives have been put in place, and they are as follows. The number of reviews to be done per month has been staggered, requiring affected beneficiaries to respond only when they receive letters informing them to come for a review. Community leaders and councillors, especially where we have a large influx, have been asked to assist in this process to ensure that beneficiaries have indeed received their letters that request them to come for a review before they stand up and go to the Sassa office. This kind of influx increases queues. The queues are also inflated by people who call Sassa offices for a review when they have not actually received letters, but because they heard about the need for a review from a neighbour or a friend.

The staff at Sassa has been trained on the need to queue-walk often during the day when there are queues to ensure that everyone waiting in the queue should in fact be there at the right time and that they have all the necessary documents. Those who still require additional documents are provided with a checklist of documents to bring along the next time they come. They are also advised on the return date, which is a different day from that day. Where practical, different days are identified for different grant types, thus ensuring that the aged are given priority and that they do not compete for places with younger beneficiaries in the queue.

Many offices have introduced an appointment system whereby an assessment of a number of people who can be served by the available staff is also done. The remaining beneficiaries are given specific dates and times on which to return, when they will be prioritised over new arrivals. The critical thing to note here is that our people believe or think that if they are not present on that particular day, they will lose out on their grant. That is not the case.

A communication strategy has been developed and is being implemented in order to ensure that beneficiaries and applicants receive accurate messages regarding who may qualify for a grant, what criteria are in place and the need to review regularly when informed to do so.

With regard to the question of sufficiency of staff, it must be noted that Sassa is currently experiencing some serious financial constraints just like all other government departments, which has been necessitated by the financial crisis. This challenge is being addressed through the implementation of austerity measures. One of the measures implemented is the moratorium on staff appointment. So, while the number of staff in specific offices may be insufficient to deal with the current influx, the answer is not to look at appointing additional staff but rather to utilise the staff within Sassa more effectively and efficiently. It will also not be prudent to appoint additional staff to deal with an abnormal situation as this may result in excess staff once the situation has stabilised. We believe that indeed this situation will stabilise.

In addition, Sassa is reviewing its current business process. A project, which we call “business process review”, will determine the number of staff required at each local service office. I thank you, hon Chair.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Chair, I may run the risk of asking a new question. But if it is so, the Minister will give guidance. During our recent site visit to Limpopo in Greater Tubatse municipality through our Taking Parliament to the People programme, we came across a situation where it was pension payout day. Our elderly people were exposed to very difficult conditions in that it was very hot on that day and there was not even a tent for them to be comfortable whilst they were receiving the service. Is there something that can be done to ensure that on the days that services are being rendered to our people, these people are at least looked after with basic provisions such as shelter and so forth? Thank you very much. The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chair, this is indeed a new question. But with your permission, I can respond to the question.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You are not forced to answer if there is no answer.

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: No, I think I would like to respond to it because I think it is indeed necessary that hon members also help us in this regard.


The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: The current system, which Sassa inherited from all nine provinces and which is also documented in contracts that have been signed between the current service providers and Sassa in the provinces, details exactly and precisely what should be done at any pay point and at every pay point. Services should be provided to all our beneficiaries and to our elderly people, in particular, with dignity. This is contained in the contract.

However, what is currently happening is something very different, and we are beginning to see this. I appreciate the hon member’s concern on what he has been exposed to because this is a challenge we are currently dealing with.

We have begun a process of ensuring that we move towards electronic payment, without any exception and without any racial connotations. It is really high time that we do this because the majority of our people in the white sections of our communities are currently getting their payments and grants from some of the banks. We have begun working on this process. The majority of our beneficiaries, just over 400 000, have already moved to electronic payment. We encourage the young people to begin to move because, with the elderly, we understand that we have to conduct particular education in this regard even before we can get there.

However, when we move to institute this new tender, it will not be something that is negotiable. At least up to 80% of the grants should be paid through a system that allows our people to get their payments under quality situations and conditions, preferably through a banking system. We are not saying which bank you can use. But we are doing some work in this regard, and we really want to do away with this kind of problem once and for all. I thank you.

Mr R A LEES: Chairman, the Minister or the department has come up with a solution which I am sure will alleviate part of the overcrowding. My concern is that not everyone has a postal address, and the people may not get the letters. Therefore their grants may then be terminated because reviews have not been done. Is there any plan to try and handle people who don’t respond when they should? In other words, they may not have received the letters to go for reviews. Is there some kind of follow-up process before grants can be stopped? Thank you, Mr Chair.

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chair, as I have indicated, additional measures have been put in place for all of us who are in this House, our councillors, traditional authorities and leaders, or anybody within a particular body, to enquire on a continuous basis from Sassa.

Firstly, if by any chance any one of our members of society may not have received a letter or may not have an address, an enquiry can be made through the councillor, a traditional leader and through whoever to find out from the offices of Sassa whether such a letter was released. This is allowed. We are aware and we also understand the situation under which our people function or live. Some of them do not have addresses. But those are some of the measures that we think will help us if all of us act and help those who do not have postal addresses. You will be informed in this regard just by enquiring.

Secondly, when it comes to the second stage, where a particular member may have been left out or removed from the system, there is an appeals process that allows any member of society to still come to Sassa and report that they have been removed from the system and that they need to be reinstated. When such an application is made, the entire amount that remains behind is paid over to the particular person upon reinstatement because this would be correcting what had gone wrong. It could be an administrative process or something, but such cases are indeed very few.

The influx that we see from our people approaching Sassa just to enquire is indicative of the fact that they accept and know now that there is a review that all of us need to do. We had cases where people were reinstated into the system, hon member. Thank you very much.

Measures to assist small and emerging contractors in Northern Cape through programme of human settlements and plans to assist contractors

  1. Mr R J Tau (ANC) asked the Minister of Human Settlements:

    Whether his department has any measures in place to assist small and emerging contractors through his department’s programme of human settlements in the construction of houses in the Northern Cape; if not, what plans does his department have to assist these contractors; if so, what measures? CO269E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, thanks to the hon Tau for the question. In responding to the question, I want to say that we do have the support that we give to emerging contractors. The National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency, Nurcha, and the National Housing Finance Corporation, NHFC, which are housing support institutions, are in place to assist those emerging contractors. If emerging contractors are building gap housing, they can ask for assistance from the NHFC.

In addition to that, we have the Youth Build programme and the Women Build programme. In the Northern Cape, women emerging contractors are building 100 units in the China Square area. Youth emerging contractors are building 15 units in Upington. This is the kind of assistance that we are trying to give.

At the same time, we have asked – because of the new mandate of social amenities as far as human settlement is concerned – that all provinces must have emerging contractor conferences to ensure that people are aligned with the new ethos in terms of human settlements. We are going to have a national human settlement emerging contractor conference to ensure that we give better assistance in accordance with the new mandate of the department.

But we want to cite the issue of shoddy work done by some emerging contractors – not all, but some. In this situation, government does not get value for money. This is not the route we want to take. We will not continue engaging with contractors that do not give us value for money in building the quality housing units we want.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Chair, as we move in this direction with the response, one of the critical things that I think would also assist would be the question of encouraging departments and contractors to source material from emerging contractors. Yes, you may have an emerging contactor who may, on the basis of the contract they have, source material to do work from the usual suspects or established contractors. I am talking about simple things like bricks and so forth. In my appreciation for the response, I thought I should emphasise that area.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Deputy Minister, that was not a supplementary question but an input. You can add to it. The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, I think it is correct. At the end of the day, we are not able to move away from the ethos of giving emerging contractors work because we are obliged to adhere to the black economic empowerment, BEE, concept of government.

They can outsource quality building material and big contractors can get materials from them. This will assist them in creating jobs and it will also help them grow.

The other problem we have is that we don’t want emerging contractors to continue “emerging”. We want incubator processes that will make them big contractors at the end of the day. We would like to do away with the process of continuous emerging so that we can inject the kind of ethos that makes them big companies as well.

Mr W F FABER: Madam Deputy Minister, if we use these emerging contractors like the women’s project that you spoke about, would that not slow down the whole process of house building while we are trying to build houses as fast as possible? Will the backlog in houses not be a problem if we go that route instead of using bigger contractors in big developments?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, definitely the government wants to build housing on economies of scale. But in doing so, we must be able to develop people along the way. There is no way in which we can exclude everybody from building houses. If all hands are on deck, it will be better. If we are many, we can do our work better, and together we can make things happen. We cannot exclude them because we want to build on economies of scale.

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Hon Chairperson, I am worried about the shoddy building of houses. What measures does the department have in place to ensure that quality houses are being built? At what stage of the project development do department officials or the measures kick in to make sure that quality is assured?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, what would guarantee quality housing units is ensuring that projects are monitored across the project cycle, right from the ground level.

The problems we experience are that projects, in some instances, get monitored after houses have been built. There should be continuous monitoring and evaluation of the projects so that the National Home Builders Registration Council, NHBRC, is on board from the outset. This would ensure that we have quality housing units.

So, we need to revamp our monitoring mechanisms and evaluation systems, especially as far as the inspectorate is concerned. We must also ensure that we have quality material. Shoddy work comes as a result of bad material that people use for building houses.

Mr W F FABER: Hon Deputy Minister, I would just like to know about the registration of all these developments at the NHBRC. I know that there are a few of these projects that have not been registered with the NHBRC, and these are actually the people that look at the quality of houses. I know there are one or two projects in the Northern Cape that are not registered. Do people have to comply with this, especially small groups that will start working, like the women’s group you spoke about? Is this applicable to this group as well?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, since 2004, every single project is supposed to be registered with the NHBRC. Prior to that, they were not registered. We do know that there are many that are not registered as yet, but this is a requirement. Provinces should not approve projects that are not registered with NHBRC because that is a recipe for disaster.

They must be NHBRC-registered from the outset because that is an assurance by government to ensure that we have quality homes. If that is not the case, we need to know about it. Please give us the names of the projects so that we can make the necessary follow-ups.

Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Chairperson, we visited a housing project in Limpopo after all the houses were completed. I understand that there are measures in place in the department. If we find that the NHBRC and project leaders did not adhere to the requirements after completing the houses, who is responsible for the shoddy housing?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, the person responsible for shoddy housing is the developer and the province. This is because, at the end of the day, they work to ensure that government gets value for money. When any project does not adhere to the norms and standards of government, all who were responsible must be held accountable. At a provincial level, heads of department are responsible. At a national level, the director-general is responsible.

At the end of the day the buck stops with us at the departmental level because we acquire those developers to build houses. The money is given to us to do the necessary development. So, we will be responsible for any shoddy work. That is why the Minister has taken measures to demolish the shoddy work in the Eastern Cape. This is because we are responsible for ensuring that we give quality homes to our people. Unfortunately, when we get to this level, it is a waste of government resources because more money needs to be made available to build these houses.

Leratong Park flagship programme and reasons for delay in implementation of programme

  1. Mr R J Tau (ANC) asked the Minister of Human Settlements:

    Whether Leratong Park in the Northern Cape is still part of his department’s flagship programmes; if not, why not; if so, why is the implementation of the programme taking long? CO270E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, as far as this question is concerned, the challenge is with regard to the infrastructure. The Leratong Park project is still a flagship programme; it is part of our pilot projects. But the challenge here is around the issue of bulk infrastructure. This is what we are dealing with, and it is one of the priorities of government to ensure that we assist the province in getting the bulk infrastructure so that the Leratong Park project can get off the ground. This is a project that is supposed to be like the N2 Gateway project. But unfortunately, because of the bulk infrastructure, it could not proceed; but it is getting attention.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Thank you very much, Deputy Minister, for the response. I think the problem here is that this project or programme has been coming for quite some time. There are many mixed messages that are being given to the community. I mean, just three weeks ago, the information I got about that particular project was that there was an agreement that should have been signed between Absa and the municipality, and then again there was something about the municipality with the provincial department and so forth.

This is creating a whole range of levels of instability within the community. What measures are then being put in place to constantly engage the community in giving them the correct information to avoid a situation where we have too many voices on the same subject going through?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: On the Absa aspect, it is true that an engagement has been made with Absa to ensure that we kick-start the project. So, there are about 800 units that we are going to begin with right now, following the discussions that the Absa development project agency had with senior officials in the department. We are still waiting since the council was supposed to pronounce on the matter in May 2011 so that at least the first 800 units out of the 8 000 can start being built in the process.

But concerning the other issue with regard to continuous engagements with communities, I agree with you that it is very important to do that continuously. That is a responsibility of my Member of Parliament here, the municipality out there and all of us. Thank you.

Plans or allocations in relation to housing construction for Magareng
        municipality and implementation of plans/allocations
  1. Mr R J Tau (ANC) asked the Minister of Human Settlements:

    Whether his department has any plans or allocations in relation to housing construction for the Magareng municipality in the Northern Cape; if not, why not; if so, (a) what are these allocations and (b) when will they be implemented? CO271E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, I thought I had a national leader. I didn’t know that I had a Northern Cape leader!

With regard to the issue you have raised, the answer is yes. I think this is also important. Sixteen subsidies have been allocated to the Warrenton project in the Northern Cape, which we spoke about. The project is awaiting submissions from the municipality to approve the roll-out of those houses. Of course 1 000 units are planned for that area. Firstly, however, they are treating the 16 Warrenton subsidies as a test case to see if it is feasible to really start these projects.

Regarding the other area, some feasibility study is being done at the moment, but we have begun with the Warrenton one. Thank you.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Chair, I just want to say that unfortunately this is my constituency. Thank you.


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: He is raising provincial interests.

Measures to deal with allegations of corruption and fraud relating to
           issuing of tenders in SA Social Security Agency
  1. Mr R J Tau (ANC) asked the Minister of Social Development:

    Whether her department is instituting any measures to deal with allegations of corruption and fraud in relation to the issuing of tenders in the SA Social Security Agency; if not, why not; if so, (a) what measures and (b) what are the further relevant details? CO273E

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, Sassa is indeed dealing with allegations of corruption in relation to the issuing of tenders, as asked by the hon member. An integral investigation was conducted to confirm reported irregularities in three regional offices, which were ultimately confirmed. The cases relate to allegations regarding the issuing of tenders to friends and relatives without following the correct procurement processes. The difference is that we deal with these things in the ANC, we don’t hide them. I can hear an hon member saying yes. We never hear the story in the Western Cape.

The internal investigation identified a number of red flags that pointed to possible collusion between certain service providers and Sassa employees during the implementation of the Social Relief of Distress programme. The cases have been referred to the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, which we work with in the department, for a forensic audit to determine whether there has been any unlawful benefit by any Sassa employee from the service providers or any conflict of interest by Sassa employees. We are awaiting a report from the SIU to decide on how the process should be taken forward. Once we get that kind of report we will certainly act, as we have already done before. I thank you.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr R J Tau): Chair, I must state that the response is appreciated. It really shows the extent to which the ANC and its leadership are committed to fighting corruption and uproot it wherever it exists. We wish the Minister all the strength and capacity to deal with it decisively wherever it may be found. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr B L MASHILE: Chairperson, I just want to raise a matter directly related to this particular issue. In the areas of Bushbuckridge, there is some kind of arrangement that the people who receive social grants must receive them at supermarkets. But then there is an arrangement that they must buy for a certain amount before they get the balance due to them. When we checked, the supermarkets said they had an arrangement with the Sassa office. I just want to check whether there is any policy from Sassa that allows for people to get their money from a supermarket only after they have bought for a certain amount. I want to know whether this is not part of corrupt activities. Thanks, Chair.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You are sneaking the question in, hey!

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chair, this matter is related to what I responded to in the previous question, which was also sneaked in where a window was broken.

This is a matter where the current service providers - in fact, two of them are acting outside the agreement that was made with them. In other words, what I am saying is that this was not stated in the current contracts with those service providers. The contracts, which were signed by provinces before Sassa’s existence, state that there will be payment to beneficiaries in certain manners.

Recently, there has been movement towards using what they call “the merchants”. The merchants are these shopkeepers and shops. This practice is mainly prevalent in KwaZulu-Natal. There are notices at the shops. In some of these merchants’ places the notices state that any beneficiary who receives payment there must spend 10% of what they receive.

We are dealing with this matter. It may not quite be a corruption matter in the sense of the corruption we were talking about in the previous question, but this is a kind of artistic manipulation by the service provider. So, we are dealing with this. This is actually a matter of acting outside the contract that we have with the people. We are acting on these issues. Thank you very much.

     Audit of all informal settlements and timeframes for audit
  1. Mr D V Bloem (Cope) asked the Minister of Human Settlements:

    Whether, with reference to the President’s visit to Sweetwater informal settlement, his department is conducting an audit of all informal settlements; if not, why not; if so (a) how is this being done and (b) within which timeframe? CO280E

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, with regard to the issue of Sweetwater, I just want to say that this becomes part of what the national Department of Human Settlements has done in conducting a comprehensive national assessment on informal settlements across all nine provinces. This was done during the 2008-09 financial years. The findings of the assessment were that there are 2 799 informal settlements in South Africa. We are speaking about approximately 590 000 people living in informal settlements. This is the magnitude of the challenge we have in terms of informal housing in South Africa. So, this is what we have been doing, Dennis.

As we have done in Balfour, in whatever area the President touches on, we ensure that the national Department of Human Settlements is part of the team that makes a follow-up and assists in ensuring that the challenges are addressed together with the identified provinces. I’m sure that in this instance we will work with the department of housing in Gauteng in addressing the issues that have been raised in Sweetwater. But generally, there are 2 799 informal settlements.

Mr D V BLOEM: Thank you, Deputy Minister, for a very good answer. The Minister went to sleep in Diepsloot last year. Is this part and parcel of conducting an audit? Is he also planning to go and sleep in Sweetwater? Thank you very much. [Laughter.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That is a new question altogether. Anyway, hon Deputy Minister, you can respond if you want to.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Well, when the Minister went to Diepsloot, he was ensuring that we live and understand the living conditions of our people. As a result of his visit to Diepsloot, we have a task team at a national level that is consistently with the people of Diepsloot to address the challenges there. It was not just a visit that we forgot about afterwards. This is a consistent process. We even communicated with Shoprite on Friday to ensure that people’s lives in that area do change. So, this is not a public exercise but a serious issue.


The Council adjourned at 17:04. ____


                         MONDAY, 31 MAY 2010


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

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


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


National Council of Provinces

  1. Referral to Committees of papers tabled

    (1) Correction: The following entry replaces item (2) published under Referral to Committees of papers tabled in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports of 7 May 2010, on page 1322.

    (11)   The following papers are referred to the Select Committee
         on Land and Environmental Affairs for consideration and
         (a)     Agreement on Mutual Acceptance of Oenological
             Practices by the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG), tabled in
             terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996
         (b)     Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement on Mutual
             Acceptance of Oenological Practices by the World Wine
             Trade Group (WWTG).
         (c)     Agreement on Requirements for Wine Labelling of the
             World Wine Trade Group (WWTG), tabled in terms of section
             231(2) of the Constitution, 1996.
         (d)     Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement on
             Requirements for Wine Labelling of the World Wine Trade
             Group (WWTG).


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Trade and Industry
(a)    Government Notice No 280 published in Government Gazette No
     33049 dated 23 March 2010: Commencement of Northern Cape Liquor
     Act, 2008 in the Northern Cape Province in terms of the National
     Liquor Act, 2003 (Act No 59 of 2003).

(b)    Government Notice No 244 published in Government Gazette No
     33059 dated 1 April 2010: Proposed amendment to the compulsory
     specification for respiratory protective devices in terms of the
     National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, 2008 (Act No
     5 of 2008).

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

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

(e)    Government Notice No 295 published in Government Gazette No
     33086 dated 9 April 2010: Call for nominations for the appointment
     of three candidates to the Arts, Culture and National Heritage
     Distributing Agency of the National Lotteries Board in terms of the
     Lotteries Act, 1997 (Act No 57 of 1997).
(f)    Government Notice No 344 published in Government Gazette No
     33137 dated 23 April 2010: 2010 Soccer World Cup Liquor
     Regulations: For written comments in terms of the Liquor Act, 2003
     (Act No 59 of 2003).

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

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

                        TUESDAY, 1 JUNE 2010


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Draft Bills submitted in terms of Joint Rule 159
(1)    Defence Amendment Bill, 2010, submitted by the Minister of
     Defence and Military Veterans.
  Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans
     and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional
  1. Introduction of Bills
 (1)    The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

      a) Defence Amendment Bill [B 11 – 2010] (National Assembly –
         proposed sec 75) [Explanatory summary of Bill and prior notice
         of its introduction published in Government Gazette No 33126
         of 23 April 2010.]
         Introduction and referral to the Portfolio Committee on Defence
         and Military Veterans of the National Assembly, as well as
         referral to the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) for
         classification in terms of Joint Rule 160.

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

National Council of Provinces

The Chairperson

  1. Referral to Committees of papers tabled

(1) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development:

   (a)  Draft Regulations made under section 9(2) of the 2010 FIFA
       World Cup South Africa Special Measures Act, 2006 (Act No 11 of

(2) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Appropriations for consideration:

   (a)  Submission of the Financial and Fiscal Commission on the
       Division of Revenue Bill for 2011-2012, tabled in terms of
       section 9(1) of the Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Act, 1997
       (Act No 97 of 1997).

(3) The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development for consideration:

   (a)  National Policy Framework on Child Justice: section 93 of the
       Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act No 75 of 2008)
  1. Membership of Committees

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

   Rasmeni, Ms RN        –    North West
   Groenewald, Mr HB          –     North West
   Gamede, Mr D          –    KwaZulu-Natal
   Makhubela, Mr MW      -    Limpopo
   Sibande, Mr MP        -    Mpumalanga


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Finance
(a)     Annual Report of the Bank Supervision Department of the South
    African Reserve Bank for 2009. 2.    The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform

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


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

CREDA INSERT T100601e – insert1 – PAGES 1835-1928

National Council of Provinces

  1. The Report of the Select Committee on Appropriations on the Appropriation Bill [B3-2010] (Section 77), dated 01 June 2010.

The Select Committee on Appropriations, having considered the Appropriation Bill [B3-2010], reports as follows:

  1. Introduction and Background In terms of Section 4(4) of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, No. 9 of 2009, “a committee on appropriations has the power and functions conferred to it by the Constitution, legislation, the standing rules or a resolution of a House, including the considering and reporting on- a) spending issues; b) amendments to the Division of Revenue Bill, the Appropriation Bill, Supplementary Appropriations Bills and the Adjustment Appropriations Bill; c) recommendations of the Financial and Fiscal Commission, including those referred to in the Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Act, 1997 (No. 97 of 1997); d) reports on actual expenditure published by the National Treasury; and e) any other related matter set out in this Act (No. 9 of 2009)”.

According to Section 7(3) of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, No. 9 of 2009 (Act 9 of 2009); Section 10 of the Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Act, No. 97 of 1997; and Section 76(4) of the Constitution, the Minister of Finance must introduce the Division of Revenue Bill in Parliament. In accordance with these sections, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Pravin Gordhan, tabled the 2010 Appropriation Bill before Parliament on the 17 February 2010.

  1. The Appropriation Bill

The Appropriation Bill provides for the appropriation of money from the National Revenue Fund in terms of section 213 of the Constitution and section 15 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). However, the spending of the money is subject to the PFMA and provisions of the Appropriation Bill. The Act 9 of 2009 stipulates that, among other things, the legislative framework for amendments to the Appropriations Bill by the House facilitated through the processes of Parliament and its Committee on Appropriations. Furthermore, Parliament is expected to amend, or pass without amendments, the Appropriation Bill as soon as it is feasible so that the President can assent to it and the Act can be promulgated before the end of July each year. This is necessary as the financial year has already commenced and departments are incurring expenditure in terms of section 29 of the PFMA which makes provision for spending before an annual budget is passed. From April to July, expenditure by departments may not exceed 45 per cent of the 2009/10 financial year budget; and after July monthly, expenditure can only amount to 10 per cent of 2009/10 vote budget. However, departmental activities may be constrained should there be delays in an Appropriation Act coming into effect.

  1. The 2010/11 Budget Priorities

The 2010/11 Appropriation Bill mainly supports the five policy priorities of government. These are: • Enhancing the quality of Health Care Services; • Creating decent jobs; • Improving the quality of education and skills development; • Supporting rural development; and • Promoting public safety.

In compliance with the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act 9 of 2009 and section 59(1) of the Constitution, the Committee invited certain National Departments to comment and make inputs on the 2010/11 Appropriation Bill. The invited departments were: National Treasury, National Department of Health, National Department of Basic Education, National Department of Higher Education and Training, National Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Additionally, the Fiscal and Financial Commission (FFC) was also invited by the Committee.

3.1 Enhancing the quality of health care

In order for the Department of Health (DoH) to achieve its mandate and aims, the National Treasury allocated R21.4 billion for the 2010/11 financial year and 91 per cent of the allocation is for conditional grants transfers to provinces. The DoH anticipates budget pressures that will have a negative impact on achieving set goals and objectives specifically under compensation of employees funding which it reported as inadequate. The Committee noted the challenges the Health sector experiences; these include ageing infrastructure, spending of conditional grants and lack of critical human resources. The Committee wishes to advise the department to improve its spending on its conditional grant allocations.

While the Committee noted that the DoH has set a 30 and 40 minutes ambulance benchmark response time in urban and rural areas respectively and the fact that the Province of the Eastern Cape has recently purchased 500 ambulances, it is concerned about the state of road infrastructure in rural areas. If the bad state of gravel roads is not urgently addressed, it may contribute to the increase in mortality rate.

3.2 Creating decent jobs

The Committee has noted with great appreciation the R13.3 billion allocated for the job creation, and infrastructure upgrading. This allocation is reflected through conditional grants and public entity subsidies designed to provide regional or municipal water, electricity, road and sanitation infrastructure, public transport, expanded public works programme (EPWP) and national fuel pipelines, by means of labour-intensive techniques. Also included are increased subsidies to the clothing and textile and automotive industries to preserve jobs. This priority is not a responsibility of a single department or public entity, therefore the funds for job creation are spread throughout the government votes. The private sector is also expected to contribute to this priority because government alone cannot achieve this objective.

3.3 Improvement of Education and Skills Development

For the 2010/11 financial year, the National Treasury has allocated R6.1 billion for the Department of Basic Education (DoBE). This budget will help the department to improve the quality of basic education by: • Improving National Senior Certificate examinations performance; • Providing high quality of teaching and learning through appropriate teacher development initiatives; • Improving literacy and numeracy at schools; • Enhancing early childhood development; • Assisting the department to refocus the entire basic education sector and have one strategic plan; and • Strengthening implementation through support, monitoring and accountability.

Education and skills development is highlighted through the implementation of the occupational specific dispensation for educators as well as provisions for workshops. Furthermore, higher and special mathematics and science school education is highlighted by Government’s policy priorities. The DoBE faces some challenges; notwithstanding the financial pressures in Government there are no enough financial resources to implement some priorities. However, this calls for reprioritization of the budget without impacting on services delivery by the DoBE. The DoBE may face some budget constraints and, to avoid that, it will have to seek to optimise quality of spending. The Committee noted the objectives of the DoE; however, it wishes to advise the DoE to consider reviewing it curriculum and relook at the role of circuit managers when it comes to monitoring performance and management of schools.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DoHET) has received R23.7 billion for the 2010/11 financial year. The DoE submitted that even though it appreciates the budget allocation, there is limited funding for its operations. The funding of Further Education and Training Colleges (FET) is shifting from provinces to the national Government. The equitable share baseline is adjusted by about R3.4 billion a year to reflect this shift. These funds will flow from national Government to FET Colleges. Furthermore, the Sector Education Training Authority (SETAs) are further contributing to skills development through utilising the skills development levy which they claim from Government. Most importantly, tertiary institutions are expected to produce employable graduates and researchers based on the needs of the country.

The DoHET has set aside R3.7 billion for recapitalization of FET and technical colleges. The Committee noted with great appreciation the initiative taken by the DoHET. The budget set aside by the DoHET strengthens government’s priority for improvement of education and skills development. However, the DoHET must consider employing appropriately- qualified lecturers in FET colleges because the South African community is of the view that FETs are underperforming because lecturers are under- qualified. Furthermore, the Committee wishes that the DoHET takes very seriously the issue of establishing two tertiary institutions in Northern Cape and Mpumalanga respectively as pronounced by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma.

3.4 Rural Development The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is allocated an amount of R6.7 billion in the 2010/11 financial year. The largest share of the budget of about R4 billion is earmarked for Land Reform programme. The aim of this programme is to ensure sustainable land redistribution in South Africa. About 40 per cent of the South Africans reside in rural areas, the majority of which is poor. The Committee wishes to advise Government that this priority needs more money to address land reform.

3.5 Submission by COGTA The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs is allocated an amount of R43.9 billion in the 2010/11 financial year. The largest share of the budget of about R43.5 billion is earmarked for Governance and Intergovernmental Relations programme. The purpose of this programme is to improve vertical and horizontal coordination and alignment between the three spheres of government and to promote public participation in governance through regulatory mechanisms as well as oversight, intervention and support programmes to provinces, municipalities and associated institutions. About R42.9 billion of the total allocation is meant for conditional grants (that is equitable share, municipal systems improvement grant, and municipal infrastructure grant) translation to 98 per cent of the total vote.

  1. Recommendation

The Select Committee on Appropriations, having considered the Appropriation Bill [B3 2010] and submissions by identified stakeholders, recommends that the National Council of Provinces approves the Appropriation Bill without amendments.

Report to be considered.