25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 1 of 112
WEDNESDAY, 25 JUNE 2008
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:05.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment
of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
SANCA AWARENESS WEEK
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: First of all, before I move the
motion without notice, I would really like to compliment you on your
stunning outfit, it really is quite excellent.
Madam Speaker, I hereby move without notice:
That the House –
(1) notes that Monday, 24 June, marked the beginning of the South
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African Council for Drug Dependence and Alcoholism (SANCA)
drug awareness week and that Thursday, 26 June 2008, is
International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug
(2) notes that this week aims to raise awareness regarding the
prevention and treatment of alcohol and other drug
(3) recognizes that there is a massive and growing substance
abuse problem in South Africa that affects the most
vulnerable of communities including children, women and the
disadvantaged leading to many lives being ruined on a daily
(4) acknowledges the selfless role played by stakeholders in
civil society and in local communities in increasing public
awareness of this problem and by providing treatment for
alcohol and other drug dependants and their families; and
(5) calls on all South Africans to stand together in fighting
this pandemic currently plaguing our communities so that the
self-respect and dignity of all those affected by drug abuse
can be restored.
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PROCEDURE TO AMEND MONEY BILLS
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move without
That the House, noting the provision of section 77(3) of the
Constitution, instructs the Portfolio Committee on Finance to –
(1) consider a procedure to amend money Bills before Parliament
with a view to introducing a Bill dealing with the matter;
(2) take into account the work already done by the Task Team on
Oversight and Accountability on this matter, which was
reported to the Joint Rules Committee on 19 March 2008;
(3) report to the House by no later than 15 August 2008.
STABBING OF MR M SKWATSHA
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Mr O E MONARENG (ANC): Madam Speaker, following the stabbing of the
Western Cape provincial secretary, Comrade Mcebisi Skwatsha by a
certain Ndikho Tyawana while addressing an ANC meeting in Worcester,
a provincial disciplinary committee was convened to consider the
matter. The accused and his colleague have been found to have
violated the Constitution of the African National Congress and as a
result they have been expelled from the organisation with immediate
effect. When an individual joins the African National Congress he or
she makes the following declaration: “I, Oupa Monareng, solemnly
declare that I will abide by the aims and objectives of the African
National Congress as set out in the Constitution, the Freedom
Charter and other duly adopted policy positions, that I am joining
the organisation voluntarily and without motives of material
advantage or personal gain, that I agree to respect the Constitution
and the structures and to work as a loyal member of the
organisation, that I will place my energies and skills at the
disposal of the organisation and carry out tasks given to me, that I
will work towards making the ANC an even more effective instrument
of liberation in the hands of the people, and that I will defend the
unity and integrity of the organisation and its principles, and
combat any tendency towards disruption and factionalism.”
The African National Congress found Mr Tyawana and his colleague to
have violated the Constitution ...
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The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, I am not quite sure
what this has to do with Parliament as opposed to an internal ANC
Mr O E MONARENG: We, the ANC and not the DA, welcome the decisions
made by the disciplinary hearing. I thank you.
CORRUPTION IN SOUTH AFRICA
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: A recent survey shows that 90% of
South Africans feel that corruption has become a way of life in the
country and a further 85% believe that a lot of corruption takes
place in senior levels of government. It is not surprising that
South Africans think that corruption is endemic given the number of
senior ANC members involved in corruption cases such as Travelgate,
Oilgate and the arms deal. The fact that the leader of the governing
party is still facing criminal charges for corruption reflects the
shrinking moral fibre of the government in the ANC.
Access to state positions is abused by many in the ruling party for
personal enrichment at the expense of the interests of the poor. The
government is too lenient in curbing corruption in state
institutions; instead of punishing and convicting corrupt government
officials. All too often these individuals are moved from one
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government department to another. The government needs to refine its
moral compass and take the lead to rooting out corruption from
society. For its part the DA remains committed to a vision ...
Prof B TUROK: Madam Speaker, are these matters not before the courts
and, therefore, sub judice? Is it correct that these matters should
be raised here under the protection of the Rules of the House?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: For its part the DA remains
committed to a vision of a society in which there is zero tolerance
to corruption as its record in the City of Cape Town and other
municipalities throughout South Africa reflects.
VULNERABILITY OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN RURAL AREAS
Ms C N Z ZIKALALA (IFP): Madam Speaker, a report by the Presidential
Working Group on Women has highlighted huge shortfalls in the
provision of water and sanitation and the failure to end violence
against women and children in our poorest provinces.
Despite all the achievements, and immense contributions of women in
our country, the women in rural and poor areas, together with
children, remain the most vulnerable members of our society.
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The fact that women are so well-represented here in Parliament and
in government should mean that gender issues become more prominent
and take on an increased importance, and that more resources are
allocated to the plight of the many women and children who are
suffering in the rural and poor areas.
This, however, is unfortunately not the case as the suffering and
vulnerability of women and children continues. We are failing these
vulnerable groups. [Interjections.] Thula wena! [You shut up!]
There is no doubting the strength of South African women and I
believe that we, here in Parliament, can, and must, take the lead
with this important issue and put a stop to the suffering of our
many sisters and children who have no voice. All women in positions
of power and authority must use the resources at their disposal to
mainstream gender issues so that they receive the attention that
they deserve. We owe this to the many women and children of South
Africa who are trapped in suffering and misery and who are still
abused every day. Awuthule wena! [You must shut up!]
ANC PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE IN KWAZULU-NATAL
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Mnu D M GUMEDE (ANC): Kusukela ngomhla zingama-20 kuya mhla zingama-
22 kuJuni 2008 uMbutho Wenkululeko, i-ANC, ubukade ubambe
ingqungquthela yesifundazwe KwaZulu-Natali eMgungund lovu. Injongo
enkulu ye-ANC ukwakha iNingizimu Afrika engenalubandlululo
ngokwebala, ngokobulili nangokobuzwe. Silwela ukwakha iNingizimu
Afrika ebumbene nesebenza ngokulandela imigomo yentando yeningi
lapho zonke izakhamuzi ziyophila impilo enhle nenokuthula.
Ingqungquthela yesifundazwe KwaZulu-Natali iwuqhubele phambili
umzabalazo wethu ngokuthi iyalele amagatsha kanye nawo onke amalungu
ukuthi sisebenze singakhathali, ukuze siqiniseke ukuthi zonke
izinqumo zengqungquthela eyayisePolokwane ziyafezeka.
Ingqungquthela ibuye yazibophelela ukuqhuba umzabalazo wokulwa
nobuphofu kanye nokweseleka kwezinto eziyizidingo zokuphila
njengamanzi, izindlu, imisebenzi, ezemfundo kanye nezempilo.
Siyayihalalisela i-ANC ngokuba nengqungquthela eyimpumelelo enkulu.
Halala kwi-ANC KwaZulu-Natali! Halala! (Translation of isiZulu
member’s statement follows.)
[Mr D M GUMEDE (ANC): The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal
held a provincial conference in Pietermaritzburg. The conference
started on the 20th and ended on the 22nd of June 2008. The main
focus of the ANC is to build a South Africa that is free from
discrimination on the basis of race, gender and nationality. We
strive to build a South Africa that is united and that works in
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accordance with the democratic values where all citizens live better
and peaceful lives.
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference responded to our call by
mandating all branches and their members to work tirelessly, to
ensure that all Polokwane resolutions are met.
The conference also resolved to continue the fight against poverty
and to deal with the lack of basic services such as the provision of
water, housing, employment, education and health care. We
congratulate the ANC for holding a very successful conference. Bravo
to the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal! Bravo!]
NEED FOR TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT IN ZIMBABWE
Mrs C DUDLEY (ACDP): Madam Speaker, the Movement for Democratic
Change’s decision to pull out of the 27 June elections in Zimbabwe
speaks of a people and a party committed to a democratic outcome
against all odds! They said:
Elections are our game. We do not want to take to the streets or
to pick up weapons to make our point; we are democrats.
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When the MDC won the 29 March elections, 73% of the population voted
against Mugabe. It was quite unbelievable that SADC states stood by
- seemingly helpless.
The hon Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Susan van der Merwe,
promised in this House that the South African government would watch
closely for signs of violence and abuse and would respond if
necessary. Hon Minister, do you know how many deaths, abductions and
other horrors like chopping off of hands and feet, may have been
averted if the South African government had taken its head out of
Calls for the Security Council to meet urgently to discuss Zimbabwe
and the UN Secretary-General being more vocal on the situation; the
new consensus emerging within SADC as Angola, Swaziland and the ANC
if not government, become new critics, and today’s SADC meeting on
Zimbabwe is promising and we hope will bring some action.
The intensified nationwide campaign of violence and intimidation in
Zimbabwe have totally put paid to any possibility of a free or fair
The obvious need now is for the formation of a transitional
government that will include all parties to take the country through
a period of stabilisation and recovery before holding new elections.
This can, however, hold no place for Mugabe who has shown himself to
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be the cruel enemy of his people and has disqualified himself in
every possible way.
CONTINUATION OF PROSECUTION OF ARMS DEAL
Mrs P DE LILLE (ID): Madam Speaker, just because the German
prosecution authorities have stopped their investigation into German
citizens and companies involved in the arms deal, does not mean the
case is over, or that anybody in South Africa is off the hook.
The only reason that they have decided to stop the investigation is
because they have been frustrated by the lack of co-operation by the
South African authorities.
The responsibility for investigating and prosecuting South Africans
involved in the arms deal rests with the National Prosecuting
Authority and the NPA's reluctance to co-operate with the Germans is
an indictment on this government.
The NPA has subpoenaed me twice over the past nine years and I have
handed over all the documents relating to the German investigation.
But, because of political interference, the NPA has failed
hopelessly to investigate and prosecute the crooks in our midst
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because, and I have said this before and I will say it again,
corruption steals from the poor.
The ID will continue to fight for the truth in the arms deal and for
an end to corruption in our country. It is only useful idiots that
want to stop this investigation.
PROBLEMS AFFECTING EDUCATION
Mr I S MFUNDISI (UCDP): Madam Speaker, education in the country is
beset by many problems, such as a poor or no culture of teaching and
learning; a lack of discipline among teachers and pupils alike; a
shortage of teachers and a lack of facilities in some instances.
This may perhaps be traced back to the failure by government post-
1994 to seek a philosophy for education, as did countries such as
Botswana with their education for Kagisano and Tanzania with Julius
Nyerere’s Ujamaa or education for self-reliance.
After accepting 20 or so education departments, all that the new
government did was to impose a new curriculum which was not well-
researched and has come to be a bone of contention in the schooling
system, because it was not internalised by the practitioners and the
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That almost all MECs for education in the provinces lament the poor
training of teachers, the class sizes in most schools exceed the
policy norms and teachers nowadays leave teaching in their droves is
cause for concern.
The Department of Education will have to double their efforts to
make teaching attractive and a career of choice. While efforts are
being made to make education accessible through the no-fees schools,
the problem is that schools go for months without amenities because
of the bureaucracy that goes with the release of funds.
Another problem in this case could be that those who run the schools
are not certain how to requisition for the funds. Interventions
aimed at assisting schools in poor communities seem to bear no fruit
as the schools do not own their terms to improve their performances.
The UCDP calls on the department to assist the provincial
departments much more.
MINISTER OF LABOUR’S REMARKS HAVE RACIAL UNDERTONES
Ms A M DREYER (DA): Madam Speaker, the Minister of Labour recently
made rather bizarre statements about the recent High Court ruling
that, for the purposes of the Employment Equity Act, Chinese people
are regarded as black.
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If the Minister does not accept the ruling, he can appeal against
it. Alternatively, he should respect the judgement and keep quiet
about it. One would hope that as South Africans, we have put the
race classification behind us. That Act was already scrapped in
1991, that is 17 years ago, but now it seems race classification is
back with a vengeance; however, this time without any legal basis.
While the Minister is obsessed with dividing people into various
race boxes, millions of South Africans are fighting for survival,
confronted with real problems such as unemployment, poverty, crime
and Aids. The Minister would serve South Africa’s people better if
he welcomed the fact that many South African Chinese people have
brought with them skills, entrepreneurship and a work ethic, and
have created thousands of jobs.
MORITI PROJECT LAUNCHED AT MADIBENG
Mr G J SELAU (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC takes this opportunity to
congratulate the Madibeng Local Municipality in the area of Brits,
in the North West province of South Africa, for adopting a project
called the Moriti project in the office of the executive mayor. In
terms of this project, they identify orphans and child-headed
households within their jurisdiction and assist them by way of
education, food and shelter, through fundraising and requesting
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donations from supportive and sympathetic communities and
individuals around the municipal areas and beyond.
This is informed by our history of ubuntu, in terms of which, for
instance, if a child had no parents, the nearest relative would take
the responsibility of taking care of that child as part of the
family; where a family was without a child, the nearest relative
would avail a child to be part of the family; and where there was no
food in one family, the next family would provide.
The ANC’s national democratic revolution struggle aimed at building
a nonracial, nonsexist, democratic, prosperous and caring nation is
derived from the values mentioned in this statement, among other
The ANC calls on municipalities, government departments, traditional
leaders and their communities, all formations and institutions of
society to take this example and play an active role in changing the
lives of South Africans for the better, irrespective of where they
The social development grants alone cannot be enough. The people
shall share in the country’s wealth. Thank you.
PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE OF IFP
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Mnu A M MPONTSHANE (IFP): Somlomo, iNkatha Yenkululeko izobamba
ingqungquthela yesifundazwe ezoqala mhla zingama-27 kuya mhla
zingama-29 kule nyanga kaJuni eNyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natali
eMgungundlovu. Le ngqungquthela ibaluleke kakhulu ngoba ilungiselela
futhi yendlalela ukhetho oluzayo. Ngakho-ke sifisela zonke
izithunywa ezizobe zihambele le ngqungquthela impumelelo.
Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu member’s statement
[Mr A M MPONTSHANE (IFP): Speaker, the Inkatha Freedom Party will
hold a provincial conference at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in
Pietermaritzburg from the 27th to the 29th of June 2008. This
conference is very important because it is in preparation of the
next general elections. We, therefore, wish all the delegates who
will be attending this conference all the best. Thank you.
REINTEGRATION OF XENOPHOBIC VICTIMS
Mna R J MASHIGO (ANC): Ke a leboga, Spikara Batho ba go tšwa
dinageng tše dingwe tša Afrika ka porofenseng ya Limpopo,
Groblersdal, bao ba ilego ba hlaselwa ka lebaka la dikhuduego tša go
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sepelelana le lehloyo la batšwantle ba boletše ka molomo o tee gore
bjalo ba ka bitša Afrika-Borwa legae gape. Seemo kua Mohlaletsi se
kaonafetše morago ga gore mokete wo o ikgethilego wo o bego o swere
ka la 8 June ka nepo ya go bušetša batšwasehlabelo bao setšhabeng.
Yo mongwe wa batšwasehlabelo e lego Mna Freeman Nyanisi o rile:
Tšohle di boetše sekeng. Ga go sa na ditšhošetšo. Ebile maphodisa a
re etela ka dinako tšohle go dira bonnete bja gore re bolokegile.
Moketeng wo wa la 8 June, Molekgotlaphethiši wa Thuto e lego Ngaka
Motswaledi, Kgošikgolo ya Bapedi ya motšwaoswere e lego Sekhukhune
le Mna Masemola ba ile ba gatelela ntlha ye bohlokwa ya gore
mengwageng ye e fetilego, balwela tokologo ba rena ba ile ba fiwa
madulo ke dinaga tša ka ntle. Ba bangwe ba balwela tokologo ye, e be
e le Mna Lawrence Phokanoka le Mna Flag Boshielo bao ba tswaletšwego
profenseng ya Limpopo ka moka ga bona.
Bjalo ka ANC, re rata go leboga maitapišo a batho ka moka ba
Mohlaletsi ka go dira bonnete bja gore khutšo le tšhireletšo di ba
gona setšabeng. Thobela. (Translation of Sepedi member’s statement
[Mr R J MASHIGO (ANC): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Those people who
reside in the Limpopo province, in Groblersdal, who come from other
states in Africa and who have experienced xenophobic attacks voiced
that they can again call South Africa home. After a special
celebration held on 18 June, with the intention of reintegrating the
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xenophobic victims into society, the situation became better. One of
the victims, Mr Freeman Nyanisi said: “Everything is back to normal.
The threats are nonexistent. The police even patrol at all times to
make sure that we are protected”.
During that celebration of 8 June, Dr Motswaledi, the MEC for
Education, Sekhukhune, the acting Paramount Chief of the Bapedi and
Mr Masemola stressed the point that our freedom fighters in the
previous years were accommodated in other countries. Freedom
fighters, who fought for this liberation, such as Mr Lawrence
Phokanoka and Flag Boshielo, were both born and bred in Limpopo the
As the ANC, we would like to thank all the people in Mohlaletsi for
their efforts in making it possible that peace and security reign in
society. Thank you.]
BICYCLES AS SOLUTION TO TRANSPORT PROBLEM
Mr J SCHWARTZ (DA): Madam Speaker, there is a well-known song
called, There are 9 million bicycles in Beijing, sung by Katie
Melua. She obviously has a very great fan in the Department of
Transport who convinced the department to set aside money from the
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budget to buy a million bicycles which could be dished out to
children in rural areas who cannot access public transport.
This is a very noble idea but if there had been proper planning
before the time, he would have found out that there are bicycle
manufacturers in South Africa in the first instance, and secondly,
that there is no manufacturer at all that can supply the million
budgeted for immediately.
The result of all this is that the remaining R31 million will be
unspent on a capital budget for which the Minister of Finance had to
make income provision. The lack of planning by way of properly
thought through business plans crops up in all departments and it is
particularly true with regard to the provisions made for the
appointment of staff.
We call on government to commit to proper planning when compiling
the annual budgets so as to ensure that budget provisions are made
only where necessary and with emphasis on poverty alleviation.
Provisions made for funds that are unlikely to be spent place an
unnecessary burden on the taxpayers. Thank you.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMME
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Ms M M NTULI (ANC): Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Indalo Yethu
Environmental Scholarship Fund has ensured that 50 students will
have an opportunity to study environmental science at higher
education institutions next year.
The programme is part of the South African Environmental Campaign
which was launched in 2006 by the Department of Environmental
Affairs and Tourism. The department in partnership with the
Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the Old Mutual Foundation will also
contribute to the training of 10 000 young people who would be
trained as energy savers. The campaign is meant to stimulate
conversation about energy efficiency and environmental issues.
This will contribute to efforts to raise public awareness about
energy saving. Energy safety reduces both greenhouse gases and the
need to build new power plans. The African National Congress
commends the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, the
Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the Old Mutual Foundation on their efforts
to improve awareness about energy and environmental issues. Thank
you, Madam Speaker.
COMPUTER SKILLS FOR CHIEFS IN GREATER LETABA MUNICIPALITY
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Mna B L MASHILE (ANC): Magoši ka moka ao a welago ka fase ga
Mmasepala wa Letaba kua porofenseng ya Limpopo a filwe thuto ya go
sepedišana le tšhomišo ya dikhomphuta. Ramotse wa Mmasepala wa
Letaba, Mna Joshua Matlou, o re: “Re ile ra tšea sephetho sa gore re
akaretše baetapele ba setšo mo lenaneong la rena la thuto la go
šomiša dikhomphutha ka ge e le bona ba etilego ditirelo tša mmušo
pele mo dinagang-magaeng.”
Maloko a setšhaba le bašomedi ba mmasepala bao ba ka lekanago
makgolo a mabedi le bona ba tšeere karolo mo lenaneong leo la go
rulagantšhwa ke mmasepala. Re le mokgatlo wa ANC, re tshepha gore
bjalo ka naga, gore re tle re kgone go fihlelela dikenywa tša
tokologo, re swanetše go ema ka maoto re rute setšhaba gomme re
tsošološe setšo sa go hlankela setšhaba. Go kaonafatša thuto le
bokgoni mo setšhabeng ke seo re se hlokago go fihlelela ditoro tša
rena tša go phethagatša bophelo bjo bokaone go batho bohle ba Afrika
–Borwa. Mošate. [Legoswi.] (Translation of Sepedi member’s statement
[Mr B L MASHILE (ANC): All the Chiefs under the Letaba Municipality
in the Limpopo province have been equipped with computer skills. The
Mayor of Letaba Municipality, Mr Joshua Matlou, says: “We took a
decision to include traditional leaders in our computer skills
programme as they are the leaders of government services in the
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About two hundred members of the community and municipality
officials also took part in this programme that was organised by the
municipality. As ANC members, we believe that for us to be able to
attain the fruits of freedom as a country, we must strive to teach
the nation and revive the tradition of working for the people. To
educate people and equip them with skills are what we need to do, to
reach our dream of a better life for all South Africans. Thank you.
MINISTER OF LABOUR’S REMARKS HAVE RACIAL UNDERTONES
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Madam Speaker, the ANC has never been a
racist organisation. [Interjections.] The ANC is very proud of its
history; very proud of its struggles and battles against racism. The
ANC is also very confident of the future, the future of a country
that will be free of racism, a country and a society that will be
nonracist, nonsexist and democratic.
The hon member, together with the one who is barking, remember that
the court document says the following - if you have read it:
Having read the counsel of the applicants, and by agreement
between the parties, it is hereby ordered as follows:
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It is declared that South African Chinese people fall within the
ambit of the definition of black people in section 1 of the
Employment Equity Act, 55 of 1998.
There has been much comment and, with respect, also distortion of
facts and legal issues surrounding the application made by the
Chinese Association of South Africa against this Ministry. The true
facts are as follows:
The Chinese Association of South Africa sought an order in the main
declaring South African Chinese people as falling within the ambit
of the definition of black people. Therefore, there is absolutely no
need for anyone to amend the Employment Equity Act. In essence, that
is what I was communicating to journalists: Please read the court
documents. It is very simple; there are only two or three sentences
in it. Even a Sub A child can read it.
If you are racist, don’t rub it off on me. I have never been a
racist and I will never be a racist. It came by three boats, the
Drommedaris, Reijger and others, to South Africa. [Laughter.] They
found me here, and I was not a racist. That is why I joined the ANC.
COMPUTER SKILLS FOR CHIEFS IN GREATER LETABA MUNICIPALITY
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The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Madam Speaker, I would like to take
this opportunity to thank the hon Mashile for bringing to our
attention the inclusion of traditional leaders in the skills
development programmes around the ICT sector. This is an important
move. Many have accused this ANC government of not attending to
those who are in rural areas, particularly in the traditional
We thank the Greater Letaba Municipality for including the
traditional leaders in their development programme. They sit as
traditional leaders on our Intergovernmental Relations Forum because
they have their representatives there. We recognise the need for
them to understand the importance of ICTs in our national
development, a development that is not meant only for urban areas
but also for rural areas, particularly also for our traditional
areas. We have also set up e-co-operatives that are established in
all provinces to assist municipalities and their citizens.
We, as a government and as the ANC party, have said ICTs must in
fact be expanded to include all of our people. If it did not happen
in the first few years it is certainly beginning to happen and these
municipalities are showing us that it is possible to make ICTs part
of our socioeconomic development. We thank them for having taken
this direction and also thank Members of Parliament for bringing
this to our attention.
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Re a leboga. Re re le kamoso. [Legofi.] [Thank you. Keep it up and
well done. [Applause.]]
ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMME
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM: Madam Speaker, I
would like to respond to the member’s statement on environmental
issues. We appreciate the sentiments expressed. The initiative,
along with our partners in the NGO sector and the private sector, is
to take environmental education to a new level.
I would also like to respond to the second part of the statement,
namely to the reduction of greenhouse gases and the building of new
power plants - three issues. The first issue is that recently we
made public the result of the long-term mitigation scenario study
which is the first effort by our government to agree on a framework
to deal with this issue in future.
The second issue deals with the last power plant that we gave a
green light to on environmental grounds. There was a specific
requirement for that power plant to be carbon-capture storage ready
and that is something that we will in future look into very
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seriously to ensure that we align ourselves with the international
The third issue is that I am quite aware that there is a
parliamentary delegation on its way to the Kobe meeting in Japan to
precede the G8 plus 5 meetings. We would like to wish them luck and
in the same vein say that we have taken note that both the American
and Japanese governments have said that they want to put pressure on
us - South Africa and the other four developing countries - to agree
on the target of cutting emissions 50% by 2050. Our message to them
is quite straightforward: We will never agree to the developed world
passing on their responsibilities to developing countries and
expecting from us to start subsidising their ambitions and their
lifestyles. We will only agree to that if the developed countries
agree to clear midterm targets. And on that issue we are not going
to compromise. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
COMPUTER SKILLS FOR CHIEFS IN GREATER LETABA MUNICIPALITY
REINTERGRATION OF XENOPHOBIC VICTIMS
PROBLEMS AFFECTING EDUCATION
TONA YA THUTO: Modulasetulo, o itse fa ke le motho yo o tlotlang
bagolo, jaanong fa rre wa lekoko la UCDP a bua jaaka a buile ke
iphitlhela ke idima, ke sa itse gore ke tla mo tlotla jang. O a itse
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 27 of 112
gore dilo tse a di buileng motho a ka se re ke nnete. E sale ke bua
ke kopa gore re se dire dilo tsa thuto dilo tsa polotiki ka gore ga
gona motho yo o ka itumelang fa bana ba sa rutiwe.
O itse sentle gore re ntse re dira dilo di le dintsi. E ka sere fa
re ema fa re bua gore bana ba tsene sekolo ba sa duele madi go bo go
twe ga se selo se se siameng. Re a se dira. Mo dikolong di feta
5 000 bana ba tsena sekolo ba sa duele madi. Go a direga.
Dikolo di le dintsi di bone madi a a fetang a ba kileng ba a bona fa
ba re bana ba tlise R25,00 kgotsa R30,00 kwa sekolong. A re dumeleng
gore se ke selo se sentle, re tla netefatsa gore se dire botoka ka
gonne re a itse gore go ntse go na le mathata. A re eleng tlhoko
gore fa re bua re se bue jaaka e kete ga re batle dilo tseo di
Sabobedi, ga se nnete gore dilo tse re di dirang ga di thuse; di a
thusa. Re tsentse dibuka mo diphaposing, re aga dilaeborari, re aga
dikolo. Le mo o nnang teng o a di bona dikolo di teng. Fa re bua ka
barutabana, bana ba rutiwa ke barutabana ba bantsi go feta ba ba
neng ba le teng ka 1993 fa o le kwa Bophuthatswana. O a itse le wena
gore re ba okeditse, ba bantsi jaanong. Diphaposi ga di sa tlhole di
na le bana ba ba ntsi jaaka maloba. A re amogeleng dilo tse, re bue
nnete ka tsona. Go ne go sena dibasari; bana ba ne ba sa tsene mo
diyunibesiting; re ne re sena dibasari tsa diFET; dilo tseo tsotlhe
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 28 of 112
di tlile ka rona. Di amogele rra ka gonne re di baya mo diatleng tsa
gago. [Legofi.] (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)
[The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Chairperson, you know very well that I
have respect for the elderly, but if someone speaks in this manner
like this gentleman from the UCDP, I find it very difficult to show
my respect for him. I would also like to note that all the things he
said were not true. I have requested that we should not use
educational matters for political gains, because there is no one who
would be happy if children are not taught.
It should be acknowledged that a lot has been done. The introduction
of the nonpayment of school fees in more than 5000 schools is a
reality and people should accept that it is happening and it is the
right thing to do.
A lot of schools have received more funds than they ever had in the
period when learners were asked to pay R25,00 or R30,00. We need to
acknowledge that it is indeed a good idea, and we will ensure that
it is done properly although there have been problems around this.
We should be careful not to speak as if we are against anything
which is being introduced.
Secondly, it is not true that we do not benefit from what is done.
We provided books and built libraries and more schools. There are
even schools where you come from. There are more educators now in
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our schools to teach learners than there were during the
Bophuthatswana era. You know very well that we have employed more
teachers now. Classrooms are no longer overcrowded like they used to
be in the past. May we acknowledge that and be honest about it.
There were no bursaries and even for the FET band, all these have
been introduced by us. You must learn to come to terms with them
sir, because we are offering that to you. [Applause.]]
Secondly, I really would like to congratulate all those Members of
Parliament who made reference to work that is being done in the
various municipalities, with respect to delivery of social services.
In particular, I must express my great appreciation for the work
done in the Letaba Municipality to provide Information,
Communication and Technology training to traditional leaders and
As the House would know, it is our view that traditional leaders can
indeed play a very important role in advancing development in their
communities and in our country as a whole. Therefore, ensuring that
they have the skills to advance the work of development that we
anticipate they would is a welcome development indeed.
I would also say that I’m very grateful that the hon member made
reference to the open welcome of foreign nationals back into their
communities in the Limpopo province. I think this is a very positive
development. But it comes along with a need for us to acknowledge
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 30 of 112
that in the majority of communities in our country there was no
attack on and violence perpetrated against foreign nationals. It was
a minority of people who behaved in this way. The majority of South
Africans have opened their arms, have been kind and have given
wholeheartedly. It is these South Africans who reflect the true
spirit of our democracy, and we believe we must thank them for their
commitment to making South Africa belong to all who live in it.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMME
The MINISTER OF MINERALS AND ENERGY: I just want to respond to the
statement made on energy efficiency. I want to join the hon member
in commending all those people who are contributing to making sure
that this campaign is a success, but would also like to say that the
list is not exhaustive. We have seen provincial governments
launching their own energy efficiency campaigns. Gauteng led in this
regard with Western Cape following and I think that a number of
other provinces - even if that has not been brought to my attention
- are doing something.
Also, the African National Congress has led by example. Its
pamphlets have already been distributed at some institutions. My own
appeal would be that, in order for this campaign to be successful,
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 31 of 112
we should all lead by example in this House; from our houses into
our constituencies. It’s only when we work together that this
campaign will be a success. I thank you.
NEED FOR TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT IN ZIMBABWE
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Ms S C Van der Merwe): I
would like to respond to the hon Dudley, the hon member from the
ACDP. I think we should really not be disingenuous about this
matter. The South African government, as the hon member and this
House know, has condemned in no uncertain terms the violence
committed in Zimbabwe. Earlier this week the South African
government has also supported the United Nations Security Council
Presidential Statement which begins with the condemnation of
violence in that country.
What we have always done, and continue to do, is to work with our
SADC neighbours, the African Union and the United Nations to find a
solution to the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe. Even as we
meet here today, our people are engaged in Zimbabwe as observers in
the SADC Observer Mission. There are also members of the opposition
in that team who are in our embassy in Harare. Through the
SADC-mandated Facilitation Team they will work to bring that country
to a peaceful resolution to their problems.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 32 of 112
Once again, our interest is in a solution to the problem; not to
further exacerbate a tense and volatile situation. We join the SADC
region and the broader international community in urging Zimbabwean
parties to co-operate fully with all efforts aimed at finding a
peaceful way forward, including the possibility of a transitional
arrangement. We will continue to do this until a solution is found.
I thank you.
SUSPENSION OF RULE 253(1) FOR PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING SECOND READING
DEBATE ON CHILD JUSTICE BILL
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move the
draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That Rule 253(1), which provides inter alia that the debate on the
Second Reading of a Bill may not commence before at least three
working days have elapsed since the committee’s report was tabled,
be suspended for the purposes of conducting the Second Reading
debate today on the Child Justice Bill [B 49B — 2002] (National
Assembly - sec 75).
ZIMBABWE PRESIDENTIAL RUN-OFF ELECTION ON 27 JUNE 2008
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 33 of 112
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move the
draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That the House, noting that Zimbabwe is holding a Presidential
run-off election on 27 June 2008 and in pursuance of the request
from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, subject to the concurrence
of the National Council of Provinces, resolves that –
(1) a twenty-member multiparty delegation of the South African
Parliament observe these elections;
(2) the delegation forms part of the SADC observer mission;
(3) the delegation observes the campaign in the run-up to the
elections, the casting of votes and subsequently the counting
of the votes; and
(4) the delegation presents the mission’s report to Parliament on
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND
CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON CHILD JUSTICE BILL
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 34 of 112
Order disposed of without debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move:
That the Report be noted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly noted.
CHILD JUSTICE BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Madam
Speaker, hon members, it is with great pleasure that I introduce the
second reading debate on the Child Justice Bill, particularly during
this month of June. This month our country celebrates and
commemorates the role played by the youth in liberating our country.
We are celebrating this month by creating a criminal justice system
that gives children who find themselves in conflict with the law an
opportunity to be treated in a manner that takes into account their
vulnerability and socioeconomic problems created by the racial
divide of the past and also to promote the spirit of ubuntu.
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We are aware that this Bill has its origins not only within the
context of international obligations but also through ANC policy
that has always put children at the forefront in the reconstruction
and development of our country.
Thus section 28 of the Constitution regards every person under the
age of 18 as a child and among others gives every child the right
not to be detained except as a measure of last resort. What is
important is that our Constitution advances progressive childcare
and child development.
We have also ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of
the Child. We ratified this convention in 1995. The convention
requires state parties to promote the establishment of laws,
procedures, authorities and institutions specifically applicable to
children as well as children in conflict with the law.
State parties are also required to establish a minimum age below
which children shall be presumed not to have the capacity to
infringe penal law. Following the ratification of the convention, my
predecessor the late Dullah Omar in 1997 approached the Law Reform
Commission to investigate an appropriate child justice system. The
investigation was consultative and involved discussions with all
role-players, and I mean all members of the Justice, Crime
Prevention and Security cluster, even in the broader sense of
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including social workers, academics, the judiciary – both the high
and the lower courts; that is the judges and magistrates.
As indicated in the long title, the preamble and the clause setting
out the objects of the proposed legislation, the Bill aims to create
the criminal justice system for children in accordance with the
values underpinning our Constitution. I am not going to go into the
details of the Bill. I am, though, going to refer to aspects of the
Bill in order to highlight important innovative policy areas that
are in this Bill.
The Bill amends the common law relating to the minimum age of
criminal capacity; it sets the minimum age of criminal capacity at
10 years with the possibility of review in the next few years. The
Bill further provides for a mechanism to deal with children who lack
The approval of this Bill by the National Assembly today will indeed
be an historic event. The Bill is divided into various chapters,
each dealing with the relevant stage of the criminal process. I must
mention at the outset that although the Bill creates a new system
for children, the system is not completely removed from the existing
criminal justice system. In other words, it coheres very well with
the current broad criminal justice system.
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The Bill still reverts to the provision of the Criminal Procedure
Act of 1977 to deal with certain matters such as bail. Chapters 3
and 4 of the Bill contain provisions regarding methods of securing
the attendance of children at proceedings and the release or
detention and placement of children.
I would also like to refer to an area which I think is of importance
and also indicates the innovative approach that our Parliament has
taken. The preliminary inquiry for these young offenders is one of
the innovations created by the proposed legislation. The preliminary
inquiry, although regarded as the child’s first appearance in court,
is an informal pre-trial procedure which is inquisitorial in nature.
One of the main objectives of the preliminary inquiry is to
establish whether the matter can be diverted. Diversion is a big
part of this legislation and what I like most is that there is
quality assurance because diversion programmes must be accredited
and service providers, because government can’t do it alone, must be
properly registered. I think that is a great innovation.
I must also point out that the Bill includes a wide range of
sentencing options such as nonresidential or community-based
sentences; sentences involving restorative justice concepts such as
restitution and compensation to the victim, correctional supervision
and finally sentences involving a residential element, that is
detention in a child and youth care centre referred to in the
Children’s Act of 2005.
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There is also an attempt to bring what exists together. I think what
is also worth mentioning as an important strength of this Bill is
the promotion of co-operative governance. This Bill requires various
departments to work together to address services for children
processed through the criminal justice system in a co-ordinated and
The Bill requires the alignment of policies, practices and
intersectoral planning of the agencies of the criminal justice
department. Also of importance is that the offences are actually
placed in schedules. There are five schedules and they are
determined in accordance with the seriousness of the offence. Once
more I am hoping that my colleagues will elaborate, especially those
who worked very hard in Parliament expanding on the policy informing
the legislation. I must, at this stage, urge us all in this House
without reservation to – and I am told that this is a possibility –
support this Bill.
At this point I want to thank the chairperson of the portfolio
committee, Comrade Yunis Carrim, for his excellent work, and the
long hours he spent in discussion with all parties represented in
that portfolio committee.
I also want to thank my Deputy Minister. From the very onset of this
legislation many years back until the last discussions between the
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executive and the portfolio committee – I won’t tell you when that
was - you have sterlingly contributed to the substance that is the
essence of this Bill.
I must thank the subdirectorate in the court services, vulnerable
groups, and many people do not know that South Africa can boast with
having some of the finest drafters of legislation. And I want to
thank, in my department, the very hardworking officials who worked
tirelessly to produce the drafts that we, in Justice, present to
this House. I do know that you have been complemented, even by the
chairperson of the portfolio committee in private – ooh, I am
divulging secrets here – but you have done very well and thank you
very much. [Time expired.]
Mr Y I CARRIM: Madam Speaker, comrades and friends, the quality of a
democracy and the prospects of its future are, in no small measure,
reflected in the way it treats its children. And what better a test
of this than the child justice system it opts for? So, this Bill
tells more about us as a country and people and about where we come
from and where we are going to than we might acknowledge. Which is
why it is so important to get this Bill right and which is why, too,
if it is important to pass Bills that are pragmatic, practicable and
doable, it is also important not to abandon identity, principle,
values and goals. If this Bill is about many balances, it is
fundamentally a balance between the real and the ideal, between
capacity and fulfilment, between now and then. In short, the Bill is
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both pragmatic and aspirational within the framework of an overall
It is, in fact, a highly civilised Bill. Which is why, though issues
of crime persistently divide this House, all the major parties, I
understand, are supporting this Bill. How easy it would have been,
with elections looming, to over politicise the issues of the Bill,
but nobody succumbed, quite simply because all of us recognise the
value of children in our society.
I’ll deal with the committee’s overall approach to the Bill and draw
from our report published in today’s Announcements, Tablings and
Committee Reports. Other members will deal with specific aspects of
the Bill. The approach of the committee in processing the Bill this
year was similar to that of the 2002 committee, which revolved
around two principal considerations; firstly, the need to balance
the constitutional rights of the child and the rights of the victims
of crime and the community to safety and security - there are
glitches here in my typing - secondly, the need to ensure that the
state has the capacity to effectively implement the new child
We are excruciatingly aware of the high levels of crime in our
country and the capacity of children, no less, to commit crime. We
are aware too of the public perception that the state is failing to
curb crime. It’s precisely, indeed, because of these concerns that
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the Bill took the form it has. Of course, it’s important to be tough
on crime, including crime committed by children, but this has to be
part of a process of preventing and reducing crime over time, and
ensuring that children don’t constantly re-offend, becoming part of
an endless cycle of crime. What future has the country otherwise?
Clearly, there need to be short, medium and long-term programmes,
measures and targets as part of an overall sustainable long-term
strategy to reduce crime by children as part of a broader approach
to reduce crime generally.
There are, of course, many complex objective and subjective reasons
for crime committed by children. A significant part of crime has
fundamental material and structural roots, and unless we adequately
address these systemic issues and develop a child justice system
that is effectively based on both preventing and combating crime, we
will not be able to reduce crime levels significantly. This is not
to be reductionist, in other words, understanding crime simply as an
outcome of the social structure, nor is it, indeed, to ignore the
subjective choices children make to commit crime for which they must
be held accountable. It is about finding a balance between the
objective and subjective dimensions of crime committed by children.
We should not be romantic about children in our country or ignore
the extent to which children, especially older children,
subjectively choose to commit crime and must be held accountable.
Nor should we downplay the state’s responsibility to ensure the
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safety and security of both the potential victims of crime and
society. But we have to avoid an exceptionalism that borders on
suggesting that South African children, basically African children,
are inherently worse than other children universally and are
incapable of being rescued from a predilection to committing crime;
which borders, in effect, on neo-racist theories. It is in striking
a path between these two extremes that the portfolio committee’s
approach was directed.
The committee processed this Bill in a somewhat different context
this year from 2002. Of course, public anxieties and frustrations
about the levels of crime and the perceptions of the state’s failure
have heightened. These are very understandable feelings and views
and the committee is entirely empathetic. But we cannot shape
legislation on a new sustainable model of child justice with both
immediate and long-term goals surely on the basis of public emotion,
as legitimate as these are, and as accountable as Parliament is to
the public. The committee was careful to avoid being populist and
short-term, whilst recognising the need to act in the here and now
to reduce crime.
But there have been other changes too since 1992: Firstly, the
significant advances in restorative justice since 2002 in South
Africa. And what is restorative justice if not quintessentially
African? And who should be better at it than us? Secondly,
government departments and other state structures and NGOs have
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developed greater capacity to implement the Bill, and are already
doing so. Its key aspects are being implemented, as the Minister and
Deputy Minister know, on assessments and diversion. In a sense, the
Bill is lagging behind current practice and serves little more than
to provide a legislative framework for ad hoc practices that have
Thirdly, indeed there are about 18 000 children being diverted
already. Fourthly, there are now more probation offices and more
secure care facilities. Fifthly, there are progressive changes to
other legislation that impacted on the way we processed ours,
especially the Children’s Act.
While the state has obvious obligations towards children, it cannot
substitute for the role of parents, who have the primary
responsibility. This principle is expressed in the concept of
parental rights and responsibilities in the Children’s Act. Clearly,
unless we can re-establish functional families, we cannot solve all
the problems of crime committed by children.
The committee is acutely aware of the capacity and other constraints
of the state to implement the Bill. Various provisions in the Bill
deal precisely with this. The Bill’s preamble, indeed, acknowledges:
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There are capacity, resource and other constraints on the state,
which may require a pragmatic and incremental strategy to
implement the new criminal justice system for children.
We engaged rigorously with the departments and other state
structures on their capacity to implement the Bill. Indeed, we spent
about 20 hours; 12 hours in closed workshops and eight hours in the
committee. We also put formal questions in writing and got a 43-page
reply in writing from the department.
We undertook study visits, indeed, without pre-warning to the One-
Stop Child Justice Centres and diversion service providers in
Mangaung and Port Elizabeth. May I, by the way, welcome magistrates
Schoeman and Goosen who are in the gallery today. Minister, you will
be interested to know that I heard today that the Mangaung One-Stop
Child Justice Centre has been identified by the United Nations, if
I’m right, as a role model for such one-stop centres throughout the
world, and I think we should congratulate them for that. [Applause.]
Overall, we feel that while co-ordination among departments
responsible for implementation has improved recently, there is still
some way to go, but we are utterly clear that the departments and
other state structures certainly have the potential to implement the
Bill. Of course, it will be challenging, but what else can we
expect? Our point is that the Bill is only going to be implemented
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on 1 April 2010 and it gives the department plenty of time to
Obviously, there are aspects of the Bill that only the state
structure should implement, but there are other aspects that the
NGOs could assist with, and are keen to do so. It is important,
however, not to conflate the roles of the state and the NGOs.
Clearly, there is a need for greater co-operation between them, and
the committee effected various amendments to the Bill to ensure
this, and we shall seek to monitor it.
I want to, before I conclude, acknowledge, and the Minister has done
so, the extremely valuable contribution of the department’s team
which include Advocate Shireen Said, Mr Laurence Basset, Ms
Thandazile Skhozana, Ms Corlia Kok and Mr Hennie Potgieter. Mr
Basset, Minister, the key drafter, as you noticed, in particular,
worked incredibly hard and with considerable patience and is the
quiet hero of this Bill, I must insist. [Applause.] Ms Christine
Silkstone, of the parliamentary Research Unit – a quiet person too –
Minister, you don’t know her, also brought her formidable
intellectual strengths and passion to bear on this Bill.
May I mention that last week when we were sitting in the committee
at about 11 o’clock one night, her two-and-half-year old boy rang
and said: “Comrade Carrim, I am from the toddler league of the ANC.”
He asked: “Is this not a Bill about child justice?” I said yes. And
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he said: “If this is a Bill about child justice why do you have my
mom sitting in committee meetings at 11 o’clock at night?”
Moreover, you will be interested to know that he said, when his
mother reads to him at night, she’s now reading to him things like
victim-offender-mediation. She is talking to him about family group
conferencing. And when she sings in the kitchen while cooking with
her partner she actually sings about things like that, so he wanted
to know whether this is not victimising him as a child. The
President, Deputy Minister and heads, I must tell you, historical
materialism doesn’t always provide the answers for you. So, there we
We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr Ann Skelton, whom I
gather is in the gallery, Dr Jacqui Gallinetti and Ms Dhaksha Kassan
from the Child Justice Alliance for their technical support and
their unremitting passion for and commitment to children. You’ll
have to accept that on clause 2163, subsection 133(g)(iv),
subsection 6, I still don’t agree with you about the comma, but you
are free to go to the NCOP to present it to them. [Laughter.]
I also want to thank researcher Tumisang Bojabotshena, who was
great, as was Mr Neil Bell. Last night at 22h30, he was sitting with
me as I went through the draft of the ATC document, so Mr Neil Bell
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We are grateful to our committee secretaries, I hope they are here,
Vhonani Ramaano and Lolly Phumelele Sibisi - I should have mentioned
Lolly first, she will get upset - and Vatiswa and the Department of
Social Development. I want to thank in particular, Conny Nxumalo and
In our committee, Bills are co-chaired and Mr John Jeffery, as a co-
chair brought his considerable political and technical skills, not
to mention his work ethic, to bear on the Bill. Some of his more
innovative ideas, Minister, you’ll understand, I suspect come from
his partner, Professor P J Schwikkard and possibly his 16-year old
son, David. We are very pleased that JJ derives his genes from his
son because we benefited from them.
I must also thank Mr Steve Swart - he’s been superb. In fact, it was
very hard, Comrade Deputy President and the ANC, to believe that he
is not our comrade, because of the way in which he acted in the
meeting - I hope his party leader is not listening - as if he was an
ANC comrade. Although, I must tell him that it’s a bit late for
floor-crossing. It is about to end, mercifully.
But I must also thank Mr Len Joubert, wherever he is, because he was
extremely patient, understanding and kind. Lastly, to the DA, in
particular, I want to say, what strikes us at the end of the day is
that we can have a national interest though we have some differences
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on this Bill. Eventually we all say, children matter, our future
Finally, while the committee regrets the delay in finalising the
Bill, we’d like to think it served ultimately to produce a better
Bill. Certainly, the Bill is the outcome of considerable
negotiations among a range of stakeholders and there is now
substantial consensus on its content between Parliament, the
executive, the NGOs, academic and other experts. The challenge now,
I must stress, is for all of us to work together to implement the
Bill effectively. The committee feels we owe this to the children of
our country and we certainly need to do this to consolidate and
advance our democracy. I reserve my nine seconds, thank you.
Mr L K JOUBERT: Madam Speaker, this Bill has been in Parliament for
six years and its passing is long overdue but, as stated in the
portfolio committee report, the delay served to produce, ultimately
we think, a better Bill.
However, notwithstanding its long tenure in Parliament, it is still
not a perfect Bill. However, the DA will support this Bill
nevertheless, because we believe in the principle that children need
to be treated as children in our justice system and children are not
to be seen in prisons. An imperfect Bill protecting our children is
100% better than no Bill at all.
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The interesting fact of this Bill is how all the political parties
concerned, and that is the ruling party, the DA and the ACDP, worked
together, I dare to say in a spirit of ubuntu, with a common
interest and that is to improve the lot of our children. After all,
they are the future; tomorrow belongs to them, but we have the power
to determine their tomorrow to a great extent. To me it showed again
that if you have a common interest, the ruling party and the
opposition can work together in the interest of our country and our
Before I address the Bill as such, I would like to make certain
acknowledgements. Firstly, I want to also express my appreciation to
Mr Lawrence Bassett and his team of law drafters. Lawrence, I
confirm what I wrote to you on Sunday: We owe you. Having said that,
I want to give you a piece of advice. When I did my articles, I once
had to drew up a will for a client. I took the draft to my principal
and he asked me why I included certain clauses in the will. My reply
was that the client wanted it like that. Then he taught me an
important lesson. He said: Remember you are a lawyer, not a scribe.
And I address this to all our legal draftsmen: Always remember that
you are lawyers, not scribes and you don’t have to be diplomats
I also wish to express a special word of thanks to our two
chairpersons. This Bill, as you heard, was chaired by both the hon
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Carrim and the hon J H Jeffery. The opposition was at a great
disadvantage during the final stages of this Bill as I had a medical
condition and my senior counsel, Dr Delport, was also on sick leave
for most of the time. Nevertheless, they – these two chairpersons -
did everything in their power to keep me on board and I want to note
my appreciation for their professional approach in this regard.
Those who know me will have realised that all these nice words were
to lay the table for something else. That something else concerns
the preamble to this Bill. Before coming to the point, I want to
express my appreciation for the efforts to accommodate my concerns
in this regard, which are contained in the committee’s report.
Without wishing to create the impression that I am ungrateful for
these concessions, I want to avail myself of this opportunity to
explain the sensitivity we have in this regard.
This Bill, as Mr Carrim said, will only come into effect in 2010.
That is 20 years after apartheid was abolished, which means that no
person born during the apartheid era will be affected by this Bill.
However, the preamble refers to the position before 1994 and
although I am keenly aware of the wrongs of the past, it belongs to
the past. As a South African whose family tree goes back more than
three hundred years in this country, I obviously also have scars.
The oldest scar is that of my forefathers who came to this country
as religious refugees and had to abandon everything they had and
flee for their lives, leaving pots on the stove. They again lost
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 51 of 112
everything during the Anglo Boer War. We paid a further price
because my family did not support the National Party.
I have reconciled all this because I believe that if you keep
looking at the past you have your back to the future. Why then refer
to the past in a Bill that concerns our children? When will today
and tomorrow become more important than yesterday?
More importantly, if we really want to make this wonderful country
work, we must only take from the past that that will make the future
better for all. Let us leave the history out of legislation and
leave it to the historians. Let us lawmakers learn from the past but
rather concern ourselves with the future. I thank you.
Mrs S A SEATON: Madam Speaker, today's debate on the Child Justice
Bill represents a milestone in the development of the South African
criminal justice system as it, for the first time, provides specific
legislation for procedures to deal with children who have come into
conflict with the law.
The underlying principles to the Bill are found in section 28 of the
Constitution which states, inter alia, that “a child's best
interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the
child’’ and, more specifically, that children should only be
detained as a measure of last resort and then separate from
prisoners older than 18.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 52 of 112
The Child Justice Bill provides the legislative framework for the
special protection of children who have come into conflict with the
law. The Bill also gives effect to the requirement that South
Africa's accession to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of
the Child, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the
Child, must be taken up in our domestic law.
Madam Speaker, the Bill has been in the making – I disagree with Mr
Joubert, it is actually been in the making for some ten years, with
the first steps taken as far back as May 1997. Although it has taken
a long time, the IFP shared the view of a leading criminologist who
said: It is better to have a Bill, than no Bill at all.
The main objective of the Bill is to provide alternatives to the
incarceration of the children who committed less serious criminal
offences. The Bill sets the age of 10 as the minimum age for
prosecution, while retaining the common law presumption of
incapacity for children under the age of 14.
Some of the alternative sentences envisaged by the Bill include:
community-based sentences, including rehabilitative diversion;
restorative justice sentences; correctional supervision; residential
requirement sentences; and residential facility sentences.
I would like to concentrate on two of these alternatives - diversion
and restorative justice. According to the Child Justice Alliance,
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diversion is the practice of referring a child away from formal
court procedures at any stage in the criminal justice process. It is
not a soft option, but seeks to change the child's pattern of
behaviour so that he or she understands the impact of their crime on
Restorative justice is not a new concept in South Africa, and can be
described as uniquely African as it encapsulates some of the
principles of ubuntu. These include actions such as an apology,
restitution and reparation. Overall, the main objective of
restorative justice is to allow the offender to rejoin the community
and to prevent them from reoffending.
The IFP supports the Child Justice Bill. It provides legal certainty
for dealing with children who have come into conflict with the law,
and provides them with a second chance in life, while at the same
time enabling them to take responsibility for their actions without
having been incarcerated and exposed to hardened criminals which
sometimes can lead to a life of crime and not rehabilitation. As Mr
Carrim, the hon Carrim, said, the importance of the child is the
most important thing. We all believe that our children are important
– to ourselves, to South Africa – and this is a step in the right
direction. I thank you.
Mnr I E JENNER: Agb Speaker, die OD bring vandag hulde aan die
menigte kinderslagoffers wat gesterf het as gevolg van gruwelike
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moorde, verkragtings en ontvoerings, en dit ten aanskoue van
familie, vriende en kennisse. Sommiges se dood is steeds
onbeantwoord en dit het ’n ewige letsel op baie gemeenskappe gelaat.
Die langverwagte wetsontwerp oor kindergeregtigheid bring vandag
troos in die harte van die menigtes wat deur hierdie gruweldade en
misdadige vergrype teenoor kinders geraak is.
Hierdie deeglike wetgewing het egter ’n baie groot uitdaging,
naamlik die effektiewe inwerkingstelling daarvan. Die uiters
gebalanseerde wetgewing vereis ook kollektiewe verantwoordelikheid
om sukses te bewerkstellig.
In my eie ervaring as ’n korrektiewe beampte en projekbestuurder by
’n jeugsentrum het ek gesien hoe baie jeugoortreders misbruik word
in plekke van aanhouding, maar ook hoe hulle ontaard in die
gehardste misdadigers wat in die meeste gevalle onverskillig en
Die feit dat die konsep van “restorative justice” as ’n fundamentele
aspek van die herstel, deurlopend in die wetsontwerp manifesteer,
bring nuwe hoop en verdiep ons swaarverdiende demokrasie.
“Restorative justice” poog om die oortreder en sy onmiddellike
familie, die slagoffer en sy onmiddellike familie, asook die
gemeenskap medeverantwoordelik en verantwoordbaar te maak vir die
herstel, versoening en hertoelating ná vonnisoplegging.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 55 of 112
Vir die eerste keer is daar ’n meganisme wat verhoed dat kinder- en
jeugoortreders blootgestel word aan ’n omgewing belaai met
kriminaliteit en die wreedheid wat daarmee gepaard gaan.
Die wetsontwerp bring ook ’n einde aan die praktyk om jeugdiges te
misbruik by misdaadpleging in die wete dat hulle ’n ligter straf sal
ontvang. Die geskiedenis word vandag herskryf omdat hierdie
wetgewing in Jeugmaand goedgekeur word, want dit bevestig dat ’n
gesonde jeug ’n gesonde samelewing tot gevolg kan hê.
Die OD steun die wetgewing en bedank alle rolspelers, ministeries,
departemente, die portefeuljekomitee, nie-regeringsorganisasies
asook die openbare samelewing wat ’n bydrae gelewer het tot die
samestelling van die wetgewing.
Suid-Afrika kan dus die droom van wyle Ingrid Jonker laat voortleef,
“Die kind wat net in die son wou speel ... die kind is nie dood
nie”. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)
[Mr I E JENNER: Hon Speaker, the ID today salutes the many child
victims who have died as a result of brutal murders, rapes and
abductions, and that in the presence of family, friends and
acquaintances. Some of these murders are still unsolved and it has
left a permanent scar on many communities.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 56 of 112
The long-awaited Bill on child justice today brings comfort to the
hearts of the many who were affected by these abominable deeds and
criminal transgressions against children.
This thorough piece of legislation, however, faces a major
challenge, namely the effective implementation thereof. In addition,
this extremely balanced legislation requires collective
responsibility to achieve success.
In my experience as a correctional services officer and project
manager at a youth centre, I have not only witnessed the abuse of
many juveniles in places of detention, but also how they degenerated
into the most hardened criminals who, in most cases, operate with
indifference and fearlessness.
The fact that the concept of restorative justice, as a fundamental
aspect of the rehabilitation, manifests itself throughout the Bill
brings new hope and deepens our hard-earned democracy. Restorative
justice strives to make the offender and his immediate family, the
victim and his immediate family as well as the community, co-
responsible and answerable for the rehabilitation, reconciliation
and readmission after sentencing.
For the first time there is now a mechanism that prevents child
offenders and juvenile delinquents from being exposed to an
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environment fraught with criminality and the brutality that goes
The Bill also brings to an end the practice of using juveniles to
commit criminal deeds knowing that they would receive a lighter
sentence. History is being rewritten today as this legislation is
being passed in Youth Month, thereby affirming that a healthy youth
could lead to a healthy society.
The ID supports the legislation and would like to thank all the
role-players, ministries, departments, the portfolio committee, non-
governmental organisations as well as the public who made a
contribution in the composition of the legislation.
South Africa can, therefore, let the dream of the late Ingrid Jonker
be remembered, “Die kind wat net in die son wou speel ... die kind
is nie dood nie”. I thank you.]
Mr J B SIBANYONI: Madam Speaker, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
hon Members of Parliament, I would like to start off by joining the
committee’s chairperson in welcoming the magistrate of Bloemfontein
in Mangaung, Mr Schoeman, as well as the magistrate of Port
Elizabeth, Mr Goosen. [Applause.]
When our committee was initially debating this Bill or talking about
it, there were some doubts as to whether there is capacity on the
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ground to implement it, if passed. However, after visiting these two
one-stop justice centres, our committee has confidence that in fact,
there is hope. We also want to congratulate Mangaung on winning a
The debate takes place not only during the Youth Month, but also on
Youth Parliament day, an event during which the youth of this
country gathers here at Parliament to debate issues affecting them.
We are debating a piece of legislation that brings major changes in
the criminal judicial system concerning children in conflict with
the law. It is a piece of legislation that embraces the values of
ubuntu, which is similar to, but a little bit wider than humanity.
Kunesitjho sesikhethu esithi ‘umuntu mumuntu ngabantu’. Lesi sitjho
sisithola eentjhabeni ezinengi zange-Africa. Abanye bathi ‘motho ke
motho ka batho’. Abanye ubezwe besithi ‘umntu ngumntu ngabantu’.
UmThethomlingwa lo uletha indlela yokuba abantwana abatjhayisana
nomthetho bangasegiswa ngendlela ekusegiswa ngayo abantu abadala
namkha iinlelesi zakadeni – sithoma ngokubotjhwa komntwana.
UmThethomlingwa lo uthi akukafanele bonyana umntwana nakabotjhwako
athuthwe ngesikhwelo sinye nabantu abadala ngambana bazamtlhorisa
ngeendlela ezinengi, njengokuthi umntwana lo angenziwa umalokazana.
Nangaphandle kwalokho, bazamfundisa ubulelesi obuphala namkha
obudlula lobu abotjhelwe bona. Alo-ke umThethomlingwa lo uthi
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abantwana kufanele bavikeleke bangavezwa ezintweni ezingabona
ukuyaphambili. (Translation of isiNdebele paragraphs follows.)
[We have a saying that says: a person is a person because of other
people. This saying is also used by many African nations. Some say
‘motho ke motho ka batho’. You will hear others saying: ‘umntu
ngumntu ngabantu’. This Bill seeks to provide that children who are
in conflict with the law should not be prosecuted the same way as
adults or older criminals – starting with the arrest of a child.
This Bill states that it is not correct for a child who has been
arrested to be transported in the same vehicle as old offenders,
because they can abuse him in many ways, for example sexual abuse.
Apart from that, they will teach him other ways of committing crime
that is more serious than what he has been arrested for. Therefore,
this Bill states that children should be protected and not be
exposed to things that can destroy them further.]
Some people might think that treating child offenders more humanely
than adult offenders is an indication of being soft on crime; but
that is not so.
Kunesinye godu isitjho esithi ‘umntwana wami muntwana wakho
nomntwana wakho muntwana wami’. [Again there is another saying that
says: My child is your child and your child is my child.]
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In the traditional African way of life, parents and the community at
large co-operate in bringing up children, which includes their
discipline, hence the saying: “Your child is my child; my child is
your child.” As a member of the community, you are expected to
reprimand any child you come across doing something wrong. In the
past, it included reasonable chastisement.
The Bill, as it stands, has elements of restorative justice. For
instance, if a child is arrested for assaulting another child, the
offender’s parents and the victims’ will be invited to take part in
discussions aimed at resolving the matter, if it can be resolved.
Thus the views of the victims would be considered in diversion and
sentencing. The offending child may be persuaded to apologise or
make good the wrong he or she has done.
When a person has done something wrong and some action needs to be
taken against that person, in isiZulu it is said: Uqondiswa
izigwegwe [correcting the wrong]; it is not punishment or discipline
the way we understand it, but rather to correct that person. We are
going back to our roots in terms of this Bill.
The ANC national conference in Stellenbosch declared that the ANC
should be a champion for the rights of children, especially the
girl-child. The conference further committed to strengthening the
criminal justice system to protect children and prevent abuse.
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The Child Justice Bill strikes a balance between protecting children
in conflict with the law and protecting the victims of crime
committed by children. The Bill also balances the interest of the
child with the interest of justice.
The Bill has provisions to deal with child offenders in such a way
that the child offender accepts that he or she has done wrong. This
will prevent any possibility of reoffending. The ANC supports this
Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S N SWART: Madam Speaker, I firstly want to thank the Justice
Portfolio Committee chairperson and the Whip for the extra time and
also for your kind words. My thanks also go to all the officials
involved led by Lawrence Basset and the nongovernmental
organisations who helped us, led by Dr Ann Skelton and others, who
assisted us during the drafting process.
Back in the year 2000, I was proud enough to represent our country
in addressing an ancillary meeting of the United Nations Crime
Conference in Vienna on the notion of restorative justice and the
Child Justice Bill. It is thus quite emotional to address this House
and to participate in this debate today. The Bill at that stage was
undoubtedly pioneering worldwide in criminal justice reform.
Regrettably, it has taken a number of years to finalise it and, in a
certain sense, practice has bypassed us with the restorative justice
principle being applied in practice and some 18 000 children already
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being diverted annually. Members will recall that I have raised the
issue of the outstanding Child Justice Bill in numerous debates and
during Budget Votes and that I regret the delay. However, I do
believe that we now have a much improved Bill.
It is also quite emotional as we are all aware of the appalling
conditions in our prisons. Hon Deputy Minister, you will remember
that when we went to Port Elizabeth and we visited the juvenile
section, there was that youngster who was about 14 years of age and
he said to us, “die kinders was stout met my” [the children were
naughty with me], obviously indicating that he had been sexually
abused or raped in that prison. And we need to state this
categorically, that, as far as possible and bearing in mind the
safety of communities in society, children should not be kept in
prisons where they will in all likelihood be abused and sodomised
into a lifetime of crime in what has been referred to as the
universities of crime.
The restorative justice and diversion approach for children in
conflict with the law seeks to avoid this whilst ensuring that
community safety is not compromised. This is an important aspect and
the Bill recognises the present reality of high crime rates and
adopts a proactive approach to crime prevention by placing increased
emphasis on the effective rehabilitation and integration of
children. This is to be achieved by encouraging child offenders to
accept responsibility for the crime committed and to make amends for
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the harm caused, and this is the essence of the restorative justice
approach. Diversion, we believe, would minimise the potential for
re-offending and break the cycle of crime. It balances the interests
of children on one hand and those of society with due regard to the
rights of victims.
With the high crime rate, what may seem to be a desire for
retribution is often actually a concern for public safety. We
believe that, at the very least, this Child Justice Bill will
potentially deliver at least as much public safety as the present
system. Therein lies the appeal to us as lawmakers grappling with
the demands of society for safer streets. The Bill provides special
treatment for children in conflict with the law in a system that is
designed to break the cycle of crime. It will thus contribute to
safer communities and encourage children to become law-abiding and
productive adults. The diversion programmes presently offered by the
National Institute for Crime Prevention and Reintegration of
Offenders and other NGOs have a remarkable success rate with a very
low rate of re-offending. Whilst the high crime rate does
understandably result in a cry for retribution, the point about a
retributive system is that you deal with a state and, at the end of
the day, the victim is left angry and bitter, maybe with some
feelings of vengeance satisfied whilst the child offender goes off
to prison to learn new tricks.
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Restorative justice is a victim-directed approach to crime
prevention and the Bill seeks to include victims in crime diversion
processes by means of restitution, consultation on diversion
programmes, victim-impact statements as well as in victim-offender
mediation. So, the appeal of this model is the acceptance of blame
by the offender and the recognition of the need to address the harm
Unfortunately, this has not been the traditional approach where, in
our criminal justice system, the offender seeks to evade
accountability and the legal system has, to a large degree,
degenerated into a contest between the state and defence lawyers to
establish guilt or to obtain acquittal. Retributive justice is a
form of criminal justice based on the response to crime primarily by
punishing offenders, yet virtually, as I indicated, ignores the
victims and communities hurt by crime.
Now, a well-known judge from New Zealand who has pioneered
restorative justice holds the view that restorative justice offers
to the world the healing power of repentance and forgiveness, of
justice with mercy, of God’s love for all people. These are ideals,
he says, in which all people can share. If there is to be true
accountability in the community, it is time we breathe the spirit of
We as the ACDP have no delusions about the magnitude of the task
facing us in the light of the high crime rate, but submit that
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restorative justice will play a fundamental role in providing
opportunities for active personal participation by the victim, the
offender and their communities in responding to crime. We wish to
make it very clear that adults who think that they can use children
to commit offences, hoping that such children will be diverted, will
be prosecuted under section 9 of this Bill read with the provisions
of the Children’s Act.
In conclusion, it would be apposite to conclude by referring to the
Prophet Micah who asked, “What is it that God desired of His
people?” He said, “He has showed you, oh man, what is good. And what
does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to
walk humbly with your God.” And we as the ACDP respectfully submit
that restorative justice satisfies this injunction. The key to
success for this Bill is that the public feels safe from child
offenders. The victim is involved and possibly compensated and the
child offender has a change of heart, leading to a new life. The
ACDP will support this Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms S RAJBALLY: Madam Deputy Speaker, one of the most highlighted
concerns since the turn to democracy in 1996 has been the protection
of women and children. Our democracy brought to the fore a number of
serious abuses and the reality of the children of South Africa and
it was bleak.
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The national Constitution and the Bill of Rights introduced rights
that will certainly shape up human living, dignity and equality.
However, it is the long awaited Child Justice Bill that will deal
with and address the needs of our children. The courts of South
Africa have always upheld that, in all matters pertaining to
children, it is the best interests of the child that is the court’s
primary concern and interest. It insists that all shall persuade the
court’s decision. The Child Justice Bill serves to bring so much
more stability to and fill so many loopholes regarding the wellbeing
of the child.
In the overpopulated province of KwaZulu-Natal, poverty is one of
the greatest challenges and there are many child-headed households
which means that children are being deprived of education and there
are many unfortunate reports of children in rural areas who are
being made to labour under harsh conditions.
The awareness of children’s rights needs to be taken to the end of
the earth, and our communities need to be educated on how to rear
and develop the children of our country without infringing on the
rights and the dignity of the child. We need to intensify the
responsibility of parents towards their children. Neglect and abuse
are too common and the rights of children are being exploited.
The MF hopes that the Child Justice Bill will not only create a
greater awareness of the rights of children but also instil a
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greater sense of responsibility in parents, guardians and
communities towards the children of South Africa. Let us all protect
all our children, even if they are not ours. As we can remember, hon
Sibanyoni just said, “Your child is my child; my child is your
Ingane yakho ingane yami, ingane yami ingane yakho. Masikukhumbule
lokhu. Siyabonga. [Your child is my child, my child is your child.
We must remember this. Thank you.]
The MF supports the Child Justice Bill. Thank you, Madam Deputy
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order. It has
nothing to do with the previous speaker; it has to do with a certain
hon member, Martin Stephens of the DA, who finds himself remarkably
comfortable on the ANC benches.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon member. Please take your seat.
Mr M J ELLIS: I was rather hoping, Madam Deputy Speaker, that you
would tell him to come back to the DA where he belongs.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I didn’t take him there in the first place!
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy, this is a very serious point of order.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 68 of 112
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: From where you are seated, you have a problem,
but don’t make your problem my problem.
Mr M J ELLIS: Look how comfortable he looks.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is your problem, sir. Will you please sit
down? I am asking you for the last time and very seriously so. Sit
down or take the afternoon off.
Ms C B JOHNSON: Madam Deputy Speaker and hon Ellis, it is very
comfortable in the ANC benches.
The justice committee has processed many important pieces of
legislation during this third term and this third democratic
Parliament, but I would argue that this Bill before the House today
is, possibly, one of the most important and difficult pieces of
legislation that we have had to deal with. It raised many issues
which we really had to grapple with and we had to take some really
The aim of the Bill is to prevent children who are in conflict with
the law from growing up and becoming adults in conflict with the
law. It brings about many important changes in the way children in
conflict with the law are to be treated. We need to remember that
when we deal with these children, they are after all still children.
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Before they are sentenced by a competent court, they are innocent
until proven guilty. Therefore, we need to put measures in place
when we deal with children.
The Bill contains new and innovative developments, the first being
assessment. The assessment process is where a probation officer will
assess each and every child for the purpose of establishing whether
the child is in need of care and protection; will estimate the age
of the child if the age is uncertain, and will make recommendations
as to whether the child should be released or be detained in custody
while awaiting trial, and also establish the possibility of
diversion. Diversion is something that the hon Jeffery will deal
with more fully. All children who will have to attend a preliminary
inquiry will be assessed.
The second new development is the preliminary inquiry, which is an
informal pre-trial procedure. It aims to look at the child
holistically, at his or her personal circumstances, at the offence
that he or she was alleged to have committed, and to place all of
this before a court. Usually, these preliminary inquiries are
attended by the child, the child’s parents, the prosecutor and the
probation officer to get a sense of the specific circumstances
surrounding that child.
The third important change we’ve made is that we’ve raised the
minimum age of criminal capacity from the age of seven to the age of
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ten. This means that a child who commits an offence under the age of
ten will not have criminal capacity and, therefore, can never be
prosecuted for that offence. There was a lot of debate in the
committee about this issue. People felt very strongly about it; some
argued for ten years and others for the age of 12. The tough
question that we had to face was: At what age are children able to
appreciate the difference between right and wrong, and act
Many of the submissions suggested the age of 12, but the committee
felt that we should first increase it to the age of ten. We then
inserted a clause to say that the Minister for Justice and
Constitutional Development must, within five years, review the age
of criminal capacity with a view to whether or not it should be
raised to 12 years or remain at ten years.
When the police, therefore, have reason to believe that a child
under the age of ten has committed a crime, they may not arrest that
child but have to take the child and immediately hand the child over
to the parent or an appropriate adult or, if the parent cannot be
found or if indeed it is the parent who is neglecting or abusing the
child, hand the child over to a child and youth care centre because
the child may very well be in need of care.
With regards to children between 10 and 14 years, they are presumed
to lack criminal capacity until the state can prove beyond a
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reasonable doubt that the child could appreciate the difference
between right and wrong and could act in accordance therewith.
Finally, the Bill puts important measures in place to deal with the
release or detention of children awaiting trial. Time does not
permit me to go into detail but, as a general principle, where a
decision is made that the child must be detained awaiting trial,
then preference must be given to the least restrictive option in the
circumstances. In other words, one would rather place a child in a
suitable youth and child care centre before placing a child in
prison or a police cell.
Where a child is held in detention, the child must be kept separate
from adults and must be treated in a way that takes account of the
child’s age and special needs. And adequate food, water, blankets
and bedding must be provided and when there has been an injury or
illness or trauma, then immediate health care must be provided to
The hon Bloem has raised with this House, not once but many times,
the issue of children awaiting trial who are in custody where either
the parents cannot be found or are simply too poor to pay the bail.
Hon Bloem, we’ve taken care of that for you in the Bill. We’ve
looked at the matter. [Applause.]
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To conclude, with regards to the detention, a lot depends on the
secure care centres that we have in the country at the moment. These
centres are crucial to the long-term success of this Bill. At the
ANC’s 52nd National Conference, the resolutions state that, with
regard to children in conflict with the law, the secure care centres
must be capacitated and the establishment of additional such centres
must be accelerated. The committee was, therefore, pleased to note
that the Department of Social Development has already established 30
of these centres across the country, and has budgeted and planned
for a further 20.
There is a saying that we worry so much about what a child will
become tomorrow that we forget that he or she is someone today. I do
believe that this Bill acknowledges that if we act in the best
interests of our children today, then hopefully they will become
responsible and law-abiding adults tomorrow.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to everybody who took part in
the processing of this Bill. It is, really, a very good Bill. I am
pleased and privileged to support this Bill on behalf of the ANC.
Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr S E M PHEKO: Madam Deputy Speaker, the Child Justice Bill is a
very important piece of legislation for our nation. The children of
our country are our future. They are the foundation for our
continued existence as a nation. They are an indispensable national
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 73 of 112
resource. The success of this nation will depend on how we care for
our children in terms of their health, and their education to make
them knowledgeable and skilled citizens who can make a rich
contribution to the national development of our country and
These days, we see much juvenile delinquency caused by drugs and
other influences. It is important to come up with a Child Justice
Bill such as this one. Many children have certainly found themselves
in conflict with the law and consequently in prison. Many prisons
that one visits these days are crowded with young people. I have
personally visited many such prisons. In one prison, I was struck by
the choirs. When these youngsters sing hymns, you can’t believe that
you are in prison. You would think that you are in a church engaged
in a very deep spiritual revival.
This Bill, among other things, provides for the minimum age of the
criminal capacity of children. It deals with children who lack
criminal capacity outside the criminal justice system. It has
special provisions for securing attendance in courts and the release
from detention and the placement of children. Due to the lack of
such a law, many children have not been properly placed, and they
have sometimes been mixed with hardened criminals. This is despite
the fact that the Constitution is based on democratic values, social
and economic justice, equality and fundamental human rights to
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 74 of 112
improve the quality of life of all its people, and to free the
potential of every person for all possible things.
The Bill is supported by the PAC. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr L M GREEN: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister and members, it is of
benefit to our society that children of crime have laws that afford
them the opportunity to embark on a process towards full
The Child Justice Bill spells out the just procedures best suited
for a child criminal. The Bill aims to distinguish between child and
adult criminals and to achieve the right balance of treatment so
that the child is not treated more severely than its adult
A key object of the Bill is to break the cycle of crime amongst our
youth. The FD endorses the provision that the de facto minimum age
for a child to presume to lack criminal capacity is established
under the age of 10. The procedures are provided for and the
obligation is placed upon the state to prove criminal capacity of
the child over the age of 10 but less than 14 years old.
Society has an obligation, as far as possible, to protect the
child’s growth. Although being exposed to a bad world, they must not
be unduly influenced or forced to engage in criminal practices. We
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live in an imperfect world, but children need not be grouped with
those who have the capacity to account for their actions. As such,
the provisions spelling out procedures around diversion create just
treatment to the child offender. Ours is still a traditional society
that needs education about the impact of diversion on social
institutes. Society will need to be educated that children can mend
their ways given the right frames of reference and resources.
The legislation, to be effective, must operate within a caring
society, and unless we have reached that stage, restorative justice
of the child is likely to be challenged. However, the FD believes
that the legislation sets the right principles and standards to call
society to help in the rehabilitation of the child. Therefore, the
FD wholeheartedly supports this Bill. I thank you.
Mr J H JEFFERY: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, it goes without
saying that we have a problem of crime in South Africa, but who are
these criminals and where do they come from? Are they members of an
alien race, either from a distant land or even a distant planet, who
have come to live among us, but are completely dissimilar from us,
having an entirely different origin, background, likes and dislikes?
No, they are from among us, from among our communities. We know many
of them, or at least their mothers and fathers, brothers and
sisters, cousins, etc. Where did they come from? They probably
started as petty criminals when they were much younger, as pick-
pockets, housebreakers, bag snatchers and then graduated to more
serious crimes such as armed robbery, car hijacking and murder.
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One of the issues that we need to address is that most of the
criminals committing serious crimes today were probably child
offenders once and that many of the child offenders sitting in our
prisons will end up becoming serious criminals. What do we do with
the child offenders? Do we simply lock them up and throw away the
key so they can’t come back and victimise anyone ever again?
The facts are that South Africa has one of the largest prison
populations in the world; the sixth largest in fact. According to
the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons, we have 348 prisoners for
every 100 000 people. This is one of the highest in the world.
Researchers say that South Africa relies on prison as a penalty far
more uniformly than other democracies, but a further problem with
stays in prison, according to researchers, is that they increase
rather than decrease the chances of a person returning once
released. This even applies to short stays. The figures are that
approximately 60% to 70% of prisoners commit offences again. So, the
fact that we throw our criminals into prison doesn’t seem to have an
impact on crime. What the Child Justice Bill is endeavouring to do
is to focus on the rehabilitation of the child offender, turning
them into responsible adults who will not reoffend, as opposed to
simply locking them up and throwing away the key.
Diversion, as other members have mentioned, is, therefore, an
essential element of the Bill. Diversion is basically saying to a
child: If you admit that you did it, and that you were wrong,
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 77 of 112
instead of being prosecuted and appearing in court and having all
the evidence heard at the trial, you can go on a programme aimed at
rehabilitating you. And if you complete this programme you won’t be
prosecuted and you won’t have a criminal record. You will be given a
Some of the objectives of diversion are, and these are contained in
clause 51 of the Bill: To encourage the child to be accountable for
the harm caused; to promote the reintegration of the child into his
or her family or community; to provide those affected by the harm an
opportunity to express their views on its impact on them; to
encourage the rendering to the victim of some symbolic benefit or
the delivery of some object as compensation; to promote the dignity
and wellbeing of the child and the development of his or her self-
worth and ability to contribute to society.
Diversion has been around for some time. Research shows that the
percentage of reoffending of children who have completed these
diversion programmes is low. According to the National Institute for
Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders, Nicro, who run
most of the diversion programmes, of the 60 791 children
accommodated in diversion programmes from April 2004 to December
2007, only 7% of children had records of previously being diverted
for other criminal charges.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 78 of 112
This Bill provides a legislative framework for diversion and as it
is new, it is something that we will need to review after it has
been implemented for a while. One of the big debates during our
deliberations on the Bill was whether all offenders, even the
serious cases, should be considered for diversion. At the moment any
case can be considered for diversion in terms of guidelines set by
the National Director of Public Prosecutions. After considerable
deliberations we felt that this should continue.
We, however, felt that serious cases should not be diverted, but
there may be circumstances where you are unlikely to succeed as a
trial and where diverting the accused may be something that is
appropriate. We, however, set more stringent criteria. With regards
to the serious cases, only the Provincial Director of Public
Prosecutions can indicate that a case may be considered for
diversion and only for exceptional cases and only after consulting
the police investigating officers to hear their views and then there
is also provision for listening to the views of the victim.
This doesn’t mean that all cases should be diverted. It is an option
that can be considered. With regard to minor cases, the decision on
diversion would be taken by the prosecutor and for the more serious
ones the decision would be taken by the preliminary inquiry
magistrate after considering a number of factors. When it comes to
sentencing, in other words where the child is found guilty and needs
to be punished, the Bill does not follow the approach of “lock them
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 79 of 112
up and throw away the key”. The object of sentencing, and these are
contained in clause 69 of the Bill, are to encourage the child to
understand the implications of and be accountable for the harm
caused; to promote an individualised response, which strikes a
balance between the circumstances of the child, the nature of the
offence and the interests of society; to promote the reintegration
of the child into the family and community; and to use imprisonment
as a measure of last resort and only for the shortest appropriate
period of time.
Before deciding on the punishment a court can consider a victim
impact statement, which is a statement by the victim which indicates
the consequences of the crime on them. This gives the court and the
child offender an opportunity to hear from the victim themselves.
For the more serious offences a pre-sentencing report must be
submitted, which is a report on the child and the types of sentences
that would be appropriate for him or her, prepared by a probation
The Bill then outlines a range of possible sentences. They can
include community-based sentences, which are sentences that involve
a child remaining in the community, and undergoing a programme in
that community. There are restorative justice sentences, involving
participation of the victim. And then, for the more serious cases,
there are sentences of compulsory residence in a child and youth
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care centre or a reform school, or ultimately there is still
imprisonment in prison.
The Bill does not encourage fines as a punishment, because
invariably it will be the parents who pay and not the child. Instead
it may look at symbolic restitution where the child, instead of a
fine, provides a service or benefit or payment of compensation. We
have specifically banned children under 14 years of age from being
sentenced to imprisonment, because we did not feel that prison is an
appropriate place for a child under 14. Someone once put it, “What
chance does an under-14-year-old have if they are sentenced to
prison?” The answer is probably: No chance. And they will be a
danger to society for the rest of their lives, which, if they had to
live to 70, would be another 57 years. This doesn’t mean that
children under 14 walk free. They can serve a sentence in a child
and youth care facility, as I already mentioned, and we have
provided that if the case is very serious they can be sentenced to
serve time in prison when they are a bit older, but a court will
have to look at how they performed in the child and youth care
centre and we will revisit the sentence of imprisonment if
We have limited it to children under 14 at the time of sentencing,
not the time of commission of the offence, because our intention is
clearly that prison is not a place that a child under 14 is equipped
or able to handle. In the case where the trial of an under-14-year-
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 81 of 112
old is being delayed so that the child is now over 14 and would have
been under 14 at the time of sentencing if it had gone faster, I am
sure the presiding officer will take into account that the child
could not have been sentenced to jail had the trial been completed
We are saying no under-14-year-olds in prison, we are not saying
over 14 year olds automatically go to prison. This is an area that,
I am sure, was discussed a lot and it is an area that can be further
debated. Children over the age of 14 can be sentenced to
imprisonment, but the Bill limits it to very serious cases.
There are then two additional points I want to make in closing. The
Bill is quite detailed. Some would feel too detailed as far as the
steps that officials - and that is police officers, prosecutors,
magistrates and judges - must take. This is because, while you have
a number of officials in our justice system who are committed to the
interest of justice, while at the same time considering the child as
a human being, there are unfortunately a few others who simply are
just not able to think. These are the people who order a child to be
held in prison for stealing a loaf of bread on the one hand, and on
the other hand releasing dangerous criminals on bail when there are
strong cases against them. For these officials, unfortunately, we’ve
had to spell things out.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 82 of 112
The other point I want to make is an appeal to us here and to
society at large that the dangerous criminals in our society, those
who rob and kill and rape, are not aliens from a distant land or
planet but are from among us. They are some mother’s son or
daughter, as the case may be, and they were once children, whether
in trouble with the law or just generally troubled.
Two hon members have made reference to a saying “Umntana wakho
ngumntana wam; umntana wam ngumntana wakho.” Your child is my child;
my child is your child. [Applause.] Let’s take this saying to heart.
Let us mentor our youth, let us give them guidance, let us be there
for them when they make mistakes, as all humans do, and children
should be able to make more mistakes. Let us show them the right
The hon chair of the committee, the hon Y I Carrim, has thanked all
the officials for their hard work on this Bill - I don’t really have
time to repeat it – and the representatives of the nongovernmental
organisations who also participated. I think what he left out was
himself and I’d like to thank him. [Applause.] That is, the hon Mr Y
I Carrim, for his commitment to the task at hand, his energy, his
inclusivity and his innovation. I think he is a prime example of
parliamentary best practice when it comes to chairing committees. I
thank you. [Applause.]
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 83 of 112
The MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson
of the portfolio committee, I would want you to consider taking me
to lunch because I’m the one who influenced the hon member who has
just spoken. I actually wrote that part for him. [Laughter.] Mine is
a simple task now. At the time I was introducing the Bill, I was
extending my thanks also to the previous chairperson of our
portfolio committee, the hon Fatima Chohan, because she also
contributed to the discussions around the Bill at the time that she
was chairing. But I also want to say thank you to the Child Justice
I must salute some of the members in particular of the NGO
community, whom I recall working with in the early 1990s and we were
discussing the very concept of the Child Justice Bill. I here would
like to just single out Dr Ann Skelton. By the way, I got
intermittent briefings about the robust discussions that were
happening at the portfolio committee. I think mine is simply to say:
Keep up the good work. This is just the beginning. Once the Bill is
passed into law, we should make sure that it is implemented, not
only implementable. I do think that the challenge does remain. On
our part, as the executive, we commit ourselves to putting this as a
priority of the JCPS cluster because, indeed, government is mindful
of the importance of child care and development. In fact, I would
venture to say that this Bill completes the policy circle - the
circle of a comprehensive policy on child care and development. We
thus commit to making sure that all of us, Parliament, the executive
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 84 of 112
and the NGOs are in partnership for the good of the child so that we
make this a reality. To those committees that have to be set up
within government, we have to consider how that can be effectively
done – not tomorrow but today. I thank you. [Applause.]
Bill read a second time.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON STUDY
TOUR TO LONDON AND MANCHESTER
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT
ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO TSHWANE
Mr J P CRONIN: Deputy Speaker, the focus of the oversight work of
the Portfolio Committee on Transport over the last year and a half
has largely been on public transport preparations for the year 2010.
I think members will be well aware that Cabinet has set up the key
legacy that we want to derive from hosting the 2010 event and that
is a decent legacy of public transport. I think we all recognise
that public transport in South Africa is neither good nor effective.
Now, if we are to get this legacy right - in other words if we are
to derive a public transport legacy from hosting 2010 - then the
planning at city level, in terms of the host cities, needs to be
completed already. The funding flow needs to be moving very
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effectively, and indeed we need to see the beginnings of significant
implementation. It should also be noted that the President of the
country in two state of the nation addresses in recent years, has
mentioned bus transit systems as key elements of this public
transport legacy that we want to see in South Africa.
The Minister of Finance has also indicated the commitment of the
Treasury to seeing effective integrated multinodal systems in our
major cities, and so it is in this context that the portfolio
committee has been conducting oversight visits to all of the host
cities. We visited all of them last year, except for Tshwane which
we visited in February this year. We met with Tshwane transport
officials for an entire day and listened to their plans. They are
talking about Metrorail improvements, the upgrade of stations, the
introduction of some new stations and also are planning - we hope
they are still planning - a bus rapid transit system.
However, they raised a number of concerns with us. The SA Rail
Commuter Corporation is planning a big Moloto rail extension from
Tshwane, Pretoria, to Moloto but they’ve not consulted the city
effectively. And so where they are planning to end up in Tshwane is
not very suitable for the spatial planning and public transport
planning that Tshwane is looking at.
We also had the impression that there wasn’t a very clear vision,
frankly, coming from Tshwane officials around their preparations for
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 86 of 112
2010 transport. This might have been the result of the fact that
there are two MMCs, members of the mayoral executive committee,
involved in public transport; one is involved with roads and
infrastructure and the other with public transport. And the reports
we didn’t quite add up to a clear integrated perspective. There are
also serious problems with regards to the bulk of the funding that
they want for their 2010 public transport planning. The bulk of the
funding is only earmarked for 2010-11, which is clearly too late to
put in place the transport in time for 2010.
There are also problems with the Gautrain planning; often not
connecting effectively with the Pretoria plan. Now, having listened
to this and other host cities which we visited as well, the
committee asked itself: “What’s going wrong?” Because we are quite
concerned, to be honest, about what is going wrong, by way of
preparation for public transport for 2010 and, especially for the
legacy that we want to put in place beyond 2010. It was in that
context that we motivated with Parliament to allow us to have a look
at some international best practice, and we asked to go to the
United Kingdom and in particular selected London and Manchester.
We selected London because right at the moment, as we speak, they
are planning for the 2012 Olympic Games and we wanted to interact
with their transport officials and related institutions to see what
they are doing, by way of preparation for 2012. We also selected
Manchester because Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 87 of 112
Now, in going to these two cities, we were well aware that there are
many differences, obviously, and one couldn’t just transpose
experiences from the United Kingdom to South Africa. First of all,
both Commonwealth Games and Olympics Games are essentially one city
type event as opposed to the nine city event reality that 2010 would
Also, if you are talking about Manchester or London, you are talking
about cities with very effective public transport systems already in
place, which is not the case in our situation. However, that could
be exaggerated as we learned when we were there, because both our
counterparts in Manchester and in London underlined to us what a
devastating impact the massive privatisation and deregulation of the
public transport system had caused, that was pushed through by
Margaret Thatcher in the 1970s and 1980s, and there was a great deal
of disruption and undermining of the coherence of public transport
systems; both in Manchester, London and elsewhere in the UK.
However, there’s been a significant turnaround in both of these
cities and particularly in London. The turnaround has been powered
by the fact that in both the cities there are very strong effective
city-level transport authorities. In the case of London, it’s called
Transport for London, which was established by Ken Livingstone, the
former Mayor. It’s a powerful entity which is dedicated to city-wide
public transport integration. It employs something like 17 000
employees and the turnaround that they’ve seen in the last civil
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years has been based on a bus system - getting their bus system to
work very well and also having a congestion charging scheme. As they
roll out good public transport, they also make it more and more
costly for you to bring a car into the centre of the city. You can’t
do that, unless you also obviously supply decent public transport
for someone like myself who briefly lived in exile in London in the
London has changed its public transport perspective. It’s a much
more user-friendly place. There are many more pedestrian malls and
its much easier to walk around in London. You also see many people
riding on bikes in the centre of London – something that was
impossible, or near impossible, a few years ago. Their buses carry
1,8 billion passengers per year. It’s an incredible achievement, and
very important. They said to us that the success of their planning
and preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games, from a transport
perspective, has had a lot to do with the fact that they got their
funding upfront and very fast.
Once London had secured the bid for the Olympic Games, the National
Treasury basically transferred the money upfront and very quickly to
them. That’s one of the problems we are battling with now in South
Africa; cities are planning nicely, very often, and sometimes not so
effectively, for their public transport rollout for 2010 but the
money doesn’t flow in. The Treasury agrees that it looks good, but
is then not convinced that the business plan is effective and so on.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 89 of 112
The problem is then that the deadlines are pushed back and, frankly,
we are running out of time if we are going to get a decent public
transport legacy before 2010.
In Manchester, it is a similar story. They have a very effective
transport authority. Manchester actually does not have a metro
municipal council, it just has 10 different districts but they
realised that one has to integrate one’s public transport and,
therefore, they have established a Greater Manchester Public
Transport Authority, and an executive which employs 550 people who
are just dedicated to planning, funding, rolling out and regulating
the public transport in Greater Manchester.
So, in conclusion, these two reports which we are tabling before the
House this afternoon are trying to reflect on: Firstly, our
experience in Tshwane and our concerns about Tshwane; secondly, some
of the best practices that we think we can learn from elsewhere; and
the imperative of getting this right as quickly as possible. We are,
quite frankly, concerned – across political parties I should say -
in the committee that we are losing time. We’ve no doubt that we
will provide transport for visitors coming in 2010. We will more or
less get that right, you know. We will fly by the seat of our pants
perhaps, but we will get that right. Unless we move now much more
effectively, which means decentralising appropriately to the city
level so that we can align planning, spatial planning and transport
planning, much more effectively. Unless we do that, we are not going
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 90 of 112
to succeed in the important objective that Cabinet has set for us,
namely, to derive from the hosting of 2010 not just a lovely event,
but a decent legacy of public transport for all South Africans after
2010. The time has shortened. The portfolio committee really wants
to underline that fact. Thank you. [Applause.]
MRS L MALONEY: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move on behalf of the Chief
Whip of the Majority Party:
That the Reports be noted.
Motion agreed to.
Reports accordingly noted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION ON
OVERSIGHT VISIT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF THE FREE STATE
Prof S M MAYATULA: Madam Deputy Speaker, on 17 March 2008, following
the infamous racist video taken by four students of the Reitz Hostel
at the University of the Free State, the Portfolio Committee on
Education visited the university and had open and frank discussions
with the management, the labour unions and student organisations.
The report is contained in the ATC dated 19 June 2008.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 91 of 112
The management informed the committee that the racist video was
actually made in September 2007, but only surfaced on 26 February
We are going to share just a summary of events as reflected by Anton
Fisher from the university. He said:
This was triggered by the council’s decision to integrate
residences of University of the Free State. And an implementation
task team was made up. Unfortunately for this integration there
And to our surprise, according to Anton Fisher, the main opponents
of this were the Freedom Front Plus. Not only were they opposed to
this integration, they even tried to take the university to court,
saying there was not enough consultation.
According to Anton Fisher, there were protest marches addressed by
the Freedom Front Plus leadership, nationally and provincially,
against this integration.
Ixhala ke kukuba ingaba iFreedom Front ibiyintoni ingxaki yayo.
Amaxesha amaninzi ... [The concern, therefore, would be that, I
honestly do not know what the problem with the Freedom Front Plus
is. Most of the time ...]
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 92 of 112
... in this House we profess to be nonracist but many a time this is
just as good as you are going to keep a distance from me if you are
not like me. Let me choose a practical example. I am not going to
mention names, but I asked a member who was in my committee who
happened to be white – let me use that term – since we are buddies
working together: “What would you say if my son were to propose
marriage to your daughter?” He said: ``I don’t want to lie. I would
never ever allow that to happen’’.
This is the reality that we need to accept. There are some people
who would accept nonracialism as long as it does not affect them
directly. Let us pronounce and shout but keep our distance.
Therefore, when you have those different hostels, one being for
whites and one being for blacks and you put them together, chances
are that they are going to get to know each other. Once they get to
know each other, they are going to do what the old apartheid regime
didn’t want: These different people will be getting married and
become one, one culture, one human element.
Sometimes I am proud of being a member of the ANC, because in the
ANC we don’t talk about some of these things. We leave them out.
Kwi-ANC ufumana amakomanisi, abahedeni, sitshata wonke umntu, kwaye
senza yonke into. [In the ANC, there are communists, heathens, and
we marry everybody and we also do everything.]
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 93 of 112
Why? Because we declare ourselves human beings made in the image of
God, irrespective of where you come from. [Applause.]
Xa sihleli neemanyano zabasebenzi zithi enye yeengxaki zazo kukuba
iiklasi zaseFree State ziqhutywa ngohlobo lweparallel mode of
instruction, zesesiBhulu nesiNgesi. Loo nto yenza ukuba bonke
abathetha isiBhulu baye kungena kwiklasi yesiBhulu, abanye bonke
baye kungena kule klasi yesiNgesi, batsho ke bahlukane. Bathi into
abayicingayo ke bona kukuba endaweni yokuba umhlohli afundise abantu
abahlukeneyo into enye, kutheni bengadityaniswa nje. (Translation of
isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[When we met with the labour unions, we were told that the problem
with the University of the Free State was the parallel mode of
instruction. In this system Afrikaans–speaking students attend
classes taught in Afrikaans and then the rest attend classes taught
in English – which is the thing that divides them. The labour unions
submitted that instead of the lecturer teaching the same thing to
separate groups, they could teach the two groups at the same time.]
A lecturer must speak the language he understands but must be
interpreted so that everybody else is able to understand him or her.
That forces people together.
Ngethamsanqa kwiKomiti yeMicimbi yeSebe ebesinayo izolo iNqununu
yeYunivesiti yaseMntla Ntshona ithe yile nto kanye bona bayenzayo
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 94 of 112
ngoku. [Luckily enough, in the meeting of the portfolio committee
that we had yesterday, the rector of the North West University said
this was exactly what they were doing.]
And this is what we are proposing in our recommendation.
Enye yeenkxalabo yeemanyano zabasebenzi kunye nabafundi kukuba
iKhansile yeyunivesiti imhlophe. Xa sisithi kutheni iKhansile
imhlophe nje, bathi abantu unobuhlanga kutheni ujonga ibala.
Baphinde bathi akuboni na ukuba ngabantu aba. Libala ngombala.
Njengokuba siza kuthi masingathethi ngebala nje, ngoku liyangena
ibala xa kufuneka behleli bodwa eReitz. Kodwa xa behleli kwiKhansile
masingababoni ukuba bahleli bodwa; abakwazi ukucingela ukuba abanye
abantu bathini ngale nto bayithethayo. Sithi ke iyunivesiti mayizame
ukuyijonga naleyo into. Kanti neyunivesiti masiyithethe into yokuba
emveni kokuba kwenzeke le nto ... (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph
[One of the concerns of the labour unions and the students was that
the council of the university is still white. When we ask why the
council is still white, people would obviously intervene and call us
racist and ask why we are looking at skin colour. They also ask
whether you cannot see that these are people. While we are called
upon not to focus on colour, colour begins to matter when they want
to be put alone at Reitz. And yet when they are sitting on the
university council, we should turn a blind eye to the fact that they
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 95 of 112
are sitting alone; they are not concerned about how the other people
feel about what they are discussing. We are, therefore, saying the
university must look into this matter. However, we must also mention
that the university itself, after this incident ...]
Let me share what they did. They got this information on 26 February
2008. On 27 February 2008, the very following day, two students were
barred from the campus.
Besikade sisabela ukuba kutheni aba bafundi bebabini nje. Le nto
yenzeke ngo-2007, aba babini abafundi khange babuye ababini babuya.
Ngaba babini ke abaye bagxothwa ngomhla wama-27 kweyoMdumba?
Inqununu yaya kuthetha naba bantu. Khawufane ucinge! Ngoomama bane
notata, bamnyama thsu; ndiyeke ndisebenzise loo mbala. Ngabafundi
bamhlophe baya kwibala lemidlalo. Aba bafundi bamhlophe bathi kwaba
bantu badala balingana nabazali babo mababaleke bakhuphisane.
Babaleke abantu abadala besenza le nto kuthiwa mabayenze, kuba aba
bantu bakhulu kubo. Ndiye ndabuza komnye umfundi ukuba, ukuba
ibingumzali wakhe lo wenziwe le nto ebeya kuthini. Wathi lo mfundi
Kukho umahluko omkhulu phakathi kwabafundi abamhlophe nabamnyama
kulaa yunivesiti. Kuthi umfundi omnyama akuthetha le nto, omhlophe
athethe leya. Bathe bakuthi abamnyama mayivalwe iReitz bathi
abamhlophe mayingavalwa. Bathe abamhlophe, kuquka kubo inkokeli
yombutho wabafundi beFreedom Front, kutheni siyenza nzima nje le
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 96 of 112
nto. Ngabafundi nje abane abenze le nto ngoku nithi makuvalwe yonke
le ndawo yokuhlala; masingayivali akukho nto yenzekileyo.
Sithi sakuthi abantu abamnyama mabancediswe kwizinto
ebebengazifumani izolo, kuthiwe sinobuhlanga. Bade bathi abanye
abantu, aba bantwana bezelwe ngo-1994 nje, kutheni usithi
mababonelelwe. Ndithi buyela kuthi kwiAfrican National Congress.
Sithi ngoku abantu abangoomama mababe kumyinge ka-50%. (Translation
of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[We wanted to know why the university dealt only with these two
students. The incident happened in 2007, two students returned but
the other two did not come back, and it is only these two students
who came back who were expelled from campus on 27 February 2008.
The rector spoke to the victims of this incident. Can you imagine!
The victims are four pitch black women and one man, yes let me use
this colour. And the incident in short, is that white students were
seen on a rugby field. And these white students say to these women –
who are old enough to be their mothers – that they should run and
play on the rugby field and compete with them. And these poor old
women did as they were instructed since they regarded these students
as superior to them. I asked one of the students if he would have
liked the same to happen to his parents and he said no.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 97 of 112
There is a huge difference between white and black students at that
university. A black student pulls the other way and the white
students pull to a different direction. The black students demanded
that the Reitz hostel be shut down, but the white students refused.
The white students, including the leader of the Freedom Front Plus
student representative council, asked why we are making this matter
They said that it was only four students who had done this and now
there was a demand that the entire Reitz hostel be shut down. These
students said the Reitz hostel should not be shut down because,
nothing had happened anyway.
When we request that the previously oppressed people must be helped,
we were soon told that we were racists. Other people complained that
these children were born in 1994, and why do we, therefore, say they
should be helped. I am saying you should come back to the African
National Congress. Now we are saying women should at least get 50%.]
Why are we saying that? Is it because these women were not with us
in 1994? In reality they were with us, ...
... kodwa ibisithi madoda abathatha zonke ezi zikhundla.[... but it
was us men, who took all these positions.]
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 98 of 112
It has nothing to do with race. It has to do with catching up. We
are saying that you are human beings too; you can think; you can
lead. Let us accommodate you; let us not pretend as if we are at the
same starting block; you are far behind.
Yizani sibaleke kunye. Nokuba umntwana umhlophe, xa sisithi
khawuvumele umntwana ... ayinanto yakwenza neminyaka. Inento
yokwenza neenkcukacha zamanani namhlanje. Nokuba ungajonga
kwicandelo leeAccountants, bonke aba bantu balawula eli lizwe
bamhlophe. Ayenzekanga ngempazamo ke loo nto, koko yenziwe kukuba
abantu bethu bebebotshelelwe bengakwazi ukuyenza le nto.
Abanakuyenza emva kweminyaka emithathu. Abanye mabakhe balinde side
sifike ngoba khange siqale kunye. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph
[Come and let us run together. Whether a child is white, when we say
admit the child ... that has nothing to do with years. It has to do
with the details of figures today. If you look at accountants in
this country, you will realise that they are all white. And this is
not by accident, because even though our people could do it they
were restricted. They cannot do it in just three years. Others must
wait till we come because we did not start together anyway.]
It cannot be fair, and there is nothing racist about it. It is
levelling the playing field. [Applause.]
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 99 of 112
Siyacela ke ukuba le ngxelo mayamkelwe ngoba sifuna ukuba ezi zinto
zisicebisayo apha ... [We, therefore, request that this report be
adopted, because we want the recommendations we have made here ...]
... to be implemented. Thank you. [Applause.]
MR O E MONARENG: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move on behalf of the Chief
Whip of the Majority Party that this report be noted.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The motion is that the report be noted.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, may I ask why we are not going
to adopt it rather than just note it?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Well, the decision of the Chief Whip of the
Majority Party is that it be noted. I am sure there are reasons for
Mr M J ELLIS: We will be quite happy to adopt it, Madam Deputy
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: But then there is no motion for adoption.
Mr M J ELLIS: Can I propose a motion for adoption?
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 100 of 112
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, you can’t, unfortunately. It’s the
prerogative of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party and he says the
report should be noted.
Mr M J ELLIS: That doesn’t look like it is the Chief Whip of the
Majority Party. [Laughter.]
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly noted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS LEAD
(HEALTH) PROGRAMME AT THE MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Mr G G OLIPHANT: Deputy Speaker, Deputy President and colleagues, we
are talking about a report that was published in the ATC,
Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, on 18 June 2008, on
our visit to IKS, Indigenous Knowledge Systems - a lead project that
is based here in the Western Cape.
Abanye bathi ezi zinto zezamagqirha, ngoko ke kuza kufuneka nivume
xa ndinivumisa ndikule ndawo ndikuyo. [Others say that these are
matters related to sangomas, and therefore, you should respond in
the affirmative by saying, “siyavuma” when I call upon you to do so
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 101 of 112
The Indigenous Knowledge Systems is an area of scientific
competitive advantage located at the Medical Research Council and
funded by the Department of Science and Technology, DST, through the
National Indigenous Knowledge Systems office called NIKSO.
Our visit to this project, which is located in Parow Valley in the
Western Cape, was essentially to enhance our understanding of this
programme and to measure its output against national priorities. Our
assessment is that the IKS is still marginalised, sidelined and not
adequately funded in order to realise its full potential.
On the other hand, indigenous knowledge holders and communities from
which such knowledge is derived do not benefit. For instance, Hoodia
- some of you know it very well - is a very popular medicinal plant
used within the international health system across the world. The
generators of this knowledge and the communities from where this
plant is harvested remain poor and outside the formal economy.
We have 24 000 plant species in South Africa, as stated in the
report. A total of 4 000 are used to manufacture medicines and 20
000 tons of medicinal plants are exported each year. We still have
to investigate this matter to establish who the beneficiaries of
these economic activities are and what are the fault lines relating
to the nonincorporation of indigenous communities into this
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 102 of 112
knowledge economy. Key to our mandate is the improvement of the
quality of life for all our people, not only some.
The portfolio committee also visited a laboratory in Delft, also in
the Western Cape, where we were shown how plants are processed and
converted into tablets or capsules. They showed us a very
interesting and impressive demonstration of excellence, only about
10 minutes’ drive from Parliament.
What was even more remarkable was the packaging and labelling of
these capsules on site - some of them you see at the chemist across
the road. The knowledge that our people possess on plants and herbs
and their respective medicinal properties, represent enormous wealth
that has not yet been exploited to its maximum potential.
One of their flagship projects at the laboratory is the patenting of
the malaria strain. We hope that they succeed in their venture. The
Department of Science and Technology has a programme called Farmer-
to-Pharmacy, which means from the farmer to the pharmacist. This is
what this project is trying to achieve.
People with money have over the years appropriated knowledge and
registered intellectual property rights to themselves, to the total
exclusion of the poor. This matter needs to be corrected. Funding
from the Department of Science and Technology has not increased from
what it was in previous years; it has remained the same. We have
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 103 of 112
raised this matter with the department for its consideration and
Other recommendations, which I am not going to repeat, are in the
report and are being processed, and we need to follow up on some of
these matters. When we return in the next session, we will be
processing a piece of legislation called the intellectual property
rights for publicly funded research. Basically, this is to avoid a
situation where the state funds research and at an advanced stage
their capitalist ventures buy some of the technology or appropriate
some of the technology to themselves, patent it and from there start
exporting it overseas and make money. Therefore, people who came
with these technologies and with this knowledge do not benefit from
We need to correct this, and this law that we will be passing in the
next term is precisely to try and address this situation. I thank
you very much. [Applause.]
MR O E MONARENG: Deputy Speaker, I move on behalf of the Chief Whip
of the Majority Party, that the report be noted.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, may I ask why the report has not
been adopted. I would like to propose an adoption. I am so sad.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The motion is that the report be noted.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 104 of 112
Mr M J ELLIS: I would like to propose that the report be adopted. I
am so sad.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any objections? Are you objecting, Mr
Ellis? If not, take your seat. I promise you that you have worked
hard to get a half-day and I am not going to give it to you. You are
going to be here until adjournment. If you think I am going to ask
you to leave, I won’t be doing that. [Laughter.]
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly noted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF JOINT MONITORING COMMITTEE ON IMPROVEMENT
OF QUALITY OF LIFE AND STATUS OF CHILDREN, YOUTH AND DISABLED
Mrs W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN: Deputy Speaker, the functions of the Joint
Monitoring Committee on Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of
Children, Youth and Disabled Persons are to monitor and evaluate
progress with regard to the improvement in the quality of life and
the status of children, youth and disabled persons in South Africa
with special reference to government’s commitment in respect of any
applicable international instruments and to duties and
responsibilities in respect of any applicable legislation.
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 105 of 112
Prior to the workshop that we had as a JMC, I, as the chairperson,
met with the facilitators to set up the objectives of this workshop,
and the objectives were as follows: To review and evaluate the work
done by the JMC since 2005, which included identifying its strengths
and weaknesses in relation to its co-functions; identifying
challenges to complete activities in the work plan; critically
assessing the operational structures of the JMC and proposing
alternative methods of working.
The objectives also try to help members understand the functions of
the JMC in relation to South Africa’s international obligations and
a deeper understanding of the tools available to Members of
Parliament. They work with various sectors that the JMC also work
with, namely children, youth and disabled persons.
We wanted to draft a programme that could be achievable and which
include a range of activities that cater for all three sectors that
we see to, and cover the five functions as well, namely legislation,
oversight, public participation, co-operative governance and
At our strategic workshop the NA Table staff and the South African
Human Rights Commission briefed us on the private member’s motion as
well as international instruments. As the JMC we are responsible for
the oversight work in relation to children, youth and disabled
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 106 of 112
people, and we oversee the Offices on the Rights of the Child, the
Office on the Status of Disabled Persons, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund
as well as the National Youth Commission.
At our strategic workshop we in small groups, and made
presentations, held discussions and looked at plans and programmes
and the activities that could be reflected in our plans for 2008.
Out of our group discussions we had an activity plan where we had 18
priorities. Members can go through that in the report.
In conclusion, it has been agreed that the JMC should co-ordinate
the work better. Members are responsible to mainstream the work of
the JMC with other portfolio committees. That is very important to
us. We also seriously need to look at the meeting times of the JMC
which are held on Fridays as it is very difficult to have a quorum
on a Friday. The existing support base for us as a committee was not
good this year; we only managed to get a researcher two months ago
and our committee is functioning properly now.
Parliament needs to look at the functioning of the JMC, and as I
have mentioned, we only managed to get a researcher this term and
she has helped a lot with our committee work. The JMC needs to
continue to work with the three sectors, namely the youth, children
and the disabled sector, and we need to have a better understanding
of their work. This report was adopted by the committee and we need
to improve the relationship with the three sectors that we are
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 107 of 112
working with. We also ask that this House adopt our report. Thank
MR O E MONARENG: Madam Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the Chief Whip
of the Majority Party I move:
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
The House adjourned at 16:44.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
(1) Bills passed by National Council of Provinces on 25 June 2008:
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 108 of 112
(a) Cross-Border Road Transport Amendment Bill [B 51B – 2007] (National Assembly
– sec 75)
(b) Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill [B 18B - 2008] (National Assembly –
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government on the Local
Government Laws Amendment Bill [B 28B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 24
The Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government, having considered the Local
Government Laws Amendment Bill [B 28B – 2007] and proposed amendments of the National
Council of Provinces (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 25 March 2008, p
515), referred to the Committee, reports the Bill with amendments [B 28C – 2007].
2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the filling of vacancies on the Council
of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, dated 25 June 2008.
In its report to the National Assembly on 10 June 2008, the Committee recommended that the
House submits to the Minister a suitable list of candidates at least one and a half times the
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 109 of 112
number of councillors to be appointed on the Council of the Independent Communications
Authority of South Africa.
After consideration of the list of candidates, the Minister recommended that, in terms of section
5(1B) of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act, Act No 13 of 2000, as
amended, the National Assembly approves that the following persons be appointed to serve on
Mr F K Sibanda, Ms N Batyi and Mr T Makhakhe.
Having considered the Minister’s recommendation referred to it, the Committee recommends
that the National Assembly approves the appointment of the above – mentioned persons.
Report to be considered.
3. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Judicial
Service Commission Amendment Bill [B 50 - 2007], dated 24 June 2008.
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the
Judicial Service Commission Amendment Bill [B 50 - 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75) and
the proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces (Announcements, Tablings and
Committee Reports, 7 May 2008, p 594), referred to the committee, reports the Bill with
amendments [B50A – 2007].
4. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the South
African Judicial Education Institute Bill [B 4B - 2007], dated 25 June 2008:
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 110 of 112
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the
South African Judicial Education Institute Bill [B 4B - 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75)
and the proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces (Announcements, Tablings
and Committee Reports, 7 May 2008, p 595), referred to the Committee, reports the Bill with
amendments [B 4C – 2007].
5. Report of the Portfolio Committee of Agriculture and Land Affairs on the Liquor Products
Amendment Bill [B 22 - 2008] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 24 June 2008:
The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs, having considered the subject of the
Liquor Products Amendment Bill [B 22 - 2008] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it, and
classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments
[B 22A - 2008].
6. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology on the Human Sciences
Research Council Bill [B 16B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75) and the President’s
reservations about the constitutionality of the Bill, dated 24 June 2008:
The Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology, having reconsidered section 5(3) of the
Human Sciences Research Council Bill [B 16B – 2007] and the President’s reservations on the
constitutionality of section 5(3) of the Bill (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 8
May 2008, p 599), recommends that the President’s reservations be accommodated, and presents
an amended Bill [B 16C – 2007].
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 111 of 112
Report to be considered.
7. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology on the South African National
Space Agency Bill [B 20 - 2008] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 24 June 2008:
The Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology, having considered the subject of the South
African National Space Agency Bill [B 20 - 2008] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it
and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with
amendments [B 20A - 2008].
8. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Finance on the Protocol amending the Agreement
between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of Australia for
the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on
income, dated 17 June 2008:
The Portfolio Committee on Finance, having considered the request for approval by Parliament
of the Protocol amending the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South
Africa and the Government of Australia for the avoidance of double taxation and the
prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, recommends that the House, in
terms of section 231 (2) of the Constitution, approve the said Protocol.
Request to be considered.
9. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Finance on the Agreement between the Government of the
Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Sudan for the avoidance of
25 JUNE 2008 PAGE: 112 of 112
double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, dated 17
The Portfolio Committee on Finance, having considered the request for approval by Parliament
of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the
Government of Republic of Sudan for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of
fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, recommends that the House, in terms of section
231 (2) of the Constitution, approve the said Agreement
Request to be considered.