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EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 1 of 98 TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 ____ PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE - COMMITTEE ROOM E249 ____ Members of the Extended Public Committee met in Committee Room E249 at 15:12. House Chairperson Mr N P Nhleko, as Chairperson, took the Chair. ANNOUNCEMENTS TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000. APPROPRIATION BILL Debate on Vote No 28 – Housing: The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Chairperson, hon members, I very quickly had to make the necessary amendments to my speech to make sure that it reflects a man, as opposed to a woman. [Laughter.] We were hoping to have Dr Helena Dolny present with us today. She is, however, unable to make it. As you all know, Dr Dolny is the wife of the late Joe Slovo, who was the first Minister of Housing in the free, democratic South Africa. We asked Dr Dolny to grace us EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 2 of 98 with her presence, as we dedicate our Budget Vote, as a tribute, to the late Comrade Joe Slovo. This is the man who, as a young immigrant from Lithuania, arrived on our shores carrying, according to his daughter, “a brown paper bag containing fruit so overripe, its pulp was seeping”. But this was a man who would mature to devote his entire adult life to the cause of the liberation of the majority of South Africans, a man who would craft and steer our initial attempts at righting the wrongs of nearly 100 years, where every attempt was made to block the inclusion of black people in urban areas. He left us with a rich legacy of confronting the deep assumptions that underlie development and underdevelopment. As we enter our second decade of freedom, we want to remember those who gave their entire lives to make it possible for us to be where we are today. I, in particular, am now able to elaborate on our new Comprehensive Plan on Sustainable Human Settlements, because Joe Slovo put all the fundamentals in place, making my work so much more possible and so much easier. At this point, I just want to recount to you something that happened at my office earlier this week. We had wanted to present Dr Helena Dolny with a portrait of her late husband, Joe Slovo. So, my office finds the necessary artist and phones our communications EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 3 of 98 department to find a picture of Joe Slovo, and in came, page after page on our fax, thousands and thousands of Joe Slovo informal settlements. [Laughter.] It took us a long time to communicate with the department that the Joe Slovo we were looking for was actually the man. We want to acknowledge the late Joe Slovo, because we in the ANC would like to acknowledge that whatever policies we put in place, were put in place before any one of us took office with the ANC. I would like to think that this will crystallise into a tradition and that I will in turn hand over this tradition to whoever may succeed me. This is premised on the hope that whoever comes in will take over the reigns and take us forward in the ANC tradition and culture. This is the circle of our lives where each one of us is a part of a whole, greater by far than any sum of its parts. I am very grateful at finding myself surrounded by this rich culture and tradition where every contribution we are making is recognised. This is the tradition of humility that we take over from the life of Joe Slovo. Governance is not about an individual and, for the ANC in particular, governance is about all of us and about all our contributions. The immense misery and suffering that apartheid caused us as a people dictates that the tradition is kept. In our case, Joe Slovo EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 4 of 98 provided the netting and each one of our efforts will complete the tapestry of our history. Just in case memory has faded about where we come from, time and again, the ugly humanitarian consequences come to haunt us in the most gruesome way. On 29 April, just two days after we celebrated our 11th anniversary, Danielskuil awoke to a heinous crime. Danielskuil is a small town near Kimberley, a town that in different circumstances would be enjoying tranquillity, basking in the returns of the tourist potential provided by the natural sinkhole known by the very politically incorrect name of Boesmansgat. In this particular town, a 102-year old woman had been attacked and raped in the sanctity of her house – a 102-year-old woman. The circumstances of how the poor in our country live are well known to all of us. In this particular case, it is alleged that the woman was assaulted by a 42-year-old man who had easy access to the tiny house that the old lady shared with other occupants, because in the circumstances of our lives this is all too possible. That the crime could be committed in these circumstances, in the sanctity of a home, gives ample evidence of the persistently absent security and comfort in our houses that 50 years ago the Congress of the People in Kliptown clamoured for. Thus, social ills of the EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 5 of 98 nature that took place in Danielskuil, on the night of 29 April, are destined to dominate our lives, if the conditions that permit them are not immediately removed. It places an enormous burden on us to provide that which will help us lift our communities out of the barbarism that drives a man to assault a woman of such venerable age. After 50 years, therefore, the clamour for houses, security and comfort continues to reverberate through our urban and rural landscapes. This is because housing is such a basic and a defining aspect of human life. In short, it is in relation to the provision of houses, security and comfort that our efforts as government to combat poverty will be measured. For indeed, it can never be possible for any society to satisfactorily combat its social ills when its members continue to live in conditions that permit the commission of the same ills. At this point I would like to acknowledge that I have here with me the Minister of Safety and Security. So, if anyone of you recognises a man smiling from ear to ear, it is he. [Laughter.] We cannot ever hope to create communities, or even morality among some of our people, until we have addressed the issue of houses. Housing is core to the realisation and the protection of those liberties that we fought for for so long. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 6 of 98 Since we unveiled the Comprehensive Plan on Sustainable Human Settlements in September last year, we have sought to reconfirm our commitment to providing a life of dignity. This is the duty that any government has towards its citizens, for how else do we remain accountable and answerable to those to whom we owe our legitimacy? This is what our people asked of us 50 years ago when they crafted the Freedom Charter, understanding that decent houses were a prerequisite for comfort and security. We announced, last year, our intention to eradicate informal settlements within a specific period. This, however, was met with a great deal of scepticism. I want to take some time now to give you a picture of the situation we are in, so that we can all understand the burden of the present. Migration to the urban areas, throughout the developing world, is unfolding at such a phenomenal rate that unless we tackle this as a priority, we will be dealing with a social time bomb. Estimates indicate that in the next 30 years Africa's population will double from 888 million this current year, to 1,77 billion. In this same period the urban population will increase from 353 million to 748 million inhabitants at the rate of 4% to 5% per annum. Roughly, therefore, what this means in relation to our urban space is that by 2035 an additional 40 million people will be added to our urban population. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 7 of 98 In the absence of a supportive infrastructure and a working economy to absorb such rapid population growth rates, the most urgent development challenge that these projections give us is prominently reflected in figures indicating the phenomenal growth in slums. Thus, 72% of our African urban population presently lives in slums. This is the stark reality that we as African Ministers, meeting in Durban in February, were confronted with. We had to understand that if we were to ignore this, we do so at our own peril. When you therefore consider, in our particular case in South Africa, the abominable conditions that our people still live in, consider that on an annual basis 4% to 5% still stream to the urban areas in search of a better life, and consider further the fact that we have not yet begun to deal with the second generation of urbanised blacks - a phenomenon epitomised by African people born in Cape Town affirming their rights by calling themselves “Cape borners” - then you begin to glimpse the enormity of our task. Consider also, at that, that a great deal of the accommodation provided by the apartheid government can clearly be identified as slums, then you understand our concern for the eradication of slums, which universally are an index of a government’s ability to deal with housing needs. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 8 of 98 In 2002 world leaders committed themselves to eradicating a minimum of 100 million slum dwellers by 2020. We as African Ministers are keen to see the world committing itself to a higher number, because we are convinced that if we are all serious about poverty we have to find it where it resides and breeds in our slums and surrounding areas, and there make a difference. We are committed to accelerating the delivery of houses to ensure the privacy, dignity and sanctity of the individual within a space he or she identifies as secure enough to raise a family, where women of the age of 102 are not rendered vulnerable because they are forced to share their spare, where young children are safe from people who prey on the innocent and the vulnerable. For those of us who are committed to the eradication of poverty, we are convinced that we are on the right path and that the plan we have worked on for ourselves will stand the test of history. We look back on the past nine months since the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan on Sustainable Human Settlements with a great deal of satisfaction. We have used the time ensuring that all our systems are aligned to the plan. To begin with, we have graduated ourselves out of being Ministers of low-cost housing to taking on the responsibility of the entire residential property sphere. We have had to ensure that our administration can deal with the added responsibilities. We have had to revisit our laws and regulations. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 9 of 98 In this respect we have two amendments to two pieces of legislation that we hope will be passed by Parliament this year. We are also overhauling our National Housing Code to ensure that we respond to our new reality. We have had to revisit our earlier requirements in a bid to speed up delivery. Firstly, recognising the difficulties experienced by lower income earners to meet the requirements to pay in the 10% deposit of R2 479, we have decided that those families earning less than R1 500 a month will, as from next month, be exempted from the R2 479. [Applause.] I knew I’d get applause from the members of the portfolio committee. They have been hammering me about this. However, we insist that those earning above R1 500 a month should still be required to pay the deposit. It is important that they do so. The important principle behind this should be understood. It is the right thing to do and it gives the person who puts in a deposit an added advantage of complete ownership of the house. For our part, we will work on ways in which this R2 479 can be paid in manageable chunks. Secondly, recently we took a decision to consolidate and validate the national waiting list. In this regard we have decided on an audit to create confidence, protect the integrity of the list, and streamline the system. We did this because we wanted to allow society to be able now and again to check on their names. We now have concluded the tender for this process and I can announce here today that PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Nkonki EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 10 of 98 Consortium have been charged to provide a credible comprehensive national housing list for us. This can be utilised right through the municipal level. [Applause.] An HON MEMBER: Is it transparent? [Interjections.] The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Chairperson, I would ask that you protect me from being hounded. [Interjections.] No, I will not take any questions at this time and you know that. [Interjections.] Please add five minutes to my time that has been wasted by the member here. Thirdly, we have revived the Financial Services Charter by signing a memorandum of understanding with the banks. At this point I was reminded, when looking at the lady over there, about a joke that has always been going on about dumb blondes. I’d never understood the joke. Here is this joke: A dumb blonde walks into a bank, goes up to the manager and says she would like to open a joint bank account with someone with lots of money. That could only come from a dumb blonde. I couldn’t understand the joke. However, not being a dumb blonde I tried it myself. I have now opened a joint account with people with lots of money. The four CEOs of the bank and I have opened a joint bank account of R42 billion, which will be released into affordable housing until 2008. [Applause.] It helps not to be a dumb blonde. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 11 of 98 In addition, as part of our agreement with the Banking Association, ABSA, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedcor, we are negotiating a national home loan code of practice with appropriate sanction mechanisms. We expect this to be finalised by the end of August 2005. We are confident that the Memorandum of Understanding will benefit those who receive little or no government subsidy, including nurses, teachers and the police. The direct result of the agreement, in other words, will be increased access to housing loans and home ownership for those segments that were previously excluded. We think that this is a necessary foundation in order to deal with the huge task we have. I am very grateful to the chief executive officers of the banks for the manner in which they have conducted the negotiations. I found in them an understanding of our collective responsibilities. I am also greatly encouraged by their commitment and support for government to meet the challenge of providing houses to all. Fourthly, we have had to ensure that housing institutions can also align themselves to the new plan. Here I will mention a few of these institutions and what reconstructions we have asked of them. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 12 of 98 The National Housing Finance Corporation has had to examine whether in its present form we are achieving our goals. We believe that the National Housing Finance Corporation can play a greater role, very directly, to ensure access to funding for the poor. In this respect, we have asked the National Housing Finance Corporation to look at how institutions of similar origin in other countries have provided greater direct support to the poor. The corporation will investigate the possibility of gearing itself towards being a fully-fledged bank that will be concerned with the provision of housing loans to increase access to housing. In respect of the National Urban Reconstruction Agency, we recently reached an agreement with the Open Society Foundation, with which we are in partnership, to enable the agency to be at the cutting edge of the delivery of loans to emerging contractors. We expect that if all goes according to plan, the agency will play a greater role in ensuring success to funding for construction. The National Homebuilders Registration Council has been charged with the responsibility of developing new housing designs that will provide a wider choice of quality, aesthetically pleasing and affordable homes. In partnership with ABSA it has set up a Housing Innovation Project in Tshwane. Advertisements will appear in the national papers over the weekend, providing important details about EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 13 of 98 the project and calling on young and enterprising constructors to actively participate in this exciting venture. Its purpose is to encourage new ideas and designs to fit the subsidy bracket. However, I would hasten to add here that no dugga bricks will be allowed as part of the innovation project and anything else beyond that we would accept. We have reached the point where we can now finalise our business in respect of Servcon, an institution to which we owe a great deal of gratitude. Joe Slovo in 1994 had the foresight and the vision to assist those who at the time were not able to meet their commitments with our banks. This institution has done a great deal of work in helping to stabilise what was once a hugely volatile market. It laid a very good and a necessary foundation for our relationship with the banks and I am glad that we are now back on track. The mandate of Servcon was intended to expire next year. However, I am glad to announce that it is now folding up its work. We have completed our work a year ahead of our target. Subsequently, Thubelisha will be required to serve a different purpose, bringing its expertise into the department to create capacity at the municipal level. Fifthly, since our last budget we have embarked on the arduous task of ensuring that all our institutions are aligned to the plan. Accordingly, we have established a monitoring capacity of the EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 14 of 98 implementation of our policies. We have put in place mechanisms to give capacity to municipalities. At a recent meeting with the South African Local Government Association (Salga), we were horrified to discover that in some municipalities there is not a single official dealing with housing. Yet, this is our implementation frontier which is expected to fast-track the hugely ambitious plan that we have. In this respect, I am happy to announce that Treasury has given us R50 million to create this necessary capacity within municipalities. [Applause.] Sixthly, as part of efforts to create greater delivery and efficiency and eliminate fraud we have resolved to align our data bases with those of the Departments of Social Development and of Home Affairs. Seventhly, in the past year, we have been instructed by the President to fast-track the delivery of houses and to reverse the trend in some provinces where there had been a slow-down in terms of delivery. We now can announce that production has picked up incredibly. I am happy to announce that on aggregate we have spent 93% of our allocated budget for this year. Now, for the final test on whether our aspirations are a mere pipe dream or not, we have established a number of pilot projects. I had the honour, last week, of doing an in loco inspection of the Gauteng project known as Cosmo City. Poverty, slums and shacks were known to EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 15 of 98 be the key characteristics of this site and the community where the project is situated. Last week, however, the site became a living reality of most of the aspects we espouse in the Comprehensive Plan on Sustainable Human Settlements. It now consists of a mixed income settlement, with various facilities. Ultimately, it is expected to house 70 000 people. It has easy access to transport, economic facilities and social infrastructure. In a nutshell, this is the way in which we hope all low-cost housing will be integrated into society. We have here some of the people who are responsible for this project. We thank them. [Applause.][Interjections.] Chairperson, protect me from this. I would not do that in the middle of a speech. We can attest to the fact that human settlements can be established, and we are doing it. In due course our achievements in Gauteng will be replicated on the N2 Gateway Pilot Project, right here on our doorstep. I am very glad, therefore – and I hope that the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Ms Nomaindia Mfeketho, is here. She and the MEC of Housing in the Western Cape, Marius Fransman, were with us earlier in the morning. They are the main driving forces behind the success of the project. Part of our target was to fast- track delivery in record time. I think in the process we have discovered that we can fast-track plans. However, we cannot fast- track the human mind. As a result, a great deal of time was spent on trying to fast-track the mind, especially the collective human mind EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 16 of 98 that we find in the Western Cape, exemplified by some of our people in the opposition. Despite that, I am happy that nine months later the walls of the houses on the project are growing every day, just like the confidence of the beneficiaries. The most important lesson to come out of this is how the three spheres of government can work together, which is why the project has been a major success for us. [Applause.] As you drive through to the airport, therefore, look to your left and you will see a glimmer of hope – the hope that our people always had that one day Joe Slovo will take them out of poverty into the decent homes he envisaged as he took part in the drafting of the Freedom Charter in 1955. Ten years after his death, we know that he looks down on us very favourably. There is one thing we will always wonder; is he sitting next to the Pope now? The unveiling of the Comprehensive Plan on Sustainable Human Settlements has indeed ushered in a new period in the development of our urban and rural environments. The plan is our blueprint for all housing developments; it is our response to the demands of the Freedom Charter. To ensure housing, security and comfort, the plan has called for the development of new strategies in dealing with informal settlements, urban renewal and rural housing development. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 17 of 98 Thus, in line with our commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, we join the rest of the developing world and reiterate our commitment to progressively eradicate slums in the 10- year period ending in 2014. Additional funding amounting to R500 million in 2006-07 and an additional R1, 5 billion in 2007-08 has thus been allocated to step up the housing programme, so that all informal settlements can be eliminated by 2014. [Applause.] In order to support all these priorities, various pieces of legislation will be introduced during this year. A consumer education programme, developed last year, is presently being piloted in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. In co-operation with ABSA – for which we are very grateful - we are currently finalizing a series of radio and television programmes which will focus on access to information on housing, the responsibilities of owning a home, rental housing, rights and responsibilities of home owners and issues of land ownership. The radio programmes will be broadcast onwards on a regular basis from the end of May onwards. The plan requires immense capacity to be built at all levels of government. To build the necessary capacity needed for the implementation of the plan, training courses are currently being conducted in all the provinces. This is being done with the assistance of academic institutions and service providers. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 18 of 98 As a result of all these commitments and others, we do expect our total expenditure to increase rapidly between this current financial year and 2007-08 at an annual average increase of 15,1%. Since additional allocations were made of R50 million for 2005-06, R600 million for 2006-07 and R1,6 billion for 2007-08, most of the funds will go towards implementing the Comprehensive Plan for the Development of Sustainable Human Settlements. None of these priorities and actions can be delivered by government alone. It is necessary to develop partnerships with various stakeholders so as to ensure that we create a social contract regarding which everyone can do their bit to ensure the success of the plan. Such is the nature of our relationship with the private sector that we are finalising an implementation plan to ensure that henceforth all housing developments which are not entitled to government subsidies will allocate 20% of all development to affordable housing. This plan is being finalised with the participation of key players in the construction industry. A further outcome of the social contract concerns steps that we as government will be undertaking to ensure that regulations are streamlined and made flexible in respect of the rezoning of land for low-cost housing. We have thus used this period to sell the idea of the plan, consulting with various stakeholders to ensure that we create a EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 19 of 98 social contract in which they can all play their part to ensure the success of the plan. We are hopeful that by September 2005 we will be able to publish a comprehensive social contract. We have had very fruitful discussions with the various sectors of the industry. We have been very keen to explain to them that this is, in fact, a joint responsibility. [Interjections.] We have also had discussions with the mining sector so as to co- ordinate our efforts in ensuring that their social responsibility towards their workers is kept. We hope to have discussions with the building material suppliers to negotiate a stable climate in this turbulent region. We are hoping that by June we can meet with NGOs to seek their co- operation. I hope that we can also attract the retail sector into our fold. If we can convince employers we will stand at an advantageous position in our fight against poverty. The President has a more poetic description of this positive outcome when he says: We are not being arrogant or complacent when we assert that our country, as a united nation, has never in its entire history enjoyed such a confluence of encouraging possibilities. Together then let us take the tide at its height – I am talking to the ANC here and the people out there who are open to pushing back the frontiers of poverty. [Applause.] We have the wind behind us and EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 20 of 98 the gods are willing us. The prospects have never been better. Africa wishes us success, from which it draws inspiration. Even the Democratic Alliance understands that we are headed for success and that the noise they are making will simply ensure that they do not sink into oblivion too quickly. Our success means a better life for the vast majority of our people. History is on our side! I thank you. [Applause.] Ms Z A KOTA: Chairperson, hon Minister Dr Lindiwe Sisulu, hon Minister Charles Nqakula, comrades, colleagues, honoured guests, acting Director-General Mr Ahmedi Vawda, Deputy Director-General Mr Dlabantu and members of the department, I feel humbled to get this opportunity to address this august House on this important Vote as we enter the second decade of freedom. Allow me to congratulate the hon Ms Mildred Ramakaba-Lesiea on receiving the Order of Chief Albert Luthuli on 26 April 2005. [Applause.] This veteran of our movement was honoured together with other veterans, namely Christmas Tinto, Eddie Daniels, the late Dullah Omar, former Minister of Transport, and the late Mama Dorothy Zihlangu. We are proud to have you, Ms Ramakaba-Lesiea, as a member of our portfolio committee. You continue to bring value and experience to this committee, and that is the reason the ANC Women’s League in the Western Cape province saw it fit to celebrate this order with you on EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 21 of 98 6 May 2005. We saw this as a celebration of our women’s role in the struggle, and of you, Ms Ramakaba-Lesiea, as an icon and pioneer of that struggle. We are holding this Budget Vote debate in the year in which we celebrate 50 years of the Freedom Charter. This celebration gives us an opportunity to renew our commitment to the realisation of its objectives, as well as to the important goals of national unity and nation-building. One of the clauses of this historic document states, and I quote: “There shall be houses, security and comfort.” This charter has a vision of a society in which all people have a right to live where they choose, to be decently housed, to rear their families in comfort and security, to have accessible quality health care and to have free, compulsory, universal and equal education. The gathering in Kliptown in 1955 of fellow South Africans from all walks of life and from different backgrounds placed a responsibility on future generations to realise their dream of a better life for all. We dip our revolutionary banner to those who have lost their lives and limbs in an effort to make this dream a reality. In the first decade of freedom there has been the visible delivery of houses, electricity, water and sanitation, to mention just a few. Yet, given the scale and depth of deprivation and underdevelopment, EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 22 of 98 so much more still needs to be done before we can say that we have indeed realised the vision of the Freedom Charter. Allow me at this point to congratulate the former Minister of Housing, Comrade Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele, on the doctorate she received from the University of the Free State. This is acknowledgement of the work done by the ANC-led government in housing delivery in the first decade of freedom. [Applause.] Hon MEMBERS: Malibongwe! [Let it be praised!] Ms Z A KOTA: Igama lamakhosikazi! [The name of women!] This Budget Vote offers us a window of opportunity to examine our collective action in bringing about a better life for millions of the poorest of the poor. We will continue to improve the plight of the people by implementing the “Breaking New Ground” plan of the Department of Housing propagated by the Minister, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu. This plan itself is about bringing back the dignity of our people by building houses of good quality. It further states that the provision of social amenities, clinics, parks for children, roads and economic development must be at the centre of every development. This bears testimony to the fact that the ANC government cares for the most vulnerable in our society. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 23 of 98 This mammoth task cannot be done by government alone. Our delivery programme on housing will always be measured by the collective efforts we make in pushing back the frontiers of poverty and expanding access to a better life for all. It is in this context that we call upon all peace-loving South Africans to join hands and build a people’s contract for a better future so that we can consolidate the gains of the first decade of freedom. We welcome the move by financial institutions, the contribution of R42 billion by three major banks, as a step in the right direction. We call upon all sectors and communities to participate in the spirit of Vukuzenzele and Letsema. When we work together we will accelerate delivery of housing and we will also build houses of a better quality for our people. We urge our people to refrain from selling RDP houses, the only asset given to them by this government. We must continue to build on our experiences of the past in order to intensify the housing programme, and this should happen in all provinces. In line with ANC policies we have identified the eradication of poverty and underdevelopment as key priorities, along with the creation of job opportunities for all, especially in the historically marginalised sections of our society. Our challenge, therefore, is to deal with the soaring numbers of people coming to our cities in search of a better life and employment opportunities. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 24 of 98 Some of these people end up living in squalid conditions and in areas where land is not suitable for housing. The challenge is to provide them with decent houses and to ensure that they have access to basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation. The scarcity of resources delays us from doing this. In addressing the challenges I’ve mentioned above, one should not lose sight of the importance of urban and rural nodes identified in terms of our Urban Renewal Programme and the Rural Integrated Housing Programme, whose objective is to achieve sustainable growth, with equity, while at the same time addressing the slowdown in housing delivery, the broader question of spatial settlement and their implications in the building of a nonracial society. Central to the issues raised is the issue of governance, which includes the harmonisation of municipal integrated plans and the refining of systems of monitoring and evaluation. It is in this light that the Portfolio Committee on Housing took a decision at its strategic planning session in Gordon’s Bay to hold a conference on 19 and 20 April 2005 on the challenges of fire and floods in human settlements in South Africa. This conference was attended by academics, the Departments of Housing and of Provincial and Local Government, the NGO sector and representatives from the affected communities. It became clear to the committee that fire and EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 25 of 98 floods remain a continual challenge, especially the extent of devastation caused by these disasters. Areas such as Joe Slovo, Orange Farm, Diepsloot, Khayamandi and Alexandra are ravaged by fires repeatedly. The Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo are severely affected by floods. The Western Cape is affected by heavy rains that lead to floods, as happened in the Overberg area. The trail of destruction caused by runaway fires in informal settlements can be a frightening experience and, sadly, every fire that has swept through informal settlements in South Africa could have been avoided. We’ve also noted that young children are most vulnerable to the seemingly unstoppable outbreaks of fire. Our government does have the Disaster Management Act, but the challenge lies in its implementation. It remains a policy that does not cascade down to the lower levels. The hands-on approach of municipalities with regard to disaster management is critical. We can’t continue to chase fires and floods, particularly with regard to the areas prone to these. More money should be spent on education and training of communities so that they are equipped to prevent disasters as well as handle them promptly when they do occur. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 26 of 98 All municipalities must identify their incident-prone areas and budget for disasters accordingly. Disaster management must be at the centre of the Integrated Development Plan. I’m glad to report that Mr Greg Pillay, Disaster Manager of the City of Cape Town, who also attended the conference, has already embarked on a programme to involve all subcouncils in disaster management, with the main thrust on prevention. He went further to include the issue of health. Keeping our areas clean may prevent floods, as litter leads to drain blockage, which then leads to floods, particularly in informal settlements. What also became clear is that poor communities, especially those in informal settlements, use energy sources that are often harmful to their health and detrimental to their environment, for instance paraffin. The government was asked to intervene regarding the issue of paraffin usage, and paraffin should be banned. We will take this up with the Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy. Iparafini iyingozi. Igalelwa ezimbodleleni, ze abantwana bayisele becinga ukuba sisiselo. Ezinye izitovu zeparafini azikho mgangathweni. Bakhona abantu ababebonisa ngezitovu zokupheka ezikhuselekileyo kule nkomfa ndiyikhankanyileyo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.) EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 27 of 98 [Paraffin is dangerous. It is kept in soft drink bottles and children drink it thinking that it is cold drink. Some stoves using paraffin are not up to standard. There were people who came to market their paraffin stoves at the above-mentioned conference.] The conference’s declaration has been submitted to Parliament. We urge all provinces to hold similar conferences. Allow me at this juncture to thank all participants. Ndifuna ukubulela bonke abantu abathi baya kule nkomfa ndiyikhankanyileyo, nebiyinkomfa yokuqala kwiikomiti zePalamente. Ndithi: Maz’enethole! Ukwanda kwaliwa ngumthakathi. [I want to thank all those who were present at the conference mentioned, which was the first conference for committees in Parliament. I say: thank you! We are grateful.] Allow me to thank the ANC Chief Whip’s Office for giving us permission to have this conference during the constituency period. The conference has enriched our oversight and monitoring role. I want to thank the Deputy Speaker, who received the conference declaration on behalf of the Speaker. A vote of thanks also goes to the Deputy Minister of Minerals and Energy, Lulu Xingwana, for the contribution she made; the Mayor of Cape Town, NomaIndia Mfeketo; the office of MEC Marius Fransman; G Schultz from the weather service; Deputy Director-General Mr Dlabantu from the Department of EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 28 of 98 Housing; Ellen from the Ministry of Housing; Louis Buys from DPLG; Greg Pillay from the City of Cape Town; Statistics SA; General Pali Lehlotla; Kim Yates from the CSIR; Brian Moholo from Social Housing Foundation, and the NHFC. I want to extend a vote of thanks to facilitator, Manye Moroka from Servcon; Nazeema Ahmed from the Paraffin Association; Xoliswa Sibeko from DPLG; and Anne Thebe, Regional Manager of Social Services. We want to thank those who gave insight from the horse’s mouth, such as Xolile Gophe from Joe Slovo, Overberg Councillor Mentile and Ronald Stevens. Let me come back, once more, to this Budget Vote. [Interjections.] Get away! [Laughter.] We are still waiting for provinces to come up with their pilot projects, in terms of the comprehensive plan. I do welcome development in the Cosmo City. We have also taken note of the fact that housing delivery seems to be moving at a greater speed in all provinces, with a few exceptions. MECs have committed themselves to fast-tracking delivery during their Budget Vote debates. As a portfolio committee we will monitor closely the implementation of these undertakings. We have noted with concern the absence of MECs during public hearings. We have received an apology from MEC Nomvula Mokonyane, EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 29 of 98 who was hospitalised at the time. I do urge MECs to refrain from sending officials to present their case. They should know that they are accountable to Parliament, and in future we won’t allow that. This also applies to executive mayors. If you are not able to make it, give us another date. It is critical that we align our work so that we can move together in delivering to our people. We do welcome the progress on the N2 Gateway. We do understand that this is a national project driven by the M3, namely the Minister, the MEC and the executive mayor. Delivery of housing from this project will have a multiplying effect. It will also lead to economic growth. The second economy stands to benefit from job creation; access to basic services such as electricity; water and sanitation; parks for children; the strengthening of emerging contractors; and growth in the local economy. Most importantly, this project will build communities. Communities from Joe Slovo, Barcelona, District Six, New Rest and Kanana up to Borcherd’s Quarry stand to benefit from this project. People from backyards will also be accommodated. However, I have a great concern as to whether the ideals I’ve mentioned will be realised if community involvement in this project is not visible. [Interjections.] Get away! EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 30 of 98 At the present time communication regarding this project is not adequate. As a result there are lots of newspaper articles on the N2 Gateway, including the article in the Mail & Guardian of 6 May, which painted a bad picture of this project. We welcome the response by the spokesperson of the Minister, Mr Thabang Shiloane, which we support. I urge the department to address urgently the issue of community participation, so that people who want to participate in the development process can get information in good time through their community reps in project management. As things stand, project management is run on a technical basis, which is not good enough. This leads to opportunism on the part of those who purport to speak on behalf of communities . . . beziingcuka ezambethe ufele lwegusha [. . . whereas they are wolves in a sheep’s skin]. [Interjections.] I do welcome the information centre that is about to be opened in Langa. However, the issue of community involvement needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency so that communities can grab these opportunities with both hands. Let me share with this House the news regarding the visit I made to the George municipality, the only municipality in South Africa led by the DA. The DA purports to have policies that could assist government to allocate houses to our people. The first question I EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 31 of 98 asked when I came to this municipality was whether they do have a waiting list. The answer was: “No”. Then I asked how they allocate houses to people. They said that they allocate houses in accordance with a points system, which means that they allocate houses on the basis of who first came to stay in George. This is a bizarre system. In Borcherd’s Quarry 70 people were not allocated houses because, according to this criteria, they were not eligible. Only DA people were given houses. [Interjections.] It is obvious that this is a cheap political-points-scoring system that is a quick-fix solution based on populism and opportunism. It does not assist the process. As if that was not enough, the DA municipality spent millions of rands on consultancy, including consulting on filling in subsidy forms. Consultants are given forms to fill in at R150 per form. Yet there is a housing department in George, which could perform this job at no cost to the government. The DA municipality has not built a single house during its tenure. They blame the province for the delays in approving environmental impact assessments. This is a feeble approach; the truth is that the DA says that housing is not a funded mandate – that is what people are saying – which means that they do not have housing sector plans EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 32 of 98 in their IDPs. Instead they sit there and complain all the time. [Interjections.] When we visited projects we found that houses built by Power Construction are about to collapse and have cracked. However, the municipality has informed the contractor and the matter has not been taken up. [Interjections.] Some houses built by Asla are also not of good quality. For example, some houses are built on flood-prone areas. [Interjections.] My other concern, Minister, is that these contractors are also involved in the N2 Gateway. So it’s critical for the department to look into this issue. I thank all those who are committed to working with the ANC-led government in improving the plight of the poorest of the poor. The ANC supports this Budget Vote. [Applause.] HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr N P Nhleko): Hon members, order please. I have heard that heckling and interjecting are part of parliamentary life, but I think we should be careful that we do not interfere with the flow of the speech by the person at the podium. That’s one thing. Also, the broader question we need to ask ourselves is: Whose culture is this? Who are we emulating, culturally? The people that EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 33 of 98 we represent actually do not heckle; they do not do all these sorts of things that we tend to do here. [Interjection.] So I wanted to address that question, that we should start thinking about this issue. Mr A C STEYN: Thank you, Chairperson, and I also had to adapt my speech, so if I refer to you as Madam Speaker, please forgive me! Hon Ministers of Housing and of Safety and Security, hon members and distinguished guests, last year I raised some concerns regarding what I termed the modest 6% increase over the previous year’s budget to R4, 85 billion. One of my concerns related to the fact that once inflation was factored in, and coupled with the increased subsidy amounts of which the DA was a proponent, there was no real increase in the actual amount of money budgeted for. Needless to say, this concern was expressed with the misplaced but optimistic view that provincial housing departments and municipalities across the country responsible for the actual implementation of housing delivery would be in a position to utilise the budget efficiently and effectively. In his Budget Speech earlier this year the Minister of Finance indicated that the budget for Housing had been increased by more than R2, 5 billion over the MTEF period, that is the three-year period starting this financial year, from R4, 83 billion last year to R7, 37 billion in the 2007-08 financial year. It is my sincere EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 34 of 98 hope that Minister Manuel has gazed into his crystal ball and knows something that neither I nor Minister Sisulu are aware of. I say this with the greatest respect, because it would appear that the lack of capacity so evident in the past, and readily used as an excuse by all and sundry responsible for the actual delivery of housing, has yet to be addressed in a significant and meaningful way. Unfortunately for the millions of homeless people, particularly those on the waiting lists, the larger increases take place primarily in the latter two years, as I shall point out. The actual increase in the current Housing budget we are debating today is 7,6% over the previous year, with 16,6% and 21,7% following in the other years. Clearly, the “massive” increases, so much spoken about immediately after the Budget Speech in February, are to follow, and they are subject to change before they are tabled in this House by the Minister of Finance. As I have said before, perhaps Minister Manuel has a crystal ball and he has good reasons why the bigger increases may only follow after this financial year. However, I doubt that Minister Manuel can see into the future. It is more likely that he does what the opposition does, and that is to look at the provincial departments’ capacity to deliver and past expenditure, given the relatively healthy budgets of recent years. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 35 of 98 I say this because, although the budgeted amounts have steadily increased over the past years, the number of houses delivered has declined. The following information was obtained from the Department of Housing’s website last Friday. In 2002-03 the number of houses completed or under construction were 203 588. The following year, 2003-04, the budget increased by 11% and the number of houses completed declined by 5% to 193 615. Last year the budget increased by 6%, and the Minister has indicated that 93% of the budget has been spent, and the number of houses completed or under construction, according to the department’s website, is only 129 552 – a decrease of 33% compared to the previous year! [Interjections.] To give some perspective to this, in the 2000-01 financial year the budget was R3,7 billion, yet the number of houses delivered totalled 190 643 – 61 000 more houses than last year, with R1,1 billion less! There are some salient points in the budget that I would like to highlight very quickly. With regard to Programme 1 – Administration, the Minister’s programme, it is costing more and more to provide strategic leadership, which is what this programme is responsible for. There is a sensible 7% increase in the current expenditure in this programme, but this should be viewed against the base of last year’s 67% increase. It would also appear that this leadership is being provided more and more by consultants, as this line item has the largest increase of 68%. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 36 of 98 I now come to Programme 3 – Programme Management. Although the overall programme expenditure decreases by 33% against this year’s budget, this is certainly not due to stabilisation of the current expenditure. Like last year, there are massive increases in the current expenditure for consultants, at 168%; goods and services, a bloated 456% increase; and a 160% increase for compensation of employees. This programme is and has been responsible for managing the housing and human settlement programmes, and must also provide support and guidance to help build capacity in municipalities and provinces. I have alluded earlier to the decline in delivery, despite the increased budgets. It therefore makes one wonder exactly what type of support and guidance are being provided to municipalities and provinces. Perhaps the housing courses provided to over 2 000 participants through this programme last year need to be reviewed. Then I also come to Programme 4 – Housing Sector Performance. With a 32% increase over last year, this subprogramme has the largest increase in the budget. The committee recently hosted public hearings in which housing agencies and municipalities alike referred again and again to what they called blocked projects. The department has also informed the committee that an audit has been initiated to determine the location and reasons for these blocked projects, many of which were started in the late 1990s. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 37 of 98 Strangely though, this subprogramme is responsible for monitoring the performance of housing delivery and for assessing the impact thereof. The lack of knowledge regarding these blocked projects referred to would therefore suggest not only an inefficient use of resources, but also an unacceptable waste of resources. It was reported yesterday that the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Council is now looking at the completion of 820 houses from a project started in 1998 in response to the protests from the community. In addition, there is also a national audit under way to establish the quality - or perhaps I should say the lack of quality! - of houses already built that are falling apart. How many more millions will have to be spent on repairs, when the money and effort could have been spent on building more houses rather than revisiting resources on houses already built? This leaves us with the question: Why are increased budget allocations spent and yet the outputs produced decrease? Dare I suggest that we are spending more and more on consultants, advisors and even personal advisors than on the actual delivery of services? Could this possibly be, notwithstanding what the Minister said last year, “that there isn’t even a whiff of it in the air”, why communities all over the country vent their frustrations and anger EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 38 of 98 with violent protests and sit-ins? Could this possibly be why the streets in Port Elizabeth are burning today? The DA takes the mandate to exercise oversight over the executive seriously, not just in the case of ANC-ruled municipalities, but the entire executive. This is the reason why we regularly critique both policy and implementation by government. We don’t’ claim to have all the answers, but we do claim to have some. We may not have all the correct answers, but we do have some, as history has proven. If there were nothing wrong with the delivery of services, why the protests, often accompanied by violence from communities across the country? If there were nothing wrong with the delivery of services by government, why the sudden establishment of all these task teams and committees from the highest levels of government to look at delivery, not so as to make delivery more efficient, but merely in order to ensure that some delivery actually takes place. This action by government, surely, is an indictment on government and a vindication of our criticism. Thank you. [Applause.] Mr B W DHLAMINI: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and colleagues, the provision of access to basic services to the majority of South Africans who previously did not have such access has been a significant achievement. Given the successes and challenges that we have experienced over the past ten years, the Department of Housing has critically analysed its position regarding its mandate and is EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 39 of 98 now seeking innovative ways in order to deal with new challenges while at the same time consolidating the past achievements. In terms of the Housing Policy and Strategy of the 1994 era, the main focus was on stabilising the housing environment and transforming the extremely fragmented, complex and racially based financial and institutional framework inherited from the previous government. It also focused on the establishment of new systems aimed at addressing the housing backlog. Whilst the IFP believes that the fundamentals of the policy remain relevant and sound, a new plan is required to redirect and enhance existing mechanisms to move towards a more responsive and effective delivery. The IFP therefore welcomes and supports the adoption and approval on 1 September 2004 of the Human Settlement Plan, which aims to break the new ground in the delivery of housing. The plan provides a framework for the integration and building of homes in healthy and secure living environments, where everyone will have access to the services and goods produced by society. It provides for the provision of a total package of infrastructure such as clinics, schools, police stations, and community facilities within the vicinity of a newly developed human settlement. Furthermore, the plan collapses the subsidy system and creates a three-tier category of income groups for better targeting. Through this comprehensive EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 40 of 98 plan, the reach of the housing policy is broadened to cover the entire residential property market. One of the main focuses of the housing strategy is to formalise all informal settlements capable of being formalised, densify existing locations, redevelop all hostels in seeking and providing alternative accommodation and to regenerate urban areas through integrated development strategies. During this term, the government is committed and intends to build a sustainable housing and human settlement process that will achieve housing with sure tenure, with a safe and healthy environment, and the development of viable communities for all people. We have to deal with the challenge of how best to optimise the use of space available to the urban poor and unemployed in targeted areas, enabling our beneficiaries to find alternative local economic development paths that are collectively determined by them. In developing and implementing its plans, we are happy that the department recognises that the emphasis on housing delivery has shifted from the issue of numbers to the enhancement of quality of both our products and the lives of the people we serve. This is important, since we recognise that the eradication of poverty is not only complex, but also needs various interventions in order to improve the lives of the poor beyond the physical structures that we build and to avoid creating poverty traps. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 41 of 98 Our programme on housing delivery should be designed to meet the goals of economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation. In the main township communities there are concentrations of extreme and absolute poverty. The department should forge ahead and facilitate ongoing partnerships with various stakeholders so that they begin to play their respective roles in the delivery of housing. Indeed the most vulnerable within our society, in particular women, older persons, people with disabilities and people infected with and affected by HIV/Aids should continue to be the main beneficiaries of our housing subsidy grant. These vulnerable sections of our populace should, more than ever before, see that the government is indeed taking bold steps to allow them to become masters of their own destinies. The IFP welcomes the establishment of the Affordable Rental Accommodation (ARA) unit in the Gauteng Department of Housing, formerly known as hostels, to deal with the transformation and redevelopment of hostels from single-gender, dormitory-type accommodation to affordable rental accommodation. The affordable rental accommodation will offer residents the following range of options in terms of tenure: there will be a choice between rental and ownership and in terms of unit types the choice will be between single, communal or family units - all self-contained units. It EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 42 of 98 also seeks to address emergency situations by the roll-out of interventions that provide short-term relief. The provincial government also committed itself to the conversion of all hostels by 2008. The completion of the conversion of former single-gender and dormitory–type hostels into single, communal or family units will eventually be placed into an effective property management solution. Implementations of the projects are currently fast-tracked down through partnerships with the social housing institutions. This is in acknowledgement of the slow pace of delivery to hostel redevelopment. The department established strategic and political structures within the relevant various tiers of government in partnership with community structures that are necessary to ensure that relevant issues raised are addressed immediately without compromising progress on the operations. This is in line with what the IFP proposed in the last year’s Budget Vote and we are grateful that we were taken on board. The IFP supports the Budget Vote. Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Chairperson, Minister Sisulu, comrades and hon members, the Housing budget for 2005-06, which we are discussing today, takes place in a year in which we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Charter and commemorate the passing away of the first Minister of Housing, Comrade Joe Slovo, 10 years ago. Whilst we remember the role Comrade Slovo played in the bringing EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 43 of 98 about of a democratic and free South Africa, we also acknowledge that Comrade Slovo laid the foundation upon which our housing programme has been built. Fifty years ago the Freedom Charter was adopted at the Congress of the People in Kliptown on 26 June 1955. The housing programme of government over the past 11 years has ensured that the clause which says that: “there shall be houses, security and comfort”, has become a reality for millions of our people. According to the State of the World’s Cities Report for 2004-05, almost 60% of the world’s population will live in cities by the year 2030. This does not only place a burden on our major cities in South Africa, but also requires that the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme be successfully implemented. The successful economic development of rural areas will decrease the need for the migration of people to city centres and could possibly encourage reverse migration back to rural areas. The budget before us today is also the first budget since the Breaking New Ground strategy was announced by Minister Sisulu last year. This budget gives meaning and life to the ANC’s 2004 election manifesto wherein the ANC committed itself to building more subsidised housing and introduced medium-density housing closer to places of work. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 44 of 98 An example of this is the Brickfields housing project in Newtown, Johannesburg, which will provide 1 050 much-needed rental accommodation units close to places of work within the city centre. This is, in fact, the first residential development within the city of Johannesburg since the famous Ponte development almost 30 years ago. The Housing budget also provides the necessary resources to advance and implement the commitments relating to the housing programme, which President Mbeki made in the state of the nation address to Parliament on 21 May last year. This budget ushers in a new phase of housing delivery. Not only are there increased allocations in the Housing budget over the MTEF, but also increases in the different housing subsidy bands. [Interjections.] The new subsidy of R31 900 for those who earn between R0 and R1 500 stood at just R16 000 in 2002, Mr Steyn. These substantial increases indicate a clear commitment of government to providing a housing product that is of sound quality, providing security and comfort. When it was announced that the housing subsidy would be increased on an annual basis, it was clearly indicated that this was meant to cater for inflationary increases and to ensure a better quality product. The department needs to monitor the increase in building material costs to determine whether the annual subsidy increase is achieving the desired improvement in the quality of construction, or EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 45 of 98 whether the increase is offsetting increases in building materials. This would be particularly important as we move towards the 2010 Soccer World Cup, where an increase in demand for building materials could cause an increase in material prices. During the budget hearings conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Housing, the National Home Builders Registration Council, the NHBRC, showcased a draft computer programme, which showed different designs of houses together with determined material quantities and costs. They indicated, as the Minister has alluded to today, that this was to be presented to her with recommendations that there be a set number of house designs that should be used in the housing delivery programme. They also indicated that the designs shown in their programme could be built within the existing housing subsidy. Such a programme would be welcomed, as this would ensure a national standard in terms of construction, design and size. We look forward to the speedy implementation of this plan. With the announced increase in the housing subsidy, those contractors who are involved in the building of government- subsidised homes have no excuse whatsoever to build poor quality houses. In this regard, both the department and the NHBRC must ensure that each subsidised home is inspected before it is accepted from the contractor. Contractors who build poor quality homes should not be paid in full for their work until they have provided a house EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 46 of 98 that is of the quality required, as stipulated in the housing code. [Applause.] During the budget hearings the various housing support institutions appeared before the committee. In particular, the Rural Housing Loan Fund and the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency both indicated that they would be seeking funding from the department. Of concern to the committee was that such allocations were not included in the MTEF allocations. We were, however, made aware that the mandates of the various housing institutions were being reviewed and, where applicable, realigned with the new housing plan. We trust that this will include the long-term financial sustainability of these institutions. A large percentage of the department’s expenditure is made up of conditional grant allocations to the provinces. Provision has been made in the budget for the department to monitor and evaluate the performance of the provinces and local government in relation to expenditure patterns and actual housing units delivered. The department needs to ensure that it has the capacity and systems in place to perform the functions of monitoring and evaluation. Funds have also been allocated for capacity-building initiatives, which include a programme to accredit municipalities to administer national housing programmes, and to assist them in developing the EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 47 of 98 housing chapters of their integrated municipal housing development plans. The department also needs to investigate and establish whether there is any unnecessary red tape that may negatively impact on the housing delivery programme. In addition, the department also needs to identify the reasons for roll-overs, which are reported at times, and introduce measure to ensure that roll-overs are reduced and, where possible, eliminated. These will assist in ensuring that maximum housing delivery takes place through effective and efficient expenditure. The recent agreement reached between government and the banking fraternity, whereby an amount of R42 billion will be made available by banks for home loans to those who earn between R1 500 and R7 500 per month, is welcomed. This will ensure that a high number of South Africans will now have the opportunity to enter the property market and gain ownership of their own home. This development demonstrates the ANC government’s commitment to ensuring that “the people shall share in the country’s wealth”. [Applause.] It will be important for the banks not only to provide loans, but also to provide the necessary information and guidance to the prospective homeowners regarding the value which their new home provides, as well as the additional financial implications for which they will be responsible when they take ownership. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 48 of 98 The Breaking New Ground in housing delivery strategy focuses on the creation of sustainable human settlements with the emphasis on quality construction, the provision of rental accommodation and the upgrading of informal settlements. The establishment of new human settlements focuses on the integration of communities and the provision of the necessary infrastructure such as roads, schools, clinics and police stations. The Cosmo City development in Johannesburg will, for the first time, see a housing development that reflects different types of housing, such as government-subsidised low-cost housing, rental housing, bank-financed housing and credit-linked housing. The response from homebuyers for bank-financed housing at Cosmo City was overwhelming. South Africans from all walks of life have chosen to live within the same community and within a development which includes government- subsidised low-cost housing. The Cosmo City development gives meaning to the creation of a nonracial and united society. One of the main challenges of building human settlements with the required infrastructure will be the need for interdepartmental co- operation and forward planning, together with the aligning of departmental budgets. The Housing department will have an important part to play in ensuring not only that human settlements are planned and budgeted for over the MTEF periods by themselves, but that departments such as those of Education, of Health, of Safety and EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 49 of 98 Security and of Transport are drawn in at the planning stage so that new human settlements are budgeted for jointly. A challenge facing the Cosmo City development is that, as a result of the protracted court cases and objections from landowners, the departments have not budgeted for infrastructure such as schools and clinics due to the uncertainty of when the development would proceed. In this regard, we ask the Minister to look into this to see what interventions could be made. Equally important is that all government-subsidised low-cost housing units built in these new human settlements should comply with the required design and size. Again, I would emphasise the importance of our using the programme of the NHBRC to ensure that all of those requirements are adhered to. This would help to ensure that basic aspects such as a shower or bath are included in the housing units. These seem to be missing in the show houses at Cosmo City but, hopefully, this will be rectified. The expenditure of conditional grants for housing must be used in a manner that will provide employment opportunities to local communities and skills training that will enable community members to remain economically active after the completion of housing developments in a given locality. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 50 of 98 During the visits of the portfolio committee to various provinces, a challenge that was raised has been the impact that delayed or slow payments have on emerging contractors. We would urge those responsible for disbursing funds to ensure that such delays are minimised. I had the opportunity to visit the stands of the various estate agents who were mandated to manage the selling of bank-financed housing units at Cosmo City. Whilst it was encouraging to note that some of the estate agents were black-owned, the role of the national Department of Housing, in relation to the Estate Agents Board, needs to be determined. Currently, as far as I understand, the Estate Agents Board falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Trade and Industry. I therefore pose the question whether it would not be appropriate for the Minister of Housing to be the Minister of all housing-related issues, rather than just the Minister of subsidised housing. The committee is of the view that housing-related issues would best be placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Housing. Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the number of golf course estate developments and other exclusive estate developments. These are targeted towards higher income earners. Lower income earners are therefore excluded from entering into these exclusive property markets, which usually occupy prime land. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 51 of 98 Whilst one accepts the right of individuals to live in the type of housing environments they choose, isn’t it time for the inaccessibility to these development by lower income earners to be reviewed? Perhaps we should be looking at what other countries are doing in this regard and how an element of social or subsidised housing could be included in each development. The housing policy of our government, together with the budget allocations for this year and the outer years in the MTEF, will ensure that the lives of all South Africans are improved, and will ensure that we remain on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals. In conclusion, I just want to say that it’s certainly a pity that the hon Mr Steyn did not use the opportunity in this Budget Vote to perhaps enlighten us as to what the DA’s policy on housing is. Obviously, they don’t have a policy because he had absolutely nothing to say and, obviously, they have no answers. [Interjections.] The input that the hon Mr Steyn gave to us today in this debate is the same as the input he gives in the portfolio committee - no meaning, no base whatsoever. We, in the ANC, will support this Budget Vote. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.] Ms S N (Sylvia N SIGCAU: Chairperson, hon Ministers, distinguished guests and hon members, housing remains a very emotional issue in South Africa, because millions of people continue to live under inadequate circumstances. Few things illustrate our history as EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 52 of 98 clearly as the informal settlements around the large city centres. The effects of urbanisation have made matters worse, and the result is that, 11 years into democracy, you can see the social and economic scars of the Groups Areas Act still reflected in the landscapes of our cities and towns. Whilst national government has made huge commitments, the implementation at provincial and local governments levels has been fraught with problems. These problems relate especially to the quality of construction, inadequate management and corruption. Only yesterday there were violent protests in the Nelson Mandela Metropole, due to a four-year long delay in dealing with flood damage to Reconstruction and Development Project houses. Accusations abound of local government mismanaging the allocation of housing and housing contracts. Housing lists are riddled with inconsistencies and regularly result in people waiting for years on the lists, only to see new arrivals in an area receiving housing before them. We note that the department is setting aside funding and resources in order to increase municipal capacity. What is urgently required is a comprehensive audit of all housing lists and their consolidation into one trustworthy system. The provision of housing should then be underpinned by a tamper-proof database of needs and beneficiaries that cannot be corrupted at municipal level. The EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 53 of 98 unfortunate reality at present is that billions of rands are flowing into large municipalities, while the unscrupulous find various means of cashing in. Only when the current chaotic management of housing at municipal level has been addressed will the department’s decision not to pursue quantity at the expense of quality be viable. The intended accreditation of municipalities to administer national housing programmes must not continue without checks and balances to avoid abuse. Of necessity, this will also mean that the department and this House must enhance the oversight of housing delivery in municipalities. However, Budget Vote 28 is fully supported by the UDM. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.] Ms M M RAMAKABA-LESIEA: Chairperson, Ministers, hon members and guests, allow me to thank the President and the ANC Cabinet for selecting me as one of the heroines in this country and honouring me with the Order of Chief Albert Luthuli, which honours all those that I fought with in the struggle. [Applause.] Some are not with us any more, such as comrade Vusile Mini, Helen Joseph and Looksmart Solwandle, whose remains are still somewhere in Gauteng. On 26 June 1955, the Congress of the People met in Kliptown to declare to the world that “there shall be houses, security and EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 54 of 98 comfort”, which translates that all people shall have the right to live where they choose to be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security. We were right, in 1955, when we said that slums shall be demolished and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, light, playing fields, crèches and social centres. In the dispensation of democracy, as the ANC-led government, we have made strides in abolishing laws that are retarding the process of the empowerment of women in all respects. Each one of us has a role to play in the fight to achieve a better life for all. In doing so, we are guided by the Batho Pele principles. The RDP is clear on democratic issues and further argues that democracy is more than electing representatives to power once every five years. It means enabling people, especially women, to participate in decision-making at all levels of their lives through people’s negotiating forums, work places, committees, etc. Women are saving for better quality houses through savings groups, which means partnerships with government. There are savings groups right through the country as well as in rural areas. For example, in one area in Guguletu there are 14 groups. There is the People’s Housing Federation, Malibongwe Park in Pelican Park, which was formed by the Mama’s Housing Project, and the North West People’s Housing Project. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 55 of 98 We thank the Ex-President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, for the role he played in getting housing for our people in South Africa through Habitat for Humanity in Mamelodi. We knew from long ago that we were going to govern. In our document “Ready to Govern” we made sure that we identified the principles underlying the ANC’s housing policy as follows: Housing is a right, housing should contribute to social equity, housing is a critical component of development, community control over and participation in the housing delivery process is of the outmost importance. It also stresses the fact that women’s housing needs are addressed, their full participation in and influence over the institutions controlling housing must be guaranteed. I do acknowledge the contribution made by previous Ministers in laying the foundation for housing, for the nation. The National Housing Minister, Comrade Lindiwe Sisulu, has committed the country to eradicating all informal settlements and putting in place the strategy of sustainable human settlement. We do welcome the N2 Gateway as a national pilot project. Nationally, more than 1 614 houses have been delivered and, in the process, more than 7 million people were housed through the government subsidy programme, led by the ANC government. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 56 of 98 We are committed to improving the lives of South Africans at all costs. When millions of people came in their big numbers to renew the mandate of the ANC in the elections last year, they were saying: “ANC, you are the only hope we have”, and hence we dare not fail the electorate. The housing problems created by apartheid are many and varied. They include the racial fragmentation of our cities and the high correlation between poverty and race. A high proportion of the population has poor access to basic services and there is a shortage of decent, safe and integrated affordable housing. The provision of housing under the apartheid regime has doubly discriminated against women with regard to allocation, system tenure and all the institutions controlling housing. Given the pervasive poverty and the unequal distribution of the wealth and land, the ANC housing policy is promoting nonracialism and nonsexism, and caters for the disadvantaged groups such as the poorest of the poor, the old and the disabled. As the oldest political organisation that has stood the test of time, the empowerment of people is one of the principles of the ANC. We believe that community groups should be able to participate in the decisions, the implementation and management of their housing, hence the formation of the People’s Housing Projects. As Premier EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 57 of 98 Matthews Phosa, said: “There is delivery in action. This is the RDP in action. This is keeping our promise to house the nation.” Since the birth of democracy, in 1994, the post-apartheid government has prioritised women’s empowerment. The empowerment of women in the delivery of housing continues to grow. Women are gaining skills in fields such as bricklaying, plastering, painting and as building contractors. We believe that investments in housing are capable of sustaining a significant number of jobs, directly. It is critical that, as women, we collectively attend to this challenge. The opportunities the ANC- led government has created are plenty and they are geared to alleviate poverty and give preference to the most vulnerable groups. We were denied access to political power and had to endure systematic and often brutal forms of dispossession that were mostly meted out against us through the use of forced removals. Yet, despite harshly bearing these indelible scars though collective and individual efforts, our spirit lived on. This Budget Vote debate needs to fulfil a mandate of making sure that all South Africans are under roofs and live in decent houses. It is the wish and command of this portfolio committee to see that this budget translates into reality on the ground. The aim of this budget is to see people in the backyards, farm workers and squatters EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 58 of 98 being housed. In all the efforts we are making as the ANC, we dare not fail the electorate. In conclusion, I want to thank the previous Ministers of Housing for making a commitment to eradicate poverty by creating jobs through various projects. This effort is what we in the ANC refer to as a better life for all. The difference we are making in people’s lives is recognised worldwide. We are on the right track towards delivery of housing for the poorest of the poor. So the ANC accepts this budget, and I thank you. [Applause.] Rev M S KHUMALO: Hon Chair, Ministers and members, the ACDP commends the Minister for her department’s visionary new plans to provide housing for our people. We are strongly in favour of housing the nation in sustainable human settlements. We wholeheartedly support the Minister’s strategic leadership in the eradication of informal settlements. The ACDP wants to see people living in attractive and pleasant surroundings. We advocate the planting of more trees and the building of additional places of worship, as compasses of morals. We, therefore, urge for the increased spending on integrated rental housing. The time has come for housing programmes to respond to the country’s housing needs in a realistic manner. Let us address overcrowding in the cities by building multi-level abodes such as EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 59 of 98 blocks of flats. This will also solve the problem of the scarcity of land. The ACDP is encouraged by the goal of eradicating informal settlements by the year 2014. We should ideally see the year 2005 as an opportune time to identify those obstacles that will prevent us from reaching this goal. It is imperative that we pinpoint those constraints that might hinder the implementation of the programme at lower levels of government. We further need to be forward-looking in our approach and, to this end it would be ideal to set up a unit that will deal with potential hindrances in a timeous manner. Such a unit would further enable us to gain a thorough understanding of the political and organisational feasibility of such a programme. The ACDP advocates the total integration of fire and flood victims with those on the waiting lists. As this is a pilot project, we urge the Minister, as she has indicated today, to fast track her audit on the waiting lists. The Western Cape should be a priority, in our view. There is an urgent need for the formulation of a coherent policy on fire and flood victims in relation to housing allocation. The ACDP supports the Department of Housing’s strategic approach to addressing the needs of the people in a realistic manner. The ACDP supports this Budget. [Applause.] Mr D C MABENA: Hon Chairperson . . . [Interjections.] EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 60 of 98 HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr N P Nhleko): Order! Hon members, just give the hon member a chance to speak. Mr D C MABENA: Hon Chairperson, Ministers, hon members . . . . . . angithome ngokuhalelisela abomma benarha yeKuwait ngokunikelwa amalungelo wokuvowuta. Umbuso webandlululo wathathela abokhokho bethu umhlaba omuhle ononileko ekade baziphilisa ngawo ngokuwusebenza, bawunikela idlanzana labamhlophe. Basuswa ngekani bakatelelwa ukuyohlala eendaweni ezinganapilo lapho kunomtlhago nendlala. (Translation of isiNdebele paragraph follows.) [. . . let me start by congratulating the women of Kuwait on being granted the right to vote. The apartheid government took this beautiful and prosperous land of our ancestors, where our ancestors survived by working the land. The land was given to a white minority group, and our ancestors were removed by force and forced to stay in places where the conditions were not good; in places of poverty and hunger.] While the erstwhile South Africa was rated an upper middle- income class country, African people lived in vile, squalid and abject EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 61 of 98 poverty. A minority enjoyed opulence and wealth equal to that of any developed country while a significant percentage of African households had no access to clean water, electricity, health care and education. Fetid rivers of filthy liquid ran down the sides of each dirt road, collecting in noxious pools of swirling scum, for example. E-Ceres lapho kuhlala khona abantu abandzima kusene open sewer system uthuvi yinto abayibona mihla namalanga, kuyinto engakarisi neze. [Inthikamezo.] Lokho msebenzi we-DA ngoba ngiyo ekade iphethe kuleyandawo. Kuyinselelo ekufuneka sibambisane ngayo soke. Inengi labantu ngokutlhaga lakateleleka ukwakha izindlu zemikhukhu ngamasenke arusileko lisebenzisa yinye indlu yokuzithuma yomgodi, ubulwelwe bhe! (Translation of isiNdebele paragraph follows.) [A large majority of black people stay in Ceres, which has an open sewer system. People see human faeces every day, which is unacceptable. [Interjections.] That is the responsibility of the DA, since that place was under its jurisdiction. This is a challenge we must work on. Because the majority of black people are poor, situations such as these force them to build shacks with old corrugated iron. And they have to use only one pit latrine toilet, which causes disease.] EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 62 of 98 The imposition of influx control and the Group Areas Act was a monster designed by the apartheid government to contain African settlement in the urban areas. Poor Africans were marginalised and put on the outer periphery of cities. This meant that any attempt to find work would be difficult and thus they were rendered even more insecure. The municipalities that were previously controlled by apartheid exacerbated the suffering of Africans by building houses within flood lines, dolomite areas – for example Atteridgeville and Laudium in Tshwane – and next to the air-polluted mines of Witbank, in Mpumalanga. Umtlolo weFreedom Charter uyibeka kamnandi indaba le ngokuthi inarha izakwabelwa phakathi labo abayisebenzako. Nami ngizalisela ngokuthi isikhukhukazi esinamadzinyane asigwinyi isibungu. [Iinthikamezo.] Siyazi bona kufanele sabele amadzinyana aso ngokulingana, akhuseleke, akhule begodu azijamele, umbuso we-ANC unjalo. (Translation of isiNdebele paragraph follows.) [The Freedom Charter states clearly that the people shall share in the wealth of this country. And I want to add by saying that a hen always shares the worm with its chicks, so that the chicks can grow up and become self-sufficient. [Interjections.] That is the government of the ANC.] EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 63 of 98 Since 1994, the post-democracy land and housing reform programme has achieved many of the objectives that the ANC-led government has set out to do, in terms of balancing the unequal scale of land and housing ownership emanating from apartheid South Africa. Kusesenabantu abatswenywa ziinthoro, abangafuni ukuhlalisana nezinye iinhlanga kunye netjhuguluko. E-Gauteng duze neLeeukop Prison inarha yombuso imangele bona izokwakhiwa nini, abaneenthoro basebenzisa umthetho ukuvala iragelo phambili. Abantu be-Alexandra bangakhelwa izindlu kileyondawo. Bengibawa ukuthi icalisiswe kabutjha indaba le. Umtlolo weFreedom Charter uthi kuzakuba nezindlu, ivikeleko nepilo engcono. (Translation of isiNdebele paragraph follows.) [There are still rich people who don’t want to stay with the other races and who resist transformation. In Gauteng, near the Leeukop Prison, there is no land development; because rich people use some of the regulations to delay the land development process. That land can be used to build houses for people of Alexandra. I appeal to you that we must reconsider this matter.] Over the past 10 years the ANC-led government has made tremendous advances in most cities in terms of providing essential infrastructure and services. It also took into account people’s mobility. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 64 of 98 Lokho akutjho okobana iimfuno zabantu zifeziwe zoke, abantu abahlali ndawonye basuka endaweni baye kwenye. [That doesn’t mean that everyone’s demands were met. People do not stay in one place, but move from one place to another.] Population growth and rapid urbanisation have resulted in a growing number of people who live in informal settlements. Gauteng is the most urbanised and 97% of its population lives in urban areas. It is followed by the Western Cape where the population is 88% urbanised. This challenge warranted an urgent intervention. The Department of Housing adhered to the President’s instruction by coming up with a comprehensive programme for dealing with human settlements and social infrastructure. UNgqongqotjhe weZindlu uDrh Lindiwe Sisulu ubeke unyaka ka-2014 njengonyaka okuzabe kungasekho imikhukhu enarheni yekhethu. [The Minister of Housing, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu, has described the year of 2010 as the year when there will be no shacks.] The comprehensive plan will redirect and enhance existing mechanisms to move towards a more responsive and effective delivery. Apart from upgrading informal settlements, the strategy focuses on encouraging densification, expanding rental housing stock and private sector investment in low-cost housing. The vital part of the plan is the integration of all levels of government and other departments in order to reach tangible goals. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 65 of 98 Whilst we are pro-BNG, that is, for the “breaking new ground” strategy, it’s upon all of us to come up with other strategies that will help curb and deal with mushrooming informal settlements. The Gauteng province came up with the community builder programme, because it’s essential for this province to deliver houses at high pace. This programme provides an avenue for short-term job creation and skills transfer in conjunction with the principles of the Expanded Public Works Programme. It introduces the youth and the unemployed into productive work processes linked to housing delivery. This programme shouldn’t be confused with the people’s housing process, PHP, which is also about deepening and enriching the people-driven housing delivery process. Public sector hostels, which were the breeding ground of crime and ethnic tensions, have had their name changed to affordable rental accommodation, or ARA. They were male dominated and earmarked for migrant labourers. Provincial housing departments have to be commended for carrying out this tough and, in some instances, very risky mandate. Habitable rental single and family units have been realised through rebuilding and conversion of these hostels, for example Mzamo in KwaLanga, Thokoza in KwaZulu-Natal, Mamelodi, Attridgeville, Soshanguve and Alexandra in Gauteng province. Into ekarisako kobana abomma baphakathi kwabosonkotraga bokwakha zabobaba inani labo liyakhula, Malibongwe! [What is interesting is EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 66 of 98 that women are also included in the construction industry, and that the number is growing. Thank you.] These converted units brought back family calmness and are also a vehicle for human integration. Minister, 10 bursaries for learners are not sufficient. We urge the department to add more in order to encourage those matriculants who are sitting idle at home to become housing specialists. Let’s invest in the future of our children, in particular the girl-child. In conclusion, people living with HIV/Aids have a harder time obtaining finances for houses, both because lending institutions are hesitant to make loans and because their income will be low. This is a reality and a challenge that we all must face and overcome. In 2003 the Department of Housing issued an HIV/Aids framework document based on a survey conducted in all provinces. The study noted that households headed by children were increasing and that by 2010 there will be approximately 1,2 million orphans. The study advocated the development of institutional housing models to address the housing needs of orphans. Local government is nearest to the people and must take a leading role in gathering relevant information regarding child-headed households. Correct data should be given to relevant departments, for example social development. The Children’s Bill contains proposals for the recognition of a child-headed household under the EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 67 of 98 supervision of an adult designated by a social worker or community- based organisation. The Bill further provides that child-headed households, and I quote: . . . may not be excluded from any aid, relief or other programme for poor households provided by an organ of state in the national, provincial or local sphere of government solely by reason of the fact that the household is headed by a child. Therefore, specific attention must be paid by government programmes to realising the rights of the most vulnerable. I-ANC iyayisekela iBudget Vote le. Ngiyathokoza. [Iwahlo.] [The ANC supports the Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.] Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Geagte mnr die Voorsitter, in September verlede jaar word die agb Minister aangehaal waar sy by ’n mediakonferensie die volgende belofte maak. Sy sê: “Gee my 10 jaar en ek wys jou ’n Suid-Afrika sonder plakkerskampe.” Ek ken dié agb Minister nou al redelik lank; van 1994 af - ons was saam in die Staande Komitee oor Intelligensie – maar ek wil vir haar sê al wat haar sal kan red van hierdie belofte is as sy ná 2009 nie meer die Minister van Behuising is nie. Dis al wat haar sal kan red hiervan. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 68 of 98 Hoekom sê ek dit? In Mei 2000 – vyf jaar gelede – ontstaan 50 plakkershutte op die plaas van mnr Braam Duvenhage op die Modderklip-boerdery aan die buitewyke van die woonbuurt Daveyton aan die Oos-Rand. Op 12 April 2001 kry mnr Duvenhage ’n hofbevel van die Johannesburgse Hooggeregshof dat die plakkers onwettig op sy grond is en dat die staat mnr Duvenhage se eiendomsreg moet beskerm. Dis ’n opdrag! Ná hierdie hofbevel word die probleem van staatsinstelling na staatsinstelling aangegee, maar niemand doen iets nie. Dis soos die spreekwoordelike drie apies: “Ek hoor niks, ek sien niks en ek sê niks”. Op 20 November 2002 is daar ’n Pretoriase Hooggeregshof- uitspraak, en wat sê die regter, regter De Villiers, daarin? Hy sê: “So kan dit nie aangaan nie. Die regering moet nou in rat kom.” Die regering moet in rat kom! Dis wat ’n regter vir die regering sê! Die hof het bepaal die staat moet ’n skema praktiseer oor die verskaffing van huisvesting of toegang tot grond. Hy bevind die regering se beleid skiet te kort omdat dit nie voorsiening maak vir plakkerhervestiging nie. Daar was ander hofsake en ’n appèluitspraak, maar op die ou end is dit Konstitusionele Hof toe, en verlede Vrydag, op 14 Mei 2005, maak die Konstitusionele Hof ’n bevinding, en wat sê die regter, regter Pius Langa? Hy sê: EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 69 of 98 Plakkery op dié skaal bedreig baie meer as ’n individu se regte. Dit bedreig vrede en stabiliteit. Versuim van die staat om te help is ’n resep vir anargie. Dis wat die agbare regter van die Konstitusionele Hof sê. Hy sê daar is ’n moontlikheid van anargie as daar nie gekyk word na hierdie probleem nie. Nou vra ek die agb Minister: ís daar nou al ’n behoorlike beleid vir plakkerhervestiging? Wanneer gaan hierdie hervestigingsprogram dan geïmplementeer word? Hierdie hofsake het meer as R1 miljoen gekos, maar ek wil vir die agb Minister sê, en ook vir die President, in wie se naam die aansoek by die Konstitusionele Hof was, hierdie regskostes is nie die President of die Minister se koste en geld waarmee hulle kan omgaan nie; dis belastingbetalers se geld! Dit is húlle geld wat na my mening vir hierdie doel misbruik word om onnodige hofsake te maak waarin nie alleen individue se eiendomsreg beskerm word nie, maar volgens die Konstitusionele Hof ook die vrede en stabiliteit in die hele gemeenskap, die hele Suid-Afrika. Daarom sê ons van die VF Plus se kant af dit het tyd geword – ná die hofuitspraak is dit nou baie duidelik – dat ons nie meer soos die drie apies kan sê ons hoor niks, ons sien niks en ons sê niks nie. U sal nou iets moet doen. Ek dank u. [Tussenwerpsels.] (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.) EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 70 of 98 [Mr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Chairperson, in September last year the hon Minister was quoted making the following promise at a media conference. She said: “Give me 10 years and I will show you a South Africa without squatter camps.” I have known this hon Minister for quite some time now; since 1994 – we both served on the Standing Committee on Intelligence – but I would like to tell her that the only thing that can save her from this promise is if she no longer serves as Minister of Housing after 2009. That is the only thing that can save her from this. Why do I say this? In May 2000 – five years ago – 50 squatter shacks were erected on the farm of Mr Braam Duvenhage, Modderklip Farm, on the fringes of the suburb Daveyton on the East Rand. On 12 April 2001 Mr Duvenhage obtained a court order from the Johannesburg High Court stating that the squatters are on his land illegally and that the state should protect Mr Duvenhage’s right of tenure. It was an order! After this court order the problem was passed from one state institution to the next, but nobody is doing anything. It is like the proverbial three monkeys: “Hear nothing, see nothing and say nothing.” On 20 November 2002 there was a Pretoria High Court ruling and what did the judge, Judge de Villiers, say in it? He said: “It cannot go on like this. Government has to get into gear.” Government has to get into gear! That is what a judge is saying to the government! The court determined that the state had to devise a EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 71 of 98 scheme for the provision of housing or access to land. He finds that government’s policy is insufficient because it does not provide for squatter resettlement. There have been other court cases and a judgement of appeal, but in the end it went to the Constitutional Court and last Friday, on 14 May 2005, the Constitutional Court made a ruling and what did the judge, Judge Pius Langa say? He said: Squatting on this scale threatens much more than an individual’s rights. It threatens peace and stability. The failure of the state to assist is a recipe for anarchy. This is what the hon judge of the Constitutional Court said. He said there is a possibility of anarchy if this problem is not looked at. Now I am asking the hon Minister: Is there an adequate policy for squatter resettlement yet? When will this resettlement programme be implemented? These court cases have cost more than R1 million, but I want to tell the hon Minister as well as the President, in whose name the application to the Constitutional Court was brought, that these legal fees are not the President or the Minister’s costs and money for them to carry on with; This is taxpayers’ money! It is their money, in my opinion, that is being misused for the purpose of creating unnecessary court cases in which not only the individuals’ rights of tenure is protected but, according to the Constitutional EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 72 of 98 Court, the peace and stability in the whole community and the entire South Africa as well. That is why we are saying, on the part of the FF Plus, that the time has come – after the court judgement it is now very clear – when we can no longer say like the three monkeys that we hear nothing, see nothing and say nothing. You will have to do something. I thank you. [Interjections.]] Mr M T LIKOTSI: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and members, the state of housing in our country is a point of concern for all patriots of this country. The type and quality of houses built is not a true reflection of the gains made in our liberation struggle. The rate by which these houses are built is a challenge to all of us to revise our strategies and devise a quicker and more qualitative approach to rebuild our tarnished image. This Budget Vote is expected to move a long way towards addressing the prevailing state of affairs by building houses that will reflect a dignified nation. The human settlement development programme, through its latest portion of grants allocated towards the area of nodes, may in one way or another move us a step further towards meeting our challenges. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 73 of 98 When we relentlessly engaged in a protracted liberation struggle, we fought for the improvement of the conditions that dehumanised our people at the time. We consciously coined words such as “matchbox” houses as a sign to show our displeasure and discomfort with the type of housing that the minority colonial rulers had prescribed to us. Africans were subjected to 99-year leaseholds which prevented them from obtaining certain privileges, such as securing bank loans against the bond of the properties they occupied, like homeowners. We must congratulate the Ministry at this point on passing legislation that has addressed the challenges of the 99-year leaseholds. Today we can proudly talk about people who have the title deeds of the houses they occupy. This process must be fast-tracked to cover all other people who are still to get their title deeds in both urban and rural areas. All the people who own RDP houses must also be given title deeds. Our people are homeless. They live in shacks of a horrible make – plastic and cupboards. Our people live in abject poverty, and they have lost their human dignity. We have fallen into a trap that mentally enslaves our people by convincing them to accept that they are inferior human beings and that they deserve to stay in these types of dwellings – shacks or the indecent structures we call “houses”. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 74 of 98 Our housing support institutions must take the direct blame for the delivery of houses built. The private sector, which benefited from apartheid rule, may not escape unscathed. They are guilty of the past mishaps. The international community that gives us funds for housing, such as from USAid, NORAD, Rooftops and the European Commission, must immediately act responsibly. They must fund us for housing that will reclaim our dignity as a nation. Let this department move swiftly to address housing shortages in all areas, especially where people have been living as backyard dwellers for a long time and those who live in informal settlement. The PAC supports this Budget Vote. [Applause.] Mr Z S MKHIZE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister of Housing and colleagues, the theme of my speech is based on the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Charter. As you are aware, KwaZulu-Natal is the biggest and amongst our developing provinces. In history, this is the first time for our people to own houses and title deeds in rural areas. Isiqubulo esinaso sithi, “Umuntu, umuntu ngomuzi”, okusho ukuthi uma ungenawo umuzi nendawo yokuhlala, ufana nomuntu ohambaze. Ngakho ngithe angibheke kakhulu laphayana ezindaweni zasemakhaya lapho kuhlala khona abantu abaningi abalinganiselwa ema-40%. Ngesikhathi EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 75 of 98 uhulumeni wentando yeningi engakabikhona, bebekhona yini abantu abanemizi? Uma sikhumbula isimo sezombusazwe ekade sikhona ngaphambili, bekulukhuni satshe futhi kuyiphupho kungake kube khona abantu abanezindlu ezakhiwe uhulumeni ezindaweni zasemakhaya. Bekunemithetho eminingana-ke ebikhona ngale nje kokuthi kwakhiwe. Bayazi laba abasuka emakhaya ezindaweni zamakhosi ukuthi bekukhona imitheshwana yezinduna namakhosi yokuthi abanakwakhelwa abantu izindlu lapha. Kodwa manje ngokwakhiwa kwalezo zindlu kwenze abantu bazibona banesithunzi ngoba ukuba nomuzi kukwakhelwa isithunzi. Ngakho uma ngabe ungumuntu nje uzihambela laphana uyazibuza ukuthi kusho ukuthini ukuba nomuzi. Ukuba nomuzi kuwena kusho ukuthi uzethembe kakhulu. Njengoba kukhona ubhubhane lolu lwesifo sengculazi futhi sazi kamhlophe ukuthi abazali bayahamba emhlabeni zisale izingane zingenayo indawo yokukhosela, uhulumeni wenze elikhulu igalelo kule minyaka nje ephethe uhulumeni we-ANC. Ngakho akusekho muntu nje omthola equnquluze esigangeni kuthiwe akanayo indawo yokufihla ikhanda. Ngakho-ke uhulumeni okhona njengamanje siwethulela isigqoko. Sithi eminyakeni engaphambili nasemlandweni owake waba khona ngaphambili, akaze kwenzeke lokhu kubo bonke labo hulumeni abake baba khona ngaphambi kukahulumeni ophethwe yi-ANC. Sithi-ke Ngqongqoshe, njengekomiti elikhulu, siyoba seduzane kwakho futhi sibambisane nawe ngazo zonke izinto ezihlelwayo eziya phambili. Siyohlala ngaso sonke isikhathi sikuphethe ngezandla ezifudumele ukuze umsebenzi uqhubeke EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 76 of 98 kahle. Ngifuna ukusho ukuthi lesi sabiwomali sanamhlanje siyayesekela siyi-ANC. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of Zulu paragraphs follows.) [We have a slogan that says: “ A man is a man because he has a house”, which means that a man who does not have a house is like a destitute man. I want to concentrate on the rural areas where the majority of approximately 40% live. Were there people who owned houses before the democratic government came to power? If we remember the previous political conditions, we will remember that it was very difficult and impossible to dream that the government would ever build houses for the people in the rural areas. There were a number of rules to be followed before a person could be given a place to build a house. Those who come from the rural areas know that there were tribal rules made by izinduna and amakhosi which prevented the building of formal houses in rural areas. Now people regard themselves as very dignified since they have received houses, because the building of houses brought some sense of dignity to them. Even an ordinary person would want to know what it feels like to have a house. If you have a house you really feel dignified. We are faced with the HIV/Aids scourge, and we know very well that the elders are dying and children are left without shelter. Therefore the ANC-led government has played a significant role since it took over. That is why nobody would be found sleeping on the side of the road because he/she does not have a shelter. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 77 of 98 Therefore we salute the present government. We note that none of the governments that have been in power did what the ANC-led government has done. We, the portfolio committee, shall always be next to you Minister and we shall work with you on all progressive programmes. We shall treat you warmly all the time so that the work gets done. The ANC supports this Budget. [Applause.]] Mr R B BHOOLA: Chairperson, hon Minister, we are from a segregated society where the majority was marginalised into harsh living conditions. In ten years, our democracy has turned around the conditions imposed by the apartheid regime and has worked hard to put back, set free, provide, develop and attend to equality, as enshrined in our Constitution. The public has often been brainwashed into believing that our government is useless, that people have received nothing from this system. But we have! We have our freedom! We have rights! We have access and attained great success in all faculties, be it in education, health, housing, transport, safety and security to name but a few! Our miracle cannot work overnight. And the public needs continual updates on our progress so that they may be encouraged by our achievements and true potential. Since 1994, social housing, running tap water and sanitation have been made available to so many EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 78 of 98 impoverished South Africans. Work such as this continues with great commitment in Manusa and Schweizer-Reneke. This rural area will also be abandoning the bucket system and replacing it with flushing toilets. However, the MF is concerned about the negative mindsets of residents, especially affluent ones, who often object to developments of social housing in neighbouring area. Such is the situation in the upmarket suburb of Fairlands in Johannesburg, where the development of 270 to 300 social housing units is on the agenda, and residents are not happy. After ten years, the MF would have expected an abandonment of the segregated attitudes of the apartheid regime. The mindset that every black man steals, murders and is dangerous needs to be abandoned. [Applause.] Foreign investment in public and private sector development continues to increase even though petrol prices now creep in as a condition to consider when purchasing a house. Even though the Minister of Finance predicts that a boost to employment will boost housing development, he is being criticised by those residents who say that such infrastructure plans will have a short life span and leave many unable to pay their bonds. In terms of the budget, the nominal increase of 7% since last year is welcome. It appears that all department programmes have received EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 79 of 98 a substantial real increase. The programme management has received a nominal decrease of 33.1%, which is accepted through reasoning. The MF would like to see greater housing development in KwaZulu- Natal, and such development should be made accessible and available to the impoverished minorities as well as majorities. The MF supports the budget. [Applause.] Mr S J MASANGO: Chairperson, hon Minister and hon members, one of the major responsibilities of the Department of Housing is to allocate funds to house millions of homeless South Africans. The aim is to build houses and not just lay foundations. Yet foundations gathering dust are all that some municipalities have to show in South Africa. What has happened to the money that was supposed to go into completing the projects and what will be done to ensure that they are finished? The Minister of Housing must set up a team to investigate all incomplete housing projects. Chairperson, I am saying this on the following grounds. There is a possibility that in many cases developers and contractors have received the full payment for finishing a house, yet they have only gone as far as laying the foundation. One contractor in the Free State was paid R5 million for building six toilets. It will be suicidal for the government to downplay this, especially with councillors owning building EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 80 of 98 contractors. Contractors want to make a profit by building houses, but if you get the same amount for building a foundation or a couple of toilets, why build the whole house? There are beneficiaries who have applied in 1996 and are still waiting for their houses. Others have died waiting and their children are homeless. Some foundations have been there for more than seven years now. It is as if those who were first in the queue for RDP houses are now being punished. These people are becoming sick of waiting for government to deliver on its promises. Just last week over 500 protestors in KwaZakhele Township, Port Elizabeth, burnt tyres, threw stones, chased cars and closed in on the mayor’s car demanding to be heard. A few months earlier Cape Town also saw angry protests. The Minister clearly cannot afford to continue ignoring incomplete projects and other delays. He must act now. The reason given for the incomplete projects are pure nonsense and are unsubstantiated. If you start a project you must put your plans on the table with a definite starting time, completion time and a plan to overcome any obstacles. Why start a project if you cannot complete it? Why have things stalled at foundation level? The Mpumalanga MEC for Housing, Jabu Mahlangu, has stopped all new housing projects in the province due to the sheer number of incomplete projects. His aim is to investigate the problem causing EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 81 of 98 the incompletion of projects. I fully agree with him and his department to launch an investigation, but the stoppage on new housing projects will simply create more backlogs. The MEC must go further and investigate whether developers and contractors were paid in full for incomplete projects and take harsh action where necessary. Last year in my budget speech I congratulated the Minister on changing focus from quantity to quality, but I was disappointed when I visited the RDP houses in Witbank, at the Malahleni Municipality. The houses are of such a poor standard that while sitting inside, you do not need windows to see whether it is cloudy or the sun is shining outside. You can just look through the roof. When it rains, most of the houses’ walls get wet inside, which leaves a greenish colour on them. This is the consequence of developers and contractors cutting their costs by using less cement in order to make a bigger profit. Chairperson, we are still making the same mistake we were making in the past. We need to learn a few things from them for a change. One of the common and longstanding mistakes is that while the application to qualify for an RDP house has not yet been processed, the developer has already started to build the house. After processing the applications some people do not qualify, but houses have already been built for them. Those houses stand empty and at that point they are either vandalised or illegally occupied, in some EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 82 of 98 cases with the help of corrupt councillors or officials who make money out of those houses. We must change the procedure so that people who qualify for RDP houses have their applications approved before their houses are built. Last year in August I requested your intervention at Bethal in eMzinoni extension 22 and 23, where there are disputes over the ownership of RDP houses. The letter was forwarded to the MEC for housing in Mpumalanga and I have made several follow-up enquiries, but nothing has been done. Those who legally qualify for RDP houses that have been built are still languishing in the shacks and in the backyards. Those who have never applied are occupying the houses. A solution to this problem is long outstanding and I think the Minister will not be happy to sit and let it explode. Perhaps if more delivery took place, fewer faxes from an informal settlement named Joe Slovo would have arrived at the Minister’s office. Thank you. Mr T S DODOVU: Modulasetulo ya hlomphehang, ha ke dumele hore Ntate Masango o dula Afrika Borwa mona, ka lebaka la dintho tseo a di buang. Ke kgolwa hore le puo ya hae e ngotswe ke Ntate Leon, mme ha ke dumele hore e ngotswe ke yena. (Translation of Sotho paragraph follows.) EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 83 of 98 [Hon Chairperson, I do not believe that Mr Masango lives in South Africa because of the things that he utters. I believe that even his speech has been prepared by Mr Leon. I do not think that he prepared it.] Chairperson, I feel honoured to participate in this debate today. Today, as we approach the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, we say, without any fear of contradiction, that since the advent of our new democratic dispensation in 1994, the poor people of this country continue to benefit from the collective wisdom of our traditions and forbears, but that there is a dire need to provide houses, security and comfort to them. It is therefore fitting, at this juncture, with humble strength and deep pride, that we repeat the words of former generations, because they are also our own words today, that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. At a time when millions of our people are waiting expectantly for the government to bring new hope and justify their trust in them for adequate housing, unfortunately there are among us some self- professed genuine mouthpieces of our people who pursue a blind and cheap popularity that has nothing to do with housing the poor. At a time when the government has to contend with serious challenges in governance and housing delivery, these opportunists attempt to EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 84 of 98 gain popularity on the basis of propositions that sound radical but are very impractical, such as distinguishing between our people who live in the backyards and those who are on the waiting lists. Indeed, they do need votes like predators need the smell of blood. The ANC government should not, and will not, allow any political provocation to distract us from our central message that together we should build sustainable human settlements so as to ensure a better life for all. Since 1994 the government has established national institutions to facilitate housing-related needs of the market. Most of these institutions were born as a result of the Botshabelo accord, recognising the need to encourage the formal lending sector to increase lending to the lower end of the market. It is therefore important also to state the role of the People’s Housing Partnership Trust, which is important in giving support to people who wish to build their own houses. The main challenge facing these institutions is to engage with municipalities and civil society to participate meaningfully in the people’s housing process. In the light of the new housing strategy it is critical to review, redefine or reposition our housing solutions in order to meet the growing demand of creating viable communities and sustainable human settlements. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 85 of 98 In addition, the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency has a critical role to play to facilitate the flow of finance from financial institutions to low-income housing development. This is important because it will advance credit not only to the developers and contractors, but it will enable low-income families to top up their housing subsidy so as to invest equity in large-scale housing development. Over the years the Rural Housing Loan Fund has played a crucial role in providing loans through intermediaries to low-income households in the rural areas. This scheme also provides them with access to credit that enables them to unleash the potential of their self-help savings and local ingenuity to build and improve their shelter over time. In the light of the new housing strategy, the role of the Social Housing Foundation cannot be overemphasised. Since its establishment in 1997, the SHF has played a pivotal role in developing and building capacity for housing institutions and in promoting information and skills exchanges within the social housing environment. The recent conference on public housing stock transfer was an important watershed in the provision and management of housing stock. All these housing institutions are required to comply with the Public Finance Management Act, and to report to the Department EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 86 of 98 of Housing at periodical intervals. In addition, these institutions are reporting timeously and their reports are tabled in Parliament, where they are scrutinised by the portfolio committee. The major challenge facing the portfolio committee is to make sure that this institution makes an impact in terms of job creation, poverty alleviation, broad-based black economic empowerment, engendering a culture of savings, women’s empowerment, capacity development, social crime prevention, fraud, corruption and maladministration. In addition to this, they must also assist in terms of accelerated service delivery, integrated sustainable rural development, the urban renewal programme and medium density housing. We should attend to these important national priorities, despite what the right-wing parties, led by the DA, are doing by broadcasting propaganda that is based unashamedly on gross falsification. By directing all these vitriolic attacks, and laying these unfounded charges, they merely want to pose as sole genuine representatives of the people. These hostile interventions on their part, directed against the ANC, are created so that the DA can be seen as to represent the genuinely progressive agenda, while the ANC is seen as bent on betraying the cause of the revolution by not providing adequate housing to the people. The hon members of the DA, unfortunately, should not go around carrying the notion in their heads that the DA has a special EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 87 of 98 responsibility to be a competent watchdog over the ANC. Therefore these hon members of the DA should not think that as ANC members we will sit by helplessly, surrendering to their dictates and to their whims, as whatever force takes away our soul, leaving us as nothing but pliable instruments in the hands of whoever is controlling us. All of us have a responsibility to move forward, because housing constitutes a daunting challenge that is facing us. In order to deal with and ameliorate the conditions in which our people live, we need to support our government. We need to move this particular process forward, because in so doing we will be answering to a principal question that is confronting us today. These are the better ways, these are the measures by which we can support our government in terms of addressing the housing challenge that is facing us. In conclusion, we, in the ANC, believe that it will be pointless to lament about the housing backlog and the mess we have inherited from our divided past. Yes, as we have stated on countless occasions, to lament over it doesn’t help to eradicate it. We must all get down to work and build sustainable human settlements. Indeed, if the housing institutions contribute in meeting these priorities, they will have contributed immensely towards the fulfilment of the vision of the Freedom Charter, namely that “there shall be houses, security and comfort”. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 88 of 98 These housing institutions would have indelibly contributed in the fulfilment of this strategic objective of our struggle of creating a South Africa that is truly united, nonracial, nonsexist and democratic, and indeed a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it, black and white. I think these are the important challenges that are confronting us. Unfortunately, the DA perpetually continues to denigrate what the government is doing, even the kind of progress that we have made. I don’t think that it really helps us in terms of ensuring that the gains that we have secured already are advanced to the majestic heights, where all the people will live in conditions similar to those in which they find themselves today. We don’t think that this is a correct way of taking the process forward, of ensuring that we are housing the nation. Key of what we did in terms of the housing strategy of 1994, the government had to answer the principal question: What is it that we can do in terms of advancing the spiritual and the material wellbeing of our people?” It puts into practice the issue of subsidies. It also puts in practical terms how to stabilise the housing environment, mobilising the housing credit that is necessary for the low-income families so as to take housing forward and ensure that at the end of the day they have shelter over their heads. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 89 of 98 This dirty politicking will not help us, and will not advance our cause. It will not help the poor people who dearly need housing. Along those particular lines we are saying that enough is enough. The DA must act responsibly. They must help us, and help our government in terms of addressing those particular challenges that are facing us, because that is important. Two years ago, when we lectured hon Steyn in terms of housing, we thought he would behave better, and that he would understand the complexities of our time, but he has failed to do so. But we will never lose patience, we will continue to teach him and teach him until he understands better, until he understands that the only solution to the questions that are confronting us, is to ensure that we work harder, we act responsibly, in terms of fulfilling those particular challenges. Thank you very much, Chairperson. The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Chairperson, as the debate progressed I was making copious notes to respond to some of the matters that have been raised here. However, it got to a point, as I was listening to the members here, where it was heartening to see that not only members of the ANC but some members of the opposition as well were actually answering the questions I would have answered. It gives me hope that we are all at one in understanding the poverty of our people and what we are called upon to do about it. However, to those who are not part of us, it is not a pity, but I will come back to that. [Interjections.] EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 90 of 98 No, I must actually defend hon Masango. I think he is in the wrong party and in a little while he might perhaps graduate to the IFP or something more sensible than where he is right now. [Laughter.] I want to thank the members of the committee who came here to be part of the great sea of change and to be part of the creation of an environment where the poorest of the poor can find their place in the sun. I would like them to know that their efforts are appreciated, that their efforts at being part of the delivery are appreciated. Those who have come here with rent-a-crowd in tow to nitpick and criticise, with nothing constructive to add, should spend more time with the people who live in desperate conditions, created over years of oppression. Then they will realise that their sitting here looking for minute faults will be judged by history. It will be judged very harshly by history. One of my comrades here stood up to say that they were hoping to get some sort of housing policy out of the DA. There is nothing you are going to get from the DA except an open-mouth policy. That is all they do. [Applause.] I just want to send a message to the DA that we do not need to be on the same side of the benches to understand the poverty of our country or to understand the scourge this poverty has brought upon us. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 91 of 98 I want to recognise here a member of society who has been trying to reach out to me and I do not know if she belongs to my party. I doubt she belongs to it, but she has been trying to reach out to me to share her views so that she can assist me in understanding and ensuring that we can deliver. It is Mrs Scott over there. I want to employ her, if it is possible, as a consultant to educate the DA out of their present quagmire. [Interjections.] It is an open-mouth policy, yes. I would like to indicate to my hon friend here from the DA, sorry from . . . it is such an insult, I am so sorry. My sincerest apologies. He is from the Freedom Front. Whenever he wants to make a point which he does not want answered while he is speaking to me, he speaks in Afrikaans. He speaks in very rapid Afrikaans, because he knows that by the time I have reached out for my gadget and put it to my ear, he will have finished what he wanted to say. We have spent a long time with this hon member in the portfolio committee and he spoke English to me, except when he did not want me to answer. What I did manage to get from what he was saying leads me to say that I would have expected the FF to join us in the eradication of slums; precisely so that we can deal with some of the problems that we are faced with. Come onto our side, help us build these houses and we will ensure that the money your constituents need to have in their pockets so as to ensure that they are more productive in their agricultural sector will be well spent. Come EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 92 of 98 over to our side and we will deliver to our people. You are sitting on the wrong side over there. I also wanted to say to the member of the DA, now that half of the rent-a-crowd has gone, that it is important to be aware of the present. Right now we are here to review the budget that has been given to us for the coming year, and to review and assess how we have used the money that we got last year. For him to go back to 1902, when in fact we are dealing with the present and assessing whether or not we are moving forward, is completely irrelevant here. We have explained time and again that we took time to look back on the past 10 years to see whether some of the policies we had were correct. We retained what was necessary for us to go forward with and we removed that which was not necessary, which is why we have a new plan. This new plan is intended to ensure that we can effectively deliver what we call decent houses. [Interjections.] I would like to call you once again . . . Will you shut up! I would like to call you once again to come with me to see the conditions that our people are dealing with. [Interjections.] No you don’t, you don’t. Adv H G SCHMIDT: Hon Chair, on a point of order: Is that parliamentary? And I think the hon Minister should rather sit down, because she is tired when addressing the House. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 93 of 98 The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr N P Nhleko): No, I am sorry. Order! Hon members, please, ake simeni Bantu bakithi angisamuzwa manje umnumzane ukuthi uthini manje. [Let us stop fellow people; I cannot hear what he is saying.] The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Akukho lutho alushoyo bakithi. [He has said nothing.] The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr N P Nhleko): Will you just go ahead, asseblief [please]. I couldn’t hear what you were saying. Adv H G SCHMIDT: Hon Chair, I think on a point of order, the Minister should sit down when I am raising a point of order. The MINISTER OF HOUSING: No, I won’t. [Interjections.] Adv H C SCHMIDT: Or should both of us stand? HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr N P Nhleko): Hon members, I need to be assisted, asseblief tog [please]. What is your point of order? Adv H C SCHMIDT: My point of order, Mr Chair, is whether it is parliamentary for the hon Minister to say shut up to another member? [Interjections.] The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr N P Nhleko): Hon Schmidt, there is nothing unparliamentary about that. Thank you. Please go ahead, Minister. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 94 of 98 The MINISTER of HOUSING: I think it might also be necessary for the DA occasionally to take in some of its new members and teach them some of the parliamentary rules and regulations and then they will not waste our time. There are a number of things that I wanted to correct for the record, because it is unfortunate that they will be presented here when there is no accuracy in what is being put across. The member of the DA here has indicated that, in a presentation from my department, it was quite clear that the department knew nothing about the projects that were blocked and we are still going to investigate this. I have had occasion to check with my staff, because this would not be possible as we have database dealing with this. My staff have come back to me to say this statement is incorrect. I would like us to get back to the Hansard of the particular committee that we are dealing with, so that when we come here we actually reflect the truth as it should be reflected. The other matter that I need to indicate is that this particular individual has been in parliament I should like to think long enough to understand the ways in which we technically allocate the programmes. The programme he is referring to is for consultants and he tries to put in a snide remark about personal consultants. That was not lost on me. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 95 of 98 I would like to explain to you that this particular programme, programme 3, is termed “for consultants”, but the money reflected there is not for consultants. The R50 million that we have been given to give capacity to the municipalities is in this programme and the reason why it has gone up exponentially is precisely because the money for the municipalities is in there. The money for the training programmes is part of this particular programme, so next time you are in the portfolio committee you should seek to understand before you come forward. A number of times we have heard people referring to the sad situation in KwaZakhele. It is important that I emphasise this again. This is the reason why we have taken the opportunity to ask for more money to give capacity to the municipalities. Over and above that, I was very glad that the chairperson touched on a matter that is actually responsible for some of the problems in KwaZakhele. KwaZakhele has suffered more than its fair share of natural disasters. Money that would otherwise have been allocated to housing has been diverted to natural disasters. I am glad that you now have this conference on natural disasters so that between ourselves and local government, which is responsible for natural disasters, we find a way to allocate funding that goes very directly to natural disasters. So please, do understand the context in which that particular circumstance in KwaZakhele is occurring. I will take every opportunity to go down to the Eastern Cape and ensure that we can sort out this matter. It is nothing to gloat about. It is EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 96 of 98 nothing to gloat about when there are serious circumstances that need our attention. Finally, I want to thank the acting Director-General, Mr Vawda, and his deputy, Mr Dlabantu, and the department and housing institutions for all the hard work that they have put in from the time we adopted the human settlements plan. Looking back, it was only nine months ago and we have covered incredible ground. I am extremely proud of the work that we have done. I would also like to thank my own ministerial staff, the two advisers and the staff in the Ministry, all of whom have always gone well beyond the call of duty to give me quality support always. I also want to extend my gratitude to the former Director-General, Mrs Mpumi Mpofu. We hope to find a suitable occasion later this month to thank her for the work that she has done for us. I would like to take this opportunity to ask hon members to please avail themselves of this particular opportunity when we will be saying goodbye to her. My gratitude also goes to people who have helped us in every conceivable way to arrive at this point, notably Partners for Housing, Women in Housing, Mama’s Housing and others. EPE TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005 PAGE: 97 of 98 Chairperson, I thank you also for the way in which you have managed to conduct this otherwise riotous House. Again, I would like to thank hon members for supporting my Bill. I think we are on the right track. We will win, yet. Thank you very much. [Applause.] Debate concluded. The Committee rose at 17:32.
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