31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 1 of 89 WEDNESDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2007 ____ PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ____ The House met at 15:05. The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation. ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 8244. QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY ECONOMICS Cluster 3 MINISTERS: Information and data on farm evictions 411. Mr A H Nel (DA) asked the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs: 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 2 of 89 Whether her department has any information and data on farm evictions other than the Nkuzi report of 2005; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO2636E The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Madam Speaker, I have been asked by the Minister to assist today. The wording of the question by Mr Nel is whether the department has any information and data on farm evictions, etc. The problem is that those terms are quite vague and indistinct both with regard to information and to data. Information is really facts or principles different and distinguishable from those that are incorporated in formally organised branches of knowledge; and the same goes for data, which is detailed information of any kind. It‟s as wide as the veld of South Africa. The same goes for evidence. I‟ve listed around 15 meanings of the word. The short answer is that I‟ve already answered this question on 12 September in response to a follow-up question by the hon Nel. Thank you. M A H NEL: Mevrou die Speaker, dit lyk vir my asof die agb Adjunkminister nie nou vandag antwoorde wil gee nie, want hy was laas keer baie seker van sy feite oor hoeveel mense afgesit word en wat hy met daardie mense wil doen. [Tussenwerpsels.] 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 3 of 89 Ek wil u herinner aan die Nkuzi-verslag, waarin hy sê, dat van die 5,8 miljoen mense wat plase verlaat het oor daardie 21-jaar-tydperk is 1,6 miljoen afgesit. Dit is anders as wat die Minister gesê het. Ek het baie simpatie met mense wat hul werk of hul huis verloor, en ek kan hul probleme verstaan. Wat die Minister egter vir ons moet sê, omtrent hierdie mense wat van die plase af gegaan het – en hulle is van die plase af as gevolg van sekere goed wat die Adjunkminister se regering gedoen het – wat het die regering gedoen om daardie maatskaplike verpligting wat dit het ingevolge die Grondwet aan te spreek ten opsigte van behuising? Of is die boere die enigste sektor in die ekonomie wat daarvoor verantwoordelik is? Baie dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Mr A H NEL: Madam Speaker, it seems to me that the hon Deputy Minister does not want to answer the questions today, because last time he was very certain of his facts about how many people have been evicted and what he wanted to do with those people. [Interjections.] I want to remind you of the Nkuzi Report in which he said that out of the 5,8 million people who had left farms over that 21-year period, 1,6 million were evicted. This is contrary to what the Minister has said. I heartily sympathise with people who have lost their jobs or homes and I can understand their problems, but what the Minister has to tell us regarding these people who have left the 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 4 of 89 farms – and they have left the farms because of certain things that the Deputy Minister‟s government has done – is what government has done to address the social responsibility it has in terms of the Constitution regarding housing? Or are the farmers the only sector in the economy responsible for that? Thank you very much.] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Madam Speaker, it‟s of course your ruling but I‟ve got the text of the previous answer here. I could read it again out of Hansard. It has been answered. Apparently the member just wants a discussion around this matter. I can respond to that, but it‟s your decision whether I should again read the answer I gave a month and a half ago. Apparently Parliament has got time for that. [Interjections.] You see, the problem is that we have a certain grouping in this country which seems to be in favour of these types of evictions. We‟re struggling constantly with the official opposition because they seem to support these evictions. In Afrikaans we could call them “hierdie uitsmyters” [these chuckers-out] who are always trying to take the discussion further. MR M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: We had a great deal of fuss last week about question time. I think that, generally speaking, there has been a kind of willingness on the part of all parties to take questions seriously. This Deputy Minister today again is making an absolute joke of question time and of this 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 5 of 89 particular question. I would urge you to rule that Ministers generally should take this seriously. The SPEAKER: I don‟t think we need to rule again on the question of the seriousness of questions. The hon Deputy Minister is of the view that he has already tackled the question. However, he was in the middle of further engaging on the issue. So, please finalise your point, hon Deputy Minister. The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Indeed, Madam Speaker, I could continue with this argument. We are sitting with the problem that we have got section 25(5) and (6) which we must give effect to. Now there‟s a constant resistance in some quarters against the criminalising of illegal evictions. As I said in September, the Nkuzi Report is the only statistical report available which contains an empirical review on this matter. Until we have something else proving something different, we cannot just give bits of unproven information out and say that is what we‟re bringing to Parliament. The opposition should respond to the Nkuzi report because they are supporting these evictions by those quarters in the agricultural unions, who are supporting this process of cleaning up the black spots. Allow me to read to you a sentence or two from the Constitutional Court‟s decision during this year about this fundamental problem 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 6 of 89 with which we are engaging. The Constitutional Court said the following in their judgment. They start here with their argument and state that the farmers were expected to be the direct agency for the achievement of racist state objectives. Then the Constitutional Court judge continues: It must be added that the government policy of abolishing tenancy was not simply driven by callous economic motives, etc, to grab cheap black labour, nor was it merely a push to replace feudal forms of reductive relationships. It was part of the grand apartheid design. Its notorious objective was to eliminate any vestiges of black land rights in what was designated as white South Africa. The goal was to cut any residual legal ties those identifiable black families and communities had with identifiable pieces of land. Now, the basic premise and objective of our whole land reform programme against this resistance to vested tenure rights and acknowledging tenure and insecure tenure is to stop all kinds of old apartheid apparatchiks from continuing with the removal of these people and communities in the so-called white agricultural areas. That is the strategic objective which we had and I can assure you that we will continue doing what is right in this respect with undeviating steadiness of purpose. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause.] 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 7 of 89 MRS B M NTULI: Madam Speaker, the challenge for the department is to be able to distribute land to the previously-disadvantaged and in the process develop nation-building and reconciliation and avoid shallow and narrow politics about the issue. Now, as the Minister has been responding, there is a facility that the Minister talked about the other day, to make accessible to farmworkers and dwellers in farming areas to enable the evictees to report their cases. How accessible will those facilities be to those farm dwellers to make sure that there is alternative land for their settlement? This is a problem - dumping people just about anywhere. It is a violation of their human rights and a creation of socio- economic problems. How is that facility going to be accessible to these farm dwellers and evictees? Thank you, Madam Speaker. The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Yes, that is a better question! [Interjections.] [Laughter.] Of course, it comes from the ANC, you see. [Laughter.] The Department of Land Affairs is in the process of establishing - and it is quite advanced too – this land rights management facility that will address evictions and other human rights violations on farms. Let me just say, our fundamental purpose is to protect and develop our exports. We don‟t want any inconsistency with our human rights 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 8 of 89 culture on the farms in South Africa because that will really cause a problem overseas. It will hinder investment. We must be able to say this product and that product are human rights compatible. Yes, that is the formula. You can‟t escape from that. That will promote South African agriculture. In cases where illegal evictions are reported to the Department of Land Affairs, the department will submit an urgent court application for an order to reinstate the evictees. The department also works with municipalities to secure temporary shelters while long-term solutions are sought. The Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs, on 21 October 2007, as has been reported in the media, launched the Land Rights Awareness Campaign as well as the Land and Agrarian Reform Project in Rawsonville here in the Western Cape. The main objective of this Land and Agrarian Reform Project is to improve access, to focus more sharply on an increase in access in accordance with the Constitution, as stipulated in section 25(5), and to make processes easily available. There is a call centre number, but unfortunately I don‟t have it with me. I will have it circulated among Members of Parliament. With this facility we can assist both farmers and farm dwellers – we shouldn‟t talk only about farmworkers, because this is about farm dwellers who are evicted – to facilitate the resolution of their 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 9 of 89 disputes, firstly, through mediation and, if necessary, we will assist in having the people‟s cases taken to court. This temporary call centre will operate with free and easy access to the Department of Land Affairs for those who need to report any cases of abuse and to know about the procedures to be followed in an eviction situation. We must look at the situation as a whole. We mustn‟t allow people just to go on as they want to. And it is not all the farmers, there is a very big percentage of farmers and companies who are extremely responsible. That is true. In fact, I have a problem with these people who jump out of these kraals, and they must know they cannot get away from it. You know what has happened with restitution. We are working on cases of people who were evicted in the 1930s and 1960s. History doesn‟t forget it. Don‟t do this. It is my plea so that we can strengthen agriculture. Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Speaker, I think I can assure the hon Deputy Minister that there is nobody in this House who is in favour of illegal evictions. But what the hon Deputy Minister is doing is to cast doubt over the farmers as a whole, because he says we have a certain grouping in favour of those evictions. “A certain grouping.” He calls them “uitsmyters”. [chucker-outs.] 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 10 of 89 Now, I would like to ask him to identify that certain grouping, because if you don‟t identify it, you are casting doubts on all the farmers in South Africa. That is very unfair. You must identify that certain grouping. Last time you said, amongst other things, “My broer, ons sal hulle werk. Ons sal hulle plase vat ...” [We will work on them. We will take their farms ...] [Interjections.] Who are you talking about? Are you talking about all farmers? [Interjections.] Tell us who you are talking about, because you are casting doubt on the integrity of the farming community of South Africa. [Interjections.] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Madam Speaker, yes, I expected hon Van der Merwe to react in that way by generalising. I‟m not generalising. No, we‟ll take it case by case. You see, the problem is this: If you go and look at sections 5 to 7 of the Extension of Security Tenure Act, Esta, the idea was to create a land rights culture. It expected too much from the bad guys. In other words, a gap was opened to them. Let me tell you, for example, about services. The Esta legislation – and I think it was drafted too idealistically in this regard – expects an agreement to be entered into between the farm dwellers and the farm owner. Now of course, the farm owner just doesn‟t go into an agreement and when the contract for employment is ended he just cuts the water, the electricity, the access, or he says they 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 11 of 89 should go around to another entrance 4 km from where they are. In other words, it is inhuman conduct that we are talking about. It is a very small percentage, hon Van der Merwe, less than 2%. Some say only 1% of these cases formally reaches the courts. It is about a practice and we can only stop that practice if we have co- operation from all the parties. There is one party on the other side of the House. Let me be honest. Who does something among the communities? Who goes and supports the downtrodden like the ANC does? It is the ID. They do that [Interjections.] Sorry I couldn‟t hear that. [Interjections.] Ja, Patricia werk onder die mense. Dit is die waarheid. Om die waarheid te sê, ek het dit nie teen die wit kommersiële boere wat hard werk om ‟n bestaan te maak nie. Hulle doen dit nie. Dit is soms baie georganiseerd. Ek noem hulle die apparatchiks van die ou apartheidsregering, wat nog oral sit. Hulle is die probleem. Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Wié is hulle? Die ADJUNKMINISTER VIR LANDBOU EN GRONDSAKE: Nee, ek gaan nie nou name hier noem nie. [Tussenwerpsels.] Koos van der Merwe en mnr Nel! [Gelag.] Ek maak darem nou sommer ‟n grappie, maar julle weet waar julle vandaan kom. [Tussenwerpsels.] Ja wel, ek gaan nie nou name noem nie. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 12 of 89 Kom ek formuleer die probleem vir u een maal: U sien, ons probleem in Suid-Afrika is dat landbou die minste getransformeerde sektor is van alle ekonomiese sektore in die land. Ons sit met ‟n klomp truslaers in landbou. Ons sit met mense wat nie alleen truslaers is nie, maar u daar anderkant moet asseblief nie met die gespuis op die put gaan sit nie, u kan dalk inval. Mnr D V BLOEM: Mevrou die Speaker, op ‟n punt van orde: hoekom voel mnr Koos van der Merwe so skuldig as die Adjunkminister praat van hierdie regse, verkrampte boere wat nie wil luister nie? Hoekom voel hy so skuldig? (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Yes, Patricia works among the people; that is true. To tell the truth, I am not against the white commercial farmers who work hard to make a living. They are not doing that. Sometimes it is very organised. I call them the apparatchiks of the former apartheid government that are still sitting everywhere. They are the problem. Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Who are they? The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: No, I am not going to mention names here. [Interjections.] Koos van der Merwe and Mr Nel! [Laughter.] I am only kidding, but you know where you come from. [Interjections.] Yes, well, I am not going to mention names. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 13 of 89 Let me formulate the problem for you once: You see, our problem in South Africa is that agriculture is the least transformed sector of all the economic sectors in the country. We have a number of restraining influences in agriculture. We have people who are not only restraining influences, but those of you over there should please not join the riff-raff on the pit, you might just fall in. [Interjections.] Mr D V BLOEM: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: Why does Mr Koos van der Merwe feel so guilty when the Deputy Minister talks about these right-wing, narrow-minded farmers who don‟t want to listen? Why does he feel so guilty?] The SPEAKER: Hon member, that‟s not a point of order. Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Mevrou die Speaker, kan ek darem net sê, die Adjunkminister het nou self uit daardie put gepraat waarvan hy ons gewaarsku het. As ek net na die vraag kyk, is dit doodeenvoudig oor waar die inligting is op grond waarvan ons planne moet maak om hierdie probleem op te los, want die kwessie van uitsettings is belangrik. Dis nie almal wat daaraan deelneem nie. Ons wil weet wie die mense is wat dit doen sodat daar opgetree kan word, maar daar is aksies hier aan die gang. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 14 of 89 Punt bly egter, dit lyk my al wat die Departement van Grondsake het, is hierdie een verslag. Hulle het geen ander verslae nie, en vir die res werk hulle op hoorsê-getuienis om wilde beskuldigings te maak, soos wat die Adjunkminister nou hier aangaan, soos hy ook in sy een toespraak gemaak het. Vertel ons miskien ‟n bietjie meer van jou “ethnic cleansing” [etniese suiwering] en waar is die basis waarop jy daaroor praat? Ek sal dit graag wil hoor, want dis ‟n beskuldiging teen die boeregemeenskap wat juis bereid is om te probeer help, maar elke keer kom u en sê dinge hier van hierdie vloer af wat al die welwillendheid wat daar is weer ongedaan maak. U moet ophou daarmee! [Applous.] Die ADJUNKMINISTER VIR LANDBOU EN GRONDSAKE: Ag dankie, Mevrou die Speaker, vir dr Van Niekerk se hulp. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Madam Speaker, may I just say, the Deputy Minister has just spoken from that very same pit he warned us of! If I look at the question, it is simply about where to find the information on which we need to base our planning to solve this problem, because the matter of evictions is important. Not everyone has a part in this. We would like to know who these people are who 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 15 of 89 are doing this so action can be taken, but there are actions taking place here. The fact remains, it seems to me that all the Department of Land Affairs has is this one report. They have no other reports, and for the rest they are working on hearsay evidence to make wild accusations, as the Deputy Minister is doing here, as he has also done in one of his speeches. Maybe tell us a little more about this ethnic cleansing and on what basis you are talking about that? I would like to hear that, because it is an accusation against the farming community who are in fact willing to try and help, but you come along every time and say things from this platform that once again undo all the existing goodwill. You have to stop doing that! [Applause.] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Thank you, Madam Speaker, for Dr van Niekerk‟s assistance.] Before I answer that, let me just give the toll-free number which the department has sent through to me. Here it is. The Land Rights Awareness Campaign‟s number is 0800007095 - a lot of zeros. [Laughter.] No, hon Van Niekerk! You see, let me put it this way. I quoted to you the decision made by the Constitutional Court, and this is 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 16 of 89 fundamentally the same process that is happening when people are evicted in this inhumane way. Yesterday, I spent the whole afternoon in Pniel near Stellenbosch at the NCOP‟s sitting in the Western Cape. For the whole afternoon, speakers after speakers were telling us about the inhuman treatment and evictions that were happening on the farms in a large area in the Western Cape. Mr R J KING: Dis jy wat hulle aangery het! [It‟s you who drove them there!] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: There were no farmers giving their point of view there. Why not? It was an open event. [Interjections.] No, this was the NCOP that had arranged the meeting there. It‟s in the papers every day. Now, if we wanted to make a case in every one of these instances, you‟d need a huge facility. You‟d need to engage the police because when it‟s in the courts, then it‟s a question for Justice. Ms A M DREYER: Mevrou die Speaker, op ‟n punt van orde: ek wil net graag weet of die res van die ANC-kabinet nie skaam kry vir hierdie Adjunkminister nie. [Tussenwerpsels.] [Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I would just like to know if the rest of the ANC Cabinet are not ashamed of this Deputy Minister. [Interjections.]] 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 17 of 89 The SPEAKER: No, hon member, please. I don‟t like these points of order, which are clearly from the word “go” not actually points of order. Hon Du Toit, please finish. The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Yes, Madam Speaker, that you must be bothered by that nonsense. [Laughter.] You know, you can kill me, but you can‟t hurt me anymore. [Interjections.] I‟m used to these personal attacks and they don‟t do anything to me. Now let me formulate these attacks. They are actually what the Germans would call elegante Unsinn - it is fashionable nonsense. [Interjections.] The fundamental problem is that we must look at these activities - the empirical activities of eviction. What idea is underpinning that? Dr J T DELPORT: Madam Speaker, I rise on a legitimate point of order: Is it in order for the Deputy Minister, when a clear and concise question was put to him by the hon Van Niekerk, to talk about everything but not give an answer to the question? The SPEAKER: Hon member, it is actually not a point of order. Please finish your answer, hon Du Toit. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 18 of 89 The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Yes, Madam, the answer has been given and the hon Van Niekerk understands very well what I‟m saying. Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker ... The SPEAKER: If the answer has been given, then that‟s fine. Mr M J ELLIS: Sit down! The SPEAKER: Hon Deputy Minister, you may then take your seat and we can proceed to the next question. The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Thank you, Madam. Progress made with updating Asset Register 391. Ms N D Ngcengwane (ANC) asked the Minister of Public Works: (a)What progress has his department made with updating the Asset Register and (b) how are assets verified where there are no records? NO2614E The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Thanks, Speaker, as well as the member who had asked the question that should have followed, for your 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 19 of 89 understanding. I requested that I be released because of a function I have to attend. Hon Ngcengwana raises an issue regarding how far we are, as a department, with updating the asset register. Maybe before answering that question, it is important for me to indicate to hon members that this is not an easy matter. It is a matter that we are grappling with, given its challenges. We are tasked with ensuring that time and again we update our asset register, particularly on disposals. We also have to ensure that between Land Affairs and ourselves we are able to confirm the data that we have with regard to assets that belong to the state. In terms of the work that we have been doing since 2005, where the department embarked on an asset enhancement programme, we have indeed moved forward. We are seeing progress, albeit small. One of the things that we have done through this programme is to collect and research basic land information per property, whether improved or vacant, against the information of the Deeds Office. We are trying to also link our IT systems so that whatever happens in the transactions in terms of the Deeds Office, we are also able to capture it. Also, when we do disposals once an asset has been registered, we are able to monitor it and update our asset register. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 20 of 89 We are also measuring floor areas of buildings occupied by national departments who are our clients. We are also establishing and verifying the occupancy of the identified stands on properties and comparing them with the user information of the movable asset register. We have also been trying through this programme to capture all servitudes or service right permits affecting the relevant properties that are owned by the state. We have also tried through technology, again particularly using digital cameras, to capture the front and side elevations in particular of the improvement work that we have been doing. So, these are some of the elements around which we are trying to enhance our records in terms of the asset register. As I have said indeed we acknowledge that this is not to the satisfaction of all of us and I am sure of the hon members. The second question relates to the first one but specifically asking how we are dealing with those assets that may not be accounted for. We have identified certain departments that are critical where we would need to verify certain assets and whether they still belong to the state or maybe such records have not been properly captured in for instance Foreign Affairs in respect of international assets. This also applies to the SA Police Service because as you would know some of those departments operating in the far-flung areas were given accommodation by the state. There is a matter that was raised 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 21 of 89 last year when I had just started on assets that belonged to the state but were subleased by some officials particularly around Langebaan. So the Department of Defence is one such department that we have identified as a partner in trying to deal with information. We have also been working with the provinces, particularly in terms of some of those properties that were under the TBVC states. The other issue as you would recall is that in the beginning of the year during our budget speech, we indicated that we will also try and put a system in place such as a call centre where people who know of the state assets that we may not know about can actually call. I must also say that even though we have not finalised the issue of the call centre, we have actually had a lot of people writing to the Minister indicating that, “I am staying on your property, and these were the circumstances ...“ - whatever the circumstances may be ... “so, can you please assist in the regularisation or can this property be disposed of to me?” That has also helped us to capture some of the information on the unaccounted - for assets. That we have done had before. Thank you. Ms N D NGCENGWANE: Madam Speaker, I want to firstly say thank you very much to the Minister for the response. Okokuqala, Mphathiswa ndicela impendulo yakho ingakumbi malunga nezakhiwo ezathi zatsha, ezinye zonakala umzekelo, kwii-ofisi 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 22 of 89 zaseMthatha kwiSebe leMisebenzi yooLuntu ezathi zatsha emva kowe- 1994 ingaba iimpahla ezazilapho zakwazi ukubhalwa phantso zonke na. Kwaye uluntu olukula ngingqi lona lwabandakanywa kangakanani na. Okwesibini, ingaba sinayo indlela youthintela into enjengaleya yokutsha okanye ukonakala kwempahla karhulumente kwaye ngawaphi amalungiselelo ento enokuthi yenzeke (backup system) esinawo ukuze singaxhomekeki kwi-ofisi karhulumente yokubhaliswa kwempahla (deeds office). UMPHATHISWA WEZEMISEBENZI YOLUNTU: Mama uNgcengwane ndingatsho ukuba ndicela uxolo ngoba khange ndiwufumane umbuzo ujoliswe nqo kwizakhiwa zaseMthatha, mhlawumbi ke andizikukwazi ukuphendula kwangoku. Ndiza kucela ukuba undivumele ukuba ndiphinde ndiye kuyijonga impendulo phambi kokuba ndibuyele kuwe. Kodwa ke manditsho nje ukuba ezinye zezi zinto ingakumbi ukukhuselwa kwezakhiwo zikarhulumente esijongene nako sifuna ukuba kungabikho sakhiwo sikarhulumente esingenazo izicima-mlilo, ukwenzela ukuthi ukuba kukho into eyenzekayo njengokutsha sikwazi ukuwucima singalindala zicima-mlilo. Zikhona ke nezinye izinto esizenzayo ukukhusela ezo zakhiwo. Mhlawumbi manditsho nokuthi xa kukho umonakalo owenzekileyo endaweni ingakumbi kwezi zakhiwo zikarhulumente apho kukho imfuneko yokuba sithethe noluntu ukubuza okanye ukuva ukuba ingaba bona babone ntoni 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 23 of 89 na. Loo nto iyenziwa noxa ingenziwa sithi sodwa ikwangumsebenzi wamapolisa, athi nawo asincedise ekujongeni ukuba loo monakalo wenzekeliyo ubangelwe yintoni na. Ndiyabulela. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.) [Firstly, hon Minister, I would like to have your response, especially regarding the issue of the buildings that were burnt down and the others that were damaged – at the Mthatha offices, for instance, at the Department of Public Works – which were burnt down after 1994. Was it possible to record all the equipment that was there? To what extent were the local people involved in the process? Secondly, do we have a mechanism for preventing something like this from repeating itself – the burning down and destruction of government property? What back-up system do we have to ensure that we are not dependent on the government‟s Deeds Office? The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Hon Member I would like to apologise because I did not get a question that referred directly to the Mthatha buildings. I may not be able to reply at this point. I would like to have your permission to go back and find the answer and then come back to you. However, I would like to point out that with regard to some of these things, especially the burning down of government buildings, what we envisage is a situation in which not a single government building is 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 24 of 89 without fire extinguishers, so that when something happens, such as a fire, we are able to extinguish it without having to wait for the fire engines. There are other things that we also do to protect those buildings. Let me also say that whenever damage occurs in a particular area, especially in government buildings, if there is a need for us to communicate with the local community to find out what they have seen, we do that, even though we are not the only ones who will do this. It is also the duty of the police, who also help us to determine the cause of the damage. Thank you.] Mr S E OPPERMAN: Speaker and Madam Minister, the updating of the asset register must be an ongoing process. So, I believe the asset register is a living document. In the latest report of the Auditor- General it was pointed out that additions and improvements to the value of more than R400 million were not reflected in the asset register. My question is: Is there a dedicated team with a dedicated budget to deal with this challenge, and if there is why are they not doing their work and if not, why not? Can you just respond to that? [Interjections.] Mr P J GROENEWALD: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order as I want to know as far as the interpreting services go, why all the other languages are translated, except Afrikaans. Is there a problem? Can we solve it, please. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 25 of 89 The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Madam Speaker, with regard to the specific matter you are raising that relates to our audit report - particularly in our annual report, which indicates a challenge regarding the unaccounted - for registration of some of those assets that have been improved, it is a matter that we have noted and we are going to deal with. As to a dedicated team, we did not have, but as part of the plan in ensuring that we indeed manage our assets in a way that is satisfactory not only to ourselves as government and legislatures, but also to all South Africans, we are actually investigating that matter. As you say, that an asset register is a living document, because if you sell an asset you have to update the register to indicate how much asset you now have that are remaining. But you also need to ensure that you do put the value of what revenue you might have received out of the sale or the disposal of a particular asset. So, I would agree that indeed as a department we need to consider having a dedicated team that is going to deal with that matter. Obviously it is not going to be a dedicated team that is outside the asset management unit. It would have to be within it but specifically focused on the management of our as a state assets. Thank you. Prognosis for ACP-EU economic partnership agreements 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 26 of 89 382. Mr S J Njikelana (ANC) asked the Minister of Trade and Industry: What is the prognosis of economic partnership agreements between the African, Caribbean and Pacific, ACP, group of countries and the European Union in the context of the December 2007 deadline? NO2101E The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Dr R H Davies): Madam Speaker, South Africa was not legally obliged to participate in the ACP-EU EPA partnership negotiations and had we taken a narrow view, we simply could have continued with our existing free trade arrangement with the EU under the Trade, Development and Co- operation Agreement. Our decision to engage with the EU through the EPA process arose from our commitment to the promotion of regional integration in Southern Africa. Our concern was that the EPA process had already divided SADC with several SADC members opting to negotiate the economic partnership as part of a different configuration while Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland had opted to negotiate as part of the SADC-EPA group. Further, we were concerned that if a separate deal with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland was made while South Africa maintained the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement it 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 27 of 89 would entrench the anomaly that currently exists where SACU shares a single common external tariff but would have separate trade relations with the EU. We have devoted considerable time and human resources to the SADC- EPA process since 2004 and have played a direct role in shaping and negotiating the approach of the SADC-EPA configuration, both at the strategic and technical level. Our prognosis is that the negotiations on trade in goods have progressed well and that we are on course to conclude these negotiations by the December 2007 deadline which is linked to the expiry of the WTO Waiver on Cotonou Preferences. Our main concern is with the EC‟s insistence on expanding the scope of the EPA negotiations to include legal obligations in a host of new issues, including services, investments, competition, intellectual property rights, government procurement, labour and environmental standards. We recognise that these issues are important yet complex matters while we are convinced that the human capacity, policy and institutional prerequisites that are necessary to engage do not yet exist in SADC. We have therefore proposed a co-operative arrangement with the EC in dealing with these issues postponing any decisions to negotiate binding commitments in these areas until the region has built up the 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 28 of 89 requisite capacity, policy and legal frameworks. This must be at least a medium-term process. Our view is that the EC is pursuing a mercantilist and commercially driven set of negotiation objectives, particularly with regard to the new issues. This is in line with its new global trade strategy, which has identified a need to pursue regulatory issues beyond tariffs in enhancing market access for EU firms. In a series of public statements the EC has sought to portray South Africa as negative and obstinate in resisting its objectives. This is entirely unconstructive and has complicated the negotiation process unnecessarily. Thank you. Mr S J NJIKELANA: Chairperson, I thank Deputy Minister Davies for his informative response. One takes note of the fact that there obviously are good and positive areas in the prospects that are in the trade and goods, but one also takes note of the concerns of expansion on legal obligations. My question is linked with the concerns that are brought in by the EC as well as the fact that there seems to be lack of unity amongst the SADC members. My question is: What role would South Africa play in unifying the SADC members so that they have a common position throughout the process of negotiations, particularly as what seems to be happening is that there is a drive by Europe to shift away from the 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 29 of 89 developmental character as espoused in the Doha Round? What role would South Africa play to unify the SADC members, in particular? Thank you. The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Dr R H Davies): Chairperson, well, as I indicated in the main reply, we have devoted considerable efforts and we have very much played a leading role in defining the common positions. The positions which we have as a SADC-EPA region are indeed the common positions of all of us. We have gone through debates. The biggest concern, particularly of Botswana, Swaziland and Namibia, is that if we don‟t conclude the process by the end of this year, what could happen is that they might find themselves trading on worse terms with the EU whilst taking on board reciprocal obligations through their membership of the customs union and through the application of the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement to them. I think that we have devoted considerable attention to this and that we now have a common position that is more or less, as I have described it, that on the new-generation issues - particularly the regulatory issues - what is available now is co-operation but legally binding obligations would be something only for the medium term. Thank you. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 30 of 89 Dr P J RABIE: Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, thank you for your very informative first answer. You mentioned that the EU has got a sort of a mercantilistic approach towards the ACP union, and I agree with you. Something else which is of great concern is the agricultural subsidies, especially in the EU, because many of the Caribbean and African countries are one-product-export agricultural economies. What is your view? Do you think that the EU will pursue their present policy of agricultural subsidies or do you think that they will minimise their agricultural subsidies, specially on a wide range of products? Thank you. The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Dr R H Davies): Chairperson, I should just make it clear that the view we have that their position is mercantilist and commercially driven on the new- generation issues arises from text that was presented to us in the negotiating process in Walvis Bay a few months ago. It is linked very much to a paper entitled Global Europe in which the EU has identified the need to address these kinds of issues in order to make market access a much more real phenomenon. As far as agricultural subsidies are concerned, these are not directly on the negotiating agenda at the moment. What is on the negotiating agenda for direct benefit to South Africa is the enlargement of access in terms of reduction of tariffs for a range of agricultural products and fishing products, which were treated badly under the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 31 of 89 The question of subsidies has been discussed at the multilateral process in the WTO, where I am afraid to say not enough progress is being made on this, but the hon member is quite right that these subsidies, both export, and production subsidies, are a major disadvantage to the developing countries. Thank you. Mr S N SWART: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon Deputy Minister, arising from your response and in view of the delay in the ACP-EU talks as well as the delay in the WTO‟s stalled Doha Talks, do you not consider it advisable for us to go ahead with our own trade reform in order to boost our export competitiveness and productivity? This, particularly following Minister Manuel‟s Budget Statement yesterday to the effect that – ... to boost economic growth beyond 6% in coming years, it is crucial for South African companies to take advantage of market access and systematically expand market share. This is in the light of the view that high rates of protection reduce the profitability of exports relative to domestic sales. Thank you. The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Dr R H Davies): Chairperson, the National Industrial Policy Framework and the Industrial Policy Action Plan identify particularly the need for us 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 32 of 89 to reduce tariffs on inputs for downstream manufacturing industries that are going to be prioritised. So, we are indeed engaged in such a process. We are also engaged in discussions about the possibility of making some further simplifications to the tariff book. But the discussion we really do need to have is that if we are going to make further adjustments in tariffs that we identify as necessary, are we going to make them in the context of trade negotiations such as ammunition a war chest for us to negotiate our concessions on the other side - or is it something which should happen unilaterally? That debate is still ongoing. Thank you. Mr L B LABUSCHAGNE: Thank you, Deputy Minister. Just looking at the nature of the question that seems to be about a broad economic participation between the ACP group of countries, I appreciate it that your reply was obviously very specifically directed and related to our Southern African – our SADC – areas. Could I just ask: Is there a commonality of approach on behalf of all the ACP countries in the negotiations with the EU or are the interests too diverse to talk about a fairly common approach in this connection? The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Dr R H Davies): Well, I think there was a debate about the role of the whole ACP 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 33 of 89 negotiations versus the regional negotiations. It is unfortunate in many respects that the regional negotiations had developed a momentum which outpaced the all - ACP process. But there are interactions from time to time and some very common concerns are beginning to emerge and these are around things which are not that directly of interest to South Africa perhaps; but they are around things like aid for trade, support for making adjustments that arise from the entry into our free trade agreement and so on. I am not actually at this moment in a position to say how far each of the other five EPA regions are in terms of concluding the process. But there is an enormous pressure and I think that we need to understand that this enormous pressure came after a very slow process. We, in SADC, put forward our proposal to the EU in March 2006 and we received a response in March 2007. So it was very lacklustre, very slow for a while, and now the momentum has been picking up but everybody is under the same pressure to conclude by the end of December, otherwise many countries will find themselves trading on worse terms with the EU than they do currently. Thank you. The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Order! Before we move to the next question, a point of order was raised earlier about the interpretation services by hon P J Groenewald who expressed regret at the unavailability of the Afrikaans interpretation. We have an 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 34 of 89 explanation that due to the Taking Parliament to the People by the NCOP in Paarl area, which is a dominantly Afrikaans-speaking constituency, quite a number of interpreters had to be deployed into that particular function and activity and therefore we don‟t have a full service available in Parliament. We do apologise for that. That is the explanation that we received. It is not at all because the language is being undermined. Mr P J GROENEWALD: Thank you, Chairperson. I accept that and I propose that you employ more people who can interpret into Afrikaans. The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): We will look into that matter. Thank you. Use of land transferred by way of land reform for housing instead of agriculture 416. Mr P J Groenewald (FF Plus) asked the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs: (1) Whether the Department of Land Affairs is paying attention to the phenomenon where commercial and other agricultural land which was transferred to beneficiaries by way of restitution and land reform is not being utilised for 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 35 of 89 agricultural purposes, but rather for housing; if not, why not; if so, (2) whether her department has introduced measures to prevent the loss of agricultural land in this way; if not, why not; if so, what measures? NO2643E The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: The first part of the answer to the question is as follows. The department has not come across the matter referred to in the question. However, if you look closely at land beneficiaries that were restored under the restitution programme, indeed part of the land - small parts normally - they try to select nonviable agricultural portions that can be used and is being used for housing for the claimant community. This speaks for itself, that land reform beneficiaries may reside on the farm on pieces that are planned and allocated for residential purposes. There may be instances where you have this result on account of seasonal farming and grazing, but it must not be mistaken for the abandonment of agricultural activities as perhaps implied by the question. Secondly, in respect of land transferred under the restitution programme, an agreement will always be made under section 42(t) of the Restitution Act which clearly defines the use of the restored 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 36 of 89 land. We also have so-called quality of life surveys during which in the recent past about 70% of these farms were visited, and there‟s clear evidence of agricultural activity in at least 70% of the areas visited. It is important to note that the problems which beneficiaries are encountering are identified in this process. Let me just say that a problem of changing agricultural use for other purposes is not just a question of land reform and restitution. On a far bigger scale it really happens in the commercial agricultural field and I think we must take a closer look at it. There is a piece of legislation very far advanced in its preparation. I‟m talking about the so-called Land Use Management Bill as well as the Sustainable Use and Protection of Agricultural Resources Bill where, for example, you can have some measures in place when someone changes the use of a farm from agricultural use to land for game farming or other residential purposes – you see it happening everywhere. I think the substance and principle of this matter of retaining our agricultural land as far as possible, taking into account other uses, is of importance. Thank you. Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Voorsitter, Suid-Afrika is nie `n landbouvriendelike land nie. Wat ek daarmee bedoel, is dat die weersomstandighede en alles wat daarmee gepaard gaan, asook die grond in Suid-Afrika, nie baie gunstig vir landbou is nie. As ons 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 37 of 89 nou weer in die media kyk, dan word daar bespiegel dat rentekoerse kan styg omdat voedsel 25% van die inflasiemandjie opmaak en dat die verbruiker nie daaroor beheer het nie. Voedselsekerheid in Suid-Afrika is van uiterste belang. Ek wil vir die agb Adjunkminister sê hy moet `n bietjie gaan kyk wat sê die Grondeisekommissie. `n Ondersoek van dié kommissie het gevind dat uit 324 plase wat spesifiek was vir landboudoeleindes, slegs 47% daarvan weer aangewend word vir landbou. Ons kan nie in Suid-Afrika bekostig dat waardevolle kommersiële landbougrond aangewend word vir iets anders as vir kommersiële landbougrond nie. Die agb Minister sê dat daar wetgewing oppad is, maar ek wil vra: is hulle werklik ernstig om na die breë prentjie te kyk om te verseker dat die bestaande kommersiële landbougrond vir voedselsekerheid in die toekoms behoue sal bly? Dankie. Die ADJUNKMINISTER VIR LANDBOU EN GRONDSAKE: Ja, afgesien van die skerp kante van u reaksie; ons moet ... Nee, man, ek komplementeer jou in die proses. Nee, u weet ... (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Mr P J GROENEWALD: Chairperson, South Africa is not an agriculture- friendly country. What I mean by that is that the weather conditions and everything that goes with it as well as the soil, are not very conducive to agriculture. If we look at the media, it is again being 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 38 of 89 speculated that interest rates can rise because food comprises 25% of the inflation basket and the consumer has no control over this. Food security is extremely important in South Africa. I want to tell the hon Deputy Minister to take a look at what the Land Claims Commission says. An investigation from this commission found that out of a group of 324 farms, which were specifically set aside for agriculture, only 47% of it is being used for that purpose. South Africa cannot afford to use valuable commercial agricultural land for any other purpose. The hon Minister says that legislation is on its way, but I would like to ask: Are they really serious about looking at the bigger picture to ensure that commercial agricultural land will be preserved for future food security? Thank you. The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Yes, apart from your sharp reaction; we must... no, I am complimenting you in the process. No, you know ...] Let me just communicate the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is to raise our production, especially of agricultural exports. The problem in that regard is that unskilled labour is not engaged to the extent that it should have been in the agricultural sector. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 39 of 89 We have the problem that, as you correctly said, South Africa is an extremely complex and difficult agricultural environment, but the question is: Could it provide the jobs and exports which we would need? Only 19% of South Africa receives more than 750mm of rain per year and that makes it tough. But you know there are very good results in some countries which are dry, like most of South Africa. But that is our fundamental worry – to get more unskilled jobs in agriculture. In that respect we need everyone in South Africa to commit himself in this regard. We don‟t know why, but I remember that it was said that there must be something else that is preventing this growth of unskilled labour in the intensive sectors that should have been growing far more than it is. I think, to be really honest, what we should do is step up the post-settlement support of beneficiaries in South Africa, either of land reform restitution or whatever programme further more and it should be a sympathetic type of support which mustn‟t stop on the day when the land is handed over. I can assure you that quite advanced research has been done with aid from overseas on this matter of settlement support and it is effective. Restitution is especially paying attention to this matter. You know, we sit with the beginning years‟ results of restitution which we should go look at again and revitalise a lot of these projects and in the process we really need the support of commercial agriculture, and they are giving it. It is just here and there that there is a 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 40 of 89 problem. We have got the knowledge and if we really address this seriously, South Africa can grow considerably, both in our production as well as giving previously disadvantaged people access to agriculture. Thank you. Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Thank you, Chair. Adjunkminister, dankie vir die antwoord. U het weer eens net om die probleem gepraat. Die kern van hierdie probleem is dat mense deur hervorming en restitusie grond kry. Hulle moet daarop `n lewe maak en daar is sekere gebruiksaanwysings vir daardie grond. As gevolg van `n klomp faktore is hulle nie suksesvol met die landbou nie en dan verval die grond en op die ou einde word dit gebruik vir bewoning en vir ander doeleindes. Nou is die vraag: tot watter mate neem die Departement van Landbou kennis van hierdie storie? Watter interaksie is daar? Lê die verantwoordelikheid by u of by die provinsie om die nodige kundigheid te gee? Daar is baie van daardie gevalle wat u besoek het; ons het hulle ook besoek en ons is ontsteld oor die agteruitgang wat ons oral gesien het as gevolg van `n gebrek aan kennis, `n gebrek aan opleiding en `n gebrek aan voorligting. Dit is wat nodig is om daardie projekte reg te kry. Ons wil almal hê dat dit moet slaag. Dit sal nie slaag as jy net met groot fanfare grond gee en daarna nie die nodige ondersteuningsmaatreëls gee sodat mense wat nie altyd die kennis het 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 41 of 89 nie, met verloop van tyd die kennis kry en dit sinvol kan benut. Dan sal die probleem opgelos word. Wat doen u hieromtrent? Die ADJUNKMINISTER VIR LANDBOU EN GRONDSAKE: Voorsitter, eintlik het u net met my saamgestem. Baie dankie. Ons moet hierdie ondersteuning verhoog. Dit is presies wat ek vroeër genoem het wat die “land rights management facility” [grondregte bestuursfasileit] gaan bereik. Die integrasie en koördinering tussen die funksies van die nasionale landbou departement en die provinsiale departemente is fundamenteel tot die sukses in dié verband. Dit gaan redelik goed wat daardie integrasie betref, maar dit is detail-tipe koördinering wat moet geskied. Ek verwag besonder baie van die nuwe plan wat die Minister nou aangekondig het, en wat in werking gestel word en reeds ver gevorder het met hierdie koördinasie, om hierdie ondersteuning te gee. Dit is nie net `n kwessie van opleiding nie, maar ook ‟n kwessie van mense wat vir drie generasies ontneem is van kontak met die landbou. Dit moet weer opgebou word. Dit is mos nou waaroor ons saamstem. Ons gaan dit doen en ons het dit al baie gedoen. Daar is baie suksesvolle projekte. En daar is mislukkings. Dit weet ons almal, ons was daar. Hulle moet ook reggemaak word. Dit vra moeite en geduld en dit vra ook geld. Ek kan u verseker dat die regering bereid is om daardie geld beskikbaar te stel, maar jy kan nie net geld na die probleem gooi 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 42 of 89 nie. Jy moet ook stelsels daarstel en dit het al aansienlik verbeter oor die afgelope ruk, veral sedert 1999. Ons sal die punt bereik. U weet dat met restitusie in `n land soos Kanada vat dit gemiddeld tussen 13 en 15 jaar om een restitusie-eis af te handel. [Tussenwerpsels.] Ja, maar julle het nie geluister nie. Die punt is dat in Suid-Afrika het ons so baie so vinnig gedoen dat ons nou hierdie haakplekke moet aanspreek. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Hon Deputy Minister, thank you for your answer. You have once again avoided the issue. The core of this problem is that people are given land on the basis of reform and restitution. They have to earn a living on that land and there are certain instructions for usage of that land. As a result of many factors they are unsuccessful in terms of agriculture and the land deteriorates after which they end up using the land for residential and other purposes. Now the question is, to what measure does the Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs take note of this situation? What interaction is there? Does the responsibility of supplying the necessary skills lie with you or the province? There are many such cases which you visited. We also visited them and we are upset about the widespread deterioration we saw that was due to a lack of knowledge, a lack of training, and a lack of agricultural extension. This is what is needed to get these projects 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 43 of 89 on track. We all want them to succeed. It will not succeed if you, with great fanfare, give people land and then don‟t give the necessary support so that people who sometimes lack knowledge, will in time acquire this knowledge and be able to utilise the land suitably. Then the problem will be solved. What are you doing about this? The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, actually you simply agreed with me. Thank you. We need to increase this support. This is exactly what the land rights management facility will achieve as I mentioned earlier. Success in this regard is fundamentally based on integration and co-ordination between the functions of the national and provincial departments of agriculture. Integration is going relatively well, but there has to be detailed co-ordination. I expect much of the new plan that the Minister announced. It has already been implemented and has made a lot of progress with co-ordination and providing support. It is not only a question of training, it is also an issue of people being deprived of contact with agriculture for three generations. This must be built up again. This surely is what we agree upon. We are going to do it and have already done so often. There are many successful projects; and there are failures. We all know that because we were there. They must also be rectified. It takes effort, patience and money. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 44 of 89 I can assure you that the government is willing to make the money available, but you cannot simply throw money at the problem. You must set systems in place and this has improved considerably, especially since 1999. We will reach the point. You know that in a country such as Canada, it takes between three and 15 years to conclude a restitution claim. [Interjections.] Yes, but you were not listening. The point is that in South Africa we have done so much so quickly that we now have to address these difficulties.] We must address the problems and assist all these beneficiaries to become successful on the farms. We agree with that. It is all just a question of having it done in detail. Thank you. Ms C NKUNA: Chairperson, I came to sit by the microphone, that is why it reflects the hon Nxumalo‟s name. Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, I thank you. Hon Deputy Minister, arising from your initial response, would you agree that rural areas do need human settlement with the necessary infrastructure to be provided for by the department? I am referring to those areas with low agricultural potential. The reason is that not everybody who would like to leave the rural farming areas wants to go to the urban areas. I thank you. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 45 of 89 The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, yes, indeed, you see our approach should not just be handing over land, but it should be a developmental approach in the rural areas so that we look at the whole problem. It is about roads, businesses being established, schools and health. It is not just a single just problem of land. Land is just part of implementing a whole rural developmental approach. We are always talking about this. This is exactly what Ms Nkuna is talking about. If you just think of establishing new towns in rural areas where the services can be provided, it takes a lot of effort and co-operation between national, provincial and especially local government. We must get local government more involved in land reform and participation when we do land restitution. That has always been the policy, but the municipalities in those faraway rural areas are sometimes not really capacitated and we must grow them, because in the end these settlements undertaken with national housing, national transport, provincial housing and local government, are an extremely difficult developmental implementation project that we are busy with. It is going so much better at the moment. We‟ve got the provinces co-operating. We have got a lot of the other municipalities in rural areas supporting the government‟s drives for development in these rural areas. It is just that it is a big country and there are areas 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 46 of 89 that can produce much more. If you go and look at the areas north of Port St Johns ... [Time expired.] Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Thank you, Chairperson. Agb Adjunkminister, daar is ‟n onderskeid tussen die probleme van restitusie en grondhervorming. Restitusie het gewoonlik die gevolg dat daar meer mense op die grond is as wat daardie grond gewoonweg kan dra, sodat daar ‟n ander probleem bykom. Die advies wat hierdie mense kry, by ‟n paar van die projekte wat ek besoek het in hierdie verband, wys dat daar nie genoegsame hulp kom om bloot net die gemeenskap te orden nie. Ek dink daaraan moet aandag gegee word. Wat doen u daaromtrent? Oor die hervorming gedeelte is ek bly dat die Minister van Finansies aangekondig het dat geld beskikbaar is vir meer voorligtingsbeamptes. Ek hoop dat daardie voorligtingsbeamptes van daardie aard sal wees wat u hiervoor gaan aanwend en dat dit nie net mense is wat met blink motors rondry en eenmaal ‟n week of eenmaal ‟n maand ‟n projek besoek nie, maar tussen mense gaan bly met die nodige kennis om die ding te doen, want dan sal ons daardie probleem oplos. Op die oomblik is dit deel van die probleem. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 47 of 89 [Hon Deputy Minister, we have to differentiate between the problems of restitution and land reform. Restitution usually results in there being more people living on the land than the land can bear and that leads to an additional problem. The advice that these people are given, as I have seen at a number of these projects I have visited, shows that there is in sufficient assistance to organise the community. I think attention must be given to this. What are you doing about it? I was happy to hear that the Minister announced that money would be made available for more agricultural extension officers. I hope that those extension officers will be employed in the role that was created for them and that they won‟t be people who drive around in flashy cars and who only visit a project once a week or once a month; that they will live among the people and share their knowledge because that is how the problem will be solved. At the moment it is part of the problem.] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I would just like to thank the hon Van Niekerk for supporting these governmental initiatives regarding stepping up extension services, especially the budgetary assistance for money paid over to provinces and creating a programme of extension. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 48 of 89 Extension must just also be understood in this wider developmental perspective. I can assure you they shouldn‟t drive around in big cars. They need little “bakkies” to get out there and indeed live among the people. That is exactly what the government wants and we thank you for your support in this regard. Let me just tell you that restitution inherently of course is very difficult, because it is a matter of rights being restored and it is not a question of looking at what the best developmental objectives are. What we are trying consistently is that we have got staff in restitution commissions in different provincial offices who apply their minds solely to the support systems and try to create facilitation with the provinces and the municipalities. This is done exceptionally well. Our problem is there are a lot of old projects and those community property associations from before 1999, and this will be revitalised. Thank you for your support. Progress in revising formula to determine contributions to Southern African Customs Union 388. Ms N R Mokoto (ANC) asked the Minister of Finance: What progress has been made in revising the formula used to determine (a) South Africa‟s and (b) other countries‟ contribution to the Southern African Customs Union? NO2608E 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 49 of 89 The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, the current Southern African Customs Union agreement was negotiated to conclusion in 2002 and implemented with effect from 2003. In December last year, we gave verbal notice and in January this year we followed this up with a letter to ask that we evaluate the content and application of the formula, and so this is work in progress. The situation is a rather complex one because the formula is made up of three components. The first is the customs, the second is an excise component and the third is a developmental component. But in order to arrive at the allocations, the key variable takes into account the dependence on intra-Sacu trade, so that countries that are more dependent on Sacu and neighbours for trade get a higher share of the formula. In consequence, the following percentages apply in respect of revenues. In Botswana 22,8% of the budget this year is from Sacu, in Namibia 34,5%; in Lesotho 50,3% and in Swaziland 57%. We don‟t think it is sustainable. We don‟t think it advances development in this way and that is why we‟ve asked that the formula be re-evaluated in its application. Thank you. Ms N R MOKOTO: Chairperson, thank you, hon Minister for the response. I just want to check with you, in view of your response, what are the likely reviews or changes that you intend proposing to the Sacu council to be held this year in December. Specifically, 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 50 of 89 what are the positive and negative benefits that this will have on the current trade and industrial relations we have with the neighbours in the SADC region? Thank you. The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, I don‟t want to anticipate what this may lead to. Part of the difficulty when you are negotiating like this, is that people are sitting with an agreement in hand. If one looks at the terms of the present agreement per capita, the contributions to people of Swaziland as a result of the operations of this intra-Sacu trade formula is R5,16; Botswana R4,46 and Namibia R4,43. If you look at the allocations to South Africa‟s provinces it is R4,07 per capita. So, there is something fundamentally wrong in the formula. That‟s what we have to correct, but we enter the discussions from a position of disadvantage. There has been a measure of industrial polarisation. The point about this is that the customs union is the oldest in the world and it‟s now in its 97th year. We negotiated this formula against the backdrop of the 1969 formula that was exceeding these advantages. Our position to the executive secretary of Sacu and to the rest of the member states is that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. The entire position is unsustainable, but I don‟t want to pre-empt what‟s clearly going to be a very difficult round of discussions to try to bring the situation back to something that is more 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 51 of 89 sustainable, which is, less dependence-producing but also something that would advance the development of our neighbouring states. Thank you. Mr S J F MARAIS: Chairperson, I just want to point out to the Minister that the SADC free trade agreement that would come into effect will obviously influence the whole viability and going forward with Sacu. Does this SADC free trade agreement provide for these consequences, on Sacu specifically, of the potential loss of custom income to these other countries and if so, what will the effect be on the current Sacu trade relations and if not, when will this be done and how do you foresee the concerns of other countries will be provided for? The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, the point to start off with this is that we have a very high level of economic integration with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. In fact, if one excludes Botswana from the equation for a moment, then with the other three countries we have a common monetary area, so the rand is traded and in each of these countries - where they normally have their own currencies, each of those is paid to the rand. In the common monetary area all decisions are joint decisions. One of the issues that is being raised in the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration is that they ought to have something on the decisions of the monetary policy committee at the Reserve Bank. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 52 of 89 I don‟t think it is a viable proposition, but what is also in the agreement is that traditionally the Board of Tariffs and Traders, now called the Internal Trade Administration Commission of SA at the Department of Trade and Industry has set the tariffs for the common external tariff. As a consequence of the new agreement, we now have an organisation. The Secretariat is based in Windhoek for Sacu and the Secretariat is meant to ensure that the responsibility for setting a common external tariff moves from Itac to a regional institution. But there is a very high level of integration. This facilitates the work with SADC in the context of the free trade area. Again that agreement is struck and there are some countries that have made the commitment to meet the obligations of the free trade area but are hanging on because they don‟t have alternative revenue sources. As it happens, the finance Ministers are meeting at Lusaka on Wednesday next week to explore that discussion and to examine how we can take it further. But at the same time there‟s a very strong approach in SADC to work towards a SADC-wide customs union. That is a very difficult stage to reach and there is still a margin of disagreement between our approaches, which would say, here you have five countries who have developed together and grown together. There might be other countries that can join them in the fullness of time, others may be able to join later. There is an alternate view 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 53 of 89 that we are arguing against, that we should move immediately to establish this customs union by 2010. We must also remember that the customs union is grandfathered in terms of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade because it is as old as it is, and when we negotiate trade agreements we don‟t do it as a sovereign South Africa, but on behalf of Sacu. So, this is quite a complex relationship, but we have to take all of that into a larger regional economic community in the context of SADC. Thank you. Progress regarding review of Motor Industry Development Programme, and plans to ensure certainty for local motor manufacturers 412. Dr P J Rabie (DA) asked the Minister of Trade and Industry: (1) (a) What progress has been made by his department regarding the review of the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP) and (b) when will the review be completed; (2) whether his department has any interim plans to ensure optimum certainty for local motor manufacturers who are vying for export-orientated manufacturing contracts; if not, why not; if so, (a) what plans and (b) what are the further relevant details? NO2637E 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 54 of 89 The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Dr R H Davies): Chair, the Department of Trade and Industry or DTI, has completed the review of the motor industry development programme, which was initiated in mid 2005. Between July and September this year, Minister Mpahlwa met with industry role-players to communicate the findings of the review report. In addition, they have been advised that a government task team has been appointed to oversee the drafting of the new programme with a clear, demonstrable and optimal level of support to the industry. The task team will be working closely with Professor Anthony Black, who has been appointed by the department to assist with the architecture of the new programme. In the Minister‟s two previous meetings with the industry he addressed their uncertainties regarding their planned investments. While the current level of support and the current programme will continue until 2012, the department intends to effect amendments to the Motor Industry Development Programme, MIDP, focusing on 3 fundamental pillars: firstly, regulating the programme in a manner which will ensure compliance with international trade obligations; secondly, consideration for continuation, the productive asset allowance as a competitive investment support instrument to facilitate much needed investment for the assemblers of vehicles as well as component manufacturers; and lastly, the deepening of localisation, with a stronger focus on component manufacturing. I thank you. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 55 of 89 Dr P J RABIE: Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, one of the great success stories is our motor development programme. I think we have attained a fair degree of success with this. Deputy Minister, many of the motor companies are international, multinational, and so forth. During the visit by the Portfolio Committee of Trade and Industry to Belgium, great concern was expressed because Ford was thinking of relocating its factories from Belgium to Germany. I believe that Volkswagen is relocating from Germany to Hungary and quite a number of other European manufacturers are moving to Russia. My question to you is: Is the government considering any tax concessions to ask the local manufacturers to expand and provide employment in our country? I thank you. The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Dr R H Davies): Hon Chairperson, the answer to the question is obviously yes. We agree with the hon member that the Motor Industry Development Programme has been a success. We understand very clearly that it is a highly competitive industry and decisions are taken not just to move from different parts of Europe, but whether to come to South Africa as opposed to other parts of Asia, or something like that. We are well aware of that and as I put it, we need to give a clear, demonstrable and optimal level of support to the industry. The major disadvantage we face in South Africa is our distance from major 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 56 of 89 markets. We need to be able to provide incentives so that people could come here. In our national industrial policy framework and industrial policy action plan, we have identified an objective of doubling the production of motor vehicles in this country from 600 000 units to about 1,2 million. Also, as I indicated in my answer, what we are looking at is to give much more emphasis than in the past to the motor components manufacturing industry, which we think could be much more labour- intensive, and also becoming increasingly globalised. Many of our motor components manufacturers are actually finding opportunities to supply components to final assemblers in many parts of the world as well as in South Africa. I thank you. Prof E S CHANG: Thank you, Chairperson and Deputy Minister. Deputy Minister, the Motor Industry Development Programme for the motor industry started in 1961. It requires that local motor components to be 50% and increased gradually to 66% in 1994. In 1995 it made a radical change to calculations of local content. It allows the car assembling factories to use other market-imported motor components and for this to be counted as local content. Furthermore, those with the custom tariff, chapter 98 - import motor components duty could be offset by RCC, which means that the components should be competitive in our country. Seventy per cent of local components in our car assembling factories are reliant on 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 57 of 89 imports. The South African motor industry imports the components from its mother company and its affiliates, plus they export the car back to the mother company and its affiliates. Therefore, since the raw material resource is in the hands of the SA car assembling companies, the Department of Trade and Industry should act more firmly and aggressively to talk to those motor people to bring in their components to be manufactured in South Africa. At least with quick delivery, we will shift the money cycle and get the cost down. I thank you. The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Dr R H Davies): Chairperson, the first point I will make is that the way of supporting our motor components manufacturing sector in SA is definitely not the way it was done under apartheid where there were tariffs of well over 100%. That option is just not available to us; even if it was desirable or not. What I am saying is that partly in the Motor Industry Development Programme, the MIDP itself, and also in the customised sector programme for the auto sector, there will be a big emphasis on motor components. The emphasis will not just be the production of motor components for use in the production of vehicles in South Africa, although that is clearly a very important part of it; because we are also finding 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 58 of 89 that there are many opportunities for our motor components manufacturers to supply car production, which takes place in Europe. They have been active in trade missions that we have had in Eastern Europe, Asia and so on. This is a big focus for us. It will have two legs – both productions for the internal motor manufacturing and also for export into other regions as well. Number of commercial farmers in South Africa currently, and number of these guilty of illegal evictions 383. Mr J H van der Merwe (IFP) asked the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs: (a) How many commercial farmers are there in South Africa at present, (b) how many of these farmers have been found guilty of illegally evicting farm workers or occupants from their farms in 2006 and (c) against how many of these farmers are criminal steps accordingly pending? NO2324E The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, of course you won‟t have fun with this one. Thank you very much for the question. The answer is that the Department of Land Affairs does not have statistics on commercial farmers in South Africa for the simple reason that maintaining such statistics doesn‟t align within 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 59 of 89 the mandate of Land Affairs; that is the mandate of Statistics SA. They produce household surveys according to certain statistical methods. The (b) and (c) parts of the question is that criminal prosecution is, of course, in respect of illegal evictions not the function of the Department of Land Affairs; it is the function of the Department of Justice, as you very well know. The problem is that formal procedures in court on account of evictions take a very long time. For example, I heard that cases coming before court shortly have taken 10 years to prepare. But what is coming from your question is that it seems to me that you are also requesting that the Department of Agriculture must start to have a register of farmers. In actual fact, we are eagerly awaiting advice in this regard from the newly established advisory council from the agricultural unions and hearing what their proposal is in this regard. If we have registered farm systems and data available that state ownership and companies‟ shares in those, how many farm dwellers are on the farm, what is the status of the BBBEE on that farm and the agricultural enterprise, what the position is according to labour regulations and labour contracts, and what the inspectors of labour report we have, of course, a manageable system then we can give this 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 60 of 89 data very easily to Parliament and also execute control measures. Thank you for the question. Mnr J H VAN DER MERWE: Voorsitter, die waarheid is uiteindelik uit. Die agb Adjunkminister en sy Minister beledig die boere gereeld in hierdie Huis, by landbouplekke oral en gooi dan die grootste twyfel oor die boeregemeenskap as sodanig. Vandag sê hy: “Ek weet nie hoeveel kommersiële boere daar is nie. Ek weet nie hoeveel van hulle mense uitsmyt nie. Ek weet nie hoeveel word aangekla nie. Ek weet niks nie, maar hulle is „n klomp terroriste.” Hy sê op „n keer: “Nee, my broer, luister nou mooi, daardie mense wat nie wil hoor nie, gaan ons nie net in die hof kry nie, ons gaan hulle grond onteïen”. Dit is die taal wat die agb Minister teenoor die boeregemeenskap gebruik, terwyl die boere in werklikheid „n uiters verantwoordelike komponent van hierdie land is. Boere wat goed is vir hulle werkers, wat sorg vir hulle werkers, wat vir hulle werk gee, wat vir hulle kos gee en wat vir hulle medisyne gee. Die Adjunkminister en sy Minister, wanneer hulle ook al „n kans kry, beledig net die boere. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, the truth is finally in the open. The hon Deputy Minister and his Minister often insult farmers 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 61 of 89 in this House, at places of agriculture and then cast a shadow of doubt over the farming community as a whole. Today he says, “I don‟t know how many commercial farmers there are; I don‟t know how many of them remove people from their farms; I don‟t know how many are reported. I don‟t know anything, but they are a bunch of terrorists.” On another occasion he says, “No, my brother, listen to me. Those people who do not want to listen: Not only are we going to take them to court, we are also going to expropriate their land”. This is the type of language the hon Minister directs at the farming community, while the farming community, in actual fact, is an extremely responsible component of this country - farmers who are good to their workers; who care for their workers; who offer jobs to their workers; who feed them and give them medicine. The Deputy Minister and his Minister insult the farmers whenever the opportunity presents itself.] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, hon Van der Merwe is just using the podium to grandstand, as we know him very well. No, of course the statistics that we have available were before this House quite often and the Human Rights Commission has also delivered reports to the portfolio committee. I don‟t expect you to know this but the Nkuzi empirical study is what we‟ve got and then we‟ve a lot of cases but mostly evidence of the nature 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 62 of 89 that I have discussed in the first answer this afternoon. Thank you, sir. Mnr A H NEL: Dankie, Voorsitter. Ek wil net eers sê dat wat my en my party aanbetref, is ons teen die “illegal evictions”. U praat van samewerking en dr Van Niekerk het ook bewys dat samewerking gegee sal word as die regte goed gedoen word. Ek lees in die koerante dat AgriSA vir u en die Minister gevra het waar onwettige uitsettings gedoen is, sodat ons daardie mense kan aantree. Hulle het geen antwoord van u gekry nie. U praat van die Nkuzi-verslag waarvan u die gegewens het. Dis hoe ek dit verstaan het, maar daar is nog, Meneer. Die Adjunkvoorsitter van die Nasionale Bemarkingsraad, prof Karaan, sê dat - en dis sy syfers- vandat die regulering toegepas is, en ek sê ook, is ons nie teen die regulering nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Mr A H NEL: Chairperson, firstly I would like to say that as far as my party and I are concerned, we are against illegal evictions. You speak about co-operation and Dr Van Niekerk also proved that co- operation will be given if the correct actions are being taken. I have read in the papers that AgriSA had asked the Minister and yourself where the illegal evictions took place so that the guilty parties can be taken to task. They never received an answer from you. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 63 of 89 You speak about the Nkuzi report where you get your information from. This is how I understood it, but there is more, sir. The deputy chairperson of the National Marketing Council, Prof Karaan, says that – and these are his figures – since regulation has been imposed, and I also say this, we are not against regulation.] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I noted that Hon Nel carefully formulates it that he is against illegal evictions but I didn‟t hear him saying that he is against inhumane practices on the farms. Could I just say that when you interpret and say that we are insulting the farmers that what you do not say is that we‟ve got great co-operation from the great majority of the agricultural community in South Africa. Thank you. Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Voorsitter, die agb Adjunkminister kom hier en sê dat hy nie die syfers kan gee in terme van die aantal kommersiële boere nie en hy kan nie die aantal syfers gee in terme van onwettige uitsettings nie. Voorsitter, ek het in hierdie selfde raad vir die agb Minister vir „n skriftelike beantwoording gevra en sy het syfers gegee. Nou wil ek vir die agb Adjunkminister vra: Hoe kan die Minister die aantal onwettige uitsettings verstrek? Terselfdertyd sê sy ook in haar amptelike antwoord dat dit gegewens is waarvoor die departement ook nie 100% voor kan instaan nie. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 64 of 89 Wie het die Raad mislei? Is dit die agb Minister deur daardie syfers bekend te maak? Of is dit nou die agb Adjunkminister wat die Raad nou hier begin mislei deur te sê hy kan nie die syfers voorsien nie? Die probleem is, Voorsitter, as dit kom by die boere, dan weet die agb Minister niks. Hy sê niks en hy hoor ook niks nie. As dit aan die ander kant kom, dan hoor hy alles. Hy sê alles en hy dink hy weet alles. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Mr P J GROENEWALD: Chairperson, the hon Deputy Minister comes here and declares that he cannot supply figures in terms of the number of commercial farmers or the number of illegal evictions. Chairperson, I asked for a written reply from the hon Minister in this very house and she could supply figures. I would like to ask the hon Deputy Minister: How can the Minister give the number of illegal evictions, but also, in her official answer say that the Department is not 100% sure that this is correct? Who has misled the House? Was it the hon Minister by making those numbers public? Or is it the hon Deputy Minister who is misleading the House by stating that he cannot supply the numbers? The problem, Chairperson, is that when it comes to farmers, the hon Minister knows nothing, hears nothing and says nothing. When it 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 65 of 89 comes to the flip side, he hears all, says all and thinks he knows it all.] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson I have noted the empty rhetoric of the hon member. Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Dankie, Voorsitter. U weet, dit help nie om wollerig in die landbou te praat nie, want dan verloor jy en jy hardloop weg van die werklike storie en dis nou presies wat jy probeer doen. Ons probeer „n oplossing kry deur die statistiek in die hande te kry, sodat ons by daardie punte kan uitkom waar onmenslike optrede is en waar daar verkeerde uitsettings is. Om dit te doen, verg „n gesamentlike plan. U hardloop net na een kant toe. Het u al ooit daaraan gedink dat van die 60 000 boere wat „n tyd gelede daar was, daar nou net 40 000 oor is. Dit het ook „n implikasie in terme van die mense wat dan op die ou end sogenaamd “ge-evict” word, maar nie op grond van omstandighede van slegte hantering nie. Daar is „n klomp emosionele en werklike fisiese feite op grondvlak, wat u in ag moet neem. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, you know, when it comes to agriculture it doesn‟t help to be vague, because then you lose and run away from the real issue and that is exactly what you are trying to do now. We are trying to find a solution by obtaining the 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 66 of 89 statistics in order for us to get to the points where inhumane treatment and illegal evictions are taking place. In order to do that, we need a joint plan. You only run to the one side. Have you ever thought that a while ago there were 60 000 farmers and now there are only 40 000? This also has an implication in terms of the people who are supposedly being evicted, but not as a result of being treated badly. There are a number of emotional and physical facts on ground level that you have to take into account.] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, indeed the number of farmers has gone down, mostly on account of capital formation and because of agricultural world conditions. The strange thing to me though is, while there has been growth in commodities all over the world, growth in countries like Chile on agricultural production and more employment of unskilled workers, it hasn‟t happened in South Africa. Ag, nee wat! Dis „n vermorsing van tyd. Dis nie waar nie. [Oh no! That is a waste of time, it is not true.] It is a difficult problem and I don‟t think the production in South Africa is really where it should be. More people should be engaged in agriculture and this excluding type of approach which we see in practice should be stopped. We should look at having more workers per hectare of production. But the strategy at the moment is - and 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 67 of 89 that is where those farmers who went bankrupt went out of farming - the farms get bigger and bigger and it is only a question of cutting the cost of labour force on the cost on the farms. So it‟s a matter of getting bigger tractors, bigger implements while the whole question of land right tenure is reduced to a simple labour question which is actually ignoring the rights positions of the farm dwellers. Thank you. Mr M R MOHLALOGA: Chairperson, firstly I just want to state that with regard to the Nkuzi report that was referred to at the beginning, the department and farmers unions participated in its conceptualisation and were approached for the questionnaire that was developed. In fact the department also sponsored the survey itself, therefore in a sense the department can lay claim to the report. But, having said that I just want to say that illegal evictions are what they are - illegal and as a result they are a crime. It does not matter whether there are 10 or 5 million. One illegal eviction is one too many. Therefore the fight against illegal evictions on farms is not ... My question is: Does the Deputy Minister think that it will be important for farmers to see themselves as partners against illegal evictions and that they must help expose, condemn and prosecute such cases? 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 68 of 89 The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, wholeheartedly, yes. That‟s the only solution and that is why we are trying all the time to get the opposition parties not just to say formally that they are against illegal evictions but that they are against the whole system and give us their support. We can only succeed if this becomes a culture in South Africa. I am pleading for that and there are huge amounts of support in agriculture for this. This is the only future for agriculture. Let‟s clean this matter out. Let‟s work together and stand together to build agriculture and get the participation which is justifiable and which the Constitution requires of us in South Africa. I am actually saying: Please! Terms of, and parliamentary oversight regarding European Union development aid grant 389. Prof B Turok (ANC) asked the Minister of Finance: (1) What are the terms of the reported development aid grant of R10 billion received from the European Union; (2) whether this grant has been reported to Parliament; if so, what provision is made for parliamentary oversight regarding the allocation and spending of this grant?NO2609E 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 69 of 89 The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, the agreement with the European Union was signed in Pretoria about three weeks ago. As is the nature of these agreements, it will be brought to Parliament for discussion and ratification shortly. The agreement for the grant amount is 980 million Euros at a going rate of around R10 to the Euro which is about R9,8 billion, and it covers the period 2007-13. A total of 70% of the agreement deals with issues of employment and social cohesion. The governance element is 15% and the rest is broken down through a series of programmes. Now, it‟s a strange kind of discussion to have because the agreement which I have here is pretty detailed, and it tends to lend itself more to a written question. It is very hard because you have to really dig through and unless you have a symmetry of information, it makes the discussion about this quite hard. I will certainly attach it but perhaps through subsequent questions and after discussions in one of the committees we could actually get into a greater level of detail. Thank you. Prof B TUROK: I welcome that reply and I do think that we need to discuss it in the committee because I also have a copy of the document here. It is detailed. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 70 of 89 We certainly welcome the funding, but the issue of development aid has become very controversial internationally. Often, although not in this case, strings are attached and there are all sorts of conditions and often aid is based not on actual aid requirements but on political considerations. Now, I am not saying it applies in this case, but often it does internationally. So, parliamentary oversight becomes important because of the political elements in it, and that oversight should also be in the donor country as well as the recipient country. I am personally in discussion with various people in Europe about the question of oversight in Europe because people in Europe are concerned. So my question is this: It is very important that this money is spent properly but in the RDP Fund financial statement for 2007, of R1 billion received, R259 million was refunded to the donors. Can the Minister help us in saying how we are going to ensure that this R10 billion is properly spent, because the House must assist him in ensuring that we do not refund R1 out of this R10 billion? That is my question. The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, this is what I am trying to avoid. I don‟t know the extent to which the issues that the hon Turok is raising are really follow-ups or whether they are entirely new questions. I am saying that the matter must come here for discussion. It is not as though there is a dispute about that. Let me just for the record say that, to the best of my knowledge, there 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 71 of 89 is no donor assistance that is not politically driven. There has never been and there is unlikely to ever be. It‟s an extension of interests in this way, and we delude ourselves if we do not accept that as a premise. But, having said that, we are one of the countries that had the most funds decommitted, which is a very Brussels-like word. The key issues in the context of decommitment are as a consequence of the fact that the negotiations with the EU or its member states happen through a variety of different agencies. You would have, for instance, an education department in a province negotiating a particular deal for a few schools in the district in that province. So, not everybody in the Education Department would be aware of it - never mind the province. The Treasury picks up later that such an agreement has been entered into. The Presidency is much firmer on the fact that the Minister of Finance can‟t delegate the responsibility of signing. So, it‟s a bit of a headache to get to all of these agreements and sign them, but the consequence of that is that we have a better information base for what is happening in respect of this. The bulk of the decommitments have happened especially in certain areas. Perhaps somebody in this House is in a position to explain how you can secure donor aid for a school building or upgrading programme that will include water and sanitation and so on and then not spend 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 72 of 89 it. It is a complete travesty and when it is decommitted, you can‟t get it back. By the time we discover this in the mill, it‟s much too late. The difference about this agreement is that it‟s been carefully negotiated with the team from the Treasury. It‟s a four-year agreement, a multiyear agreement involving all member states. Commissioner Michelle of the EU advises that it has never actually happened in quite this way. It does give us a bit more leverage and that is why I fervently believe that this matter should come to Parliament soon. Even here, it‟s not a matter for an isolated committee because the agreement, by its nature, is quite transversal. We need a wide body of information about the agreement, and that‟s one of the first among many safeguards that we should put in place. Mnr S J F MARAIS: Dankie Voorsitter. Minister, Suid-Afrika moet hopelik iewers in die toekoms ook „n gewer van ontwikkelingshulp word in Afrika, veral as ons „n prominente rol wil speel in wat ons wil doen. Ek stem saam met prof Turok dat die hele kwessie van ontwikkelingshulp in die wêreld „n moeilike ding is en gewoonlik „n ding is wat baie vingers en hande kry. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 73 of 89 Volgens u eie erkenning het ons „n groot tekort aan vaardighede en kundigheid en word die feit ook in die meeste van die gekwalifiseerde jaarverslae gereflekteer. Is u oortuig daarvan dat ons die vaardighede het om hierdie ontwikkelingsskenking korrek en konstruktief aan te wend, en sal u bereid wees om nie- regeringsorganisasies en die privaatsektor, wat oor die kundigheid beskik, te gebruik vir die doel? Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Mr S J F MARAIS: Thank you, Chairperson. Minister, South Africa must hopefully sometime in the future, we hope, also become a supplier of development aid in Africa, especially if we want to play a prominent role in what we would like to do. I agree with Prof Turok that the entire matter of development support in the world is a difficult thing and it is usually something that grows many hands and fingers. As you yourself have acknowledged, we have a shortage of skills and expertise and this fact is also reflected in most of the qualified annual reports. Are you convinced that we have the skills to use this development donation correctly and constructively, and would you be prepared to employ non-governmental organisations and the private sector that do have the skills for this purpose? Thank you.] 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 74 of 89 The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, again it‟s a multifaceted issue. I don‟t know where development or donor aid begins and ends. I said earlier in response to a question that one of the components in the Southern African Customs Union‟s formula is a developmental component. So daar is „n ontwikkelingskomponent binne die doeane-unieformule. Dit is al reeds daar en ons moet dit erken. Maar bo en behalwe dit is daar ook die Afrika Renaissance Fonds, waardeur ons dan redelike skenkings maak aan verskillende lande. Ons help gereeld hier en daar met dinge soos verkiesings in lande. Ons help ook tans in Guinea-Conakry met elementêre dienste, net om dinge aan die gang te kry sodat ons seker kan maak dat demokrasie sal seëvier. Daar is ook ander geleenthede, soos die skenkings wat ons maak ten opsigte van die afskrywing van skuld van lande. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [So there is a development component in the customs union formula. It already exists and we have to acknowledge it. But in addition to this there is also the African Renaissance Fund, through which we also make reasonable donations to different countries. We often assist here and there with things like elections in other countries. Currently we are also assisting in Guinea- Conakry with elementary services just to get things started so that 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 75 of 89 we can ensure that democracy will triumph. There are also other opportunities like the donations we are making with regard to the writing off of debts of countries.] Yes, we are a reasonable donor country on the continent, but when it comes to this size of donation for us as a country, we shouldn‟t be arrogant in this context, and we can never look a gift horse in the mouth. It is a miniscule component. It is 1% of the Budget. It is small by comparison with what we deal with and if we are capable of managing all of these funds - the hon Marais is a member of the committee that gives us a hard time about what we do with these funds as part of the accountability process - I don‟t understand why this amount of money should not be part of the very same accountability process. It is a small amount of money and I don‟t see why we shouldn‟t be capable of dealing with it. I thank you. Prof E S CHANG: Thank you, Chairperson. Minister, I must say that I agree with you 100% that there are no free dinners. So, I don‟t know how you got this 10 billion euros, but I must say we appreciate it very much. My question is much easier: If you think I asked the wrong question, then it is Ben Turok who is misleading me because when I see his name, I only think about the fact that we sit in the same committee. When I visited the EU, the EU Commissioner kept on emphasizing that they will give 10 billion euros for small, medium 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 76 of 89 and micro enterprises. I am not so sure, hence my question may be wrong, or maybe it is easy for you to tell me if this 10 billion euros are what the EU Commissioner told us about, which was for helping the SMMEs. I thank you. The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chair, it is and it is not small, medium and micro enterprises. The emphasis in a large part of the programme deals with, firstly, the second economy, and it has recognised this as an enormously important issue. Attached to that is the sense that you need to build a stronger bridge between the first and the second economy. Now, what we must recognise is that in the negotiation of a programme like this, in many respects the programme at first level is as good as the ability of the negotiators to convince the donors to part with the money. To that extent, it has been done, and I am saying that on 10 October I signed this agreement with Commissioner Louise Michelle. It is a very recent thing. However, the more important part is to ensure that we have the agencies within government to be able to distribute the money and account for every dime that is distributed, and that is the big challenge. Especially when you are dealing with a highly informal part of the economy, you need to ensure that you get returns. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 77 of 89 Some of the things we know are that if very poor people borrow money, they pay it back with interest and the battle that they are up against is the battle for access to the finances. You must have competent agencies within government to be able to effect the distribution and the collection because people don‟t want hand-outs. The poor don‟t want hand-outs, they want a hand up; and that is the role we have to play and if our officials are there and distribute the money and then say ”Shame, we are not going to collect this back”, you have actually failed the people who want their dignity and empowerment and not hand-outs. So I think that it‟s having a pool of money and being able to get things done in a way that truly empowers people because this kind of empowerment is real empowerment, if we utilise the resource properly. Prof B TUROK: Thank you very much, Minister; I am delighted to hear what you are saying. The strength of this particular agreement is that it is on budget funding whereas in the past a lot of donor aid has been off-budget and, therefore, the Auditor-General and others have had great difficulty in auditing the funds. This should not be a problem, but because it‟s on-budget Parliament does have a special role. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 78 of 89 The question I would like to ask is: Will this money be identifiable on-budget as distinct from normal revenue? If it is, how will the parliamentary committees be able to identify it and do exactly as you say, because there is an enormous amount of passion in this Parliament for ensuring that the spending in the second economy and small enterprise happens? Many of us are totally committed to that but we need to be able to say that there is R10 million that is dedicated to so and so and this is donor aid, and therefore, we want to monitor it in a special way. Will that be possible? The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chair, if there is just 10% of the passion that was in evidence in the last question that came close to the biggest “broedertwis” [feud between brothers] I have seen yet, then with just 10% of that passion, we are ok. I think what we need to do is try and get the agreement onto paper and see whether it‟s possible to have this matter discussed before we rise this year. At the same time, we should work to try and get a kind of below-the-line budget in the estimates of national expenditure commitment. The hon Turok spent too little time in the joint committees today but one of the things that we discussed there is that I am agitating now that, when departments ask for money and they get it in terms of a chapter of the estimates of national expenditure, that they don‟t say: “Give us R10 million.” Say what the money is going to buy. If 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 79 of 89 you are going to create jobs, say you are going to create 178 212 jobs and measure us against that. That‟s the job of Parliament. You are not here to applaud us; your job is to ask tough questions. Perhaps this is the starting point of changing the oversight function of Parliament because the money is there and we can put it below the line. We can even print it in a different colour if parliamentarians want that. I thank you. Plans to improve state and safety of railways in preparation for 2010 Soccer World Cup Tournament 407. Mr S B Farrow (DA) asked the Minister of Transport: Whether, in the light of the decrease in the number of Metrorail trains and the recent report by the Railway Safety Regulator (details furnished), his department has any plans to improve the state and safety of railways in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament; if not, why not; if so, (a) what plans, (b) how much will this cost and (c) what are the timeframes? NO2632E The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, the answer to the question is as follows: The Department of Transport approved a three-year turnaround plan for the SARCC-Metrorail in 2006. In the first three 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 80 of 89 financial years from 2006 to 2008 we are focusing on stabilising the operations of the SARCC. This will then be followed by a recovery phase from 2011 to 2014, where, we believe, we will start seeing the fruits of investments such as a new rolling stock fleet flowing into the passenger rail system. All rolling stock and infrastructure improvements are in line with improving the rail service and also improving operational safety. These initiatives are not undertaken in isolation, but in constant interaction with the Railway Safety Regulator with a view to ensuring adherence to rail safety requirements. A central part of this turnaround phase is the roll-out of the accelerated rolling stock programme addressing general overhauls and upgrading of the fleet. The plan which is being implemented aims to reduce the backlog of general overhauls and upgrades without worsening the already ageing operational coach availability that has been reported in the annual report of the SARCC last year. This overhaul programme is being ramped up to reduce all these backlogs. The aim is to do 700 coaches per annum between 2008-09 and 2011-12. The costs of this programme are that in the 2008-09 financial year, it will be R3, 091 billion and in the 2009-10 financial year it will be R3,458 billion. Regarding the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the Department of Transport together with Metrorail are guided by government‟s overall strategic 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 81 of 89 approach which sees all these major contributions of the tournament as being to leave a legacy of an improved public transport system for South Africa, and in this instance the legacy must be an improved passenger rail service. There are many projects that are underway, and I have all the details of the various projects that are going to be ready. I can assure the hon members that by the time of the Confederations Cup in 2011, many of these projects will be ready and we believe that we are going to be on track on all these transportation-passenger rail systems. Thank you. Mr S B FARROW: Thank you, Minister for your very comprehensive response and my apologies for not being on that Khayelitsha Express today. It must have been quite an exciting ride. But there is a number of issues here that surround the state of rail and safety of its passengers in particular and which could have an impact on 2010. The ambitious programme that you gave us recently; I have been trying to reconcile it with some of the issues that came out of the annual report of SARCC. There are two things that really worry me. The first is the fact that we have a High Court ruling that relates to the safety of rail travellers. Now, that particular High Court ruling has got some minor matters associated with it. We still see trains running with doors open and with windows missing. I can‟t believe that with these 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 82 of 89 thousands and billions of rands that we have had we can‟t generate something to get that right. Secondly, if you look at the aspects of our current situation, it takes three months to refurbish a coach at a cost of about R4 million to R5 million. There are only five agencies that can actually do that – coach manufacturers - in the country and they need to refurbish something like four coaches a day to meet the backlog. Can in fact your ambitious programme be a reality in dealing with these matters? Thank you. The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Well, the reality of the situation is that this is not just a dream; we are already implementing this programme. Only this morning we launched a new railway service between Khayelitsha and Cape Town, the Khayelitsha Express, that will reduce time of travelling by 30% to 38 minutes from Khayelitsha to Cape Town station. On the issue of the Constitutional Court ruling we are doing everything to ensure that Metrorail complies with that ruling. Amongst other things, we have introduced railway police in South Africa. As we speak, there are more than 1 500 railway police members who are being deployed to prevent precisely what Mr Farrow has indicated today. We believe that by 2010 there will be more than 5 000 railway police members in South Africa to ensure that the safety of passengers will be guaranteed. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 83 of 89 Mr J P CRONIN: Thank you, Chairperson. I am glad, Minister, that you have mentioned the railway police. That is one of the great success stories. The hon Farrow is of course quite right to say that there are still many challenges in terms of safety and particularly personal security on our rail system. But the railway police in the few years that they have been in existence have made 40 000 arrests. There has been a very, very significant decrease in crime on board our trains. Fare evasions have come down massively. There is about 96% fare compliance here on the Cape Town system. All of these things reflect on this. The question I want to ask the Minister is: As we approach 2010, but not just thinking about 2010, should we not also be thinking of the railway police in a multimodel way? In other words, why should they not be conceived of as transport police, as we see in other countries, responsible for ensuring safety on all transport modes and at interchanges and not just narrowly focused on rail? The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Well, the appropriate Minister to answer that question will be the Minister of Safety and Security. I am aware that within the ANC there is a policy process that is aimed at ensuring that there is one police service for the Republic of South Africa and that will also be taken into account so that we have one line of command in South Africa. How that will turn out, we will know after December. But I am sure that we need to co-ordinate 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 84 of 89 activities in a manner that will ensure that transport safety is of paramount importance. I can indicate as well that a few years ago the government created the Road Traffic Management Corporation and that entity also will take into account the issues of safety and of compliance, especially on roads. Thank you. Mr S B FARROW: Thank you, Chairperson. Thank you, Minister for that response. If I read your response correctly, you spoke about some figures of R3,9 billion and R3,5 billion up and until 2012. Now, effectively, it is a little bit different to what I have understood is going to be allocated to the SARCC. I want to find out if the funds you are talking about are going to be made readily available to them in order for them to procure the coaches - which takes up to four years, Minister - to be able to get them to land on SARCC? This is in the light of the fact that I have mentioned earlier that it is taking three months just to refurbish one coach and you need, according to my calculations, to do about four coaches a day with five companies. That doesn‟t seem to be possible. I am just asking you whether in fact that has been taken into consideration. Thank you. The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, the amounts that I have highlighted are not for the purchasing of new stock but are for 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 85 of 89 upgrading the existing stock. As I have indicated, in the next financial year we will be spending about R3,091 billion to ensure that there are 700 coaches per year that are upgraded. The amount is accurate because other monies are dedicated, for example, for the building of new railway stations and upgrading of railway stations. Other portions of monies are for signalling equipment and other related infrastructure. Mr S B FARROW: Thank you very much, Chair. We have just recently come out of the portfolio committee where SARCC and Metrorail were present. I‟m talking about some of the issues that the SARCC face at the moment. They use a ratio of 80% of coach refurbishment and new coach purchases, and 20% that goes into signalling and your pathways. Now if you try to take these and try to balance the equation, my concern is, Minister, that somewhere along the line we are going to have to bring new coaches in. The refurbishment that you are talking about of 700 coaches per annum is all very well. We‟ve got 4 500 coaches in the country, but many of them are not in a position to be refurbished either because of age or they have been burnt or destroyed previously. I am asking whether we can get the new coaches in timeously with the money that we have in hand and whether we can have assurances from you about that. Thank you, Chairperson. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 86 of 89 The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I now understand your problem. As I indicated, there are various phases. The current phase is of stabilisation that we cannot but ensure that the existing stock is upgraded and refurbished. So, these monies that we are talking about are going to be dedicated to this phase. With regard to the other question you raised, we are in fact taking a decision to recapitalise Metrorail. That is a separate process that will begin early next year so that we can have a properly equipped passenger rail service in South Africa. I am sure you will agree with me that no matter how much we try to upgrade and refurbish many of these are old technologies. On Sunday I was travelling by train from Pretoria Station to Atteridgeville. They were even using the 1950s technology of a spanner to start the train. Even if you try to refurbish that particular train it will remain a donkey. So, we need to make sure that we equip it in the modern way. This is the second phase that will begin next year. See also QUESTIONS AND REPLIES. The House adjourned at 17:12. __________ ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 87 of 89 ANNOUNCEMENTS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces The Speaker and the Chairperson 1. Draft Bills submitted in terms of Joint Rule 159 (a) Jurisdiction of Regional Courts Amendment Bill, 2007, submitted by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs. National Assembly The Speaker 1. Request from Minister of Safety and Security (a) Request from the Minister of Safety and Security for a committee of the National Assembly, in terms of section 51 of the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act 68 of 1995), to consider the nomination of a suitably qualified person for appointment to the office of Executive Director to head the Independent Complaints Directorate. 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 88 of 89 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security for consideration and report. 2. Membership of Committees (1) The following changes have been made to the membership of Portfolio Committees: Agriculture and Land and Affairs Appointed: Rabinowitz, Dr R (Alt); Singh, Mr N Education Appointed: Zikalala, Ms C N Z (Alt) Environmental Affairs and Tourism Appointed: Lebenya, Ms S P (Alt) Labour Appointed: Chang, Prof E S (Alt); Roopnarain, Dr U Public Enterprises Appointed: Chang, Prof E S (Alt); Lebenya, Ms S P Science and Technology Appointed: Chang, Prof E S (Alt); Rabinowitz, Dr R Transport Appointed: Dhlamini, Mr B W (Alt); Lucas, Mr E J 31 OCTOBER 2007 PAGE 89 of 89 TABLINGS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces 1. The Minister of Finance (a) National Treasury – Consolidated Financial Information for the year ended 31 March 2007. National Assembly The Speaker 1. Submission of Private Member’s Legislative Proposal The following private member’s legislative proposal was submitted to the Speaker on 12 June 2007, in accordance with Rule 234: Legislative Proposal to amend the Constitution in respect of the current executive system (Prince M G Buthelezi) Referred to the Standing Committee on Private Members’ Legislative Proposals and Special Petitions for consideration and report.
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