19 February 2004 Page 1 of 200 THURSDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2004 ____ PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ____ The House met at 14:01. The Deputy Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers and meditation. ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS - see col 000. FAST-TRACKING OF DIVISION OF REVENUE BILL (Draft Resolution) The Chief Whip of the Majority Party, moved: That the House ratifies the decision the Joint Subcommittee of the Joint Programme Committee adopted on 18 February 2004 in accordance with 19 February 2004 Page 2 of 200 Joint Rule 216(2), namely that the Division of Revenue Bill [B 4 - 2004] (National Assembly - sec 76) be fast-tracked by, where necessary, shortening any period within which any step in the legislative process relating to the Bill must be completed, in order to make it possible for the Bill to be passed by both Houses during the current term of Parliament (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 18 February 2004, p 214). Agreed to. R200 MILLION FOR ELECTRICITY (Member's Statement) Mr G P MNGOMEZULU (ANC): Madam Speaker, the recent decision by the ANC-led Government to allocate a further R200 million for the implementation of free basic electricity is commendable indeed. The 50 kilowatts free basic electricity per household will provide much-needed social relief to those people whose earnings fall on the lowest end of the scale 19 February 2004 Page 3 of 200 including those who earn nothing at all. In the light of the apartheid socioeconomic backlog which cannot be wiped out overnight, the steps that the ANC Government continues to take demonstrate that the dawn of a better tomorrow is steadily approaching. Those incremental expenditures on the lives of our people by this Government are further proof of the ANC's commitment to winning the fight against poverty and restoring the dignity of our people. We call on all our people at various government levels to work conscientiously to ensure that all deserving members of our communities get access to free basic electricity as soon as possible. We must do this, not only as part of our work, but also as a way of giving practical meaning to our humanness. [Applause.] DA'S POLICY PROGRAMME ON JOB CREATION (Member's Statement) 19 February 2004 Page 4 of 200 Mr K M ANDREW (DA): Madam Speaker, the DA's policy programme for positive change has received a ringing endorsement from Otto, Count Lambsdorff, former Minister of economic affairs in the Federal Republic of Germany. He reserved particular criticism for the ANC's policies on labour and economics, describing them as having no hope of producing growth and jobs in South Africa. [Interjections.] Under ANC rule unemployment has risen, and over 8 million South Africans are now without jobs or work. The DA understands that South Africa deserves better and has developed policies that put job creation first. The DA's campaign and policies were also enthusiastically endorsed by Mrs Helen Suzman, human rights campaigner, and for 13 years the only voice in Parliament speaking out against the NP's oppression. South Africa needs real change, now. Thank you. [Applause.] HIJACKING OF AMBULANCES 19 February 2004 Page 5 of 200 (Member's Statement) Mr E T FERREIRA (IFP): Madam Speaker, the IFP has learnt with shock that two paramedics in Imbali township, Pietermaritzburg, were hijacked, and forced to have sex with one another. A female paramedic was raped by one of the culprits. They also robbed them of their belongings and fled with the vehicle. According to media reports, this was the ninth hijacking incident of an ambulance in eight months, and seven other cases of attempted hijacking of provincial ambulances have been reported during the same period. The IFP believes that this is the most traumatic and degrading experience any human being can be subjected to. The fact is these paramedics now have to face their families, colleagues and the public knowing that a part of their dignity has been taken away from them. This is also a huge blow to the public service, especially the health sector, knowing how important their role in the community is, especially the task of saving lives. 19 February 2004 Page 6 of 200 It is also a wake-up call to us as a nation to remember that certain people in our midst had to sacrifice their lives and dignity to save people's lives. These kinds of incidences show the high level of moral degeneration and lack of respect for human dignity in our society. It also shows that we still have a long way to go before we can fully say that we are a truly free country, free from fear of one's life, dignity and possessions that are forcefully taken away from one. It is a clear sign that the fight against women's exploitation and abuse is far from over. We still have a long way to go before the most vulnerable people in our communities can truly say they are safe. INCOME TAX RELIEF (Member's Statement) Prof B TUROK (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, last year our economy grew at a slower rate than the forecast growth rate. Also, the strengthening of the rand, coupled with the impact of drought, led to decreased company tax receipts. Despite all these 19 February 2004 Page 7 of 200 negative developments, in this years's national Budget, the ANC-led Government has decided to provide a R4 billion personal income tax relief. This will come as a very welcome intervention, and will lighten the burden on especially those of our people who occupy the lower rungs of the earnings ladder. We commend the ANC-led Government on its intelligent management of our economy, as this has allowed us space to pursue, consistently, poverty alleviation programmes even under these difficult economic times. With these steady but sure steps, we are continually giving meaning to our quest to progressively expand the frontiers of human fulfilment, inspired by the vision of creating a people-centred society. [Applause.] BUDGET (Member's Statement) 19 February 2004 Page 8 of 200 Mnr A Z A VAN JAARSVELD (NNP): Adjunkspeaker, die Nuwe Nasionale Party wil die Minister van Finansies gelukwens met sy Begroting wat soos elke jaar van uitstaande gehalte was. [Tussenwerpsels.] Soos gewoonlik, is hy weer op die oomblik die mees gewilde persoon in Suid-Afrika na die Begroting. Hy kan verseker weet dat die kanse dat die agb Cassie Aucamp hom moontlik kan vervang as Minister van Finansies, soos die Minister self in 'n onderhoud oor die radio vanoggend genoem het, net so vergesog is as die moontlikheid dat die agb Douglas Gibson die volgende Minister van Veiligheid en Sekuriteit sal wees. Gun die Nuwe Nasionale Party egter die geleentheid om een saak aan te roer wat nie in die Begroting ter sprake gekom het nie. Dit is die kwessie van pensioenarisse en dat die R125 000 belastingvrye perk die afgelope 15 jaar dieselfde gebly het. Hierdie bepaling het glad nie tred gehou met die stygende inflasiekoers nie, en die NNP voel dit het tyd geword om 'n verhoging in hierdie verband te maak. 19 February 2004 Page 9 of 200 Pensioenarisse trek reeds noustrop as gevolg van 'n verlaging in die rentekoerse, en Suid-Afrika kan nie bekostig om die wat nog selfonderhoudend is ook afhanklikes te maak nie. Daarom doen die NNP 'n dringende beroep op die Minister om hierdie belastingvrye perk as 'n saak van dringendheid aan te spreek. Ek dank u. [Tussenwerpsels.] [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.) [Mr A Z A VAN JAARSVELD (NNP): Deputy Speaker, the NNP wants to congratulate the Minister of Finance on his Budget which was, as it is every year, of excellent quality. [Interjections.] As usual, he is once again at present the most popular person in South Africa after the Budget. He may rest assured that the chances that the hon Cassie Aucamp could possibly replace him as the Minister of Finance, as the Minister himself mentioned in a radio interview this morning, is just as ludicrous as the possibility that the hon Douglas Gibson would be the next Minister of Safety and Security. 19 February 2004 Page 10 of 200 Afford the NNP the opportunity, however, to touch on one matter that was not raised in the Budget. It is the matter regarding pensioners and the fact that the R125 000 tax-free limit has remained the same for the past 15 years. This provision did not in the least keep abreast with the rising inflation rate, and the NNP feels that the time has come for an increase in this regard. Pensioners are already suffering financially because of a decrease in the inflation rate, and South Africa cannot afford also to render dependent those who are self-sufficient. For this reason the NNP urgently appeals to the Minister to address this tax-free limit as a matter of urgency. I thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]] ACDP'S GROWTH IN KWAZULU-NATAL (Member's Statement) Ms C DUDLEY (ACDP): Deputy Speaker, the ACDP notes with interest the results of the recent by- elections held on 11 February in ward 12 in 19 February 2004 Page 11 of 200 Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, in which the ACDP increased its share of the votes by 200%. That is an increase from 4,1% in the year 2000 to 13,7%. The ACDP notes that the DA vote decreased from 62,98% in the year 2000 to 44,29%, and that the ANC did not field a candidate, but opted instead for telling their voters to vote for the New NP. Despite Ladysmith being an historical New NP seat, the New NP, together with the ANC, could only muster 22% of the vote. Seeing the ANC function as a heart-lung machine for the New NP is a curious sight. The increased share of the vote for the ACDP indicates an increased awareness among the electorate to turn to policies promoting family values, social stability and economic growth. The ACDP would like to acknowledge the active participation of all those who came out to vote for their prospective parties and all officials involved in making this by-election a success. Thank you. BUDGET INCREASES 19 February 2004 Page 12 of 200 (Member's Statement) Mrs M N OLIPHANT (ANC): Madam Speaker, the Budget proposal tabled yesterday by the Minister of Finance tells the story of the ANC-led Government that is deeply committed to creating a better life for all. The tabled Budget continues to expand housing, water and community services. It extends and improves spending on health services. Education continues to make up a larger component of our Budget. Continued investment in these areas strikes at the heart of the second economy, characterised by inadequate shelter, poverty, disease, uncertain incomes and unemployment. The impact of all these ills are felt more by women and children. The African National Congress commends Government on this balanced Budget which expands social services, and at the same time strengthening prospects for economic development, thus extending the frontiers of freedom. I thank you. [Applause.] SPENDING OF BUDGET 19 February 2004 Page 13 of 200 (Member's Statement) Mr M F CASSIM (PJC): Madam Deputy Speaker, thank you very much. In over 300 years, for the very first time, the poor, the destitute and the jobless in our country can look forward to real expectations of jobs and a better life. Yesterday the Minister of Finance announced an enormous amount of money to alleviate the situation of the poor and the down-trodden in our country. I would like to ask this House to do what Malaysia does, and that is to allow each member of Parliament to take responsibility in a certain geographical area for oversight of development in order that this money is not left in the hands of bureaucrats alone who may not be able to give the projects the desired drive that would be needed. If we followed the Malaysian example, we would be able to utilise the full Budget that the Minister has allocated in order to make sure that that which has never happened in our country can happen, and that the paternalism that has so far infected this country's politics can be overthrown and people can 19 February 2004 Page 14 of 200 enjoy liberty, not only in politics, but also in terms of money, jobs and opportunity. Thank you. SECURITY GUARDS KILLED DURING CASH-IN-TRANSIT HEISTS (Member's Statement) Ms J T NTULI (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, a spate of cash-in-transit heists hit the Lowveld on Monday and Tuesday this week. In the process four security guards have been killed within 14 hours. On Tuesday police arrested a suspect in connection with this crime near White River. The ANC is deeply saddened by such unnecessary and painful loss of life. We call on the Police Service to work tirelessly to bring to book the perpetrators of these heinous criminal acts. We also call on communities in the area to assist police in their investigations. Crime, particularly violent crime, has no place in the people-centered society we are working to 19 February 2004 Page 15 of 200 create. Let us unite in the people's contract to create a safe, secure and peaceful country together. I thank you. [Applause.] WESTERN CAPE DESERVES BETTER (Member's Statement) Mnr W P DOMAN (DA): Adjunkspeaker, sedert die NNP kiesers in die Wes-Kaap in die steek gelaat het deur die provinsie aan die ANC uit te lewer, het die slaagsyfer vir graad 10-leerders met 12% gedaal teenoor toe die DA se Helen Zille in beheer van onderwys was. Minister Asmal staan daarop dat leerders doelbewus nie in grade 10 en 11 teruggehou word nie. Die NNP/ANC-regering in die Wes-Kaap moet dus voluit verantwoordelikheid vir hierdie agteruitgang neem. Ook wat behuising betref, vaar die Wes-Kaap die tweede slegste van al die provinsies. Die provinsiale ANC-minister, LUK Hangana, gaan nie eens 40% van die begroting bestee nie. Dit sal die 19 February 2004 Page 16 of 200 eerste keer sedert 1994 wees dat die Wes-Kaap nie sy volle begroting bestee nie. Eerstens, moeilike nasionale regulasies en, tweedens, die munisipaliteite van die Wes-Kaap wat nie oor die vermoë beskik nie, laat 'n mens jou hande in die lug gooi. Maak die ANC dan nie die regulasies nie, en regeer die NNP/ANC dan nie nou die meeste munisipaliteite in die Wes-Kaap nie? Die Wes-Kaap verdien beter. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.) [Mr W P DOMAN (DA): Deputy Speaker, since the NNP have let down the voters in Western Cape by handing the province over to the ANC, the pass rate for Grade 10 learners has declined by 12% as opposed to when the DA's Helen Zille was in control of education. Minister Asmal insists that learners should not deliberately be held back in Grades 10 and 11. The NNP/ANC government in the Western Cape should 19 February 2004 Page 17 of 200 therefore take full responsibility for this degeneration. Also, as far as housing is concerned, the Western Cape is doing second worst of all the povinces. The provincial ANC Minister, MEC Hangana, is not even going to spend 40% of the budget. It will be the first time since 1994 that the Western Cape does not spend its entire budget. Firstly, difficult national regulations and, secondly, the municipalities of the Western Cape that do not have the capability, makes one want to throw one's hands up in the air. Is it not the ANC that makes the regulations, and is it not the NNP/ANC that is now governing most of the municipalities in the Western Cape? The Western Cape deserves better.] EMPLOYMENT IN NORTH WEST PROVINCE (Member's Statement) 19 February 2004 Page 18 of 200 Ms P K MOTHOAGAE (ANC): Madam Speaker, on 13 February 2004 the government of the North West province recommitted itself to the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme. The provincial government reiterated its commitment to the use of labour-intensive methods in the development of this infrastructure. The fact that the government of that province has put the issue of the fight against unemployment at the top of its agenda is a reflection of the broader commitment of the ANC to addressing the basic needs of our people. We share the view of the North West province that to improve on the gains we made during the first decade of freedom, we must now focus even more attention on the challenge of creating work and fighting poverty. We urge the provincial government and all the people of the North West to unite in a people's contract to seek speedy movement in implementing the programmes to which they have committed themselves. We furthermore urge the leadership of all the social partners, business, the workers of 19 February 2004 Page 19 of 200 our country and community organisations to move more speedily towards the realisation of the goals of the Growth and Development Summit. I thank you. [Applause.] CONSERVATIVE PARTY'S RETURN TO PARLIAMENT (Member's Statement) Mr J DURAND (New NP): Madam Deputy Speaker, allow me the opportunity to congratulate the Conservative Party on their excellent comeback to Parliament through the DA. The DA is becoming a haven to right-wing politicians. One only has to look at their list of candidates for confirmation of this fact. At this stage six previously prominent CP members are on the DA's list. [Interjections.] In Mpumalanga, Rosier de Ville, former CP MP, is fourth on the national list. In Gauteng, Manie van Wyk, former CP member, is in ninth place, better than a lot of DP liberals like Ryan Coetzee, Mike Waters and Vincent Gore. On the Gauteng provincial list the two former CP members are Philip de Wet 19 February 2004 Page 20 of 200 and Danie Erasmus, respectively in fifth and nineteenth place. In the Eastern Cape Gustav Rautenbach, a far-right CP member, is eighth on the national list, while Victor Strong, former CP/FF member, is currently a DA member of Parliament. So, Madam Speaker, the DA list speaks volumes with regard to their "fight black" strategy. Furthermore, most of the black people in electable positions on the DA list were put there by Tony in a show of affirmative action, but the former CP members were chosen to electable positions without any help from Tony. The New NP can only hope the notorious Boeremag is not the military wing of the DA. I thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.] The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The hon member is an experienced member of this House and he should know that if he refers to the hon Leader of the Opposition, he should refer to him in those terms. He is not "Tony" to that hon member. [Interjections.] 19 February 2004 Page 21 of 200 The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please remember that when we refer to one another, we do refer to one another as hon members. Mr J DURAND: Madam Speaker, I do apologise. It was an omission on my side. RESTITUTION OF LAND TO THE PEOPLE OF RIEMVASMAAK (Member's Statement) Mr L M GREEN (ACDP): Madam Deputy Speaker, since there is no debate in the House today regarding the approval by Parliament of the exclusion of land from the Augrabies Waterfall National Park, I propose that the House agrees to debate the issue which is close to the hearts of the people of the Northern Cape. The restitution of land to the Riemvasmaak people in the Northern Cape is a genuine victory, having gone through legitimate court processes which resulted in the finding that the claim is valid. 19 February 2004 Page 22 of 200 The ACDP congratulates the community and wishes them well. Nature conservation is of course of critical importance and part of the deal concluded was an assurance that this aspect would not be neglected or frustrated. Naturally there are some concerns but provided the community chooses to put this responsibility in responsible hands, these concerns will cease to be. The ACDP calls on the community to honour their agreements and maximise the value of the leisure and hospitality potential. We support fair and reasonable solutions to issues surrounding land restitution. Thank you. [Applause.] INCREASE IN PENSION, DISABILITY AND CHILD SUPPORT GRANTS INCREASED (Member's Statement) Mr K M MOEKETSE: Madam Deputy Speaker, the ANC welcomes the decision by Government to increase 19 February 2004 Page 23 of 200 pension, disability and child support grants. This demonstrates the continued commitment by the ANC- led Government to addressing meaningfully the plight of the vulnerable sectors in our society. We commend Government on its consistent pursuit of achievable and sustainable goals, as we work to achieve the objectives of freedom and improved standards of living and the quality of life for all. We believe that the latest increment in grants and pensions, taking effect in April, is one reason among many for us to celebrate the first decade of our freedom with pride. Thank you. [Applause.] The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The time for statements has expired. I now come to Ministerial responses. Does any Minister wish to respond to any of the statements? No. LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL PROPERTY RATES BILL (Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Local and Provincial Government) 19 February 2004 Page 24 of 200 There was no debate. The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move that the report be adopted. The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any objections? Mr M J ELLIS: What did he say? The DEPUTY SPEAKER: He moves for adoption of the report. [Interjections.] Motion agreed to. Report accordingly adopted. LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL PROPERTY RATES BILL (Second Reading debate) The MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Madam Deputy Speaker and hon members, the Bill which is before the House today was characterised by some as a controversial piece of legislation. 19 February 2004 Page 25 of 200 Those who argue against its introduction have advanced a detailed critique of the provisions which seek to bring into the rates base areas which were previously excluded. Their altruism impels them to denounce this uncaring Government for wanting to rate the already impoverished people in rural communities and the former black townships. The poverty which pervades these areas, which the opportunist demagogues are apparently concerned about, has sociopolitical origins which must be properly explained. The pre-1994 political dispensation adopted a policy which amounted to a strict enforcement of residential segregation and a placement of severe limits to the extent to which the resources of our country would be shared. Property rates, then, were essentially an urban mechanism for raising local revenue. Although the then so-called central government did have the capacity to collect taxes from people, it had no intention of reversing the economic exclusion of those of our people who lived in the townships, as well as in the Bantustans. What 19 February 2004 Page 26 of 200 transfers from the national fiscus went to the Bantustan regimes and the urban Bantu councils were meant to yield disproportionate economic benefit to those who were running the Bantustan machinery and the discredited urban Bantu councils. The majority of our people were left with no access to revenue that could be used to provide them with shelter and affordable amenities such as water and sanitation, electricity and refuse removal. Calls for the retention of the status quo serve as little more than loaded shorthand for maintaining the legacy of poverty and gross inequalities of the past. As hon members are aware, yesterday the Minister of Finance announced an allocation of R47,3 billion to the local government sphere - an increase of R3,9 billion over the next three years. This is local government's share of nationally raised revenue and it will be distributed to individual municipalities on an equitable base. The raising of this revenue by national Government is possible, thanks to our Constitution, which concentrates sufficient power at the centre to collect resources and distribute them for the 19 February 2004 Page 27 of 200 developmental good of our people throughout the length and breadth of our country. As the President said in the state of the nation address, in the short space of ten years, we have been able to provide 1,9 million housing subsidies for the poor; electrified more than 70% of our country's households; provided access to clean water to an additional 9 million people, and provided access to sanitation to 63% of the households in the country. In addition to this, we have created a social security net which benefits the most vulnerable sectors of South African society, namely people living with disabilities, the aged, and children whose parents do not have the means to support them. These measures attest to the functional efficacy of the key elements of the redistributive polity which we have been creating and strengthening since 1994. Our three spheres of Government are tied together by a fiscal system that guarantees the transfer of resources from surplus areas to deficit areas. Not only is the idea to tackle the problem of income 19 February 2004 Page 28 of 200 poverty, but also, we want to give our people in their local areas, assets without which their communities cannot become livable and sustainable entities. This explains why we have always insisted that our legislative initiatives must be seen within the context of our ongoing efforts at building a developmental state. The ensemble of poverty alleviation programmes, such as the Urban Renewal Programme, the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme, the Local Economic Development Fund and the Municipal Infrastructure Grant is meant to create conditions for sustainable development in the hitherto marginalised areas and, more importantly, to progressively create a platform for the balanced development of our national economy. It is when programmes like these come to fruition that we shall have created sources of municipal- owned revenue to supplement what local government currently receives by way of an equitable share from the nationally collected revenue. The process 19 February 2004 Page 29 of 200 of cultivating a revenue base for poorer municipalities will receive a major boost from the more than R100 billion which Government has set aside for the development of infrastructure. It is expected that the public investments we are making in the poverty-stricken areas will throw up new business opportunities for the private sector. As the private sector makes use of these opportunities, it will also be focusing its energies on areas of Government priority. Such infrastructure as we shall have created in these areas will be maintained through the contributions made by residents, individual or corporate. As I have said earlier, we have witnessed increased flows of allocations from the national fiscus to local government. Municipalities have their responsibility of taking advantage of these allocations to improve the infrastructural capacity and to accelerate local economic development. The Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill is a legislative instrument for use by them to mobilise community contribution to this process. For this instrument to be used effectively, 19 February 2004 Page 30 of 200 community members must get together with their public representatives and municipal managers to adopt implementation approaches which are appropriate to their local conditions. The drafters of this Bill were acutely sensitive to the fact that municipalities have different sizes of rates bases and are differential in their administrative capacity to raise revenue due to them. This calls for steadfast adherence to the norms mandated by the legislation, and innovation and flexibility with respect to implementation. For instance, whereas it may be prudent to exempt certain categories, either of properties or people from rating, in order to stimulate economic activity in a particular municipal area, such exemptions may not be necessary in another municipal area. It is only when we understand these intricacies that we shall desist from characterising this Bill as controversial. There is nothing controversial in the Government's call on people to join us in partnerships which are meant to bring about a better life for all. 19 February 2004 Page 31 of 200 Allow me to conclude by thanking the Chairperson, Mr Yunus Carrim and members of the Portfolio Committee for Provincial and Local Government; the Deputy Minister for Provincial and Local Government, Ms Ntombazana Botha; officials from the department, representatives from various organisations and my colleagues - both in the Cabinet and in the South African Local Government Association. If it was not for their sterling contribution of energy and insights, we would not have such a sound piece of legislation before the House today. I thank you. [Applause.] Mr Y I CARRIM: Madam Deputy Speaker, comrades and friends, since the December 2000 elections, a fundamentally new system of local government has begun to come into effect. Municipalities now have a much greater service delivery and developmental role. To fulfil this role, they have to have adequate revenue. The local government financial system is, therefore, being reviewed. There are many aspects to this review. The recent adoption of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management 19 February 2004 Page 32 of 200 Act is part of the process of shaping a new local government financial system. The Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill is another crucial aspect. In fact, local government currently raises over 90% of its own revenue. About 20% of this comes from property rates. Of course, having revenue is not all. It's how you manage and spend it that's crucial. The more productive and efficient municipalities are in managing their revenue, the more their case for increased revenue is strengthened. It is in terms of the need for both more revenue and its better management that the portfolio committee approached the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill. It is certainly the most challenging Bill, technically speaking, that the portfolio committee has had to deal with since 1994. To process the Bill effectively, the portfolio committee, as we explained in our report in yesterday's ATC, held extensive public hearings, workshops and briefing sessions, and established several subcommittees to 19 February 2004 Page 33 of 200 facilitate the ongoing participation of key stakeholders, especially from the public. The portfolio committee deliberated on the Bill for about 320 hours, and about half of this involved the active participation of a range of stakeholders, including the representatives of Salga, public entities, agriculture, religious, welfare and charitable organisations, independent schools, municipal valuers and others. The Bill is an outcome of protracted negotiations with a range of key stakeholders. From the response we've received so far, we believe there's significant consensus on the core aspects of the Bill. Certainly, the major differences that surfaced at the first public hearings have largely faded. At present, municipalities use very different rates systems, based on the pre-1994 provincial ordinances. With our new system of co-operative governance and, in particular, our intergovernmental fiscal relations system, the need for a certain level of 19 February 2004 Page 34 of 200 uniformity has become necessary. A national framework within which municipalities shape their own policies is the answer. This is what the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill provides. The Constitution gives municipalities the power to levy rates on property. However, it allows Parliament to regulate this power. So, we have provided for a national framework, without undermining the constitutional power of municipalities. We constantly engaged with Salga over this and are pleased to report that they fully endorse the approach in the Bill. In terms of the Constitution, municipalities may extend the levying of rates, as the Minister explained, to categories of owners and properties that have, until now, been partially or fully excluded from paying rates. Examples of this would include the properties of public entities, farmers and others in rural areas, religious, welfare and charitable organisations, independent schools and conservation bodies. 19 February 2004 Page 35 of 200 Stakeholders from these and other sectors made strenuous representations to the portfolio committee for the retention and even extension of these benefits. Some of them presented formidable arguments. The portfolio committee's response was to find a balance between the need for municipalities to have adequate revenue to fulfil their constitutionally mandated responsibilities and the need to avoid levying rates in a way that debilitates categories of property owners. The portfolio committee also sought to strike a balance between recognising the valuable developmental goals served by certain categories of owners, for example the public entities and welfare organisations, and the need to ensure that it is national and provincial government, not local government, that bear the major cost of the role served by these agencies. The committee sought, too, to find a balance between the need for a coherent national framework 19 February 2004 Page 36 of 200 for property rates that will foster national macroeconomic balances and the need for municipalities to shape their own rates policies through consultation with key stakeholders. So it is that, while municipalities have considerable latitude to decide on rates according to local circumstances, there are provisions in the Bill for the national Government to sensitively intervene, should a municipality's decisions on rates undermine national economic policies. The Constitution allows for this. Examples of this include the right of the Minister for Provincial and Local Government, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, to limit the percentage of rates increases. This could apply to all or to specific categories of properties. Moreover, any sector of the economy could, after consulting with municipalities and Salga, approach the Minister to cap rates increases if they can prove that their rates bills are entirely unreasonable. The onus is on them to make an irrefutable case. 19 February 2004 Page 37 of 200 Municipalities may also not rate nonresidential properties unduly highly compared to residential properties, nor can they ureasonably discriminate between categories of nonresidential properties. In consultation with the Minister of Finance, the Minister for Provincial and Local Government can prescribe ratios in this regard, if necessary. The Minister also can provide guidelines for municipalities to levy rates in a way that does not undermine national economic policies. He may also provide a national framework, consistent with the Bill, on rates exemptions, rebates and reductions. Of course, all these interventions have to be done after consultation with Salga. While the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill provides a coherent national framework, many of the concrete decisions on rates can only be made at municipal level. The committee feels it's important, therefore, that stakeholders are active in their municipalities and contribute to shaping their rates policies. Engaging with Parliament to shape the content of the Bill or rushing to the Minister 19 February 2004 Page 38 of 200 for relief cannot be a substitute for engaging with the municipalities. The committee gave considerable attention to what should be the basis for valuation. Among the options explored were a land-only valuation, land and improvement at variable rates, land and improvement at a uniform rate and annual rental value. The department was asked to undertake further empirical studies regarding these options, and they were discussed with a wide range of stakeholders and academic and other technical experts, both South African and others. The inputs by the department and the vast majority of those consulted supported the basis for valuation as being the market value of land and improvements at a uniform rate. The majority in the portfolio committee agreed with this. In any case, this is a trend internationally. Instead of providing for blanket exclusions from rates for categories of owners of properties, the portfolio committee strengthened provisions in the 19 February 2004 Page 39 of 200 Bill dealing with the phasing-in of rates; the requirement for municipalities to consider, in their rates policies, the effects of rates on categories of owners and properties; negotiations between categories of owners and properties and the municipalities and Salga, and consultation between the Minister and Salga on the effects of rates on categories of owners and property. The committee stresses that the Bill does not prescribe that property rates must be levied in traditional authority areas. Each municipality must decide for itself on this. However, it will be difficult to levy property rates in communal areas, unless property is registered in the name of an individual or community. Even where there is individual ownership, the property has to be first valued. The owner is not, in any case, liable for rates, unless the property exceeds R15 000 in value. Land reform beneficiaries, moreover, are excluded from rates for 10 years. Thereafter, municipalities have to 19 February 2004 Page 40 of 200 phase their rates in over three years. With the MEC's approval, this can be extended to six years. For most municipalities, the cost of valuation and administration of rates will exceed any revenue derived from these properties. The portfolio committee does not believe that the levying of property rates in traditional authority areas is significantly on the agenda for a long while to come. As the range of properties to be valued, in terms of this Bill, have been significantly increased, questions have been raised about the capacity of property valuers in this country. Moreover, with the advances in technology, there are constant changes in valuation techniques and methods. The portfolio committee believes that the department and Salga should inquire further into this, facilitate greater awareness amongst municipalities and take appropriate steps to facilitate the development of the requisite capacity of valuers. 19 February 2004 Page 41 of 200 The Bill specifically excludes properties, in part or whole, from being subjected to property rates. For example, the first R15 000 of all residential properties and 30% of the value of public service infrastructure are excluded from rates. Land reform beneficiaries, as explained, are also excluded from rates for a substantial period. That represents revenue foregone by municipalities. The committee believes that the national Government should, over time, consider this when deciding on the allocation of money to local government from the national fiscus. The Bill represents a significant shift from the current property rates regime. The DPLG and Salga are asked to embark on a massive public education programme on the content and the implications of the Bill. Many municipalities do not have the capacity to implement this Bill. The DPLG and Salga will have to pay considerable attention to this. Ultimately, decisions about levying rates reside with municipalities. This Bill will bring into effect a new property rates system. As with much 19 February 2004 Page 42 of 200 else of the new local government system, the new property rates system has to be phased in appropriately through consultation with a range of stakeholders. The committee has sought to strike a series of balances between the needs of municipalities and a range of key stakeholders. Municipalities are urged to exercise their power to levy rates both in the spirit and the letter of the law. The department and Salga have a crucial role to play in this regard, and we urge them to do so. Members of our porfolio committee and MPs generally can also play a role, and must do so. The portfolio committee expresses appreciation for the manner in which a range of stakeholders interacted with us in finalising the Bill. We express our gratitude to the Minister and Deputy Minister, and express our sincere appreciation to Ms Jackie Manche, Mr Mzilikazi Manyike, Dr Peter Vaz, Mr Gerrit Grové, Mr Joe Dube and Dr Petra Bouwer of the department, and Mr Ben Dorfling and Ms Shiva Makotoko of Salga for the considerable 19 February 2004 Page 43 of 200 work they did in processing the Bill through their interaction with the committee and many stakeholders. The committee also acknowledges the assistance of Mr Nico McLachlan and Ms Zora Ebrahim of ODA. I think they are somewhere in the gallery. Also, our thanks, as ever, to our outstanding committee secretary, Mr Llewellyn Brown and his assistant Ms Bulelwa Madikane, and a person who is never mentioned, actually, the ANC study group secretary, Ms Gadijah Salie. Finally, I should tell the Minister, I don't know what he or the Deputy Minister were doing on Valentine's Day, but his entire department, not least Ms Jackie Manche, was here processing the Bill. They have performed outstandingly, and we are deeply grateful to them. Thank you. [Applause.] Mr G A J GROBLER: Deputy Speaker, we spent many hours on this Bill, but if it wasn't for our chairperson being such a long-winded person we would have saved over 50 hours of what we spent on 19 February 2004 Page 44 of 200 the Bill. The report you read here was well read, Mr Chairperson. On a more serious note, the committee gave ample opportunity to these stakeholders, who have an interest in this difficult and highly technical Bill, to offer their inputs. At times emotions ran a bit high, but show me a person or organisation that will volunteer to pay rates and taxes - it's obvious. As with any Bill, it is difficult to satisfy everybody. The first draft of the Bill could not be described as an example of a well thought-through Bill. The Department of Provincial and Local Government, but with the guidance of the portfolio committee and the many valuable inputs from stakeholders, we as a team managed to arrive at a much more acceptable Bill than the one that originally landed on our desks. Salga is not the most efficient organisation I have ever come across, except for arranging the so- called workshops in every corner of South Africa 19 February 2004 Page 45 of 200 with the main purpose of squandering rates and taxpayers' money on outings, as we recently discovered in Cape Town. However, I must say that officials of the body contributed beyond expectation during the deliberations on this Bill, and I see some of them in the gallery. At times, I got the impression that the department was at a total loss, because changes to clauses were made on a continual basis, presumably under pressure from certain stakeholders, but I think more from politicians in the ruling party. This Bill has many positive elements regarding property rates; well-debated and well thought- through clauses that objectively consider every sector that is operating within the boundaries of municipalities. Literally hundreds of inputs and discussions took place between the committee and stakeholders, as well as with experts from overseas and local experts on property rates, ranging from agriculture, religion, welfare and public-sector infrastructure institutions, to name but a few. Nobody can produce a perfect Bill, and this Bill is no exception. However, this Bill is not cast in 19 February 2004 Page 46 of 200 stone, I believe, and I think that, as with other Bills, amendments can be looked at in the future. On a positive side, religious organisations received a very sympathetic from the portfolio committee. Not only is the actual place of worship of religious organisations excluded from paying property rates, but also the official residence of an appropriate office-bearer of that religious community. I can just mention here that for election purposes, the DA tried to include Ellis Park, FNB stadium and Newlands as places of worship, but we were unsuccessful in that regard. [Laughter.] Other organisations and institutions were looked at, and I think they will be dealt with by my colleagues later in this debate. Die DA het reeds gedurende die bespreking van die wetsontwerp aangedui dat ons nie ten gunste van sekere toegewings, soos vervat in die konsepwetgewing wat voor ons dien, is nie. Derhalwe kan die DA nie die wetsontwerp in sy huidige vorm ten volle steun nie. Die toegewings aan die openbare sektor-instellings, waar 'n korting van 19 February 2004 Page 47 of 200 30% toegestaan kan word, gee in onregverdige voordeel aan dié instellings teenoor andere, soos privaatinstellings. Telkom is 'n voorbeeld. Telkom betaal reeds nie enige vergoeding op die grond waarop hulle byvoorbeeld hul torings oprig nie, maar instellings soos MTN, Vodacom en al die ander moet ongelukkig die vergoeding betaal. Ons is derhalwe teen dié gedagte gekant. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.) [The DA has already indicated during the discussion of the Bill that we are not in favour of certain concessions as contained in the draft legislation before us. Therefore the DA cannot fully support the Bill in its current form. The concessions made to public sector institutions, where a rebate of 30% can be granted, unjustly benefit these institutions over others, such as private institutions. Telkom is a case in point. Already Telkom doesn't pay any compensation for the land on which they erect their towers, for example, but institutions such as MTN, Vodacom and all the others unfortunately must pay the compensation. We are therefore against this idea.] 19 February 2004 Page 48 of 200 The DA, as well as the agricultural sector, are particularly concerned with the problem which may arise in devising a proper definition of "bona fide farmer". We believe that reverting to farmers only, coupled with the application of, I think, clause 3(2)(a), would be more acceptable. However, this request from the DA and the agricultural sector was accepted at first, but at a later stage rejected by the majority party's committee members. Unfortunately, special treatment in terms of the Bill has consequently also excluded game farming as an agricultural activity. It's mind-boggling, but it happened. The DA disagrees with the prescription of rates based on either the improved value of the property or a flat rate for a property within a specified valuation band. The DA believes in allowing municipalities a local option with regard to determining the tax base to be used, including the improved capital value, the land and the annual rental value. The DA disagrees with the implementation of a flat rate, given that it does not encourage the development of a property market 19 February 2004 Page 49 of 200 in those categories. It is notoriously difficult to phase this out, but we agree with the proviso that when a flat rate is applied, it should only be applied at the lowest end of properties valuated. However, a major concern, hon Minister, apart from the problems that we have with some clauses in the Bill as the DA, is still the fact that many municipalities do not have the capacity, or sometimes the will, to implement a Bill; a problem with many other laws too. We've seen that. Stakeholders will have to make use of the necessary mechanism built into this Bill to safeguard their interests. Therefore, they must become actively involved in the activities of their respective municipalities. Provision is made for mechanisms such as petitions to the MEC and the Minister if they feel that the municipalities have not fully complied with the norms and standards provided in this Bill. Therefore, it is very necessary for them to participate in the ward committees, etc. Die gebrek aan belangstelling van die ander politieke partye in dié belangrike wetsontwerp was 19 February 2004 Page 50 of 200 opvallend. Nie een opposisieparty - ek sê weer - nie een, behalwe die DA, het die afgelope maande aan die proses deelgeneem nie. G'n wonder dat die NNP se leier, Van Schalkwyk, 'n growwe onwaarheid oor 'n radioprogram gaan staan en kwytraak het as gevolg van sy onkunde nie, want sy man, Durand, was nie daar nie. Volgens hom, dis nou Van Schalkwyk, het die NNP daarin geslaag om die ANC te oorreed om die wet - luister na die woord "wet" - op eiendomsbelasting "geammendeer" te kry - wat 'n verkragting van Afrikaans in die eerste plek - om die boere, nie boerderygemeenskap nie, teen onnodige eiendomsbelasting te vrywaar. Asseblief, mnr Van Schalkwyk, ek hoop u luister. Daar is nog nie 'n wet nie, en ons is nog besig met die konsepwetgewing, en ons debatteer dit eers vandag. So asseblief moenie ... Laat ek dit liewer nie sê nie. As daar wel 'n party is wat werklik omgee vir die boerderygemeenskap - luister, mnr Odendaal ... [Tussenwerpsels.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) 19 February 2004 Page 51 of 200 [The lack of interest by the other political parties in this important Bill was remarkable. Not a singe opposition party - I repeat - not one, except the DA, participated in the process during the past few months. It is no wonder that the leader of the NNP, Van Schalkwyk, uttered a blatant untruth on a radio programme because of his ignorance, because his man, Durand, had not been there. According to him, that is Van Schalkwyk, the NNP succeeded in convincing the ANC to have the law - listen to the word "law" - on property rates "amended" - what a violation of Afrikaans in the first place - to exempt the farmers, not the farming community, from unnecessary property taxes. Please, Mr Van Schalkwyk, I hope you are listening. There is no law yet, and we are still busy with the draft legislation, and we are only debating it today. So please don't ... Let me rather not say it. If there is a party that is really concerned about the farming community - listen Mr Odendaal ... [Interjections.]] 19 February 2004 Page 52 of 200 The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Mnr G A J GROBLER: ... en die ander organisasies, dan is dit die DA. Ons was dáár waar dit saak maak. G'n ander party het gekom nie. En as ek so na julle klein groepie kyk aan my linkerkant ... [Tussenwerpsels.] [... and the other organisations, it is the DA. We were there where it mattered. No other party came. And if I look at your small group on my left ... [Interjections.]] The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Mnr G A J GROBLER: ... dan kan ek net sien julle is besig om te verdwyn. Julle gaan verdwyn. En julle is nie eers besig om te sterf nie. Julle is klaar dood. [Tussenwerpsels.] [... then I can see you are disappearing. You are going to disappear. And you are not even dying. You are already dead. [Interjections.]] The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon member your time has expired. 19 February 2004 Page 53 of 200 Mnr G A J GROBLER: Suid-Afrika verdien beter! Baie dankie. [Tyd verstreke.] [South Africa deserves better! Thank you very much. [Time expired.] Mr J M NGUBENI: Madam Deputy Speaker and hon members, municipalities derive their powers to levy property rates directly from section 229 of the Constitution. However, these powers are subject to regulation in terms of national legislation. The Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill before us today is a perfect instrument that progressively gives effect to these constitutional provisions. The transformed developmental system of local government is geared towards a more efficient and responsive system of governance that is transparent, accountable and delivery-orientated. In addressing the huge challenges faced by municipalities, property rates represent a significant and a major source of revenue that supports sustainable municipalities to fulfil their priorities and constitutional obligations. It is unavoidable that the current system of property 19 February 2004 Page 54 of 200 rating is characterised by the four different ordinances of the old order. Provinces must be reformed in order to allow municipalities to broaden their tax base and have a stable predictable revenue source within the discretionary control of municipal councils. This Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill will bring about stability, sustainability, certainty, a uniform rating system and promotes local economic development. This will enable us to push further the frontiers of poverty and adequately intervene to address the imbalances of the apartheid system. Historically, property rates were levied differently in the various provinces. Even today, provinces have their own systems of valuation and rating. Currently, municipalities use different valuation and rating methods, that is land only or land and land improvements at the same or different rates. 19 February 2004 Page 55 of 200 The Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill mandates a simpler uniform rating system in the whole country and a general basic valuation that is market-related, that is the amount the property will have realised if sold on the date of valuation in the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer. This system of rating is progressive as it will guarantee every category of owners of properties to receive the same fair treatment with regard to their properties. This Bill will not necessarily effect any dramatic increase or decrease, as that is influenced by the normal regular property revaluation and actual rating municipalities set. In fact, there are checks and balances that protect all categories of properties. For example, the rate policy of the council, at its formulation, demands community participation and consultation with all stakeholders; the rate policy also takes into account the impact of rates on property owners; there is limitation on levying of rates; constitutionally impermissible rates; limits on annual increases of rates; compulsory phasing in of 19 February 2004 Page 56 of 200 certain rates and representation to the Minister if any sector is adversely affected. Apart from the checks and balances mentioned, municipalities will still exercise their constitutional right to grant exemption or rebates and reductions. Whilst the right to levy property rates is derived from the Constitution, the Constitution restrains municipalities from exercising their fiscal powers in a way that will materially and reasonably prejudice the national economy, economic activities across municipal boundaries, the national mobility of goods, services, capital or labour. Taking into account this provision of the Constitution to demonstrate the progressiveness of this Bill, let us pay special attention to these two important categories, that is the Public Service infrastructure and the category of agricultural property. Public Service infrastructure, according to the present rating system, was either not rated in some municipalities and inconsistently rated in others. In this 19 February 2004 Page 57 of 200 proposed uniform rating system, Public Service infrastructure will be subjected to property rating. It is morally incorrect to rate public schools and hospitals, for instance, and exclude entities such as power stations or railways. Public Service infrastructure, such as public roads, water, dams, power stations, liquid fuel, national railway systems, communication infrastructure and runways at airports are meant to service the public. As you may have noticed, these are very important and critical elements of our economy. This Public Service infrastructure is linked to entities such as Eskom, Telkom, Umgeni Water, Rand Water and the others, including municipal and Government entities. The portfolio committee has for the past eight months engaged all these stakeholders, including organised agriculture. Workshops, public hearings, private and direct meetings were held. In fact, representations continued until this past Sunday. 19 February 2004 Page 58 of 200 These extraordinary maximised engagements resulted in a Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill that has balanced concessions. These concessions demonstrate the commitment of the ANC to stabilising and growing this economy. And truly so, as the ANC leads, it is obliged to enter into a contract with the people to fight poverty and create jobs. Taking into account the representation made by the stakeholders, the committee agreed to the following: That 30% of the market value of the publicly controlled Public Service infrastructure will be excluded from rating. The definition of Public Service infrastructure was widened to include ``additional aspects of water, energy, communications and court infrastructure''. The Bill allows the Minister to prescribe valuation methods if the the market value of Public Service infrastructure cannot be determined. We do not have to forget the role of these stakeholders in ensuring the provision of free basic services such as water, electricity and 19 February 2004 Page 59 of 200 sanitation. The ANC is committed to the provision of free basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation. That is the reason we are consciously excluding the 30% market value of the Public Service infrastructure, which will enable these entities to continue to provide these basic services. At the same time, we need to ensure that the tariffs from these entities are not unduly passed to consumers because there are checks and balances and concessions that ensure that undue burden is not placed on them. It is interesting and ironic to note that the DA is opposed to this exclusion. The President is correct - the DA wants the democratic state to stop providing such basic goods and services to the people. The DA is opposed to this exclusion because the recipients are largely the poor, black and marginalised. [Interjections.] Yes, the President is correct. What these clowns want is the faithful return to the old system of unregulated capitalism. They hide their agenda of reversal of change with phrases such as ``flexible market, free market, and minimal state interference''. 19 February 2004 Page 60 of 200 Just imagine, the so-called champions of unfettered free markets are opposed to the general basis of valuation when it comes to their properties, which is simply a market value. They hide their true colours, yet they are simple right-wing conservatives. Organised agriculture and forestry was concerned that municipalities might impose an undue rates burden on them, as this would affect their viability. In addressing this concern raised by this sector, as well as the need to broaden the rates base of municipalities, the committee made the following concessions: That municipalities need to take into account the effects of the rate on the contribution by agriculture; that the Bill prescribes that annual crops and grown timber that have not yet been harvested at the time of valuation must be disregarded; that any sector of the economy can request the Minister to evaluate evidence that the rate levied on it by municipalities is materially and unreasonably prejudicing the matters mentioned earlier. 19 February 2004 Page 61 of 200 These are the results of constructive engagement with organised agriculture, represented by Agri-SA, National African Farmers Union, SA Allied Workers' Union, Grain-SA and others. The importance of this sector in food production cannot be overemphasised. However, the agricultural sector should not pretend to be a generic of do-gooders. They must impress upon their constituency that farmworkers' rights and wellbeing are not negotiable. Proper housing and health facilities are taken into account when formulating rates policies. This Bill is of mutual benefit to all stakeholders and municipalities and will ensure a better life for all. In conclusion, Madam Deputy Speaker, interestingly, the DA is explicitly opposed to a minimum wage for farmworkers. However, they were unashamedly pestering the committee to give concessions to game farmers. To them game is more important than a minimum wage for farmworkers. I thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.] Inkosi M W HLENGWA: Hon Madam Deputy Speaker and hon members of the National Assembly, when our 19 February 2004 Page 62 of 200 democratic system of government was ushered in in 1994, there were certain things that the people of South Africa did not anticipate would change negatively in their lives, but there were also quite a number of expectations. The people were excited about this freedom they had achieved. Some people even believed it when they were told that the time for manna had arrived; some people even thought that freedom would come with free service delivery. Political parties promised a number of things. People were told that their areas would be developed by Government free of charge, especially those in rural areas, the most underdeveloped. They were made to believe that the ushering in of wall- to-wall municipalities would put them on par with urban areas in terms of development and service delivery, and that their Government would be footing the bill for them. Now that we are debating this piece of legislation, the cat is out of the bag. If the 19 February 2004 Page 63 of 200 people in the rural areas want their areas developed, they themselves will have to foot the bill by paying rates. This is clearly stated in the memorandum to this Bill, and I quote: Property rates represent a major source of revenue for local government, and is as such the main source of discretionary tax revenue for municipalities. Property rates are especially important in urban areas, and historically rates were levied only in towns and cities. Rating was, historically, done differently in the various provinces. Each of the former four provinces had their own legislation and their own system of valuation and rating. As noted in the White Paper on Local Government, a simpler and more uniform system is needed as part of local government reform. Traditional communities in the past were able to put their hands together and start a project. That is how schools, clinics and crèches were built. After completing a particular project, they would stop paying until another need for a facility 19 February 2004 Page 64 of 200 arose. However, now they are going to be paying forever should the municipality convince them to pay rates. This Bill deals with both urban and traditional areas, and this is deliberate. We said communal land could not be valued, let alone at market value, which is the basis of the rating system, because by definition it could never have a market value since it could never be sold. The Bill provides that municipalities need not rate properties on which it is impossible to establish the market value. We also said that rating communal land would be highly problematic in that it often houses the very poorest of the poor. The idea that they should pay rates purely because they have been granted PTOs on communal land is absurd, and the Bill, likewise, addresses this in part by way of an automatic R15 000 rates exemption on the value of property. We support the provision that this sum be adjusted upwards as required. 19 February 2004 Page 65 of 200 We objected to the notion that a municipality could be compelled to rate communal land. The Bill provides that in terms of the rates policy arrived at by way of a transparent process, a municipality can exempt categories of property or of owners from the rates net. In respect of exemptions, we were not happy with the published draft which made precious little provision for people whose circumstances were such that they were problematic, even though they were owners of property perhaps worth a fair sum, such as pensioners or people temporarily unemployed. Indeed, there were occasions on which the department came across as callous and hardhearted. We are pleased that the Bill, as adopted, expresses a more humane vision and trust that municipalities will take heed of the discretion they have in which to craft a fair rates policy rather than one which seeks to grab every cent possible. There are matters which, in our view, did not prevail in respect of valuation systems. For example, we took issue with the notion that the 19 February 2004 Page 66 of 200 only way to rate property was by way of the market value of land and improvements. Copious evidence was presented to us, none of which was sufficiently forceful to discount the notion that a variety of systems are equally valid. We would have preferred local or provincial choice in this matter, but the notion of national uniformity at all costs prevailed, unnecessarily, we believe. In the final analysis, there are pros and cons to most Bills, and compromises are the order of the day. Having weighed up our earlier objections to the earlier version of the Bill and comparing it to the present version, we believe there has been sufficient progress for us now to support it. I thank you. Mong S A MSHUDULU: E re ke dumedise monghadi Modulasetulo le Ntlo ena. Kajeno ke tla kgetha ho bua le setjhaba haholo le ho feta ka moo ke tlang ho bua le Ntlo ena. Property rates ke yona tsela eo ka yona bo-mmasepala ba fumanang tjhelete ka yona. Bo-mmasepala ba fumana matla a ho beha di-rates ho ya ka molao wa motheo wa rona. Molao wa motheo o 19 February 2004 Page 67 of 200 thibela bo-mmasepala hore ba se ke ba lefisa ka tsela e nyatsang maano a naha ka moruo. Ka tsela e sitisang, tsela ya ho fetisetsa ditshehebediso ho batho bohle, le ka tsela e sitisang puso le tsamaiso ka kakaretso. Di-rates di patalwe ka tsela e tshwanang ho ya ka mekgahlelo le ditulo tseo dibaka tsa rona di welang ho tsona. Molao ona o thibela bo-mmasepala hore ba seke ba phahamisa d-rates ho feta tekano, kapa ba di theole ho feta tekano. Molao ona o kenyeletsa ditulo le batho ba neng ba sa patale hobane ba na le bokgoni ba sa futsaneha. Jwalo ka bana ba ntseng ba tletleba. Molao ona o qobella bo-mmasepala hore ka naha yohle ba be le ditsela tse tshwanang tsa ho sebetsa jwalo ka valuaishini le tekatekano, aphili le pelaelo, rating pholisi le rate setting. Chapter 2, mona molao o bua ka matla a bommasepala a ho beha di- rates, haholo ho ya ka demokrasi eo ANC e e behileng. Jwalo ka ha re tseba hore ho ke ke ha eba le di- rate pholisi e le hore setjhaba ha se ka ba sa 19 February 2004 Page 68 of 200 phehisa moo. Di-rates di patalwa ho ya ka market value. Ena e boetse ke puo ya sekgowa. Feela e bolela hore ha o ka rekisa tulo eno ya hao e tla bitsa bokae. Ke yona tjhelete e hlahisang hore na re tla lefa bokae. Rate pholisi e lokela ho amohelwa ke lekgotla ka morao ho hore setjhaba se fuwe sebaka sa ho phehisa. Fixed-rates di tla behwa dibakeng tseo boleng ba tsona bo leng tlase ho feta R15 000. Property-rates Bill ha e ya etsetswa hore bo-mmasepala ba tlatlape dibaka tse ding kapa batho ba itseng. Empa e etseditswe hape le hore dintho di be pepeneneng, le ho lekola matla a bo-mmasepala, bokgoni ba bona tshebedisong ya ditjhelete. Ha bo-mmasepala ba eba le matla a batho ba sa pataleng feela ba ntse ba kgona, le ba sa kgoneng hobane ba sa sebetse, ho tla sebediswa ditsela tse itseng tsa exemption tsa rebates le di- reductions. Diexemptions, di-rebates le di-reductions di lokela ho etswa ka tsela e bulehileng, le e fihlellehang, hape e hlahellang bajeteng ya lekgotla. Resolution 19 February 2004 Page 69 of 200 ya lekgotla e lokela ho behwa mahlong a bohle dikantorong tsa bo-mmasepala. Chapter 2 e boela e fana ka ditsela tsa ho kenyeletswa ka ha nyane ha dibaka tse neng di ntse di sa kenyeletswa. Hape molao o kenyeletsa bokgoni ba di-special voting areas, dibakeng tse kgethehileng, tse nang le bokgoni hore disebediswa di be ntle. Feela ho ke ke ha etsahala ntle le hore setjhaba se kgone ho nka karolo ho ya ka ward committees kapa ka subcommittees tsa teng. Chapter 3 e bontsha bohlokwa ba boikarabelo ba monga tulo ho patala di-rates, a leng teng kapa a le siyo. Ba kopanetseng tulo, ho a hlokeha hore le bona ba nke boikarabelo. Tsela e nngwe ya ho dula e bitswa sectional title scheme,eo eleng hore ditulo di arohantswe. Ho hlokahala hore emong le emong a patalle uniti ya hae. Chapter 4 e bontsha hore valuation roll e kenyeletsa ditulo tsohle sebakeng seno ho mmasepala. E kenyeletsa le ditulo tse lokelang ho patala le tseo tse sa lokeleng ho patala. Feela ho bohlokwa 19 February 2004 Page 70 of 200 hobane kajeno ha re na yona valuation ka ha ha re ka ba ra tloha re ena le ditokelo tsao ho ba le ditulo, ho tloha ha lefatshe la rona le nkuwa. Ke ka hoo ANC e etsang hore seriti sa rona se kgutle. Feela re kopa hore setjhaba ha di valuers di etela ditulo tsa rona, pakeng tsa 7 hoseng ho ya ho 7 mantsiboya, ho be le tshebedisano mmoho. Hobane etlare ha ba etla ba kopa ditokomane tse bontshang hore tulo ke ya mang, re kgone ho ba thusa. Ho bohlokwa ho tseba hore evaluation roll e kena tshebetsong ho tloha ha financial year e qala ka 1 July. E be molaong dilemong tse nne. Ke hore e nka dilemo tse nne e ntse e sebetsa.Ho bohlokwa ho tseba hore mahareng a dilemo tsena tse nne, ho na le ho bitswang supplementary valuatuation roll e leng yona e ntseng e updata ha re ntse re reka tulo tse ntjha kapa re di ntjhafatsa. Chapter 5 e bua ka hore property rates e valuer ho ya theko jwalo ka ha ke hlalositse. Ntate ya ileng a bua mona hore ditulong tsa mahae property rates Bill ha se setshosa ka ha ha ho hlokahale hore di value. Feela ha ho ka hlokahala hore di value, 15 19 February 2004 Page 71 of 200 000 yane e tla sebetsa. Re boela hape re ya ho chapter 6, e bontshang ka mmo tulo tse lokelang ho patala di lokelang ho kolokiswa ho roll, le dintlha tse amanang le ditulo kapa le dintlha tse amanang le monga tulo. Ha valuation roll e fedile, ho lokela hore e hlahiswe ho media, dipampiring kapa radio le pontsheng ya mang kapa mang hore re tsebe hore e fedile. Ha tletlebo e kentswe, hobane hona ho etsetswa hore motho ya nang le tletlebo a hlahelle, a kgone hore a aphile. E bua hape ka divaluation appeals board. Ke bua ka Sesotho hobane ho na le batho ba ileng ba qhekanyetswa ba sa tsebe hobane ho ne ho sena transparency. Ba tshaba ho hlahella. Hona jwale ANC e re bao bohle bao eleng hore ba na le ditulo, ba etse hore ha ho hlokeha hore di value, di value hore e tle e re ha ba sa kgotsofale, ba hlahelle. Ke boela hape ke toboketsa ditabeng tseo e leng hore Ministara le modulasetulo o ile a bua ka tsona, hore ditulo tseo tse sa balellwang e ka ba di fe na? Di kenyeletsa dikereke, ditulo tsa ho rapela, di kenyeletsa di di 19 February 2004 Page 72 of 200 organizatione tseo eleng hore di sebetsana le setjhaba, di kenyeletsa hape le dikolo. E boele hape e kenyeletse le batho ba thotseng matlo a RDP ba unneng molemo ho ya ka Land Reform. Ke bona batho bao eleng hore ha jwale mmuso ona wa bona wa ANC, o etsa hore ba kgone ho itseka le ho ba le seriti. Feela tsohle ha dintho di se pepeneneng, ha ho ka moo ba ka tsebang ka teng. Pele ke qeta modulasetulo hape ho bohlokwa hore ke tle tabeng ya hore ho dikereke, komiti e dumetse hore tulo ya ho rapela e ke ke ya patadiswa, le tulo ya ho dula ha baruti kapa baholo ba kereke. Ha eba ke ena le nako ke tla bona.Ke ile ka qollang moo ANC ho strategies and tactics, ereng ka sekgowa hobane ba nahana hore ANC ha ena boKreste. Ka 1977 e re: (Translation of Sotho paragraphs follows.) [Mr S A MSHUDULU: I would like to greet the hon Speaker and this House. Today I would like to speak to the nation more than I will speak to this House. 19 February 2004 Page 73 of 200 Municipalities make money through property rates. Municipalities have the power of determining the rates according to our Constitution. The Constitution prevents municipalities from charging rates that are against the policies of the country's economy. In order to deliver the services to all the people, and not disturb the general management, the rates should be paid in the same way according to the categories and areas where our people live. This Bill prevents municipalities from setting rates too high or too low. This Bill includes those areas and people who were able to pay, but did not pay, that is, those who are not poor, like those who are complaining. This Bill compels municipalities to use the same methods when dealing with evaluations, appeals and complaints, policy ratings and rate settings throughout the country. In the second chapter, the Bill deals with the powers that municipalities have in setting rates, especially according to the democracy set in place by the ANC. 19 February 2004 Page 74 of 200 We all know that we cannot have rate policies without the input of the public. Rates are paid according to the market value. This, according to the English language, means the amount that one gets when one sells one's property. It is the amount that shows how much it costs. The rates policy should be approved by the council after the public has been given a chance to make inputs. The fixed rates would apply in areas where their value is less that R15 000. The property rates Bill is not being introduced to let the municipalities abuse other areas or certain people. It is also being introduced in order that things should be transparent, as well as to assess the ability and capacity of the municipality in dealing with financial issues. If the municipalities experience problems with people who do not pay even if they can, and those who cannot pay because of unemployment, certain methods of exemption will be used for rebates and reductions. Exemptions, rebates, and reductions 19 February 2004 Page 75 of 200 should be dealt with in a transparent and accessible manner, which also appears on the budget of the council. The council's resolution should be displayed at the municipal offices where everybody can see. Chapter two also shows methods or ways of including, step-by-step, those areas which were not included. This Bill also includes the ability of the special voting areas, in certain areas that have the capacity, so that they can have the necessary supplies. This cannot happen unless the communities are able to take part through the ward committees or their subcommittees. Chapter 3 shows the importance of the responsibility of the owner in paying the rates, whether he or she is there or not. Those who share the property should also take the responsibility. In other areas which are divided, it will be called a sectional title scheme. It will be necessary that everyone pays for his or her unit. 19 February 2004 Page 76 of 200 Chapter four shows the valuation roll that includes all the areas in that municipality. It includes those areas that are supposed to pay as well as those that are not supposed to pay. It is therefore important that today we do not have the valuation because we never had the right to own property, since those days when our land was taken from us. That is why the ANC ensures that we get our dignity back. We therefore plead with the public that when the people who value properties come to our places, between 7am and 7pm, they should co-operate with them. When they come and ask for documents of proof of ownership, we should be able to help them. It is important to know that the valuation roll will be implemented from the beginning of the financial year on the first of July. It will be implemented for four years. This means that it will be in place for four years. It is important to know that throughout these four years, there will be a supplementary valuation roll which will be updating information every time a new property is sold or renovated. 19 February 2004 Page 77 of 200 Chapter five describes how property rates are valued, as I have just explained. The gentleman who just spoke here said that the property rates Bill was not necessary in the rural areas, because it is not necessary for properties to be evaluated. However, if it will be necessary for them to be evaluated, the 15 000 will be useful. If we look at Chapter six again, we see how the areas that are supposed to pay, should be listed on the roll, as well as the area or owner's information. When the valuation roll is completed, it should be publicised in the media, in newspapers or on the radio, and everywhere where everybody can see that it's completed. If a complaint is lodged - because this would be done so that people can lodge their complaints - the complainant can also appeal. It also deals with the Valuation Appeals Board. I am speaking in Sesotho, because there are people who were affected because there was no transparency. They are scared to come out. Now the ANC is appealing to all those who have properties to come forward so that their properties can be 19 February 2004 Page 78 of 200 evaluated. I would also like to elaborate more on what the Minister has talked about. Which are the properties that are not included? They include churches, places of worship, community organisations, as well as schools. This also includes those people who got RDP houses according to the land reform. Those are the people who, because of the ANC Government, have the dignity to fight for their rights. However, if things are not transparent, they will not be able to fight for their rights. Before I conclude, Madam Speaker, it is important to mention that the committee has agreed that places of worship, like churches, as well as residential places for church ministers, should not be expected to pay. If there is still time, I would like to quote from the ANC strategies and tactics, because they think that the ANC does not have Christianity. In 1977 it said:] The ANC is actually aware that the overwhelming majority of South Africans and, indeed, its own members who adhere to religious beliefs are people 19 February 2004 Page 79 of 200 of faith who do not practise any faith from this point of view. Indeed, within the context of profound moral ethics, empathy towards those in need and the human fellowship that most religions preach, the ANC recognises the critical role the religious community can play as a partner in reconstruction and development, nation-building and reconciliation. We shall continue to promote joint efforts within the sectoral contribution by the religious community in pursuit of a nonracial, nonsexist and democratic society. Ke boele hape ke kgutlele hae, ho bohlokwa hore re tsebe hore ho ya ho chapter 8, ho na le moo ho bontshang teng ka tlasa miscellanious, hore ho na le tsela e bommasepala, ha ntse re emetse ho kenngwa tshebetsong ha molao ona, oo ba tlang ho sebetsa ka ona le hona ka tsela e utlwahalang, ke hore bommasepala bophelo bo tswela pele. Ba tla sebedisa information eo ba nang le yona ya voter's rolo eo ba nang le yona. Feela, ditulo tse 19 February 2004 Page 80 of 200 ntseng di sa kenyeletswa kapa tseo ho hlokahalang hore di kenyeletswe, pele ho tshebediso ya molao ona, ho ya ka melao ya kgale, di tla nne di kenyeletswe. Qetellong melao ya apartheiti kaofela ha re qeta kajeno, re qeta ho kenya molao ona, e tla tingwa. Di ordinance tsa aparheiti di ka se hlole di sebetsa. Amandla. [Mahofi.] (Translation of Sotho paragraphs follows.) [Let me come back home again. It is important to know that in Chapter 8, under miscellaneous, it explains that while we are awaiting the passing of this Bill, life will still go on for municipalities. They will use the information that is on the voters' roll that they have. However, areas that were not included, that still need to be included before the passing of this Bill, will be included. Ultimately, all the apartheid laws will be removed. All the apartheid ordinances will no longer function. Amandla! [Power!] [[Applause.]] 19 February 2004 Page 81 of 200 Mr J DURAND: Madam Deputy Speaker, the Department of Provincial and Local Government and the parliamentary committee should be commended on the way in which they engaged with all stakeholders during the processing of this Bill. The committee has succeeded in finding a balance between the need for municipalities to have enough revenue to fulfil their responsibilities and the need to avoid levying rates in a way that harms categories of property owners. This Bill aims to introduce a uniform municipal rating system and to broaden the rate base. The international trend for market value of land reform and improvements at a uniform rate was followed. The New NP is extremely pleased that the Local Government: Municipal property rates Bill has now been finalised, especially with some municipalities which impose levies on agricultural land without the guidelines set out in this Bill. There have been many grievances and some farmers have taken municipalities to court. The new system will be phased in through consultation with stakeholders. 19 February 2004 Page 82 of 200 Where traditional areas are concerned, the Bill does not prescribe the levying of rates, but does insist that while municipalities must decide for themselves, they cannot rate property that is communally owned or that has not been valued. Land had to be worth more than R15 000 before it could be rated. The New NP, however, would like to see a move towards more land in South Africa being privately owned. Land ownership is the key to economic wealth. With regard to organised agriculture, municipalities will have to consider the contribution made by agriculture before levying a rate on farms. Crops on the land would also not be included in the valuation of agricultural land. The New NP is especially pleased that the beneficiaries of land reform programmes will be exempt from paying rates for a period of 10 years following the return of their land. Local government has come a long way since 1994 when it was still racially defined. The people of 19 February 2004 Page 83 of 200 South Africa can be proud of the transition local government has made in the past 10 years. They have moved from only providing a service to the privileged few to providing basic services to all people, including the poor. Local government has successfully established new infrastructure in rural areas and maintained infrastructure in developed areas. The challenge now is to maintain a healthy balance. Electricity has been installed in rural areas where people never have dreamt of the day when they would be able to turn on a switch and be provided with light. Women no longer have to walk miles to get water for their families. Local government has increased the quality of life of many. Now all our children are able to study at night. The streetlights in areas also serve as a deterrent to crime as criminals are unable to prey on innocent victims in dark alleys. The Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill will ensure that property rates will be charged 19 February 2004 Page 84 of 200 according to the provided guidelines, and home owners and farmers will no longer lose their properties. Local government must now address the culture of nonpayment. Clear and understandable accounts must be sent to people to ensure that there is no miscommunication. Local government must now become the vehicle in terms of which transformation is driven. The New NP would like to thank the DA and Gerald Morkel for setting an example of how not to do things. How the DA reigned in the Western Cape in 2002 is a good example of how local government should not be managed. The DA has proven repeatedly that they are incapable of governing. With Gerald on the throne, they awarded hefty bonuses to top management, even though the city was scrambling to cut budgets after miscalculating revenue. The electric fence the DA wanted to erect in Kraaifontein to separate poor black communities from rich communities - the fact was that they 19 February 2004 Page 85 of 200 wanted to introduce a wall - shows exactly what the DA thinks of poor black people. [Interjections.] Fortunately, there is no chance of the DA ever coming into government. The DA-IFP coalition in KwaZulu-Natal is a clear indication that the DA misses the days of apartheid when a fortunate few benefited and the rest lived in poverty. Let us have a glimpse of what one can expect under the DA-IFP coalition government. It is important that we look at this because South Africa deserves better. The KwaZulu-Natal government this year is heading for overspending of more than R2 billion, about twice the debt that forced the national Government in 1999 to step in to take control of the KZN administration. [Interjections.] Twice in five years - not the sort of changes that South Africa deserves. Can it be coincidental that the finances now, again, are spiralling out of control since the DA joined the IFP, with its MEC for economic affairs, Burrows? It is, after all, the DA administration in Cape Town that managed, during their very short 19 February 2004 Page 86 of 200 term, to move the city's finance from a healthy credit balance to billions in the red. This is not the sort of change that South Africa deserves. [Interjections.] The MEC for social welfare in KwaZulu-Natal, Prince Gideon Zulu, in 2000 managed to squander over half a million rand on hotel bills, choosing to live in luxury in the Royal Hotel, the Beverly Hills and the Hilton, while so many in this province suffer. He spent 107 days of one year in five-star luxury hotels. How can that be? South Africa does not deserve that. Not to be outdone, his colleague, the Rev Mthethwa, MEC for public works, spent more than R300 000 in six months on accommodation at the five-star Royal Hotel. This is not the sort of change that South Africa deserves. [Interjections.] Then, we have the Speaker in KwaZulu-Natal who allegedly purchased 50 new tyres for his official vehicle in a space of 20 000 km. That is not what South Africa deserves. 19 February 2004 Page 87 of 200 Then the DA has the cheek to complain about the presidential jet, but there is no problem with Premier Matsotsi, I mean, Mtshali. [Interjections.] [Laughter.] He is the only premier with a private jet, a lear jet, which ferries him from his house in Durban to his offices in Ulundi and Pietermaritzburg at R12 000 a trip, a cost in excess of R1,5 million per year. He also spent more than R2,5 million to improve security at his private house. Who is he scared of? This change is the worst. This is not a change that South Africa deserves. And listen to this spendthrift extravagance. In a province with so much poverty, where Aids is out of control, where infrastructure is crumbling, the IFP-DA coalition is planning to build yet another office complex for the premier, with a special conference hall, at R80 billion, and a new plenary chamber for the House of Traditional Leaders. [Interjections.] The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! There is a point of order. 19 February 2004 Page 88 of 200 Mr J P I BLANCHÉ: Madam Speaker, will you remind the speaker that he is talking on the rates Bill. [Interjections.] Mr J DURAND: Madam Deputy Speaker, this is about revenue and the redistribution of revenue to supply services. This is what it is all about. [Applause.] ... and a new plenary chamber for the House of Traditional Leaders for another R50 million. This, whilst the former Ulundi parliamentary chamber is unused. Come on, come on! This is not the sort of change that South Africa deserves or wants. Yes, South Africa deserves better, better than the DA, better than the hon Tony Leon, the evangelist of doom and despair. [Interjections.] The New NP supports the Bill. I thank you. [Applause.] The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Madam Deputy Speaker, fortunately I will now give a boring speech. I have a very simple function which I will gladly fulfil, and that is to 19 February 2004 Page 89 of 200 express our thanks and support for this Bill on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Affairs. We are especially grateful that the portfolio committee had extensive consultation with agriculture and land-related bodies. We are very grateful for that, because, I think, they sorted out the problems and everyone is satisfied now. I am especially referring to clause 3(4) of the Bill, which gives the different categories municipalities must take into account with respect to agricultural properties or producing properties. It is very interesting, actually, the way this has been worded. The first part of it refers to the fact that the municipality must take into account the extent of services provided by the municipality in respect of such properties. Obviously, if you read it in context it is not the same as what in taxation theory is called "taxation according to benefit", because that is relegated to history. 19 February 2004 Page 90 of 200 Taxation according to benefit means that a person must pay so much tax, or can be called upon to pay tax, as you would in private enterprises in that you pay according to what you receive. That, of course, can't work in modern times. It is actually a thing which came before the French Revolution in the 18th century when the tax-exempt nobility and the tax-exempt clergy did not pay any tax, but all the state's resources were spent on them. Of course, that is a clear injustice. I think there is a certain phase in which this type of parity between services rendered and taxation or rating is justified. However, it is only at a certain time in history that it can be done, because the moment you want to bring in differential taxation of individuals, then you can't work according to the principle of taxation according to benefit. This is, obviously, because the state is giving or expending its resources on developmental purposes. It is made for the general benefit and the principle leads nowhere at all. 19 February 2004 Page 91 of 200 However, I think the way in which it was built into this Bill is to the satisfaction of all. I think the main effect of this will be that the farming community will start taking an interest in municipal affairs, which is an extremely healthy occurrence. They must do that. Previously, they were used to distance from the dorpies, villages and cities, and it is only when they really become involved in municipal affairs that the developmental functions of municipalities in these rural arrears will grow by leaps and bounds. Regarding land reform, we are also very satisfied with the provisions in the Bill - basically that land reform beneficiaries will be excluded from paying rates for the first 10 years after acquiring property rights. Interestingly, I can say, by the way, that if you look carefully at your definition of land reform beneficiary - I only saw it today - it might just be possible that by accident you have excluded the receivers of land tenure reform. Land tenure reform, in terms of the Constitution, is done by virtue of section 25(8), and you only 19 February 2004 Page 92 of 200 exclude sections 25(6) and 25(7). So it may just be possible that some of the areas where new order rights are being acquired and old order rights in terms of the Communal Land Rights Bill have slipped through here, and I don't think that that is the intention - that this 10-year period must also be applicable to land reform beneficiaries of tenure rights, of tenure reform, which is going to be implemented under the Communal Land Rights Bill. [Interjections.] No, I don't think they slipped up with this. This is a very good Bill that we have here. I have read that some 300 hours of discussion in the portfolio committee was devoted to it. The way in which ... [Time expired.] [Applause.] Mrs R M SOUTHGATE: Madam Deputy Speaker, property rights are a taxpayer's right to ownership and economic freedom. A taxpayer indirectly engages in the country's economy by creating a market value for his or her assets. A taxpayer employs his or her socioeconomic rights to purchase property and improve upon it to gain maximum economic benefits out of such assets. Such engagements in the 19 February 2004 Page 93 of 200 country's economy should be an inalienable or non- negotiable right. Unfortunately, the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill seeks to minimise the taxpayers rights, and impose a property tax that is skewed in relation to property value, even though the Bill provides for property rates to be determined by market value, since the rate regime offered within the Bill is actually an added tax that will be difficult to recapture in real economic terms by property owners. Property rates should be levied according to the service rendered by the Government and not an enforced tax. Although the flat rate for property has been deleted from the current Bill, uncertainty exists whether market forces will have a free hand in property valuation, since the municipality has been given superior powers to those in the market to determine what equitable market value ought to mean. 19 February 2004 Page 94 of 200 The ACDP feels that the Bill will have an adverse effect on property valuation, as improved value of property will be taxed causing owners to disinvest in property development. The ACDP agrees that municipalities ought to remain solvent to operate effectively, but not at the expense of overtaxing its citizens. One principle that is close to the ACDP's values is that land and property should not be in the control of the state, or manipulated in such a way that it will impoverish or control property owners. The Bill makes provision that all property owners will be included in contributing to municipal revenue; this includes rural areas, townships, farms, etc. However, the danger exists that municipalities may enforce a tax regime where there will be those who will pay more taxes than others, which will on the one hand diminish wealth accumulation, and on the other hand perpetuate the poverty cycle. 19 February 2004 Page 95 of 200 The Bill may have its merits in that municipalities will benefit from a broader tax base, but in terms of providing an equitable and agreeable tax structure, the prospects are dim for some property owners. The ACDP believes that this Bill errs on creating a redistributive regime that will not contribute to real economic stimulation, and therefore cannot support this Bill. I thank you. Mr A G LYLE: Comrade Deputy Speaker, the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government has taken note, with dismay, of the character of the institution of valuers. The demographics and the gender aspects need to be addressed. We urge the institution to take the necessary steps to rectify this unacceptable situation. During our interaction with the property valuers, as a committee, not a single black valuer or a woman valuer was present. The current situation is hopelessly skewed. The truth of the matter is that this situation does not answer the 19 February 2004 Page 96 of 200 call of our democratic revolution. This is a challenge to the institution. They must move in tandem with other progressive institutions and sectors in this country. There are hundreds of black estate agents that could be brought into the fold. To the institution we say, the ball is in your court. This committee, as mandated to exercise its oversight role, will certainly review the situation in the near future. In the past, each of the former four provinces had their own legislation and system of valuation and rating. The system was extremely cumbersome for establishing valuation rolls. This Bill addresses these differentiations by introducing a more uniform and simple system. In terms of the new process, a municipality intending to levy a rate on property must, in accordance with this piece of legislation, cause a general valuation. All properties must be valuated. 19 February 2004 Page 97 of 200 Each municipality must appoint a municipal valuer, who will value all rateable properties in the municipality and prepare a valuation roll. Two or more municipalities may by agreement appoint the same person as a municipal valuer. A person who is not a municipal official may be appointed as a municipal valuer only through an open, competitive and transparent process. Chapter 11 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act outlines this process. The municipal manager may designate officials of the municipality or persons in private practice as assistant municipal valuers to assist the valuer of the municipality. A municipal valuer may not be a councillor of the designating municipality, if that municipality is a metropolitan or district municipality, or of either the designating municipality or the district municipality in which that municipality falls, if the designating municipality is a local municipality. A municipal valuer, or assistant municipal valuer, must disclose to a municipality any personal or 19 February 2004 Page 98 of 200 private business interests that the valuer or any spouse, parent, child, partner or business associates of the valuer may have in any property in the municipality and may not use the position for private gain or improperly benefit another person. A municipal valuer or assistant municipal valuer may require the owner, tenant or occupier of a property which the valuer must value, or the agent of the owner, to give the valuer access to any document or information in possession of the owner, tenant, occupier or agent which the valuer reasonably requires for purposes of valuing the property. Chapter 5 of the Bill provides for the criteria under which the property must be valued. The property must be valued according to its market value, that is, the amount the property would realise if sold in the open market by a willing seller or willing buyer. In the case of sectional title schemes, each sectional title unit must be separately valued. 19 February 2004 Page 99 of 200 Chapter 6 regulates the contents and processing of the valuation rolls. It requires all rateable property to be listed on the roll, together with relevant details about each property and the owner. Upon completion of the valuation roll, the municipal manager must within 21 days publish in the prescribed form in the provincial Gazette, and once a week for two consecutive weeks advertise in the media a notice that the roll is open for public inspection, and that any person who wishes to lodge an objection against any entry in the roll may do so within a stated period. If an adjustment in the valuation of a property is more than 10% upwards or downwards, the matter must be referred to the valuation appeal board for review. The lodging of an objection does not defer liability for payment of rates. However, if an adjustment to the valuation roll, following a successful objection, affects the amount of the rates payable by the owner, the municipal manager must calculate the difference and 19 February 2004 Page 100 of 200 either repay or recover the difference from the owner. The municipal valuer's decision on any objection is not final. An objector who is not satisfied with the decision may appeal against the decision to the valuation board. The municipal manager must assist an objector to lodge an objection if that objector is unable to read or write. In conclusion, Comrade Deputy Speaker, our committee would want to see a situation in which property valuers, and the public at large, own this piece of legislation. It is an instrument that will be used to introduce positive changes in property valuations and fundamentally transform the manner in which municipalities apply their rates policy. I thank you. [Applause.] Mr G T MADIKIZA: Madam Deputy Speaker, the UDM has the following concerns to place on record with regard to this Bill. 19 February 2004 Page 101 of 200 This Bill will increase the burden on poor people by introducing a new form of taxation. Groups who will be especially hard hit will be the rural poor and the agricultural sector. There is currently no universally accepted land tenure system. Many areas have little or no services, and charging rates in a community where vast numbers still share a single tap would be supremely unfair. Similarly, many of these areas that will now suddenly be liable for this new tax have little by way of even the most basic infrastructure such as access roads. Many local governments have become notorious for their lack of capacity to administer their existing systems. How will they cope with the massive new task of implementing this system, and extending it into more remote rural areas and congested squatter camps? For the commercial farmer this new tax poses a significant threat to their livelihoods, and to the livelihoods of the thousands of people they employ. 19 February 2004 Page 102 of 200 Commercial farmers have to compete, as it is, in international markets against heavily subsidised foreign farmers. More taxation could therefore have catastrophic effects. The UDM believes that the issue of property rates is far too complex to be sufficiently addressed by the Bill in its current format. We propose that a commission be established to investigate all the complexities before a new Bill is drafted. I thank you. Mnr J P I BLANCHÉ: Speaker, vir 80 jaar lank word erfeienaars van dorpe en stede belas deur munisipaliteite. Die wet bepaal dat eiendomwaardasie die basis van erfbelasting vorm. Ons vra waarom moet die woonerfeienaar bydra tot die diens en fasiliteite wat almal in die metro, die dorp of die stad benut. Waarom moet hierdie erfeienaars, wat dikwels pensioenarisse is, betaal vir die ontwikkeling van 'n dorp of stad se woonbuurte, parke, sportfasiliteite en paaie, terwyl 'n groot aantal inwoners wat dit gebruik nie 19 February 2004 Page 103 of 200 bydra nie, bloot omdat hulle nie eiendom daar besit nie? Die President en al die ministers betaal byvoorbeeld nie eiendomsbelasting in Kaapstad of in Pretoria nie. Die FA het voorgestel dat die Regering 'n gedeelte van inkomstebelasting oormerk en oorbetaal aan plaaslike owerhede en wegdoen met erfbelasting. Dit sal meebring dat alle verbruikers van alle plaaslike owerhede se dienste en fasiliteite bydra tot die totstandkoming en benutting van daardie dienste en fasiliteite. (Translations of Afrikaans paragraphs follow.) [Mr J P I BLANCÉ: Speaker, for 80 years property owners of towns and cities have been taxed by municipalities. The law stipulates that property valuations form the basis of property rates. We are asking why the property owner should contribute to the services and facilities that are used by everyone in the metro, town or city. Why should these property owners, who are often pensioners, pay for development of the town or 19 February 2004 Page 104 of 200 city's residential areas, parks, sporting facilities and roads, while a great many residents use it do not contribute, simply because they do not own any property there? For example, neither the President nor any of the Ministers pay property taxes in Cape Town or Pretoria. The FA suggested that the Government earmarks a portion of the income tax, pays that over to the local authorities and does away with property rates. This will ensure that all consumers of all local authorities' services and facilities contribute to the establishment and use of those services and facilities.] That means that we tax all the users of municipal services, not only the property owners. Madam Speaker, that is fair in a democracy. That will ensure that taxi owners contribute to the road, the taxi rank and other facilities they use. So will migratory labour, especially foreign mine workers, contribute to the facilities of a town or a city - think of Welkom and other cities. Even the employees of Correctional Services and military 19 February 2004 Page 105 of 200 bases will then, through their taxes, contribute towards the city and the town treasury where they are employed, which they presently do not. Ons wil die Regering oorreed om weg te beweeg van hierdie soort gronddiskriminasie teen die grondeienaars. Ons wil hulle oorreed om Ministers te laat betaal. Ons wil dit ook wegvat van die grondwaardasie, want dit kos oneindig baie om grond te laat waardeer terwyl ons met 'n toegewyde belasting vanaf die inkomstebelasting dit makliker kon gedoen het. Maar nee, die ANC het geglo hulle sal voortgaan op die ou paaie. [We want to persuade the Government to move away from this form of land discrimination against landowners. We want to persuade them to make the Ministers pay. We also want to remove it from property evaluation, because it is infinitely expensive to have land valued while we could do it so much more easily with a dedicated tax from the income tax. But no, the ANC believed that they would continue along the old ways.] 19 February 2004 Page 106 of 200 Madam Speaker, my party will vote against this Bill. Mr J J KGARIMETSA: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members in the House and Ministers present, part of the statement made by the NEC of the ANC on its 92nd anniversary on 8 January 2004 reads thus: During the first decade of freedom, we paid close attention to the task of ensuring that we transform a declining economy encumbered by wrong policies and practices of the apartheid years. At the same time we also made certain that we transform public finances to facilitate the further growth of the economy and its capacity to generate the resources we need to fight poverty and work to meet the needs of the people. Indeed, people are on track. Mosito o tswela pele. [Life goes on.] With the introduction of the new legislation in the form of the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill, there will always be a need for capacity-building. This challenge is not only that of the department and Salga, but there is 19 February 2004 Page 107 of 200 a need that everyone of us here be involved. Everyone of us here should participate in this process. The Bill provides for a three-year phase-in period for newly rateable properties. It also requires each municipality to adopt and annually review its rates policy in consultation with the local community. When designing the public participation process, it is required that attention be paid to disadvantaged groups like women. The new rates regime also includes appropriate measures to alleviate the rates burden on poor households; it should also be a tool to promote local, social and economic development. This is made possible by section 15(2) of the Bill that grants exemptions, rebates or reductions to owners of properties such as indigent owners, owners dependent on pensions or social grants, owners temporarily without income, and owners of property situated within an area affected by disaster. 19 February 2004 Page 108 of 200 This legislation requires the municipalities, the department and Salga to play an active role and dedicate considerable time and effort to both the process of valuation and, just as importantly, to developing a policy in partnership with the residents in terms of which rates will be levied. This envisaged system of rating is perhaps the most important strategy for local economic management, and its implementation will guarantee that municipalities conform to a single approach to property rates. This will make it possible to determine the fiscal capacity of municipalities. Gareng ga tse dingwe bagaetsho, a re eleng tlhoko dilo tse di latelang, tseo mo go tsona, lefapha le Salga di tla tlhotlhomisang gore tota tiro yotlhe mo go bommasepala ba rona, bao ba sa lekalekaneng, e diriwa go dirisiwa dilo tse di tsamayang mo tseleng e e tla isang batho kwa pele, e e tla isang batho kwa bokamosong bo bošwa. Dilo tseo re tshwanetseng ra di ela tlhoko, ke go ela tlhoko ba ba dikobo di magetleng; go naya 19 February 2004 Page 109 of 200 selekano se se maleba mo go bao ba itsholetseng, fa go nna le thekgethekiso; go sekegela tsebe boikuelo wa bangongoregi; go kgontsha batho ba bašwa go reitiwa dingwaga di ka nna tharo go tsenngwa mo tirisong; go reitiwa ga dithoto tsa bašwa, le go naya mmasepala mongwe le mongwe dithata tsa go dira tshwetso ya go duedisa batho dithoto le poeletso ya tshekatsheko e, morago ga ngwaga mongwe le mongwe. Ga gona ope yo o tlo tsenngwang segaswa mo ganong. Re mo pusong ya demokerasi. Mosito o tswela pele. Baagi le bona ba fiwa tšhono ya go tsaya karolo mo tshekatshekong e. Ga go ope bagaetsho. Kwa bofelong bagaetsho, maitlhomo a Molaotlhomo o ke go tlisa ditlhabololo mo tikologong ka tirelotsweledi ya bommasepala le go tsholetsa maemo a ikonomi. Ga go na tlhaolele epe, ga go na kgatelelo epe, maikemisetso ke go loisa paakanyetso ya bokamoso jo bošwa. Bosa bo sele! Bosa bo sele! A pula e le nele, bagaetsho. (Translation of Tswana paragraph follows.) 19 February 2004 Page 110 of 200 [Among other things, countrymen, let us take note of the following, in terms of which the department and Salga will investigate whether our municipalities, which are not on the same level, are on the right track in taking our people forward to their new future. Some of the things we have to bear in mind are taking care of the poor, taxing the rich appropriately; paying attention to what complainants have to say; making it easier for the youth to be rated for three years; rating the youth's goods or property; and giving each municipality the powers to take decisions on how to tax people and review that every year. Nobody will be forced to do anything. We are in a democratic Government. Life goes on. The people are also given an opportunity to take part in this evaluation. Countrymen, nobody is being forced to do anything. At the end of the day, the objective of this Bill is to bring about developments and to improve the economy. 19 February 2004 Page 111 of 200 There is no discrimination. There is no oppression. The aim is to steer the preparations for a new future in the right direction. Now is the time! Now is the time! Farewell, my countrymen.] Thank you very much. [Applause.] Mr W P DOMAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, one Oscar Ameringer said: Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. This is exactly what this Bill does. Take, for example, the stakeholders from welfare organisations and independent schools who made representation, with strong arguments, for exclusion from paying property rates. The committee's response was to find a balance between the need for municipalities to have adequate revenue to fulfil their constitutionally mandated developmental responsibilities and the need to avoid levying rates in a way that will 19 February 2004 Page 112 of 200 debilitate these categories of property owners who also play an invaluable developmental role. So it must be true what somebody said: A politician is an animal who can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground. The ANC members would pride themselves on the saying: There are two sides to every question and a good politician takes both. We in the DA would rather advocate what William Gaylin said: The translation of values into public policy is what politics is about. Daarom sou die DA wou sien dat privaatskole, waarvan die totale leerlingtal al 58% swart leerlinge is, vrygestel moet wees van eiendomsbelasting. Staatskole se eiendomsbelasting word deur die staat betaal. Privaatskole bestaan 19 February 2004 Page 113 of 200 beslis nie om wins te maak nie, maar moet hulle boeke balanseer in die proses om gehalte onderwys te verskaf. Ouers by privaatskole dra deur hulle belasting by tot staatskole en sal nou nog die eiendomsbelasting ook moet betaal terwyl hulle alreeds ekstra betaal vir privaatskole. Die Regering behoort waardering vir hulle bydrae tot onderwys te toon. In dieselfde asem is dit teleurstellend dat welsynsorganisasies, wat ter wille van die gemeenskap 'n ekstra myl loop, ook nie uitgesluit word van eiendomsbelasting nie. Dit is immers die publiek wat bo en behalwe hul persoonlike inkomste- , eiendoms- en ander belasting 'n bydrae maak tot welsyn van die gemeenskap waar die staat tekort skiet. Die DA wil 'n beroep op munisipaliteite doen om hulle goeie oordeel toe te pas en hierdie twee kategorieë tegemoet te kom. Die DA verwelkom die vrystelling van ten minste die eerste R15 000 van die waardasie om arm 19 February 2004 Page 114 of 200 huiseienaars tegemoet te kom. Gegewe die behuisingsnood in Suid-Afrika, en die wyse waarop die Regering aan arm mense huise gee, maak dit nie sin dat sulke mense, dikwels werkloses, die volgende dag weer uitgesit word omdat hulle nie eiendomsbelasting kan betaal nie. In plaas van om 'n bedrag te noem, sou 'n koppeling aan die bedrag van die behuisingsubsidie beter gewees het. In hierdie verband het Kaapstad twee jaar gelede onder DA-bewind die leiding geneem in Suid-Afrika, en die vrystelling op die eerste R50 000 van 'n waardasie gemaak. Dit wys net weer: die DA gee om vir arm mense.[Tussenwerpsels.] En deur goeie bestuur is dit altyd die DA-munisipaliteite wat werklik iets vir arm mense doen. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [For this reason the DA would have liked to see that private schools, where the total number of Black pupils already amounts to 58%, should be exempted from property rates. The property rates of 19 February 2004 Page 115 of 200 state schools are paid by the State. Private schools definitely do not exist to make a profit, but must balance their books while providing quality education. At private schools parents contribute to state schools by way of their rates, and will now have to pay the property rates as well while they are already paying extra for private schools. The Government should show its appreciation for their contribution to education. In the same breath, it is disappointing that welfare organisations, who walk the extra mile for the sake of the community, are not exempted from property rates as well. It is, after all, the public who, over and above their personal income tax, property rates and other taxes, makes a contribution to the welfare of the community where the State falls short. The DA wants to appeal to municipalities to apply their sound judgement and strike a compromise with these two categories. 19 February 2004 Page 116 of 200 The DA welcomes the exemption of at least the first R15 000 of the evaluation to accommodate poor home- owners. Given the housing scarcity in South Africa, and the way in which the Government gives houses to poor people, it does not make sense that people such as these, often the unemployed, are being evicted again the next day because they cannot pay property rates. Instead of mentioning an amount, linking this to the amount of the housing subsidy would have been better. In this regard Cape Town, under the DA administration, took the lead in South Africa two years ago and made the exemption on the first R50 000 of an evaluation. This only goes to show again: The DA cares for the poor. [Interjections.] And through good governance it is always the DA municipalities which really do something for the poor. [Applause.]] Rev A D GOOSEN: Deputy Speaker, Mr Doman says that the DA cares for our poor. That is far from the truth. As far as the Western Province is concerned, 19 February 2004 Page 117 of 200 they did absolutely nothing. Mr Grobler complains about the hours we spent on the Bill, but more than half of the 330 hours were spent in negotiations with stakeholders, including the constituency of the DA. They came to the ANC with their problems. They know that Mr Grobler and the DA are powerless. From Mr Grobler, all we heard were complaints and even more complaints. He complained that we were going too fast and he complained that we were going too slow. Sometimes he complained about both. Mr Grobler, you cannot have your cake and eat it! The DA supports the land value and flat rate, and not land improvements as envisaged in this Bill, for the simple reason that the former valuation is going to cost them less in terms of rates payable, because they do not support delivery to the townships, and still they say they support the poor people. The DA might be liberal in their outlook, but they are very conservative in their actions. [Applause.] 19 February 2004 Page 118 of 200 The hon Southgate says that property rates minimise the rights of people. This is far from the truth. I am sorry to say that the hon member does not know what she is talking about. The Bill makes provision for people to exercise their rights. This Bill, on the contrary, will bring about a just and equitable rating system in South Africa. She also says that the Bill will perpetuate the poverty cycle. The hon member hardly attended committee meetings and she is misleading the House. Rates, for one, will not be paid in rural and traditional areas. We believe that there is wide agreement on this Bill, which is a very balanced one indeed. Should anyone be discontented with this final product, and we believe there are those, then they would be the people who want to see a free market system in place, but who detest market value on their property for valuation purposes. So, in short, they do not want to pay the applicable rates due by them. What they do want is land value on a property and thus paying less in terms of rates. So what we make of it is that they do not want to see municipalities forging ahead with their programme 19 February 2004 Page 119 of 200 of delivery, with this much-needed revenue generated through the implementation of this piece of legislation. The fact of the matter is that without this important source of revenue, the IDP is going to remain a wish list for most municipalities. It therefore goes without saying that revenue generated from the affluent communities will be utilised for services in the poorer areas. There is no other way in which we can eradicate the inequalities in society. The system allows for cross-subsidisation between wealthy and poor areas, so as to build stable communities as well as redress past imbalances. The tables are now turned. The days when Grassy Park and Mitchell's Plain had to subsidise those residing on the Atlantic Seaboard are past. We now have entered a new era, where people must pay whatever is due by them. There are ways of lodging objections and appeals to be heard, but South Africa now needs to move to another level of development in pushing back the frontiers of poverty. That is the right thing to do, and now is the time to do it. [Applause.] 19 February 2004 Page 120 of 200 For those, like Mr Madikiza, who was saying that property rates will be levied on traditional authority areas, we are saying that is "illogically inexact". The portfolio committee, for a number of reasons, does not believe that the levying of property rates in traditional authority areas will be on the agenda for a long time to come. The Bill is very specific on the effect of rates on the poor and on charitable and welfare organisations, and therefore requires the municipality to quantify the costs and benefits of all exemptions, rebates and reductions to the municipality. An important objective of the Bill is to shift the rates burden from the poor, taking into account the effect of rates on public service infrastructure, and for the municipality to promote local, social and economic development. Properties will first have to be valued by the municipalities before rates will become applicable, and this is not going to happen overnight. Municipalities need to capacitate themselves as to what the Bill is saying. They will have four years 19 February 2004 Page 121 of 200 to do their valuation rolls as a first step towards generating revenue through property rates. In the event of property owners being dissatisfied with the valuation of their property, they can first of all raise objections with the municipal valuer, and should they not succeed, they then have access to the Valuation Appeal Board which is specifically established to hear appeals from disgruntled owners. The board will no doubt be sympathetic to appeals lodged with them, and will do everything in their power to give a just hearing and endeavour to make a fair judgment in each case brought before it. The board will consist of people who have the necessary expertise to hear appeals. The chairperson, for instance, must be a person with legal qualifications and sufficient experience in the administration of justice. He will be assisted by two to four other members with sufficient knowledge of/or experience in the valuation of property. 19 February 2004 Page 122 of 200 The conduct of members makes it clear that they must perform their duties in office in good faith and without fear or prejudice. Their functions will be to hear and decide appeals against the decision of the municipal valuer concerning the objections and to review decisions of a municipal valuer. Once the appeal board has reached a decision on an appeal brought before it, the chairperson of an appeal board and the valuer of the municipality must ensure that the valuation roll is adjusted or added to in accordance with the decision taken by the board. If an adjustment in the valuation of a property ... The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Rev A D GOOSEN: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. We support the Bill. [Applause.] The MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Madam Deputy Speaker, allow me once more to thank all the hon members who participated in the work of the portfolio committee, the work that has brought 19 February 2004 Page 123 of 200 us to the point at which we are today; and also to thank all the hon members who participated in the debate, amongst whom were the hon Mr Grobler and the hon Mr Doman. Mr Grobler had the privilege to participate in the work of the portfolio committee and, indeed, his impressive grasp of the provisions of the Bill attest to this. He, unfortunately, failed to convince his own party about the merits that are inherent in the Bill which explains why the DA, in his own words, has decided not to support the Bill. [Interjections.] The hon Mr Doman gave us a queer definition of a politician which happens to be an apt description of his fellow DA member, the hon Mr Grobler. Quite clearly, Mr Grobler and Mr Doman deserve each other. [Applause.] The hon Inkosi Hlengwa spent a bit of time giving us his own interpretation of the provisions of this Bill. What he betrayed was the fact that he did not have the benefit of exposure to the work of the 19 February 2004 Page 124 of 200 portfolio committee. Perhaps he needs to take advantage of the emerging alliance for change and try to spend a bit of time with the hon Mr Grobler. That will help him to justify the support which his party is giving to the Bill. I thank you. [Applause.] Debate concluded. Agreed to. (Democratic Alliance and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting) Bill read a second time. SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT BILL (Second Reading debate) The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, the Department of Home Affairs has, in its attempts to realign legislation under its administration with the Constitution, identified the South African Citizenship Amendment Bill as one of those pieces of legislation to be brought into 19 February 2004 Page 125 of 200 line with the Bill of Rights and also the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom enshrined in our Constitution. The provisions of section 9(1) of the South African Citizenship Act of 1995, as amended by the South African Citizenship Amendment Act of 1997, conflict with section 20 of the Constitution, which stipulates that no one may be deprived of his or her citizenship. Furthermore, this section can hardly be justified in terms of section 35 of the Constitution, which stipulates the limitation of the rights set out in the Bill of Rights. The South African Citizenship Amendment Bill therefore seeks to bring the South African Citizenship Act of 1995 in line with section 20 of the Constitution as far as dual citizenship is concerned. It repeals the provision that allowed the Minister to deprive a citizen of his or her citizenship for having used the travel document of a foreign country to enter or depart from the Republic, or to 19 February 2004 Page 126 of 200 enter or depart from a country that issued such passport or any other third country. This provision was also problematic in that it called for the extraterritorial application of South African law. In fact, in terms of such provision, a South African citizen, who is also a citizen of another country, stands to be deprived of his or her South African citizenship even if he or she uses his or her foreign passport to enter or depart from the foreign country which issued it or to enter or depart from any third country. The problematic nature of this provision was not mitigated by the power which until now vested in the Minister to issue authorisations to citizens with dual citizenship to use their passport abroad as until now set out in section 9(2) of the South African Citizenship Act. In terms of such provisions, such exemptions can only be given under "exceptional circumstances". In fact, to obviate the difficulties arising out of this application, we were forced to issue such 19 February 2004 Page 127 of 200 exceptions effectively to anyone who applied for it. Such exemptions expire on an annual basis in November. In the past they have been renewed amidst great distress on the part of holders of dual passports, many of whom use their foreign passports to enter foreign countries to avoid the need of visa requirements imposed on South Africans. The intention was always that of punishing citizens who used foreign passports to enter or depart from the Republic of South Africa or act as non-citizens while they are within South Africa. Therefore, the South African Citizenship Second Amendment Bill makes provisions for such conduct to be severely punished by imprisonment. I do not believe that it would be constitutionally permissible to punish such violation of law with the deprivation of citizenship, which is not a sanction which attaches to any other crime. It is also not possible to construe the use of a foreign 19 February 2004 Page 128 of 200 passport facility in the Republic as a voluntary relinquishment of South African citizenship. This Bill will punish those of our citizens who, in their relations with the South African state, act as if they were foreigners, while creating a rational and comfortable regulation of the situation of those who hold a dual citizenship, consistent with the fact that throughout our history, dual citizenship has been recognised and protected. The Bill therefore introduces the following provisions: Clause 1 seeks to repeal section 9 of the South African Citizenship Act, Act 88 of 1995. Clause 2 provides for the insertion of section 26B, after section 26A in the South African Citizenship Act, Act 88 of 1995. It will provide for the imposition of penalties on citizens using a foreign passport to enter or depart from the Republic or for utilising his or her foreign citizenship while in the Republic in a fraudulent manner. Clause 3 provides for the short title of the Bill being the South African Citizenship Amendment Bill. 19 February 2004 Page 129 of 200 Madam Deputy Speaker, I urge that this House accepts the South African Citizenship Amendment Bill. I thank you. Mr H P CHAUKE: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Minister, hon members, comrades and friends, the South African Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to bring the South African Citizenship Act of 1995 in line with section 20 of the Constitution as far as dual citizenship is concerned. It seeks to repeal the provision which allowed the Minister to deprive citizens of their rights for having used the citizenship of a foreign country to enter or depart from the Republic, or to enter or depart from the country which issued such passport or any other third country. The Bill replaces that provision with one which imposes penalties on a citizen using a foreign passport to enter or depart from the Republic or utilising his or her own foreign citizenship while in the Republic to gain an advantage or avoid a responsibility or duty. South Africa is one of the few countries in the world that tolerates dual citizenship. Dual 19 February 2004 Page 130 of 200 citizenship is a phenomenon that stems from the initial citizenship regime that existed in a number of states in the British Commonwealth. Apart from South Africa, the situation has changed dramatically after those member states became independent. Today the citizenship legislation of these states, including the UK do not allow dual citizenship. It is only in South Africa where dual citizenship is allowed. Nevertheless, the Bill that is before us today addresses those problems that the department is not able to deal with and that they are faced with on a day-to-day basis. When people enter the country, or even when they leave the country, the department is unable to accurately record the number of people who are in the country and the number of people who are leaving the country. This problem is much more common with regard to people who are travelling overseas. One of the problems that the department has encountered and which we are trying to address on a day-to-day basis is the provision of ID documents 19 February 2004 Page 131 of 200 to citizens of the country. What we found is that a number of South Africans who are still not in possession of the green bar-coded ID books are living overseas. When they travel to South Africa they mostly use foreign passports to enter the country. I think this is one of the areas in which the department should immediately begin with a campaign, namely to encourage those South Africans who are overseas to start to apply for proper South African citizenship, which is the green bar-coded ID book. It's one challenge that I think this Bill is seeking to address. This is the challenge that we need to begin to address; those South Africans who don't have proper ID books. Furthermore, one of the problems that we are faced with is that, even now during the elections that we are going into, most of the South Africans, some of whom reside in the country, who don't have green bar-coded ID books - I think there are even some of them in the DA - happen to be white South Africans. Most of them are white South Africans who were not registered like Africans were when they applied for their ID books. Their fingerprints were not taken. 19 February 2004 Page 132 of 200 White people's fingerprints were not taken; it's only black people whose fingerprints were taken. So, as we address this issue, it's a challenge that the department needs to start a campaign again to assist these hon members on this side here to get the green bar-coded ID book. On that note, Minister, thank you very much for this short piece of legislation. [Applause.] Mnr I J PRETORIUS: Agb Voorsitter, dis nou baie duidelik dat ons voorsitter van die portefeuljekomitee daarvan hou om twak te praat as hy hier kom staan. [Tussenwerpsels.] Ek wil graag vir u sê dat dit vir my aangenaam is om aan hierdie debat deel te neem. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.) [Mr I J PRETORIUS: Hon Chairperson, it is now very evident that our chairperson of the portfolio committee enjoys talking nonsense when he stands here. [Interjections.] I would like to say to you that I am pleased to participate in this debate.] 19 February 2004 Page 133 of 200 The hon Minister explained at length why we should support this amending Bill. The Bill which we are debating today seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1995 so as to repeal an existing provision, namely to deprive a South African of his or her citizenship if such a person uses a passport of a foreign country to enter or depart from the Republic of South Africa. I would like to emphasise the following, namely that it only applies to South Africans who may have dual citizenship. The DA, as I've said in the beginning, supports the amendment because it brings our Citizenship Act into line with section 20 of our Constitution. 'n Land se burgerskap bring regte en verpligtings mee. Die mees fundamentele reg waaroor 'n mens beskik, is natuurlik die reg om te kan stem. Burgerskap bring ook verpligtings mee, en die Minister van Finansies het gister in die Raad inderdaad 'n bevel, as ek dit so mag noem, uitgevaardig waarvolgens alle belastingbetalers 19 February 2004 Page 134 of 200 gedurende die volgende jaar sekere verhoogde belastings sal moet betaal. Die reg om te kan stem, soos ek reeds gesê het, is 'n fundamentele reg en ek hoop van harte dat die kiesers hulle met die verkiesing op Woensdag, 14 April in groot getalle by die DA sal skaar. [Tussenwerpsels.] Dit is veral in die Wes-Kaap waar ek 'n spesiale beroep op die kiesers wil doen en hulle versoek om die opportunistiese en rigtinglose Nuwe NP en die onbevoegde ANC in die provinsie te verwerp. [Tussenwerpsels.] Voorlopige werwingsyfers dui daarop dat die kiesers van die Wes-Kaap die DA in groot getalle gaan steun. [Tussenwerpsels.] Die DA staan 'n baie goeie kans om die provinsie weer terug te wen. [Tussenwerpsels.] Daarom sê ek: gee die DA 'n kans om die provinsie te regeer. [Tussenwerpsels.] Die kiesers verdien 'n beter regering in die Wes-Kaap. [Tussenwerpsels.] Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) 19 February 2004 Page 135 of 200 [Citizenship of a country entails rights and obligations. The most fundamental right which one has is, of course, the right to vote. Citizenship also entails obligations, and the Minister of Finance actually issued an order, if I may call it that, in the Council yesterday whereby all taxpayers will have to pay certain increased taxes in the course of next year. The right to vote, as I have indicated, is a fundamental right, and I sincerely hope that with the election on Wednesday, 14 April, voters will join the ranks of the DA in great numbers. [Interjections.] I want to make a special appeal to voters, particularly in the Western Cape, and ask them to reject the opportunistic and directionless New NP and the incompetent ANC in the province. [Interjections.] Provisional recruitment figures indicate that the voters of the Western Cape are going to support the DA in great numbers. [Interjections.] The odds are greatly in favour of the DA winning the province back again. [Interjections.] Therefore I am saying: 19 February 2004 Page 136 of 200 give the DA an opportunity to govern the province. [Interjections.] The voters deserve a better government in the Western Cape. [Interjections.] I thank you.] Mrs I MARS: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, and colleagues, in terms of actual words, this amendment to the 1995 South African Citizenship Bill is very small indeed. However, these very few words are of significance, as they amend the current Bill in terms of constitutional requirements. The current South African Citizenship Bill permits the Minister to revoke the South African citizenship of a person involved in unauthorised use of a foreign passport. Madam Speaker ... Oh, I'm sorry, Deputy Chair, we are aware that many states throughout the world do not allow dual citizenship. However, as South Africa has chosen to permit such dual citizenship, this amendment seeks to clarify the conditions under which a person can make use of dual citizenship, in other words, a second passport and, more importantly, defines the sanctions that can be 19 February 2004 Page 137 of 200 imposed if such a person uses the second passport to leave and re-enter the Republic of South Africa. Such sanctions consist of a fine or imprisonment, if found guilty, not exceeding 12 months. We note with interest that this amendment has positive implications for the grossly understaffed Department of Home Affairs, as it removes the onerous requirements for Home Affairs personnel to process applications for exemption for the use of a second passport. The IFP supports the South African Citizenship Amendment Bill. I thank you. Mr S PILLAY: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. The New NP supports the Bill and accepts that it is in line with the Constitution and other legal provisions. It is good to have such legislation passed in Parliament. However, our concern lies in its implementation. At present, the Department of Home Affairs is understaffed, lacks basic resources and the 19 February 2004 Page 138 of 200 equipment at almost every office where they exist. In many areas, like Phoenix, Lenasia, KwaMashu and Katlehong, there are only service points. Some are in a very shabby and disreputable condition. How will the department enforce this legislation under such trying conditions? There is some hope with the introduction of the turn-around strategy as it is being implemented by the Director-General. Serious efforts should be made by the department to adequately resource and staff the offices as well as the service points. We trust that the Minister will urgently deal with such critical and outstanding issues. On a recent visit to the Katlehong service point, we found over 150 people waiting to be attended to by one official and one volunteer. That is certainly not acceptable. At the Lenasia service point, we found over 250 people waiting to be attended to by two officials and three volunteers. There has to be an urgency in addressing the matter of staff and resources. If this matter is not attended to, additional stress is visited upon the 19 February 2004 Page 139 of 200 officials, some of whom are very dedicated and diligent. At the Johannesburg Airport, the computers went offline for various time periods. A definite effort must be made to address this. Deputy Chair, in conclusion, we state again that such legislation is only as good and effective as its implementation. I thank you. Ms C DUDLEY: Hon Deputy Chair, the ACDP is in favour of the South African Citizenship Amendment Bill, the object of which, as the Minister has said, is to bring the Act in line with section 20 of the national Constitution that reads as follows: ``No citizen may be deprived of citizenship''. This is positive legislation and is welcomed by the ACDP and, hopefully, will free up Home Affairs to be dealing with the many priorities that it has to deal with. Currently the Minister could deprive a person of South African citizenship by virtue of the use of the citizenship of another country. This provision will be repealed and deprivation of citizenship will now be replaced with the sanction as specified 19 February 2004 Page 140 of 200 in the Bill, namely, ``is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months''. The ACDP is also supportive of the suggestion that a record be kept of persons who, for whatever reason, were deprived of their South African citizenship, bearing in mind however that the department's legal advisers were unaware of any such cases since 1996. We will vote in favour of this legislation. Thank you. Mr M R SIKAKANE: Deputy Chair, I rise in support of the input made by the Minister, as well as the chairperson of the portfolio committee, but I will further elaborate as to why we seek an amendment of the citizenship Act of 1995. We are doing this in the spirit of Batho Pele, which is our motto to always put people first. We do this to repeal a provision in terms of which a person may be deprived of citizenship by virtue of the use of the citizenship of another country. In our view we saw this as unjust and unconstitutional. Wisdom should at all times prevail. 19 February 2004 Page 141 of 200 Instead of deprivation we are providing for other penalties, not the loss of citizenship, and for matters connected therewith. Be it enacted by this Parliament that section 9 of the South African Citizenship Act, Act 88 of 1995 is hereby repealed. Therefore we insert section 26B of Act 88 of 1995 after section 26A. We are now saying the usage - which is the core reason for this amendment - of foreign citizenship by people who enter the Republic or depart from the Republic making use of a passport of another country or, while in the Republic makes use of his or her citizenship of another country in order to gain advantage or avoid a responsibility or duty - that is an offence and liable, on conviction, to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 24 months. I would have loved to hear people who spoke about the dual citizenship, thank this Government and this House because right around the world there are almost none who provide for dual citizenship. It is only in this country where we still provide for dual citizenship, which is all done in the spirit of people first. So I would love, when we close 19 February 2004 Page 142 of 200 here, for people to honour and always remember the one thing we have learned from this House and this movement, the ANC; Whatever we do, we put people first. It would be worthwhile to have said: I was once in Parliament. In your life you carry that along with you, more especially the people whom we have dragged over the years - the DA. They have never learnt a thing but, in the end, after 10 years they might have learned something. Thank you very much. The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Deputy Chairperson and members, I would like to thank all the members for their contributions, although I must confess that it is obtuse to me why the chairperson of the portfolio committee thinks that I should start a campaign to help those who haven't got their IDs because it is actually imperative that they should apply for them themselves. I don't see that it is my function to start a campaign to assist them. Furthermore, I would like to say, in relation to the hon Mr Pillay, that yesterday when our Minister of Finance presented this House with the Budget, he 19 February 2004 Page 143 of 200 mentioned that Home Affairs is one of the departments that were given quite a bit of that portfolio, and he mentioned the importance of infrastructure creation. Home Affairs, in fact, was depleted of resources as far as the majority of this country is concerned, because it catered only for the minority of this country. It's not my fault that there was one person at the Market Street branch and one volunteer and so on. I mean I do not know. I have said this ad nauseam here, standing at this podium, over the past 10 years that the resources that were made available to my department were limited. I have said it over and over again, and it's a fact of life. I would like to thank members for their contributions. Thank you. Debate concluded. Bill read a second time. FILMS AND PUBLICATIONS AMENDMENT BILL (Second Reading debate) 19 February 2004 Page 144 of 200 The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Chairperson and hon members, the Films and Publications Amendment Bill has been motivated by prosecutors and police. Having in the past highlighted the frustrations experienced in investigations and the prosecution of recent child pornography offenders, noting in particular that the accused often escape penal sanction provided by the Act on grounds which they did not apply to offences of a similarly serious nature, the Bill seeks to make amendments to the definition of "child pornography", because the present definition is limiting, in that it does not cover all aspects relating to child pornography. The Film and Publication Board will be empowered to regulate publications, containing visual presentations or descriptions referred to in Schedules 1 or 2, so as to prevent access to such materials by children. The creation, production, possession and distribution of child pornography, as well as the failure to report it, are offences punishable in terms of this Bill. The Bill also includes 19 February 2004 Page 145 of 200 amendments to increase the maximum penalty for offences involving child pornography to 10 years. The Bill introduces the following provisions: Clause 1(a) seeks to substitute the present definition of "child pornography" with a new definition. Clause 1(b) will delete the definition of the word "degrade", because it is unnecessarily limiting to the extent that it is gender-biased and does not take into account the violation of human dignity in its totality. Clause 1(c) substitutes the present definition of "distribute" with a new definition, so as to include the failure to take reasonable steps to prevent access to pornographic material by children. Clause 1(d) defines "internal address" and "internal service provider", which is necessary, since the Bill also brings the Internet within the jurisdiction of the Act, in so far as child pornography is concerned. Clause 1(e) defines "possession", which is necessary, since the Act now also covers the Internet. Clause 1(f) substitutes the definition of "sexual conduct" as is defined in 19 February 2004 Page 146 of 200 Schedule 11, for the reason that the present definition is not only too limiting, but is also restricted only for the purpose of the Schedules. Clause 2 introduces the office of the chairperson of the board, which will also be the chief executive officer. It also be the chief executive officer. It also deals with the manner in which decisions of the board are taken. Clause 3 amends subsection 2 of section 5 of the Act which refers to "President", whereas it should refer to the "Minister". Clause 4 provides for the reporting by the board on all its activities during that financial year. Clause 5 deals with the manner of convening the meetings of the board or the executive committee. Clause 6 amends section 17 of the Act to allow the board to more effectively regulate publications containing visual presentations or descriptions referred to in Schedules 1 or 2, so as to prevent access thereto by children. 19 February 2004 Page 147 of 200 Clause 7 amends section 18 of the Act to make recreational films and interactive computer games more effective in the interests of the protection of children. Clause 8 amends section 20 of the Act, so as to remove the limitation of the powers of the Review Board. Clause 9 is a necessary amendment following the amendment of section 17 in clause 3. Clause 10 amends section 26 of the Act to include the offence of broadcasting any film which has been classified XX in accordance with Schedule 6 or 10. Clause 11 amends section 27 of the Act by making clearer what would constitute the offence of "child pornography", as well as introducing the offence of failing to report child pornography and removing the requirement of the authority of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for the issue of a search warrant in cases involving child pornography, so as to bring the investigation and prosecution of child pornography offenders in line with the requirements of other serious offences. 19 February 2004 Page 148 of 200 The amendment also addresses the problem of child pornography on the Internet by requiring Internet service providers to register with the board and by making noncompliance an offence. Clause 12 deletes subsection 3 of section 28 which unnecessarily delays the prosecution process. Clause 13 amends subsection 1 of section 29 to include a prohibition on the broadcasting of publications covered by section 29(1) as an offence. Clause 14 is an amendment of section 20 of the Act, which is the penalties provision for consistency with amendments to the offence provisions of the Act. The amendments also provide for an increase in the amount of the maximum penalty for child pornography offences, from the present five to ten years. Clause 11 also introduces an admission of guilt provision for the less serious offences in the Act, as well as providing for extraterritorial jurisdiction in cases where South African citizens commit acts outside the country which would 19 February 2004 Page 149 of 200 constitute offences under the Act, had they been committed inside the country. This amendment also provides for presumptions and proof to facilitate more effective prosecution. Clause 15 seeks to amend Schedule 1 of the principal Act in so far as including incest or rape as additional grounds for classifying a publication as XX. Clause 16 amends Schedule 2 of the principal Act in order to cover those cases provided for in Schedule 1 or 2. Clause 17 provides for age restrictions for publications. Clause 18 deletes clause 1, as the clause is unnecessary. Clause 19 deals with the prohibition of promotion of hatred. Clause 20 deletes section 11 of the principal Act in total. Clause 21 provides for the short title of the Bill, this being the Films and Publications Amendment Bill. As the incumbent Minister who has introduced the original Bill to Parliament, I am required to urge this House to accept the Films and Publications Amendment Bill. However, I feel duty-bound to place on record a number of concerns which have been 19 February 2004 Page 150 of 200 raised in representations made to me, as the incumbent Minister, and to the portfolio committee, that have remained unaddressed. Since I introduced the Bill to Parliament, certain amendments have been made to it and additional considerations were brought to the fore, which raised concerns about its constitutionality, and policy desirability. There is no doubt that the fight against child pornography is a righteous cause which requires our full and unqualified support. However, it may happen that at times one does the wrong thing for the right reason, and I am not satisfied that some of the concerns raised about this Bill by the public do not make this Bill fall inside that category. The concern has been expressed that the Bill is unconstitutional, because it interferes with the matters which in terms of the Constitution ought to be left to the independent institution that is established in terms of section 190 of the 19 February 2004 Page 151 of 200 Constitution. I received credible legal opinions in this sense. However, I received no advice from my department confirming or denying this concern and its import. There is also the constitutional and policy concern that by forcing Internet service providers to verify the contents of web sites, we are effectively asking the mailman, as it were, to open the envelope to verify that it does not contain illegal material, which violates the most ancient notion of freedom of communication. An additional concern is that the Bill, albeit to a very limited extent, reintroduces the notion of pre-emptive censorship prior to publication, which in 1994 we committed ourselves to forever expunge from our legal system, because it is repulsive to the values of our democratic and liberal Constitution. I have considered withdrawing this Bill to enable the serious issues raised about its constitutionality and desirability to be addressed, 19 February 2004 Page 152 of 200 so that we do not end up doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. However, I know that had I done so, a political furore would have been generated, ascribing to my action a political agenda and motive. Therefore I have chosen to rely on the wisdom of this House, and let the House decide whether this Bill should be proceeded with at this juncture. I thank you. Mr H P CHAUKE: Thank you very much, Chairperson. I am not going to deal much with my speech now. I will put it aside, and begin to address the issues that the Minister has raised regarding the unconstitutionality of this Bill. Firstly, I think a workshop needs to be arranged for the Minister to understand the parliamentary procedures when the Bill is before Parliament. This Bill was brought to the portfolio committee by the Minister. In Parliament, we have what we call Government legal advisers who help the portfolio committees and the parliamentary legal advisers who are in the portfolio committee. We arranged what we call public hearings where we invited the public to 19 February 2004 Page 153 of 200 come and make submissions to the portfolio committee, which they did. When they came, we allowed them to make submissions. After they left, we then considered those submissions and looked at which ones we could take up. From there, the Bill comes to Parliament, which is this very exercise. If the Minister is not happy about the Bill, the Rules of Parliament allow the Minister to withdraw the Bill. He can take the Bill and state that he is withdrawing the Bill. If he doesn't and allows the process to carry on, the President will then decide to withdraw the Bill if he finds it unconstitutional. Now, the Minister has raised a number of issues. We, together with his department - Rufus Malatji, Sam Mogotsi and others - engaged on this Bill. They were part and parcel of the public hearings. Last year, when we took a decision to refer them back to meet with other stakeholders, it was very clear that some of the issues were not addressed. We then sent them back to meet with other stakeholders, together with the Film and Publication Board, to refine this Bill and bring it back to us. 19 February 2004 Page 154 of 200 Now, they have done that. They consulted with everybody. That was confirmed by your department. Today, after we deliberated on the Bill, the Minister says he is not happy and intends withdrawing the Bill, because this may cause a political row. I am not sure if that is the truth, Minister; it's not being honest. The portfolio committee has done its work. We have done our work wonderfully. This is one very important piece of legislation that deals with child pornography. All of us are aware of that. Today, we have gone into great detail on the content of this Bill, Minister. I don't understand why, at the end of the day, the Minister should make this particular statement. [Interjections.] The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon Minister, are you rising on a point of order? The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: I wasn't trying to criticise the portfolio committee. I was merely stating what some people have said. I'll explain the reason why, in fact, there is a political 19 February 2004 Page 155 of 200 dilemma about that, about whether I'll take this or not. [Interjections.] The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Thank you. I think the hon member has the opportunity now to respond to some of the statements that were made and I think that is what he is doing. [Interjections.] Mr H P CHAUKE: The Minister raised the issue that the people have raised a concern with him. If it's Internet service providers you are referring to, Minister, your department, together with the portfolio committee, have interacted with all of them. The association that deals with Internet service providers made their presentation together with Cell C, MTN, and Vodacom. All of them made their presentation to the portfolio committee. The Bill now simple says ``knowingly'' or knowing that your Internet line is being used to download child pornography, and if you were made aware and you don't act, that's where the Bill then comes into enforcement, which I think is a wonderful thing. 19 February 2004 Page 156 of 200 I don't understand the argument that the Minister is putting forward, because if it's politics, Minister, then let us not use this platform to deal with politics ... [Applause.] Let's allow the process of this Bill to go on, because we are addressing a very serious problem here. Let me tell you something that I want to share with the Minister. Maybe he is not aware of it. The day we voted on this Bill in the portfolio committee, we waited for about 15 minutes for the hon Waters, who was busy consulting with your political adviser, hon Mr Ambrosini, who even came to the portfolio committee that day and instructed Rufus Malatji and Mogotsi to withdraw the Bill without even talking to the chairperson. Now, all along, Waters and the DA were in support of the Bill. [Interjections.] The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon Waters. Mr H P CHAUKE: The only problem is that intervention of Mr Ambrosini's led to the DA no 19 February 2004 Page 157 of 200 longer supporting the Bill. All along they had been supporting it. [Interjections.] We definitely have to be very honest. The problems that we are addressing here are very serious problems and definitely, Minister, you have gone into detail on what this Bill is addressing. The other issues are just political issues, Minister, put them aside. Let's carry on with the Bill and address the problems that are facing the country. [Applause.] Mr M WATERS: Thank you. Deputy Chair and hon Minister, the initial intentions of the amendments to the Films and Publications Act were to tighten control over child pornography. However, in its quest for ever-increasing centralisation and control, the ANC has slipped into these amendments censorship that can only be compared to that of the apartheid NP. [Interjections.] We concur with the hon Minister in that regard. These amendments have very little to do with combating child pornography and have more to do 19 February 2004 Page 158 of 200 with what adults can and cannot see. The original intentions of the amendments were to close loopholes that existed regarding child pornography. These amendments have been in the pipeline for over two years and were ready for tabling in Parliament over a year ago. The DA has called for them to be tabled on numerous occasions. However, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, who is responsible for the Film and Publication Board, only tabled these amendments in September last year. Currently, Deputy Chair, there are over 1 million images of child abuse in circulation on the Internet, and it's estimated that about 90% of all paedophile-related activities involve the Internet. According to a Sunday Times report, there are over 100 000 websites that offer child pornography. The DA welcomes any steps that will combat this awful crime. Let us be honest with ourselves: Child pornography is a sick crime and to me it's the sickest of all. It is hard to imagine how the sight of a child being raped and tortured hold any sexual appeal. If we, as the people's representatives, 19 February 2004 Page 159 of 200 fail to act in stopping this crime, then we shall have failed dismally in our duties. I would like to touch on the positive aspects of the amendments. Firstly, under the current law, possession, creation and distribution of child pornography are all lumped together as one offence. The proposed amendments separate these offences for the purposes of sentencing. This would allow the courts to hand down stiffer sentences for more serious crimes. Secondly, clause 27(2) of the Bill proposes to make it an offence if a person who knows or even suspects that a crime is taking place pertaining to child pornography fails to report the crime. This is a special provision as a general duty in terms of the law to report a crime, which currently does not exist. A person will only be prosecuted with the written authority of the National Director of Public Prosecutions. Lastly, there was initial concern from the cellphone companies, Telkom and the Internet 19 February 2004 Page 160 of 200 Service Providers Association regarding the broadcasting and distribution of child pornography. It would be impossible to expect these organisations to monitor every piece of information that flows through their systems on a daily basis. This would be like asking the Post Office to open every piece of mail that passes through their system. It's basically impossible. However, after inserting the words "knowingly" before the words "broadcasts or distributes", their concerns seem to have been addressed to some degree. This brings us to the clauses that the DA is opposed to; and it's unfortunate that the ANC took this opportunity to use the back door to bring back good old-fashioned apartheid-style censorship. [Interjections.] I will focus on two amendments which are frightening, to say the least, that have absolutely nothing to do with child pornography. I repeat: They have nothing to do with child pornography, but with everything to do with censorship. 19 February 2004 Page 161 of 200 Firstly, the Film and Publication Board, under clause 29, wants to expand its authority over broadcasting which has serious implications. According to section 192 of the Constitution, broadcasting is the sole jurisdiction of Icasa. Section 192 states that: National legislation must establish an independent authority to regulate broadcasting in the public interest, and to ensure fairness and a diversity of views broadly representing South African society. These amendments trample on that independence. Both Icasa and the National Association of Broadcasters have objected to this amendment but to no avail. In the past, the DA and the IFP have had a number of broadcasting laws sent back and amended on the same points when Government tried to usurp Icasa's powers. No doubt, hon Minister, you'll be back here later this year doing the same again, amending these amendments to bring them back in line with the Constitution. 19 February 2004 Page 162 of 200 Icasa is an independent body, established through the Constitution and appointed by Parliament while the Minister of Home Affairs, whoever that will be at the time, appoints a Films and Publication Board. There is no guarantee that the board will remain independent and it could become a political appointment. This amendment would, clearly, encroach on the independence of broadcasting in our country. Secondly, under clause 10, which deals with the promotion of hatred, the board wants to take jurisdiction presently resting with the courts to include "race, ethnicity, or gender'' as criteria for banning films and publications if, when judged within context, advocates hatred on one or more grounds." This has nothing to do with child pornography but it does re-introduce censorship on political grounds by an administrative body. Currently, section 29 of the Act makes provision for the courts to decide whether a film exceeds bona fide literary, artistic, political, or scientific free speech and constitutes hate speech. 19 February 2004 Page 163 of 200 The court process allows for appeals up to the Supreme Court of Appeal based on the merits of the case while the suggested option would mean that a statutory administrative body would have the authority to ban films and publications. Currently, the only material banned in our country, and thus classified as XX and forbidden to be broadcast - which everyone agrees with, I certainly hope - is child pornography, bestiality, explicit sexual material which includes violence, material that degrades and certain forms of awful violence. What we are opening the door to, Deputy Chair, is a potentially political board becoming the conscience of our nation, rather like the thought police. It is a sad day when the ruling party uses a serious issue such as child pornography to reintroduce apartheid-style censorship. [Interjections.] Perhaps the ANC is learning a lot more from its junior alliance partners than we first imagined. The DA wholeheartedly supports the original intentions and many aspects of this Bill. However, because of the ANC's additional unconstitutional 19 February 2004 Page 164 of 200 amendments and the reintroduction of political censorship in South Africa, the DA cannot support this Bill. Thank you. [Applause.] Mrs I MARS: Thank you, Deputy Chair. Colleagues, the Films and Publications Amendment Bill before the House today calls for the stricter control of child pornography in all its ramifications. We in this House acknowledge our responsibility to protect our nation's children - I will focus on this as our major concern - and therefore we acknowledge the difficulties we as legislators experience in tightening up matters involving the ever-more sophisticated information technology available to those who are abusing our children, particularly through the medium of the Internet. It is for this reason that we are seeking to amend the Act by tightening up on the definition of child pornography to improve the terminology used and to bring greater clarity to specific aspects of the Act. A major aspect of the amendment deals with the Internet, namely the insertion in the principal Act thus, 19 February 2004 Page 165 of 200 Every Internet provider shall register with the Board in the manner prescribed by regulations made under this Act, and take all reasonable steps to prevent the use of their services for the hosting and distribution of child pornography. The onus is on the service provider, once he is aware that his service is used for the distribution of child pornography - and this, to us, is a huge improvement on the previous provisions - to report the existence of such a site to the South African Police Service and to preserve any evidence for investigation on and/or prosecutions. I do not see this as a return to previous legislation and interference with freedom of expression, because the children of our country are our future and we have to do everything we can possibly do to protect them. [Applause]. Users, if so requested by the South African Police Services, have to be identified. Non-compliance with these requirements constitute an offence and sanctions are defined under section 12. These provisions are 19 February 2004 Page 166 of 200 essential if we want to curb the abuse of children via the Internet by those perverts who get pleasure in degrading children, as I said before, our nation's greatest asset. Terminology, such as service providers "unknowingly" distributing child pornography has been changed to "knowingly", thereby no longer allowing the service provider to hide behind the term "unknowingly". Once reported and made aware, as we said before, prosecution may well follow. This amendment deals with many of the issues the portfolio committee grappled with before agreeing to the principal Act in 1995, and those of us who were around will remember the intensive debate that took place at that time. To me, it was re-assuring to note that problems raised at that time have not been ignored, and that we have an amending Bill that answers many of the concerns we as legislators and parents needed to have addressed to protect our children from those that prey on their innocence and rob them of their childhood. 19 February 2004 Page 167 of 200 The IFP, in supporting the Bill, would also like to state that the Film and Publication Board falls under the Deputy Minister. I thank you. [Applause.] The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Deputy Chair, hon Minister Shenge, hon members and dear friends, in July last year James McNeil was found guilty and sentenced to five years' imprisonment for possession of 4 200 images of child pornography and 10 video clips of the same material in the much- publicised "Father Christmas case". He is now serving his sentence at Pollsmoor Prison where, at least for five years, he will not have anything to do with our children. The case of McNeil, who was 72 years old at the time of his sentencing, shows the seriousness of the problem that we are encountering in our country in dealing with the abuse of children through the medium of the Internet. That even a man old enough to be a grandfather to most of us could be involved in these acts of cruelty shows the level of sickness of certain people in our society. It shows 19 February 2004 Page 168 of 200 that the danger is real and that the solution can no longer continue to be only academic. The many cases that have been reported recently also bring to the fore another reality, that demonstrates that problem is well and alive in South Africa. Pornography is not just something that is happening across the shores, but it is a crime with real victims who are South African and, therefore, the law needs to make it possible for us to protect our children. After many years and a repeated public outcry, the work that has been done has finally resulted in the Bill being presented before this House. This work has involved consultations with law enforcement agencies, the prosecutors, child protection units of the police, academics, community activists, NGOs, the Internet service providers, and before it was finalised, the Bill itself had to go through many versions of redrafting. We are certain that the product that is presented before you today is the one that takes into account all the contributions, and that every role-player is 19 February 2004 Page 169 of 200 satisfied that this is the best way to approach the problem. As has already been hinted at, the Bill itself aims to make it much more easier for law enforcers to bring to book the online paedophiles; it seeks to bring under the regulation of the Act the Internet service providers and to create liability or obligations on their part to help reduce the scourge of child abuse online. We intend, through this Bill, to increase the maximum sentence for such crimes from five years to 10 years, while at the same time removing child pornography from the category of classifiable material, both in the film and the Internet, so that it is purely regarded as criminal in terms of the law. In line with the recommendations of the King Report, we also intend to make structural changes to the composition of the Film and Publication Board. Additional to fighting child pornography on the Internet, we will also ensure that children are 19 February 2004 Page 170 of 200 protected from harmful material. In this regard, we will make it punishable for adults, including parents, who do not take reasonable steps to ensure that if they are in possession of ordinary pornographic material, children do not have access to such images. [Applause.] We are of the opinion that this law is more than long overdue. We are also very optimistic about the possibilities for a much more vigorous approach in our fight against these paedophiles as a result of these amendments. One of the immediate benefits of these amendments is that we will be able to work hand in hand with the Internet service providers in launching a public hotline through which the public can report violations of this Act, both on the Internet and in film, including other material such as interactive games, magazines and DVDs. We are happy to announce, as part of this process, that the hotline will be up and running by the end of April this year, and I have been given the undertaking by the 19 February 2004 Page 171 of 200 board that all preparations are being made to ensure that we meet this deadline. Deputy Chair, I would like to emphasise in particular the amendment that deals with section 27 of the Act, the area in which we had some difficulties during our consultation process with other role-players, particularly the Internet service providers. I'm also happy to say that all these difficulties have now been ironed out. The section itself deals with the definitions of possession and the creation of child pornography. I am singling this one out for the reason that there are others in our society who have argued that simply because they are in research or art, they should be allowed the constitutional right to keep child pornography, as if these amendments were to deny them that right. In that case the state would be trampling on the Constitution of our country. In line with the judgment of the Constitutional Court in the De Reuck case, we are of the view that 19 February 2004 Page 172 of 200 such restrictions do, in fact, satisfy the limitations analysis stemming from the provisions of our Constitution, that the protection of our children should, in terms of the law, supersede everything else. [Applause.] That is what Government has in mind as we present this Bill to you here today. Let me reiterate our commitment to the protection of such important rights as the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy, as enshrined in our Constitution. I must, however, stress that we feel that the limitation of these rights, which is also provided for in the Constitution, is clearly justifiable when it comes to the protection of our children. [Applause.] Currently, the department of education in the Gauteng province is busy with the final roll-out of computers in schools, through the Gauteng on-Line Project. This is going to make computers and the Internet available to thousands of students in the schools, making each one of them and their teachers possible victims of cyber crime, including access 19 February 2004 Page 173 of 200 to pornography or as subjects of child abuse online. Owing to these and other developments in the homes and at workplaces, we have decided that the board should conduct Internet Safety for Schools Programmes in all provinces. Child pornography or abuse of children online is but one of the pervasive and deep-rooted problems of sexual abuse of children. The protection of our children needs to be holistic, hence our belief that Parliament's support of legislation, such as this piece of legislation, is paramount. It should be important for us that children should feel safe and be allowed the right to grow up in a society free from violence, abuse, hunger and injustice. Children are the most vulnerable in our society. The only protection that they can ever know is that which we as parents can provide them. I am sure that in our conscience, it should count a lot that we can go to sleep today, knowing that we made a difference; that the humiliation, suffering and pain of a child, even if it is one child, can be avoided as a result of what we are doing here 19 February 2004 Page 174 of 200 right now. I make a plea to all of us here in appreciation of our duty to society, not only as public representatives, but as parents as well. Bantu beNkosi, ndifun' ukuthi, mhlawumbi le ndaba yemifanekiso yabantwana enamanyala, ichild pornography, ayikaqondakali kubanye bethu kuba singenabo abantwana. Kambe bazali, le ngxaki ayikho kwiikhompyutha kuphela. Ndifuna ukucela kakhulu kumzi omnyama ukuba uqwalasele ngoba thina asizazi ezinye zezi zinto. Abantwana bethu bafotwa singazi. Ngelinye ixesha umfota eze umntwana wakho ungazi, ukuba kuza kubakho igqwirha eliza kuthi xa lidibana nelo foto lomntwana wakho oze, lilithabathe liye kulisebenzisela zinye iinjongo ezingcolileyo nezimdaka. Kanti kukho enye into ekhulileyo apho sihlala khona: Abantu abeza ngokungathi bandwendwele njengabakhenkethi, bafike bathabathe abantwana, babanike imali bahambe, baye kubafota emacaleni beze. Okanye abantwana benziswe izinto ezithile ezimdaka, ezingcolileyo, ekungafanelekanga ukuba bazenze, nanjengoko bengabantwana. Aba bantu bafota 19 February 2004 Page 175 of 200 abantwana bethu bemile benganxibanga ngezantsi, baze babanike iimali - abantwana bethu bayahlupheka, bafun' iimali zesidlo sasemini esikolweni. Ezo foto zithi zithatyathwe ziye kusetyenziswa ngezinye iindlela. Ingeyiyo laa foto yomntwana obefotwe emile, eze. Ngoku sele iyifoto ebonisa umntwana egocwagocwa, esenziwa ezinye izinto ngumntu omdala. Injalo le nto. Uyabona ke, xa wena ungazalanga, futhi ungenalo usizi akubi nankathalo. Abanye abantu abangazalanga babanayo laa ntlungu. Bayayiva intlungu ngezi zinto le nto imbi ngakumbi kwaba bantwana babiwayo; Abantwana abakwezi internet, abasetyenziswayo kwezi zinto, ngabantwana abazibone bekwezi meko bengakhange bazi nabazali babo bengenalwazi. Wena ke oza kuthetha ezo lwimi uzithethayo, Mnu Waters, ongekabinguye umzali ukubonakalisa ukungabi nankathalo. (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.) [The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: People, I want to say that perhaps child pornography is not 19 February 2004 Page 176 of 200 very clear to some of us, because some of us may not have children. I would like to let parents know that this problem is not only due to the use of computers, and I would specifically say this to black families, as these things are new to us. Our children are photographed without our knowing that and sometimes one would take a photograph of a child not knowing that it would later on be used by some witch who would have very sinister and dirty ideas. We are also witnessing growth in the number of people who come as tourists and give our children money, take them to secluded areas and take photos of them naked. Some children are told to do things that they are not supposed to do as children. These people would pose half-naked with the children. Children take the money they are given because they are poor and would want to use the money to buy lunch at school perhaps. Those photographs would be later used for pornographic purposes. That is the reality of the situation. If you do not have children or are not compassionate about this problem, you speak insensitively about the issue. 19 February 2004 Page 177 of 200 Other people who do not have children do feel for those who do. It is particularly children who have been stolen from their families who are exposed to this dirty activity. Our children are being abused online, through the medium of the Internet. The parents of the children who are involved in child pornography and the children themselves do not know how they got involved in it. Mr Waters, for you to speak the way you do now, just because you do not have children, is very insensitive.] I don't really believe that you already have a child. You are insensitive and do not understand the urgency of some of these matters because you don't know anything about parenthood. [Applause.] [Interjections.] ... An HON MEMBER: It took you two years to ... [Inaudible.] ... The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Yes, it took me two years. Yes, I delayed them for a reason, but 19 February 2004 Page 178 of 200 the good thing is that there was ultimately proper consultation and agreement with the Internet service providers. The ones on whose behalf you purport to be speaking are, in fact, the people who have agreed fully to these amendments and who are supporting this very Bill. Thank you very much. [Applause.] Mr S PILLAY: Thank you, Deputy Chair. On Sunday I spoke at a meeting in Johannesburg that was attended by over 550 religious leaders, human rights activists from the Hindu, Muslim, Christian, spiritualist and atheist communities. One of the issues raised was legislation and its enforcement, and in terms of this Bill in particular. It had overwhelming support from the people who attended that meeting. The New NP listens to what people have to say and doesn't come here and yap like a little pup. We support this important and essential Bill. As much has been said about the content, I shall concentrate on its implementation. There are several challenges that are still in the way of 19 February 2004 Page 179 of 200 enforcing this piece of legislation. We therefore call upon the Ministers of Safety and Security, Justice and Constitutional Development, and Public Service and Administration to take the required action to ensure that this piece of legislation is enforced. We believe that they will do so, moreover after the allocations that were announced by the Minister of Finance. If you make a commitment to enforce this legislation, we accept that you will do so because you are the Government and it is your direct responsibility. At the meeting we also discussed the commitment advertised by the DA, namely that if one person votes for them, they will put 150 000 police personnel on the streets, supposedly to implement such legislation. It was made clear that all empirical evidence shows that the DA will not be the government of our country after the April elections - and they are fully aware of that. Therefore they will not be able to give effect to the claim. As the DA will not be able to give 19 February 2004 Page 180 of 200 effect to the claim, it therefore means that it is a misleading advertisement. That advertisement was rejected with the contempt that it so rightly deserves. The provisions of this Bill are important and they affect the lives of our children and ourselves. We cannot stand by and be silent when a party makes a commitment that it knows it shall not be able to fulfil. The meeting took a decision that the matter will be reported to the relevant authorities with the request that the particular advertisement be withdrawn. It is the Government that will allocate personnel and other resources to implement this piece of legislation. Let us be absolutely clear on that point. If all political parties, civic organisations and responsible leaders work together to implement this legislation, those wishing to violate this law will find it very difficult to do so. This has to be done in a very responsible manner by everyone. 19 February 2004 Page 181 of 200 The plight of crime victims and the enforcement of legislation should not be used in the hope of gaining a few votes for those that have tried. They will soon learn that the electorate will not be confused or misled by such a wild and exaggerated advertisement. In conclusion: The people at that meeting gave full support for the role that the New NP is playing, together with the Government, in combating crime, in particular child pornography. Ms C DUDLEY: Deputy Chair, child pornography is universally condemned for good reason. It strikes at the dignity of children. It is harmful to children who are used in these productions, and it is potentially harmful because of the attitude to child sex that it fosters and the use of it in grooming children to engage in sexual conduct. These are the words of Deputy Chief Judge Langa in 2003, when the Constitutional Court ruled that the possession and production of child pornography should stay illegal. 19 February 2004 Page 182 of 200 The Films and Publications Amendment Bill makes provision for the prohibition of child pornography and a more effective investigation and prosecution of child pornography offenders. These objectives are commendable and its provisions are welcomed by the ACDP. However, the Bill does not go far enough as adult pornography is still legal and defended in the name of free speech. Children are vulnerable and easily become victims of those who have been aroused by adult pornography and not just child pornography. Of course the ADCP is not surprised that the liberal DA opposes any efforts to effectively clamp down on pornography. [Applause.] In 1996 the Films and Publications Act legalised pornography in South Africa for the first time. According to the South African Police Services' Child Protection Unit this made it possible for child abusers, rapists and pedophiles to obtain all the material they needed. Statistics, they say, tells the story of South Africa Police records showing that child rape increased by over 400%. The 19 February 2004 Page 183 of 200 police further noted that in research with child sexual offenders, it was revealed that all had used pornography. Every 26 seconds a woman is raped in South Africa, often by a man known to her and increasingly under excessively violent circumstances; and every 24 minutes there is a rape or attempted rape of a child. Shockingly, child-on-child rape is on the increase in South Africa and the age of rapists is declining. This is not surprising, given the circulation of pornographic magazines in our schools, not of child pornography, but adult pornography. According to the police at the Mitchell's Plain Child Protection Unit the bizarre ideas employed by child-on-child rapists are likely gleaned from pornographic material, which is also used by gangs to lure children from school playgrounds. I have a lot more to say, but unfortunately I have been denied my other two minutes. Thank you. [Time expired.] 19 February 2004 Page 184 of 200 Mr W M SKHOSANA: Thank you, Chairperson, Ministers, and hon members. Chairperson, the Bill before the House today, which is the Films and Publications Bill, deals with the specific sections and clauses pertaining to child pornography. It is another example of the fact that the South African Constitution is a living document that impacts on and improves the quality of life of all our people. The Bill of Rights as contained in our Constitution guarantees, among others, the right to privacy, the right to dignity and prohibits determination based on sex, gender and social orientation. The Bill seeks to do that in totality. The principal Act did not include the description of child pornography in its totality, or the inclusion of other parts of the body, which may be used for pornographic purposes. As a result, the amendment is necessary as it can deal with specifics. To show that the Government is serious about child pornography, the Government takes note of the development worldwide of the technology and 19 February 2004 Page 185 of 200 complexity that goes with it. Times are changing every day. As a country and as a Government, we are determined to build and a give meaning to our Constitution. The amendment of the principal Act shows the determination of the ANC-led Government to become involved in the national priority task of laying the foundation for building a coherent and substainable society. Taking the cue from the Minister of Finance yesterday in his Budget Review and allocating more money to the Department of Education because of the need of computer literacy for our students, this Bill seeks to take everybody on board. Big businesses were consulted and all stakeholders were consulted. We should take note of the fact that our children will be more exposed to computers. It is necessary for school governing bodies and everybody else in society to do so. As a result, possession, according to the Bill, will go further to include downloading material on computers which our children are using on daily basis. 19 February 2004 Page 186 of 200 Regarding Internet service providers, within its jurisdiction in so far as child pornography is concerned, it is therefore necessary to include the definition of "Internet address" and "Internet service provider" in the Act. We are living in a changing world. There is a relationship between children whose images appear in child pornography and those who have gone missing through child trafficking. This Bill is part of the process to bring about a legislative framework that ensures the total protection of children against any form of abuse, be it sexual, violent, trafficking or otherwise, is in place. As a result we are looking with interest at the development surrounding the finalisation of the legislation that deals with human trafficking. Due to the nature of the problems involved, which include the fact that this is a cross-border crime, it has taken a long time to finalise the policy in this regard. The ANC Government is making a call to 19 February 2004 Page 187 of 200 all to join the ANC-led Government in the people's contract to build the nation. The moral degeneration is one aspect that is to be used, and perhaps we need to revisit the notion of a collective upbringing of the child: Go back to the basics of promoting the notion of your child is my child, my child is your child. Surely the hon member Walters might not understand what do we mean by this. Hon Walters, you have been all over the show, accusing particularly the chairperson of the portfolio committee of not wanting to bring the Bill before the committee. Now the Bill is before this House today and now you are the one who is opposing the Bill. You have attended all those public hearings which included those other parastatals you have made mention of. We did not find any problems with those inputs, and they ultimately agreed with us that there is a need to have this kind of amendment. It is important to note that this world is changing. We are part of the global world which is constantly changing. Mr Walters tries to compare 19 February 2004 Page 188 of 200 the new South Africa with the South Africa of yesterday. It was an apartheid state, it had its roles, it had its policies, and it had its aims. We want to be part of the global world and then we want to ensure that each and every citizen, our children in particular, are safe by introducing this Bill. I thank you. The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: I was brought up differently from you. I can never be like you. Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, I would like to make just one thing very clear. It is a fact that this is indeed my Bill. I brought it to this House because it is my Bill and my party supported this Bill. I am very grateful that the Minister of Safety and Security is here. When he was my Deputy Minister, he felt very passionately about this matter to the extent - I think the Minister of Public Service would bear me out here - that he would have wanted us to have a presentation on the kind of harm that is done to children by pornography. 19 February 2004 Page 189 of 200 I could not have brought the Bill here if I was opposed to it myself. However, I have every right to point out, as you saw, that there are certain people who made the presentations because they feel differently about it, but for the chairperson of the portfolio committee to come here and say that I was unhappy myself, I don't know what that means. How he can say that I am unhappy, especially since I brought the Bill before the House? There are many Bills that have been passed in this House, and which have been taken to the Constitutional Court and were squashed. If I just warned members that there was that possibility, it doesn't mean that I am opposed to the Bill. If I felt so strongly, I could even have discussed it with the Deputy Minister. If you mother brought you up like that, it is just too bad. [Interjections.] Yes, you have no manners and that is your parents' fault. [Interjections.] I just want to make it very clear that you cannot give to me what you do not have. If you don't have something between your ears, you can't give it to 19 February 2004 Page 190 of 200 me. I would also like to say that there is also wisdom in the old expression that we cannot teach an old woman to suck an egg. [Applause.] Debate concluded. Bill read a second time (DA dissenting). CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF EXCLUSION OF LAND FROM AUGRABIES WATERFALL NATIONAL PARK There was no debate. Exclusion of Land from Augrabies Waterfall National Park approved. CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - STUDY TOUR TO THE UK There was no debate. The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the report be noted. 19 February 2004 Page 191 of 200 Motion agreed to. Report accordingly noted. CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT - UN REPORT ON 19TH SESSION OF GOVERNING COUNCIL OF UN HABITAT There was no debate. The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the report be noted. Motion agreed to. Report accordingly noted. The House adjourned at 17:36. __________ ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS ANNOUNCEMENTS 19 February 2004 Page 192 of 200 National Assembly 1. Messages from National Council of Provinces to National Assembly in respect of Bills passed by Council and transmitted to Assembly: (1) Bill, as amended, passed by Council on 19 February 2004 and transmitted for consideration of Council's amendments: (i) National Gambling Bill [B 48D - 2003] (National Assembly - sec 76) The amended Bill has been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry for a report and recommendations on the Council's amendments. TABLINGS National Assembly 1. The Speaker 19 February 2004 Page 193 of 200 Eleventh Report of the Working Group on the African Union (AU): Following on its Tenth Report, adopted by the House on 26 November 2003, the Working Group would like to report as follows: (1) Submission of names of PAP Members to AU Commission The Working Group in its Tenth Report recommended that 5 Members be elected to represent Parliament in the Pan African Parliament (PAP), in terms of Article 4(2) of the Protocol which provides that each Member State shall be represented in the Pan African Parliament by 5 Parliamentarians, at least one of whom shall be a woman. On 26 November 2003, the following Members were elected: Dr F N Ginwala, Ms M A A Njobe, Mr M J Mahlangu, Dr B L Geldenhuys 19 February 2004 Page 194 of 200 and Prof H Ngubane and the names have been submitted to the AU Commission. The AU Commission has indicated that it has now received the names of the Members from 23 Parliaments. As some had not provided all the required information (gender and political affiliation), the Commission will be sending a further communication requesting standardised formats for required information, including the language preference of each Member and whether each Member will take an oath or make a solemn declaration. (2) Arrangements for the Inaugural Session and the First Session (a) Date and programme The date for the Inaugural Session has been set as 18 March 2004 in Addis Ababa. The Inaugural Session will be preceded by regional meetings which are 19 February 2004 Page 195 of 200 scheduled for 17 March 2004 and followed by the First Session of the PAP from 19 to 20 March 2004. The Steering Committee at its meeting held on 13 and 14 February 2004 adopted a draft programme for the Inaugural Session for consideration by the Chairperson of the AU, President J Chissano. It also agreed a programme for adoption by the First Session of the PAP. (b) Oath of Office The Steering Committee has agreed the Oath of Office or Affirmation for Members and for Presiding Officers, in each of the 4 official languages of the AU. (c) Observers In addition to the 5 Members, each Member Parliament may send 3 observers 19 February 2004 Page 196 of 200 to attend the Inaugural Session. The Speaker will submit names of observers to the Chief Whips. (d) Secondment of Staff The Commission will be writing to Members of the Steering Committee and the African Foreign Missions in Addis Ababa to request them to second staff. (3) Rules for the Inaugural Session Article 11 (8) of the Protocol empowers the PAP to adopt its Rules of Procedure. The Steering Committee has adopted Draft Rules for the PAP. These Rules will be considered and adopted at the First Session. (4) Nomination and election of the President of the PAP 19 February 2004 Page 197 of 200 In terms of the Article 12 (2) of the Protocol, the PAP will at its first sitting, elect from among its Members and in accordance with its Rules of Procedure, a President and 4 Vice Presidents representing the regions of Africa. According to the Protocol, the election of the President will take place during the Inaugural Session and be presided over by the Chairperson of the AU. National Parliaments may nominate candidates. Regional consultations will be held to nominate a candidate from the region from amongst the nominations from National Parliaments. The election will be by secret ballot of all Members. (5) Nomination and election of the Vice Presidents The Draft Rules provide that the region from which the President comes is excluded from the ballot for Vice Presidents. Each of the 4 remaining regions will nominate two 19 February 2004 Page 198 of 200 candidates per region, one of whom must be a woman. Each ballot paper will have two sections: Section 1 for the nominated women candidates exclusively and Section 2 for all candidates. In Section 1 of the ballot, the names of the women candidates will be listed in alphabetical order indicating their respective regions. Each delegate must vote for one woman on Section 1 of the ballot paper. Ballot papers which do not indicate a valid vote on Section 1 will be disqualified. Each delegate may also vote for one candidate from each of the regions on Section 2 of the ballot paper. Section 2 will be counted first. Should there be no woman candidate amongst the top 4 votes, the woman with the highest vote from Section 1 of the ballot paper will replace the candidate from the corresponding region in Section 2 of the ballot. 19 February 2004 Page 199 of 200 Section 1 of the ballot will only be considered if no women candidates are voted as one of the Vice Presidents in Section 2 of the ballot. The election will be by simple majority of Members present and voting. (6) Rules of Debate A minimum set of Rules of Debate has also been agreed to. (7) Establishment of committees Article 12(13) of the Protocol provides that the PAP may establish such committees, as it deems fit, for the proper discharge of its functions and in accordance with its Rules of Procedure. According to the Draft Rules, the Bureau will constitute the Business Committee of the PAP. At its first session, the PAP will establish the following ad hoc Committees: 19 February 2004 Page 200 of 200 (a) Rules Committee (b) Budget Committee (c) Credentials Committee These ad hoc Committees will be composed of 3 representatives per region and will be appointed by the House. (8) Reporting Mechanisms The Working Group has previously highlighted the need for Parliament to consider how the five Members of the PAP will report. The Working Group recommends: That the next Parliament prioritises the establishment of a committee to process and deal with issues emanating from the African Union. Report to be considered.