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21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 1 of 154 WEDNESDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2007 ____ PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ____ The House met at 15:28. The Speaker took the Chair. ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000. QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY SOCIAL SERVICES AND GOVERNANCE Cluster 2 MINISTERS: Progress in implementing Investing in Culture Programme 443. Mrs N D Mbombo (ANC) asked the Minister of Arts and Culture: (a) What progress has his department made in implementing the Investing in Culture Programme since it was launched, (b) which 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 2 of 154 projects are funded by his department and (c) which provinces are implementing the programme successfully? NO2473E The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Madam Speaker, the answer is quite long but I will do my best. The programme has since been established as a chief directorate with a staff complement of 15, which includes nine provincial co-ordinators to support the strategic planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of supported projects. The Department of Arts and Culture, in conjunction with the Media, Advertising, Publishing, Packaging and Printing Sector Education Training Authority - MAPPP Seta - has entered into a training partnership through a signed memorandum of agreement to ensure that the supported projects receive accredited training whilst in the short term they provide employment in compliance with the government‟s Expanded Public Works Programme. Accredited training in this sector has been achieved through this partnership with MAPPP Seta on 14 learnerships and 16 skills programmes. To ensure a scaled-up and smooth implementation of the training programme, the provincial co-ordinators are already trained and qualified as both assessors and moderators on craft production, craft enterprise and craft operation management. Sixty project managers have also qualified as assessors on craft production and 2 696 crafters have qualified on craft production. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 3 of 154 In recognition of the existing skills and in increasing and transforming the training provider base, a further 149 master crafters were registered on the project central database. They are qualified to render accredited training and thus can be exited. The programme is currently funding 281 projects nationwide, with 88 located within the various Integrated Sustainable Rural Development and Urban Renewal Programme nodal areas. The details of the programme follow. In Gauteng we have a total of nine projects in one nodal point, which offer employment opportunities to 156 women and 254 youth, and we participate in 32 EPWPs. The budget allocation is R14,6 million. In Mpumalanga we have a total of 24 projects in three nodal areas, which employ 395 women, 290 youth and 20 in the EPWP. The budget for that is R13 million. In the Western Cape there are a total of 13 projects in one nodal point, which employ 102 women and 101 youth, and the budget for that is R7,3 million. In the Northern Cape we have a total of 23 projects in 12 nodal points that employ 238 women, 312 youth and 14 in the EPWP. The budget allocation is R11,7 million. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 4 of 154 In Limpopo we have a total of 43 projects in five nodal points employing 847 women, 620 youth and 67 in EPWPs. The budget for that is R32,4 million. In the Free State we have a total of 16 projects in three nodal points employing 126 women, 105 youth, and 11 in the Public Works Department‟s projects, with a budget of R10,7 million. In the Eastern Cape there are 68 projects in 39 nodal points employing 683 women, 490 youth and 105 in the Public Works Department‟s programmes, with a budget of R38,1 million. In KwaZulu-Natal we have a total of 59 projects in 24 nodal points employing 396 women, 351 youth ... The SPEAKER: Order, hon Minister. I suggest that, perhaps, the rest of the information can be given in writing. The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Yes, I would like to table it if possible but I think it gives a fairly good idea of what we are doing. Thank you. REPLY: (a) The programme has since been been established at a Chief Directorate level with a staff complement of 15, which includes 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 5 of 154 9 provincial co-ordinators to support the strategic planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of supported projects TRAINING PARTNERSHIP WITH MAPPP SETA The Department of Arts and Culture, in conjunction with the Media, Advertising, Publishing, Packaging and Printing Sector Education Training Authority, MAPPP Seta, has entered into a training partnership through a signed memorandum of agreement to ensure that the supported projects receive accredited training whilst in short term employment in compliance with the Expanded Public Works Programme of government. Accredited training in the sector has been achieved through this partnership with MAPPP Seta on 14 learnerships and 16 skills programmes. To ensure a scaled-up and smooth implementation of the training programme, the provincial co-ordinators are already trained and qualified as both assessors and moderators on Craft Production, Craft Enterprise and Craft Operation Management (NQF 2, 4 and 5 respectively). Sixty project managers have also qualified as assessors on Craft Production (NQF 2) and 2696 crafters have qualified on Craft Production (NQF 2). 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 6 of 154 In recognition of existing skills and increasing and transforming the training provider base, a further 149 master crafters were registered on the project central database. They are qualified to render accredited training and thus can be exited. (b) The programme is currently funding two hundred and eighty-one (281) projects nationwide with eighty-eight (88) located within the various Integrated Sustainable Rural Development and Urban Renewal Programmes, (ISRDP & URP) nodal areas. The details of the programme are as follows: Province Project Employment opportunities Finances ( R ) numbers Total Nodal Women Youth PWD Total Budget allocations Expenditure Gauteng 9 1 156 254 32 361 14 644 000 13 065 000 Mpumalanga 24 3 395 290 20 495 13 050 000 6 900 000 Western Cape 13 1 102 101 0 198 7 325 000 4 968 750 Northern Cape 23 12 238 312 14 431 11 750 000 7 750 000 Limpopo 43 5 847 620 67 1091 32 475 400 24 699 900 Free State 16 3 126 105 11 286 10 750 000 8 250 000 Eastern Cape 68 39 683 490 105 1128 38 104 600 20 102 650 KwaZulu – 59 24 396 351 28 1295 34 999 000 28 811 750 Natal North West 26 0 147 97 0 332 13 057 000 7 542 750 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 7 of 154 TOTAL 281 88 3090 2620 277 5597 176 155 000 117 732 300 The list of supported projects is available on request. The Investing in Culture programme focuses on the economic opportunities for craft, music, heritage and cultural tourism sectors. Through the meaningful partnerships established nationally and internationally, as manifested in the exhibitions attended, products developed from several projects were able to enter the mainstream markets. Some of the supported projects have already generated 10% of the allocated project costs, both in revenue accrual and/or rand value of recognition of excellence. This is seen as a good lead towards sustainability beyond departmental funding. As the department, through Investing in Culture, is committed to providing market access to funded projects, the Rand Show, amongst other exhibitions, offers the projects a platform to trade in an experiential environment allowing a wide range of consumers to interact with the products. At the 2007 Rand Show, 56 projects were exhibited, with a revenue accrual amounting to R 152 443.00. Revenue accrued through sales amounts to approximately R2 million whilst infrastructure development allocated to specific projects by the EU R3 million, licensing from EMI R1 million and R50 000 came from the local municipality. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 8 of 154 (c) Through continuous monitoring and evaluation, as well as a thorough orientation programme, more than 90% of projects are successfully implemented with full co-operation from all provinces. Nkskz N D MBOMBO: Ndiyabulela Mphathiswa ngenkcazelo yakho evakalayo, kodwa ixhala lam lisekubeni le misebenzi ingaka iza kugcineka njani ukuze iqhube ixesha elide, le nto kuthiwa yi- sustainability ngesilungu, ngamanye amazwi ingabi yinto yanamhlanje eza kuphela ngomso. Kwakhona, ndifuna ukwazi ukuba mangaphi amanye amasebe ancedisa ukudala amathuba emisebenzi. UMPHATHISWA WEZENKCUBEKO NEZITHETHE: Ndingenjenje ukuphendula lo mbuzo, sifumana inkxaso enkulu kwiSebe lezemiSebenzi nanjengokuba besele ndichazile ukuba kukho i-MAPPP seta enika abantu izatifiketi. Ngoko ke siyancedisana ke kakhulu kwelo cala nela sebe. Eyona nto ingamandla nebalulekileyo kukuba sifumane imali size siyifake kula malinge ukuze abe ziinkqubo ezimileyo neziqinileyo. Sifuna ukuba abantu bangapheleli okanye bangajongi kuwo wodwa la malinge. Sifuna ukuba umntu athi akuba eqeqeshiwe akwazi ukuhamba, azifunele umsebenzi ngaphandle ukuze akwazi ukuvulela abanye izithuba. Ngalo ndlela ke sicinga ukuba la malinge angathatha ixesha elide okanye agcineke. Ndiyabulela. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.) 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 9 of 154 [Mrs N D MBOMBO: Thank you, hon Minister, for the clarity you have just given but what concerns me is how those jobs will be secured and whether they will be sustainable. Those jobs should not be for a short period. I would also like to know which other departments are teaming up to create more job opportunities. The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: What I would like to say at this stage is what I said earlier on, namely that the Department of Labour does assist a lot in that the MAPPP Seta issues certificates and that collaboration is quite helpful to my department. What is of paramount importance is to get adequate funding to ensure the strengthening and sustainability of these initiatives. Our aim is to encourage self-reliance among the people themselves in that when they are trained in a specific field of work, they must go and look for employment that fits the training they have received. That will also pave the way for new entrants to also benefit from these initiatives. In that way we are certain that these efforts will last longer and be sustainable. I thank you.] Mev D VAN DER WALT: Speaker, Minister, op bladsy 62 van die verslag van die Ouditeur-Generaal vir 2006-07 is daar natuurlik ‟n hele lys met die projekte wat op daardie datum beskikbaar was. U het nou nie tyd gehad om die lys te voltooi nie, maar die Noordwes was nie op daardie lys nie en ‟n mens wonder of hulle dan geen projekte gehad het nie. U oorstemmende departement in die Limpopo Provinsie gaan al 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 10 of 154 geruime tyd gebuk onder geweldig ernstige klagtes van korrupsie en ek sal graag daarvan wil weet. Die program het ten doel om geleenthede te skep, juis in areas vir mense waar hulle woon; om daar ook ‟n inkomste te verdien. Met die probleme wat ek geskets het, wil ek graag van u, as nasionale Minister, weet watter beheer of planne van aksie u in plek het om hierdie projekte se volhoudbaarheid en implementering te verseker regoor al hierdie nodale areas waarvan u praat. Dankie. Die MINISTER VAN KUNS EN KULTUUR: In die vorige verslag is daar miskien nie verslag gedoen oor die Noordwes nie, maar ek kan vandag vir u vertel daar is 26 projekte in die Noordwes, waar ons 147 vrouens en 97 jeugdiges oplei. Die begroting daarvoor is R13 miljoen. Oor die kwessie van korrupsie: as u kennis dra daaroor, sal ons baie dankbaar wees as u dit vir ons kan blootlê sodat ons daardie probleme kan ondersoek. Baie dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Mrs D VAN DER WALT: Speaker, Minister, on page 62 of the report of the Auditor-General for 2006-07, there is, of course, a whole list of projects that were available on that date. You did not have the time to complete the list, but the North West was not on that list and one wonders if they had no projects. Your corresponding 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 11 of 154 department in Limpopo has had tremendously serious allegations of corruption levelled against it for some time now and I would like to know about that. The programme is meant to create opportunities for people precisely in those areas where they live; so that they can earn a living. Regarding the problems I have indicated, I would like to know from you, as national Minister, what control or plans of action you have in place to ensure the sustainability and implementation of these projects across all these nodal areas you have spoken of. Thank you. The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: In the previous report there may not have been any mention of the North West but I can tell you today that there are 26 projects in the North West, where we are training 147 women and 97 youths. The budget for this is R13 million. Regarding the issue of corruption: If you know anything about it, we would be very grateful if you could supply us with that information so that we can investigate these problems. Thank you.] Mr S E OPPERMAN: Minister, Turakina is the name of a farm just outside George. It is an ancient Quena name and if we listen attentively, we can hear the ``tourism‟‟ in the word ``Turakina‟‟. If we have a little understanding of ancient cosmologically orientated religions, you will know that the ancient ``tourism‟‟ of ``Turakina‟‟ was of a special kind. It was related to pilgrimage. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 12 of 154 In the same way I can link the ancient Quena word, ``mullai’’, with the present ``mouille’’ as in Mouille Point. In this case, some understanding of etymology will help. Minister, is there any possibility that your department can assist with the opening up of this hidden knowledge which is linked to my Quena heritage and which I believe can make an incredible contribution to cultural tourism? I thank you. The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: This is a very interesting question and interesting information. There is one minor problem that I would like to avoid and that is to get entangled in religious matters. We all have our own belief systems and if you go through the various belief systems, you will find that they all contradict each other. Therefore, I like to avoid them. Much as one might say that the belief system you are talking about is an important part of South African heritage, so are many others, but I would rather steer clear of those. However, I am willing to listen, to receive information on the matter and we can look into it. As far as I am concerned, it is far better to steer clear of religion because it is potentially a very explosive matter. Interventions to improve Mathematics and Science education, with a view to participation in 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 13 of 154 452. Mr G G Boinamo (DA) asked the Minister of Education: (1) In light of a statement by an official of her department (name furnished) that South Africa would almost definitely participate in the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, Timss, after the department‟s interventions to improve Mathematics and Science education have had an impact, what are these interventions; (2) whether her department has developed its own tests to evaluate the success of these interventions; if not, why not; if so, what are (a) the relevant details and (b) outcomes of the tests; (3) whether South Africa will participate in Timss in 2011; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO2899E The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker, may I say, firstly, that in terms of the quotation ascribed to a staff member of my department, I can‟t believe that a member of my department would use a phrase such as “would almost definitely”, which, in Setswana, means go eletsa, o lekile le o a netefatsa, because it sounds very strange. However, the reply to the question is as follows. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 14 of 154 Firstly, the interventions that are targeted at improving Maths and Science in schools include ensuring that disadvantaged schools have adequate resources to enable them to lay a solid foundation in these critical subjects, particularly in the earlier grades, through compensatory post provisioning and school allocations. Secondly, interventions include recruiting students with the potential to take up teaching as a profession through the provision of full-cost, service-linked bursaries and to supply those bursaries for the studying of subjects in these critical skills domains for South Africa. Thirdly, they also involve strengthening ongoing development and support to our serving teachers and managers of schools to make all our school centres those of excellent teaching and learning. We have developed our own testing systems with respect to part two of the question as well as methods to evaluate the success of our interventions. Through the systemic evaluations that are conducted at Grades 3, 6 and 9, we have been able to establish important baseline information that directs our interventions to specific areas that need strengthening. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 15 of 154 We are already piloting standardised common tests at Grades 10 and 11 to ensure that the transition to the new senior certificate in 2008 is as smooth as possible. We realise that there are serious needs and we are working on these in order to have a system of external verification for all our internal evaluations, not only of learner performance, but also with regard to the quality assurance evaluations of the personnel and systems that are currently utilised in the education system. It is difficult, with respect to the last part of the question, for me to respond to the “would almost definitely”, as ascribed to my official. South Africa might or might not participate in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study in 2011. The decision to participate will be taken by government and the Minister of Education at that time. We, of course, do also participate in other regional assessments and international studies such as the South Eastern and Eastern African Consortium for Measuring Educational Quality and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. We value Timss, but we believe that the time has now come for us to really look carefully at streamlining our participation in international studies, many of which do not actually add value in terms of our understanding of the key challenges that confront us in 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 16 of 154 the system of education and often replicate the nature of questions and tests that are put before our children. So, I believe that it is important that we avoid unnecessary duplication of testing and focus on building a robust system that responds to our national needs and unique challenges while attacking the core problems that underlie the underperformance that we do see in a great deal of our learning sector in South Africa. Mr G G BOINAMO: Minister, thank you for your answer. However, the improvement in the teaching of Maths and Science does not depend on evaluation only, but also, and most importantly, on the qualifications of teachers. Furthermore, learning and teaching material must be in place. My questions are as follows: Firstly, what programmes are in place in order to intervene effectively and productively in terms of the improvement of Mathematics and Science? Secondly, how many Mathematics and Science educators are there and what are their levels of qualification? Thirdly, how many schools are equipped with Science laboratories? Lastly, was the Minister, by withdrawing South Africa from participating in Timss in 2007, admitting the fact that her department has failed South African children? Thank you. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 17 of 154 The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker, there seems to be a great deal of licence with follow-up questions because I actually recorded six. So I am not sure how to deal with this and I hope you will allow me the time. Firstly, and clearly, as I indicated, there is no way in which evaluations can be seen as the sole means of driving improvements in performance; they are apart of, and are often used for research purposes. However, you also have to ensure that the form of evaluation you utilise actually serves to assist you in informing and developing your system. While having a whole lot of international tests to participate in might look very good, and while it may be nice for the opposition to say South Africa did badly, as Minister of Education, I have to say that I must put in place interventions that will improve the system; that is my duty. Therefore, the quality of teachers must be improved, hence my current recruitment of any qualified teachers, willing and able to teach in currently vacant Mathematics posts, be they South African or non-South African. The advert is out there. If you know any teachers who are qualified, we have the posts in which to place them. So, clearly the issue of qualifications is being addressed. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 18 of 154 Secondly, we are addressing our teacher development programmes as well because the research we have done indicates that the problem is not just qualifications but also the understanding of the content. You may have done Maths up to third-year level but if you can‟t quite understand theorems, or your algebraic understanding is poor and you are, therefore, unable to teach Grade 12 children, improving content – teacher development – is, therefore, vitally important. Regarding schools with Science laboratories, I ask you again, hon member, to visit the website of the Education department and read the report of Nims, the National Institute for Materials Science. It has the full details as to the number of schools that do not have laboratories. From the briefing made to the portfolio committee by my officials, you are aware that the majority of schools, particularly those in black communities, do not have laboratories and libraries. This is part of the indictment we must recognise and what we are seeking to do, as government, is to respond and provide those resources. So we do not get the reports done merely to have them sit on our tables and make us look nice and informed; we are seeking to attack the problem at its heart. Finally, my department has also briefed the portfolio committee on the Dinaledi schools programme – and I am aware that you were 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 19 of 154 present there – which is an expansion of an initiative begun in 2001. And if you had followed that report, it would have indicated that we have now got down to the detail of what we actually do to ensure, one, that there are resources for teaching Mathematics and Science in the schools; two, that we have a specific teacher development programme for everyone of the teachers in the 468 Dinaledi schools; and three, that we advance with my eventual strategy, which will, of course, be concluded by that Minister in 2011, of ensuring that every secondary school in South Africa offers Mathematics to a child, whatever school he or she might be located in. That is what South Africa must offer the children of the future. It should not be our system that chooses whether a child does Maths or not by preventing schools from having Maths teachers. So, my own purpose is certainly to improve where we offer the subjects now and also to ensure that we expand by giving every child in our country, in secondary school, the opportunity to do quality Mathematics. That is my response, hon member, to the several questions you posed. I hope I have addressed them. I urge you to read the reports that the officials have put before the portfolio committee which contain the kind of detail that you 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 20 of 154 may be seeking. By withdrawing from Timss, I do not believe that it was an admission that we are not ready for the programme. I came here freely, when this question was asked, in fact, some months ago, and said that I did not believe that our country has done sufficiently well in the education system for me to be assured that we would perform better or benefit greatly from participating in Timss 2007. I said, therefore, that we must work hard at the strategies we have put in place to ensure that in four years‟ time we are better, more confident that participating in Timss would actually be a sign that we have made some improvement towards our country‟s children performing better. I think it takes courage to say that we are not quite ready yet. Let us prepare ourselves better and be sure that when we do the test, we can show that we are capable. [Applause.] Progress in reviewing social security and welfare services for children 479. Mr T M Masutha (ANC) asked the Minister of Social Development: What is his department‟s progress in reviewing the basket of social security and welfare services for children between the ages of 14 and 18 years old? NO2928E 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 21 of 154 The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Madam Speaker, the department has made the following progress since Cabinet directed the Forum of South African Directors-General, Fosad, which is the social sector cluster, to investigate measures to reduce vulnerability amongst children over the age of 14 and to recommend a definition of child vulnerability. Interdepartmental discussions were held on both a bilateral and a multilateral basis, focusing on identifying gaps in the existing policies and legislation with a view to designing interventions to respond to the needs of vulnerable children in an integrated and comprehensive manner. A matrix was developed to facilitate the identification of gaps pertaining to service delivery for children between the ages of 14 and 18. Furthermore, in May 2007, the Minister of Social Development hosted an international symposium involving participants from various social sector departments, social partners, as well as national and international experts, to review existing child poverty reduction strategies and interventions and to enhance existing plans towards reducing child poverty. In September 2007 the department prepared a Cabinet memorandum defining child vulnerability, identifying key elements that contribute to vulnerability in children aged 14 to 18 years and 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 22 of 154 recommending the development of an integrated strategy to address their vulnerability. On 5 September Cabinet indicated that further consultation was required to refine the definition of child vulnerability and the development of the proposed strategy. The department intends to conduct such consultations and revise the initial Cabinet memo before the end of December 2007. It is, in fact, work in progress. Thank you. Mr T M MASUTHA: Thank you, Deputy Minister, for that very informative response. The Minister of Social Development is known to have shifted the frontiers of poverty facing children. When he took over in 1999, he found only 500 000 beneficiaries of the child support grant, but today there are 8 000 000 on the system. Only children under the age of six were receiving grants but now it is also accessed by children under the age of 14 and, of course, the foster care grant, which was only accessible to about 50 000 children, is now enjoyed by 400 000 children. What other measures is the Ministry considering to continue to expand these frontiers, to ensure that those children in this age group continue to enjoy further protection whilst these policy gaps are being explored? Thank you. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 23 of 154 The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Madam Speaker, as I‟ve said, this is work in progress but I do need to point out that poverty and income support are but a few of the gaps that have been identified. The other gaps in the services for children between 14 and 18 include children in conflict with the law, child labour and the lack of services or the fact that children are vulnerable to child labour practices. Regarding child protection, such children are easy targets for rape, sexual and commercial exploitation. With regard to health, this age group is susceptible to substance abuse, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/Aids and, with respect to education, the highest school drop-out rate is amongst children aged 14 and over. Alternative care and obtaining birth certificates are other gaps. All of these issues are being addressed – as I said it is work in progress – in an integrated implementation plan; and as soon as the Children‟s Amendment Bill is finalised, the implementation of the Children‟s Act would address a number of these gaps. All of these make up a basket of services beyond poverty and income support and also includes the providing of nutrition in centres in the afternoons and so on. These are all part of the basket of services that is being looked at but the improved memorandum has to go back to Cabinet. Thank you. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 24 of 154 Ms J A SEMPLE: Thank you, Madam Deputy Minister for your reply. However, it was a little disappointing because you gave a lot of intellectual responses and all kinds of strategies, and so forth, but nothing really concrete. Children do not cease to be children once they reach the age of 14. You talk about child labour and children in conflict with the law but in fact it seems that many of them don‟t have any other alternative because they do not have any other kind of support. The only concrete proposal you made is the mention of nutrition. My concern is that this Children‟s Amendment Bill that is still hanging around in the wings of Parliament talks about children of 16 heading child-headed households. Now, given the lack of social workers that we have, how are those children and the children that they are looking after going to be able to access those services? Thank you. The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Madam Speaker, I think that as a member of the portfolio committee, the member is aware that all of these needs are being addressed in the Bill and that as far as child-headed households are concerned, there are already programmes running, not waiting for the passing of the Bill; programmes in which home-based care workers go around to visit those children and assist them to obtain the documentation as well as the skills that they require with regard to the running of those households and to get access to the child support grant for siblings 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 25 of 154 that might qualify for it. These services are already happening. Thank you. Findings of SA Academy of Science’s report on nutrition, research into the impact of nutrition on HIV and TB, and regulation of the industry dealing with nutrition supplements and the like 451. Dr R Rabinowitz (IFP) asked the Minister of Health: (1) Whether the findings of the SA Academy of Science‟s report on nutrition are satisfactory; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether she will respond to the proposals for more extensive research into the impact of alternative health products and nutrition on HIV and TB; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether the regulation of the industry dealing with nutrition supplements, complementary medicines, traditional medicines and medical devices will be fast- tracked; if not, why not; if so, when? NO2898E The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to respond to the question by the hon member. I must 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 26 of 154 say, first of all, that it is important to state that the study was based primarily on the review of available scientific literature, much of which is known to the department. May I say to anybody who is interested in matters of health that the outcomes of the literature review, therefore, do not necessarily provide any new information that was unknown to the Department of Health. The findings of the literature review reaffirm the policy position of the Department of Health. It confirms that in addition to the two infectious diseases – TB and HIV and Aids – South Africa also faces a challenge of micronutrient deficiencies: Overt hunger and macronutrient deficiencies - hidden hunger. We will recall our food fortification programme in this regard. It also confirms that nutrition plays a critical role in promoting good health. Proper nutrition plays a critical role in delaying the onset of diseases and indeed there is progression – be that in communicable or non-communicable diseases. In itself, nutrition ... [Interjections.] Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I suspect that the hon Minister is answering the wrong question because the reply she is giving here has nothing to do with the question at all. Dr R RABINOWITZ: It is Question 450 that the Minister is answering. I wanted to let her speak on and then follow up on the question and 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 27 of 154 replace the order. I had noticed that she was not observing and you were not observing ... [Interjections.] The SPEAKER: Which question is she answering? Dr R RABINOWITZ: She is answering Question 451, and the question that is now up for answering is Question 450. I don‟t have a problem if you want to change the order but correctly speaking we are now dealing with Question 450. The SPEAKER: Yes, we are supposed to be on Question 450. Dr R RABINOWITZ: But the hon Minister is answering Question 451. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: With your permission, can I just complete this question if it doesn‟t ... [Interjections.] The SPEAKER: In other words we are now dealing with Question 451. It is fine. For the purpose of saving time, let‟s just continue with Question 451, which is what the Minister has been dealing with, and then we will come to Question 450. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much for your consideration. I must apologise for answering the wrong question. Nevertheless, I am sure the answer that I am giving is indeed very comprehensive. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 28 of 154 Nutrition itself is never a substitute for medical treatment when necessary. It serves as a solid foundation that enhances the effectiveness of medical treatment. On the second question of Question 451, the Department of Health encourages research on the impact of alternative health products and nutrition on HIV and Aids. We have a research unit within the department which works in collaboration with other research agencies such as the Medical Research Council. The department has also allocated funds to conduct research on the key elements of comprehensive care, management and treatment plan which include, amongst others, nutrition. Draft regulations related to the labelling, advertising and composition of nutritional supplements, complementary medicines; and medical devices, are being finalised and will soon be published in the Gazette for public comment. Regulations related to African traditional medicines are also being compiled but will take a little longer than the above-mentioned categories. The finalisation is, of course, also planned for the year 2008. Dr R RABINOWITZ: Hon Minister, your interest in alternative medicine as a support for HIV and Aids is well known and we commend you for it. But the IFP is concerned that the development of the industry is being done in a haphazard and nonindependent fashion. While the country races ahead with the development of genetically modified 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 29 of 154 seeds which are developed, produced and sold by large multinationals with a questionable long-term effect on health and resistance, the development of our traditional knowledge receives very little attention. We feel that without an independent Medicines Control Council, without independent ethical research, and without independent clear mechanisms for securing intellectual property on traditional medicines or benefit sharing for communities, our traditional knowledge is going to be manipulated unscrupulously by companies like Christine Qunta‟s, which makes Comforter‟s Healing Gift, and claims that it heals HIV and the like by Dr Rath. Why does the hon Minister not set up independent institutions to develop traditional medicines? Why have we waited so long since the dismissal of the South African Medicines and Medical Devices Regulatory Authority Bill for these issues which you are responding to today to be implemented? Why don‟t you implement better control of genetically modified foods so that their long-term health effects can be tracked as they emerge? Thank you. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Madam Speaker, I don‟t know whether that is a follow-up question or follow-up questions. But I will try my best to respond to those that I think relate, in particular, to this question. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 30 of 154 The SPEAKER: I think the Minister can respond to those that relate to this question. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Yes. Thank you very much. I think I did mention that we are indeed finalising the regulations in order to ensure that the question of complementary medicine is addressed once and for all. So, I don‟t understand what the question is because I thought I had already given an answer that, indeed, the regulations will be in place very soon. The other question that would relate, in particular, to this question – I am not going to talk about Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs, here – concerns African traditional medicine. The member is a member of the portfolio committee, Madam Speaker. She knows how long it has taken us to even agree on where to begin around the issues of African traditional medicine. It is only in this week, and I think tomorrow, that we are going to be able to finalise one step in this whole process – that is the establishment of the African Traditional Health Practitioners Council. This is absolutely critical for us to do before anything else. If I had moved in another direction, I would have been accused of working outside the legislative framework. We now have a legislative framework which I think will be approved tomorrow. Let us, therefore, give ourselves space and time to do things properly so that we don‟t begin pointing fingers at each other. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 31 of 154 The issue of GMOs does not relate to this question. Thank you very much. Mr M WATERS: Madam Speaker and hon Minister, pre-March 1998, the Medicines Control Council, MCC, made no differentiation or distinction between various paradigms of medicines. Medicinal substances of whatever paradigm were submitted for registration and complementary medicines were controlled like any other medicines. I can cite a few examples, St John‟s Wort, Senokot, and Fybogel. All of these complementary medicines have been registered. Since March 1998, the Department of Health has separated the registration process of complementary medicines that have been free for all, which are flooding the market. It was only in 2004, six years later, that your department first issued draft regulations. Another three years down the line, we are still waiting for the final version of those regulations. You have mentioned in the reply to the hon member that these regulations will be issued soon or implemented soon. But, hon Minister, nine years down the line, surely you can give this House and the nation a date by when they will be issued and implemented. Thank you. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: The question that I am being asked is “by when?” When they are ready they will be published. The hon member, who is a member of the portfolio committee, will be the first one to know. Thank you. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 32 of 154 Ms N F MATHIBELA: Hon Minister, is it not ironic that some amongst us in this House do not seem to recognise our respect for the views of entities that this Parliament funds, such as the Academy of Science of South Africa? They, thus, present their views as contrary to what is a subject of ongoing research in the field of biomedical science. However, hon Minister, can you provide timeframes for the completion of these regulations? Thank you. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: The department informed me that by the end of November the regulations will be in place. Hon member, you are also a member of the portfolio committee. I think that this information would have been communicated to the portfolio committee by the officials. Thank you. Dr R RABINOWITZ: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, may I address the specific issue of the recommendation by the Academy of Science of South Africa into further research into the use of traditional and alternative medicines to treat TB and HIV? Hon Minister, you appear to have been perfectly happy until now to advocate the use of such medicines within the framework of uncontrolled trials. I would specifically like you to answer the question as to what measures you would take to do further research in these areas but in a manner that is ethically controlled and well managed, independently and scientifically managed? Thank you. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 33 of 154 The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Deputy Speaker, if we go through Hansard, I am on record as saying to this House that with regard to African traditional and alternative medicines, whatever, as a department we will continue to do proper research in order to ensure the safety and efficacy of the medicines that we use as a department. I am on record in this regard. I don‟t know what else I must say except to re-endorse the statements that I have always made in this House. Thank you. The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That then brings us to the question the Minister should have dealt with earlier, Question 450. Outcome of research on hoodia plant by SA Medical Research Council, and patent granted as a result thereof 450. Dr R Rabinowitz (IFP) asked the Minister of Health: (1) Whether the research on the hoodia plant conducted by the SA Medical Research Council, SAMRC, and Pfizer resulted in an active chemical being isolated for use in appetite suppression; if so, (2) whether a patent has been granted in respect of the chemical; if not, why not; if so, (a) in which countries, (b) which entity holds the patent, (c)(i) what benefit- sharing agreement was negotiated and (ii) with which 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 34 of 154 community was it negotiated and (d) when will it (i) be implemented and (ii) become commercially available; (3) whether she will make a statement on the matter? NO2897E The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon member, thank you very much for your understanding that I answered Question 451 instead of Question 450. With regard to question one, the SA Medical Research Council reports that they have never conducted any research on the hoodia plant. That‟s what they told me. The SA Medical Research Council, with regard to your question two, therefore, does not hold any patent on this plant. Therefore, the answer to question three is ``no‟‟. This is the information supplied to me by the SA Medical Research Council. Thank you. Dr R RABINOWITZ: Hon Minister, the answer you have given to this question is completely amazing, because presentations have been given to the Health committee by the Human Sciences Research Council and the SA Medical Research Council indicating that research, indeed, was being conducted on the hoodia plant. Also, that the hoodia plant is widely available, making claims that it is a weight- reducing plant. This just indicates how poorly we are developing regulations and law to develop our intellectual property on traditional medicines. It is 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 35 of 154 an industry that could be worth billions and billions of rands to the people who have this traditional knowledge, yet nothing is being done to develop it. It relates to the points I made before: Until we have an independent ethics committee, independent research and a clear will to develop these products, our traditional knowledge is just going to be lost. [Time expired.] The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your time has expired and there is no supplementary question coming from what you said but, Minister, it is up to you if you want to comment on that statement. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Well, I was just about to say I don‟t know whether that‟s a supplementary question. It isn‟t, indeed. I would just like to say that I am surprised that a Member of Parliament would not know the efforts that this government is making with regard to indigenous knowledge and that she does not know that we have ethics committees at national level and at the different institutions. I cannot believe that. But the question, of course, is not a supplementary question. Thank you very much. Mr M WATERS: Hon Minister, the hoodia plant is becoming quite a valuable plant. It actually now costs $40 an ounce. It‟s almost priced as a narcotic in the world. And if you go on to Google and you google the word, you will see 40 million responses. So the world seems to have caught on to the plant and what it can do. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 36 of 154 In this country, it is promoted as a cutting-edge advanced appetite suppressant, metabolism booster, fat burner and energy enhancer all in one. In America, for example, the Federal Trade Commission has just announced that they are to recover $25 million to settle allegations of deceptive marketing tactics of this product. You stated here that the Medicines Control Council have conducted no trials, yet people are allowed to sell this product openly in the market because the regulations which we‟ve been waiting for for nine years are not forthcoming and you can‟t give us a date by when they are coming. What are you going to do to protect the consumer in this country against false advertising and false claims? Thank you. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Deputy Speaker, my understanding is That is the core business of Trade and Industry. Thank you. Mr J P I BLANCHÉ: Now that the Minister knows that the plant is a South African plant and that there is a lot of financial value in it, and she also knows, as a Member of Parliament, that the Human Sciences Research Council can do research, and that the Department of Science and Technology can assist her department to get it patented, will she take it up and see to it that this becomes a registered, patented South African plant? The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Deputy Speaker, I think the member also knows the processes of applying to do research in this country. If 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 37 of 154 they don‟t want to listen to me, Deputy Speaker, I‟ll sit down. I have no problem with sitting down if they don‟t want to listen, but I will continue. I was saying he knows the processes - what the MRC would do once they think it is necessary. They put priorities to the department. We look at the application, of course, after it has gone through the ethics committees and so on. Finally, we agree as a department that this is what needs to be done. This information which has been provided might assist us in engaging the MRC and the HSRC as to what to do next. I must thank the members for the valuable information that they have just provided. Thank you. The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Dr Rabinowitz, you are making things very difficult for us. Why don‟t you ask questions from your seat? We have to deal with records of the institution, and it keeps on saying Mr Lucas, who is not in the House. Will you please go to your seat, ma‟am, and ask your question from there? Dr R RABINOWITZ: Hon Minister, to provide some information for you: In the hearings that we have had as the Health committee, we have been informed that the research was undertaken with Pfizer and abandoned because no active chemical principle was found. So, that begs the question why further research has not been undertaken, not to look for an active chemical but to look for the overall effect of the entire plant. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 38 of 154 Following up on the question that was asked by the DA, is it not your responsibility as the person in charge of the SA Medical Research Council and the Human Sciences Research Council‟s medical division to see to it that this research is done in a responsible fashion? Thank you. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Deputy Speaker, before I come and answer questions in Parliament, if the information I require emanates from any other body, I ask that body to provide me with information. And, therefore, the answer that I gave is in fact a report that I got from the SAMRC, in a nutshell. I have also just said that the information that I now have might assist me to go back and see what we can do. Yes, it is my responsibility as the Minister of Health to do those things that promote indigenous knowledge in this country and to ensure the safety of medicines in the country, be they alternative or traditional medicines. The efficacy of medicines is indeed our responsibility. I thought I had said ``Thank you‟‟, and I want once more to say ``Thank you very much for the information‟‟, and I don‟t know what further to say except to say ``Thank you‟‟, ``Thank you‟‟, ``Thank you‟‟! Measures against underspending of budgets by provincial housing departments 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 39 of 154 485. Ms Z A Kota (ANC) asked the Minister of Housing: Whether her department intends taking any measures against the underspending of budgets by provincial housing departments; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO2934E The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Deputy Speaker, I have just sent you a note and I would like to thank you for taking note of my concerns. Thank you very much. Over the past three years we have had a very good record of spending – spending up to 96% of our allocation. We guard our successes very jealously and we have developed steps to ensure that there are no roll-overs in Housing. We have done this to an extent that it is possible for us to avoid them. Accordingly, at every Ministers and Members of the Executive Council, Minmec, meeting, we take time to go over our expenditure patterns and normally dispatch a team from our finance section to assist where we perceive there is a problem. For the first time this year we decided to take money away from provinces that show no promise of using their allocation. A special Minmec meeting was, therefore, called to discuss special circumstances we found ourselves in. This year we resolved, at this Minmec meeting, that the reallocation option would be used instead. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 40 of 154 Furthermore, we have ensured that provinces that have not performed so well are assisted to ensure that they deal with the problems that they are encountering. We also keep a very short leash on such provinces to ensure that the money is spent. There is no way that we can have a roll-over when we have such a shortage of housing. Thank you. Ms Z A KOTA: Thank you, Minister, for your comprehensive answer. You spoke a number of times at the committee about delinking housing subsidies from housing projects. Will this also assist provincial departments with patterns of expenditure? Do you think it will also improve or address the question of underspending? The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Thank you very much, hon “Zo” Kota. The issue of delinking subsidy from allocation is something that we have been concerned with for some time now to ensure that our Housing Subsidy Scheme – HSS - is in very good health. This is also something that has been used by MECs to indicate some of the problems that they have in delivery – something that they say is slowing down delivery. However, we have looked at the matter and discovered that it is only a small portion of the problem that we have. We have taken this on board and we are dealing with it. We think that the bigger problem is nonalignment between what we do at local level and what we do at provincial level. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 41 of 154 We are dealing, together with the Minister for Provincial and Local Government, with the issue of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, MIG, allocation where we are required to pass on money to municipalities who might not be ready for this kind of allocation. When we have streamlined our allocation system to ensure that the lowest level, which is the local level, is in a position to use this money, I think we will then be over most of the problem with our allocations. Thank you. Mr S J MASANGO: Hon Minister, the criterion used to allocate funds to provinces is an old one based on demands per province. For the Minister to fairly punish provincial departments for nondelivery, wouldn‟t the Minister consider another criterion like allocating funds according to business plans and cause analysis, which will force provinces to perform according to their business plans? The MINISTER OF HOUSING: I would love to have that power. The Ministers here who have the same problem as I do are just nodding and saying they would love to have Members of Parliament suggesting that we take over that power. That would be good for us. Unfortunately, no. Allocation to provinces is determined in the Division of Revenue Act allocations and we have a set formula which we just carry through. But we would like to take what you are suggesting into account – that we would need to get, from provinces, 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 42 of 154 some kind of business plan that will give us additional responsibility and power to ensure that they do deliver. However, hon Masango, perhaps you can make an amendment to the law. You would get a lot of support from members from this side. Thank you. Mr A C STEYN: Minister, yes, the spending record for the last three years has been good. However, this does not necessarily translate into good delivery. With that aside, we are dealing with underspending here. I want to put this to the Minister: Is the redirection of funds to other provinces the only option? Shouldn‟t one deal with the root cause of an underexpenditure, that is, keeping officials and provincial departments responsible for the underexpenditure? Thank you. The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Deputy Speaker, I would like to correct the terminology that the hon member uses. The expenditure has not been good; it has been very good. There is a big difference. We had a very good record and I would have wanted you to actually acknowledge that. Yes, we had a problem where spending did not relate directly to delivery. But the problem that we had was projects which we had to block along the way and which we are now dealing with as block 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 43 of 154 projects. Once we have done this, hopefully what we put in will result in the number of houses on the ground. Yes, we would very much like to ensure that officials at provincial level are held accountable for what they do. I do not know what else I can do from where I sit. I could withhold their salaries – is that what you are suggesting? I would love to do that. I would like to have the power to do just that because ultimately I have to stand here and answer to why we have any underexpenditure. Ultimately, when people out there hear that there is underexpenditure in such a critical area as Housing, we will then have a lot of problems. Beyond what we have done, I am very grateful to you in the portfolio committee for the support you have given. I think there is very little that we can do. What we have at our disposal is to withhold money. I think it is working very well because right now we are getting ripples across the system. Thank you. Termination and or awarding of contracts with SA Post Office and other service providers 469. Mr C M Lowe (DA) asked the Minister of Home Affairs: (1) In light of her department having recently terminated the services of the SA Post Office, Sapo, as a distributor of its documents to post-box addresses and reviewing all its 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 44 of 154 service-level agreements and its decision to choose one service provider to do everything, (a) what are the reasons for some of her department‟s contracts with Sapo not being cancelled and (b) what is the current status of the review; (2) whether any other contracts with service providers have been terminated; if not, why not; if so, with which service providers; (3) whether a single service provider has been awarded a contract by her department; if not, why not; if so, which service provider? NO2916E The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Thank you, Deputy Speaker and hon member. The department is currently finalising its new identity document process mapping exercise as part of the turnaround project, which includes the collection of IDs. This process will define the most efficient way of distributing IDs to their owners. There are currently a number of service providers that are responsible for collecting applications and distributing IDs and this includes Sapo. The work of these service providers was not managed in terms of any real contract or service-level agreement and there is, therefore, a termination of an arrangement rather than a contract. Thus the open- ended nature of this working arrangement has affected efficiency and 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 45 of 154 resulted in documents being lost. And for purposes of improving efficiency and accountability, the department has decided to consolidate the work of collection and delivery in one service provider. Given the fact that XPS is currently one of the service providers and is wholly owned by Sapo as a state-owned enterprise, we have started negotiations with them. With regard to the third question, owing to a general problem with contract management within the department, the turnaround project is currently reviewing all major contracts and service-level agreements with service providers, particularly the large ones that have a direct impact on our ability to deliver an efficient service to our clients. At its conclusion this process will determine the nature of action that is required with regard to each one of those contracts. Lastly, no contract has been signed with XPS but discussions are under way towards finalisation. Thank you. Mr C M LOWE: Deputy Speaker, thank you very much indeed, and to you, hon Minister, thank you very much once again for a very frank response. It is not the first time that you have been frank about the conditions of your department. I would like to thank you for that frankness. I would also like to assure you of the support of the DA in fixing the problems in Home Affairs. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 46 of 154 We all know what the problems are now. You and your director-general have been more than candid with South Africa. I think together we need to fix those problems for the people of South Africa. On that basis I‟d just like to ask a number of questions around the provision of these services because just as the refugees in South Africa have human rights that they need to have taken care of – they have certain rights that everybody writes and talks about – so the citizens of this country too, who rely on the services of Home Affairs, have the same rights to access those services which, as you and I both know, hasn‟t been happening as it should be for some time. Around the provision of the service of providing documentation, could I just ask – perhaps it is difficult to reply in the sense that you are in negotiations – if you could give assurances that those who are responsible for those negotiations will ensure that the new provider of that service can actually deliver; that certain safeguards are put into those contracts; that there will be penalty clauses; that the documentation will be received on time; that there will be standards set in the contracts, for example, how many days before the document will be received. I think that‟s what South Africa needs; just an assurance that it will happen. [Time expired.] The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Yes, hon member, the reason why we have gone the route of reviewing all major contracts is precisely 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 47 of 154 because we have uncovered that one of the biggest challenges has been a lack of penalties in our contracts in our service-level agreements. But secondly, I can indicate to you, perhaps because I know that there has been a lot of controversy around this Sapo issue, that in the main it had to do with the fact that, much as we call an ID a secure document, the manner in which these IDs were being distributed was not of a secure nature. So, we hope that with XPS and with the service-level agreement which we are going to be signing with them, there will be those kinds of penalties but also from the side of XPS that there will be an appreciation of the fact that the kind of document we are dealing with is in fact a secure document. Thank you. Mr C M LOWE: Deputy Speaker, thank you very much indeed. Hon Minister, once again, thank you for that response. Could I perhaps just ask this: It appears from your answer to the question that you‟re considering using XPS. Now my understanding is that XPS is part of the SA Post Office but it is certainly a separate entity. My concern is just that, to quote somebody very senior in your department, your “department is just as dysfunctional as the SA Post Office”. I am concerned that the SA Post Office doesn‟t have a very good track record in this. How confident are you that XPS is actually going to deliver? Surely we should be thinking out of the box and 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 48 of 154 perhaps look at external service providers, perhaps somebody in the private sector who will be more motivated by other reasons of delivery rather than XPS. I respect the fact that XPS has the right to be a contender but surely we should look wider than that and, given the condition the SA Post Office is in now and the fact that it hasn‟t delivered in the past, we should be looking further than that. Perhaps you could just make some comments on that. Thank you, Deputy Speaker. The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: I don‟t think it has anything to do with the inefficiency or inability of Sapo to render this kind of service. I think that the major challenge, as I indicated earlier on, has been in the nature of the relationship which we had, in terms of which, firstly, there was no service-level agreement, so there were no penalties. But, obviously, having learnt from the mistakes committed in the past, much as XPS is an entity of Sapo, we believe that if we have a good service-level agreement and proper monitoring systems in place, but also penalties, XPS will be able to discharge this function in a better manner. But I also have to say that the biggest challenge we had with Sapo was that, as you know, IDs would simply be distributed, so there was no mailing which was secure which could guarantee that documents would reach their owners. At times, as we talked, for instance, it 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 49 of 154 was even difficult to ascertain how many documents had been distributed and how many had not been distributed. But we believe that we‟ll do better with XPS, much as it is part of Sapo, because we don‟t think the problem was in the main with Sapo; we think that it was in the casual and informal manner in which we were relating with Sapo. If we had had penalties from the beginning, if we‟d had a service-level agreement properly drafted, if we‟d had proper monitoring systems, I think that we could have avoided some of the difficulties which we have encountered from them. Thank you. The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Lowe, it looks like you are the only person interested in this. Would you like to have another slot? [Laughter.] Mr C M LOWE: You are very kind, Deputy Speaker. Thank you ... The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It‟s not I. These are the Rules that say you can have up to four supplementary questions. Mr C M LOWE: If the hon Minister would indulge me, perhaps I can just ask her to comment on the following: Obviously, any service agreement, we hope, will hold the service provider to a maximum number of days within which they will have to deliver documentation, be it, normally, an ID document, but it could also be other documents. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 50 of 154 Perhaps I could ask - I am stepping a little wide off the mark - if she could comment whether within the department itself will start setting targets on how many days we will take to produce those documents because it‟s all very well delivering documents in three days, for example, but if it is taking six months or even four months to produce, it doesn‟t help us get very far. Thank you. The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Mr Lowe, I thought you were aware of the fact that the ID processing workstream is dealing with precisely that issue of setting targets; one, for collection of applications, two, for processing of IDs, but, three, also for the distribution of those IDs. I think we have also indicated that if there is an interest we can come and brief the portfolio committee in detail about those targets and I think some of the targets referred to were actually announced last week. They look very ambitious but we believe that we will be able to do it with proper planning and proper supervision of the officials working in those particular areas. Thank you. The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is an extra slot but I‟m not going to give it to Mr Lowe because this is now becoming a portfolio committee on Home Affairs and we are now also drifting away from the SA Post Office to other areas in Home Affairs. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 51 of 154 Measures to ensure no negative impact by National Credit Act on students from disadvantaged families 492. Ms P R Mashangoane (ANC) asked the Minister of Education: What measures are in place in ensuring that the National Credit Act, Act 34 of 2005, does not impact negatively on students from disadvantaged families? NO2942E TONA YA LEFAPHA LA THUTO: Ke rata go leboga moemedi yo o tlotlegang, mme Mashangoane. Karabo ya me ke gore batsadi ba ba duelang madi a sekolo ba dira tuelo eo ka ditsela di le tharo. Tsela ya ntlha, ba ka duela madi otlhe a ngwaga ka gangwe; ya bobedi, ba ka duela kgwedi le kgwedi mme ya boraro ba ka duela gangwe ka kotara. Go duela jaana ga go wele fa tlase ga Molao wa Sekoloto. Fa o le motsadi mme o adima madi mo mothong yo mongwe, ke gona seo se kaiwang jaaka Molao wa Sekoloto (Credit Act). Ga se tsamaiso ya dikolo tsa rona go adimang batsadi madi gore ba a dirise go duela dikolo. Ga ke itse sekolo se se letlelelang gore motsadi a adime madi mo go sone gore a kgone go duela sekolo seo. Dikolo tsa rona le tuelo ya madi a dikolo ga di wele fa tlase ga Molao wa Sekoloto. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 52 of 154 Fa re bua ka National Student Financial Aid Scheme, re bua ka sekema se se thusang bana ba diunibesithi le ba diunibesithi tsa thekenoloji ka madi, se fa bana dibasari gape se ba adima madi mme madi a kadimo a wela fa tlase ga Molao wa Bosetšhaba wa Sekoloto. Karolwana ya Molao o, karolo 78 (2) (a), e e reng sekolo le ngwana yo o adimang go tswa go National Student Financial Aid Scheme ga a tshwanela go adima ka tsela e e tla mo reteletsang go duela madi a a adimileng. Karolo 78 mo molaong o e thiba boatla. Re le badiri ba National Student Financial Aid Scheme ka go adima bana madi go ithuta mo diunibesithing, re leka go ba thusa gore fa ba adima madi, ba adime madi a ba ka kgonang go a duela, e seng a a tla ba retelelang go a duela. Sengwe gape se re se dirang mo National Student Financial Aid Scheme re dumelane gore fa ngwana a falola ditlhatlhobo tsotlhe tsa gagwe sentle, 40% ya madi a ngwana o a adimileng a tlile go nna madi a basari, 60% ya madi ao e tla nna madi a a adimilweng mme e tla nna ona a busetswang kwa sekemeng; mme ka gore a adimilwe a tla wela go Molao wa Bosetšhaba wa Sekoloto. Pele ngwana a ka simolola go duela madi a National Student Financial Aid Scheme, re mo leta gore a bone tiro. Fa ngwana a sena go bona tiro, ga re dire gore a simolole go duela ka tsatsi la ntlha la 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 53 of 154 tiro, re ema gore a bone madi a a kana ka R58 000 pele a ka simolola go duela National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Se nka se buang ke gore dilo tse re di dirang mo molaong wa tsa thuto ke go leka go thusa bana ba ba adimang madi mo go National Student Financial Aid Scheme gore ba nne le bokgoni pele re ka re ba duele madi ao. [Nako e fedile.] (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.) [The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: I would like to thank the hon delegate, Ms Mashangoane. My answer is: Parents who are paying school fees can do it in three ways. The first way is to pay off the whole amount for the year, the second way to pay is on a monthly basis and the third way is to pay once per term. Paying in this manner does not fall under the Credit Act. If you as a parent borrow money from someone to pay the fees, then that will fall under the National Credit Act. It is not our school policy to lend parents money to pay school fees. I do not know of any school that lends parents money to pay school fees. Our schools and their payments do not fall under the National Credit Act. Speaking of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, this is the scheme that assists students at universities and universities of 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 54 of 154 technology with finance. It gives them bursaries and also loans, but loans fall under the National Credit Act. Section 78(2)(a) of this Act says that institutions and students must not make a loan that they would not be able to pay back. Section 78 of that Act is looking at that area. As employees of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, who assist students with loans to further their studies at universities, we try to lend them funds that they will be able to pay back. Another thing that we are doing as regards the National Student Financial Aid Scheme is, if a student performs well in the exams, 40% of the loan is converted to a bursary and 60% of the loan stays as a loan and it is the one which falls under the National Credit Act. We wait until the student gets employment before he or she start paying the National Student Financial Aid Scheme back. You do not start paying on the first day of your employment but we wait until you earn R58 000 per annum before you can start paying the National Student Financial Aid Scheme back. What I can say is that with the Education Act, we are trying to help students who are getting loans from the National Student Financial 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 55 of 154 Aid Scheme to be up on their feet and only then can they start paying back their loans. [Time expired.]] Ms P R MASHANGOANE: Thank you, Deputy Speaker, and thank you, hon Minister, and thank you again for your detailed response. Minister, can one really say the impact of the National Credit Act on students will be minimal, given the fact that so many students have to apply to banks and tertiary institutions for loans? Would the Minister agree that the department should investigate further the impact of the National Credit Act upon students? Thank you, Chairperson. The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: I do not think we would want to investigate it unless we are made aware of a particular challenge or problem. However, it is important to state that if students borrow money from banks, those are registered as lending institutions under the National Credit Act. The universities in our country which have a loans granting system have to be registered as credit providers under the National Credit Act. However, as I have said with regard to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, we are excluded because the scheme excludes students from the provisions of the Act and therefore the scheme, given its operations within a statute, is not considered to be a lending institution in the broad term of the recklessness that is being guarded against by the National Credit Act. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 56 of 154 As I have said, the arrangement that we have made seeks to allow young people to look for work and only begin repayment once they earn a particular salary. This does serve as a means of assisting young people to be able to meet the obligations. The fact that R341 million of money borrowed and paid back by graduates went back into loans this year for other students indicates that graduates are able to meet their obligations that arise from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Mr G G BOINAMO: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Minister, you know as well as I do that there are highly performing learners who unfortunately happen to come from indigent families and also live in deep rural areas where information systems are totally out of reach. What systems are in place to allow such learners to benefit from the National Credit Act? Thank you. The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: I am not sure if we would want to have learners benefit from the National Credit Act except in so far that the institutions they borrow money from should not be reckless in lending money to people who clearly cannot meet their obligations as borrowers. Now, in terms of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and providing information to those students - if that is what the hon member meant - what we are doing is ensuring that we spread this information as widely as possible. We have begun a national outreach 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 57 of 154 campaign to senior secondary students, that is, those learners who are in the FET phase - from Grade 10 - to inform them about FET colleges throughout the country; how you apply for the bursaries available for that; and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and its accessibility once you have succeeded in passing Grade 12. This information is, of course, now being distributed. We have pamphlets that we are providing to libraries in communities, to the Thusong Centres, directly to schools, through the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and through youth organisations so that we try as far as possible to reach every young person wherever they may be located. We also utilise some non-governmental organisations that have a very strong rural outreach record as part of the organisations that assist us in identifying deserving and talented young people who should have access to bursaries and loans from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Mnu A M MPONTSHANE: Ngiyabonga Phini likaSomlomo. Ngeshwa, mhlonishwa, angikuzwanga kahle kule mpendulo yokuqala ngoba angiluzwisisi lolu limi obukhuluma ngalo. Ngizwa nje kancane kodwa ngokukatolika uthi yena ... (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.) [Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Thank you, Madam Deputy Chairperson. Unfortunately, hon member, I was not able to understand fully what you said in your initial response. I do not quite understand the 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 58 of 154 language that you spoke. I understand just a little bit. The interpreter says ...] ... When students apply for loans they are restricted on how much they can repay. The question arises: If they are restricted on what they can repay, what happens to the rest if they cannot afford to top up what they have received already according to the restrictions? That is one question. Lo okade etolika uthi futhi ... [However, according to the interpreter ...] ... the scheme will only ask the student to repay once he or she is on their feet. Angazi-ke ukuthi kusuke kunjani lapho. Sengigcina-ke mhlonishwa .. [I do not know why that is the case. Finally, hon member ..] [Time expired.]] UNGQONGQOSHE WEZEMFUNDO: Umuntu osisiza ngokutolika angimqondi kahle. Nami angizwa ukuthi ubethini kodwa uyazi ukuthi ingane efuna ukuboleka imali evela esikhwameni sikazwelonke sokusiza abafundi ukuqhuba izifundo, kwenziwa isu lokubheka ukuthi abazali banemali engakanani. Imali-ke azoyithola esikhwameni sikazwelonke sezemfundo 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 59 of 154 ihlanganiswa nemali azoyithola enyuvesi, abanye bathola imifundaze ngoba bephumelele umatikuletsheni kahle. Abanye bathola ezinye izimali kanti amanye amanyuvesi anento ayibiza ngokuthi imali evela kubazali babantwana. Ngakho-ke kuhlanganiswa zonke lezi zinto. Ngaphandle uma kucaca kahle uma kwenziwa inqubo yokubheka ukuthi akukho mali ekhaya engafundisa lo mntwana, ube-ke esethola ukuxhaswa ngokuphelele yisikhwama semfundo sikazwelonke sokusiza imfundo. Abanye bathola inani elincane lokuthenga incwadi bese abanye bethola eyokuhlala ezakhiweni zesikhungo semfundo njalo njalo. Uma ekhuluma ngokukhalinywa kwalemali angazi ukuthi ubani okhulume ngaleyonto na ngoba angikhulumanga ngaleyonto. Ake ngiphendule ngokubuyisa imali. Into engiyishoyo lapha ukuthi uma ingane ithola umsebenzi mhlawumbe izokhokha izinkulungwane ezingamashumi amathathu amaRandi, R30 000, ngonyaka – asazi. Kodwa esikhwameni semfundo sikazwelonke umntwana kufanele athole imali ewu -R62000 ngaphambi kokuthi akhokhele isikweletu sakhe, ngoba asifuni ukuthi athole ukuthi iyamcindezela lento yokukhokhela isikweletu semali abeyibolekwe isikhwama semfundo sikazwelonke. Ngiyethemba ukuthi ke siyezwana. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.) [The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: I also do not quite follow what the person who is helping us with interpreting is saying. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 60 of 154 However, you know that when a student wants to borrow money from the national bursary fund, it is first determined how much money the parents have. The money that he or she will get from the national bursary fund is augmented by the money that they will get from the university. Some get a bursary based on their good performance in their matriculation examinations, some get the money elsewhere, while some universities have what is referred to as funding from the parents of the students. Therefore, all these things are combined. So, it is possible for a student to be subsidised fully through the national bursary fund without first determining the financial status of the parents. Some receive small amounts for buying books while others are given money to pay accommodation fees at the residences of the educational institutions, etc. When you mention the writing off of this money, I do not know where you get that from because I certainly did not talk about that. Let me respond to the issue of refunding the money. What I am saying here is that when a student gets employed, he or she is likely to refund R30 000. However, the student must owe the national bursary fund at least R62 000 before he or she starts paying back the money because we do not want a situation in which he or she is being pressurised to repay the national bursary fund. I hope we understand each other.] 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 61 of 154 So you have to repay the loan because it survives on the basis that the money circulates and that you repay the loan amount in order to assist other young people. But, as I have said, 40% of that money is converted to a bursary upon success. If you do not succeed, clearly then you do have a burden because then all the money remains a loan. However, for those students who complete their studies, as they complete, a proportion of what they have borrowed becomes a bursary and they remain with a portion which is a loan. We have also found out that the salary levels in South Africa do allow young people to pay the loans back. [Time expired.] Rre G G BOINAMO: Ke a leboga Tona ya Lefapha la Thuto. Mo go adimeng bana madi mme go twe ba adime madi a ba ka kgonang go a duela re sa lebelele gore ditheo tsa thuto di tlhoka bokae mo ngwaneng gore a tsene a bo a fetse; a se ga se ne se ketefaletsa bana go fetsa dithuto tsa bona ka gonne madinyana a ba tla bong ba a adimile e le a ba ka kgonang go a duela? Mo gongwe o ka fitlhela e le gore madi a ga a kgone go ba thusa go fetsa dithuto tsa bone le fa e le gore morago fa ba setse ba dira ba tla kgona go duela. Ke ne ke botsa gore a bana ba ba ka se kgone go thusiwa gore ba kgone go adima madi a a feletseng gore ba kgone go fetsa dithuto, go na le gore ba di tlogele mo gare ka ntlha ya go tlhoka madi? Ke a leboga. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.) 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 62 of 154 [Mr G G BOINAMO: Thank you, Minister of Education. When giving students loans that they can afford to repay, can‟t we consider first how much they are going to need for completion of their studies in the institutions of higher learning? Is that not disadvantaging them to complete their studies because the money they have loaned is the amount that they can afford? In some instances these loans are insufficient to pay off the whole amount of their fees for the completion of their studies, even though they have to repay it. I want to know whether they can‟t be assisted with loans that can help them till the completion of their studies instead of having to quit due to a shortage of funds? Thank you.] The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Part of what we face as a country is that when the scheme was introduced the view that was held generally by the South African public and parties in the House was that all persons who are in need of financial aid should receive support wherever they are studying. And the costs, as you know, of universities differ vastly - there are some that are very expensive and some that do not charge as much as the norm. So you do have difficulty with what is called the full cost of studying. Hence in some institutions you find that because they are going to divide the money amongst all the needy students and given the differences in need – that some need R500 while others need R15 000 – the money can‟t satisfy all the needs and government is not able to provide sufficient funding to assist all needy students. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 63 of 154 Hence the range of schemes that are in place, some with government support, such as the recent Fundisa Scheme which was announced by government, putting in R20 million to encourage parents, together with the private sector‟s R14 million, to save funds through a collective scheme created specifically for the purpose of assisting and supporting South Africans to save for the education of their children at higher education level. What I am trying to say in replying to your question is that the need is vast because we have many talented children and higher education is expensive. What we are doing is to ensure that we create a diverse range of mechanisms so that all the needs may be met and also to encourage us as parents to play a role in supporting the education of our children. I think the National Student Financial Aid Scheme does an amazing job in terms of contributing to the success of young people in our country and clearly the private sector coming on board to support is a very positive initiative but the need is huge. Establishment of community libraries in 2006-07 financial year 481. Mrs T J Tshivhase (ANC) asked the Minister of Arts and Culture: Whether any community libraries have been established in the 2006-07 financial year, especially in rural areas and 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 64 of 154 townships; if not, (a) why not and (b) what are the challenges in this regard; if so, how many? NO2930E The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Madam Deputy Speaker, The following responses were received from the heads of the provincial library services: Eastern Cape, no community libraries were established during 2006-07. The reasons for this were that the infrastructure budget that was allocated was for the Butterworth library and there was a limited budget for infrastructure. In the Free State, two community libraries were opened in rural- township areas, namely: Fateng-tse-Ntsho in Dihlabeng Local Municipality in Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality; Qalabotjha Library in Mafube Local Municipality in Fezile Dabi District Municipality; two libraries are under construction for opening in the current financial year and they are Refengkgotso Library in Metsimaholo Local Municipality in Fezile Dabi District Municipality; and the Selosesha Library in Thaba-Nchu - in Mangaung Local Municipality in Motheo District Municipality. In Gauteng, construction of 12 new libraries and the upgrading of one library with funding from the municipalities was started in 2006-07: Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality - Jabavu in Soweto, River Park in Alexandra, Ivory Park North and Tshepisong in Soweto. Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality - Tembisa West Community Library opened on 27 January 2007. Upgrading of the Olifantsfontein 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 65 of 154 Library has been approved for 2006-07. New libraries for Vosloorus and Langaville are also on the budget. In Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality there are new libraries in Winterveld, Garankuwa, Klipkruisfontein, and Nelmaphius in Mamelodi. In Mogale City there will be a new library at Hekpoort. In KwaZulu-Natal, seven new libraries were built. One in Nongoma, Hlabisa, Ixopo, Ingwe, Mtubatuba, Eastwood, and in Msunduzi. In Limpopo, one library was established at Mankweng, Polokwane Municipality with municipal funds. No libraries were built with provincial funds. That was owing to financial constraints and there was no budget. In Mpumalanga, no formal community libraries were built. Alternative library services were established to provide access to information. A book-box was established in Sandriver and a container library was established in Zwelisha. This was owing to financial constraints, capacity and financial challenges. In the Northern Cape, no community libraries were built, owing to insufficient funding for capital projects. In the North-West, construction, or planning of construction, of five community libraries as started and mobile libraries were established in Taung, Morokweng, Ikageng, Manamele, and there is also a relocation of the Tlhabane Library. There is also a community library in Rustenburg and a mobile one for each of these districts. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 66 of 154 In the Western Cape, six new libraries were built – both from the public and community. There is another one in Nelspoort in the Beaufort West Local Municipality; and in Buffeljagsrivier in the Swellendam Local Municipality. There are library depots as extended rural service delivery points in Klipdale, Vleiplaas, Slanghoek, and Nieuwedrift. I thank you. Muf T J TSHIVHASE: Mufarisa Mulangadzulo, Muthomphei Vho Minisita, u fhenda manwalo zwi a talifhisa. Arali ra lavhelesa vhuponi ha mahayani – mahayani kule kule, ri wana uri a hu na dzilaiburari nahone hu na thodea khulwane vhukuma. Ndi zwifhio zwinwe zwo imelaho dzilaiburari vhuponi ha mahayani, hune ha tou vha mahayani a vhukuma? Izwi zwi tshi khou itelwa uri vhathu vha vhe na dzema la u vhala dzibugu kana u nwala ngauri ndi yone thodea khulwane vhukuma kha vhathu vhashu. Ndi a livhuwa. (Translation of Tshivenda paragraph follows.) [Mrs T J TSHIVHASE: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, reading makes one clever. If we look at the rural areas far away, we find that there are no libraries for which there is a serious need. Which other things are replacing the libraries in rural areas – I mean, in a very rural place? This will be to promote a tendency for reading books. Our people are seriously in need of libraries.] 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 67 of 154 What about the remotest rural areas? Why are there no libraries there so that people could also engage in reading? The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: I think the hon member should appreciate that we disburse the funds to the provinces, who in turn disburse them to the municipalities. As I have already explained, in some provinces, they haven‟t built any. Not because we haven‟t disbursed the money to them but due to the way they have distributed it and found that they are under certain constraints. We don‟t determine where the provinces will establish libraries nor do we determine which municipalities they should disburse the money to. We can only initiate a programme, make the money available, and it is the provinces that make the final decision about how the money is spent. Mev D VAN DER WALT: Dankie agb Adjunk-Speaker. Minister, biblioteke is inderdaad „n provinsiale aangeleentheid, maar ek dink die antwoord wat u so pas aan die voorsitter van die komitee gegee het, is baie duidelik. Ek dink die geld moet onvoorwaardelik na hulle toe gaan. Dan sal ons dit sien. U is bekend daarvoor dat u absoluut „n kultuur van lees wil bevorder en ek ondersteun u daarmee baie ernstig sedert ek in die Parlement gekom het. Dit is inderdaad so dat u beheer sal moet kan neem oor hierdie geld van die department wat na die provinsies toe gaan, want ons mense 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 68 of 154 wat ongeletterd is en wat in die verre platteland bly, het nie geleenthede om na biblioteke in die dorpe te gaan nie. Wat word van hulle? Dis baie duidelik. U het nou weer gesê Limpopo het al weer nie „n biblioteek gebou nie. Daar is „n groot krisis daar en ek kan nie sien dat die nasionale department aanhoudend geld kan verskaf, maar die geld verdwyn of word nie benut vir dit waarvoor die intensie daar is nie. Ons gaan nooit by die mense uitkom nie, en ek wil weet of u dit gaan ondersoek. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Mrs D VAN DER WALT: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. Minister, libraries are indeed a provincial matter, but I think the answer you have just given to the chairperson of the committee is very clear. I think the money should go to them unconditionally. Then we will see it. You are known for absolutely wanting to promote a culture of reading and I have supported you very seriously with that since I arrived in Parliament. It is indeed true that you should be able to take over control of this money of the department which goes to the provinces because our people who are illiterate and who live in outlying rural areas do not have the opportunity to go to libraries in the towns. What becomes of them? It is very clear. You have just said that Limpopo has once again not built a library. There is a huge crisis there and I cannot see how the national department can continually supply money, but that the money disappears or is not utilised for the 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 69 of 154 purpose for which it was intended. We are never going to reach the people, and I would like to know if you are going to investigate this.] The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Deputy Speaker, I want to thank the hon member for her suggestion, but unfortunately, unless we are going to amend the Constitution, I won‟t have those sorts of powers. However, what one tries to do is to enter into a dialogue with the provincial governments so that there is some sort of making up of minds about these matters. I think it is much too radical a step to take - to amend the Constitution, just to enable me to build libraries where I see the need. The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Van der Walt, there is an extra slot. Rather than shouting, take a slot and ask another question. Mrs D VAN DER WALT: Baie dankie, agb Adjunk-Speaker. [Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker.] We have seen conditional grants in the budget that you had. I am not saying that you must amend the Constitution. Just make the money conditional. That will help. I don‟t know whether you are prepared to do that and go into negotiations with the provinces. I thank you. The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Deputy Speaker, I think the hon member is absolutely right. Yes of course, if we give you the money 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 70 of 154 to do a, b, c, and d, that is conditional, but if we just disburse money to you and say, as a province, here is money for community libraries and you may choose, there are no conditions. If there is an instance where we have identified very obvious needs and the province doesn‟t come through, then of course we will be within our rights to withhold that money until they come through, but we haven‟t done that. Mnr S E OPPERMAN: Dankie Minister. Ons is baie bly vir die groot bedrae geld wat u spandeer aan die bou van biblioteke, maar een van die fundamentele vereistes vir die effektiewe gebruik van „n biblioteek is die vermoë van ons leerlinge om te kan lees. Ons tel groot probleme op in die verslae wat ons kry. Daar is probleme op skoolvlak rondom die vermoë om te lees. As u met my saamstem sal ek dit waardeer as u miskien die Minister van Onderwys kan uitneem vir „n ete en „n vriendelike kollegiale gesprek. Dankie Minister. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.) [Mr S E OPPERMAN: Thank you, Minister. We are very glad about the large sums of money you are spending on the building of libraries, but one of the fundamental requirements for the effective use of a library, is the ability of our learners to read. We have identified major problems from the reports we received. There are problems at school level concerning the ability to read. If you agree with me, I would appreciate it if you could, perhaps, take the Minister of 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 71 of 154 Education out to lunch or dinner and have a friendly, collegial discussion. Thank you, Minister.] The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: So af en toe het ek by die Minister van Onderwys ... [Every now and then the Minister of Education and I ...] [Laughter.] I don‟t think there is any need for anyone to suggest that I take her out to dinner. No, no, that is not the problem. [Laughter.] Our difficulty in terms of a culture of reading in South Africa is that we are, in fact, not a reading nation. That is our primary difficulty. When we did a survey on this matter, we found that in something like 50% of households in South Africa, there are no books at all. Very few parents read to their children. Those are the difficulties. Hopefully the libraries will assist us in breaking the culture of non-reading. The other difficulty which we face, and are trying to address as the department, is that in many instances, before people can have access to books, they have to leap over a hurdle in that there are very few books published in the languages that they use at home. This is why we have been driving this process of trying to get more and more books published in the indigenous African languages so that you can read a book in the language you use at home and get accustomed to reading that way rather than having to learn a new language before you can read. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 72 of 154 These are the efforts we are trying to make to break through on that particular front. I thank you. Effects of transfer of funds from Eastern Cape housing budget to other provinces 454. Mr A C Steyn (DA) asked the Minister of Housing: (1) Whether, with regard to her announcement that R500 million is to be transferred from the Eastern Cape‟s housing budget to other “performing” provinces, the transfer of “budgeted” funds by the Eastern Cape will have any effect on any existing projects that have already started; if not; why not; if so, what effects; (2) (a) on what basis were the recipient provinces, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and the Western Cape identified and (b) what (i) steps have been put in place or are envisaged to ensure that the additional funds will be spent efficiently within the current financial year and (ii) effect will the transfer from the Eastern Cape have on their portion of future funds over the medium-term budget period; 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 73 of 154 (3) whether her department has taken any steps to assist provinces who fail to spend their allocated budgets; if not, why not; if so, what steps? NO2901E The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Madam Deputy Speaker, the hon member wants to know whether our transfer of R500 million from the Eastern Cape has had any effect on that province; if not why not? The reply is as follows: No, it did not have any effect on the Eastern Cape, precisely because the money that we have taken from them is the money they would not have used anyway. It is the money that they had not already committed in their allocation. As early as 23 August 2007, we engaged with the province and indicated to them that unless their expenditure improved, we would have to take away that money. So by the time we took that money away in October, they had already made the necessary preparations, I think, psychologically, that the money would be taken away. So I don‟t think that any of the money that has been removed would have affected them adversely. I think that the projects that they are running right now have been sufficiently budgeted for and this money would not have been used anyway. The hon member also wants to know on what basis we have chosen KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Northern Cape and Western Cape as recipients of the money that was withdrawn from the Eastern Cape. We had a 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 74 of 154 number of criteria and chief amongst them was that we had decided that most of the money would be used for emergency housing, especially as we go into this particular period of the year. Therefore, what we would have wanted to ensure was that these are provinces that would have a high priority need for emergency housing. These are provinces that would already have spent well up to the particular time that the money was allocated to them. Also, these are provinces that would have had business plans submitted previously for unfunded projects which in terms of the allocation that we had we were unable to fund and, therefore, these are plans that we could very easily dust off and use. The hon member also wants to find out what we are doing to ensure that these provinces that receive our money are able to use the funds. We are working together with these provinces. We have dispatched and intend to continue dispatching teams to ensure that that which we have allocated to them is used by the end of the year. The hon member also wants to know, finally, whether we have taken any steps to assist those provinces that have failed to spend their allocations. Yes, we haven‟t taken the ultimate step. We didn‟t want to throttle some officials. What we have done is that we have written to the Premiers to urge them to consider directing the necessary expertise and capacity to those departments that might be very much in need of their support, and we are restructuring the 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 75 of 154 department to ensure that we can send personnel to assist those provinces that have had problems. I need to say at this particular point that the province that did have the most severe problem was the Eastern Cape. As the member well knows, the Eastern Cape is one of those provinces that have responded to our request to separate the responsibilities of housing from those of local government and, therefore, they were in the process of restructuring and were unable to utilise the entirety of the money which was allocated to them, which is R1,052 billion for this financial year. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon Chief Whip and your cellular phone, would you please leave us? Mr A C STEYN: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Hon Minister, I think the fact that funds can be taken away at such a late stage in the financial year underscores your earlier answer that it is not aligned to budgets. However, I would have thought that the same argument can be used about the recipient provinces, that they also don‟t have the aligned projects for the budget. What comes to mind, for example, is that in last weekend‟s Sunday paper, in the Scopa hearing, Gauteng was rapped over the knuckles 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 76 of 154 for under-expenditure of R34 million. But I think what was more important was the R195 million that was used for an audit to determine who lives in the previously built RDP houses. It is, therefore, my concern that by transferring these large sums of money to provinces at this late stage, it is either going to lead to dumping or it is going to lead to inefficient spending. I think there is nobody in this Chamber – individual or department – who would not love to get a Christmas present like that, where you give him R200 million. Now I would like to ask you, hon Minister, are you going to be able to ring-fence the outcomes of the additional funds very particularly? Should you perhaps have bitten the bullet and rather than get the very good record of expenditure, return some of that money to Treasury? The MINISTER OF HOUSING: No, no. There is no way I could have returned this money to Treasury. We have a great need for housing, hon member. We have indicated that the money that we have taken away from the Eastern Cape is being utilised primarily for emergency housing – which means that this money will be used for people who are living under very stressful conditions, people who are living below flood lines and people who are constantly plagued by fires at this particular time of the year. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 77 of 154 There is no way that you can budget or plan for emergencies. So this is not particularly in any of the plans that they would have had. We are using it to ensure that, should we have the unfortunate situation where we have shack fires or floods, we would have the necessary infrastructure to deal very quickly with those people if we have not already removed them. So we are working together with these provinces and we will be able to use this money. It is not called ``dumping‟‟ in my language. I know we speak two different languages. In my language it is said to be a clever re-allocation of funds to ensure that we have maximum utilisation of money that is allocated to us for a very vital responsibility that we have. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Mr S J MASANGO: Madam Deputy Speaker. Hon Minister, I just want to know, you are saying the money will be used for flooding or emergency, but should there be no emergency, what are you going to do with it? The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Madam Deputy Speaker, I did not say the money will be used for flooding. Why would you use money to flood people? [Laughter.] He was not listening when I said that we would use that money for emergency purposes because at this time of the 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 78 of 154 year, with the inclement weather that we have, there are people who live in areas that are prone to flooding. Therefore, what we are going to do with this money in those provinces that have these problems is to ensure that we can build temporary housing or more solid housing in the short term to protect those people from the hazards of this particular type of weather that we have at this particular time of the year. But we would not use any money to flood people. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Mkszn S N SIGCAU: Sekela Somlomo ndiyabulela, kwaye ndikwacela uxolo Mphathiswa obekekileyo, ndicela ukubuza ukuba ingaba iphondo leMpuma Koloni belinikwe imali engaphezulu kweemfuno zalo kusini na. UMPHATHISWA WEZEZINDLU: Mandithi kobekekileyo uSigcawo hayi, iMpuma Koloni inikwe imali ebesiyabele yona. Indlela esiyisebenzisayo kuhlahlo-lwabiwo mali kukubala inani labantu abahlala kwelo phondo, siphinde sibale iqondo lobuhlwempu kwelo phondo okanye i-poverty index gabula makhumsha. Ngoko ke imali ebesiyinike iphondo leMpuma Koloni besicinga ukuba biza kusetyenziswa nyaka, kodwa njengokuba bendisitsho, abakwazanga ukuyisebenzisa kwade kwafika le mini sibone ngayo ukuba siyisuse le mali kubo size siyinikezele kwamanye amaphondo, ngoba saye sabacela 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 79 of 154 ukuba bahlukanise uxanduva lwezeZindlu kweliya looRhulumente baseKhaya. Bathe xa beyilungisa loo nto, bekwalungelanisa nephondo labo abakwazi ukuyisebenzisa le mali ngale ndlela ibilindelekele ngayo. Siyithathile ke le mali kodwa sikuthi siyibuyise xa begqibile ukulungelanisa, ngoba ndiyaqonda ukuba wena lungu elihloniphekileyo, ukuba eyona nto uyikhalelayo yile mali yakowenu. Sisayigcinile ke siyakuphinda siyibuyise xa sele sibona ukuba nizakukwazi ukuyisebenzisa le mali. Enkosi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.) [Ms S N SIGCAU: Thank you, hon Speaker, and in the same vein, I would like to apologise for this question. Did the Eastern Cape province receive a budget allocation exceeding their provincial needs? The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Let me say to the hon Sigcau: No, the Eastern Cape province got their correct budget allocation. When we allocate money, we first look at the population size, and poverty levels through the checking of the poverty index in that province. We were convinced that the money we had allocated for the Eastern Cape would be expended during the same financial year, only to realise when the end of the financial year got nearer that that money would have to be rolled back in order for us to re-allocate it 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 80 of 154 to other provinces that need it most, and we went further to encourage them to separate Housing from Local Government. Therefore, they cannot use that money until they sort out the problems in and around their province. We have since rolled back that money and will only re-allocate it after they have resolved their problems. As we are all aware, the hon member is more worried about the money that belongs to her province. As I have already said, that money will be made available once you have sorted out your problems. I thank you.] Mr A C STEYN: Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to finish my earlier question. What I wanted to ask the hon Minister is: Should we not, rather than taking the risk of having the money used inefficiently - I think my colleague wanted to know what if there is no emergency then the money will not be used - consider returning it to Treasury for another purpose? What comes to mind is what was said in this Chamber this afternoon – investment in our students for bursaries. I was going to suggest building libraries in the Eastern Cape but it appears they can‟t do that either. The MINISTER OF HOUSING: Madam Deputy Speaker, I wish I had the power to recommend to the Chief Whips of their parties which member to remove from the portfolio committee because quite clearly, the member is more committed to education than he is to housing. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 81 of 154 [Laughter.] He knows very well the dire need we have for funding in housing. The fact that this money has been not used right now does not mean that other provinces do not need the money. We, unfortunately had to follow a particular process outlined by the law - the Dora process - and that is the money that was allocated to the Eastern Cape. Unfortunately, because they were restructuring, they could not use it this year. But it does not mean that we cannot use it. We might not have an emergency in this country but there are people who are living under very stressful situations. Would it not, therefore, be better that we remove them from those stressful situations in the unlikely event that there might be a hazard? If there are no floods then we will be very happy. But if the floods do occur we will then have the necessary means to remove them and put them in conditions that are the kind of conditions we would like our people to live in. But, touch wood, we will not have floods. Why not plan for them in case they do happen? Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Investigation, initiatives and savings in relation to social security fraud 480. Mr T M Masutha (ANC) asked the Minister of Social Development: 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 82 of 154 What (a) has been the outcome of the investigation into social security fraud, (b) initiatives are being taken to deal with social security fraud and (c) has been the total amount in savings resulting from such initiatives with regard to social security fraud? NO2929E The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Speaker, the reply is that the Department of Social Development entered into an agreement with the Special Investigating Unit to conduct fraud investigations and prosecute grant frauds. A total of 5 656 people were taken through the courts as at the end of September 2007 and 4 515 were convicted. The reply to the (b) part of the question is: The South African Social Security Agency, Sassa, is implementing a number of initiatives which range from improving the grant administration process to fraud detection and prevention mechanisms to address social security fraud. The initiatives include, among other things, the use of biometrics, which allow for single user access to the Social Security Sopen system. This allows Sassa to accurately know who accessed the system, where and when, and do regular data matching between Sopen and various sources of data, for example the Persal and UIF systems. The exercise is conducted regularly to identify exceptions which are investigated for validity and eligibility. Sassa is also 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 83 of 154 strengthening its human resource and vetting processes to ensure that dishonest people are not appointed or are identified and dealt with accordingly. The reply to the (c) part of the question is: 12 591 acknowledgements of debt valued at R69 million were signed as at October 2007. A further preventative saving estimated at R690 million, which relates to grants that would have been paid should the grant not have been terminated, was realised. Thank you. Mr T M MASUTHA: Madam Deputy Speaker, thank you, Deputy Minister for that reply. In fact we had, as the portfolio committee, an interaction this morning with Sassa and we had our guns blazing because of the negative report from the Auditor-General relating to an amount of R40 million but we were pleased to note that out of that R40 million only R600 000 could be related to fraud and the balance of the money was actually utilised for the legitimate functions of Sassa. I am satisfied with the further response from the Deputy Minister so I will not ask a follow-up question. Thank you. Ms H WEBER: Chairperson, thank you very much. Hon Deputy Minister, could you perhaps tell me if any of the people who have been accused of fraud were actually employed at the Social Security Agency and whether any of them were previously employed by social development before the Social Security Agency was formed? Thank you. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 84 of 154 The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: I am afraid that I don‟t have the data that is being asked for in front of me but in terms of grade 3 offenders in Gauteng there were eight people from the Department of Social Development; in Mpumalanga there were three people from social services; there was one in the Western Cape from social services and from all the other departments there are people who are offenders. Whether they were employed by Sassa, subsequently, I am sorry that is a new question. Thank you, Deputy Speaker. The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I was also just about to say that Ministers are not compelled to answer questions that are not related to the initial question and that are not based on the question that had been asked and this is one such a question. Ms J A SEMPLE: Chairperson, I would like to ask a follow-up question regarding the reasons for the discrepancy between the number of public servants who were found guilty of receiving grants fraudulently and those who have actually signed the acknowledgement of debt. Just to help the hon Deputy Minister, this was Question 465, which we‟re not going to get to today, so I am sure you have the answer there. Thank you. The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Are we asking Question 465 now as a follow-up question, Deputy Speaker? 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 85 of 154 The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We are not asking Question 465. We are still on Question 480 and I just made a ruling earlier on that the Ministers are not compelled to answer anything that is not related to the initial question. If the hon member still wants, and I think the hon member should get a response to Question 465, given the fact that this is our last question time this year with this cluster, it can go to the member as a written response. Agreed? Thanks. It looks like there is no other question related to Question 480. I would just like to make mention of the fact that the two hours allocated for normal question time have expired. We will now proceed to take questions outstanding from 24 October 2007 for an hour, which, if you remember, we promised the House that we would make sure that we did before we adjourn this year. QUESTIONS STANDING OVER FROM WEDNESDAY, 24 OCTOBER 2007 Cluster 2 Proposals for improvement of teachers’ salaries 356. Mr R P Z Van den Heever (ANC) asked the Minister of Education: Whether her department has formulated any proposals for the improvement of teachers‟ salaries following the recent public sector strike; if not, why not; if so, what proposals? NO2490E 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 86 of 154 The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Deputy Speaker, the reply to this question is as follows: Yes, the department has formulated proposals for improved remuneration of educators. The proposals are available on the website of the Department of Education in far greater detail than I would be allowed by Madam Deputy Speaker to refer to in this particular sitting. So I would ask the hon members to look at the website. We have put forward a revised proposal just this week to the Education Labour Relations Council, given the objections to the original proposal from two of the unions represented in the Chamber and that set of proposals will also be placed on the website shortly. Mr R P Z VAN DEN HEEVER: Thank you, Minister. Some of the queries that have been raised, and this may be covered by the revised response that you have talked about, is that in terms of higher salaries on the basis of higher qualifications, it would take teachers very long to reach their maximum. In fact, it was said that it would take teachers up to 18 years to move to the maximum of the salaries if they go on the basis of a higher salary for higher qualifications. One of the concerns that has also been mentioned is that, as far as the occupation-specific dispensation is concerned, these are based on learner performance and teachers who are at poorly performing 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 87 of 154 schools, which are the historically disadvantaged schools, will suffer, and teachers at better performing schools will flourish. Given the explanation which the Minister has given that there are revised proposals in the pipeline, I wonder if the Minister would want to venture a comment on that? The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Firstly, Madam Deputy Speaker, the complaint had been that it would take 54 years to reach the end of the notches on the upper end of the salaries that have been proposed. Now we have replied that the calculation is wrong; it would have taken 18 years. However, Madam Deputy Speaker, I have to add that given that end scale for that level of teacher is R364 000, as proposed currently, by the end of next year that R364 000 will have changed, given annual increments that are paid anyway so that in 18 years the R364 000 could very well be R1 000 000 given the additions one has to work on. So the notion that you will get to R360 000 in 18 years is actually quite mistaken and I wish we could do better calculations. I believe the proposal that has been put forward is a fair one with respect to the link to performance. In any system where you remunerate on a basis where you have performance awards which we have in our system with respect to the evaluation of teachers where you get a percentage addition each year as an extra added on to your annual payment, depending on performance through the evaluation, 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 88 of 154 ensuring that you also look at the performance of learners is vitally important because you are in school as a child in order for you to do well through the teaching. And if we have children who are failing in the system and we continue to reward teachers, I do not think that would be a good policy. So I think having learner performance as one of the criteria, not the only one that you would look at, is something that we should not really give up. Mr G G BOINAMO: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. On the basis of the confusion, frustration and anger she has caused by making a false announcement on increases in teachers‟ salaries, will the Minister accept the SA Democratic Teachers Union‟s proposal for an immediate 4,5% general salary increase, if not, why not and if so what are the relevant details and does she expect to produce good results across all grades when she makes the best teachers, who produce excellent results, wait for 19 and 28 years respectively before they earn a monthly salary of R22 000? The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Again, with respect to the last part of the member‟s question, I just ask you to do the calculations. Hon Boinamo, you began in this Parliament earning a particular salary. If you looked at how you will get to the last set of notches in the parliamentary salary, you might have said it will take me so many years to get to R640 000, whatever it is – I don‟t know what it is - you cannot, if you get increases of 7%, 5%, 6% each year, have those 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 89 of 154 salaries remain static in terms of your understanding of what will occur in 10 years‟ time. I don‟t know what more to say. It‟s actually quite worrying that those who are teaching our children can‟t work out that salary levels – the top or the bottom - change every year because we have increments every year. So I am a bit puzzled by this notion that it takes 18 years to get to the current salary offer that we have put forward. With respect to the first remark, I take offence at the implication that I have misled teachers. I certainly have not! With respect to the matter of whether we will do something to respond by offering an increment of 4,5% across the board, my answer to you is the one I have given to the unions when we met, which is that there is no agreement in the resolutions signed by the majority of unions when the agreement was reached that there would be an across-the-board percentage increase over and above the 7,5% that was the settlement this year. The agreement that was signed indicates that various departments that employ professionals in the Public Service should work out an occupational specific dispensation. That is what I have done. I have acted on the basis of the agreement. The offer that I have put out 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 90 of 154 there adheres to the principles enunciated in the agreement and I believe that it is a fair one. There are aspects of the issues that have been raised about the levels and the large number of steps within a notch and so on. That, I think, is reasonable to look at and some of that we are prepared to adjust. But as to an across-the-board increase, hon member, the direct answer is no, there will not be such increase. Mnu A M MPONTSHANE: Phini likaSomlomo, ngicela usheshe ungikhuze uma mhlawumbe lokhu engizokubuza kungasahambelani nemibuzo ebuziwe. Bengicela ukubuza kumhlonishwa ukuthi ngabe isimo sesikuphi, uma kwenzekile ukuthi usuyitholile imibiko eqhamuka ezifundazweni, mayelana nezikhalo zothisha ezihambisana nesiteleka samaholo ekade sikhona. Abanye othisha bakhala ngokuthi bathathelwa izimali zabo kodwa bengayanga esitelekeni. Sesinjani isimo manje ezifundazweni uma uNgqongqoshe eseyitholile imibiko? (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.) [Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Deputy Speaker, I would like you to correct me if what I‟m going to ask does not correspond with the questions that have been asked. I would like to ask the hon Minister about the situation now with regard to the teachers‟ salary strike that took place recently, if she has already received any reports from provinces. Some teachers are complaining that there were deductions from their salaries even though they did not participate in the 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 91 of 154 strike. How is the situation now in each province if the Minister has received the reports?] The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Deputy Speaker, we are in constant liaison with my colleagues in the provinces to assist them where we can with ensuring that no teacher has deductions made from their salary unfairly. We had a fairly significant number of teachers writing to us with respect to KwaZulu-Natal and I believe that matter has been resolved. We had deliberations with the head of education as well as the MECs. We do intervene where we can. The problem, however, arises from the fact that the steps we had agreed to were not followed at all schools. Registers were not kept; people would not sign in when they were at work, and so on. Also, some of the systems of the provinces, I think, have failed us, but we are striving hard to ensure that no teacher is disadvantaged by virtue of the implementation of the no-work-no-pay rule. Mr A M MPONTSHANE: [Inaudible.] The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: I beg your pardon? Well, I don‟t think you are allowed to do what you are doing. [Laughter.] The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Minister. The hon member is definitely out of order. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 92 of 154 Hon Boinamo, there are no more slots for follow-up questions. Not even that one. Question 350 to stand over. Plans with regard to desegregation of residences at the University of the Free State 353. Mr B G Mosala (ANC) asked the Minister of Education: (1) Whether the Council of the University of the Free State has informed her department of its plans to desegregate residences in 2008; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether her department plans to assist the university to implement this decision; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO2487E The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I wonder if someone could give me the Question Paper with all these questions. I‟m a bit disadvantaged in the sense of not having them, but ... The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We could just ask him to repeat the question. The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: No, I‟ve got the question in front of me and I can reply, but I‟m saying if there are any more for me I‟d ... 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 93 of 154 The DEPUTY SPEAKER: This is the last one. The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: All right, well ... Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, it would be a pleasure for us to give her a copy of the Question Paper. The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: No, thank you, not from you! Mr M J ELLIS: Are you sure? The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Yes, absolutely. Mr M J ELLIS: Awww! The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Ellis, you are out of order! Sit down! Hon Minister, please address us. The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: He‟s very disorderly, but he‟s being helpful today! In reply to paragraph 1, yes, I have been informed by the university of their plans to desegregate residences from January 2008. However, the council, on writing to me, did not provide me with a copy of the revised policy. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 94 of 154 With regard to whether we plan to assist with the implementation, all I can say, hon member, in reply is that I‟m pleased that the council of the university has taken the very progressive decision to desegregate residences in 2008. I think it‟s shocking in our country that we still have segregated residences at any university after 13 years of democracy, and I‟m looking forward to the successful implementation of the decision of the council. Given the challenges associated with this very important policy development, I have asked my department to be ready to assist the university if and when necessary. Mr B G MOSALA: Thank you very much for this kind of response, Minister. We are very grateful that your department has taken up this matter with the university. Hopefully a copy of the revised hostel placement policy will be forwarded to your office soon. We are also hoping that the university council will be fully co- operative and positive, especially in view of their commitment to increase diversity in their university residences. Thank you very much, Minister, I do not have a follow-up question. Mev D VAN DER WALT: Agb Adjunkspeaker, dankie vir die geleentheid. Minister, ek kan nie anders nie as om my te verstout deur te sê die VF Plus het hierdie ding by die universiteit gedryf en nou is hulle glad nie hier nie en hulle het selfs hulle hofsaak teruggetrek. Kyk 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 95 of 154 nou maar net! [Tussenwerpsels.] Ek noem hulle nou die “VF Minus”! [Applous.] Ek dink natuurlik daar is baie studente wat hulle studies wil maak werk, omdat hulle wil klaar afstudeer en natuurlik omdat dit vandag baie duur is om te studeer. Gegewe die konflik in 1997 op hierdie universiteit se kampus as gevolg van sogenoemde gedwonge integrasie, kan ek u vra of u enige maatreëls in plek het ingeval daar vroeg volgende jaar weer sulke konflik deur die ekstremiste geskep gaan word? Baie dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Mrs D VAN DER WALT: Hon Deputy Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. Minister, I cannot but make bold to say that the FF Plus has driven this matter at the university, and now they are not even present here today, and they have even withdrawn their court case. Imagine that! [Interjections.] I shall now call them the “FF Minus”! [Applause.] Of course, I believe there are many students who will want to ensure success in their studies, because they want to complete their studies and, of course, since it is very expensive to study nowadays. Given the conflict on the campus of this university in 1997 which resulted from so-called forced integration, may I ask you whether you have any measures in place in case similar conflict is again instigated by extremists early next year? Thank you very much.] 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 96 of 154 The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: As I‟ve indicated, we are in touch with the council, with Prof Fourie, the vice-chancellor, with the various stakeholders in the institution and being aware that there are elements that are resistant and racist, we have of course alerted my department to also speak to departments such as Safety and Security so that, if necessary, we would provide support. Could I ask that we don‟t use the term “forced desegregation”, because our Constitution, which we all support, says we should not be segregated in the way that the institution has had its residences. Therefore, I think all of us as political parties need to loudly acclaim the decision taken by the council and support them in executing the decision. I‟m not surprised that the FF Plus is not here because the resolve of the people of South Africa is that we would be a nonracial society and the FF Plus is not supported in its resolve that it cannot work with that kind of principle and objective. But those of us gathered here, will do so and ensure that we support our universities to reflect the ethos elaborated in our Constitution. Mr G G BOINAMO: Thank you, Madam. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 97 of 154 O ntseetse mafoko, Tona. Legale ke tla tswelela ka potso ya me. [Minister, you said what I intended to say. Nonetheless, I will still ask the question.] The segregated students‟ residences at the University of the Free State are clearly in conflict with the creation of a nonracial society which is enshrined in the Constitution of the country. Is the Minister intending to hold the council of the University of the Free State to account for having allowed this unacceptable situation to exist for such a long time? If not, why not? If so, what are the relevant details? Thanks. The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: There is no provision which allows me to hold the council to account. What would perhaps have been an action taken within the institution or by parents would have been a class action against the practice of segregation. I think it has been young people who have fought against the segregation very vigorously and have been supported by various members of the executive and academic staff of the university who had the resolve that that situation had to change. It is sad that there continue to be elements in our country that are supportive of such segregation on racial terms and fail to realise that the young people of our country have to be the root of the future South Africa which is united and nonracial, and I think this important step is a contribution to ensuring that young people in 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 98 of 154 South Africa do become that root that gives life to a strong branch of a united, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa. I urge all of us to support the university and to object in newspapers that seem to allow debate that is anti such a step to rage in their papers. With us the progressives are tending to be very silent on these matters. So I think, let us speak out loudly in support of ensuring that all our institutions respect the Bill of Rights in our Constitution and that they contribute to building a nonracial South Africa. Position regarding the nomination of a certain person for a position on the SABC Board 360. Ms M Smuts (DA) asked the Minister in the Presidency: (1) whether his Chief Director for Ministerial Services (name furnished) asked a certain person (name furnished) for her permission and her curriculum vitae on nominating her for a position on the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (2) whether his Chief Director advised the said person that he is working for the Minister in the Presidency; if not, why not? NO2496E 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 99 of 154 The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Deputy Speaker, the reply is as follows: The Chief Director in the Presidency contacted the office of the said person and requested a curriculum vitae and a letter of acceptance for the purpose of making a nomination to the SABC Board. With regard to question No 2, the answer is no. Ms M SMUTS: Deputy Speaker, does the hon Minister in the Presidency not mislead us by omission by not answering the last part of my question to him? The second part of the question to the Minister was whether his Chief Director had advised Ms Serobe that he was working for the Ministry in the Presidency, to which he answered “no”. The last part was: If not, why not? I am looking for an answer there because we have in the interim, since the Minister was missing from the House - and may I say how much better it is when he is with us and for the whole afternoon – received this remarkable letter from Ms Serobe to the Speaker in which she says: “I was contacted telephonically by Mr Louis du Plooy of the Office of the Presidency asking whether I would agree to a nomination. Had the chairman of our committee asked me if I know Mr Louis du Plooy of the Office of the Presidency, I would have confirmed “yes”, as I had no need to conceal the fact.” For all I know, the answer to the question whether he had advised Ms Serobe that he was working for the Office of the Presidency, may be no because she already knows him. However, you have not, sir, 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 100 of 154 answered the question “if not, why not?” Until we hear a satisfactory explanation, I would like to suggest, with respect, that that is misleading by omission. The second thing I would like to ask, Mr Chair ... The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order, hon member! The time for your first opportunity to ask a follow-up question has expired. Ms M SMUTS: Thank you. I think that‟s a sufficiently serious one. The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): You might have an opportunity to ask a further supplementary question. The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, if she wants to know, “if not, why not?”, I do not know. He didn‟t tell her. What do you want to know? You stand here and make accusations about misleading by omission. What is misleading? You asked the question and I have answered the question. If you think I am misleading you, you must go and take whatever action you think you must take. The answer is no! The answer to the question “if not, why not?” remains “no”, because he did not think - and I don‟t know why - that he should inform her who he was. What else do you want? Mr R D PIETERSE: Chairperson, hon Minister, the Act allows any person or any South African to nominate any suitable person to be 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 101 of 154 considered for the SABC Board. Does the Minister know of any person that might be prohibited from doing so, or should we ignore the last part of Ms Smut‟s question as just pure politicking? The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you very much because that has anticipated what I think she wanted to add. Let me say this: Every South African who is an adult has a right to nominate anybody to serve on the board. That South African need not necessarily get the permission of his or her employer. So, even you, Ms Smuts, if you want to nominate somebody, have the right to do so without asking your employer, that is the DA. So, Mr Pieterse, yes, I agree with you that an individual has the right to nominate somebody and that an individual has nominated a person to the board and he did not hide the fact that it was he who was doing the nominating. Ms S C VOS: Sorry, Chair, I don‟t know where Mr Biyela is, so I will ask my question. The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Please go ahead, Ms Vos. Ms S C VOS: Thank you, Chairperson. Minister, in fact, the person said openly in letters that she was advised by the Chief Director that he was working for the Ministry. But be that as it may, I concede that, as you say, every citizen has rights and can nominate 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 102 of 154 whomsoever he or she wishes to nominate, by right, to various statutory bodies, and that there is a constitutional separation of powers, clearly, between the executive and the legislature. Are you now saying that it is the view of The Presidency that it is appropriate for senior employees to nominate prospective candidates to statutory bodies who, thereafter, are approved by The Presidency – the employer - either by stealth or openly? Thank you. The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Really, Ms Vos, you know what? I really expected something better from you. First of all, the question is “Whether the Chief Director advised the said person that he was working for the Ministry in the Presidency?” The answer is “no”. The follow-up was: “If not, why not?” I said that I do not know, but the answer is no, he did not advise her of that but he did ask for a CV. That is the question. [Interjections.] No, no, I can understand you. But you see, if you don‟t understand that in a democratic society any individual has a right to nominate - but maybe not in your party; maybe not in this independent kingdom of Zululand that your party might want, but at least, in the democratic South Africa ... [Interjections.] Sit down! You„ve been talking too much today. So, Ms Vos, with respect to this particular question, that is the answer. Whether or not Ms Serobe may or may not have made a statement in the press, 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 103 of 154 that is not what I am answering today. So if you want to ask Ms Serobe, you go and ask her. I‟m not here to answer on behalf of Ms Serobe; I‟m here to answer for myself. Furthermore, I must emphasise again and again and again, that anybody employed in the Public Service has a right to nominate any person to the board without having to seek the permission of the employer. It would be ridiculous if an employee in the Public Service had to request the permission of that employer to nominate somebody to the board. So the answer to that question is that that person has a right to nominate, and I‟m answering the question according to the way it was asked. Ms M SMUTS: Chairperson, the hon Minister in the Presidency cannot come here and say to me that he does not know. You may not, sir, because you are the Minister and the political head. We work here under the doctrine of ministerial responsibility. We don‟t call in public servants. You are the political head. That is the system under which we function. You are accountable to us. You may not come here and tell me that you don‟t know, in reply to the said part of the question. You have, by the way - on record now - the flatly conflicting accounts of yourself on behalf of Mr Du Plooy and Ms Serobe. That is the problem in itself. I would like you to answer this because this is a dangerous tendency. Do you accept ... [Interjections.] 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 104 of 154 The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Order! Order, hon Ms Smuts! Minister, could you take your seat, please? Hon Smuts, you are running out of time. Could you ask the question? Ms M SMUTS: Under the doctrine we follow, what your public servants do, you do. What Mr Du Plooy has done, you have done. That is your department; you have to account for them. And in this case, it is the very Presidency which is the appointing body that has intervened in the nomination. It is unacceptable. [Time expired.] The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: You know, Chairperson, this is just getting ridiculous. With regard to the part of the question that goes: “If not, why not?”, I said that I cannot answer why Mr Du Plooy, who happens to be the Chief Director in my office, nominated somebody and didn‟t do something about it. I can‟t reply on his behalf, nor am I going to take lessons ... [Interjections.] Ms H WEBER: Chairperson, on a point of order: These questions went out prior to the answering session today. The Minister should then have asked that employee why before he came to answer. The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, that is precisely the point I‟m making: I don‟t think we must ever get into a situation in this country in which a Minister would think that if an employee in his or her employ has nominated somebody to the board, that employee must then be accountable to him or her. I think that is wrong and 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 105 of 154 antidemocratic. I‟m very surprised that the DA would have to take a position that smacks of antidemocratic tendencies. Further, I do not want to be taught a lesson by Ms Smuts about the separation of powers, nor do I want to be taught a lesson by her about my responsibilities to this House. My responsibility to the House is to answer this question, which I believe I have answered well enough. Out of respect for her, I actually even gave her a written answer before I came here because I was unable to come to the House earlier, and she knows that. She had a written answer that I had submitted, which I‟m repeating. This is the answer I am giving to the House, an answer to the question she had posed. If she is not satisfied with the answer, there is nothing I can do about it. I can only answer the question in the best way I think possible. If she is dissatisfied, hard luck! Tools being used in Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Forestry Charter to ensure benefits for women and the youth 379. Ms T E Lishivha (ANC) asked the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry: What tools are being used in the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Forestry Charter to ensure that women and the youth 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 106 of 154 obtain benefits for meaningful and sustainable entry into forestry? NO2517E The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, hon Chairperson, and hon member for the question. The reply is as follows: The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter for the forestry sector that was launched earlier this year, aims to ensure that we continue to grow the forestry sector and that it remains a globally competitive industry whilst we ensure that there is broad- based BEE and transformation of the sector. The vision presented in the charter is that of an inclusive and equitable forestry sector in which black women and men fully participate; a forestry sector that is characterised by sustainable use of resources, sustainable growth, international competitiveness and profitability for all its participants; a forestry sector that contributes meaningfully to poverty eradication, job creation, rural development and economic value-adding activities. To develop the Forestry Sector Charter, the steering committee comprising of representatives from all sections of the industry was established. This committee, in their deliberations and consultations, recognised that if the charter were to be truly broad-based, then women would need specific measures to facilitate participation in the sector. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 107 of 154 If you look at the charter itself, the seven indicators of the charter scorecard have taken this need into consideration, and women‟s participation is included in all the elements of the scorecard, the implication of which is that women should form part of the empowerment deals, benefit from skills development, management opportunities and employment equity as well as procurement and enterprise development. Both government and industry, therefore, have a responsibility to ensure the participation and benefit of women in all aspects of the charter. In fact, if you look at the sector targets themselves, the sector has committed itself to attaining greater gender parity in ownership of forestry enterprises and targeted 10% of ownership by black women in existing enterprises. For medium and large enterprises, a bonus point incentive has been included to further increase this target to 15%. Special attention will also be given by industry and government to enterprise development support, as I‟ve said, for women in the forestry sector. My department, over and above this, has taken a number of initiatives to build the capacity of women in the sector, including training of women on forestry legislation, compliance and participatory forestry management. We have also been providing support on some of the non-forestry areas like training women and have supported them in beekeeping activities and development and management of nurseries for trees. They‟ve also been trained in 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 108 of 154 greening, pole processing and charcoal making, which are economic opportunities associated with the forestry sector. Over and above that, eight female students have also been allocated bursaries by my department this year – 2007 - while pursuing their forestry academic qualifications. [Interjections.] The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Hon Minister, your first allocation of time has expired. Ms P BHENGU: Thank you, Chairperson and hon Minister, for the informative response. Hon Minister, I would like to ask whether the Minister has considered that the women and youth should start co- operatives as a way of involving themselves in this broad-based BEE so as to benefit and have sustainable jobs? Thank you. The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Yes, we have actually considered that. Let me say that the process to finalise a charter has been completed and the report has to be published in the Gazette. If you look at the charter implementation plan, one of the agreements is for the department to establish an implementation unit that will assist with driving certain aspects of the charter, one of which is what the hon member is asking about, enterprise development, supporting the small and medium enterprises that will develop out of this, as well as support to co-operatives or community trusts. The form of the enterprise to be supported will obviously be dependent on the needs of the community. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 109 of 154 As far as the youth is concerned, the department has identified existing youth projects in forestry and these will be used to provide baseline information with regard to the skills needs of the youth. And we‟ve done a few other things just to work with the youth at schools and the public broadcaster, and we have started the process to establish a Youth in Forestry Award. Mr M M SWATHE: Thank you, Chairperson and Minister. Can the Minister tell us whether her department has prepared a viable working capital and trained more women and youth to take up challenging tasks and positions in the mainstream forestry industry to create more jobs for the poor unemployed? The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, hon member, for the question. One of the major challenges that has been identified by the charter is skills shortages, especially within our black communities. In response to this, my department together with the Forest Industries Education and Training Authority – FIEATA - will be hosting skills workshops in November and December this year. In these workshops, skills needs and gaps are being identified in relation to how women and youth as well as the disabled can be skilled to benefit from the charter. We are also working with the industry to ensure that training and skills development are aligned with the sector requirements and thus 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 110 of 154 placing people in a position to compete for tenders and other job opportunities in the sector. Funds have been set aside by FIEATA to ensure that training can commence immediately. In addition to skills development and training, the charter encourages the industry to support small business enterprises through preferential procurement and enterprise development and the indicators that are on the scorecard. During the implementation phase, the charter council will monitor the industry‟s performance regarding the support of small forestry enterprises by means of mentorship, coaching and provisioning of opportunities to ensure their sustainability. Ms C C SEPTEMBER: Hon Minister, having listened to your response and having outlined your consideration with regard to the different parts in the value chain - as forestry is now considered as quite a key sector in government‟s industrial policy - does the department consider that, maybe, we should target specific areas in the value chain that would ensure that women will remain in the sector or, in particular, in the economy? Will they consider part of the value chain area such as beneficiation for women? Thank you. The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, hon member. The hon member is correct that forestry makes a significant contribution to the economy and it has been identified as one of 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 111 of 154 those growth areas in terms of Asgisa. The size and importance of forestry can be seen in the studies that have been produced by Stats SA. Secondly, the contribution by the forestry sector should also be seen in the value that it adds to our rural areas. The hon member is also talking about beneficiation. We are indeed looking at working together with the Department of Trade and Industry, where we‟ve developed a strategy on how we can beneficiate some of these, looking at industries such as timber processing, furniture, pulp and paper. With forestry being a rural activity, this has an enormous potential to contribute to the development of the rural economy. Without a doubt, as we look at these downstream industries, women are being considered and are prepared to participate fully in the benefits. Mr M W SIBUYANA: Hon Minister, we are aware of the fact that forests are closer to rural areas and those people who reside in rural areas are poverty stricken. Investment comes from the people who are outside the rural areas. Are you in a position to tell us how the rural areas become active participants in the industry? The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Well, the hon member is correct. There is poverty amongst people residing in the rural areas, but at the same time, these are the people who are extensively using the forestry products for daily consumption and small-scale trade. They use firewood. Over 80% of our rural 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 112 of 154 households are using firewood as their primary source of energy. Furthermore, it is also estimated that there are 300 000 traditional doctors who utilise forestry products. The contribution, presently, of the forestry informal sector to livelihoods in the second economy is estimated at between R10 billion and R14 billion. What I‟ve been saying, hon member, is that my predecessor, Minister Sonjica, embarked on this process for the same reason that we want to transform the sector and ensure that people who are in the rural areas, where most of the forests are, anyway, become beneficiaries of these forestry products. So, the Broad-Based Forestry Charter, every step of the way, is targeting black people to come in on ownership – black people and women to come in with regard to management to be beneficiaries of enterprise development and to benefit right through the value chain. If you look at most of what we‟ve done, we have prepared them in terms of workshops, consultations and setting up organisations for women in the forestry area or sector. We are trying to prepare them. So, what will happen is that licences are going to be issued. Regarding companies that cannot show us that they‟ve brought in black people and black women according to the scorecard, the council that is going to be set up is going to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the charter so that where there is no compliance, 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 113 of 154 we are also able to hold back the only tool that we have in terms of regulating here. Let me say to you that the challenge going forward is definitely in the implementation of the charter. We have given an undertaking to ensure that the charter will be implemented and that the industry and all other stakeholders have signed the charter. So, I‟m hoping that we will work together. There might be teething problems, but we are going to ensure that this industry is fundamentally transformed. Adequacy of amounts currently allocated to universities to meet demand for skilled workers 372. Mr G G Boinamo (DA) asked the Minister of Education: Whether, with regard to recent protests as a result of fee increases at a number of universities, the amounts currently allocated to universities are adequate to meet South Africa‟s demand for skilled workers; if not, what steps are being taken to increase expenditure in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NO2509E The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Chairperson, I think there aren‟t any members of the executive who would ever feel that the allocations they get are adequate. They always wish there could be more. However, a direct answer to the question is as follows: We have 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 114 of 154 increased the allocation to higher education to R13,3 billion in the 2007-08 financial year. The R13,3 billion is composed of three main items: block grants, student loans and merger funds. The largest item is R11,3 billion for block grants. This is an increase of R1,08 billion, that is 10,6% higher than the allocation of 2006. The second largest item is R1,3 billion for student loans, which is an increase of R404,7 million over the 2006 amount, and part of this, R120 million, will be used for teacher bursaries, and R100 million for Further Education and Training college bursaries this year. The last amount of the R13,3 billion is R600 million for university mergers. By the end of next year, 2008, R3,1 billion will have been allocated to mergers since the commencement of the restructuring process with the National Plan for Higher Education in 2001. Mr G G BOINAMO: Thank you, Chairperson. Minister, in light of the dire shortage of skilled workers in South Africa, does the Minister have any plans to provide free bursaries for skills training in order to meet South Africa‟s demand for skilled workers? If not, why not, if so, what plans are in place? The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: There are a range of devices available in the state to support skills training. One of them arises from the National Skills Fund, which derives its funding from the levies for skills training that are funded through the Setas. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 115 of 154 The other provision for skills is, of course, the R1,3 billion I‟ve referred to for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, which is a massive support for access by poor, talented students to universities as well as universities of technology. A further addition is the amount I‟ve referred to of R120 million for talented students intending to teach the critical disciplines in our education system, and thus to be in receipt of teacher bursaries, which contract them to work for the state and not to have to repay any funds to the state. The fourth element consists of the first time ever funding for bursaries for FET college study; R100 million this year and more to come from 2008. All of these are contributing toward enhancing the skills profile of South Africa and ensuring that young people who may be poor but have real talent should not be denied the opportunity to become part of an expanded skills pool for South Africa. Position regarding use of V520 vaccine by HIV-negative women 352. Mrs M M Madumise (ANC) asked the Minister of Health: What is the position of her department on HIV-negative women using the V520 vaccine in light of decisions in the United 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 116 of 154 States of America and Australia to put the use of this vaccine for HIV-negative women on hold as it was reported that it was not preventing new infections? NO2474E The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, thank you very much to the hon member for the question. Let me start off by saying that I think it is now a known fact that the Department of Health supports ethical research on the prevention of HIV infection, including research on the development of an effective vaccine. As you know, we are working with Saavi, the SA Aids Vaccine Initiative. Contributing to that initiative are the Departments of Health, and Science and Technology, as well as Telkom. An HIV vaccine could be one of the interventions for the prevention of HIV infections that could facilitate the reduction of such infections. Therefore, in our view – and this is the position of the department - halting of trials that are found to be ineffective is a good sign for us in that it shows that there is good monitoring of such research. Of course, you will recall that the participants in this research had received vaccines. It is said that they were two to three times more susceptible to being infected. Therefore, we think that halting the research was the correct decision to take. Of course, the South African government will continue to explore and support the development of interventions that might help in the prevention of HIV in our country. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 117 of 154 Let me just remind hon members – and I think they know of this – that as soon as we learnt of this halting of trials, particularly by the United States and Australia, the Minister and the Department of Health convened and held a meeting with the Medical Research Council, the SA Aids Vaccine Initiative and the principal investigators. Obviously, we needed clarity so that we could understand all issues around this initiative. This was important for us because, as you know, the Department and the Ministry of Health are responsible for the health and safety of the citizens of our country. So, when we were informed that the principal investigators had, in fact, stopped the clinical trials, we endorsed that, because as I say, in our view this indicated that we were monitoring research appropriately, in line with all the guidelines that we have. In this regard, therefore, all HIV vaccine trials are suspended until there is clarity on the HVTN 503 trial. [Time expired.] The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Thank you, hon Minister. We‟ll give you a second allocation of time with the supplementary questions. Mr A F MADELLA: Chairperson, Comrade Minister, as government and as the country, we think that it is very important that we support all endeavours to find a cure for this HI virus and Aids. However, we 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 118 of 154 also understand that certainly, ethical protocols are very important. As Minister, you also referred to existing guidelines. We would want to know whether the department has the necessary policies or mechanisms in place to ensure that participants in important clinical trials, such as this one, are fully briefed on the consequences before they participate. When they participate, they should fully understand what they are involving themselves in. Thank you. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, thank you very much to the hon member for this supplementary question. Let me just conclude the part that I was trying to respond to, and then I‟ll come back to your question, hon member. I just wanted to say that obviously, there had been a breakdown in communication between us and the principal researchers. However, we have now agreed that before they go back to Seattle to make their final presentation on the data that they are analysing, it would be necessary for them to brief the Ministry and the department so that we are able to communicate this message to the citizens of our country. And, as I was saying, the department has indeed been informed that the participants have been requested to stop using the investigational product, namely the V520 and HVTN 503. Researchers 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 119 of 154 in this context – and I‟m coming to the question that you asked - are expected to continue to monitor the status of all participants, that is, those that were positive or negative at the time the study was stopped. Obviously, you will recall that we have guidelines that we put in place particularly to ensure that the ethical norms and standards are met before people are enrolled for these trials, so that they actually know what they are in for. Of course, when we had a meeting with the principal researchers, it became clear that even the advisory committees that have been established to monitor this process were not very strong. So, we‟ve taken a decision that we‟d need to strengthen the advisory committees so that, indeed, the participants know what they are in for. So, once more, I‟d like to say that, indeed, all vaccine trials are suspended until there‟s clarity on HVTN 503 trials. Thank you very much. Mr M WATERS: Thank you, Chair. Hon Minister, you stated in your reply that you won‟t allow unsafe trials and that we should welcome the halting of trials that were ineffective, as a sign of good monitoring with guidelines. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 120 of 154 However, in 2005 a friend of yours, Dr Rath, set up two clinics in Khayelitsha and was luring people infected with HIV with food parcels in order to convince them to give up the antiretrovirals and take vitamin C supplements instead, claiming that these would treat them for Aids symptoms. At the time, three people were reported to have died as a result of these trials. In 2005, the DA submitted an application, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, to the MCC, the Medical Control Council, for a copy of its report into Dr Rath‟s activities in Khayelitsha, a report that was promised two years ago. Later in 2005, you reluctantly allowed the MCC to investigate Dr Rath‟s experiments. The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order, hon member! You should ask your question – you are running out of time. Mr M WATERS: Are you not applying double standards when it comes to your friends and to the safety of vulnerable South Africans? Thank you. The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, I think it is Mr Waters who knows about the clinical trials in Khayelitsha. I don‟t know anything about clinical trials in Khayelitsha and, therefore, am not in a position to answer the question that he is asking. If he has concrete information that he can put before me that indicates that I 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 121 of 154 applied double standards, we will use that information. However, I‟m not going to work around gossip, corridor talk and street talk that there are clinical trials taking place when, in fact, I have not been given concrete information about these. So, I don‟t know anything about clinical trials in Khayelitsha. Therefore, if he has the information, he‟s still at liberty to come and give us that information. I have no double standards. Thank you. Nkul M W SIBUYANA: Mutshami wa xitulu na muhlonipheki Holobye wa Rihanyo, ndzi kombela ku vutisa leswaku xana u ti vonile timhaka kumbe u ya twile mahungu lawa ya nga haxiwa eka TV namuntla? Lawa ya vulaka leswaku Afrika Dzonga yi na vanhu vo tala lava hanyaka na xitsongwa-tsongwana lexi xa HIV/Aids? Kasi ku ni matiko yan‟wana lawa ya xi hungutaka- ya hungutaka nhlayo ya vanhu lava va hanyaka na xitsongwatsongwana lexi. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.) [Mr M W SIBUYANA: Chairperson, I want to ask the hon Minister of Health if she has seen or heard the news broadcast on TV today? The news shows that South Africa has a high number of people living with HIV/Aids while in certain countries the number of people living with this virus is declining.] Does the Minister understand what I am saying? 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 122 of 154 Se ndzi lava ku tiva leswaku loko swi n‟wi karhata Holobye leswaku vanhu va Afrika-Dzonga va tele ngopfu lava karhatiwaka hi xitsongwa- tsongwana lexi, xana u swi kotile ku ya kamba eka matiko lawaya ku kuma leswaku va tirhisa yini ku va vona va swi kota ku hunguta nhlayo ya vanhu lava va xanisiwaka hi xitsongwatsongwana lexi? Inkomu. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.) [So, I want to know if it does not concern the Minister that so many people in South Africa are living with HIV/Aids, and whether she has found out from other countries what measures they have used to reduce the number of people infected with this virus? I thank you.] The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Did you manage to get the question, Minister? The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Yes, I did, indeed, Chairperson. And may I say that that is not a supplementary question to the question that was asked. Thank you very much. See also QUESTIONS AND REPLIES. NOTICES OF MOTION Mr G G BOINAMO: Thank you, Chairperson. I hereby give notice on behalf of the DA that I shall move: 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 123 of 154 That the House discusses the carnage which is gripping South African schools, where many learners continue to be murdered by their own peers. These senseless killings keep all learners, their parents and guardians in a state of fear each time they enter the school premises, which are no different to battlefields. Thank you. MOTION OF CONDOLENCE (The late Mrs Margaret Legum) The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chair, I move without notice: That the House – (1) notes that on Thursday, 1 November 2007, Mrs Margaret Legum passed away after complications following an operation; (2) further notes that Mrs Legum was a radical economist and anti-apartheid crusader who spent the post-apartheid years arguing passionately for a new economic order that will benefit the poor; 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 124 of 154 (3) remembers that in 1962 Mrs Legum and her journalist husband, Colin Legum, were banned from South Africa after writing a book calling on the Western countries to impose economic sanctions against apartheid South Africa; (4) remembers that before returning to settle in Kalk Bay, Cape Town, she travelled extensively in Africa, lecturing and running health and social development programmes, and wrote numerous books, pamphlets and articles; and (5) conveys its condolences to her family, loved ones and the African National Congress. Thank you. Agreed to. CONSIDERATION OF FOURTEENTH TO FORTY-FIRST REPORTS 14 TO 41 OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS Mr N T GODI: Chairperson, as we come to the end of our parliamentary session this year, we want to place before the House the reports of the committee as you indicated. These 28 reports come at the end of a year that was one of the busiest, and I need to thank my colleagues and the staff of the committee for their resilience and persistence. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 125 of 154 The resolutions, as they appear, are about departments and entities that have appeared before Scopa, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. These include the Department of Labour, the Department of Arts and Culture and its entities, the Department of Sport and Recreation, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Department of Health, the Department of Defence, the Department of Education, the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Correctional Services, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the Diamond Board, the National Parks Board, Government Printing Works, the Land Bank, as well as a number of Setas. As we usually do in Scopa, we have identified areas of weakness. Concerning financial management, we have recommended remedial actions. Most importantly, we have put timeframes on comprehensive and truthful responses to the recommendations, and on progress reports. It will be up to the Speaker‟s office, in relation to the last element, to track responses within the timeframes that we have set. The issues that we are dealing with, run like a common thread through almost all the resolutions. They can be classified as arising from: one, the control environment; two, the control activities; three, risk management; and four, the leadership or monitoring role. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 126 of 154 As we pass these resolutions, there can be no doubt that Parliament is fulfilling its constitutional mandate in overseeing executive action. The ball will be in the executive‟s court to ensure compliance with best practices in financial management and with legislation. We want to commend these resolutions to the House. Thank you. Mr D M GUMEDE: Chairperson, one of the basic tenets of our Constitution is the principle of accountability in an open and transparent environment. In relation to this, a lot of progress has been made in so far as legislation and rules are concerned. We have developed plans and have implemented them. However, a lot still needs to be done to attain the required standards. Having considered the 28 reports that we are tabling today, at least 17 of them are qualified. One has received an adverse opinion - that is, the worst possible scenario on financial statements - and a number have a disclaimer, which is not much better. Definitely, we have to improve urgently on these. Where these continue, immediate corrective action has to be taken for the good of our country. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 127 of 154 The major root causes for these qualified audit opinions seem to be high vacancy rates, high staff turnover, a lack of capacity or skills which may or may not be as a result of the high vacancy rates, and ineffective audit committees and internal audits. These often result in a weakening of internal control and monitoring which, in turn, has a telling impact on governance. As this cannot be allowed to continue, we have to examine government and some departments so as to draw up strategies for the attraction, retention and motivation of staff. Our human resource management seems to need more targeted attention. However, we are happy that - except for a very few instances - the problem is not one of attitude. A lot of departments are really trying their best. More and more accounting officers really take accountability for the stewardship of public resources as a duty and as an obligation, rather than as a burden. Indeed, adversarial attitudes towards accountability have diminished. Yes, sometimes it is tough to account timeously, but we should remember that we are a winning nation. It has to be done, and we can do it. Regarding specific reports, I believe that some of them deserve deeper examination. For example, the SA National Defence Force has indeed deteriorated, whilst other departments are improving. This 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 128 of 154 department has been qualified in 16 areas of its audit. It has significantly deteriorated even as compared to the position that it occupied last year. One of the major concerns is that the documents that are critical to the promotion of previously disadvantaged soldiers have gone missing from their files. This has been happening and has not been corrected for a number of years. The impact of this is that people who were disadvantaged cannot receive promotions even if those promotions are due. Another area of concern is that of poor control of access to information technology systems in the sensitive area of the Government Printing Works, which deals with identity documents such as IDs, passports and birth certificates. Indeed, we need much tighter access controls at the Government Printing Works. I shall not get into any report and will leave that to speakers that will follow on me. Lastly, the basic values and principles governing public administration, as enshrined in our Constitution, are primarily the promotion of efficient, economic and effective use of public resources. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 129 of 154 Another important principle in public administration, amongst many, is that of accountability. It should be accountable to the public because it uses public funds. We are in government, but we are not using our own money. The Public Finance Management Act, by and large, promotes these, and indeed it is heartening that the Auditor-General has noted that, and I quote: “National departments and other Public Finance Management Act organisations have shown a steady improvement in submitting financial statements on time, as required by the applicable legislation.” For this we congratulate our Public Service. In conclusion, yes, we have a problem, but what is inspiring is that more and more departments are getting better. We thank the accounting officers concerned. This will promote our integrity as well as public confidence in the administration of our beautiful motherland and make us a winning nation. Thank you very much, Chairperson. Mr E W TRENT: Chair, it would be instructive for members to note the details of the 28 reports that are being discussed here, today, as well as Scopa‟s recommendations. It is impossible to go through all these issues as there are literally hundreds of issues that are raised. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 130 of 154 However, to contribute to the improved effectiveness of Parliament as the ultimate oversight institution over our public accounts, I would like to focus my attention on the implications of the late processing of these reports and on matters raised by the Auditor- General during his briefing on the latest audit outcome report. These 28 reports were all finalised by Scopa between 7 and 20 June 2007. Yet they relate to the 2005-06 financial year. All require a response from the relevant departments within 60 days from adoption. This means that if these reports are in fact adopted this evening, the departments will be required to respond to a report that has already been superseded, because Scopa is currently dealing with the 2006-07 reports. Scopa has already concluded hearings for 2007 with the following departments: Health, which received its 5th qualified audit in six years - and the hon Minister is gone now; Correctional Services, which received its 6th consecutive qualified audit; Justice and Constitutional Development, which received its 4th qualified audit in six years; and Defence, which has also received its 5th consecutive qualified audit in five years. A hearing with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, which received its 5th qualification and worst audit opinion in the last six years, is imminent. This means that Scopa‟s hands have been effectively tied in contributing to a year-on-year improvement in 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 131 of 154 the financial management and interaction with these serial offenders. The Auditor-General is required to include in his report the departments‟ responses to Scopa‟s recommendations, but is unable to do so because they are too late. In order to correct this situation, the cycle of oversight must be run in such a way that it fits in and complements the cycle of reporting as set out in the Public Finance Management Act. I want to come to something more important, and I now turn my attention to a very serious matter. The Auditor-General has expressed himself in no uncertain terms as to the role of leadership at both executive and administrative level in ensuring that sound management of our public finance takes place. If you look at his report, you will find that those departments that have been successful have strong leadership at executive and political level. So, you see, leadership is very important - and you can read that report for yourself. The advent of the Public Finance Management Act of 1999 was aimed at changing the way that government departments were being run, by enabling public sector managers to manage, but at the same time also be accountable. They have to manage and they have to take responsibility for leadership when they are in management. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 132 of 154 The Public Finance Management Act goes further to say that government departments and accounting officers must ensure that their departments have and maintain effective, efficient and transparent systems of financial risk management and internal control. Failure to do that is an offence in terms of the Act, yet people are not acted upon. In this respect, the Auditor-General has pointed out that the attitudes of Ministers and managers towards the accounting processes are wanting in many cases. There are two or three Ministers here this afternoon; they are not interested in financial matters. Training sessions are often only attended by junior staff members while members of the executive do not always ensure that they are party to financial management decisions. The DA notes that government is at long last starting to hold accounting officers who are unsuccessful in addressing these matters, accountable and we welcome that. The recent resignation of the Director-General of the Department of Labour is a welcome example, and we hope that others will follow that example. However, we are still concerned that responsible Ministers appear to be ignorant of what is going on in the offending departments and entities. An example of this is the case of the former Minister for 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 133 of 154 Agriculture and Land Affairs, who did not know what was going on at the Land Bank. You have to give leadership, if you want to manage. In the three and a half years that I have served on Scopa in the National Assembly, I cannot recall a single ministerial response to any Scopa resolution, not even from one of our serial offenders. If I can be proved wrong, then tell me which Minister has ever responded to a Scopa resolution to this House. And they are accountable to this House. Until this situation is rectified and the buck is made to stop with the political leadership, we will not see significant improvement in the way we spend taxpayers‟ money and deliver services to the people. Thank you, Chair. Mr H J BEKKER: Chairperson, the Scopa reports before this House yet again bring into sharp focus the inability of the many state institutions to comply fully with public finance laws and regulations. The Public Finance Management Act was created specifically to improve state financial administration. But now, some nine years after its creation, the law is still not properly implemented and is perhaps not taken seriously enough by accounting officers. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 134 of 154 By way of example, Scopa reports also highlight lack of proper internal controls, inappropriate accounting transactions, lack of performance audits and weaknesses in financial administration. I want to concentrate on the MAPPP Seta and the ISETT Seta. Both of these received qualified audit opinions. The former paid out an amount of R12 million to training institutions without supporting documents, raising the possibility of fraud and corruption. Furthermore, certain discretionary payments were made that were also susceptible to irregularities. The MAPPP Seta also exceeded the threshold of administrative expenditure allowed by law. Very concerning is the fact that the ISETT Seta paid out performance bonuses, and that after having received two consecutive disclaimers of audit opinions. It is clear that financial management of these two Setas leaves much to be desired, as is the case in large parts of the Seta system in general. I‟m sure Scopa will, in future, as in the past, be extremely vigilant about the financial administration of these organisations. Chairperson, the IFP wholeheartedly supports the various recommendations of the committee. We hope that vigorous implementation of these recommendations will improve the state of 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 135 of 154 affairs at these institutions and we assure them of our support and our vigilance in monitoring their future performance. We would also like to express our appreciation to the chairperson of the committee, the hon Themba Godi, and our colleagues from all the parties for their hard work and dedication to clean, accurate and proper public finance management. Thank you. Mr G T MADIKIZA: Chairperson and hon members, there are, in these reports, issues that are justifiable. Some cases are exceptions to otherwise acceptable track records. It should be noted that several issues are recurring themes throughout these reports, and are illustrative of systemic challenges facing the public sector. We need to acknowledge these problems and implement corrective measures that will set new benchmarks for what the minimum requirements are for the management of taxpayers‟ money. Firstly, lack of capacity and/or skills shortages hamper many of the institutions and organisations dealt with in these reports. This is an avoidable dilemma, and the resources are there to remedy it. Vacancies need to be filled, capacity should be expanded through training and incompetence should not be tolerated. It is not about rocket science; it is just about basic management duties. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 136 of 154 Secondly, on the topic of management, poor management and control over financial resources and processes are another recurring theme and lead to other issues that are seen throughout these reports such as insufficient internal control, governance issues and failure to comply with the laws and regulations. Again, the duties and requirements for public management are not a mystery. There are manuals and laws that outline in detail what is required of a public sector manager. Widespread failure to respect the established legal and procedural framework can eventually only be attributed to two things: It‟s callousness or incompetence at the highest levels. The line-function Ministers should be asking whether or not they want to be associated with the poor management that happened on their watch. The UDM supports the recommendations made in the reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. [Applause.] Ms N HLANGWANA: Hon Chairperson, the public hearings for the 2005-06 financial year for different departments in the public sector were conducted by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. The purpose of these public hearings is to hold officials of the various departments accountable, and understand the complexities and challenges that they encounter in performing their duties. There are predominantly common weaknesses in most departments, which are lack 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 137 of 154 of financial control, and non-compliance with Treasury regulations and the Public Finance Management Act. The annual report of the Department of Home Affairs was noted, by the Auditor-General, as qualified, and concerns were raised about the state of financial affairs, and high vacancy and staff turnover rates, which are the contributing factors to the present state of affairs in the department. Therefore, Scopa recommended that the accounting officer urgently implement adequate financial reporting systems. Also, the officer should develop suitable policies and procedures to reach an acceptable level of maturity regarding financial management. Irregular expenditure was also identified as one of the challenges that were not fully compliant in terms of section 1 of the Public Finance Management Act. There was an expenditure of R19 million, which did not comply with supply-chain management and Treasury regulations. There are very clear recommendations that need to be adhered to. In regard to the human resource factor, the department should take the necessary steps to ensure that all funded posts are filled with appropriately skilled personnel and that the retention policy is reviewed, and it is hoped that the hon Minister will monitor the accounting officer in regard to these recommendations. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 138 of 154 The Department of Health also received a qualified audit report. There is non-adherence to the Division of Revenue Act at both national and provincial department level, which is a cause for concern. The other discomforting factor is the lack of adherence to the supply-chain management procedures and processes. The Department of Correctional Services has acknowledged the weaknesses identified by the Auditor-General and the recommendations are very clear that within 60 days of the adoption of this report by the National Assembly, the names of officials who were involved in the negotiations for the public-private partnership contracts who have left the department and subsequently taken directorship and leadership positions in the above-mentioned asset procurement and operating partnership should be submitted to Parliament in order to ascertain whether there were any irregularities in the process. In general, as stated at the beginning, there are key weaknesses in the financial controls of most departments, and it is important that we have a uniform accounting system practised by accounting officers. Lack of adherence to legislation and procedures should result in disciplinary action by the various departments. As a committee, we would encourage other portfolio committees to interact with us in order to consolidate the strengths and weaknesses of different departments. This will promote a harmonious tackling of the financial predicament of the public sector. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 139 of 154 In conclusion, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts was established by this House to ensure accountability, transparency and implementation of the policies of the ANC, thereby ensuring a better life for all. Ndiyabulela. Ke a leboga. [Thank you.] [Applause.] Mr B E PULE: Hon Chairperson, departments and entities are always caught up in the process of adaptation to an accountability chain. This is indeed a real cause for concern. The common denominator in accountability in departments is non- compliance with accounting standards, and determination of the correct values of disclosures in the financial statements in line with applicable accounting practices as prescribed by National Treasury, the Public Finance Management Act and other related legislation. There are internal control weaknesses, non-existence of generally accepted and recognised accounting practices, and, above all, lack of capacity and skills within departments. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts is always worried by departments claiming that there is a lack of capacity or skills when some of them have these skills, in fact, to defraud government. Scopa is always told that there are measures in place when those measures are never implemented. Heads of departments do not seem to understand that they can only delegate the responsibility and not the accountability, but, unfortunately, they delegate both. It is 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 140 of 154 high time that Scopa resolutions are taken seriously by this House. I thank you. [Applause.] Mr P A GERBER: Chairperson, it‟s always a privilege to address this House. As members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, we don‟t often get the opportunity to address members from this podium. I see it as a privilege, and I thank the ANC for that privilege. I am sorry, hon Mike Ellis. I did not lose my voice, so you will have to stand me for another five minutes. In the 8 January statement by President Mbeki, he said, and I quote: “We must do scrupulous monitoring ...” We have been trying very hard to do that in this committee. Therefore, when you work with taxpayers‟ money, there is no way that you can ask too many questions. I‟d like to touch on one or two of the resolutions that you‟ve got before you, the one being the Land Bank. This once-proud institution with so many historical successes has tragically been allowed to be derailed by certain irresponsible officials. It‟s a sad day for agriculture in South Africa that such a backbone of the industry has been allowed to go to ruin. We must not complain if we go to the shops and pay R100 a kilo for lamb chops or R70 for a pocket of potatoes or R7 for a cabbage. For far too long, agriculture has been used as a punch bag, and we as the ANC will not allow this. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 141 of 154 If you go and read the Hansard and the transcripts of Scopa hearings, you‟ll see that there have been many, many warnings about the Land Bank. Yet, every time when an institution or a department gets into trouble, a turn around strategy is announced. We‟ve seen so many turnaround strategies that we will become drunk by turning around. If you turnaround twice, you‟re still going in the same direction, so we will have to come up with better plans. Why do we allow something to first end up in intensive care before we intervene? By then it‟s too late, and the damage has been done. When we had the hearing on the Land Bank, the chief financial officer and his second in charge weren‟t even there. This was five months ago. He was on stress leave, apparently out of the country. We, therefore, welcome the steps that the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs has taken to clean up the house of the Land Bank. Congratulations, Minister. In many cases, by just reading the annual reports and financial reports of departments, many of those issues can be picked up there, but if you go to the basement of this very Parliament - the rubbish dump down here - many of the new annual reports, some still even covered in plastic, haven‟t even been opened, and they are thrown away. So, we in Scopa have to read more than 300 annual reports a year, and I don‟t think it‟s too much for members to at least read a couple of these reports. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 142 of 154 If you do read them, then please read the financial information at the end of the report, all that information written in small font. The most important information in life is written in small font. You just have to look at your bank statements, your insurance policies, your car insurance, and the back of your receipt. It‟s very important information. Then I‟d like to touch on the SA National Parks Board. We had a visit to the Kruger National Park, and a hearing with SA National Parks was very fruitful. One of the issues that we recommended in our resolution that we got here this afternoon deals with the Skukuza Airport, and I would like to read it to you. It reads: The committee noted the closure of the Skukuza Airport, and the financial loss that this has had on the park. The committee recommends that SANParks, together with the Minister, restarts the negotiations with the relevant role-players in that province to reopen this airport to restore the financial viability of regular scheduled flights as well as the icon status of the Kruger National Park, especially in the light of 2010. I‟d like to touch on the Ngonyama Trust Board. This trust has been a complicated problem child for a long time, and it will still take a while before it comes clean due to the complexities of the issues there. I‟d like to tell you that the landholdings have been a problem there. For instance, there were huge differences between the 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 143 of 154 hectares recorded in the land register versus the hectares reflected on the title deeds. The committee was informed during the hearing that a qualified land surveyor had been appointed and that it was expected that all the outstanding issues in this regard would be sorted out by March 2007. However, to deal with land, you need to physically survey it and for that you need a surveyor who has graduated from university. There were three universities that produced surveyors, namely the University of Pretoria, the University of Durban and the University of Cape Town. Currently, only two universities are producing land surveyors and last year UCT only produced six, of which a couple were poached by parastatals. So we‟ll always have a bottleneck with land reform if we don‟t sort out this problem. The big advantage, on the other hand, of the Ngonyama Trust, is that its books are at least prepared by the Auditor-General. There are, however, other trusts that are not audited by the Auditor-General and I will read to you from the National Agricultural Marketing Council: With the closure of the former agriculture control boards, the remaining assets were transferred to agricultural trusts with specific commodities. In April 2006, the Agricultural Marketing Council decided to conduct an investigation into the functioning 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 144 of 154 of these trusts. This investigation was finalised in 2006, and the following recommendations were made: The NAMC should urgently arrange a meeting with the Ministerial trustees to table and discuss ... and an induction process should be developed for the trust. Meetings should be held at least once a year. Memorandums of understanding, etc. However, the most important one is that the financial statements should be audited by the Auditor-General, as those are mostly statutory funds. Now, the frightening thing about these agricultural trusts is that there is more than R1,5 billion lying in there. These trusts are not audited by the Auditor-General and it is a problem at this stage. For instance, the Citrus Trust started off at R1,3 million. It‟s now at R15 million. The Maize Trust had R264 million; it now has R685 million. The Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust had R63 million; it has R146 million now, and so I can continue. The committee itself had a wonderful year with its challenges and what you see here before you today, although we are not exactly doing justice to it by putting it so late in the day, has been the product of a lot of hard work and a lot of long hours. I would like, on behalf of the ANC, to thank all the committee members from all the parties for their dedication and their hard work with these 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 145 of 154 reports. I put these reports to you. Thank you very much. [Applause.] Debate concluded. The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move: That the Reports be adopted. Motion agreed to. Reports accordingly adopted. The House adjourned at 19:06. __________ ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS ANNOUNCEMENTS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces The Speaker and the Chairperson 1. Translations of Bills submitted 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 146 of 154 (1) The Minister of Social Development (a) Wetsontwerp of Tradisionele Gesondheidspraktisyns [W 20 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces– sec 76(2)). This is the official translation into Afrikaans of the Traditional Health Practitioners Bill [B 20 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)). (b) Wysigingswetsontwerp op Keuse oor die Beëindiging van Swangerskap [W 21 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces– sec 76(2)). This is the official translation into Afrikaans of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill [B 21 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)). (2) The Minister of Communications (a) Wysigingswetsontwerp op Elektroniese Kommunikasie [W 38 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75) This is the official translation into Afrikaans of the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill [B 38 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75). (3) The Minister of Finance 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 147 of 154 (a) Wetsontwerp op Belasting op Oordrag van Sekuriteite [W 44 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 77) This is the official translation into Afrikaans of the Securities Transfer Tax Bill [B 44 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 77). (b) Wetsontwerp op die Administrasie van Belasting op Oordrag van Sekuriteite [W 45 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75) This is the official translation into Afrikaans of the Securities Transfer Tax Administration Bill [B 45 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75). National Assembly The Speaker 1. Message from National Council of Provinces to National Assembly in respect of Bills passed by Council and returned to Assembly (1) Bill passed by National Council of Provinces and returned for concurrence on 21 November 2006: (a) Education Laws Amendment Bill [B 33D - 2007] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)). 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 148 of 154 The Bill has been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Education of the National Assembly TABLINGS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces 1. The Minister of Health (a) Report and Financial Statements of the Compensation Commissioner for Occupational Diseases (CCOD) for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, including the Reports of the Auditor- General on the Financial Statements for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. COMMITTEE REPORTS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces 1. Report of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence on Employment of SANDF to Uganda, dated 20 November 2007: The Joint Standing Committee on Defence, having considered the letter from the President on the employment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to Uganda, referred to the Committee, reports that it has concluded its deliberations thereon. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 149 of 154 2. Report of the Mediation Committee on the Children’s Amendment Bill [B 19B – 2006] and [B 19D – 2006] (Reprint) (with textual corrections) (National Council of Provinces – sec 76), dated 21 November 2007: The Mediation Committee, having considered the Children’s Amendment Bill [B19B – 2006] and [B19D – 2006] (Reprint) (with textual corrections) (National Council of Provinces - sec 76), as well as the papers referred to it, reports the bill with further amendments [B 19E – 2006] and presents a mediated version [B19F – 2006]. National Assembly 1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology on the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Bill [B 17 B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 21 November 2007: The Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology, having considered the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Bill [B 17 B – 2007] and the proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces, referred to the Committee (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 20 November 2007, p 2332), reports the Bill with amendments [B 17 C – 2007]. Report to be considered. 2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology on the Human Sciences Research Council Bill [B 16 B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 21 November 2007: 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 150 of 154 The Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology, having considered the Human Sciences Research Council Bill [B 16 B – 2007] and the proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces, referred to the Committee (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 20 November 2007, p 2332), reports the Bill without amendments. Report to be considered. 3. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill [B21 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)), dated 20 November 2007: The Portfolio Committee on Health having, considered the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill [B21 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76 (2)), referred to it, reports the Bill with amendments [B 21A-2007]. 4. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the Traditional Health Practitioners Bill [B20 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)), dated 20 November 2007: The Portfolio Committee on Health having, considered the Traditional Health Practitioners Bill [B20 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76 (2)), referred to it, reports the Bill without amendments. 5. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on the Transport Agencies General Laws Amendment Bill [B 27B- 2007] (National Assembly- sec 75), dated 21 November 2007: 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 151 of 154 The Portfolio Committee on Transport, having considered the Transport Agencies General Laws Amendment Bill [B 27B- 2007] (National Assembly-sec 75) and proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 29 October 2007), referred to the Committee, reports the Bill without amendments. Report to be considered. 6. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Amendment Bill [B15B─2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 21 November 2007: The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Amendment Bill [B15B─2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), and proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 15 November 2007, page 2302), referred to the Committee, reports the Bill without amendments. Report to be considered. 7. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill [B50B─2003] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 21 November 2007: The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill [B50B─2003] 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 152 of 154 (National Assembly – sec 75), and proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 14 November 2007, page 2244), referred to the Committee, reports the Bill with amendments [B50C — 2003]. Report to be considered. 8. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on Draft Notice on Remuneration of Magistrates, dated 21 November 2007. The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the Draft Notice on Remuneration of Magistrates in terms of section 12(3) of the Magistrates Act 1993, (Act No 90 of 1993), tabled on 19 November 2007 and referred to it, recommends that the House in terms of section 12(3) of the Act, approves the said Draft Notice. Report to be considered. 9. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on Draft Notice on Remuneration of Constitutional Court Judges and Judges, dated 21 November 2007. The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the Draft Notice on Remuneration of Constitutional Court Judges and Judges in terms of Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, 2001 (Act No 47 of 2001), tabled on 19 November 2007 and referred to it, recommends that the House, in terms of section 2(4) of the Act, approves said Draft Notice. 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 153 of 154 Report to be considered. 10. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on the Broadband Infraco Bill [B 26B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 21 November 2007: The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, having considered the Broadband Infraco Bill [B 26B – 2007] and proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 07 November 2007, p 2058), referred to the committee, reports the Bill with amendments [B 26C – 2007]. Report to be considered. 11. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on the South African Express Bill [B 14B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 21 November 2007: The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, having considered the South African Express Bill [B 14B – 2007] and proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 07 November 2007, p 2058), referred to the committee, reports the Bill with amendments [B 14C – 2007]. Report to be considered. 12. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Education on the Education Laws Amendment Bill [B 33D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)), dated 21 November 2007: 21 NOVEMBER 2007 PAGE: 154 of 154 The Portfolio Committee on Education, having considered the Education Laws Amendment Bill [B 33D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)), amended by the National Council of Provinces and referred to the committee, reports that it has agreed to the Bill. Report to be considered.
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