Hon Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon Minister of Finance Mr Pravin Gordhan, hon Deputy Minister of Finance Mr Nhlanhla Nene, hon Members of Parliament, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, this debate is taking place just two days after the country commemorated the 37th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising. We would like to pay tribute to those heroes and heroines of the youth of 1976 and subsequent years who laid down their lives so that today we can say we are free. Even today, as we stand here, many of these young people still struggle to find work, so the struggle continues.
Today we have every reason to celebrate the achievements of the democratic government under very difficult economic conditions. Whilst many developing countries in the European zone have implemented austerity measures, South Africa's economy remains resilient, and continues to grow, albeit slower than anticipated. We thank you, hon Minister of Finance, for diligently steering this ship from stormy waters to safer waters.
In its strategy and tactics the ANC seeks to build a democratic society that is able to use variety of strategic capabilities to shape the development of the country. The national democratic revolution, NDR, seeks to build on the best traditions of the developmental state represented by an efficient state that guides national development by mobilising the resources in society and directing those resources towards the realisation of the common good. It also seeks to build on the best traditions of a social democracy, which places the needs of the poor and social issues such as decent work, education, health and social solidarity, and the social safety net at the top of its national agenda.
Building a state that can act in a truly developmental way and play a leading and strategic role in shaping a developmental state is not an easy task. It requires focus and ongoing assessment of capabilities required and the necessary adjustments to the institutional arrangements that will help build them.
We cannot simply proclaim a developmental state. It must be painstakingly constructed. Building on the developmental state that we have been building over the past 19 years, the movement pays particular attention to organisational and technical leadership of the national democratic state.
This debate takes place when the departments are busy aligning their strategic plans to the National Development Plan, which seeks to address the challenges facing the country. This development demands committees of Parliament to be more vigilant and focused as they conduct their oversight.
The Bill before the House is a practical commitment of the ANC-led government to fighting the scourge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Though this Budget may not necessarily be an expansionary Budget, it does, however, provides significant opportunities for creating employment, laying the foundation for confronting poverty and expediting service delivery to all. This Budget invests strongly in education, health, housing, public transport, social development, free basic services and infrastructure development.
The ANC welcomes the R23 billion committed by government to eradicating the inappropriate structures in education in the rural provinces such as the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and others as well as ensuring that all schools have adequate access to sanitation and electricity over the next five years.
Hon Minister of Education, I noted that the fourth quarter report of the National Treasury reported that, by the end of December, only 4 out of 49 schools had been completed. I would like to state here as a fact that that information is a bit outdated. Over 22 schools have been built and whilst 44 schools were being completed; learning was taking place there. However, some of them might not have been signed off at that time.
This programme is a comprehensive one that, over the next five years, will address issues such as access to sanitation and electricity, not just in those 49 schools but in all schools in the country that do not have these services.
Again, the ANC applauds the Department of Health for piloting the National Health Insurance to ensure that the poor have universal access to health care. We know that my colleagues on my left oppose this programme because it is intended to address the plight of the poor. All they want is the vote of the poor but not their health. The ANC also commends the programme of the Department of Health focusing on upgrading health facilities and the HIV programme, which is headed by the Deputy President.
In addressing the challenges of urbanisation, the government has established the Urban Settlements Development Grant to address challenges relating to bulk infrastructure and the upgrading of informal settlements. We urge the provinces, including the Western Cape, to utilise this grant to upgrade the informal settlements and construct streets, lights and storm water drainage.
The National Treasury must also assist in addressing the Rural Household Infrastructure Grant, so that there is improvement in terms of its impact, by ensuring that the grant remains with the Human Settlements department so that the grant can perform, as the department has created administrative infrastructure to accelerate the implementation of the programme. Unfortunately this programme has been moved from one department to another.
The ANC supports the endeavours by the Department Of Public Service and Administration to create an anticorruption bureau and, to ensure that all the departments have filled in the funded posts. The Public Service Commission reported that there are some senior management officials who have not yet signed their performance agreements. We would like the executive to urge these senior executives to sign their performance agreements as it is a legal requirement and is in their business interest.
Finally, we would like to see all the departments submitting quarterly reports along with their quarterly annual performance plans so that there can be alignment between the expenditure and predetermined objectives.
The ANC welcomes our government's commitment to ensure tighter controls on expenditure and the analysing of the patterns of public spending including personnel spending, thus identifying opportunities to improve value for money.
In conclusion, I take this opportunity to thank the Minister of Finance for guiding our government in relation to financial management. I also want to express my appreciation of the dedication of the members of the committee in ensuring that we meet our own targets as required by Parliament, and the staff of the committee for working beyond the call of duty in ensuring that our work is completed. The ANC supports the Appropriation Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Speaker, I would like to ask the House to please listen carefully to the following quotation. It goes like this:
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become[s] bankrupt.
This is a statement made by Senator Cicero in the year 55 BC. We have evidently learnt very little over the past 2 067 years because, in South Africa, expenditure is rising faster than revenue; public debt is increasing; we assist countries such as Zimbabwe financially; more and more people are becoming dependent on social grants while the economy is failing to deliver job opportunities; productivity is low; many of our public servants continue to remain inefficient and many government departments continue to spend their budgets fruitlessly. As Senator Cicero said, it is a sure-fire way of going bankrupt.
The Appropriation Bill that is to be considered by us today authorises the provision of funds to government departments, and various Votes and schedules will be discussed shortly. Unfortunately, objections to various Budget Votes are increasing rather than decreasing, with reason. The increase in objections is indicative of the dissatisfaction with the way in which many government departments are run, and the failure of these departments to deliver efficient services to the poor. The question, therefore, arises as to whether we should continue to provide budget to government departments performing badly, particularly at the current funding levels.
In a report to the Standing Committee on Appropriations, the Public Service Commission provided the following disconcerting facts about the efficiency of our government departments: the percentage of national and provincial departments that managed to achieve more than 80% of their planned output targets as per their annual performance plans declined from 9% to 4% from the 2010-11 to the 2011-12 financial year. In fact, during the 2011-12 financial year, 24% of national and provincial departments operated at a level below 49% of achievement of predetermined targets.
During the 2011-12 financial year, the Department of Energy spent 99,6% of its budget, but achieved only 57% of its output targets. Similarly, the Department of Basic Education spent 91, 4% of its budget, but achieved only 53% of its output targets. The Department of Public Works spent only 88,9% of its budget and achieved 46% of its output targets. However, the worst performance came from the Department of Water Affairs, which spent 96% of its budget, but achieved only 8% of performance targets.
In spending on capital assets, an area where infrastructure development and job creation often take place, the Department of Public Works spent only 66%, the Department of Health only 63% and the Department of Basic Education only 38% of their budget allowances for the payment of capital assets during the 2012-13 financial year.
During the 2011-12 financial year, 55% of national departments had compliance findings in respect of unauthorised, irregular and/or fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The Department of Public Works, for instance, spent R25 million in unauthorised expenditure, R178 million in irregular expenditure and R69 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Just this one department incurred unauthorised, irregular as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure totalling to R272 million. One wonders how much of that wastage went to Nkandla. The Department of Water Affairs had irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure totalling nearly R1,1 billion.
Heads of departments are required to enter into performance agreements with their Ministers. These agreements must be filed with the Public Service Commission by June of each year, but the compliance rate by heads of departments as at 30 June 2012 was only 65%. The number of heads of departments actually undergoing performance management evaluations has in fact declined over the past years. At national and provincial levels, the number of evaluations done declined from 53% in the 2007-08 financial year to only 18% in the 2011-12 financial year. Seventeen per cent of heads of departments had not submitted performance agreements at all. However, rest assured that most, if not all, of these heads of department received performance bonuses despite the fact that no performance evaluations were done.
The Public Service Commission further reports that there has been a steady increase in overall infrastructure spending by the public sector. The value of major infrastructure projects currently in progress or under consideration in the public sector totals R3,6 trillion, and over 40% of these projects are in the implementation phase. Infrastructural development can play a major role in reaching the goals set out in the National Development Plan in respect of job creation, poverty relief and eliminating injustices of the past. Unfortunately, infrastructure delivery by the public sector is weak and is characterised by delays, poor planning, lack of project management and inadequate oversight.
The Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, PICC, formed to ensure the introduction of the National Infrastructure Plan adopted in 2012, identified 18 strategic integrated projects in the areas of water, electricity, roads, sanitation and communication. However, they found major challenges for the effective running of these projects. These challenges related to poor planning at institutional level; slow approval processes; poor quality execution; tender abuses and corruption; unplanned and costly rework of designs or construction; lead time delays; slow or nonpayment of contractors and lack of suitably skilled personnel. It is no wonder, therefore, that expenditure by departments and provinces on consultants amounted to R33,7 billion during the 2011-12 financial year, in many cases as a result of the inability of the incumbent employee to do the job.
The report by the Public Service Commission paints a bleak picture, indeed, of the ability of many of our government departments to manage the budgets allocated to them effectively and efficiently. We must ensure that wastage of public money is stopped dead in its tracks. The wisdom of continuing the provision of budget to poor performers is questionable, especially considering the current pressure on our economy. In the final analysis, however, the responsible persons for poor performance are the heads of department and their Ministers. When are they likely to be fired so we can start getting value for money?
Where the DA governs, we have an attitude towards clean and effective governance which gives rise to excellent service delivery. A few days ago, the hon Deputy President and hon Minister of Finance had meetings with various trade union leaders. On that occasion, the hon Minister of Finance explained to the trade union leaders the dire straits of the South African economy, as it currently finds itself with foreign investments being withdrawn from our country at a rapid rate, a weakening rand and a deteriorating growth rate. The need for the co-operation of trade unions was stressed.
However, what do we do? The ANC members of the Portfolio Committee on Labour vote for amendments to labour legislation by which our current draconian labour legislation is worsened. This is indeed a wrong attitude to solving the problem. However, one can hardly expect anything less with a very difficult election looming for the ANC.
In the final analysis, it is all in the attitude towards solving our problems. It would therefore be wise to remember the words of Jack Sparrow when he said, "The problem is not the problem. The problem is the attitude about the problem". Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Speaker, Deputy President, hon Ministers, hon members, today we are debating the Appropriation Bill with a view to adopting the government Budget for 2013-14. The year 2013 remains a year in which we saw big progress towards the capacitating of the committee on appropriations, with the appointment of the director, Professor Jahed, to manage the budget office.
This year we appreciate the leadership that has been provided by the presiding officers, namely, the Speaker and the Chairperson of the NCOP. It is a good but delayed action, we must say.
As the committee, we said before that, without the capacity of the budget office, the amendment of the budget would remain a distant dream that might only come true during the next term, after the 2014 elections. The message for Professor Jahed today is that he should work hard now and capacitate the office in order to be ready for the task ahead.
The committee has engaged with the various departments around the Budget during public hearings. The level of readiness by the departments to align with the National Development Plan, NDP, in terms of their current programmes, is very scanty, to say the least.
The question, going forward, remains the lack of enforceability of the NDP, and the NDP's lack of constraining measures for departments that are deviating from implementing what is being said. The Minister of Finance, given the lack of these measures, will therefore become the police with the power of the Budget to be able to use the budgetary lever to be able to make sure that monies are withdrawn from those departments that are unable to implement the NDP and that these monies are then redirected for good results and action.
The Budget, as we debate it today, is a big budget and can do a lot of things. What remains unresolved is the matter of what the departments are unable to do, which is the issue related to the capacity of the departments to be able to deliver quality service to our people, both black and white. We must state that most of the departments fail to meet the targets of what they plan to deliver. They plan to deliver 100% but, in most cases, only a few departments are able to meet 70% of their targets. Many departments remain within 50% and 60% of achieving their targets. The worse are those departmental clusters that are in the region of meeting 40% of their targets.
It means therefore that the budget that is allocated is not well spent on the intended targets and, as such, there is no value for money. Money ends up being dumped just to make sure that we stay within the baseline budget arrangement.
We need to point out, as we move forward, that according to the protocol, Ministers are accountable for the budget. This protocol, I need to add, is not a people-first protocol. Accountability of Ministers must be measured in terms of what they provide and what they do with the budget.
The new protocol introduced today is actually a Minister-first protocol. It is a protocol of the ruling party which says, that its chairpersons must make sure that Ministers are not embarrassed by being asked serious questions. So what do we have? Sweetheart oversight, and sweetheart questions to departments for their failure to deliver quality service.
We must therefore not blame the people when they protest, demanding what is due to them in terms of service delivery. We are worried to see the departments continuing to use consultants while the government employs 1,3 million public servants. We are worried that billions of rands - R102 billion, as revealed by the Auditor-General - was spent on consultants despite the 1,3 million personnel members employed by the state.
We are very encouraged to see that the departments, particularly that of the Minister of Public Service, have now introduced what is called the school of governance. That shows an understanding of what the NDP suggests should happen.
We are worried, particularly when we see the Ministers undermining the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA. We are worried when we see Ministers giving themselves powers. We have looked in the Public Finance Management Act. We see no provision made for Ministers to withdraw the powers of the Director-General against what is called the accounting officers. There is no provision and, therefore, such a practice must be stopped. It cannot continue, because that is tantamount to an abuse of state power.
In conclusion, it is imperative that we build in a sound monitoring and evaluation process in the Budget, for the realignment of the Budget with national, provincial as well as municipal priorities, including making sure that we achieve the service delivery results as we have been asked to do as Parliament.
However, what we see today can't be allowed to continue happening, and must be stopped. I thank you, Speaker. [Applause.]
Hon Speaker, hon Deputy President and hon colleagues, as we debate the Appropriation Bill before us, we note, once again, that no formal submission has been received from any of the parliamentary committees on budgetary issues in relation to their respective portfolios. Hopefully, with the establishment and appointment of the director in the Parliamentary Budget Office, this situation will change as we consider next year's Appropriation Bill. It was stakeholders and certain departments which made submissions, and it is on the basis of these submissions that our committee's report was based. Having said that, we as the IFP will support the 2013 Appropriation Bill, but wish to express concern with regard to many areas that were identified during the hearings. One such area, which underpins the budgeting process, is the lack of proper planning by many departments. Underspending and the inability to achieve key performance indicators are commonplace in many government departments.
This has an impact on service delivery and hence the plethora of service delivery protests across the country, with many of them becoming violent. This lack of appropriate and effective spending is an indictment on this government. Therefore it cannot be business as usual and heads must roll, from the executive to administrative levels, where incompetence and laissez faire attitudes exist.
Yet, in all of this, the use of consultants goes on relatively unchecked. For example, we heard in the committee that most of the basic jobs in carrying out the community works programme are farmed out to consultants. Crucial functions like the internal audit functions are contracted out to consultants. The internal audit is the core responsibility of any head of department.
I am reliably informed that an exercise conducted reveals an expenditure of almost R1,5 billion on the use of external internal audit personnel over a three-year period. This would have been considered kosher, if only one were able to see improvements in governance and particularly in audit outcomes. This is sadly not happening across spheres of government and mainly in the local government arena.
It cannot be business as usual as we move forward. What has happened to the former President Thabo Mbeki's vision of ``business unusual''?
Another area of concern resides with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The concern is that the department certainly does not seem to have the capacity, administratively and from a budgetary point of view, to deal with claims that were lodged prior to 31 December 1998. Yet there is an intention to reopen the lodgement of land claims. While this may be for noble reasons, and we agree with these reasons, the lack of past planning leaves one wondering whether meaningful implementation would follow. Currently there are claims which have been finalised and the department does not have the funds to settle such claims.
National Treasury, together with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, needs to urgently quantify all contingent liabilities in this regard. I am sure that this would run into billions which have not actually been appropriated.
Moving forward, the IFP contends that taxpayers must be assured that their contributions are used effectively and efficiently in promoting economic growth and meeting the needs of the disadvantaged in our communities.
Whilst we agree that safety nets have to be provided for the poor, the amount allocated to social welfare payments makes one to come to the conclusion that we are fast becoming a social-welfare state and not the developmental state that is desired. It is projected that, by the end of March 2016, about 17,2 million people will be relying on social grants. This is certainly not going to be sustainable in the medium to long-term. Self-help and self-reliance must be the order of the day whilst providing these safety nets.
With the above remarks, the IFP also indicates that, at the moment, the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, allocation should be ring-fenced under Vote No 6, and not under Vote No 1 in the Presidency as is the case at the moment. This is because meaningful debate can take place under Vote No 6 on a very important agency that provides hope to the youth of the future. The IFP will support the Appropriation Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr Speaker and hon Minister, there are many aspects in the ANC's policies that we generally do not agree with. However, to tell the truth, there are also instances of agreement. One of those is the important agreement on the eradication of poverty in South Africa. Poverty is a scourge that robs people of their dignity and their rights to exercise choice with regard to their future. What we differ on, however, are the methodologies to achieve the desired future. Your methodology is encapsulated in the term ``transformation'' and ours in ``self- determination''. As your budget allocation is the energy source of all government policy implementation, it is apt to properly analyse whether the ANC's very own actions are aligned to their stated policy.
Volgens die ANC is transformasie die snellerwoord wat aan die ontwikkelingstaat effek moet gee. Hierdie tipe staat moet tipies getrou bly aan die betekenis van die woord "self". Ontwikkeling beteken vooruitgang deur middel van groei. Daar moet dus bygevoeg word tot die oorspronklike betekenis dat in 'n Suid-Afrikaanse konteks beteken dit ekonomiese groei met gepaardgaande werkskepping vir almal. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[According to the ANC, transformation is the trigger word that has to give effect to the developing state. This type of state typically has to stay true to the meaning of the word "self". Development means prosperity through growth. However, in the South African context we should expand on this so that it means economic growth with concomitant job creation for all.]
However, if we have regard to the unfolding reality in which we find ourselves, we are faced with an end result of sluggish growth and inadequate job creation. The fiscus is also feeling the strain of an increasing expense bill versus income. Transformasie skep vir ons groot probleme, maar die kodewoord is eintlik sosialisme. Dit is as't ware die prisma waardeur ontwikkeling beskou word en is dus eintlik 'n verwringing van ware ontwikkeling. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Transformation is creating big problems for us, but the code word in this regard is in fact socialism. It is, in essence, the prism through which development is considered, and consequently it is actually a distortion of real development.]
Minister, in this way, doublespeak is used to paint a picture of true growth. We can call this the developmental deficit and it filters throughout society by way of George Orwell's doublespeak.
Let me explain. The baseline of growth should be policies that grow the economy in a sustainable manner that creates jobs. Yet the policies implemented are deviating from the baseline by redistributing the existing economy to a few privileged ones. So, for the ANC, development actually means transformation which, in turn, means redistribution without growth by way of the instruments of affirmative action and black economic empowerment. It merely redistributes existing jobs and businesses. An inclusive economy, a word that the ANC uses much, actually means inclusive for the majority and exclusive for the minority. Doublespeak is thus a method to pull the wool over our eyes.
Die nuwe onteieningswetsontwerp is natuurlik ontwerp om eiendomsreg van minderhede te ontneem ten einde die gebrek aan groei te verbloem. Hulle moet gestraf word vir hul sukses. Miskien is dit onbedoeld, miskien nie. Tog kan ons aan die Minister s dat indien hulle wel erns het met die uitwissing van armoede kan hulle gerus met ons kom gesels, want daar is wyses waarop ware ontwikkeling kan plaasvind wat werklik inklusief is en wat nie daarop gerig is om minderhede te vervreem nie. Dit is gebou op selfbeskikking van gemeenskappe, selftrots, waardigheid, en goeie buurmanskap - iets wat verlore gegaan het in die nuwe Suid-Afrika. Die alternatief is groeiende polarisasie. Dankie, Speaker. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[The new Expropriation Bill has been designed, of course, to strip minority groups of their property rights in order to mask the lack of growth. They have to be punished for their success. Perhaps it is unintended, perhaps not. However, we can still say to the Minister that if they are indeed serious about eliminating poverty, they are welcome to come and speak to us about ways in which development can take place that are truly inclusive and not aimed at alienating minority groups. It is based on the self- determination of communities, self-pride, dignity and good neighbourliness - something that disappeared in the new South Africa. The alternative is increasing polarisation. Thank you, Speaker.]
Hon Speaker, hon Deputy President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and hon members, as we mark the centenary of the 1913 Natives Land Act, we also celebrate the lives of our iconic leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo.
The global community recognises our achievements, but some here, at times, need to be reminded to unite in building a bright future for our children. The ANC fully embraces the R9,5 billion allocated to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform which will help to bridge the unwanted rural and urban divide. The ANC welcomes 68% of the budget being allocated to restitution and land reform, and to also support the reopening of the processes to specifically look at the Khoi and San communities that missed the cut-off date as well as the settlement of 230 land claims and 208 backlog claims.
It is reassuring that Land Reform gets R3,4 million, mainly for scaling up the support to the emerging farmers through recapitalisation and development of acquisition and allocation of strategically located land; the provision of skills development and training support for emerging farmers, and most importantly, job creation in land reform projects. Minister Nkwinti and the Deputy Minister will play a very important role in this regard.
Also central is Rural Development that is allocated R1,2 million. We are proud that this programme will continue the comprehensive roll-out in the 23 poorest districts. Furthermore, Geospatial and Cadastral Services receives R508,5 million. The ANC, in Mangaung, made a progressive proposal to establish a Valuer-General office for fair and consistent land values in rating, pricing and taxing. We support such noble interventions to ensure vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities.
The ANC says that, in a developmental state, managing water is key as a critical strategic resource for the wellbeing of the people of South Africa. The ANC welcomes the R10,2 billion allocated to the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs. By investing in water, we are investing in a better life for all, as water is life.
It is only fitting that I end with a sector that is closest to my heart, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, which gets R6,2 billion.
The 2030 National Development Plan, NDP, recognises agriculture as the driving force for better integration of the country's rural areas achieved through successful land reform, infrastructure development, job creation and poverty alleviation. We advocate greater focus on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Again, we plead to all to think of agriculture as a pillar of our economy. We ask all to support the R231,6 million for Trade Promotion and Market Access. We also challenge all who acknowledge agriculture as the cure to rural poverty, a sustainable solution to food production and security, to support the allocations. Landbouers sowel as plaaswerkers in Suid-Afrika is vir die ANC belangrik. Tog is dit 'n kwade dag as sake aan amptenare, soos in die Wes-Kaap, wat 'n lang verbintenis met die DA-regering van die provinsie het, oorgelaat word. Dit geld ook vir die georganiseerde landbousektor. In die afgelope vier jaar sedert ek hier is, het die DA nog nie een keer in die Nasionale Vergadering plaaswerkers ondersteun of 'n mosie in di verband hier gebring nie. [Tussenwerpsels.]
Landbou in Suid-Afrika se sukses - en hierna moet u luister - en vooruitgang is grootliks te danke aan die harde handearbeid en swoeg en sweet van getroue, goedkoop arbeid en die geleentheid wat die ANC-regering gebied het om markte oop te maak vir die landbouers in Suid-Afrika. Dit is tyd dat landbou sy eie vrot appels uitgooi en meer opbouend, samewerkend en innoverend met hierdie regering soek na oplossings vir uitdagings. Landbouers behoort meer betrokke te wees as mentors vir opkomende boere. Die waarheid praat! Die waarheid maak seer! [Tussenwerpsels.] Dit sal baie bydra tot beter verhoudings en wedersydse respek en waardigheid in die bedryf.
Aan die DA, en nou moet julle luister: Hou op om gereeld uit te basuin wat in die Wes-Kaap gebeur. Di wat so dikwels die Wes-Kaap as voorbeeld aanhaal laat my wonder of hulle terug verlang na die dae voor 1994. [Tussenwerpsels.] Of wil u miskien dalk 'n volkstaat ... (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Agriculturists as well as farm workers in South Africa are important to the ANC. Yet, it is a sad day when matters are left to officials who have a long association with the DA-government of the province, as in the case of the Western Cape. This also applies to the organised agricultural sector. In the past four years since I have been here, the DA has not once come out in support of farm workers in the National Assembly or tabled a motion in this regard. [Interjections.]
The success and prosperity of agriculture in South Africa - and you have to listen to this - is largely attributable to the hard manual labour, and the toil and sweat of reliable, cheap labour as well as the opening up of market opportunities to agriculturists in South Africa by the ANC-led government. It is time for those involved in agriculture to throw out its own rotten apples and engage constructively, co-operatively and innovatively with this government to find solutions to the challenges. Agriculturists are supposed to be more involved as mentors for emerging farmers. The truth speaks! The truth hurts! [Interjections.] It will largely contribute to better relationships, mutual respect and dignity in the industry.
To the DA, and now you have to listen: Stop blowing your own trumpet regularly about what is happening in the Western Cape. Those who so often use the Western Cape as a case in point make me wonder if they are not longing for the days prior to 1994. [Interjections.] Or perhaps you want a nation state ...] It is also interesting that the provincial government of the DA in the Western Cape, with the taxpayers' money, destabilises the industry by putting up false labourer forums, with failed DA candidates who could not get support from farm workers in the municipal elections. This is done to please many farmers in the DA who are also public representatives even in areas such as De Doorns and Worcester.
I also note that it is mostly the Western Cape, with some of the richest farmers in the country, that, in an organised way, rallied to apply for exemption from the new minimum wage. It is also strange that it is in the Western Cape, where farmers earn in excess of a hundred times more than the labourer, that they claim they cannot pay more.
They refuse to fairly share their massive profits with the very few people who help to earn it. What is wrong with the Western Cape? [Interjections.] Listen. It fires farm workers while jobs in the agricultural sector grew by more than 40 000 in the rest of the country.
The policies and programmes are in place; now it's time for implementation. In this regard, the portfolio committees will play an important role in the oversight function.
Hulle voel nog steeds skuldig. Hoor hoe raas hulle. [They are still feeling guilty. Listen to the noise they are making.]
In the appropriation committee, we will monitor the expenses, the underspending or overspending on a quarterly basis. The ANC supports the Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Speaker and Deputy President, the ACDP is on record for commending the Minister of Finance on his prudent Budget, given the very difficult global and domestic economic environments. The Budget was generally well received, with the World Bank's country director for South Africa lauding the government for providing fiscal policy certainty.
Today, we are dealing with the Appropriation Bill but it is important to note, as the Minister pointed out earlier, that the economic situation has changed dramatically since the tabling of the Budget earlier this year, with the outlook for economic growth extremely precarious given weak global demand, long-term structural constraints and the shorter-term domestic issues. These issues are clearly undermining both domestic and foreign investor confidence which obviously impacts on economic growth, which then impacts on revenue collection and the amount of money that we can spend, which we are today appropriating.
Let us bear in mind what the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Gill Marcus, said when she delivered a strong plea for decisive leadership to tackle the country's domestic challenges. Yes, she emphasised the global challenges as well, but she indicated that our domestic challenges are of crisis proportions. We, as the ACDP, support the interventions that have been proposed. Deputy President, we support your interventions in the mining sector and we trust that they will go a long way to resolve the instability in the mining sector, which obviously is impacting negatively on our economic growth.
We know that the Budget deficit widened and this was expected though regrettable. We, in the finance committee, are on record in expressing concerns about increasing government debt levels. But, of course, this must be seen in the global context and the context of our domestic challenges. The size of the Budget deficit - this is crucial when we consider the Appropriation Bill today - results in debt service costs rising faster than any other category of spending over the medium term. This, of course, crowds out spending on developmental priorities. That is why it is crucial to interrogate today how we spend the money in the Appropriation Bill.
As the ACDP, we understand the need to stimulate economic growth in the short term to create more sustainable jobs and to provide that income revenue. It is in our view imperative that, if government wants real economic growth, it should create the environment to make South Africa more competitive, efficient and productive given the global challenges and competitiveness that is required. Thus, we welcome the shift in spending from consumption to the productive side of the economy with massive infrastructure development programme.
Lastly, on the issue of the alignment of the Budget and the Appropriation Bill with the National Development Plan, NDP, this we clearly support. We believe and should be mindful of what the Minister in the Presidency: National Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel, said last week. He said that history will judge government leaders and us, as Members of Parliament, harshly if we fail to implement the National Development Plan. Of course, he is correct. This followed a wave of criticism of the NDP mainly from alliance partners. It is crucial that we have policy certainty. This is what investors seek and this is what we, as the ACDP, support.
The ACDP will support this Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Somlomo ohloniphekileyo, Sekela-Mongameli welizwe, Malungu eNdlu yoWiso-mthetho, aBaphathiswa kunye nooSekela babo neendwendwe ezihleli egalari,kuliqhayiya negugu kum ukuthatha kwam inxaxheba kule Voti yoHlahlo-lwabiwo-mali yanamhlanje kulo nyaka wama-2013. Olu hlahlo-lwabiwo- mali lwenzeka phantse ngexesha lokubhiyozelwa kwekhulu leminyaka lomthetho owaziwa jikelele ngokuba nguMthetho wezeMihlaba we-1913; uMthetho Nombolo 27 we-1913. Ngomso, lo mthetho uza kuba ugqiba unyaka wekhulu.
Lo mthetho ke walushiya uhlanga olumnyama luzimpula zikalujaca, luxhomekeke kwabaphaliweyo- abelungu ukutsho kuba wonke umhlaba ochumileyo nonezimbiwa wawela ezandleni zala madla-gusha. Yiyo loo nto urhulumente okhokelayo kaKhongolose, i-ANC, emaxhaphetshu exova le nyewe yokuba abantu bafumane imbuyekezo ngorhwaphilizo olwenziwa ngolunya. Asiyonto elula ke leyo. Yiyo le nto uMongameli ethe mayiphinde ivulwe le nyewe nangona ibisele ivaliwe. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[Mrs L E YENGENI: Hon Speaker, hon Deputy President of the country, hon Members of the National Assembly, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers and distinguished guests in the gallery, I feel very proud and honoured to participate in today's budget vote of the year 2013. This budget vote almost coincided with the celebrations of hundred years of the Act that was generally known as the Land Act of 1913; Act No.27 of 1913. Tomorrow, this Act will be in its hundredth year.
This Act had left the black community impoverished, depending on white people because all the fertile land and the mineral resourced land fell in the hands of these white people. That is why the ANC-led government is busy working on a strategy to make sure that people are compensated for what was forcefully taken away from them through corruption. This is not an easy task. That is why the hon President said this issue must be revisited although it had already been finalised.]
We are pleased to see that the formula was indeed revised in 2012 by a working group comprised of representatives of the National Treasury, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, the SA Local Government Association, the Financial and Fiscal Commission, and Statistics South Africa. We welcome these developments as part of the local government functional and fiscal framework being undertaken jointly by Cogta and the National Treasury. We hope that this is going to address the challenges that exist.
In regard to the National Youth Development Agency, we welcome and congratulate the new board of the National Youth Development Agency which has presented a new vision to create a developmental agency that seeks to empower all South African youth socially and economically for a better life.
Moreover, the new vision puts more emphasis on the education of young people and skills development as well as strategic partnership with other stakeholders. This stems from the 53rd ANC Policy Conference which said that, in seeking to address youth unemployment which can be arguably attributed to the structure of the South African economy, it would be important to further develop strategies to ensure the improvement of education and skills development amongst young people, so that they are better prepared for the working world.
This is the final year of our term and all the political parties in this House are in election mode, including my own party, the ANC. We are all positioning ourselves for the pending elections. However, what is going to determine the outcome of the elections is not clever rhetoric, character assassination, fabrications of the history of our political parties, and what our parties stand for, nor distorting the gains of our liberation struggle, but the delivery of basic services to the people, for example, access to clean water, housing, sanitation, etc. [Interjections.]
What will determine the election outcome is not how loud the politicians can scream and refuse to take responsibility for situations of their own making, like here in the Western Cape. [Interjections.] The delivery of basic services is the determining factor. Period! This analysis of the DA in the Western Cape, that people are not genuine and disgruntled, is exposing them as being politically nave and is exposing their lack of ability to govern.
On a daily basis in this Parliament and outside, the DA of Premier Zille is deliberately misleading the nation with unfounded lies, that the Western Cape is the best-run province. However, it is a well-known secret that the DA brought back racist apartheid policies through the back door.
Speaker, on a point of order: The member at the podium has accused the Leader of the DA of deliberately misleading the nation. Sir, I submit that that is unparliamentary and I ask you to rule on that.
Hon member, Madam Zille is not a member of this House, but I will look at the Hansard and come back with a ruling.
In their claims of being sensitive to the interests of the poor, how do they justify the wards allocation of the City of Cape Town in the 2013-14 financial year, in predominantly white areas, for example, ward 77, Cape Town CBD; ward 74, Hout Bay; and ward 54, Sea Point, allocated a capital budget of R171 million? Out of this amount, 8,1%, which amounts to R13,9 million, is earmarked for two black areas located in these wards, known as Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu, informal settlements. When people protest against the nondelivery of services, the ANC gets accused of instigating the masses, yet their own racist and skewed allocation of the capital budget speaks volumes.
It is therefore not surprising that poor communities, both urban and rural, are up in arms against the undemocratic and racist tendencies of the DA-led province that treats black people like animals.
Another example of how the DA treats the poor communities of the Western Cape with contempt is the Integrated Rapid Transit project, IRT, the My City project. For instance, the total allocation for the Integrated Rapid Transit implementation and operation is R803 million, and only 13% of that amount is going to black townships. In the 2012-13 financial year, the actual operating costs at the end of February 2013 were R35 million and the revenue generated was only R3 million. In essence, the City is running at a deficit of R32 million in one financial year. This service has not been introduced to black communities and it goes without saying that it will not be cheaper, considering the astronomical deficit in one financial year.
Regarding the targeted December 2013 timeline for the roll-out of My City services in Khayelitsha, it is not going to see the light of day because, to date, no public hearings have been conducted. The interaction with the taxi industry has not yet resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding, but in more questions and dissatisfaction from the taxi industry. Know your DA.
The DA members in this House must tell the nation if the following sad story is not racism, and is not a continuation of the 1913 Land Act against the poor and destitute in the Western Cape. Approximately 300 families residing in Philippi are almost destitute and some are about to lose their houses because of the double standards of the DA. These tenants were afforded the first opportunity to buy the Small Business Development Corporation, SBDC, that was part of the debentured properties by the Department of Trade and Industry, DTI. The tenants had no money and later approached the City. A structure called the Philippi Eastern Development Innovation, Pedi, was formed and appointed to assist these tenants.
Speaker, it is not a point of order. I would like to know if the member will take a question. [Interjections.]
Hon member, will you take a question?
Yes, later when I am done.
The answer is no.
Pedi was formed and appointed to assist these tenants to acquire expert skills that would lead them to a better economic status in terms of management, ownership and competency.
To the surprise of the tenants, one of the board members of the same structure that was given money to assist, Anthea Serristleve, who is the current DA Chief Whip in the legislature, sold the park without consulting the other board members. The worst part is that the buyer was an invitee to the meeting where the decision of how the park must be sold was made. He was not just a spectator in that meeting, but participated in deciding how it could be sold. The name of the buyer is Oscar Saunders, under Mikadow Trading 19 (Pty) Ltd. The same man bought Crossroads Shopping Mall under a different name, Airport Corridor. The buyer is a white male from the Boland. Almost all of the tenants who were robbed by the DA have occupied that park for almost 20 years and they are all from the black townships. Know your DA.
Hon Lindiwe Mazibuko and Mnqansela, are you proud of being leaders of a party that has no respect for human rights, an organisation that forces people to stay with sewerage in their homes, uncollected for more than three months? Who is championing the interests of black, poor communities in the boardrooms of the racist DA? Hon Lindiwe Mazibuko and Mnqansela, you must claim your own dignity by not rubberstamping the decisions that are against your own people in those lily white boardrooms. The ANC supports the Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon colleagues in Cabinet and, more generally, hon Members of Parliament, let me first thank Mr Sogoni and his committee for an excellent piece of analytical work in relation to the Appropriations Budget.
Let me start with some facts because, as we get closer to elections, the temptation for fabrication becomes quite strong. [Interjections.]
Order, hon members! You might find it useful to listen to the member who is speaking. Continue, sir.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. The facts are as follows:
Firstly, we are appropriating an amount of just over a trillion rand, within which there is a real growth of 2%; that means, in addition to inflation.
Secondly, our debt service costs for this year should be about R99 billion. We have a contingency reserve of R4 billion and, therefore, a total appropriation of approximately R1,1 trillion.
Thirdly, let's establish very clearly for the record that the ANC has, for the last 19 years, led this country extremely well in terms of the fiscal management of this country, let alone its more general economic management. [Applause.]
There is no piece of fact that can be produced by anybody in South Africa which can accuse the ANC of being profligate, irresponsible and of not responding timeously to the events around us. [Interjections.]
We can't subject our public to the DA model of neo-liberalism and laissez faire, which they want to cast upon South Africa should they, by some very remarkable miracle, win the next or forthcoming elections. [Interjections.]
Let us be frank with the South African public ... [Interjections.] ... that what they are hearing from us is the first phase of the election battle, and what they are hearing from us and various speakers is a bit of fabrication, a bit of twisting of the facts, ... [Interjections.] ... a few quotations from Cicero and others, which help to reinforce the idea and communicate wrong messages to the South African public.
I have great regard for Mr Swart of the DA but I understand that he is in a party that has started its election campaign, and that hyperbole has to become an important part of that campaign. Firstly, somewhere along the line he says that we are going bankrupt. This country is nowhere near bankruptcy, so let's not bluff the South African public about that. [Applause.]
Secondly, he says that there is a remarkable increase in objections to budgets. Well, all one needs to do is put up one's hand to object, and getting closer to elections means that many more hands go up. So let's tell the public that that is exactly what we are doing. It's not as if we have discovered something new and remarkable in this regard.
Thirdly, I think it's very important that, notwithstanding the fact that we are engaged in elections, we communicate facts. Now, either we want to say that the warts are dominating all our faces - which is what the Public Service Commission or others would have pointed out as weaknesses in the state - but those weaknesses do not dominate the state. They are weaknesses. They are challenges. Those are the things that we need to overcome. Those are not the predominant features of the South African state. [Applause.] Let us not communicate the wrong things.
As many speakers have said, it is true that consultants are incorrectly used in some instances. Yet, we should remember that, under the category of consultants, there are engineers, project managers, planners, designers and all kinds of technicians. We actually can't use that category for everyone. Where consultants are used, let us as Parliament call those companies to Parliament. Let us ask them, after paying them a fee of 10, 20 or 30 million rand, whether in local or provincial government, why they can't give us proper annual financial statements which the Auditor-General finds acceptable. That's the role that parliamentary committees can actually play. We should hold those firms to account, not just departments and Ministers. Those firms are the recipients of taxpayers' money. So let's ask them, and I challenge this Assembly to engage in some of the right types of governance, so that we can even hold public entities that make money out of government - which is in fact taxpayers' money - to account for the monies that they actually receive.
Reference was made by Mr Swart to the Mining Consultative Forum that the Deputy President convened last Friday. It was a very constructive conversation that took place amongst all of the role-players, after the extremely hard work that had been done in the weeks preceding this.
As the opposition or as the ruling ANC, what we should be doing is congratulating the Deputy President for achieving this feat of bringing all the parties together. [Applause.] What we should be saying is that it is important for all role-players, as a matter of culture and convention, to sit around the table rather than shoot words at one another, or any other particular instrument if you want to call it that ... [Interjections.] ... and find a basis for consensus. Of course, if you are fighting elections it's understandably very hard to do that.
Reference was made to a Mr Sparrow and the attitude to the problem. The problem is the attitude of the DA in all of these debates ... [Interjections.] ... in that they cannot draw the distinction between national interest and party interest. [Interjections.] They cannot understand that there are times when you have to restrain yourself ... [Interjections.] ... and rise above your party interests in order to project a collective national interest. Hopefully, the ANC can teach that in time. [Applause.]
The hon Ramatlakane correctly mentions consultants again, and says that the monitoring of the Budget is important. Well, hon Ramatlakane is a member of a portfolio committee so he should monitor, talk to Ministers and departmental officials, say what he wants to say and bring about the changes through the system.
The hon Singh is obviously correct when he says that more planning needs to be done in various endeavours that we undertake, and I am sure that we listened carefully to what the Appropriations Committee had said, and we will make sure that we implement some of them.
He also says that tax must be used effectively. We have said this on many, many occasions, for many years, from this podium, but regrettably he is wrong when he talks about a welfare or a social welfare state as being distinct from a developmental state.
As the ANC we have said many times that we are not looking for a welfare state. We are looking for a state that is developmental in character in that it meaningfully changes the lives of people, and meaningfully changes ... hon Alberts ... and transforms this country from the apartheid image and edifice that it has to a very different democratic image in which all of its people feel that they are receiving the benefits of democracy. So let us resist the idea or its propagation that we are trying to create a welfare state in South Africa.
Of course, the hon Alberts is at variance with all of us. It seems that for him, self-determination, socialism and double speak - all of which were the words that we used to hear as activists in the 1970s and 1980s from a certain party and from a certain finger-wagging leader - are the words that he thinks are attractive and relevant at this point in time.
All that we can say with respect to the hon Alberts is that he really needs to bring himself into the 21st century and understand what democracy really means amongst us ... [Interjections.] ... and that the discourse needs to be changed.
The hon Gelderblom and hon Yengeni gave many examples of the gap between reality and the verbiage that we hear from my left. The reality of governance is that there is no perfection. The reality of governance is that you actually aren't able to show a 100% record anywhere. The reality of governance is that it is tough, and that it's hard to overcome one's DNA. With regard to the DNA in this case, the N is very important. [Laughter.] If the DNA is inclined towards serving particular constituencies then that's the way we go and we shouldn't deny that kind of DNA, as the two hon members have correctly pointed out.
The hon Swart correctly says that there are two important things that all of us need to focus our minds on. Indeed, the first is that we must create policy certainty in each of the environments in which we operate. Hopefully we can get to a stage where we, as a nation, can have that dialogue and ensure that we can speak with one voice in the interest of all 50 million people in South Africa.
Secondly, he makes an important point that, notwithstanding our fiscal constraints, we need to find ways of stimulating our economy, creating the right kind of inclusive growth and creating jobs for as many people as we can under very difficult circumstances. It's around those sorts of issues that I believe we should find the kind of consensus that we require to move South Africa to a very different point in our developmental trajectory.
Thank you very much to all the members and parties that have supported the Appropriation Bill. Regrettably, we don't have total consensus in this matter. [Applause.]
Bill read a first time.