Chairperson, those who did not applaud may not get their houses ... [Laughter.] ... so I will listen very, very carefully. Thank you for inviting us to this important House, the National Council of Provinces. Chairperson, you said that Ministers may not vote. That applies to Minister Lulu Xingwana and to Minister Baloyi. Once a premier, always a premier, so I have voted! [Laughter.]
Hon members of this House, Chairperson - as I have already indicated
- and the chairperson of the select committee, ladies and gentlemen, in his inaugural state of the nation address, President Jacob Zuma made three pronouncements in respect of the Department of Human Settlements, or the then Department of Housing. These were the name change from Housing to Human Settlements; policy change and the practicalisation of this new paradigm shift to transform the landscape of housing in South Africa.
Over the last four years we have remained seized with the implementation of this new mandate, or Outcome 8. We can state the following without equivocation: A firm foundation has been laid towards a sustainable and integrated Human Settlements objective, Vision 2030. Consequently, we have a comprehensive strategy, premised on three segments around human settlements: firstly, housing for the poor; secondly, housing for people who fall in the gap market; and thirdly, housing for middle to high-income earners, many of whom are sitting here.
How are we going to implement Human Settlements Vision 2030? Let us start with housing for the poor. It is common knowledge that the main focus of our housing delivery strategy remains the poorest of the poor, many of whom are in and around what are called informal settlements, otherwise known as ghettos. At this stage, let me make the following message clear: This government does not build slums. When you see the more than 2 000 informal settlements - imikhukhu or amatyotyombe - it is not this government that built those things. These squalid areas have their roots in the wars of dispossession. They have their roots in the 1913 Natives Land Act - the centenary of which is commemorated this year - and in subsequent apartheid policies. These policies gave rise to landlessness and joblessness in this country, which saw, and continues to see, the destitute among our people escaping poverty by turning towards urban areas, particularly vulnerable women.
Let me repeat what I said at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University concerning slums - amatyotyombe and imikhukhu:
They are essentially shanty towns, littered across all provinces, particularly around the more affluent metros and municipalities. This therefore results in a situation of the classic undesirable urbanisation, which is driven less by economic growth and more by the rural-urban migration of the poor and jobless.
That is the sad story of South Africa, where you have urbanisation but it is driven by poverty. The question that arises is this: What steps have we taken to address this? Apartheid has done what it did. That is a problem, but what steps have we taken to win back our country and give dignity to our people? That is why we are here. As stated, our focus remains the poor. Over the past four years our department has thus far delivered, through grants, over 750 000 houses and housing opportunities.
This has made it possible, during this term of government alone, for the total number of housing units provided since 1994 to break, for the first time, the 3 million threshold for those people who earn between R3 500 and zero. That is what we call the poorest of the poor. To be precise, to date the delivery by this government in this term alone is 3,3 million houses and opportunities, with the cost of each unit being around R85 000. It is a sliding-scale ruler and can go higher than R85 000, depending on how far we go in the building of houses in different areas because of transport costs and so on. The backlog we are dealing with here is 2,1 million housing units, covering approximately 8 million to 10 million people. So far, with these 3,3 million houses, we have addressed the housing needs of more than 12 million people.
Let's talk about the second area of housing delivery, which is what we call the gap market. It was also named by the President in his last state of the nation address. These are the financially assisted people. This second element of our strategy concerns financial guarantees for affordable housing. This policy is for citizens who earn between R3 500 and R15 000, as announced by the President in his 2012 state of the nation address. The department's task is to implement this finance-linked policy, which covers housing for, among others, school teachers and principals, police and members of the armed forces, nurses, firemen, prison warders and blue-collar workers. The good news is that this is now a reality and it is being rolled out in all provinces via what we call the National Housing Finance Corporation, the NHFC, which is our bank. This implementing agency, the NHFC, provides finance-linked funds to those people who fall in that gap market. This supports all qualifying beneficiaries with the certainty of being granted loans, as well as bonds and mortgages by banks and other financial institutions. With the amount of R300 000, beneficiaries have the option of buying an existing house, building a new one, or purchasing land. To clarify, there is the R89 000 that is for your Reconstruction and Development Programme house - it is free of charge; it is a grant - and then these finance-linked instruments provide assistance for people to go up to R300 000 to buy a house, construct a new one or purchase land.
Therefore, to all those people who have been -lost| in what was then known as the gap market for earning too much to qualify for an RDP house and too little to access bank finance, we say this: Rest assured that this government cares. We support you in getting your bonds from financial institutions.
Let's talk about housing for middle-income to high-income earners - abomashayela phezulu - some of whom are here. In this area, we rely on three instruments. Human Settlements covers the entire landscape of housing in South Africa. There are three instruments to help some of those people who are sitting here: Firstly, we have the Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Act and here we request the banks - or we don't request them but work with them - to provide finance. Secondly, we have the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act, to assist people in the resolution of disputes, for example in the case of golf estates and so on.
Lastly, thanks to the sterling work done by its administrator, Mr Taswell Papier, we now have the Estate Agency Affairs Board, EAAB. The EAAB has been now stabilised, having been transferred from the Department of Trade and Industry to the Department of Human Settlements.
In summary, the three elements of our strategy are all critical and applicable for different requirements in the comprehensive Human Settlements environment. However, quite clearly, the continuous allocation of grants for free housing to the poorest of the poor is unsustainable going forward. Strictly speaking, this is more of a welfare programme approach than a long-lasting housing policy, because this programme is driven by the triple evil of unemployment, poverty and inequality. For as long as this is the case, this programme shall remain because we as the ANC-led government are committed to the poor. We shall not abandon those who are poor through no fault of their own, even as we recognise that RDP houses and these grants cannot continue forever as a housing policy. It is a welfare approach.
It therefore stands to reason that, given the current socioeconomic circumstances, the most optimal and practical Human Settlements strategic approach is the enhancement of the finance-linked programme, where we provide guarantees and then make sure that banks provide bonds, mortgages and loans.
Regarding integrated human settlements and the question of how we integrate the entire system, firstly, the deracialisation of residential areas is at the top of the list of all the budgetary challenges that confront the entire country. We have to tackle the unique question of deracialising the residential space. This, more than anything else, reflects the real evil of apartheid social engineering, which motivated the UN itself, in 1973, to pass a unanimous resolution declaring apartheid a crime against humanity. To undo this crime will take a gigantic effort over a long period, requiring major resources.
At this stage, it is noteworthy that just today I tabled a Cabinet memorandum for them to decide about hosting the UN-Habitat conference here in South Africa in September. Minister Baloyi, you are an important partner and you will be a speaker at that conference.
Our residential deracialisation strategy is underpinned by seven elements in view of the crime that was committed in this country. I will quickly take you through these elements. So, what do we do to deracialise this country? We want to make sure that we do not just mix because Bafana Bafana or Amabhokobhoko are playing and then, after that, we return to different places to sleep. We go to the same shopping malls but to different places to sleep. We go to the same schools but to different places to sleep. That is very dangerous for this country. One of the functions of Human Settlements is to make sure that we are deracialised. So, what is our approach? These are the seven points.
Firstly, to deracialise white - or originally white - suburbs by continuing, through the Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Act, we need to coerce - and I am not using -coerce| in the negative sense - the banks to continue to provide loans to people so that they can go and live in those areas. There should be no redlining of any individual. It is our job to do that and the Act is there to do that. I received a soft complaint from the Banking Association of SA, Basa, when I made this point in the National Assembly, saying we appeared hostile to the banks. I want to say here to Mr Cassim Coovadia, who wrote to me, that we are not coercing them in a hostile manner. We are urging them to get the banks to also play their role, because government alone cannot and will not succeed in discharging this mission if the banks don't come forward. So, it is in that spirit - but all legislation is coercive in nature. The Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Act requires all banks to report to this Minister, or the person in my position, about their lending practices. That is one way of deracialising South Africa.
Secondly, we have what we call inner-city housing. All cities have been white cities and deracialising them means that as Human Settlements - you may not be aware of this - we buy buildings and refurbish them from office spaces into residential homes. They may be 5, 10, 15 or 20-storey buildings. You may think it is private companies but no, it is your hard-earned tax money that is changing those buildings in Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg and so on. We buy and refurbish. You may not be aware of this. Those homes and that kind of space are very popular with young people. So, that is what is happening in your inner city.
Thirdly, with regard to inner-city land, we have the Housing Development Agency, the HDA, which acquires land inside the city. This is land that belongs to state-owned enterprises like Eskom, Telkom and so on. We take that land, even from private companies, and build new buildings inside the city via the whole policy of densification. After all, land is limited and so we densify by going up. We understand that people have questions about what will happen to their goats when they slaughter them, or what will happen to the coffin, but people solve those things. Time passes and people move on.
Fourthly, there is the question of buying land in the outer areas, the perimeters of cities. All cities are expanding, either upwards or sideways. We buy land in the immediate proximity and build new places there. Some of you have been to such projects throughout the country; projects that aim to get people closer not only to their places of work but also to certain amenities and facilities. Fifthly - and I'm not doing this because they are here - there is the most painful one to deal with. This is the one that exposes apartheid. It is called -no man's land| and lies between Johannesburg and Soweto, where I am from; between Mamelodi and Pretoria; between Cape Town and Khayelitsha; between Durban and Umlazi; and between Port Elizabeth and Kwazakhele. There is no city or town in this country that is not separated from the black area that was supposed to provide it with labour. There is always a stretch of land that forces people to travel to work. That is the land we are now occupying. It is the best land we can get because we are able to build in those areas. Some of the most beautiful houses we are building are there - high-rises, stand-alones and so on. A mix of various types of homes is being built there.
The sixth step in addressing deracialisation is township upgrading. No white person wants to go and live in Soweto if Soweto continues to be a dormitory, which is what it was originally. Therefore, the upgrading of Soweto has seen white people and other racial groups going to live in these places. However, they will only go and live there if we upgrade. In this regard, we want to congratulate the former mayor of Johannesburg, Mr Masondo, because it started under him, and Mayor Tau, who is holding on right now, for Soweto being upgraded. That is what we expect townships to do - they must be upgraded. That is why we work with you, Minister, because that is primarily the function that we share directly with you in terms of your own outcomes. You have Outcome 9 while we have Outcome 8. So, we work together on that.
Last but not least, the seventh item is that of building new nonracial cities, as the President charged me to do. He said, -Minister, let us have cities that do not have townships. It must be the city by itself.| Our mandate is to establish new nonracial towns and cities to concretise the principle of a united and nonracial residential area. The new town of Lephalale - Joe Slovo City - which is under construction in Limpopo at this moment, driven by the economies of the Medupi Power Station, is an example in point for us. Others are in the pipeline.
We have other challenges besides the one of deracialisation. Challenges that confront us are the need for greater co-ordination with other, related government departments responsible for big- ticket items such as bulk services. We need water and big dams for human settlements. We need electrification - there must be power stations. That is not us; we have got to link up with other departments. We need sewerage plants, roads and transportation. Whenever these things are being built, by whichever Ministry, they have got to be built towards the objective that asks: Where are the people? So, Human Settlements lies there, but it cannot survive on its own. The challenge is one of co-ordination. The good news is that the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, whose efforts are beginning to bear fruit, is the answer to this question of co-ordination. So this is not bad; it is actually a good challenge.
However, given the fact that after the passing of budgets by the National Assembly and this House, we always speedily transfer funds to provinces and to accredited municipalities, it is unacceptable that some fail to spend. Many of them discharge their responsibilities perfectly well and are applauded, yet some fail to spend. Many - and it is not their fault - need these services. You cannot start a township without bulk services. You can't put up houses without services because you will just have to break those houses down again. However, the headache of underspending remains with us.
Some of the provinces and municipalities sometimes resort to fiscal dumping, which often results in shoddy workmanship, leading to wasteful rectification amounting to billions of rand. Our director- general, Mr Zulu, is here. That becomes a headache for us because we are a housing or human settlements entity. That is our job. We are not a rectification or repair company, but we are faced with this problem of rectification amounting to billions of rand. It is a sad story but it has to be done. The newly appointed board of the National Home Builders Registration Council, the NHBRC, carries a huge responsibility in this regard. It must safeguard proper procedures in the construction industry countrywide. I sit on their shoulders and stay on their tail to make sure that we do not have this kind of shoddy workmanship continuing in the country.
I therefore urge the select committee, led by the chairperson, the hon Sibande, to redouble its efforts and, together with us, to come down hard on those responsible. For our part, we have taken some of the severest actions against those who engage in shoddy workmanship or fail to adhere to norms and standards in respect of sanitation, for example.
On this point I want to make the following clear. It is totally, totally, unacceptable that although we provide funds, the responsible government entities and certain municipalities fail to even build a simple toilet while the serious stench of the bucket system prevails in some parts of the country. For me as Minister, this is unacceptable. You give me the budget - I also get it from the National Assembly - but then it is passed on to people who cannot build a toilet! [Interjections.] Sometimes, when toilets are built, some are left uncovered, such as in the recent scandalous cases of Makhaza and Moqhaka in the Western Cape and the Free State. [Interjections.] This even prompted the Human Rights Commission to get involved.
Our response - taking funds away from poor performers - is required by law. Remember, I don't take funds from provinces or from municipalities because I want to do so. When you give me this money, the law - you - say that if I don't perform, the money should be taken back. That is not the job I would like to do. As I indicated, capacity issues need to be addressed. Most importantly, this is my message to members who sit here as representatives of political parties: Political parties must ensure that their deployees are capable people. There is nothing the matter with cadre deployment. I am deployed here as a cadre. There is nothing wrong with that policy, but make sure, political parties, that after these elections you deploy the right people. Make sure that your deployees are people who have a strategic understanding of what they are doing because, in turn, they have to put in place employees who have skills. That is where we fall - when deployees put the wrong employees in place. [Interjections.]
Our commitment and resolve to rooting out corruption is a well-known one and it remains undiminished. We continue to take a dim view of those housing beneficiaries who are engaged in double-dipping. That is a practice of people who come from other parts of the country. MEC Helen Sauls-August is here. People come from her province and go to Gauteng or other provinces. She has provided assistance; she has given toilets; she has built houses and yet some people crook the system by going to other provinces and pretending that since 1994 they have never benefited from this government.
Hon Minister ...
Chair, I have some more time spared somewhere. You can look into it. [Laughter.]
Very quickly, about the budget, the department has been allocated a budget of R28,1 billion. This will increase by R2,9 billion in the coming year. The allocation is expected to grow to R32 billion in 2015-16. The conditional grants to provinces constitute R53,7 billion over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period, while the urban settlements development grants to municipalities will be receiving an allocation of approximately R30 billion in three years. The conditional grants and transfers to Human Settlements institutions constitute 97%. The total capital grant allocation amounts to R26 billion.
To conclude, the National Development Plan states the following:
The inefficiencies and inequalities in South Africa's settlement patterns are deeply entrenched. Bold measures are needed to reshape them.
In the context of all we have articulated, the 2013-14 Human Settlements budget is important because it is a continuation of the critical stimulus that we have on our side to assist the country in providing total economic development, including job creation. Incrementally, throughout our term, the budget has been earmarked primarily to address the poorest of the poor. As we continue to do so, let there be no doubt that our quest is not to be patted on the back for chasing numbers at the cost of quality. We are mindful that in addressing the unique challenges of re-engineering integrated human settlements in our country, there can be no socioeconomic equality without providing our people with quality. There is no compromise in this regard. We put this budget before you and ask for your support. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, chairperson of the select committee and the other delegates, the leadership of the SA Local Government Association, Salga, senior leaders of our Public Service, our royal and indigenous leaders present, ladies and gentlemen, we present this budget today for consideration by the NCOP. This is just a few weeks before we present to the nation a report on the state of local governance after we adopted the Local Government Turnaround Strategy in 2009.
In terms of this strategy, we sought to do things differently in order to build greater confidence between the people and the municipalities, as well as to create and sustain a local government system that is positively responsive to the needs of the people; one that is efficient, effective, developmental and accountable in terms of its commitments and also in implementing the electoral mandate. We view this budget as an enabler for the Ministry to steer the programmes of action for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, and the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, as well as to fast-track reaction in dealing with questions related to natural disaster relief interventions. Accordingly, the Department Co-operative Governance has been allocated an amount of R56,12 billion, which is inclusive of transfers to municipalities in the form of grants.
Through the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, we amended the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act to provide for the professionalisation of the municipal governance systems. In this regard, we addressed tendencies where municipal workers could be hired and fired indiscriminately. We did so by ensuring that the hiring should be done in compliance with the minimum competency requirements and that officials should be treated according to professional prescripts.
We provided for the issuing of a declaratory note by any MEC in order to remedy situations where reasons may prevail for the reversal of the appointment of senior managers in municipalities where the authorities may have violated the provisions of enabling legal instruments.
The amendment provided for the depoliticisation of municipal services by barring senior managers in our municipal services from holding political offices of influence, such as being chairperson, deputy chairperson, secretary, deputy secretary, treasurer or any related position in the structure of any political organisation. We did so to avoid situations of the blurring of roles, as some of these officials would pull rank at the slightest provocation and frustrate the functioning of municipalities, using their so-called political clout.
This amending Act also paved the way for local government to participate in a single Public Service dispensation. It has not been an easy ride; it was rough, rugged and slippery. That explains why it is only now that we have crossed one hurdle in the promulgation of the regulations that seek to interpret the amending Act.
We led the amendment of the Municipal Property Rates Act with a view to providing for the strengthening of the local government system by boosting the sustainability of municipalities through the payment of rates. We worked together as the three spheres of government to promote good governance in our municipalities through mutual support.
A case in point is the support provided to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Council in the Eastern Cape, where the MEC sent a team to assist the municipality in terms of section 154 of the Constitution. We continue to support these municipalities as we speak. We are dealing with tendencies that seek to undermine the professional functioning of that municipality.
Along the same lines, we provided close support to the Swellendam municipality in the Western Cape. We are also assigning officials to do the same in Oudsthoorn - we are dispatching them tomorrow to take care of that situation and to work together as the three spheres.
Another illustration that good governance is possible if the spheres co- operate with one another and Cogta plays its central role is the Madibeng municipality in the North West province. Here we are currently assisting the municipality to implement a financial recovery plan and a tailor-made turnaround strategy. All these were introduced as part of the close-out report of the administrator at the end of the section 139 intervention.
Unfortunately we have witnessed a high number of protests in recent years, even higher than when we adopted the turnaround strategy. We continue to address matters related to these protests. Situations we have attended to include Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape, where the community embarked on a so-called shutdown of businesses and schools and blocked the provision of much-needed municipal services and other related activities. These situations could have been avoided. Through our interventions, we introduced a peaceful process for handling matters, called Project Marumofase. We got all stakeholders to give peace a chance. Unfortunately, just as the situation was becoming manageable, spoilers shifted the goalposts and plunged the community into chaos again. We continue to deal with the situation.
It is in dealing with situations like these that we need each other, as leaders in the country, to put our heads together, lest it become too late for us all. I want to thank some of the leaders of political parties who have been to Sterkspruit to bring exposure to the real situation. Of course, there were those who went there with opportunistic intentions, thinking they would go there and provide a solution to the question, only to encounter the reality. Then they call us, saying the only way to deal with the issues there is the way that we were following - providing leadership.
I can share with the House - as those leaders who have been there can - that there is more to the situation than meets the eye. You just need to be there - and be there seriously - listen to the people and engage. Then you should draw a line to distinguish between whether you are really dealing with so-called service delivery-related protests or with opportunistic tendencies.
We are managing the situation, being mindful, of course, of those who would like to take advantage of such situations and play the -holier than thou| game. But thankfully, when they are confronted with the reality, they realise that the only way to handle this - as I said - is to join those who are dealing with these matters correctly. Zamdela is another example where something that could have been avoided resulted in a serious confrontation and the total collapse of order in the community for some days.
To add salt to the already bleeding wound of violent protest, we have the new style of protest in the Western Cape, swa ku chelana hi mahuma [throwing human faeces at one other]. People are taking it too far if they consider that to be a suitable form of protest in an open and democratic society such as ours.
Among other interventions, we have decided to convene a dialogue focusing on service delivery protests and violence, to be held before the end of July 2013. In the context of this dialogue, we have to debate whether it is desirable to damage property such as schools and libraries as an expression of dissatisfaction about the provision of other services. We believe that it is not.
Cogta has been allocated an amount of R105 million to continue with its agenda of further transforming the institutions of traditional rule and governance. We continue to deal with matters related to leadership disputes and claims as a way of completing the programme of removing the distortions brought about by the years of colonialism and apartheid. In 2011, when the new commission was appointed, it had a total of 1 244 disputes and claims to process. Unlike the Nhlapo Commission, the new commission has provincial committees that assist with expediting the finalisation of these claims.
During 2012-13, 249 of the 1 244 traditional disputes and claims were finalised in the provinces, as follows: Mpumalanga, 49; Limpopo, 72; Eastern Cape, 42; North West, 25; KwaZulu-Natal, 44; and nationally - that is, cases dealing with kingship and queenship - 19.
It should be noted that when these cases are being considered, such consideration takes place side by side with cases that have been finalised by the Nhlapho Commission, some of which are still being challenged in courts of law. One such case is that of the Vhavenda kingship, and King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana won his case on 30 May 2013. I want to take this opportunity in this House to say congratulations, Vho Khosi-Khulu. [Applause.]
We continue to facilitate cultural tolerance and social cohesion, as well as the promotion and protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities. On this point, allow me to indicate that we recently held an indaba on male initiation, with the theme, -Promoting healthy, safe and sustainable initiation practices|. At the indaba, we identified a 12-point programme of action for advocacy and management: a governance mechanism, the functions of co-ordinating committees, the management of initiation schools, the prohibition of forced attendance, age and consent, the season for initiation, discipline management, a structure and guidelines for fees, an initiation curriculum, the nature and role of traditional surgeons, and nutrition, as well as medical and emergency arrangements.
Hi rhandza ku rhamba swirho swa Huvo leyo hlawuleka leswaku hi tixaxameta na pfhumba leri ku tlakusa vutihlamuleri eka timhaka hinkwato leti khumbanaka na vuhlayiseki bya vana engomeni hi ku humelerisa pfhumba leri ra magoza ya 12. Loko hi ri etihofisini ta tindhawu ta laha hi tirhelaka kona hi nga tumbeli loko va ku ngoma yi yimile hala. Hambi loko hi ri hava switifikheti swa vululameri a hi tshineleni. I vutihlamuleri bya hina tanihi varhangeri... (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[We would like to call upon members of this special House to align themselves with this programme to promote accountability in all the matters concerning the safety of children in the initiation school by advocating this 12-point programme of action. When we are in our constituency offices, let us not hide whenever we hear that there is an initiation school which has been started somewhere. Even if we do not have accreditation certificates, let us draw nearer. It is our responsibility as leaders ...]
... so that we can deal with cases and provide leadership according to these 12 points of action. The issues around traditional affairs are not easy matters. We still have a long way to go to deal with all the outstanding matters. We are looking forward to that challenge, hence we are prioritising the following areas. Firstly, we need to give full effect to the provisions of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act and ensure that traditional councils are established and functional. Secondly, we need to perfectly align the functioning of our traditional leaders with the structures of local government. Thirdly, we need to remove the grey areas where there is no clarity in the Constitution on the roles and functions of headmen and headwomen. Fourthly, we need to finalise the debate on the right strategic location for the Houses of Traditional Leadership when it comes to the establishment of what is referred to as the third chamber and its legally defined reference mechanisms and executive functions. Fifthly, we need to establish a baseline position for dealing with matters of traditional leadership through established traditional structures. Lastly, we need to give effect to the deserved recognition of the role of the Khoi and San people. To this end, we have assigned a dedicated team, led by the Director-General of Cogta, to deal with all these matters and to report progress by September 2013 - this year.
The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent, Misa, has been allocated an amount of R252 million to continue providing the necessary technical and professional support to enhance the capacity of our municipalities to deliver services. By the end of March 2013, Misa had deployed 68 technical consultants and 24 service providers that support 100 priority municipalities. During the 2012-13 financial year, Misa technical consultants accelerated 862 infrastructure projects, amounting to R12,7 million in value. A total of 36 005 jobs were created through Misa.
The Community Work Programme, CWP, has been allocated an amount of R1,6 billion. Since inception, the programme has created employment opportunities to over 204 000 people and our focus is on youth and women. For 2014-15 and 2015-16, the programme has been allocated R2,4 billion and R2,5 billion respectively. We want to make use of these allocations to upscale our target so that we reach the 1 million mark in terms of creating access to job opportunities.
As government, we are running this programme in partnership with three lead agents: the Mvula Trust, Lima and Teba Development. I want to state that these three lead agents and the programme itself, as well as access to benefits that the workers are entitled to, have been out in the public discourse. Issues have been raised about challenges in the operation of these agents and related activities. We then lodged an investigation, which is about to be concluded. As far as we are concerned, when we deal with issues of ensuring clean governance, we are saying that no stone will be left unturned.
A fund has been set aside to deal with disaster relief. It is meant to address the needs of provinces and municipalities in case of natural disaster. The allocation for 2013-14 is R534,6 million. The National Disaster Management Centre has been managing reactions to disaster, operating under the stewardship of Cogta. We have started the process of having the centre registered as a government component with a view to expediting reaction mechanisms to incidents of disaster.
We continue to say that, since the advent of the Local Government Turnaround Strategy, local government is everybody's business; we should be part of it and be serious about it. We have been saying and continue to say that when we refer to institutions of traditional rule, we say, -My traditional institution, my pride and my heritage|.
Of course, when we were creating Misa as a government component and a special-purpose vehicle, which was one of the objectives of the turnaround strategy, we said that one day Misa would be up and running and we would see the result. Now Misa is up and running, and that is why we coined the message, -My Misa, our success|.
Ohhe, bayazala abanye omama! Phela ukuzala ukuzelula amathambo. Ngesintu uma umama ezale ingane eyihlongandlebe kuthiwa lowo mama akazalanga wabola amathumbu. UKhongolose ukholelwa ukuthi ... (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.) [Mr M P SIBANDE: Wow, gifted are some mothers! Giving birth is a blessing. In the African culture giving birth to a disobedient child is regarded as a curse. The ANC believes that ...]
... heroes are not born but are produced by the struggle.
Ngalokho-ke, ngiqonde ukuthi yinhlangano ye-ANC kuphela ebe negalelo nekwazile futhi nesaqhubeka ukuzala amaqhawe. I-ANC izale abaholi abakwaziyo ukukhalima futhi babuye bafundise isizwe sonke ukuxolela noma- ke singeze salibala. Sonke ngeke sayilibala imbedumehlwana eyasivelela ngokubulawa komholi wethu u-Chris Hani.
OkaHani wasishiya engakalifezi iphupho lakhe lokuthi abansundu nabamhlophe kumele babe namalungelo alinganayo futhi kufanele sonke siphephe futhi sikwazi ukungcebeleka ezindlini zethu.
Kodwa-ke namhlanje okuyindida ukuthi i-ANC isizwile ngosibhincamakhasane ukuthi kunenye inhlangano yomshiza olambile ozishaya isifuba, obhebhethekisa amahebezi okuthi umholi wethu, uBaba uMandela, ungumholi weqembu labo. Okufanele bangakulibali ukuthi lokho kuyimbudane nje nehlazo kwezepolitiki, futhi phecelezi kubizwa ngokuthi i-political scandal, baligwaza ngowabo iqembu labo, noma i-political suicide.
Kuyaziwa futhi kulotshiwe emlandweni womhlaba wonke ukuthi yi-ANC kuphela eyaqoqa amavolontiya ayehamba izifunda ngezifunda zaseNingizimu Afrika, eqoqa zonke izikhalazo zabantu kwaze kwazaleka umkhombandlela obizwa ngosoMqulu weNkululeko endaweni yase-Kliptown. Umthethosisekelo we-ANC sicacisa ngokuthe bha ukuthi i-ANC inhlangano engacwasi ngebala, ngobuzwe nangobulili.
Ngqongqoshe, umlando wethu njengesizwe esimpisholo uyasho ukuthi iningi lethu lazalelwa ezindlini ezingamaqhugwane. Ngaphezu kwayo yonke imizamo eyenziwa uhulumeni oholwa yi-ANC ukuguqula izimpilo zabantu ukuze zibe ngcono. Zisekhona lezi zindlu ezifana namaqhugwane esifundeni sase- Northern Cape endaweni yase-Britstown umehluko nje ngazo ukuthi zakhiwe ngocwazi oluqinile. Lezi zindlu zazakhelwe abasebenzi bakaloliwe. Izakhamuzi zendawo zizibiza ngokuthi ama-pampoen huise. Izakhamuzi zakuleli dolobha ziyakhalaza zithi ehlobo uma ungaphakathi kulezi zindlu kushisa kuthi bhe, kepha uma kusebusika kubanda sengathi yikhala lesimaku sikamesisi.
Ngqongqoshe, lapha esifundazweni saseMpumalanga Koloni kunobudedengu bokungakwazi ukusebenzisa iSabelomali ngendlela efanele bese kukhonjwa uhulumeni ngenjumbane kuthiwe unqaba ukubanikeza umhlaba wokwakha izindlu. Ngithanda ukukhumbuza le Ndlu ukuthi phakathi kweminyaka yezi-2009 kuya kowezi-2010 uNgqongqoshe wanikezela ngomhlaba kulesi sifundazwe. Ngalokho- ke, sicela lesi sifundazwe siyeke ukubhebhethekisa izinto ezingelona iqiniso; mabakhele abantu izindlu ezisemgangathweni. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.) [By that I mean it is only the ANC that has made a significant contribution and continues to produce heroes. The ANC has produced heroes who are capable of giving direction and who also teach the nation about reconciliation although we do not forget what happened. We will never forget the tragic death of our leader, Chris Hani.
Hani passed on before fulfilling his vision of seeing blacks and whites enjoying equal rights and all of us being safe and able to relax in our homes.
The ANC has recently heard very disturbing news through the grapevine that a fake party is spreading rumours by boasting that our leader, Nelson Mandela, is the leader of their party. They must not forget that what they are saying is nonsense and a disgrace in politics, which we can also refer to as a political scandal. They are shooting themselves in the foot or committing political suicide.
It is known and it is recorded in history that it is only the ANC that was able to mobilise volunteers who went from region to region in South Africa, collecting all the grievances which led to the birth of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown that serves as a guideline. The constitution of the ANC is crystal clear that we are a party that does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender. Minister, our history as an African nation shows that most of us were born in huts. After all the efforts made by the ANC-led government to improve the lives of the people, we still have these houses that look like huts in Britstown in the Northern Cape, the only difference is that they are built with strong plastic. These houses are built for railway employees. The people of this area call them -pampoenhuise| [pumpkin houses]. The citizens of that town are complaining that these houses are extremely hot inside in summer, and extremely cold in winter.
Minister, in the Eastern Cape there is negligence in respect of using the allocated budget and then pointing fingers at government saying that it is denying them land to build on. I would like to remind this House that during 2009-2010 the Minister gave land to this province. Therefore, we urge this province to stop spreading false rumours; they must build good quality houses for the people.]
The ANC government has extensively researched the revision of the current ministerial national norms and standards in respect of permanent residential buildings to ensure compliance. This investigation will lead to the design of measures that will substantially improve the thermal performance of the houses. It will also have a substantial and positive effect on the improvement of the quality of the lives of the subsidy beneficiaries. The improved, environmentally friendly Human Settlements architecture has seen the installation of ceilings with the prescribed air gap in all houses; the installation of insulation above the ceiling; the plastering of all internal walls; the rendering of all external walls; the replacement of windows; and the provision of improved thermal glazing. In addition, a fully fledged electrical installation for all subsidy-finance houses is also being considered to further curtail the use of fossil fuels for cooking and heating purposes.
Under this new framework, all rooms have set sizes and the ceilings and roofs must meet set standards of quality. This is all part of ensuring that people have dignified human settlements. We know of RDP houses where water seeps through and there is mildew all over the walls from the damp. We have seen houses made of poor-quality materials. This makes them either extremely hot or extremely cold and sometimes people have to sleep outdoors, which could lead to an increase in TB and pneumonia and makes people susceptible to crime.
We call on the department to act swiftly by using the Construction Industry Development Board. This board was established to set up a register of all constructors in the industry.
Ngqongqoshe, kunezinsolo ezithile zokuthi kunamaqembu angongqoshishilizi akhuthaza imiphakathi ukuthi yandise imikhukhu ukuze athumele abezindaba futhi enza lokhu ngenhloso yokukhankasa kuleyo mikhukhu.
Ngithanda ukuxwayisa imiphakathi yakithi ukuthi i-ANC ithi abantu abakhelwe izindlu ezingcono, ngalokho-ke, abantu ababekezele. Akufanele sijabulise abantu abangakufuni ukuthula. Laba bantu, umholi wethu uMandela, wayebabiza ngesandla esinoboya. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Minister, there are allegations that there are political parties that are at the forefront of encouraging communities to build more shacks so that they can send journalists there with the intention of campaigning in those informal settlements.
I would like to make our communities aware that the ANC is saying that better houses must be built for the people; therefore, people must be patient. We must not satisfy people who do not want peace. Our leader, Mandela, used to call these people the third force.]
At present, the need for houses is not limited to the critically destitute, but also to those who work but do not earn enough money to buy homes of their own, even when these homes are categorised by the market as -affordable|. The ANC government wants to create a population of dignified homeowners - with the understanding that the option of renting should be available to those who choose it. The ANC's 52nd and 53rd national conferences prioritised the housing gap and the use of housing finance subsidies. These subsidies are for those who earn above the level required to receive a state- subsidised house but not enough to receive a bond from any commercial bank. The policy takes into consideration historical justice, the state's restitutive capacity and the restoration of dignity to all South Africans. A multipronged, focused policy that is sensitive to macroeconomic policy and the state's revenue base for social services, including first and second generation rights, underpins the Human Settlements policy.
In light of the above, the department's intervention seeks to address the gap market in the form of the finance-linked subsidy, known as FLISP, or the Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, which will increase access to housing finance for a segment of the population that would otherwise not have access to housing finance.
The study found that those who obtained homes in this sector went beyond viewing them as mere shelter. Instead, their homes become assets, and through the appreciation of these assets, entrepreneurship, job creation and access to higher levels of education are stimulated.
Our constituency work among workers has demonstrated the impact that this subsidy programme has had on the gap market in the delivery of houses. It is under the ANC government that financial guarantees for affordable houses have been made available. The Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, FLISP, provides down-payment assistance to qualifying households who have secured mortgage finance to acquire an existing house or a vacant residential stand linked to a house construction contract. The objective of the programme is to reduce the initial mortgage loan amount to render the monthly loan repayment instalment affordable over the loan repayment term.
The National Development Plan notes the direction taken by the government and supports the diversity and innovativeness employed in housing delivering. This innovation is being applied by the ANC government to meet housing needs in the rural areas too. The nature of communal tenure is such that it limits large-scale housing projects to be undertaken by government. The rural household voucher scheme offers a subsidy to those who wish to build their own homes on communal land. In this way, homeowners do not have to relocate from their ancestral land or move away from their places of work. Those who wish to augment their homes by extending them also qualify for the subsidy.
People feel liberated when their housing choices are not confined to a single type of dwelling. The voucher system allows even the most vulnerable individuals and families to access housing in a way that is participatory and can even involve self-organised groups. Sihlalo, ngithanda ukubonga ikakhulukazi kuNgqongqoshe nakuMqondisi- Jikelele ngoba ngiyazi ukuthi amaqembu aphikisayo aye afune ukuveza isithombe esibi kube sengathi akukho okuhle okwenziwayo.
Uhulumeni we-ANC kuphela ozamile ukuthi abantu babe nezindlu ezingcono kunalezi zindlu ebesinazo ngaphambilini; lezi ezazinemvumelwano yokuqashiswa yeminyaka engama-99. Uhulumeni we-ANC ukwazile ukwenza izindlu ezisesimweni esihle. Ngaphansi kobuholi bukaNgqongqoshe kunomehluko omkhulu esiwubonayo kulezi zindlu ezakhiwayo.
I-ANC iyasiseka lesi Sabiwomali. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Chairperson, I would like to thank the Minister and the director- general, because I know that the opposition parties like to portray a bad image as if nothing positive is being done.
It is only the ANC government that has tried to help build better houses for the people compared to the houses we used to have in the past which had lease agreement terms of 99 years. The ANC government has been able to build quality houses. Under the leadership of the Minister, there is a huge difference that we see with regard to the quality of these houses.
The ANC supports this Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]]
Hon Chairperson, our Ministers of Human Settlements and for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, members of the SA Local Government Association, who are executive members in their own right, and hon members, in the interests of honesty, let me say that we, the committee, have received an apology from the Deputy Minister for Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, saying that he is outside.
Over the past 19 years, the ANC government has done a lot to bring about a local government system that advances participatory democracy and maximises the opportunities for local economic development through the integration and co-ordination of resources, programmes and delivery structures. These are critical components of a developmental local government and their choice was informed by an in-depth analysis of the socioeconomic conditions that afflict our poor.
From the outset we, as the ANC, needed to make sure that when we say, -A better life for all|, we mean that. Moving from slogan to practice, the ANC has made significant strides in local government transformation, ensuring that the majority of our people have access to the basic necessities of life. Historical analysis will tell anyone - even those who decide to be blind - that, from the TRC to where we are now, things are different. There is definitely proper governance at local level in most of our municipalities. The cornerstone of the ANC government programme, as we said, is redistribution and poverty eradication. Our people must receive what they need for their basic needs and they must have infrastructure that builds the local economy.
Over the past 19 years, the ANC has made massive strides in extending this service to our people. From the Community Survey of 2007 we have learnt that 92% of our people have water; 69% of our people have sanitation; 81% of our people have electricity; and 64% are receiving refuse removal services. Despite the significant progress made, there are major challenges and major problems. That is why we debate the budget annually. We debate the budget precisely because we want to address the backlog, in an ongoing effort to make sure that a better life for all comes to our people.
During this same period, the ANC government has had to grapple with critical challenges, which include deployment processes, accountability, implementation of the code of conduct, the recurrence of instances of political interference in the administration of municipalities, protests associated with service delivery and the disruptive machinations of the opposition.
The ANC noted that, in 2009, an assessment of the state of local government found that problems in municipalities included poor governance, accountability, weak financial management and high vacancy rates in critical senior management posts, in many instances. We have analysed these as a committee now, and there is a positive way to improve the situation from both the national and provincial governments through intergovernmental relations processes. While we appreciate the fact that there is an ongoing programme aimed at turning the above situation around, we nonetheless wish to urge the department to move with haste in implementing the programme, as well as to continue the bilaterals with the affected, weak municipalities.
We must do all of the above, so that we can achieve the objectives of the Local Government Turnaround Strategy. On behalf of the committee, we also wish to welcome the report that is envisaged in the near future from the department. The Local Government Turnaround Strategy aims to restore the confidence of the majority of South Africans in municipalities as the primary delivery organ of the developmental state at local level; and to rebuild and improve the basic requirements for a functional, responsive, accountable, effective and efficient developmental local government.
Local government is at the coalface of service delivery. The ANC believes that nothing must ever be allowed to stand in the way of improving the lives of our people. As a proponent of a developmental state and a developmental local government, the ANC consistently intervenes to turn around the challenges that face municipalities. During the 53rd national conference, ANC delegates applied their collective wisdom to the challenges mentioned above. They noted that to deepen the national democratic revolution and to accelerate service delivery and development, we needed a stronger developmental state and a more integrated co-operative governance system. The more we build a developmental state, the more we would create the conditions for a more integrated co-operative governance system and the more we would be creating the conditions for a developmental state that would achieve the objectives of the needs of our people.
The 53rd national conference of the ANC then proceeded to resolve that, firstly, the powers and functions of the three spheres of government should be reviewed to provide greater clarity and to facilitate effective service delivery and development; and secondly, there was a need for national interventions in provinces to be in synergy with provincial interventions in municipalities.
I think here that the national department must really put in more effort, for when provincial governments intervene at municipal level, there is a serious lack of capacity at provincial level. Equally, we noticed, as we moved around doing oversight visits, that intervention must be accompanied by very, very serious capacity plus funding. In this regard, the department must make an in-depth analysis of the causes of the intervention. What is also required is that the interventions should be co-ordinated, systematic and planned, so as to maximise the sustainability of their impact, and also to ensure that the benefits of the resources that may be invested in the interventions are maximised.
As the committee, our experience is that interventions are necessitated by, inter alia, historical issues of spatial inequality, where economic growth is difficult in a rural municipality; and by capacity matters, where, as I mentioned, both at municipal and at the level of some provinces, there are inappropriate skills, qualifications and competence. We believe these things should be addressed when we pass the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Act. We need an effort or a mechanism that will ensure that the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Act is now put into practice. It is an obligation on the municipalities.
Intraparty factional issues are another cause of interventions, where having a quorum becomes a problem because a certain faction will not attend a certain municipal meeting. Another thing is party- political differences. You will find that some municipalities are run by a coalition or by a hung parliament of sorts. In those cases, the quorum suffers. No decision is taken, so no service delivery occurs.
These are things that are beyond government. They are issues of a political nature. All parties involved in these particular municipalities must note this, to ensure that people do not suffer because of party-political differences. We noted some of these issues when we went to KwaZulu-Natal, in particular in Imbabazane Local Municipality. We also observed it in the Western Cape, particularly in such coalition- like municipalities. They are creating a serious problem. We need to move beyond the government; beyond the state. As parties, we must be mature enough politically to give those who govern a chance to govern and analyse the person objectively in terms of whether this person meets the systems and required procedures. Otherwise, our people will vote and vote for nothing.
As a committee, we also support the differentiated approach of the department because when you move to other provinces, with a village here and another village 300 km to 500 km away, it becomes a ward. Wards are formed by a population, not by a geographical space, and therefore it is difficult to serve that type of ward. That differentiated approach must be implemented. Municipalities exercise different powers and functions from a common list, which is based on the very same differentiation we are talking about: differentiation in the scope of the integrated development plan, funding, support and capacity-building. How we help municipalities to raise revenue is also key.
It is important that the ANC government continues its tradition of listening to the people. We have come from Taking Parliament to the People and from various national, council and provincial weeks, and the Ministers', premiers' and MECs' izimbizo. What do we do with those issues that are raised? We need a particular way of making sure that these things are being addressed.
In conclusion, the committee will be hosting a demarcation summit, which will require assistance from the Ministry, so that the public and Members of Parliament understand the impact of demarcation in terms of how municipalities are run. [Applause.]
Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members of the NCOP, the portfolio chairperson from the Eastern Cape legislature, ladies and gentlemen, the director-general, members of the Department of Human Settlements, warm greetings from the Eastern Cape on this cold evening. Human settlements development in the province is at the apex of both rural and urban integrated development and it is expected to occupy a significant and central role in the developmental agenda for our people by their government in the province.
Our province continues to make remarkable strides to turn around the fortunes of our people towards a better life for all through human settlements development. This is happening amidst many challenges that continue to beset our beautiful province.
This year, a portion of the conditional grant allocation for 2013-14 will be used to enhance human settlements development in selected small towns. This will be utilised to unblock services that are stalling the implementation of housing projects. More than 25 000 housing units, ultimately within three to five years, will be unblocked in this process. Not only low-cost housing shall benefit from this intervention but also social and affordable rental housing in areas where the demand has been confirmed by the feasibility studies that have been conducted.
This is intended to stimulate local economic development in these small towns. As such, this intervention strategically blends with the small town revitalisation programme of our province and with the strategic infrastructure interventions targeting mostly rural municipalities, which was announced by the President during his state of the nation address.
As a province, we have also initiated a turnkey rural housing project called -Project 12K|, comprising a total of 12 247 units. The construction of these units is to be undertaken at this time by high-performing capacity contractors and developers. Each individual project will be divided into approximately 1 000 units. These are the areas that will benefit: Mbizana, Matatiele and the whole of O R Tambo District Municipality.
The scope entails planning, beneficiary administration, social facilitation, design and, ultimately, the construction of top structures. The objective is to fast-track the implementation of rural housing projects in the province. The majority of our people still reside in the eastern part of our province.
This year, the department will continue to facilitate the youth development programmes within the sectors through collaboration with district municipalities, the National Home Builders Registration Council and the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA. The programme is informed by the framework for participation and empowerment of youth in human settlements that was approved by the technical Minmec on 10 March 2012.
The YouthBuild programme will be rolled out in four districts, adopting the same approach of imparting technical skills to unemployed youth in the identified regions through collaboration with the Department of Public Works, the NYDA and the National Home Builders Registration Council.
We are also prioritising the matter of title deeds so that beneficiaries can legally own their properties. As a result, a process has begun to assume the overall function of appointing conveyancers to speed up the issuing of title deeds, which is currently the responsibility of municipalities. Unfortunately, it has not yielded the desired results.
A beneficiary administration unit has been established to manage all matters relating to beneficiaries, including, among other things, the deregistration and registration of beneficiaries for lodgment by conveyancers to the Deeds Office. The national department has dedicated 2013-14 to focus on issuing title deeds to our beneficiaries, and as the provincial department we will also prioritise this programme.
The provincial department has received accolades at the national Govan Mbeki Awards and our flagship projects continue to fly our flag high as a province. The Walmer Link Housing Project, a pilot project for the Finance- Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, has won the Best Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme at the national Govan Mbeki Awards this month. We have to give recognition! [Applause.]
Our efforts in the informal settlements upgrading programme were also recognised and we won the best informal settlements upgrading programme in the country. One of our students also won the best students award out of many other students. So, we are indeed moving forward. I am convinced that we have overcome the prodigious challenges that stifled service delivery and compromised quality in the province over the years in the delivery of human settlements. We are making timely interventions, geared towards accelerating service delivery and improving the quality of our houses while unblocking systems that delay our progress. Hon members, we remain cognisant that the majority of our people's hopes and aspirations for a better life will be realised as our government delivers and continues to deliver on its mandate.
For us, the delivery of human settlements means that the end result of our work is an improvement in the quality of household life in its totality. We witnessed what such an improved quality of household life means when we handed over houses to elderly people who had been dispossessed of their property and land when Macleantown was declared a white group area in 1970, and in 2013 we handed out houses to this community.
It is incumbent on us to ensure that our programmes redress the consequences of the 1913 Natives Land Act; improve the quality of household life as enshrined in the objectives of Outcome 8; and address the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. As a result, our contribution to achieve these, as a provincial department of human settlements, will be on our Finance- Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, Small Town Revitalisation Programme and the correct Beneficiary campaign, as well as the issuing of title deeds intended to confirm ownership of houses by our beneficiaries.
In conclusion, we are now in the electioneering period, when the plight and suffering of our people will be used by many unscrupulous people to garner votes and mislead them in the process. The plight of our people should not at any time be used for any other reason than for their own development. As a province, we are at the centre of people's development through human settlements development, which is pivotal to people's wellbeing. It is possible. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members of the NCOP and guests, the hon Minister told us everything about the positive side of Human Settlements but what happens in reality? Where are we going with Human Settlements in South Africa? How many more houses will be built? How many more corrupt people and contractors will get involved in the housing activities in this department?
Hon Minister, in 2011, in this House, you said you would speed up the building of houses and wipe out the backlog in the department. I am afraid you are not reaching the target you set yourself. The department underspent approximately R4 billion of the budget in the previous year. The Eastern Cape and Limpopo have failed to spend R578 million of the funds allocated to them. Only R2 billion of the R7 billion allocated to the urban settlement development grant, USDG, was spent. Almost a billion rand is wasted on rectification every year.
Today, thousands of beneficiaries are still without title deeds and houses. In eThekwini, only 30% of the 2012-2013 houses were being built. The target was also reduced from the original 3 950 to 3 613 houses. There are almost 410 000 people living in 150 000 shacks across the city. More than 1 002 officials in the Department of Human Settlements were found guilty after investigation by the director-general. More than R20 billion is linked to alleged fraud and corruption. The director- general asked for a forensic investigation by the Special Investigating Unit.
Houses are falling apart within months of being built. Corruption and fraud go hand in hand with the transferring of houses to legal owners - and you know it. There were more than 2 877 complaints between July and September 2012 from house owners to the Public Protector.
A total of 93% of the Western Cape human settlements budget is spent on people earning less than R3 500 per month. The Western Cape also leads the country with 99,1% of households having access to piped water and 96,9% to toilet facilities. They have reduced their title deeds backlog to 28% and have issued over 20 000 title deeds in the process.
The head of the Northern Cape department of health, Gugulethu Matlaopane, refused to explain a mysterious R1 million transfer to her account from a building contractor who allegedly accepted millions of rands in municipality payments for housing that he failed to build. According to the report, the contractor, Frank Khotso Khasu, completed only four of 3 500 houses. Hon Minister, the DA believes your intentions were positive and good when you mentioned and promised South Africa that you would fight corruption in your department. I am afraid that from all the oversight visits we conducted as the NCOP across South Africa, it was clear that your promises failed and disappeared in the mist. Wherever we arrive in South Africa, houses are falling apart, people are unhappy and millions of rands of budget money are being wasted by municipalities.
Let us correct the past. Beneficiaries should have their title deeds for the land, even before the houses are built. Let us help to see that better and more sustainable houses are built in South Africa for South African citizens. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers present here
... Tatana Baloyi na Tatana Sexwale ... [... Mr Baloyi and Mr Sexwale...]
... hon members of the NCOP, in particular the chairperson of the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, the hon MEC for human settlements in the Eastern Cape, my colleagues from the SA Local Government Association, Salga, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, we wish to agree with the Minister of Cogta when he stated in his Budget Vote last month that the more integrated our co- operative governance is, the more effective we will be as a state, and the greater will be our capacity to deliver services and ensure development. Minister Baloyi ...
... a vulavula ntiyiso. Ndzi hlamale ngopfu loko Tatana Groenewald a penda timasipala hinkwato ka tona hi tibulachi hi ku vula leswaku timasipala ti na vukungundzwana. Hi ntiyiso swi nga va swi ri tano kun'wana. Kambe a swi vuli leswaku vukungundzwana byi kona eka timasipala hinkwato ka tona ku ya hi leswi va swi vulaka. Ku ya hi leswi Tatana Groenewald a swi vuleke a ku na nchumu xa kahle lexi endliwaka hi timasipala ... (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[... was right. It was disconcerting for me to hear Mr Groenewald painting all the municipalities with the same brush by saying all municipalities are corrupt. Truth be told, it may not be the case in some. However, that does not mean that corruption is rampant in all municipalities like he stated. According to what Mr Groenewald said, there is nothing good that is done by the municipalities ...]
... which is a serious concern to us as Salga, and we believe that that notion should be corrected in this House. There are many good practices and pockets of excellence to be found at local government level. It is of critical importance to bear in mind the tremendous strides and progress that local government has made in the implementation and expansion of services to our people.
It is therefore important that we contextualise the microscopic lens we place on local government in a broader reflection of government as a whole. Local government represents government in all our communities. In that context, the so-called service delivery protests have become part and parcel of our democratic form of expression. We invite the hon Minister to work with us when going to municipalities to address these challenges, so that we are indeed more integrated in our approach.
We also agree that the best mechanism to build confidence between the people and the municipalities is to address the priority issues of accelerating service delivery, promoting good governance, enhancing sound financial management, rolling out infrastructure development and effective maintenance and intensifying the fight against corruption.
How best do we fight corruption at our local level? In terms of sound service management and good governance, this is critically important and it is a precondition for effective service delivery. The financial viability of various municipalities is a critical issue and we certainly want to repeat our call for the comprehensive review of the broader fiscal framework and vertical division. The review is needed to address the fundamental structural challenges, rather than introducing the minor ad hoc adjustments. Municipalities have been and continue to be grossly underfunded to perform the -big five| functions.
It is our confident hope that the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, as announced by the Minister, will not become another stop- gap measure but will support medium-capacity and smaller-capacity municipalities to improve their own technical capacity to operate and maintain infrastructure, as well as borrowing and investing in infrastructure. It is a reality that the country is not producing enough technical skills to manage technical services. The development of the necessary capacity- building initiatives and learning opportunities is critical if we are to make local government the employer of choice. It is correct that our Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, Misa, should be our success.
While strengthening ward committees is important, it must not be seen as the be-all and end-all of public participation. Ward committees are but one vehicle for facilitating public participation, not a panacea for accommodating our active citizenry ideals. We remain committed to developing and encouraging integrated and holistic public participation approaches at local level, so that the municipal inhabitants indeed become active participants in the decisions and programmes that directly affect them. I ntiyiso ha amukela na ku khensa, Holobye, loko mi vulavula hi mhaka ya Community Work Programme, CWP, leyi humelelaka eka timasipala ta lomu hi tshamaka kona. I ntiyiso mhaka ya 1 miliyoni ya mitirho leyi lavekaka yi ta humelela. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[It is true we accept and appreciate, Minister, when you speak about the issue of the Community Work Programme, CWP, that it is happening in our local municipalities. It is true that the issue of 1 million jobs required will be realised.]
In his speech, Minister Sexwale gave a broad overview of the sector. As local government, we wish to highlight two important subjects of primary interest to us. The first is the assignment of the housing function to six metros and the second is the Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, Flisp. These two programmes represent new approaches that will fundamentally shift how government interacts with the housing and property market, and how government better organises itself to scale up and deliver more efficiently. In short, these two developments are game-changers for the Human Settlements sector.
In his state of the nation address in February 2012, President Zuma announced an extended Flisp policy that pushes the eligibility threshold up to households earning R15 000 per month and expanded the maximum subsidy available to R87 000. Flisp has now become a smarter programme with greater potential to make a positive contribution in the gap market.
Your average teacher, blue-collar worker, policeman and nurse can combine the subsidy with the bond to purchase a new house in one of the accredited projects across the country, or to buy an existing house in the secondary property market. The Flisp budget for the 2013-14 financial year stands at R165 million and is estimated to benefit about 3 250 applicants. It is a marked increase from previous years but still falls far short of what is required.
We therefore implore the national departments and provinces to apply resources to build awareness and take-up of the Flisp programme country- wide and to continue expending the energy to manage and monitor its rapid scale-up. However, two problems persist. The first is the poor credit records of many households and the second is the reality that many of our people are still unemployed. Not only does one need income to access Flisp but one needs steady formal employment, backed up with a regular payslip. While we work with renewed energy to address the gap market and expand affordable rental housing opportunities, we must also remember that these initiatives are only successful as long as the economy grows and people are able to access formal employment.
The second major game-changer in the Human Settlements sector is the move to accredit municipalities and assign the housing function to six metros this year. We applaud the leadership and effort the Minister has demonstrated in pushing this initiative forward. This commitment to achieving targets on assignment and accreditation reinforces the importance of assignment in achieving integrated and sustainable human settlements.
With assignment and accreditation, built environment functions will be more fully centralised at the local government level. This is in keeping with international practice. Cities around the world are responsible for providing houses and managing and properly planning their urban areas. By putting these powers in the hands of the sphere of government closest to the communities, we ensure that local government can proactively plan for urban challenges such as migration instead of only reactively providing emergency services to slum areas. The targeted provision of support and capacity by provinces and the national department to these municipalities will be vital to the success of assignment and accreditation.
Hon Minister, we must not stop there. Assignment of the housing function must be progressively implemented to other metros and major secondary cities. In many instances, these secondary cities are as well equipped, and they stand ready to implement the full housing function. The chicken- and-egg dilemma of a lack of capacity should not be used to slow down the incremental devolution of the housing function. In conclusion, we are committed to working with the two departments to ensure an integrated approach to service delivery and that the developmental vision of local government is realised. Let us support the Ministers in the implementation of these two Votes and forge stronger partnerships with our provincial partners in addressing service delivery gaps.
We trust that the departments will take these issues into account as we roll out the various support programmes for local government. As Salga, we appreciate being part of this particular co-operative partnership and look forward to influencing its outcomes positively.
Ndzi khensa ndzi vuyelela. Inkomu. Khanimambo. [Va phokotela.] [Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.] [Applause.]]
Chairperson and Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, it is true that the Auditor-General is measuring the performance of the municipalities. However, it is not his responsibility to rectify their faults. Politicians are the ones who are accountable and responsible for the bad performance of municipalities. The municipal manager and chief financial officer are appointed by the councils and so are those appointed in terms of article 56 to 57. Mayors and the mayoral committees are appointed by the political parties. Municipalities will only improve if political parties take responsibility. The income bases of municipalities differ a lot. Small municipalities are struggling because their salaries take a big chunk of their income. Only a small part is left to do capital work. This is a great stumbling block to the delivery of services.
Housing is a great problem. Grants are given to municipalities to build houses. The quality of work is sometimes very inferior. The aim of the Vote is to improve co-operative governance across the three spheres of government, in partnership with institutions of traditional leadership to ensure that provinces and municipalities carry out their service delivery and development functions effectively.
The mandate is to develop, monitor and support the implementation of national policy and legislation; to promote and monitor mechanisms, systems and structures to enable integrated service delivery and implementation within government; and to exercise oversight over provincial and local government. There are areas that need intervention for the municipalities to perform. These are supply chain management; financial management; information technology controls; human resource management; municipalities under administration; the use of consultants; and government structures.
Our municipalities are marked by service delivery protests. The increase in service delivery protests clearly indicates that all is not well in our local municipalities. People are not happy and we all urgently need to come up with a positive solution to improve the situation. Underspending is caused by a lack of capacity and of technical and management skills. Millions are being spent by municipalities on consultants.
Our municipalities are infested with corruption. Corruption has become endemic in our society. It is one of the things that people in South Africa are becoming more and more worried about. Corruption disturbs what we do and we simply cannot build if that is the basis. It leads to poor quality in construction. Cement is like glue for a house.
There is also the problem of price fixing. Nothing is as dangerous as the inflation of prices. We as the DA spend time acting like policemen, chasing after corrupt people, because their actions inconvenience the beneficiaries. [Interjections.] Nepotism, favouritism and the manipulation of waiting lists are all ills that we have to deal with. [Interjections.] As the DA, our message to the corrupt officials is simple: We will continue to embarrass and to name and shame.
One of the ANC stalwarts, Andrew Mlangeni, once said:
The Rivonia trialists did not go to prison so that the ANC members could reap the rewards of freedom through self-enrichment and greed. Money is the source of all evil. Some people are so corrupt in my organisation, the ANC. You put people in leadership positions in government because you know them to be trustworthy. You know that they are going to carry out the policy of the ANC, helping the people of South Africa. They start off by being good people, but ultimately they change and start filling their pockets with money through tenders. Tenderism has destroyed many of our honest people. The pursuit of money and instant wealth is devaluing the sacrifice of those who went to prison and those who died fighting for freedom.
[Interjections.] The lasting lesson of universal leadership is the celebrated South African clich, -A better life for all|. The -all| in this case is emphatic, democratic...
Hon member, your time has expired.
Manana Mutshamaxitulu, ndza khensa nkarhi lowu u ndzi nyikeke wona. U khomisa sweswo; i khenselo ra valungu. [Va phokotela.] (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[Mr V M MANZINI: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity that you have given me. Keep it up; that is how we say it in English. [Applause.]]
Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon MECs, colleagues, friends and comrades, I rise on behalf of the ANC in this House to give my unconditional support to this Budget Vote. It is a budget that hopes to turn the tide for our people. The ANC-led government is the only organisation that can and will address their needs because we have a plan. We have built millions of Reconstruction and Development Programme houses for the needy, although we still have much to do. That is because the list is long and there are always new entrants.
We want to applaud the initiative that would address the gap market. Let me just repeat what the President said during the state of the nation address, when he mentioned that a citizen requested this from him, saying that we needed this kind of fund. We learnt from reliable sources that that citizen is now living in his own house, financed by this gap market fund. Only the ANC can do that.
We also request that you address the issue of RDP houses built in places like Langa; houses that were completed a long time ago but are not occupied.
We will adequately respond to the needs of our people because we have been there. We have experienced living in a shack on hot summer days: When it is hot, the shack is also hot. We have experienced living in a shack on cold winter days: When it is cold, the shack is also cold. We have experienced living in a shack on windy days: On such days, the roofing is often blown off. We have experienced living in a shack on rainy days: Flooding often takes place.
All these misfortunes affect blacks who are poor, unemployed and desperate. We do not need anybody to lecture us on these experiences because we have travelled this road and we have plans and solutions for them. I want to repeat that it is only the ANC-led government that will address these problems because we have been there. [Applause.]
I am not sure whether the hon Groenewald has ever slept in a shack or was raised in a shack. [Interjections.] The advice I can give him is to sell that big house of his, to show patriotism and to go and build RDP houses for people in the North West. With the remainder of the money, he should go and build a shack and stay in it. Then he would not talk as he has just done. [Interjections.]
I want to tell you my story of when I first arrived here in Cape Town. I was travelling with my family to Somerset West when, near the airport, I saw a huge village of shacks on my right-hand side. One could build a township as big as Soweto there. I told my family that, whether we liked it or not, we would never address the housing problem during our term. I told them that the process we started would be completed by our children, referring to my son. Little did I know that what I said had an impact on him, because whenever we now pass an informal settlement he will say that that area is not as huge as the one we saw at Khayelitsha and that it is us who will build for those people. Little did I realise that I had planted a revolutionary seed in my son.
Minister, I believe we need to build a strong foundation for our children so that they will complete the journey that we have travelled. In your own words:
It is totally unacceptable that although we provide funds, responsible government entities and certain municipalities fail to even build a simple toilet, while there is still the serious stench of the bucket system in some parts of the country.
That is what you said. I have made my own analysis of the issues that hinder us from aggressively providing houses to our people and I have come to the conclusion that there is a lack of land on which to build houses. You always make provision for funds to build houses but where will municipalities build houses if there is no land? I will come back to the land issue.
The next issue is that of town planning. Most of the municipalities do not have spatial planning policies. How can they build houses when they have not planned for them? Another concern is the issue of infrastructure. How can you build houses if there is no infrastructure and no funds available to put infrastructure in place? We need basic infrastructure like water, sanitation, electricity and roads. The rest will follow.
Allocating the building of housing structures and the use of contractors who do not have the capacity and expertise to build decent houses are also issues. I do not need to emphasise this but let me again refer to what you said. You said the danger was that sometimes we deployed people who did not have the proper skills, and they in turn employed people who did not have expertise.
The last issue is the way in which we monitor the work that we have done. For instance, we do not monitor waiting lists, construction that has been completed and the illegal selling of RDP houses. I know my analysis may not be exhaustive but these are the basics if we want to aggressively address housing problems. We always complain about these challenges but we do not respond to them adequately. I believe I am responding positively to what you have said. Let me refer to what you said. You said that for the sake of delivering services to our people, you would not hesitate to apply intervention measures and take funds from underperforming provinces, transferring them to those that are doing well. Before you resort to such drastic measures, you could perhaps look into my analysis and respond to it.
I want to come back to the land question, as I promised earlier. This year and this month, we commemorate the Natives Land Act, Act 27 of 1913, the law that dehumanised Africans and blacks in general. It deprived us of our human dignity by confining us to isolated, far-flung areas of civilisation; to barren and unproductive land. The land was unsuitable for tilling and habitation.
When you own land, you own wealth, because minerals come from the land. When you own land, you own food and security. When you own land, you own areas of residence. The majority - blacks - were confined to 13% of the land, while the minority - whites - were given an abundance of 87% of productive and fertile land. How can we forget such an inhumane and atrocious infliction on humankind?
I did not tell my son about all these atrocities. He will grow up and discover this for himself. He will be able to complete the journey we have started. Let me conclude my speech by quoting the internationalist Che Guevara, who said, -We must struggle every day so that this love for humanity becomes a reality.| [Applause.]
Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, officials from the department, low-cost housing is one of government's priorities. Millions of poor people are still living in informal settlements and overcrowded townships.
In the 2013 state of the nation address, the President identified the following objectives: improving water and sanitation; securing the gap market; the provision of renewable energy, solar energy and solar water geysers to all low-cost houses, and 315 000 solar geysers fitted in the houses of poor households; the need to improve infrastructure, namely water, roads and electricity infrastructure; and investing in the drivers of job creation, namely infrastructure development, agriculture and the green economy.
This position needs urgent attention. The turnaround strategy, based on the following promises, must deliver improved outcomes. The January 2010 Cabinet lekgotla accepted an outcomes-based approach and to deliver on Outcome 8 agreements. These include greater sustainability, human settlement and improving the quality of household life, which it set as its 2014 targets. This includes the upgrading of 400 000 informal settlement households at an estimated cost of R19,2 billion, including the provision of bulk infrastructure; the delivery of 800 000 rental units; increasing the provision of basic services, including increased access to sanitation from 69% to 100%; financing 600 000 housing opportunities for people in the R3 500 to R12 800 income bracket; and releasing 6 250 hectares of well-located state-owned land for delivery of sustainable human settlements.
Gauteng is in a fortunate position in that the quality and workmanship of housing delivered is reasonable. The walls and roofs are stable, with few defects. However, the same cannot be said for other provinces, where norms and standards are diverse and do not comply with the prescribed regulations and guidelines. Minister, one of the greatest challenges in Gauteng is the refurbishing of hostels that stand unoccupied. Urgent intervention is required from the Minister to facilitate the process.
The National Development Plan indicates that Human Settlements must aim to create 300 000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030. This is only possible when there are clear intervention and implementation processes in place. There should be closer co-operation, public participation and a reasonable process for making resources available within provinces to achieve this objective.
The latest Minmec 2013 regulations are a step in the right direction, but government can still do more to secure better and improved human facilities.
Provinces and municipalities receive substantial amounts in conditional grants, as shown by the Division of Revenue Act. Firstly, can the department explain the implementation of the Division of Revenue Act and the process to date as it relates to the above-mentioned? Secondly, to what extent is the department working towards improving the expenditure efficiency of provinces and metropolitan municipalities in the delivery of housing and sanitation services?
The department's target for the 2011-12 financial year was to support the development of 20 000 units. However, less than half of this target was achieved and 5 830 units were delivered. The reasons provided by the department for not achieving this target were limited funding and delays in the approval of plans and the release of the land. To date, what has the department done to address those reasons?
The accreditation of municipalities has slowed down. With the achievement of level-three accreditation still being a major challenge for municipalities, the SA Local Government Association reports that, despite a clear framework with respect to accreditation of municipalities to perform certain functions, implementation requires greater attention, especially co-operation between the provincial and municipal spheres of government. Salga's recommendation regarding provinces must be given serious attention and the Minister needs to secure greater powers for Salga to facilitate this programme.
I would like acknowledge the superb effort that the Minister and his team are making, as well as their dedication to improving the lives of all South Africans.
Deputy Chair, hon Ministers and members, when one sits here, listening to members, the Minister of Human Settlements, as well as the Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, one needs to ask oneself many questions. One of the questions we need to ask ourselves is: How honest and objective are we?
Let me start with Human Settlements. I have listened to my colleague, the hon M P Jacobs, talking about land and the municipalities. How will a poor black man get land if the municipality tenders out the land? He does not have the money to buy land and build a house. It's impossible! Yet these very same local municipalities are tendering out land to the previously advantaged areas. In other words, as a previously disadvantaged person, you will never be able to buy that land if you don't earn that money. That is neither development nor urbanisation.
Another concern with Human Settlements is the quality of houses. I believe we must start building and giving people decent houses, because we are from a poor background and we have been deprived of our rights and all those things. We have the opportunity now, so why does this government not invest in our people by giving them decent houses, with security? Don't give them 54m2 houses. Yes, people will say it is better than a shack; but no, don't tell me this -it is better than a shack| story!
If we go back in our history, we said that when we got the chance to govern, we would give our people decent houses. These RDP houses are not decent houses. They are not security. A house is an asset. In other words, if our people have decent houses, they will have assets.
Let me come to local government. I have so little time! Hon Minister, Councillor J Matlou talked about the municipalities, but unfortunately almost 60% of the municipalities in the country are bankrupt. How can that be good? According to the Auditor-General's report in the Northern Cape, out of the 32 municipalities only two received clean audits. Are you telling me that that is good? That is not good!
The problem is that we, as government - the national department and local government - must get involved in provincial departments. I heard the Minister say that they will be hands-on because that is where the problem lies. The Minister allocates money and drafts policies but they don't implement them. They do their own thing. That is why you will find municipalities sitting with municipal managers who can't do their work. We have chief financial officers who do not understand the budget and all those things. This thing needs to stop!
Hon Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, I support you in all your endeavours. I am asking and pleading with you today ...
Chair, is the hon Gunda prepared to take a question?
No, I can't take a question; I am talking about something very serious. [Laughter.] Let me speak to the Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. I'm pleading with you: This Bill has been with the department for four years now but the Khoi-San people are still not getting recognition. How long are we going to wait? These people are the first indigenous occupants of this country! It is their right to be recognised in this country and not be subdued by other people because there are so few of them. They were the first owners. They were living in this country and were found here in this country. They did not come from another country to live here. These are the issues that we need to take seriously.
In conclusion, Minister, you can change the systems in local government - that is fine. However, make it a community- participative system and not these ward-based systems where councillors can have their own buddies on the ward so that they can run them like a political party. No! Local government belongs to the people. A municipality belongs to the people. Municipalities cannot exist without the people. This is where our problem lies. The community must participate and it must have a say in the budget of the local municipality, so that their needs can be met and services can be delivered. [Applause.]
Deputy Chair, hon Ministers, MECs present, delegates, both special and permanent, and fellow South Africans, hon Gunda, Herman and Feldman, the ANC speakers have conveyed one message throughout this afternoon. That message is: We have a plan; policies; programmes; necessary interventions; and we are committed to all of it. You must listen attentively as I go down that road.
I stand here on behalf of the ANC to narrate a story about the path that we are on - a journey to a destiny, which is a better life for all; where poverty, inequality and unemployment are being dealt with decisively. The ANC's 101 years of existence and of being in the liberation struggle, and our 19 years of experience in government, bear witness to our sincerity and genuineness, Mr Gunda, in fighting for quality service delivery - no other party but the ANC!
We are sincere and honest in our transformation of this society into a democratic one. We are sincere in building a truly developmental state. We are sincere and genuine as we enact ... [Interjections.]
Madam Chair, will the hon member take a question, please?
Chair, he may ask a question on one condition: that he does not make a statement.
Deputy Chair, the member referred to transformation. I would like to ask the member, through you, hon Deputy Chair: Is he satisfied right now that transformation is really taking place in respect of local government issues?
Hon Chairperson, to answer that: Even this House, the NCOP, has taken serious steps in making interventions in local government. We have created a working relationship with the SA Local Government Association. For the first time in the history of the NCOP, Salga councillors are participating in this House, even today. That councillor spoke here. If that is not honesty to the hon member, then I must ordain him as a pastor. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
We continue to enact laws that are pro-poor. We create structures and systems of governance that are effective, efficient, transparent and able to carry the goals and vision of the national democratic revolution. All these must, of course, be underpinned by what the hon Gunda is complaining about - the participation of our people in all matters that pertain to their aspirations for themselves, their generation, their motherland, the continent and the world.
The Freedom Charter of 1955 says this, in response to the hon Gunda. It is instructive to us as the ANC, and I quote: -All people shall be entitled to take part in the administration of the country.| That is exactly what we are doing. It says further: -All bodies of minority rule, advisory boards, councils and authorities shall be replaced by democratic organs of self-government.| That is what it says, sir. As the ANC, we have never deviated from this prescription of the Freedom Charter.
Furthermore, as we fought for in the Convention for a Democratic SA, Codesa, Chapter 7, section 152, of the Constitution clearly and categorically directs our work with regard to the third sphere of government. The ANC resolutions and policies - hon chairperson Mokgobi referred to them quite clearly earlier on - have been consistent in making a concerted effort to give expression to this mandate. We continue with such a legislative programme and policies, as Budget Vote 3 clearly demonstrates today.
Often our critics, like all the members who were negative about the progress that the ANC is making, would like us not to recall the painful past experience of our people as we, together with them, confront the difficulties we face today that result from that past. Of course, the question is why they do so. Perhaps the answer is easy: Because they are haunted by their own identification with the history of destruction of our motherland and its people.
It is easy to imagine why a photograph would mean such a lot to a desperate person, to the extent that they claim a serious contribution to the struggle of the oppressed people while, on the other hand, they vote against any matter of transformation that the ANC puts forward. That picture is now used to mislead our people. Just being in a picture with our stalwart, Helen Suzman, means a lot to them; it means a contribution to the struggle, or that they are for transformation. However, when they come here, they talk differently and vote differently. [Interjections.]
This history of destruction that I am recalling, which occurred until just before 1994, is mainly and critically characterised by the dispossession of land. It saw traditional communities, local government and people in general becoming landless, land use and spatial planning halted and water and food security affected. Neither infrastructure development nor economic advancement could take place under such situations.
In this history of destruction, we know that our country was divided and given new names: -colony|, -Boer Republic|, -Union|, -Bantustans|. Surely all of these affected social cohesion and nationhood. Certainly, that is the reality that the ANC is facing post-1994 and that the ANC is prepared to tackle on this path that has the clear destiny that I was talking about.
We believe that the allocations of Budget Vote No 3 will effectively manage to create the measures and interventions necessary to deal with the challenges confronting municipalities and traditional governance today, as well as going forward.
We note the allocations to the Municipality Infrastructure Support Agency, Misa, and the Municipal Demarcation Board for them to deliver on their respective mandates. Budget Vote No 3 is representative of two departments: the Departments for Co-operative Governance and for Traditional Affairs. We also note that the allocation that is given to the Department for Traditional Affairs clearly demonstrates the ANC-led government's commitment to improve the work of traditional leadership and their governance in our country. Thus it assists with the creation of social cohesion, which is what we are all about.
We are worried, as hon Mokgobi said, about the so-called service delivery protests. The Minister spoke at length about it as well. We are in full support of what he said. We are also worried that this is now being misused by bankrupt political parties to gun for votes. They are people who have nothing to offer our people. We are saying that the only way ... [Interjections.]
Chair, I want to ask if the hon member is prepared to take a question, please.
My time is running out but you can ask if you are not going to make a statement. Otherwise, the Chair has the right to cut in and send you outside! [Laughter.]
Order, we are running out of time ...
Yes, hon member, ask quickly!
Chairperson, I just wanted to ask the hon member if it is true that he is a secret organiser for Julius Malema's party. [Laughter.]
Chair, you have the right to throw him out of the House now! [Laughter.]
I would like to take this opportunity to say, on behalf of the ANC, that we support the budget. As I have said, the journey is taking us to the destiny of a better life for all and quality services for our people. We are undoubtedly committed to fighting corruption, to make interventions where we can, and to fight poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Lastly, I take this opportunity, off the clock but on the record, to thank my colleagues in the NCOP, permanent delegates and the leader of the select committee for the help they offered, because this is the last Budget Vote speech and I am not a podium regular. I take this opportunity to thank my family, my wife and my kids for their support, as well as the entire staff in my office. I also thank the service officers here in the Chamber for the help and support they always give. Thanks for all your guidance and help. We support Budget Vote No 3. [Applause.]
Chairperson, there in the National Assembly we said to Mphephethwa Blade Nzimande, -Vala [close], Nzimande!| Thank you to this Nzimande for closing so well. I think you have said it all to hon Feldman. No, not the hon Feldman, it was the hon Groenewald. He had only four minutes to say all those terrible things. [Laughter.] Give him more time so that he can be more amorous towards South Africa. Our message to him is the following - the saying comes from the hon Nzimande: -None are so blind as those who have eyes yet refuse to see.|
The next four minutes will make you realise that this country, which you people messed up, is changing under us. Secondly, I want to say that I don't know where he gets the figure that this department underspent by R4 billion. That is urban legend, spread by one of their journalists. We know where they get it from. Our department has spent its budget to the tune of a 3% underspend. The law allows us to underspend by 5%, but we did less than that. It is permissible, even if we had underspent by 5%. I would like to spend the entire budget, given the needs. I do not know where he gets this R4 billion from. Please, sir, desist from that or you will become an agent of propaganda! Face the music: You created this situation. Be kind enough to recognise that times have moved on and we have changed.
Talking about piped water in the Western Cape, who sends that water here? It is us. There is no provincial Ministry or MEC here who is in charge of water. So, when you say you achieved 99%, that's Minister Edna Molewa, sir! You have beautiful houses built here - Minister Tokyo Sexwale is responsible for that, sir! Go and tell your members. That is what is happening here.
As for the shacks, they are your product. They are the result of 100 years of landlessness for our people - since 1913. You are responsible but you can't face the shame, coming here today without showing remorse. We have to take so much. I stayed in jail for 15 years. For people to come and tell us this today is unacceptable. These are the product of 100 years of having taken away people's dignity. Just recognise that we have been kind enough to be forgiving. Do not provoke us any further. Recognise that land was taken and that that is why you have more than 2 400 informal settlements scattered around here. We did not build shacks and informal settlements. I have told you that, so listen very carefully. They are the result of dispossession. Those who created them keep quiet when we deal with the subject. But if you come here and pontificate, pretending that this government has done nothing, then we know that you are not prepared to listen and not prepared to learn.
Hon Gunda, you called for decent housing, and we accept that. You spoke like a South African, even though you are from the opposition. You said you wanted decent houses and that is what we are doing. Let me tell you, colleagues, that we will never chase quantity at the expense of quality for our people. That we will not do. The President said: -Better fewer, but better.| He was quoting Lenin. It is not that we want to have fewer houses, but better few with high quality; better for our people. That is what they deserve.
Hon Manzini, I want to say that you were spot on. You are fighting corruption, and so are we. In my department, 5 000 people have been brought to book by me. Lawyers have been taken away. We blacklist and we name - Minister Radebe has requested that we name them. We blacklist these people. These are companies that were established here in the past. We accept that there is a lot of corruption in this country, and it should concern us all. We agree with you, but do recognise the efforts we are making. I don't want to be a cop; I want to build houses. I don't want to repair houses either. Accept that corruption is being fought here. Corruption is headline news because we are talking about it and doing something. When countries are truly corrupt, they don't speak about corruption. We are looking for good and honest people.
Let me say that by providing houses, somebody is ... [Interjections.]
Hon Minister, can you conclude, please?
When we provide houses to people
- that is my job - we provide assets. We position our people now not just to be owners of assets but to be players in the capital market. They have an asset and they can pass it on to their people. They become players in the property market and they can deal with those properties by exchanging them. They become players in the financial market too, because they can raise bonds, loans and mortgages. It is dignity that we are providing to people. Because our people have been dehumanised, this Ministry attempts in a very soft way to humanise them. That is why it is the Department of Human Settlements. [Applause.]
Chair, we want to agree with the hon Mokgobi that the name of the game is -consult and engage|. That is why, three weeks ago, we engaged with 167 municipalities. These are the municipalities which, according to the Auditor-General, are fluctuating in their performance. They are what we can refer to as -a zone needing attention|. We are engaging with them. We cannot generalise and say there are municipalities that are bankrupt. No, we talk to these municipalities and understand exactly what causes their state of performance. When we present the report, we will present it to the NCOP. The topic will be the state of local government and we will engage on it. Our findings will be made very clear. We engaged our metros last week, on Friday. We were engaging municipalities one by one, plus as a collective of structures of government in our areas. So, we fully agree. We initiated the idea that we needed to develop a financial performance quality enhancement programme. That is part of the intervention that has to respond to the questions that we are dealing with around financial management.
Councillor Matlou, the executive mayor of Mopani District, is very right when he says that when we deal with issues, we have to make it a point that co-operative governance must be seen to be in action at the national level.
I agree, hon Mokgobi, that those who intervene must demonstrate a state of readiness. It should not be a question of the weak intervening to correct the weak. You have to demonstrate your reason for intervening. You don't just drop interventions into pockets as you go around, looking for municipalities. You actually have to understand what you are doing. That is why, when we went to Madibeng Local Municipality, we said that you can't just put a municipality under section 139. First you have to implement your first intervention. You cannot just come with a second one. You just can't. We then said it's not only a case of, -Yes, we have an answer.| Sometimes it is -no|. We are putting our -no| clearly, because our goal is to build relationships. We believe that building relationships is the anchor position of co-operative governance. Regarding putting the amendment into practice, it is true that we are finalising this. There is just one hurdle that we need to jump in terms of the regulations to implement or give effect to the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act. That hurdle is that one stakeholder took us to court. We are finalising that issue, so that we can give effect to the implementation of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act. It is a piece of legislation that talks to the professionalisation and strengthening of local government systems. We believe that when we arrive there, we will deal with those issues.
The report that we will present on the state of government will be volume 11. It will focus on the interventions that we want to make in order to improve the system. The whole issue of how we manage coalition government is a serious challenge. If you go to areas like Swellendam, you will see the reality that the minority governs. We have a municipality there that has nine members. Four members are from the ANC, four from the DA and one from the ACDP. The deciding factor is that one municipality. So, that becomes a situation of how best to deal with those issues. We need to look at how we deal with management.
In terms of differentiation, we believe that there is nothing like a one- size-fits-all dispensation. When it comes to the question of financial planning and supporting municipalities, you need to come with support that is equal to the particular municipality. That is the differentiation we are talking about.
We fully agree to participate in the summit on demarcation. We will take advantage of that summit and give a report. We are concluding a report by the ministerial task team that looked into questions of demarcation and their impact on long-term planning and other related questions. We cannot paint all municipalities with the same brush.
Thank you, hon Gunda, for your support, but even as you support us, we need to correct you. If you support us and we don't correct you when we believe you are wrong, it means the support is dangerous and then you may as well keep it! There is no such thing as 60% of municipalities being bankrupt. We need to talk about these issues as they really are. It is not possible to do a round-up of all the issues and respond to everything the hon member raised in five minutes. We will further engage with this as we deal with matters of local government. However, I would like to say thank you very much for his support on the question of the Khoi-San people. We are definitely dealing with this question. On the issue of the Bill, we would have tabled the Bill by now had it not been for the issue of the reopening of the lodgment date, which suggested that we needed to take one or two steps backwards. We are dealing with that in order to finalise those issues. The division among the Khoi-San people was also an issue. When you talk about the National Khoi-San Council, some identify with it but others don't. But you cannot have a divided approach. That is why we are talking to them and have told them to facilitate the process so that we can raise all the issues with one voice. When we provide solutions, it must not be a solution that will suit one group only, because the other group will think that we are dispensing poison. Thank you very much, Deputy Chairperson. [Applause.]