Hon Deputy Speaker, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon members, let me once more thank the chairperson and members of the Portfolio Committee on Transport for the work done in processing the Bills under consideration.
The objectives of the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Bill [B 20B - 2013] are to enact the International Maritime Organization Protocol of 1992; to amend the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 29 November 1969 into law; and to provide for matters connected therewith. The National Development Plan points out that:
Market and policy failures have resulted in the global economy entering into a period of ecological deficit, as natural capital is being degraded, depleted faster than it can be replenished.
This Bill provides one way of addressing such policy failures and also fulfils the objectives of Outcome 10 on the preservation of our environment. Output four seeks to preserve our biodiversity and to protect ecosystems and species while increasing the number of species under formal protection. This Bill is key in protecting our marine biodiversity. This legislation will not only protect our resources, but will hold accountable those responsible for polluting and damaging our 3 000 km of world renowned and most beautiful coastline.
The Department of Transport has declared the year 2013 as Maritime Year and it is significant that these Bills are being presented at this particular time. Also noteworthy is the fact that the Department of Transport and its agency, the SA Maritime Safety Authority, Samsa, have sponsored 30 students to study masters and doctoral programmes in maritime affairs at the World Maritime University in Sweden.
It is expected that the students will, on completion of their studies, be more knowledgeable in the area of maritime environmental protection, amongst other fields. This is part of the ANC government's endeavour to create the necessary skills to grow the maritime sector as part of the broader Blue Economy drive.
The package of measures in the Bill is designed to give effect to the Republic of South Africa's obligations under the Civil Liability Convention and the International Maritime Organization Protocol of 1992, and to give effect to the amendments of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, the Civil Liability Convention.
Once more I want to indicate that, accompanying the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Bill are: The Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Bill, which we have just passed; The Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Contributions Bill, which is a money Bill as contemplated in terms of section 77 of the Constitution; and the Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund Administration Bill, which deals with the administrative matters of the money Bill with regard to the collection and management of the levies.
The Bill deals with questions of liability and compensation for loss or damage caused by contamination resulting from the escape or discharge of persistent oil from oil tankers. Under the Civil Liability Convention, claimants are entitled to compensation from the registered shipowner or insurers for pollution damage suffered in the territory or exclusive economic zone of a contracting state.
In the event that the financial security of the shipowner is insufficient to cover all the damages caused, the victim is then entitled to recovering the shortfall from the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund.
Currently, vessel or shipowners are liable to pay for pollution damages up to R1,5 billion based on the Civil Liability Convention, whilst the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund provides for an additional amount of about R2,6 billion.
The passing of this Bill ensures that South Africa would avoid instances such as the R31 million paid in 2011 for the clean-up of the pollution damages caused by the tanker, MV Phoenix. I hereby table the Bill to be passed by the National Assembly. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
NK N R BHENGU: Phini likaSomlomo ohloniphekile, malungu ahloniphekile, sizwe sakithi eNingizimu Afrika, zihlobo nabangane, thina esimele i-African National Congress ekomidini lezokuThutha kule Ndlu yesiShayamthetho sikaZwelonke siweseka ngokukhulu ukuziqhenya uMthethosivivinywa wokuThutha kwezaManzi.
Nizokhumbula ukuthi sike salubeka udaba olubuhlungu lokufika komkhumbi kaJan Van Riebeeck owafika kule lizwe lokhokho bethu ngowe-1652 wasilethela enkulu ingcindezi nokuhlupheka thina bomsinsi wokuzimilela eNingizimu Afrika. [Ubuwelewele.]
Okubuhlungu kakhulu kwezomkhakha wezokuthutha ngamanzi yilokho okwenzeka ngowe-1993 lapho uhulumeni wobandlululo esebona ukuthi leli zwe selizobuyela kwabomsinsi wokuzimilela ababelwela inkululeko i-African National Congress wasethatha isinqumo sokudayisa yonke imikhumbi yahulumeni yokuthutha izimpahla ebalelwa emashumini amahlanu nesikhombisa.
Leso senzo sasichaza ukuthi noma ungaphatha muntu omnyama kodwa umnotho wasolwandle uyoqhoqhobalwa ngamazwe angaphandle lapho okwavela khona ondlebe zikhanya ilanga. Namanje iningi lezinkulungwane zemikhumbi ehamba olwandle lwaseNingizimu Afrika eyabahwebi bamanye amazwe nokudla okuningi okudliwa kule mikhumbi akuveli kubalimi bale lizwe abasathuthuka. Ngisho nesosishi elinikezwa emikhunjini liqhamuka e-Italy.
Yingakho obenguNgqongqoshe wezokuThutha uMhlonishwa uBen Martins waphakamisa ukuthi lo nyaka kube wunyaka wezokuthutha ngamanzi. Inhloso yalokho ukusabalalisa ulwazi lwezokuthutha ngamanzi, emphakathini wonke nezinhlaka zonke zikahulumeni eNingizimu Afrika ukuze sisebenzise ezokuthutha ngamanzi ukuvula amathuba ezomnotho nokuthuthukiswa komphakathi. Seluqalile uhlelo lokufundisa intsha yaseNingizimu Afrika imisebenzi eyehlukene edingwa umkhakha wezokuthutha ngamanzi.
Kunezinhlelo zokukhangisa ngemisebenzi yokuthutha ngamanzi ezenziwa minyaka yonke kuhambisana ne-South African Maritime Safety Authority, SAMSA, uMnyango wezokuThutha kuzwelonke nezikhungo zemfundo ephakeme ngenhloso yokusabalalisa ulwazi ebantwini bakithi abancishwa ulwazi ngezokuthutha ngomkhakha wamanzi. Lolu hlelo lwenzeka ngegalelo le-African National Congress nokuzinikela kwentsha eyakhetha ukuphuma kule lizwe iye kwamanye amazwe iyofuna amasu nezindlela zokulwisa ubandlululo nemiphumela yalo.
Emkhakheni wezokuthutha i-African National Congress yathuma ukhomanda Tsietsi Mokhele eRussia ukuthi ayoqeqeshwa kwezokuthutha ngamanzi. Ubuholi baleli sosha lomzabalazo eliyi-CEO kwa-SAMSA yikona okulethe izinguquko kwezokuthutha ngamanzi kule lizwe. Uhlelo lokuthuthukisa ezokuthutha ngomkhakha wamanzi liyovula imisebenzi eyizinkulungwane ezingamakhulu amane namashumi amahlanu eminyakeni eyishumi kusuka ngowezi-2012.
Isimo sobandlululo kule lizwe senza ukuthi iNingizimu Afrika ikhishwe inyumbazana ngamazwe omhlaba okwadala ukuthi nemithetho yozokuthutha yaleli lizwe ingahambisani nemithetho yezokuthutha yomhlaba ehlonishwa amazwe wonke. Omunye waleyo mithetho yi-International Maritime Organisation Protocol yowe-1992 oshintsha umthetho obizwa ngokuthi yi-International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of November 1969. Lo mthethosivivinywa uzokwenza ukuthi iNingizimu Afrika yenganyelwe umthetho womhlaba onikeza amandla okuthi uhulumeni ahlawulise abanikazi bemikhumbi ethutha uwoyela uma imikhumbi yabo ichithe uwoyela olwandle kwadaleka umonakalo odinga ukukhucululwa.
Lokho kuchaza ukuthi bekungenzeka ukuthi umkhumbi othwala uwoyela uchithe uwoyela olwandle ngaphambi kokuthi le Ndlu ishaye lo mthetho bekuzoba yizindleko zikahulumeni ukukhuculula nokulungisa umonakalo wokuchitheka kukawoyela olwandle. Lokhu bekuyodla izimali eziningi kuhulumeni nabatheli bentela kubuyisele intuthuko emuva.
Uma le Ndlu iwuphasisa lo mthethosivivinywa namhlanje kuzosho ukuthi uma ususayindiwe wuMomgameli Zuma izindleko zokukhuculula umonakalo ongenziwa ukuchitheka kukawoyela olwandle sezingabhekana nenkampani leyo yomkhumbi ochithe uwoyela kungabi wuhulumeni nabatheli bentela abathwala izindleko zomonakalo owenziwe yinkampani thizeni ethutha uwoyela ngemikhumbi.
Lo mthethosivivinywa awuhambi wodwa uhambisana nemithetho emibili. Owokuqala, yilo wesinxephezelo esesikhulume ngawo la eNdlini. Le mithethosivivinywa namhlanje kule Ndlu yesiShayamthetho sikaZwelonke kubalulekile ukuthi ishicilelwe ngesikhathi esifanayo. Yingakho sikhuluma ngayo yomibili namhlanje. Lo mthethosivivinywa inhloso yawo wukusungula isikhwama.
Owesibili, ohambisana nalo mthethosivivinywa, wumthetho wokugunyaza ukuqoqwa kwemali eyofakwa esikhwameni sokubhekela izindleko zokukhuculula umonakalo wokuchitheka kukawoyela olwandle. Lowo mthetho ubaluleke kakhulu ngoba yiwo oyokwenza ukuthi kuqoqwe imali kubanikazi bemikhumbi, ngaphandle kwawo angeke usebenze lo mthetho esikhuluma ngawo.
Ngesikhathi sicubungula lo mthethosivivinywa sathola izethulo ezinhlanganweni zabameli ikakhulukazi, nakunhlangano ye-Cape Bar Council ne- SAMSA. Salulekwa futhi nayizazimthetho zikahulumeni, kanjalo nezePhalamende. Zonke izazimthetho zavumelana ngokuthi lo mthethosivivinywa muhle kumele ikomidi liwuphasise nathi savumela ngazwi linye kuloko.
Kwaba khona izigaba okwavunyelwana ngazo ukuthi zishintshwe. Ikomidi lanikeza isikhathi esanele sokuxoxisana phakathi koMnyango wezokuThutha, izazimthetho nabe-Samsa. Amaqembu wonke ezombusazwe akhona ekomidini okuyi- ANC, i-DA kanye ne-Cope kanjalo nezazimthetho bavumelana ngazwi linye ngokushintsha kwalezo. [Ubuwelewele.]
Sengigcina Sihlalo ake ngikubeke kucace kule Ndlu ephakeme yesiShayamthetho sikaZwelonke ukuthi igatsha lomkhakha wezokuthutha ngamanzi ngaphansi koMnyango wezokuThutha kule lizwe aliwenzi kahle umsebenzi walo nangendlela encomekayo. Lokhu kudale ukuthi ngesikhathi sicubungula le mithetho ikomidi lihlehlise umhlangano owawuhlelelwe ukucubungula lo mthetho kanti lokho kwaba nomthelela wokusetshenziswa kwezimali budedengu noma ukumosa imali. Sathi sesifikile sizimisele ukuthi sizocubungula lo mthetho sathola ukuthi owu-DDG, okumele afike ahole ithimba la elizokhuluma nathi lisicacisela ngalo mthetho, wakushaya indiva loko wangafika. Wasithumelela ongaphansi kwakhe naye owafika wasitshela ukuthi utshelwe ngayizolo ukuthi makeze azomela uMnyango uma sixoxisana ngalo mthetho.
Okunye esafika sakuthola kwaba ukuthi akuzange kuze kube khona ukuxoxisana phakathi koMnyango wezokuThutha ne-Samsa okuyiwona osebenza laphaya olwandle. Lesi yisimo esingajwayelekile ukuthi uma kwethulwa umthetho ekomidini sizowucubungula uMnyango ufike uhamba wodwa i-Samsa ingekho.
Okwesithathu esakubona okungahambanga kahle kwaba wukuthi izethulo ezazilethiwe kakhulu abe-Maritime Law Society uMnyango wawungazange wakhulumisana ngazo kwaba nokuvumelana kangangokuthi izazimthetho zikahulumeni kanjalo nabaluleki bePhalamende kwezomthetho babenokungabaza ukuthi baseluleke bathini. Lokho kwaholela ukuthi siwuchithe umhlangano sithi abaphindele emuva bahambe bayoqoqa kahle babuyele kuthina sebehleleke kahle.
Okunye esifisa ukukuchaza ukuthi kuye kwaba nesidingo sokuthi ngenxa yokuthi lo nyaka unesikhathi esifushane ngenxa yokhetho oluzayo, ikomidi liyaphoqeleka ukuthi libize umhlangano ophuthumayo wokuphasisa lo mthetho nokubhala umbiko walo ngesonto eledlule ngoLwesithathu. Lowo mhlangano wabizwa ngokushesha okwaphazamisa futhi izinhlelo zamanye amaqembu akhona kuleli komidi angakwazanga ukuba khona emhlanganweni. Umhlangano wekomidi waqhubeka ngoba i-African National Congress yona yayiphelele ngobumi bayo kanti futhi sase sivumelene ngakho konke okwakufanele sivumelana ngako la. Sawuqhuba-ke umhlangano siyi-African National Congress sawuphasisa lo mthetho ngoba isibalo sabantu abadingekayo ukuze kuphasiswe umthetho ekomidini sasiyisona. Ngakho thina siyi-African Congress siyawaeseka lo mthetho. Siyabonga futhi ukuthi amaqembu esibambisane nawo savumelana ngesikhathi sixoxisana ngezinto okwakufanele ukuthi zibekwe kulo mthetho. Ngiyabonga kakhulu. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu speech follows.)
[Ms N R BHENGU: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, fellow South Africans, friends and relatives, as the representatives of the African National Congress in the Portfolio Committee on Transport, we proudly support this Merchant Shipping Bill.
You'll remember that we once mentioned a very painful matter - that of the arrival of Jan Van Riebeeck's ship which arrived in this country of our ancestors in 1652 and brought a lot of hardship and oppression to us, who were born and bred in South Africa. [Interjections.]
The worst thing that happened in the maritime sector is what happened in 1993 when the apartheid government, upon realising that this country was about to return to the rightful owners who fought for freedom, the African National Congress, took a decision to sell all 57 state cargo ships.
That decision meant that even if you could be in power as a black person, the wealth of the ocean would be controlled by the European countries where the whites originated from. Even now thousands of cargo ships travelling in South African waters belong to the traders from other countries, and most food served on these ships do not come from emerging South African farmers. Even the sausages that are served on those ships are from Italy.
That's why the former Minister of Transport, hon Ben Martins, suggested that this year should be regarded as the year of water transport. The aim behind that is to disseminate information on water transport to the members of the public and the government structures in South Africa in order to use water transport to create socioeconomic and skills development opportunities. The programme of training the South African youth for the different jobs needed by the maritime sector has started.
Jobs in the maritime sector are showcased every year in conjunction with the South African Maritime Safety Authority, Samsa, the national Department of Transport and the Higher Education institutions with the aim of disseminating information to our people with regard to the maritime sector. This programme was launched as the initiative of the African National Congress and the youth who sacrificed and left this country for other countries in search of some strategies and ways to fight discrimination and its consequences.
The African National Congress sent Commander Tsietsi Mokhele to Rusia to undergo training in water transport. The leadership of this political activist, who is the CEO at Samsa, is what brought about the changes in the maritime sector in this country. The programme of promoting water transport will create 450 000 jobs in the next ten years as from 2012.
As a result of apartheid, sanctions were imposed on South Africa by other countries. This in turn caused the water transport of this country to be in conflict with international water transportation laws, which is respected by all countries. One of those laws is the International Maritime Organization Protocol of 1992, which replaces the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of November 1969. This protocol will give government power to fine the owners of ships which cause oil spills and to ensure that they clean up the spills as well as repair any damage caused.
This means that if a ship spills oil before this House passes the Bill, it would be the responsibility of government to foot the cleaning-up bill and to repair any damage related to the spill. This would cost the taxpayers and the state a lot of money and it would be a drawback to the economy.
If this House passes this Bill today, and it is signed into law by President Zuma, the expenses of cleaning up and of repairing any damage which might have been caused by an oil spill would be the responsibility of the company that caused the damage and not that of the state and the taxpayers.
This Bill is not independent, but it goes hand in hand with two other Bills. The first one is the one that deals with compensation, which we have already discussed in this House. It is important that these Bills that are before us today in the National Assembly should be passed at the same time. That is why we are discussing both today. The aim of this Bill is to establish a fund.
The second one, which goes together with this Bill, is the law that authorises the collecting of money that will be put in the fund for cleaning up oil spills in the ocean and for repairing damaged caused by those spills. That law is very important, because it is the one that will ensure the collection of money from the shipowners, without which this Bill we are talking about will not work.
When we were analysing this Bill, we received submissions mostly from legal organisations, the Cape Bar Council and Samsa. We were also advised by the state law advisors as well as those from Parliament. All these legal experts agreed that this Bill is good and that the committee should approve it, and we agreed unanimously.
There were some sections which we all agreed should be amended. The committee gave enough time for consultation to take place between the Department of Transport, the legal experts and Samsa. All the political parties that are on the committee, which include the ANC, the DA and Cope, as well as the legal experts, agreed unanimously in respect of the amendment of those sections. [Interjections.]
In conclusion, Chairperson, let me make it clear in this august House that the water transport sector, which falls under the Department of Transport, is not doing its work properly. This resulted in the postponement of the committee meeting which was meant for the analysing of this Bill, and that resulted in careless or wasteful expenditure. When we were there and ready to analyse this Bill, we found that the DDG, who was supposed to come and lead the delegation which was to speak to us about the Bill, did not bother to come. He sent us his junior, who informed us that he was told the previous day that he had to come and represent the department in discussions on the Bill.
What we also discovered was that there was no discussion between the Department of Transport and Samsa, which works directly with matters related to the ocean. This is an unusual situation - when a Bill is presented to the committee to be analysed, the department comes alone without Samsa.
The third thing we observed that did not go well was that the department did not have talks about the submissions which were mostly submitted by the Maritime Law Society, and there were no agreements whatsoever. This resulted in the legal experts of the state as well as the legal advisors from Parliament being doubtful on how to advise us. That led to the postponement of the meeting. We told them to go back and prepare, and then to come back to us when they were well prepared.
What we want to explain again is that, since we have limited time this year because of the upcoming elections, the committee was forced to call an urgent meeting to approve this Bill and to write its report last Wednesday. Because that meeting was called urgently, it disturbed the programmes of other political party members who are on this committee and were unable to attend the meeting. We proceeded with the meeting because all the members of the African National Congress were present, and we already had an agreement about everything that we had to agree upon. We proceeded with the meeting as the African National Congress and we approved the Bill because the required number of people was there. Therefore, as the African National Congress, we support this Bill. We are also grateful that we had an agreement with the parties that we work with about the issues that should be addressed in this Bill. Thank you very much. [Applause.]]