We will make sure that the Secretary to Parliament follows up on that issue. [Interjections.]
Thank you, Madam Speaker. We want South Africans to hear ideas. We want them to hear the state of the nation address. We simply cannot proceed unless that jamming device is disconnected. If you rule that we must proceed with that jamming device on, we will challenge that ruling in Parliament and, if needs be, we will take this Parliament to court, because that is unacceptable. [Applause.]
Hon Maimani, as I said, we will have the Secretary to Parliament look into the matter ... [Interjections.] He will look into the matter. [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, it is a pity that we have to start the proceedings in this way. I would like to refer you to Rule 14(1) of the Joint Rules of Parliament. This is a Joint Sitting of Parliament and should be open to the public. In terms of Rule 14(1) of the Joint Rules of Parliament: "Joint Sittings are open to the public, including the media." The media cannot do its work as long as the signal to do what they need to do is blocked. This has not happened in 20 years at Parliament. We were informed by some senior members of the ruling party that they are not aware of this, that the officials of Parliament are not aware of this. I am under the impression that maybe the executive may have something to do with this. This is the highest legislative body in this country. In terms of the Constitution, we cannot proceed unless we are an open society in terms of a media plan. [Applause.]
Hon Mulder, we have said that we are instructing the Secretary to look into the matter ...
Hon Shivambu, while I am on the floor, can you please take your seat.
Are you going to note me, though?
Please take your seat.
Please do not be intimidating. We finished that.
Hon Shivambu ...
We want to give a concrete proposal in terms of how to proceed.
Hon Shivambu, I am talking. While I am talking, you take your seat.
Please note me after that. [Interjections.] Hon Speaker, noting that you are not talking now, may I please talk and propose that you adjourn the House until we have dealt with this situation. [Applause.] Then we can come back and continue under tolerable conditions, not under the current circumstances.
I have made a proposal, Speaker and Chair of the NCOP. [Interjections.]
HON MEMBERS: Bring back the signal! Bring back the signal!
Hon members, we are just waiting for the Secretary to return and give us a response. [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, we have been waiting for the head of state for a very long time - for over an hour. There seems to be a problem with the water service. I am terribly thirsty and I think a lot of people are. Can we get the water service up and running?
And while we are waiting for the signal, we don't have water. There is a service delivery crisis here in Parliament! [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, I have just received a tweet ... [Inaudible.] ... saying that the problem is not the network; the problem is the airtime.
Madam Speaker, can I request that we ... [Inaudible.]
Can I ask that the microphone should please work ... [Inaudible.] ... it is not.
Madam Speaker, can I request that we also look at the SABC feed. This is a matter that ensures that South Africans can get this information. Can I ask that the SABC ... in fact, all news networks - it's about freedom of speech - can I ask that we look into that as well? I would appreciate that. Thank you very much.
Hon members, I am happy to report that according to the Secretary's report, the issue of the scrambling has been unscrambled. [Applause.] Secondly, the water is coming. [Interjections.]
Yes, hon Mulder.
Hon Speaker, I take note of the report on behalf of the Secretary, but this is a very serious matter and I want you to enquire after this meeting from the Secretary as to who was responsible for this breach of the democracy of this country. [Applause.]
The Secretary will indeed look into it further. Hon members, the President has called this Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in terms of section 84(2)(d) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, read with Joint Rule 7(1)(a), in order to deliver his state of the nation address to Parliament. I now call on the hon President to address the Joint Sitting. [Applause.]
Hon President, we would like to apologise to you. We are experiencing some glitches due to the withdrawal of labour by some members of Nehawu, but we are taking the microphone from upstairs, where it is normally operated.
Nansi iyasebenza manje Sihlalo. [Ihlombe.] [It is working now, Chairperson. [Applause.]]
Speaker of the National Assembly, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, former President Thabo Mbeki, former President F W de Klerk, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and all esteemed members of the judiciary, the Vice President of the Pan-African Parliament, His Excellency Mr Roger Nkondo Dang, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community's Parliamentary Forum, the hon Anne Makinda, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, premiers and Speakers of provincial legislatures, Chairperson of SA Local Government Association, the heads of Chapter 9 institutions, Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, the former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Frene Ginwala, Their Majesties Kgosi Keru Molotlegi, King Toni Peter Mphephu Ramabulana, Kumkani Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, invited guests, members of the diplomatic corps, hon members, fellow South Africans, good evening, sanibonani, molweni, riperile, dumelang, lotjhani, goeie naand, ndi madekwana, !gai//goes. [Applause.] It is not Chinese; it is a South African language. [Laughter.]
Madam Speaker and Madam Chairperson of the NCOP, I would like to thank the presiding officers for the opportunity to address the nation this evening. The year 2015 marks 60 years of a historic moment in our history when South Africans from all walks of life adopted the Freedom Charter in 1955 in Kliptown, Soweto. [Interjections.]
Madam Speaker ...
They declared amongst others, that South Africa ... [Interjections.] ... belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can just claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people. [Interjections.]
Madam Speaker, I rise in terms of Rule 14(c).
Hon President, hon President, I am sorry to interrupt your speech; if the President would not mind just taking a seat so we can listen to this member's point of order.
Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in terms of Rule 14(c) of the Joint Rules of Parliament 6th edition, the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on a question of privilege. May I proceed?
HON MEMBERS: Yes.
May we ask the President as to when he is going pay back the money in terms of what the Public Protector has said? That is the question of privilege we would like to ask, and, accordingly, since he has not been answering questions, we hope that today he will answer that question. I thank you.
I would like to remind you, hon member, that a point of order must relate to a point of procedure concerning the current proceedings. As you know, today's sitting is convened for a specific purpose. That purpose is for the President to deliver his annual address to Parliament. Members will have an opportunity to debate and respond to the address by the President at the sittings scheduled for next week, including raising any related matters. So, this is not a question session. The hon President may resume.
Madam Speaker, I rose on a question of privilege, not a point of order. So, you have addressed the issue of a point of order, Madam Speaker. But on the issue of the question of privilege, can that question be answered or can we be told that it is in the speech. Is he still going to tell us when the money is going to be paid? Is it going to be paid by EFT, cash or eWallet? Thank you.
Hon members should be aware that each House has a procedure for asking questions to the executive. This Joint Sitting cannot be turned into a question session. The President will be answering questions in the National Assembly on 11 March, as we have all been informed; and in the National Council of Provinces, questions to the President are provisionally scheduled for 18 March. Before then, members can always ask questions for written reply. That opportunity is available to members on a weekly basis; members should use those platforms for questions. This is in addition to the interaction that will happen next week during the President's address. It is important that this sitting focuses on the business of the day, and that is for the President to deliver the state of the nation address.
Madam Speaker, I rise on Rule 14(c) and (l) on the Rules of a Joint Sitting of Parliament on points of order. We are of the view that the question deserves an adequate response, and we call upon this House to apply its collective memory to recall that the President has evaded coming here and answering questions, not once, not twice, but on more than three occasions. We are entitled to get answers to questions put before the President, and we insist that these questions, as we raise them, should be answered today.
Hon members, I am being patient with you by actually listening to your points in spite of the fact that I have explained that this is not the occasion for questions or points, whether of order or of privilege. This is a specifically called sitting for the President to deliver his state of the nation address. I again insist and appeal to members to allow this House to proceed with the business of the day.
Hon Speaker, I am rising in terms of Rule 14(c) of the Joint Rules of Parliament on a question of privilege. Hon Speaker, it is the privilege of this House and the privilege of the nation at large to be provided with adequate answers on the issues that have been raised previously. Thank you.
Hon members, if you insist on this approach and you keep raising questions even after I have explained to you, not once, that this Joint sitting is not meant for any of the issues you are raising, as I said, not a point of order, or a point of privilege nor questions are the business of this particular sitting. This is a special sitting asked for by the President so that he may deliver the state of the nation address, and the people of South Africa are waiting to hear what he has to say.
This House has to proceed with the business of the state of the nation address being delivered today without hindrance by any of the kind of conduct that is being displayed in this House today. [Applause.]
Hon Malema, I don't think you are going to raise anything that has not been covered by what I have said.
You are making a mistake, because you are reading my mind. [Laughter.] Allow me to speak.
Hon Malema. Hon Malema.
Please Speaker, can I speak?
Hon Malema. On what, hon ...?
On the same point that the other members are raising. [Interjections.] You are not doing me any favours and none of these people who are howling is doing me any favours; it is within my rights to speak as a member of this House, and remind you that it is incorrect of you to suggest that when the President speaks, you suspend the Rules. The Rules are not suspended and the Rules must apply even when the President speaks, and you have not answered Dr Vawda's question. Stop treating us as a group; treat each one as an individual member of this House and respond to them as such. The individual member spoke, you explained, and he sat down; the other one spoke, you explained and he sat down; when Vawda's turn came, you said that you have responded, and you insisted, even though he was speaking for the first time. Stop treating people as a group, we are speaking here as individual members. We want the President to answer a simple question: When is he paying back the money, as directed by the Public Protector? That is all we are asking.
Hon Malema, you are not raising anything new; and what you are saying is still the same thing I have responded to and explained, and I have patiently been asking you, hon members, to allow this House to proceed with the business of the day, and the business of the day is that the President will deliver the state of the nation address. I am not allowing any other member to raise any other point of order. [Interjections.] I am not allowing you, hon members, because I have explained to you that you are actually abusing ...
Which Rule are you using, my hon Speaker? Which Rule are you using to deny members raising a point of order? They are protected by the Rules. You cannot be emotional about it. Point us to the Rule which gives you the power to deny us points of order.
Hon Julius Malema, I now have to ask that you leave the Chamber. [Applause.] I now ask, hon Malema, you leave the Chamber, because it's clear that you are not prepared to co-operate with us.
Hon Speaker, can you please assist us in terms of the Rules of the Joint Sitting ... what Rule are you applying to ...?
Hon Shivambu, I now have to ask you also to leave the Chamber. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
I am still asking a question!
Hon Shivambu, I have now ... [Interjections.]
What Rule are you applying ... [Interjections.]
... to ask you also to leave the Chamber! [Interjections.]
Oh! I am still asking a question.
Order! On a point of order! [Interjections.]
I am still asking a question. [Interjections.]
Hon members! Hon members of the EFF ... [Interjections.]
How do I leave before I get an answer?
I have ruled on the matter and I am now asking you to leave the Chamber. [Interjections.]
On a point of order, hon Speaker!
But I am asking a question! [Interjections.]
On a point of order, hon Speaker! On a point of order! On a point of order! [Interjections.]
You have come here to disrupt. [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, I am asking you to recognise me in terms of a point of order.
You told the country that you would disrupt. [Interjections.]
No, we never said that. [Interjections.]
Now we have listened ...
We never said that! We said we are coming here to behave within the Rules and to ask questions. [Interjections.]
Allow us to raise questions.
Hon Malema! [Interjections.]
We are not disrupting. Allow us to raise questions. [Interjections.]
We are not disrupting! [Interjections.]
Hon Malema, leave the Chamber!
I am not going to leave, hon Speaker! [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, I am rising on a point of order!
If you do not leave the Chamber ... [Interjections.]
I am not working for you, Speaker! [Interjections.]
... I have to ask ... [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, I am not here on your invitation. I was elected to be here. [Interjections.]
... that you are assisted to leave the Chamber! [Interjections.]
Never! I am not going to leave! I was elected to be here. [Interjections.]
You will leave the Chamber, because the Chamber is for the business of today.
Exactly, we are doing the business of today.
On a point of order, Speaker!
I will now ask the Serjeant-at-arms to assist hon Malema to leave the Chamber! [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, we don't care ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
On a point of order, Speaker! I am rising on a point of order! [Interjections.]
I now ask that the Serjeant-at-arms, the Usher of the Black Rod ... [Interjections.]
... the Parliamentary Protection Services ... [Interjections.]
On a point of order, Speaker! On a point of order, Speaker! My name is hon Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, I am rising on a point of order! I am a member in good standing of this honourable Joint Sitting; I am rising on a point of order, please recognise me. Chairperson of the session, Madam Speaker, can we be recognised? [Interjections.]
Hon Ndlozi ...
Can I ask you, hon Speaker, to recognise me?
Hon Ndlozi, you must also leave the Chamber! [Interjections.]
Why, hon Speaker?
Madam Speaker! [Interjections.]
Hon Maxon, you will leave the Chamber! [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, you are illegally excommunicating us. [Interjections.]
Ngeke kwenzeke lokho! [That will never happen.]
Hon Speaker, you are not a bishop! You are a Speaker! [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker! Hon Speaker!
Singabaphi thina? [Where do we belong?]
Hon Speaker, you are not a bishop! I am appealing to your conscience!
I have asked that you be assisted to leave the Chamber! [Interjections.]
I am appealing to your conscience, hon Speaker, please recognise us. [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, I am rising in terms of Rule 14(l), which states that at a Joint Sitting a member may only speak from a podium to raise a point of order ... [Interjections.]
Sizolala la! [We will sleep here!]
... or a question of privilege ... [Interjections.]
Hon members, you are not going block the state of the nation address. [Interjections.]
... all Members of Parliament are allowed to raise a point of order or a ... [Interjections.]
I am asking the Parliamentary Protection Officers to please come in ... [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, we want to speak, please allow us. We are Members of this Parliament! [Interjections.]
... and take out the hon members. [Interjections.]
Hon Speaker, we are appealing to your conscience.
Yebo, akezwa! [Yes, she isn't hearing you!]
Hopefully you still have a revolutionary conscience! [Interjections.]
[Parliamentary Protection Officers enter the Chamber.]
Wozani! He! He! he! [Come! He He! He!] [Applause.]
I also order the security officers to please assist!
But hon Speaker, we want to speak! [Interjections.]
MUCHAVISEKI XIRHO: Manana Xipikara, ndzi kombela ku pfuna. Ndzi kombela mi ndzi langutisa leswaku ndzi ta pfunanyana swin'wana. Manana Xipikira, ndzi kombela leswaku mi ndzi langutisa haleno leswaku ndzi ta kota ku pfuna swin'wana. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[An Hon MEMBER: Madam Speaker, I am requesting to lend a hand. Please consider me so that I may lend a hand a bit. Madam Speaker, may I be considered over here so that I may lend a hand with something.]
Ujabulela ukuthi umuntu omnyama ashaye futhi aqindezele omunye umuntu omnyama! [You are delighted by a black person hitting and oppressing another black person!]
An Hon MEMBER: Manana Xipikira, ndzi kombela ku vulavula leswaku ndzi ta pfuna swin'wana. [Madam Speaker, I am requesting the opportunity to speak so that I may lend a hand with something.]
An Hon MEMBER: Speaker, may I talk?
Speaker, I am a member of this House.
Sizolala la thina! Sizolala la! [As for us, we will sleep here! We will sleep here!]
An Hon MEMBER: Ndzi kombela ku vulavula leswaku ndzi ta pfuna swin'wana. [I am requesting the opportunity to speak so that I may lend a hand with something.]
Order! Will all the hon members who are standing take their seats!
An Hon MEMBER: Ndzi kombela ku vulavula leswaku ndzi ta pfuna swin'wana. [I am requesting the opportunity to speak so that I may lend a hand with something.]
The security forces must come in, in terms of the Powers and Privileges Act. [Interjections.]
Whereupon Members were removed from the Chamber.
Members of the NCOP, take your seats. [Interjections.] Members of the NCOP, hon Dlamini, hon Dlamini, take your seat! [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Sebephumile. [They have left.]
No! No! Hon members!
Order! Will the members please take their seats? Hon Maimane, what point of order are you rising on?
Madam Chairperson, I am rising on Rule 14(k), which states that in the event of grave disorder at a sitting ... I want to understand whether the members who were sent in here to remove the members of the EFF were members of the SA Police Service; and if that is the case, may I request that in fact this ... We simply cannot allow that police be allowed to enter this Chamber. It is a grave constitutional violation. We want to be here to hear the state of the nation address, but we cannot violate this Constitution of the people of this country by allowing the police in this Chamber. We can't accept that. I would like clarity on that, Madam Chair.
Hon Maimane, we have heard your point of privilege raised under Joint Rules 14. We have indeed repeatedly called members during this Joint Sitting to heed the call to take their seats and to withdraw. We sent in the Usher of the Black Rod and the Serjeant-at- arms, but they were all defied.
We then moved on in terms of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act to call on the security services of Parliament to come in. We are also empowered by the same Act to ensure that we can escalate this and ask for security, whichever security, to act in support of public order policing. I think, hon members, we should allow this House to do its business.
I think that we have called for a Joint Sitting of Parliament - it was not even convened by the Speaker and the Chairperson of the NCOP. It is convened in terms of a request raised by the President for a specific reason, to come and give the nation, ourselves and the international community the state of the nation address. I think we should be allowed, hon members, to proceed with the business of the day.
Madam Speaker, Madam House Chair.
I am the Chairperson of the NCOP and not a House Chair.
Madam, I apologise for the disrespect, Chairperson of the NCOP. May I address you, Madam? Thank you very much for the opportunity. Madam Chairperson, the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act indeed confers powers on you in that regard, but no Act passed by Parliament can supersede the Constitution. I would like to refer you, if I may, to section 199(7) of the Constitution and I would like to read from it, Madam Chair:
Neither the security services, nor any of their members, may, in the performance of their functions -
a) prejudice a political party interest that is legitimate in terms of the Constitution; or
b) further, in a partisan manner, any interest of a political party.
Madam Chairperson, hon Maimane asked a question. He wanted to establish from you which of those were SAPS members. What concerns me more, Madam Chairperson, with due respect, is that there were members with firearms who entered the sacrosanct Chamber of Parliament while it was in session. Now I submit to you, Madam Chairperson, that this is not a state of affairs. We don't meet bad behaviour with bad behaviour. Now, I submit to you that the section that you have invoked is unconstitutional and incorrect. I would ask you to make a ruling on it.
Chairperson, as the Speaker indicated at the beginning of this sitting, this sitting is called by the President in terms of the Constitution. The disruption we saw was a direct violation of the Constitution. [Applause.] We should not, therefore, be selective as to when it's constitutional and when it's not.
The disruption of the President delivering the state of the nation address in a sitting called in terms of the Constitution is in itself a violation. It's a violation of the Rules with respect to Joint Sittings of the House as called by the President in terms of the Constitution. I thought you knew the Rules very well. I suggest you read Rule 7 of the Joint Rules. Thank you, Speaker. [Applause.]
Madam Chairperson of the NCOP, I think what we have seen today is disgusting. I think our country is really being torn to pieces and I think that the struggle for liberation didn't take place for people to play the fool like this with our country. [Applause.] I think that what is happening is not really what the majority of the people in this House want to see in this House. [Applause.] If there is any opportunity, if the Constitution allows us to vote, why can't we put this matter to the vote? We can't have a few people indulging in these theatrics, tearing our country apart and using all kinds of poppycock; what I regard as utter nonsense. [Applause.]
Hon members, it is understandable that we will react to what we have just witnessed. It is also understandable that with any incident like the one we've just witnessed, we will react. It is something that the Rules of Parliament never anticipated would happen. It is something which the voters of South Africa did not anticipate. Therefore, let us agree that such incidents will not be allowed to happen again in our Parliament. Let us then take lessons from what has happened today. Use the structures of Parliament. If it means that the concerns raised by the members here are taken back to the Rules, let us use that route. But we are appealing to you to allow us to continue with the business of today. [Applause.] Hon Maimane, we want to continue with the business of today.
I really would like us to continue, hon Chairperson. I want us ... [Interjections.]
Hon Maimane, we want to continue.
I want clarity on whether those were the police or not. [Interjections.] I want clarity on that.
Hon Maimane, use the structures that you know are available to you and let this House proceed with its business.
In that instance, Madam Chairperson, if you can't confirm to me if it's the police or not, what you are saying to me is that in future you'll use the defence force to escalate. May I ask that our party be left outside of the state of the nation address, if I could request that? [Interjections.]
Hon Maimane, the presiding officers will not permit you to leave. If you want to leave, let it be the decision that you take as a party so that tomorrow you do not say that these two presiding officers told you to leave the Chamber. [Applause.] We did not tell you to leave this Chamber. If you want to take that decision, take it on your own. [Interjections.]
Hon Steenhuisen, are you rising on a different point?
It's on 14(s), Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. We are drawing your attention to a point of privilege. It is not parliamentary convention for members of the SA Police Service to come onto the floor of this ... [Interjections.]
The hon Leader of the Opposition asked you a question and it needs a very simple answer, whether it's members of the SA Police Service or members of the parliamentary security. It is an important question, because the parliamentary security services report to the two of you and not to the executive. The SAPS reports to the executive. Therefore, it's a matter of the separation of powers and privileges of this House. We really do want to proceed, but we will require an answer from you whether those members who came onto this floor with firearms were members of the SA Police Service or the parliamentary protection services.
Hon Steenhuisen, I cannot ... [Interjections.] ... hon members, do you want me to respond to you or not? Hon members, I take it that the people you are referring to as having come on the floor of the House as the people who came in on the instruction of the Speaker to escort outside the members who were disrupting the House. Hon members will remember that we sent the order to the Usher of the Black Rod and the Serjeant-at-arms. We then asked the parliamentary protection services to come and help. We then said that the security forces working with the parliamentary protection services can come in. [Interjections.] No, please, allow me to respond.
You are saying to us it isn't conventional. Yes, it is not conventional. It is also not conventional for this House, a Joint Sitting, to be turned into a question session of the National Assembly. [Applause.] It is not conventional. Yes, I agree with you, hon Steenhuisen. Can we please proceed with the business of the day? I have responded to you. There is no way I could sit here and be able to make out who is police and who is not. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
[Whereupon the DA left the House.]
Order, members. Order! Thank you. Order, members! Please close the door. Hon members, the Speaker and I want to, first of all, tender our apologies to the President. We apologise for what has happened in the House today. We also want to apologise to you, members, our guests in the gallery, the country at large and everybody who has had to witness what has happened in this House today. We hope, as I said earlier, that out of bad lessons some education will come and we will learn to do things the right way.
We wish to proceed with the business of today and therefore call on our President to please take his place at the podium and to give us the state of the nation address. [Applause.]
Let me start at the point I was interrupted. I was saying that the year 2015 marks 60 years of a historic moment in our history, when South Africans from all walks of life adopted the Freedom Charter in 1955, in Kliptown, Soweto.
They declared, amongst other things, that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people. [Applause.] That was a powerful, visionary and reconciliatory statement which set the tone for the nonracial democracy we have established.
This week we also mark 25 years since the release of President Nelson Mandela from prison, and since the unbanning of the liberation movements.
The release of Madiba marked a giant leap forward in the long walk to freedom for the people of South Africa as a whole and dealt a fatal blow to apartheid colonialism. We continue to be inspired by Madiba and draw lessons from his legacy as we build our country.
The year 2015 is the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. It is the year of going the extra mile in building an united, democratic, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous South Africa. It is also the year of rededicating ourselves to eradicate racism and all related intolerances in our country. It is also the year of investing more in our future by educating our children and the youth about the rich heritage of this country. We are already inculcating a new national identity through promoting national symbols such as the national flag, the national anthem and the preamble of the Constitution in every school. From this year, schools must also practise the African Union anthem in preparation for the celebration of Africa Month in May, as we implement the African Union decision in this regard.
Hon members, distinguished guests, our youth is our future and their success fills us with immense pride. I would like you to join me in congratulating my special guest, our ace Olympic swimmer, Chad le Clos. [Applause.] Chad received swimming's highest honour in December after, amongst many other outstanding achievements, he was crowned the world's best swimmer for 2014 by the International Swimming Federation. [Applause.]
I am also hosting three special girls from Moletsane High School in Soweto. [Applause.] They are Ofentse Mahasha, Hlengiwe Moletsane and Tiisetso Mashiloane. [Applause.] Ofentse and Hlengiwe attended the last G20 summit in Australia and performed exceptionally well, making us truly proud. [Applause.] I must tell you that, during the tea I had with them yesterday, one of them said that if one decides to do something, one must work had and put one's eyes on the goal. And she said that she wants to become the President of South Africa. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
Allow me, Madam Speaker and Chairperson of the NCOP, to congratulate in absentia, another star performer who has brought glory to our country - Miss World, Ms Rolene Strauss. [Applause.]
I would also like to introduce another special guest, the country's Sports Star of the Year and Banyana Banyana striker, Miss Portia Modise. [Applause.] Congratulations, Portia.
Hon members, distinguished guests, I would like to thank all who took the time to contribute to the 2015 state of the nation address. In terms of the inputs, our people are concerned about, amongst others, crime, roads, access to education, youth internship schemes, water, electricity and support for small businesses.
Contributions requiring feedback are being referred to government departments for action. These contributions, as you know, emerge because I asked the country to make suggestions about what the President must say. These are the contributions that came in response to that request.
Hon members and distinguished guests, we meet yet again during a difficult economic climate. This week the IMF revised the GDP growth forecasts for global economic growth in 2015 down to 3,5%. Our ambition of achieving a growth target of 5% by 2019 is at risk because of the slow global growth as well as domestic constraints in energy, skills, transport and logistics amongst others. However, the situation is more promising on the jobs front. Two days ago, Statistics SA released the employment figures for the last quarter of 2014. The report shows that there are now 15,3 million people who are employed in South Africa. Jobs grew by 203 000.
Our investment in youth employment is also paying off. The Employment Tax Incentive, which was introduced last year and directed mainly at the youth, is progressing very well. [Applause.] Two billion rand has been claimed to date by some 29 000 employers, who have claimed for at least 270 000 young people.
I announced a target of 6 million work opportunities over five years last year for the programme. Thus far we have created more than 850 000 work opportunities. This means that we are poised to meet the annual target of one million job opportunities. [Applause.] In addition, our environmental programmes such as Working on Waste, Working for Wetlands, Working for Water and Working on Fire have created more than 30 000 work opportunities and aim to create more than 60 000 during the next financial year.
Our economy needs a major push forward. We would like to share with you our nine-point plan to ignite growth and create jobs. These are: Firstly, resolving the energy challenge; secondly, revitalising agriculture and the agro-processing value chain; thirdly, advancing beneficiation or adding value to our mineral wealth; fourthly, more effective implementation of a higher impact Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap; fifthly, encouraging private sector investment; sixthly, moderating workplace conflict; seventhly, unlocking the potential of small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, co-operatives, township and rural enterprises; eighthly, state reform of boosting the role of state-owned companies, ICT infrastructure or broadband roll-out, water, sanitation and transport infrastructure; and ninthly, Operation Phakisa, aimed at growing the ocean economy and other sectors.
Compatriots, the country is currently experiencing serious energy constraints which are an impediment to economic growth and is a major inconvenience to everyone in the country. Overcoming the challenge is uppermost in our programme. We are doing everything we can to resolve the energy challenge. Uhulumeni wenza konke okusemandleni akhe ukubhekana nesimo sokuncipha kukagesi ezweni. Siyazi ukuthi lesi isikhathi esinzima, kodwa sizodlula, ngoba sinezindlela eziningi zokusebenza nokubhekana nale nkinga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Government is doing everything in its power to deal with the power outages in the country. We know that this is a difficult time, but this shall pass, because we have devised many strategies to deal with this problem.]
We have developed a plan which involves short-, medium- and long-term responses. The short- and medium-term plan involves improved maintenance of Eskom power stations, enhancing the electricity generation capacity, and managing the electricity demand. The long-term plan involves finalising our long-term energy security master plan. As a priority we are going to stabilise Eskom's finances to enable the utility to manage the current period. In this regard, government will honour its commitment to give Eskom around R23 billion in the next fiscal year. [Applause.] The war room established by Cabinet in December is working diligently around the clock with Eskom to stabilise the electricity supply system and contain the load shedding. During this period, we have to work together to find solutions. We urge all individuals, households, industries and government departments to save electricity in order to reduce the need for load shedding. The Department of Public Works has been instructed to ensure that all government-owned buildings are energy efficient. Given the high cost of diesel, Eskom has been directed to switch from diesel to gas as a source of energy for the utility's generators. [Applause.] Households are also being encouraged to switch from electricity to gas for cooking, heating and other uses. The construction of the three new power stations Kusile, Medupi and Ingula, will add 10 000 megawatts of capacity to the national grid. The quest for alternative energy sources is also ongoing. To date, government has procured 4 000 megawatts from independent power producers, using renewable sources. The first three bid windows of the renewable energy procurement process attracted more than R140 billion from private investors. A total of 3 900 megawatts of renewable energy has also been sourced, with 32 projects with a capacity of just over 1 500 megawatts completed and connected to the grid. Eskom itself has completed the construction of the Sere Wind Farm, which is already delivering 100 megawatts to the grid - well ahead of its intended launch in March this year. In December, 2014 government also began procurement of 2 400 megawatts of new coal-fired power generation capacity from independent power producers. The procurement process for 2 400 megawatts of new gas- fired generation will commence in the first quarter of the new financial year. A total of 2 600 megawatts of hydroelectric capacity will be sourced from the SADC region. With regard to the long-term energy master plan, we will pursue gas, petroleum, nuclear, hydropower and other sources as part of the energy mix.
South Africa is surrounded by gas-rich countries, while we have discovered shale gas deposits in our own Karoo region. The Operation Phakisa Ocean Economy initiative, launched last year, also promises to unveil more oil and gas resources, which will be a game changer for our country and the region. Government is also exploring the procurement of the 9 600 megawatts nuclear build programme as approved in the Integrated Resource Plan 2010 to 2030. To date, government has signed intergovernmental agreements and carried out vendor parade workshops in which five countries came to present their proposals on nuclear energy. These include the United States of America, South Korea, Russia, France and China. All of these countries will be engaged in a fair, transparent and competitive procurement process to select a strategic partner or partners to undertake the nuclear build programme. Our target is to connect the first unit to the grid by 2023 - just in time for Eskom to retire part of its aging power plants. With regard to hydro power, the Grand Inga Hydroelectrical Project partnership with the Democratic Republic of Congo will generate over 48 000 megawatts of clean hydroelectricity. South Africa will have access to over 15 000 megawatts. For sustainability, government will establish strategic partnerships for skills development with the countries that will partner us in the Energy Build Programme, while also generating skills locally.
There are still 3,4 million households in the country without electricity. In the state of the nation address of June 2014, I announced that infrastructure support will be given to specific municipalities in the country. Funding has been provided for electrification to the following municipalities in the 2015-16 financial year: Amathole district Municipality, Umzinyathi District Municipality, Alfred Nzo District Municipality, Lukhanji Municipality and O R Tambo District Municipality.
Fellow South Africans, while tackling the energy challenges in our country we also need to fight copper cable and metal theft. [Applause.] Government will introduce tougher measures to deal with this serious crime.
During this year, on the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, land has become one of the most critical factors in achieving redress for the wrongs of the past. Last year, we reopened the second window of opportunity for the lodgement of land claims. More than 36 000 land claims have been lodged nationally and the cut-off date is 2019. We are also exploring the 50/50 policy framework, which proposes relative rights for people who live and work on farms. [Applause.] Fifty farming enterprises will be identified as pilot projects.
In terms of our new proposed laws, a ceiling of land ownership will be set at a maximum of 12 000 hectares. [Applause.] Foreign nationals will not be allowed to own land in South Africa ... [Applause.] ... but will be eligible for long-term lease. In this regard, the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill will be submitted to Parliament this year. Through the Land Reform Programme, more than 90 000 hectares of land have been allocated to smallholder farmers, farm dwellers and labour tenants.
The process of establishing the office of the Valuer-General is under way, which is established in terms of the Property Valuation Act. Once implemented, the law will stop the reliance on the willing-buyer, willing- seller method in respect of land acquisition by the state. [Applause.] Agriculture is a catalyst for growth and food security. We are working with the private sector to develop an agricultural policy action plan which will bring one million hectares of underutilised land into full production over the next three years. Among key interventions this year, we will promote the establishment of agriparks or co-operatives and clusters in each of the 27 poorest district municipalities to transform rural economies. An initial funding of R2 billion has been made available for the agripark initiative. We will further enhance our agro-processing exports which have been growing rapidly, especially to new markets in Africa and China. For example, we have concluded agricultural trade protocols for the export of South African maize and apples to China. The export of apples alone is projected to generate R500 million in foreign exchange over three years.
A good story to tell in agriculture is the success of some of our emerging farmers and smallholders. In the Vhembe District Municipality in Musina the Limpopo government has supported the Nwanedi cluster comprising 300 farmers growing vegetables on just over 1 300 hectares for commercial purposes. The cluster has already created more than 2 500 jobs as vegetable farming is highly labour-intensive. We are happy to have in our midst today, the winner of the 2014 Agriculture Top Female Entrepreneur Award, Ms Nokwanele Mzamo, from Kirkwood in the Eastern Cape. [Applause.]
Our interventions to support the manufacturing sector are bearing fruit. Our Automotive Investment Scheme has unlocked private sector investment of R24,5 billion and generated exports of automotives and components of R103 billion in 2013. We have built a world-class auto sector on the African continent exporting to over 152 countries.
The leather and footwear sector has also grown to 60 million pairs of shoes, and exports grew by 18% with significant benefit to the balance of trade. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development shows that South Africa doubled its foreign direct investment inflows to R88 billion in 2013, while 2014 projections are also positive.
The manufacturing sector was hit hard by the global financial crisis. Government committed more than R2,8 billion to companies in the sector through the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme. We are very pleased with the response of our manufacturers who committed over R12,4 billion in private sector investment. It is a very good story to tell indeed. In addition, to advance transformation, we have introduced a programme to find and develop black industrialists over three years. Given such success in manufacturing we are poised to make progress in our quest to ignite growth.
To attract foreign skills for our growing economy, we will invite dialogue with various stakeholders on the Migration Policy. We will also prioritise the review of visa regulations to strike a balance between national security and growth in tourism. [Applause.]
In the state of the nation address of June 2014 I spoke about the need to stabilise the mining sector and to promote a stable labour environment. We had been concerned then, about the spate of long and sometimes violent strikes. The implementation of a number of programmes under the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry, has caused relative stability and optimism in the mining sector, which is the backbone of our economy. Mine Crime Combating Forums have been established in the North West, Limpopo, Free State, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng provinces. Government will implement the agreements reached with business and labour, including the consideration of a national minimum wage. We had made a commitment in last year's state of the nation address to revitalise distressed mining towns and a lot of progress has been made. A total of R2,1 billion has been ring- fenced for this purpose with R290 million approved for informal settlement upgrading in Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng, Northern Cape, Limpopo and the Free State. [Applause.] One hundred and thirty three informal settlements are being assessed or prepared for upgrading through the National Upgrading Support Programme. Thirty two settlements are being upgraded and 87 housing projects are being implemented across the prioritised mining towns. Importantly, government, the mining sector and the Banking Association of South Africa signed a social contract for the development of sustainable human settlements. Government also continues to provide social development support within mining communities. Other support includes technical expertise with regard to integrated development plans, IDPs, and the development of special economic zones. The mining towns are also being assisted with implementing the "Back to Basics" municipal service delivery strategy. Indeed a lot is being done to build our mining towns. [Applause.]
Government is also reviewing the compliance of mining companies with the 2014 Mining Charter targets. I referred the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act back to Parliament to enable the correction of some constitutional shortcomings and others issues. Responding to business requests, government has synchronised environmental impact assessments, water and mining rights applications and has set a maximum of 300 days for all of these authorisations to be issued. In addition, we will also establish a one-stop interdepartmental clearing house to attend to investor complaints and problems.
The year 2015 will see further improvements in labour legislation to further promote worker rights. The Labour Department will review the sectoral determinations of agriculture, forestry, private security, wholesale and retail sectors. We expect the finalisation of the Employment Services Act of 2014, which formally establishes a public employment service. The legislation also formally regulates the practices of private employment agencies and temporary employment services, to prevent the abuse of unsuspecting work seekers. In addition, the Unemployment Insurance Act of 2001 will be amended to improve benefits to beneficiaries and include public servants in the application of the Act.
Hon members and distinguished guests, small business is big business. [Applause.] Government will set aside 30% of appropriate categories of state procurement for purchasing from SMMEs, co-operatives as well as township and rural enterprises. [Applause.] We will also continue to promote opportunities for the youth. The National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, has disbursed R25 million to 765 youth-owned micro enterprises in the last financial year nationally. [Applause.] The agency has also partnered with the IDC and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency in a 3-way partnership that has resulted in a R2,7 billion fund for young people.
The year 2015 will mark the beginning of the first phase of broadband roll- out. Government will connect offices in eight district municipalities. These are Dr Kenneth Kaunda in North West, Gert Sibande in Mpumalanga, O R Tambo in the Eastern Cape, Pixley ka Seme in the Northern Cape, Thabo Mofutsanyane in the Free State, Umgungundlovu and Umzinyathi in KwaZulu- Natal and Vhembe in Limpopo. [Applause.]
Government has also decided to designate Telkom as the lead agency to assist with broadband roll-out. As part of further igniting growth through supporting state-owned companies, processes are under way to implement a 90- day turnaround strategy aimed at stabilising the finances of South African Airways. Accordingly, some of the loss-making international routes will be phased out. But, we will do this in a manner that does not impact negatively on travel, trade or tourism between South Africa and the world.
The National Infrastructure Development Programme continues to be a key job driver and catalyst for economic growth. Water is a critical resource for economic growth and a better life. Several projects aimed at providing water for industrial and household use are in the implementation or planning phases around the country. Major projects include Umzimvubu Water Project in the Eastern Cape, Jozini Dam in Umkhanyakude in KwaZulu-Natal and projects in Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga and phase one of the Mokolo and Crocodile Water Augmentation Project in Limpopo. Progress is being made to improve the water supply to areas that had been affected by shortages such as Makana District Municipality in the Eastern Cape, Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in North West and Giyani in Limpopo where we celebrated the delivery of water to 55 villages in October last year.
Let me urge all in the country to conserve water. Every drop counts. The country loses R7 billion a year to water losses. To mitigate this challenge, government, through the Department of Water and Sanitation, will train 15 000 artisans or plumbers who will fix leaking taps in their local communities. [Applause.] We are happy to have as our special guest the winner of the Women in Water conservation awards, Ms Mapule Phokompe from Mahikeng in North West. She explained to me why Mafikeng is now called Mahikeng. I now know. [Laughter.]
The infrastructure programme continues to expand transport networks and to improve roads, which augurs well for economic growth. The Department of Transport will spend about R9 billion on the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant or the Sihamba Sonke Programme and R11 billion on upgrading and maintaining roads which are not tolled.
Over 6 billion will be spent in 13 cities on planning, building and operating integrated public transport networks during this financial year. We will also continue to improve the infrastructure in schools and higher education institutions to create an environment conducive for learning and teaching. Through the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, which is part of the national infrastructure plan, 92 new schools have been completed to date and 108 are under construction. [Applause.] Siyaqhuba. [We are delivering.] About 342 schools have received water for the first time. Three hundred and fifty one schools have received decent sanitation while 288 have been connected to electricity. Siyaqhuba. Siyasebenza. [We are delivering. We are working.]
We are a nation at work.
Ngidabukela abangekho, abangasizwa. [I feel sorry for those who are not here, who are not hearing us.]
Government has identified 16 sites for the construction of 12 new Technical and Vocational Education and Training College campuses and the refurbishment of two existing campuses. [Applause.] Work is also continuing to establish three brand new universities: Sol Plaatje in the Northern Cape; the University of Mpumalanga; and the Sefako Makgatho Allied and Health Sciences University.
Hon members, we continue to deliver houses to our people. By 30 September 2014, a total number of more than 50 000 houses were delivered in the subsidy and affordable housing segments. Government will also provide 5 000 housing opportunities for military veterans. [Applause.] Government ... ngiyi veteran name ... [... I am also a veteran ...] will also work to eradicate the backlog of title deeds for pre- and post-1994 housing stock.
We have in the past year introduced some innovative programmes to implement the National Development Plan, NDP. Last year we launched Operation Phakisa - a results-driven laboratory approach to planning and execution of programmes. Operation Phakisa on the ocean economy is aimed at unlocking opportunities in the shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, mining, oil and gas, bio-technology and tourism sectors. We have committed a R9,2 billion investment in gas and oil exploration in the port of Saldanha as part of the Operation Phakisa initiative. Operation Phakisa on Scaling Up the Ideal Clinic Initiative is aimed at promoting efficiency, effectiveness and professionalism in clinics. We will now explore Operation Phakisa in the mining sector. I have instructed government to partner with the mining sector to develop win-win solutions to beneficiate our mineral resources.
Over the past five years, government has scored significant gains in health care. This year, we are going to launch a massive programme to turn the tide against tuberculosis, with a special focus on three communities: offenders at correctional services facilities; mineworkers; and communities in mining towns. In fighting the scourge of HIV and Aids, the state-owned pharmaceutical company, Ketlaphela, ... ngifunda isiZuthu ... [... I am now reading a combination of isiZulu and Sesotho ...] has been established and will participate in the supply of antiretrovirals to the Department of Health.
We have to continue working harder together to fight crime and to create safer communities. We are making progress in fighting crimes against women and children. The SA Police Service Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation Unit has secured 659 life sentences against perpetrators of crimes against women and children. [Applause.]
We are a democratic state and recognise the community's right to protest. We, however, appeal that these protests should be within the ambit of the law and must be peaceful, as stated in the Constitution. The police successfully brought under control 13 575 recorded public order incidents, comprising 1 907 unrest-related and 11 668 peaceful incidents.
The fight against corruption continues to be taken forward by the Anticorruption Inter-Ministerial Committee. Government has seven anticorruption institutions and 17 pieces of legislation in place which are intended to combat corruption. This demonstrates a concerted effort by government to break the back of this scourge in the country. [Applause.] In the 2013-14 financial year, 52 persons were convicted in cases involving more than R5 million. Thirty one public servants were convicted in the first quarter of 2014-15 and freezing orders to the value of R430 million were obtained. To prevent corruption and promote ethical governance, in December I signed into law the Public Administration and Management Act, which, amongst others, prohibits public servants from doing business with the state. [Applause.]
Cabinet has adopted vigorous and integrated interventions to combat the vicious rhino poaching in the country. The interventions include continuous joint operations with key neighbouring countries, improved intelligence gathering as well as enhancing protection in parks and provincial reserves where rhino are present. Government has also made substantial progress in establishing a Border Management Agency, to manage all ports of entry and improve security. [Applause.]
To further improve access to identity documents, citizens will from this year be able to apply for the new Smart ID Card at their local bank due to partnership between the Department of Home Affairs and some banks in the country. [Applause.]
Building a caring, effective and responsive state will continue to be prioritised. In the 2014 state of the nation address, I said we would continue to advance and improve the lives of people with disabilities. In December last year Cabinet released the draft National Disability Rights Policy for public comment.
Local government is everybody's business. We have to make it work. We launched the Back to Basics programme to promote good governance and effective administration through cutting wastage, spending public funds prudently, hiring competent staff, and ensuring transparency and accountability in municipalities. The Integrated Urban Development Framework, announced in the state of the nation address of last June, has been approved by Cabinet.
Fellow South Africans, to contribute to building a better Africa, South Africa continued to support peace and security and regional economic integration on the continent. A number of key outcomes have resulted. The African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises, ACIRC, of which South Africa is a contributing and founding member, has been operationalised. The South African National Defence Force and SA Police Service continued to participate diligently in conflict prevention and peacekeeping on the continent. Led by the Deputy President, South Africa also continued to support conflict resolution initiatives in Lesotho, Sri Lanka and South Sudan. Economic co-operation with our Brics partners was strengthened when the first two intergovernmental agreements were concluded on the occasion of the sixth Brics Summit - these were the Agreement on the New Development Bank and the Treaty Establishing a Contingent Reserve Arrangement.
Countries of the developed North remain important strategic partners for South Africa through which the country is able to advance its national and foreign policy. We have a valuable partnership with the European Union in, amongst others, the Infrastructure Investment Programme for South Africa, valued at approximately R1,5 billion. The renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act beyond September 2015 and a pledge to support African-led peace initiatives on the continent are among the significant outcomes of the United States-Africa leadership Summit held in the US last year. On a multilateral level, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations which brings into sharp focus the need to transform the UN Security Council and other international institutions.
National liberation heroes, Moses Kotane and JB Marks, will be reburied in South Africa in March. [Applause.] These will be reburials. As you know, they were buried in Russia. Now they are coming back home. We thank the government and people of the Russian Federation for looking after the remains of our heroes with dignity for so many years. [Applause.]
In sports, Team South Africa will participate in the All Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo, in 2015. The Springboks will participate in the IRB World Cup that takes place in England in September 2015. The Proteas are in Australia and New Zealand to participate in the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup. All South Africans must as usual, rally behind the national teams. [Applause.]
We must also appreciate our Bafana Bafana. [Laughter.] I think you will agree with me that this time around they qualified with flying colours. [Laughter.] [Applause.] They were in a group called "the group of death". But, even then, in most of the games, they scored first. [Laughter.] We must give them support. They made us proud!
We will continue to promote healthy lifestyles and urge citizens to refrain from smoking and the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Uyayekeka ugwayi. [You can quit smoking.] [Applause.] In this regard, on 10 May we will mark the Move for Health Day, an international event promoted by the World Health Organisation. The day also coincides with the anniversary of the inauguration of President Mandela.
A lot has been achieved in the past year. We believe that our nine-point economic intervention plan on the economy will consolidate the achievements and ignite much-needed growth. During this year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom, we rededicate ourselves to unity and hard work to ensure continuous success in our beautiful country. Together, we move South Africa forward! I thank you. [Applause.]
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, we take this opportunity to thank the President for his patience and for delivering his state of the nation address. Debate concluded.