Hon Chairperson, the question of illegal migration is a global problem. It should be noted that the United Nations recently reported that the increasing global number of international migrants continued to outpace the growth of the world population.
The United Nations, UN, noted that in 2019, international migrants globally reached an estimated figure of 272 million which is an increase of 51% since 2010. This
same report notes that in many parts of the world, migration occurred primarily between countries in the same region like the African continent.
A total of 88,9% of international migrants in Africa originated from other counties in our continent. These migration movements are closely associated with illegal migration. In South Africa we accept upfront that our boarders are pourers. These pourers boarders couple with a fact that we have seven organs of state performing various boarder management and mandates using different legislations makes it very difficult. Hence, we have prioritised the flexi program of establishing a boarder management authority. The Boarder Management Authority, BMA Bill as you know has been passed in this Parliament in 2017 is now in the NCOP where it's being finalised.
We as the Department of Home Affairs are hoping that this legislation will have been passed by the end of this year. As the Department of Home Affairs, we are not just folding our arms waiting for the boarder management authority.
For the first quarter of 2019, meaning April to June the immigration inspectorate undertook 43 business and industry inspections and 18 employers were prosecuted for illegal employment practices. For the second quarter, the inspectorate undertook 56 business and industry inspections and 22 illegal migrants were arrested.
The problem that the Department of Home Affairs has to content with is that people believe there is an easily identifiable and homogeneous group of people who are called undocumented migrants who are just lining up to be documented.
I wish to remind this House that when the problem of migration became worse in 2008, jumping from 53 000 to 200 000 and South Africa getting 400 000 migrants within the period of two years. Problems started to immerge.
The department tried to solve the problems, for instance by issuing permits to 279 000 Zimbabweans who were illegal that were documenting to let them stay in South Africa.
It further issued special permits to 91 000 Basotho but learned later that most of these people go into hiding when you document them because they believe the process of documenting them is a plan to remove them from the country. So it's not very easy to get the people who are called undocumented but secondly there are people that get section 22 permits, which allows them to be in South Africa for a period of 3-6 months.
That is a form of documentation but failing the refugee status; they stay in the country and cry that they have been documented. Where as they were documented for a section 22 permit but they don't qualify to be refugees in terms of the United Nations Convention of 1951 because that convention upon which our Refugee Act 1998 is based is very unambiguous. You must be coming from a country where there is war, you must persecuted on political grounds, religious grounds or sexual orientation and many people come as economic migrants but claim to be refugees. And, when they fail the master of the United Nations Convention, then the Department of Home Affairs is blamed.
We as the department expect that anybody who breaks the law whether documented or not, that becomes a criminal offence and action must be taken. Thank you very much.
Hon members I wish to remind you that in terms of Rule 142(7) a supplementary question may not consist of more than one question.
Hon Minister, not withstanding what you've just told us, the fact of the matter is that is that your department is in crisis. It's in crisis because you've got simply no idea whether any person who's running a spaza shop or selling goods from a Chinese mall have got legal documentation or not.
You don't know how many undocumented migrants are in Hilbrow or just down the road in Voortrekker road and nor do you know how many undocumented migrants are working as uber drivers or in the hospitality industry or in the trucking industry for example.
Yet, the President of the Republic told us recently that all within our boarders must be documented. Your department was on record saying you don't have the legal capacity or the resources to do so.
So my question to you is, in order to fix this broken system, would you consider going back to the drawing board to restructure the component within your department into a professional immigration service as proposed in the White Paper on International Migration Author 1994,if not why not?
Hon Van der Merwe this concept that is being quoted all the time that the department agreed that it does not have legal capacity or resources is misused, it's abused.
These were legal terms used by our lawyer in an ongoing case in Pretoria, answering to an affidavit by the City of Tshwane which said... the rate payers association in Tshwane, are taking first and foremost the city that it must apply the bylaws which I'm still saying, when the bylaws are being bridged and broken, it does not matter
who is doing that, whether you are documented or not, whether you are a South African, American or British you must be removed because people have pitched tents at people's homes, washing in the streets etc. It's a bridge of bylaws.
We were saying that is the job that must be done by the City Council. The fact that the City Council of Tshwane being the DA municipality rushed to a DA member here to claim that we say we don't have capacity is wrong.
The legal capacity that our lawyer, Mr Seth Nthai was mentioning was that we are not legally given the power in terms of the law to remove someone who is squatting because he is breaking a bylaw. That's not the Department of Home Affairs' legal capacity.
When he said we've got no resources, it's because the city was saying we must look for alternative accommodation and remove those people and have them accommodated by home affairs. Again, it's not in any of our plans or our mandates and that's what the lawyer
meant. So, people must stop saying we have agreed that we don't have legal capacity to document people, we do have.
Now, finally in this response I am saying when a person is undocumented, they are undocumented because most of them came illegally and they don't want to be documented and they go into hiding.
Minister you just provided statistics in your answer regarding undocumented people in South Africa and in part of your answer you mentioned that most of the people are from Zimbabwe.
Would you also please tell us, apart from Zimbabwe which other countries do these people come from? Secondly does your department have a capacity to ensure that everyone who is coming inside the country is documented because you just mentioned when you were providing your answer to say that once you mention the word document, they go into hiding. So, what is the department doing to address that?
Hon Chair, the statistics I have released here were about the Zimbabweans who were
given Zimbabwean special permits, ZSP, which were issued to them after 2008 when there was an avalanche of Zimbabweans rushing to South Africa undocumented. The department realised that the normal methods of documentation will be impossible because the number was too much.
Zimbabweans were then offered to come forward, whether they were legal or illegal and get permits that allowed them to stay in South Africa for four years while the issue was being resolved.
Two hundred and seventy nine thousand Zimbabweans came forward and were given these documents. They are still holding to them. They expired after four years, they were renewed and are now expiring again I think in 2021 or 2023 I'm not sure.
The same offered to Basotho. All the Basotho were here because they in large numbers but 91 000 of them came forward and were given Lesotho special permits. The Minister of Home Affairs in Lesotho then told me that he believes there are 200 000 of them. Some of them went
into hiding when we issued these permits because they thought it was a ploy to send them back home when we said we want to register them.
Now, I currently don't have figures of the other migrants of other countries here but we do have them, I can supply them but I don't want to mention incorrect figures here in front of you.
Now, this how the documentation should be done; when you arrive at the boarder, if you don't hide but announce that you want to apply for refugee status, the law says we must give you a five day permit and we issue to all those who come, those who are in hiding or go through broken fences, you can't you won't even know them.
We give them a five day permit. It gives them a chance to come into the country to go to one of the five refugee reception centres. When they arrive there, they are given a section 22 permit. That is a permit to stay in the country for a period of 3-6 months during which they must apply for refugee status. And during that time, no one can arrest them. That is also documentation. When they
win refugee status, you are now declared a refugee. You are given the same rights as any South African except only one right, the right to vote.
Hon Minister, South Africans who are concerned about high levels of crime are looking at government to curb illegal immigration and one of the ways they are expecting that to happen is that fences need to be erected where there are no fences and tightening of boarder controls must take place.
So, I want to know because of pourers boarders that have allowed many criminals to come into the country, what is government going to do to ensure that all those who are applying for documentation that in the process you do not give proper documentation to people who came into the country illegally because such people are aiming at getting South African passports because they are easy to get allegedly and they want South African identity documents.
So, we want to know how are you going to ensure that all these people who are in the country saying now we want to
come forward, we have lost our documents and we want apply for documents?
We offer renewals to any migrant who has lost documents, it happens quite often. Even these ones in Cape Town who did a sit in at the office of the United Nation High Commissioner for refugees, when they clashed with police and ran to the church, we offered them that those who have lost documents must come forward.
On Monday the Reverend Chris Nissen who is the Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission called a meeting between Home Affairs, the commission the refugee and their leaders, Department of Social Development and many others to discuss this issue and in that meeting the refugees clearly said they've want nothing to do with the Department of Home Affairs. What they are looking for is not documentation but is to be taken out of this country because they say this is a terrible country.
The commission told them that they can't. As I'm speaking now this morning, the head of the regional office of the United Nations High Commission is there, he was talking to them about an hour ago he told me that they told him that all they want is to leave South Africa.
He told them that there are three conditions in which they will be taken out, they can't be taken out as a group but as individuals; each one of them must apply and the country that is going to accept them must accept them as individuals according to their profiles and he said the number of countries that accept refugees around the world for relocation because it's a big problem, only one 1% of people who want to be relocated get relocated.
That's what the commissioner said and he gave them an easy option which is to integrate back into South Africa and we as Home Affairs said we are prepare to integrate them but they said no, there is no way they will stay in South Africa.
The commissioner offered them that we will take them to their countries of origin, we joined him and said Home
Affairs will also help them to go to their countries of origin they said they will never go there. They don't want to go there, they don't want to stay in South Africa and the only thing they want is to be taken to another country. They don't mention in publicly but in corridors they say they want to go to Canada and nothing more, nothing less.
Minister, it's clear that the Department of Home Affairs cannot cope. We have more than 2 million immigrants in South Africa of which more than 500 000 are undocumented. The Home Affairs officials love this because they can continue with their bribes corruption and everything else. Minister, if I were you I would have employed immigration officers. This country has only 770 immigration officers. Now, tell us Minister how will you curb immigration with 770 immigration officers?
Hon member, fortunately you are a member of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs. I presented these figures to you that is why you are quoting them, you got them from me. [Laughter.]
Yes, it is true. I said to the committee, if I may remind you, that we have got less than 700 immigration officers and I said if you do not understand what the figure means just go to OR Tambo International Airport, South African Police Service, SAPS, has got 700 police officers there on a full time basis, just at the airport but we have got 600 and something immigration officers in the whole country.
It is a small number but you understand the economic state that we are in. We have gone to the Minister of Finance many times. This House understands the economic situation. If somebody was to say now, please hire so many immigration officers, I will be the first one to jump for that. I will definitely do so but at the moment it's just very difficult because of the economic situation. Thank you very much.
Chairperson, the structures that we have to monitor movement of persons and goods across the borders and the cost implications, we have the port management committees which are responsible for non
mandatory border management and co-ordination activities that have been established. The reason that this port management committee was established is that presently the borders are managed by seven government entities. It is South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force, and Department of Home Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Environmental Affairs, SA Revenue Service, Sars, and Department of Agriculture. Between all of them, they are applying 58 acts passed by this Parliament, which is a very tedious job. That is why we want to establish a border management authority under which they all fall. But in the meantime, we have got this Port Management Committees Board.
The SA Revenue Service, Sars, is legislatively responsible for processing of goods at ports of entry and further information relating to this can be sought from Sars. The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for the facilitation of the legal entry and departure of all persons into and out of the Republic of South Africa. The Department of Home Affairs has got an imigration service operation centre which operates for 24hours per week.
The ports of entry are required to provide daily operational reports to the immigration services operation centre. It plays a vital role in the success of port operations. The immigration services operational centre also follows a sound protocol to ensure that senior and executive management of the department are well informed of the challenges at the border.
During the peak hours, like Christmas, monitoring of port operation is strengthened through the presence of senior managers at the key ports of entry and daily joint operation centre and venue operations committee meeting at the port level.
To provide protection and basic asylum of refugee services in a human and secure manner close to the borders, simple means that the five refugee reception centres within South Africa must be relocated at the borders.
In this case, it means there must be camps at the borders which are run by the department together with the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees as it is
happening in other countries. The cost of this is not yet known but, what we have done is to appoint a transaction advisor who has been hired to do the cost estimates and projections and that is ongoing work. Thank you.
House Chair, the hon Minister is correct to say that, as the ANC, we are the ones to acknowledge the weaknesses that the department has been facing and also to acknowledge and appreciate the good work that the department is doing progress on.
The 54th National Conference of the African National Congress took a decision to expedite the development of revenue processing centres near ports of entry. Has the department engaged other countries in the continent and the world to establish a common approach on how we are going to deal with the asylum seekers once the implementation has been done?
Hon member, I have visited several countries around the borders and I still got a programme to do so. I visited the Minister of Home Affairs at the Oshoek Border Post with Eswatini, the
Minister of Home Affairs at Lebombo Border Post with Mozambique, Minister of Home Affairs at Maseru Border Post... with Botswana. [15:23] I was supposed to visit Zimbabwe this week, there is a new Minister and he has asked for a postponement. I am due to meet the one in Botswana.
Among the issues we are discussing are these very same issues, including the establishment of the border management authority. The opening of all the ports of entry for 24hours because, some do not open for 24hours like Lebombo and Oshoek. Maseru opens for 24hours.
We are discussing these issues and we are also discussing the programme which home affairs is implementing, the one stop centres, where six of the busiest ports of entry in South Africa are going to be re-build to make them one stop centres, so that you don't get processed by two countries. The two countries come together in one building, you get processed once and they work together in co-operation. Those are the issues I am discussing with the Ministers.
We will also report to them the fact that South Africa is intending to put up the reception centres next to the borders because it will serve the refugees better. You can imagine the refugee reception centre here in Cape Town, next to where the people are doing a sit-in. It means somebody crossed the border, somewhere up country, 2000 kilometres away and had to come to arrive here in Cape Town at the refugee centre. That is very difficult and expensive for them. It is better that the refugee centres must be at the borders and we are discussing that with our neighbours. Thank you.
Hon Minister, the fact of the matter is that our asylum seeking system is being abused. What happens is that people come in, they appeal, they have lodged their applications and by the time that you have got to enforce your decision you cannot find the people who have applied for asylum. That is why we are saying you don't have the capacity or the resources to enforce your immigration laws.
I am asking again, is it not time for a professionalised immigration service or immigration authority to enforce
your decisions and track down the people who are abusing the asylum seeking system?
Hon member, the asylum seeking system in South Africa is abused because of the policies that we have chosen. Remember that, in other countries when you are a refugee or asylum seeker, you are put in a camp wherein you are monitored, even by the United Nations and other international organisations. South Africa is not using that method, we integrate them into communities. So when they go to the refugee reception centre, during that process they stay inside communities and because of the nature of our democracy in the Constitution, we have put many appeal processes. After you appear in front of an immigration officer after he has finished processing you, if he says you don't qualify to be a refugee, you then appeal to a committee called Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs, SCRA. After you have done that there is then a Refugees Appeals Board. After you have done that, you will then appear in front of a Magistrate and then go to the High Court. All those processes are being followed.
We have just changed the law now because SCRA, in terms of the act, there are five members in that committee, in terms of the act, they must hear a case only when they form a quorum. The quorum consists of three people. If there are no three people they don't sit. We have just changed the law. If you don't understand what it means, it is like in the High Court, where they say there is a full bench. A full bench means three judges. Not each and every case is heard by a full bench. Only certain high profile cases are heard by the full bench. But in the SCRA, is a full bench continuously for each case.
We have now just changed the law that each individual commissioner can hear a case so as to process these cases much further and we are about to implement because that regulations has just been changed and signed into law. [Time Expired.]
Chairperson, hon Minister, the Department of Home Affairs is out of money, everyone who is helping us with the border is out of money. We understand when you say that we are in a crisis, not because of us but because of the ANC.
You came to the portfolio committee and you informed us that this country is losing R20 billion a year. Wow! If were you, I would have fallen of that chair. R20 billion a year in illegal goods coming through our borders. You rightfully speak to policy, don't you think it is about time that your government must change the policy?
Hon member, I can't keep on repeating the same answer again and again. This House has been debating this issue of porous borders where people and goods easily moved in and out. We have said that many times, stolen cars move freely, drugs, human trafficking, we accept that and it has been brought to this House. This House has agreed ... If you keep quiet, I will answer you. If you want to shout, ask me to sit down and continue shouting? I am not a shouting person by the way. Yes.
The House has agreed that the solution to this is to establish a border management authority. And we have outlined how the border management authority is going to solve this problem. But you need a legislation to establish a border management authority and as you know
that legislation passed here two years ago, it is stuck in the NCOP. We want it as of yesterday as the home affairs. The moment we get that Border Management Authority Bill passed into an act, we establish this border management authority and we start fighting this issue. At the moment it is being forged sporadically by seven government entities including the South African National Defence Force. Thank you.
Minister, have there been any engagement with other African countries at a continental level, to ease the burden of travel by African nationals within the continent. If not, do you not think that intra- African trade and cultural exchange will promote understanding of each other as Africans to eliminate the problem of xenophobia?
This question of intra- African trade and free movements is part of the questions I am going to answer today. I am not sure why you pre- empt it hon member. But it is here I am going to answer it.
We do have meetings. Actually, the African Union, AU, organ on defence, politics and security meets quite often. I have just attended such a meeting since I was appointed. That is an organ which is attended by all Ministers of foreign affairs, or Department of International Relations and Co-operation, Dirco, home affairs, justice and correctional services, SA Police Service and intelligence. I think there are six Ministers. That organ is chaired by a Minister of Foreign Affairs in the country that is hosting the meeting. We discuss this issue of free movement and it has been accepted by AU. However, there are conditions which have been put there, which must be met before that is implemented.
One of the conditions is that the continents must document its people. Because, while in South Africa, we take documentation for granted, like getting an identity document, ID, birth certificate or a passport, it is not so in the rest of the continent Unfortunately, we still have many parts of the continent where you get born, you get married and you die without it ever being recorded anywhere. Those are the issues we are meeting ...
We have just met in Zambia in a committee which deals with civil registration and vital statistics and we were addressed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, that African countries must start documenting people within their borders. They must start having vital statistics so as to allow the issue of free movement.
Secondly, that there must be peace and stability because, if you allow free movement where there is chaos and there is no peace and stability, you are just going to cause war where people are fighting against each other. Thirdly, we must look at trade imbalances between countries because if the trade imbalance is as severe as it is now, whatever rule you make, it would be just one directional. [Time Expired.]
Chairperson, the term 'rape kit' is used in the public domain to refer to the collection kits which are used to collect evidence from victims of sexual assault and rape. However, the SA Police Service makes use of 16 different types of crime kits to collect various samples at crime scenes. These include the two
types of evidence collection kits, namely the adult sexual assault collection kit and the paediatric sexual assault collection kit, which are used to collect evidence from victims of sexual assault and rape.
The DNA Reference Buccal Sample Kits are used to take buccal samples from persons who are arrested and charged for schedule 8 offences. Schedule 8 crimes are crimes like murders and the rapes on a repeat way as required by The Criminal Law: Forensic Procedures Amendment Act 37 of 2013, commonly referred to as DNA Act.
On the question of shortage then: All provinces have no single police station that is minus the kits at the present moment. All police stations have enough kits that are regarded as rape kits, as we speak. Therefore, the dates on the second question, as in which dates are they going to be available falls off because already we do have these kits.
House Chairperson, this morning, the DNA Board came to the committee and it was unfortunate that the Minister couldn't be there. However, they did
indicate that the service provider who was awarded the tender in August would deliver 300 000 kits in December.
Can the Minister tell the House: How many kits have been delivered to date; and why by 14 October 2019 did the DA, in oversight visits, establish that police stations did not have such evidence collections kits - both paediatric and adult- which was the deadline that he said in this House the rape kits would be delivered into all police stations? Thank you. [Applause.]
When the question says: What percentage of the police stations that still do not have rape kits? It doesn't ask how many per station.
Well, that's a new question altogether! [Interjections.] The answer here is that all police stations have kits as we speak. That is what the question seeks. [Applause.] [Interjections.] All police stations - 100% - in the Republic of South Africa!
The next question: Yes, we had said on 12 October 2019 all stations would have had. Indeed, not all police stations did, but most of these kits were taken to Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units, FCS Units, which do help police stations now and again. So, even if some individual police stations do have these kits, we however do love to use the specialised people dealing with these matters. So that ...
On a point of order, House Chair!
Hon Minister, just take your seat, please. Why are you rising, hon member?
I am rising because the hon Minister is misleading the House. The hon Minister, if I may qualify, has said that all police stations in the country have rape kits. It is clear that as of today not all police stations have rape kits. And, he is just said that the FCS units have rape kits, but not necessarily all the police stations. Can the Minister clarify?
Can the member listen? [Interjections.] Anyway, listening is a skill. The member put the addendum on the question that: Why on 12 October 2019 not all police stations had kits? I said because that time some kits were taken to the FCS units to help the station and neighbouring stations, but now all police stations in the Republic of South Africa do have the kits. [Interjections.] That's the answer. If he listens and gives himself the space to listen, we will understand.
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, in Tshepisong there is no police station. People from that community must either go to Kagiso or Slovoville, including old and disabled people. Why do we mark the National Disability Right Awareness Month? How can we expect people with disabilities or old people to walk long distances to a police station only to find there is no skilled person to help them according to their specified disability in reporting sexual assault and rape?
What are your interventions in such cases; and how do they access the rape kits while they are in distress and with no police station? Thank you.
Hon members, you are reminded that the Supplementary Question according to the Rules must consist of one question only, and not the number of questions.
Chairperson, the rape kits are at police stations - all police stations without fail, in the Republic of South Africa - 1 142 police station. They all have them! Then you would have satellite police stations. Those satellite police stations would be covered by the neighbouring police stations that have the specialising units, like FCS. Then, they will hand over the people that would have reported to them.
Yes, they don't have the capacity and full capacity of dealing with all cased because they are satellite stations. However, those cases are immediately handed over to the fully-fletched stations with special units to deal with the matters. Thanks.
Hon House Chair, Minister, I have good hearing skills, but let me start off by saying in terms of the Auditor-General's report, the SA Police Service have seriously challenges in terms of supply chain. Now that you have run out previously - and I know now you have just alluded to the fact that there are enough kits in all the police stations: What added measures are putting in place to ensure that what has happened, where there was not rape kits in police stations, will never happen again?
Well, I am not sure about never again, but the measures that we have put is that we have already signed a three-year agreement of supply into the future, starting from now. At least we know that we have three years where there will be no shortage and we sure have enough space to work within three years so that this problem that occurred does not repeat.
The last follow- up question will be asked by the hon P Modise. Hon Modise!
No, it is okay, Chair. Thank you very much.
There is then an opportunity for the hon Mafanya.
Hon House Chair, Minister, most cases of rape do not get reported to police because victims of rape often get taken to through processes and questioning that demean them further at police stations, and quite often rapist are released from jail due to insufficient investigations by police. The failure of police to collect specimen evidence thus results in perpetrators to escape convictions. What are you doing to retrain police to handle and investigate rape cases?
To start with, the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit that is known as the FCS is one of the best performing within the SA Police Service. That is what is happening now. The fact is that as we speak, we have got 4 728 life sentenced convicts - people that are doing life in prison - 4 728 in the Republic of South Africa
For you to get life imprisonment means somebody should have done a good job going to court. For them to be 4 728, that is that! However, that does not mean that all is good or all is rosy. I fully agree with you that there will be areas where our own members of the SA Police Service are not doing a proper job in terms of collection of evidence, even in terms of treating women that have been abused in a very honourable way.
So, those are the things that we are working on. Hence, we have opened the retraining of those that will be working on these front desks, dealing with these matters. We are also building more friendly facilities in the police stations so that there can be privacy and so that they can be kept there for a night if they come very late at night before they are dispersed to the areas where they are supposed to be. We fully agree that we need to do much better there and we are still trying hard to do better on that one.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Thank you very much House Chairperson, our
reply is as follows: In our public participation programme, Deputy Minister Botes and I have popularised the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, to the South African public, particularly the potential transformative developmental role it can play in the industrialisation of the African continent.
We have also emphasised the potential benefits that South African exporters can accrue from the AfCFTA and the positive impact this can have in reducing South Africa's high unemployment rate, poverty and inequality.
Furthermore, the Minister, in her international engagement and interaction with the Southern African Customs Union, SACU, the Southern African Development Community, SADC, and the African Union, AU, has advocated very strongly about the potential of the AfCFTA to be a catalyst to for Africa's industrialisation and development.
With intra-Africa trade currently standing between 10- 16%, as well as Africa' shares of global trade standing at partly 3%, the Minister has strongly urged African
countries to expedite market integration as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, estimated that the successful implementation of the AfCFTA can boost Africa intra-regional trade from 16% to 52% by 2022.
Hon Deputy Minister, just a brief question. What is the role of the South African government in the African trade and economic development at large? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Well, the role of the South African government especially in the Southern African Customs Union countries is to ensure vigorous marketing of the South African and the SACU products to the continent so as to boost our economy. Thank you.
Thank you very much House Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, at the heart of all these is border management and we have just heard the Minister of Home Affairs at sixes and sevens about how we are dealing with the issues of border management. What guidance or
assistance ... and in the discussions that you are having with your counterparts in the continent, are you making sure that border management is easy but at the same time protects the sovereign integrity of South Africa and to ensure that the movement of goods, people and services consistent with the free trade area is to the benefit of South Africa because if you don't sort out the issue of border management, we will be setting up the free trade movement up for failure? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Thank you very much House Chairperson, on the issue of border management with regard to trade ... we are participating in the customer union countries ... there is free trade amongst those countries in that. Because of the introduction of the AfCFTA, we need to put together the modalities of expanding to other African countries. As it stands now, we have a very good border management with regards to trade within the customs union. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Deputy Minister, for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to be
beneficial to the African continent, preference should be given to Pan- African manufactured goods and it seeks to develop services offered by the African people. How will your department ensure that black-owned businesses which trade abroad will be protected by the state and will not be exploited and which South African companies are participants or stakeholders in the programme for infrastructure development in Africa apart from Eskom and Transnet? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Thank you very much House Chairperson, as I have indicated that we are trading very smoothly within the SACU countries but as a result of the introduction of the AfCFTA, by February 2020, the President of South Africa is taking over the chairmanship of the African Union. In that, we have put proposals on the modalities of how do we expand and protect South African business to trade within the continent. I thank you.
Thank you House Chairperson, in light of the recent xenophobic attacks that took place in South Africa and have affected the international or the
national relations of the African countries including South Africa, what positive interventions have been put in place to ensure, firstly, that these xenophobic attacks do not take place again and, secondly, that they do not affect the economy and the economic relations that South Africa has with its African counterparts? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Thank you very much House Chairperson, the xenophobic attack issues are things that aren't arranged by anyone; this is done by both foreign nationals and South Africans that are in the country. I cannot say we have a mechanism to stop xenophobic attacks to happen or that foreign nationals cannot have conflicts in South Africa. I cannot confirm that. You are quite correct that if such issues are happening, they disturb the economy of our country. I thank you.
Yes, the information received has been referred to threat analysis, to determine its veracity, nature, scale and extent. Thank you
Hon House Chair, Minister, the problem is that over and above what is happening - and this is a ticking time bomb, cases were opened in various police station like Milnerton and Mfuleni two months ago, and to date, not a single arrest has been made. Could you please comment on why the SA Police Service is not acting on these dockets that have been opened?
You are correct when you said that to no one has been arrested, but the question where you asked me to comment because no one is acting on these dockets is incorrect because the arrests culminates with the investigation - it is firstly getting the information before arresting people. We are not going to arrest people when we have not yet collected information that you can convert to the evidence, because by the time you check people that are arrested, you only find out that the information is not converted to the evidence. But more than that, this phenomenon of the trouble brought by tow trucks, which is a national problem - especially in KwaZulu-Natal and here in Cape Town, has other elements on it. You cannot just look at it only.
For instance, there are investigations that tell us that there are other criminal activities around tow trucks operators, like stealing cars; like scrapping those cars and taking out parts - sometimes they are even involved in drug syndicates. Those are the things that we need to investigate properly, not necessarily to act quickly and come with cases that we cannot win. So, we are track with regard to this one, just wait and things will be fine.
Thank you hon Minister for that comprehensive response. What measures will the Minister put in place to regulate the tow truck industry as well as to investigate possibilities of uncompetitive behaviour where insurance companies prefer big companies at the expense of small, medium and micro-sized enterprises, SMMEs?
I don't know that they fall within the small or medium-sized business, there can be that element - but they are also licensed by the Department of Transport, which means we need to pull together to understand all those elements. Are they legal; are they licensed or are they traded within the
laws? But the SA Police is supposed to look at the crime element, not the trading element.
So, on behalf of the SA Police, as I am now raising the issue that there are several elements of criminal activities that we are looking into within the industry - ours is to nip that off and put those behind closed doors. But all other permits and licensing should be given by the relevant bodies, including the local government who give them the demarcation with regard to where they should work, which garages they should work with, garages they should take cars to, and all those kind of stuff. But the SA Police is supposed to deal with the criminal element within those, not the trading element. Thank you.
Hon Minister, the tow truck operators are part and parcel of the gang culture in Cape Town, and most of them are leading figures in drug and gang-related crimes in the city. They are known by committees and they have the police in their pockets. What is the police been doing? Or is it difficult to deal with the gang and drug
problems in Cape Flats? Has the state lost the war on this scourge? Thank you, Minister.
Well, that is what I have said. I said that they are not only committing crime around this area of business, there are other elements. I said that it is because sometimes they are part of the drug crime. Going forward, I am not sure if we are losing the war. Today's report in terms of what the police have achieved here in the Cape Flats with regard to arrests in relation to illegal guns, drugs, a lot of mandrax - 15 people were arrested and so on. So, I am not sure if we are losing the war. I think we are fighting in this war, going forward. We have not surrendered. Thank you very much.
Thank you, hon House Chairperson. Hon Minister, what measures are put in place with regard to the turnaround time for the police to arrive at an accident scene - given the fact that we have so much accidents and deaths on our roads? Tow truck drivers act like vultures by being on the crime scene first before our police arrive. They also temper with evidence by towing cars without the concern of the owner, and they
are also taking other people's belongings as you have said. What is the turnaround time for the police to arrive?
We agree with you. There is a very awkward tendency by these tow trucks operators with regard to these tow trucks, sometimes they come first and you find that they are linked to police radios, and sometimes with traffic officer's radios - which is illegal for them to do so. We are trying to investigate this and we have found some police officers with their radios linked to them, which we should cut off. The crime scene should be cordoned off either by police officers - the SA Police, traffic officers or metro police. No one then is supposed to cross that cordoned off area, including those tow trucks vultures. They sometimes even try to fight over the cars they want to take and shoot one another at the crime scene. It is a question that you have raised which we have been looking at. They are the ones who sometimes increase crime themselves. So, local government road traffic inspectorate in provinces and the SA Police should come together to find out how they can
stop this link up with these tow trucks, so that police officers can be given first preference.
House Chair, the term of office of the South African National Military Veterans Associations, SANMVA, came to an end in October 2018. The elective conference of SANMVA is scheduled to take place by the end of February 2020.
We hope to have all the impediments pertaining the convening of this conference addressed, among which is the state of readiness of the member associations of this umbrella body. I thank you, Chair.
Chairperson, if I was to find out from the Minister the state of readiness of all the associations, if you could brief us for the elective conference. Thank you, Chairperson.
With respect of the state of readiness of these member associations, one can safely say that we are almost 65%
towards getting all of these organizations ready. There are two member associations that is the Azania People's Liberation Army, Military Veterans Association, Apla, and Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, MKMVA, that are still to have their national conferences.
There is also information that we received this morning that the South African Cape Corps Military Veteran's Association will have its national conference this week in Uitenhage on Saturday. That will leave us only with two member associations that must still have their conferences. I thank you, Chair.
House Chair, Deputy Minister, it is a fact that the formation of this structure has taken so long to come into place. Reason being there has been infighting within the MKMVA leadership. What is the department doing to sort out the challenges? One would like to establish what role does the Ministry have in diffusing the division that have taken place within the organization? Thank you.
Chair, the challenges of disputes that arise now and again within the Military Veterans Associations are a matter which falls within the ambit of responsibility of their own political organizations. The Ministry has very limited room to intervene on the kind of disputes that lead to these divisions within member associations. It is not only MKMVA's constituency that, as we speak, is involved in resolving those disputes and the unification process of its constituencies going on. There is also a similar challenge within Apla Military veterans Association.
What do we do is of course to encourage the mother bodies of these associations of former military veterans to get them to assist us as the department and as the Ministry to have a state of relative calm within these communities. Because, if we were to proceed with the conference of the umbrella body when there are disputes within the member associations that may compromise the acceptability of the umbrella body to the very member associations themselves because there would be members within these associations who will come up with the
claims that they were not allowed to participate because the groupings that would have been part of this conference would not be inclusive of everybody.
In order to make sure that government does not work with a statutory structure - because that is what SANMVA is. SANMVA is there as the function of law. We have to make it a point that at all times the credibility of SANMVA is such that it is beyond any reproach. I thank you, Chair.
The next follow up question will go to hon Komane. Why are you rising hon member? I think the hon member noticed you, hon Ndlozi.
Chairperson, there has been a constant outrage in the society. Does the department only takes care of the military veterans from the National Party regime and those of the ANC ignoring Apla and Azania veterans? Some of them are said to be still languishing in jail. Can you tell for a fact if there are still Apla veterans serving in jail and the term of the offences committed before 1994? Thank you very much.
Hon Minister, are you in a position to respond to that follow up question?
Chair, of course, it is a new question. I would advice that for the fullness of information around that matter the hon member may want to direct his question to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services. However, we can, from our side as the Department of Military Veterans assist the member to get the full picture of a how many military veterans that we have on the database, I am talking of the Certified Personnel Registers, CPR, list that is the main source of our database of veterans that are still within our correctional centres. Thank you.
Deputy Minister, in terms of sections 7 and 8 of the Military Veterans Act, the South African National Military Veterans Act Association must at least hold free, fair and regular elections and report to the Minister at least once a year. Has the association submitted the annual report to your office? If yes, how did they send it since they are currently functioning in
the absence of a conference given that it is not holding to its Constitution? What plan do you have to ensure that the Constitution is upheld by the association?
Chair, the Ministry together with the acting director- general of the department had a meeting with the leadership of SANMVA at the beginning of October to discuss the state of affairs that SANMVA has been unable to convene a conference according to its Constitution for this prolonged period. It was out of that discussion that we decided that with whatever challenges that are there come the end of February next year, SAMNVA will go to conference. The notice was given to all member associations that are still to hold their national conferences to do so.
The report about the activities of SANMVA is the responsibility of the DG of the department of military veterans. If the hon member wants to have more information about the activities of SANMVA, we can draw information from those reports and make it available to him. Thank you.
Chairperson, the response is that the Minister of Finance allocated the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, an additional R102 million during his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement of 30 October 2019, which intended to strengthen the fifth against corruption.
The breakdowns of these amounts are as follows: An amount of R38 million, to fund a newly established investigative directorate, which is central to the prosecution of corruption cases; R29 million, to strengthen the Asset Forfeiture Unit and Special Crimes Court Unit; R20 million to support the Witness Protection Programme; R15 million to improve the security measures at the NPA, particularly arising from the investigations pertaining to corruption.
The National Prosecuting Authority has received the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, carry through costs for the above-mentioned priorities, as well as funding for the reinstatement of the Aspirant Prosecutor
Training Programme. This programme has not been in place for some time. It has now been reinstated.
Also, the filling of critical posts within the National Prosecuting Services which have not been able to fill posts for the past five years, have now starting to do so. The National Prosecuting Authority has not received additional funding for gender-based violence during the Estimates of National Expenditure, ENE, and the Medium- Term Expenditure Framework processes.
However, it is important to note that, through the initiatives led by the President on gender-based violence and femicide, all departments have been requested to identify budget within their baseline allocation for a purpose of addressing the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide. An initial amount of R1,1 billion was earmarked for this purpose. Priority activities of the NPA are funded through the baseline allocation of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has been identified for this purpose.
The above allocations attest to the ANC-led government's commitment to fight corruption, gender-based violence and femicide. This remains the priority of government and the security cluster in particular. I thank you.
Through you House Chair, Minister, it has to be welcomed obviously that there is additional funding for the new Investigative Directorate, although South Africa is still waiting patiently, we must say that it is patience that is fast wearing thin for the first prosecution coming from that directorate. However Minister, state-capture by its very design happened in tandem with the systematic hollowing out of the NPA.
In a specialised commercial crime unit which you did not mention here in your answer, and which deals with corruption related prosecutions, there are 40 vacancies, which calculates to a vacancy rate of 21%, many of which are on a management level. An old saying in the NPA is that there's a complete prosecutor developed over 10 years and a commercial prosecutor over 20 years. Adv Batohi, the National Director of Public Prosecutions is on record that it is specifically this layer within the
NPA, people with 20 years and more experienced from where the next generation of commercial prosecutors should come from, which is virtually nonexistent.
Given the fact that you've not made available any additional money, what will you do to strengthen and rebuild the specialised commercial crime unit?
Minister Cele said that listening is a skill. I did made mention of the Special Crimes Court Unit and that the MTEF has given an amount of R29 million to strengthen the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Special Commercial Crimes Court. I also did mention that we have reinstated the Aspirant Prosecutor Training Programme that has not been operational for a number of years.
The programme is meant to breed a new ground of prosecutors, a new generation of prosecutors to help us with the various crimes which will include grooming for the Special Commercial Crimes Unit, because the NPA can only be able to groom from this programme of the aspirant prosecutor.
So, there is a clear pipeline of a new career path and grooming by the NPA that is happening. Thank you.
Through you House Chair, hon Minister, in the light of the escalation of for gender-based violence attacks in South Africa, as well as the austerity measures that are going to be introduced where departments are asked to cut back finances, firstly, how has this impacted in addressing the challenges of and bringing convictions, with regards to gender-based violence?
Secondly, what kind of mitigating factors are you looking at putting in place to ensure that there is indeed convictions with regards to crime and corruption as juxtapose to the austerity measures that are being placed on departments across the board? Thank you.
already have opened three Sexual Offences Courts this year in Sibasa, Limpopo ... [Interjections.]
Hon Minister, can you just give me an opportunity to speak? There's too much noise coming from this side here. I can hardly hear the Minister, hon members. Let's give the Minister a hearing. Continue hon Minister.
newly built court called Mbityi in the Eastern Cape. The Mthatha High Court has been renovated which also include Sexual Offences Court; a newly built High Court in Mpumalanga, which also include a court dealing with sexual offences.
As I have said, we are also in the process of helping the Thuthuzela Care Centres to strengthen their work, but also looking at caravans to help them in terms of the additional resources that the Thuthuzela Care Centres needs to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide. With regards to corruption, the Special Tribunal of the Special Investigating Unit, SIU is now in operation.
We have also been given an additional amount which will help them clove back huge amounts of money on behalf of the state. I have been advised that they have already started with their processes, they are now in operation, and summonses have been issued. All in all, they are at work. Regarding the austerity measures, our understanding of them and also our engagement with the National Treasury, should be understood with the context that, with the NPA, it is bringing back money.
Therefore, it's an investment. I am saying this because some of these monies are going to come back and they will be used in the revenue. But also, it also opens up our country for various investments by many other countries. So for us, we believe that austerity measures will not really affect the work that we are supposed to do.
The NPA, including the various Special Investigating Units are able to do their job to bring back the money into the national fiscus. Thank you.
Through you hon House Chair, hon Minister, we appreciate the funding to, at least the two
that are mentioned here, which is corruption and gender- based violent crimes. However, it will be simplistic to think that these crimes are running rampant because of lack of funding. Hon Minister, would you agree with this view? Also, what other factors would you consider to be the causes of so much of this scourge? Thank you.
question was about the budget; hence I answered it in relation to finance. There are various factors that are a cause of corruption. Let me just use my discretion to answer the question, it's dishonesty, greed and many other things that cause it. So, there's a long list that causes this kind of corruption. Thank you.
Through you hon House Chair, Minister, don't you think that, it's not a set out position when you accept the private donors whether by you or Batohi because, she is proudly going around saying that she is going to use that funding for this important institution such as