Reply by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on the debate on her State of the Province Address, Cape Town, February 23 2012
PREMIER'S STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS
The PREMIER: Mr Speaker, may I begin my response by joining other speakers in the House in paying tribute to the hon Pauline Cupido. The hon Pauline Cupido and I have come a long way in politics, together and sometimes apart, but I wish to note here today that none of us have ever doubted her complete commitment to the people of the province and to our country. None of us has ever doubted that her involvement in politics was to see South Africa succeed as a democracy.
We will value her exceptional contributions, her constructiveness and her desire to always seek the most positive outcome in the interests of the country as a whole and this province in particular. She's devoted a large part of her adult life to this cause. She has raised three successful children, who are all making social contributions in the process. She has been steadfast in her partnership with her husband Henry throughout the journey.
I hope the entire House will join me in saying thank you for her contributions and to trusting and knowing that her contributions will not cease as she finds ways of contributing beyond the confines of the House. Thank you very much indeed on behalf of this side of the House, hon Cupido.
I would like to thank everybody for ...
Mr P C MCKENZIE: You must speak on behalf of everyone; don't speak just on behalf of ...
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Order!
The PREMIER: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Speaker. It's very interesting as we are now being broadcast live for the public to be able to see how the ANC behaves ...
Mr P C MCKENZIE: Nonsense! [Interjections.]
The PREMIER: ... and represents their interests in the House. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon McKenzie. [Interjections.] Order, hon member!
The PREMIER: Keep proving my point. Thank you very much, hon McKenzie.
Mr P C MCKENZIE: You're welcome.
The PREMIER: Mr Speaker, I'd like to thank all of the contributors to this debate. I'd like to thank, for example, the hon Hartnick, who focused her speech on our broadband initiative. Unlike many speakers in the Opposition, she understands what a crucial opportunity broadband is and how much it can add to the skills of the workforce of the future and to their chances of living a life they value, because they have the skills to make use of the opportunities of a growing knowledge economy. Thank you very much, hon Hartnick.
I'd like to thank the hon Cathy Labuschagne who puts an enormous amount of hard work into a committee that is particularly close to my heart, and that is eduation. She displays a very thorough subject knowledge and an engagement with her portfolio that makes her oversight of enormous value, and that knowledge was demonstrated in a most excellent speech to the House and I would like to thank her for it.
The hon Wiley, in his key area of community safety and partnerships between communities and the SAPS and other security agencies, illustrates just how out of touch in many instances the SAPS, controlled by and answerable to the national government, is when it comes to the citizens of the province. It is something that we are seeking to overcome and address with our new Community Safety Bill.
The hon Lentit gave very constructive support to helping to achieve the goal of oversight in this government, of holding this government to account and, of course, looking at all of the issues that are required to extend opportunities for all, especially broadband access. I would like to thank the hon Lentit for his contribution.
Mr Speaker, I want to congratulate the hon Figlan on his maiden speech, on his first experience of a very robust debate in the House. I certainly know he's up to it and will continue to make an enormous contribution in the House.
All my Cabinet colleagues will have an opportunity to elaborate on their inputs in the House during the budget debate and their budget speeches. I would like to thank them all, as we enter our mid-term, for the exceptional contributions they have made and continue to make every day.
Mr Speaker, I think everybody recognises that this government is about as unified as it is possible for any government to be. We have a vision. We know where we are going. We have strategic objectives. We have succeeded in getting transversal government working, which must be a first for the country. We all work together in the task teams and we all measure each other in terms of outputs and, crucially, outcomes, and that is why step by step we are succeeding in achieving our vision of an open opportunity society for all in which everybody can live a life they value - everybody in the province.
Now I come to the Opposition. I think it is fair to say that we were all very disappointed at the quality of the responses. They were threadbare. They were sad really. It seemed as if very little effort had gone into them. It was very telling that they left their very best debaters out of this crucial debate on the State of the Province Address. One has to ask why, Mr Speaker. It's a crucial question. Why would you leave some of your best debaters out of the debate? It can only be that there is such grave internal conflict inside that party that leaving people out of debates is a way of making a point about the extent to which they are valued in their own party, or it is because they do not take seriously the debate on the State of the Province Address.
Whatever it may be, it is tragic to see a party that once had the respect of the world, a party that once had my unwavering support, a party ... [Interjections.] Before I was in the DP. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: It is tragic to see a party that once owned the moral high ground in South Africa, a party that once owned credibility in the political debate, becoming a party that now bears the brand of corruption. There is no one in South Africa who does not associate the ANC with corruption.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Name one of us in the House who would be corrupt.
The PREMIER: Now they wallow in the sewerage spills of that corruption and abandon the once proud brand ... [Interjections.] ...
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Order!
The PREMIER: ... of non-racialism and fair play.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Name one of us that was corrupt.
The SPEAKER: Order, hon Brown!
The PREMIER: Mr Speaker, all we hear is racist arguments. The party of racial nationalism, the party once known for excellence, has become a party of crony deployment, ... [Interjections.] ...
The SPEAKER: Hon Brown, order!
The PREMIER: ... destroying the capacity of the State to deliver.
Mr P C MCKENZIE: This is a nonsense speech. Let's go.
The PREMIER: So we get the tragedy of a national ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: Mr Speaker, so we get the tragedy of a ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: Mr Speaker, so we get the tragedy of a national Minister, Mr Thula Nxesi, saying: "Help, please! My Department of Public Works is not in hospital; it's in ICU. It's nearly dead". [Interjections.] He absolutely did ask for my help. When I saw Minister Nxesi the other day ... [Interjections.] ...
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: ... he said he needed engineers. I said, "If you hadn't deployed so many corrupt cadres into critical positions you may well have had some engineers ... [Interjections.] ...
The SPEAKER: Hon Brown, order!
The PREMIER: ... and if you hadn't got rid of them all you might have had some people who could rescue and save your department from ICU". We will do everything we can to help Minister Nxesi and to help the national government, because we genuinely believe in our brand of Better Together.
Mr Speaker, while the ANC talks so much about economic transformation and about getting rid of fronting, we see that BEE under the ANC is one massive front and con trick. [Interjections.] They talk about BEE, but what they actually mean is the promotion of people with political connections - the cadres and cronies into positions - and then they complain afterwards because the departments are collapsing. That is a massive exercise in fronting. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: Mr Speaker, while they argue day and night for racial quotas and engage in racial headcounting, when any black person reaches a top position in the DA they do their best to undermine them, dismiss them and call them tea girls, and are absolutely determined to destroy them and break them down in the most disgusting manner. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: Mr Speaker, I believe that the Opposition owes you a personal apology in their attempt to strip away the dignity of the Chair and your person and undermine your confidence ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon Brown, please come to order.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Mr Speaker, if I could please address you, this is a response that the Premier has to give to the House. The Premier has dealt with ...
The SPEAKER: Order!
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: ... every national issue from Julius Malema to everything else ...
The SPEAKER: Order, hon Brown!
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: ... except what's happening in the House. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Thank you very much. [Interjections.] Order, hon members! Thank you, hon Brown. [Interjections.] Order, hon members!
Mr P C MCKENZIE: [Inaudible.]
The SPEAKER: Hon McKenzie, order! [Interjections.] Hon members, hon Brown, hon Skwatsha, order, please!
Mr P C MCKENZIE: Hon Carlisle, order from your side as well. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Proceed, hon Premier.
The PREMIER: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Speaker.
Mr K E MAGAXA: Stick to the questions. [Interjections.]
The PREMIER: Mr Speaker, the interesting thing is that in the debate on the State of the Province Address hardly any of the members of the Opposition raised a single issue that was raised in the speech. They spoke about race and racism, showing that they are the party of race and racism and indeed, demonstrating that any person who makes it to the top who happens to be black in the DA is stripped away, undermined and destroyed.
That is directly the result of racism in that the ANC believe that they own black people and if any black person has the affrontery to exercise their independent judgment they have to be ground into the dust. [Interjection.] We will not tolerate that, Mr Speaker, and we will oppose it at every turn.
The interesting thing is that they may try to present themselves as owning black South Africans, but every single day they find that their support base is eroding further. Just last Wednesday we won a by-election in a ward in Polokwane that we have never won before and that is the ward in which Julius Malema himself lives and that is ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
Mr P C MCKENZIE: Why don't you go to the national Parliament?
The PREMIER: A lot of the debates ...
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: A lot of the debates ...
Mr P C MCKENZIE: She is scared she is going to be a puppet.
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon McKenzie.
The PREMIER: A lot of the debates focussed on the large amount of migration in the subcontinent that is coming more and more into the Western Cape and into the city of Cape Town. Of course many of us came from other provinces. I came from Gauteng, from Johannesburg.
Mr P C MCKENZIE: That was a mistake.
The PREMIER: Minister Madikizela came from the Eastern Cape ...
Mr P C MCKENZIE: We all know that.
The PREMIER: ... but at least we are logical ... [Interjections.] ...
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon McKenzie, I have warned you that your conduct is totally disorderly. It is grossly disorderly and I just want to warn you, hon McKenzie, that we are not going to allow it.
The PREMIER: We all came here looking for better opportunities.
Mr M OZINSKY: Did you run from the ANC?
The PREMIER: In fact, the ANC wasn not in office yet. I was a reporter at the time that I came here and I was exposing apartheid and ensuring that all the grievous assaults on human rights under apartheid were exposed. That is why I was here. I stuck by my guns and I certainly did not shift in terms of becoming a racist nationalist party and a corrupt party such as the ANC. [Interjections.]
At least those of us who came here on this side of the House have the integrity to support the policies that make more opportunities for all possible. It is completely illogical to run away from the consequences of ANC policies and then come here and support the ANC in repeating the disaster here in this province.
In fact, the Western Cape was well on its way to the same disaster under the ANC. We rescued it and turned it around just in time to be able to turn the Western Cape into a province in a democracy, capable of offering opportunities to all and we are doing that here because we want South Africa to succeed. We want the Western Cape to succeed because we want South Africa to succeed.
The hon Brown, Mr Speaker, spoke about the alleged contradiction between dismantling the the Provincial Development Council (PDC) and our brand of Better Together and she claimed there was a contradiction here. Of course the PDC exemplified the kind of partnerships that the ANC likes to build up. It is a partnership of cronyism and it is a partnership through which state funds are chanelled to ANC cronies.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: What?
An HON MEMBER: Where are the cronies?
The PREMIER: They ask me if there were examples of corruption and let me name and shame right now.
An HON MEMBER: Yes, please.
The PREMIER: Out of the minutes of the PDC we have the following:
The proposal by labour is that the Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism continue to transfer funds to the PDC, and that the PDC enter into a service level agreement with Cosatu to manage the programme;
That Cosatu provide reports to the PDC on the use of the funds and that the PDC provide this to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism alternatively;
That the PDC transfer the funds directly to Cosatu to manage the programme.
The PREMIER: Mr Speaker, that is ANC style partnership. Channel taxpayers money to one of their alliance partners.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: They are also taxpayers.
The PREMIER: No wonder they put up such a fuss when we dismantled the corrupt and ineffective PDC. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Brown, order!
The PREMIER: That is partnership ANC style: Channel money from the taxpayers and the state into the pockets of your political cronies. That is partnership ANC style. [ Interjections.] Either way money syphoned off from this province is used for ANC purposes because the ANC and Cosatu are in alliance. It is corruption, it is a con trick on the voters and that is the brand of the ANC.
Hon Brown also mentioned a housing development in Blue Downs, where she alleged the houses had been delivered four years late. Well, that was clearly under the ANC because we have not been in office for four years. When Morning Live, however, spoke to people and then went afterwards to inspect the houses, they found that there was very little wrong with them indeed and all they needed was a thorough cleaning internally.
This is exactly the kind of argument the ANC uses. People get a very significant benefit from the state in terms of excellent houses from this government and then complain if a litle bit of household maintenance is needed. When the media goes and looks at it themselves, they expose the false claims on TV made by the ANC and show just how much the DA is delivering to the people. [Laughter.]
Let us look at another misleading contribution by the Leader of the Opposition. Let us look at the old hoary issue that they keep raising of alleged police brutality in the province. The example that they raise continually is the one of Hangberg, although that was not an issue that featured in the State of the Province Address, but let me answer on it.
This government has repeatedly said that we greatly regret any injuries, particularly the loss of an eye. [Interjections.] We also said that nothing ever happens outside of a context and we argued, before the police went in, that they had to use minimum force.
Nowhere in the world, however, least of all in other provinces in South Africa, would people expect to be able to throw firebombs, petrolbombs, rocks and flares at the police and then expect no retaliation. Everywhere in the world the police would retaliate in those circumstances.
There were also complaints to the Independent Complaints Directorate, and if indeed the police had exceeded their powers and had been brutal, there would have been some outcome, but so far we have heard absolutely nothing from the ICD, but plenty from the ANC, that is flogging that particular horse. The fascinating thing is that the ANC accuses the police that are under the national government of abusing their powers in this province, yet when we come with a Bill to increase our oversight over the police to curb alleged abuse, amongst other things, the ANC opposes us introducing that Bill. [Interjections.] There is a fundamental contradiction in their argument.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Metro police.
The PREMIER: Contradiction and illogicality.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Your name.
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members, order!
The PREMIER: In fact, the SAPS are not the Metro Police.
Perhaps the problem with the police lies in the command of the now suspended commissioner, Bheki Cele, to shoot to kill and the remilitarisation of the SAPS where now everybody must salute a general and colonel, and where a captain cannot take a police statement.
What happens in other provinces? That is the question. Here we find that the ANC has become the master of double standards. You see, hon McKenzie often speaks about double standards and let us give an example of it here.
Mr P C MCKENZIE: On a point of order: You have asked me not to but I want to retaliate against the Premier, since she has mentioned my name.
The SPEAKER: Order, hon McKenzie! Today it is the reply of the Premier. Your will get your chance. Order, hon members!
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: You are doing it on purpose.
Mr P C MCKENZIE: On purpose, yes.
The SPEAKER: Order, hon Brown!
The PREMIER: As tragic as the injuries at Hangberg were, they pale into insignificance compared to what we find in other provinces. [Interjections.] As tragic as the incidents at Hangberg were ...
The SPEAKER: Order, hon Brown!
The PREMIER: ... they pale into insignificance compared to what we see being done by the police in other provinces.
It was reported in November last year that the Gauteng police are facing more than R30 million in law suits for brutality. In six separate cases the SAPS and the Johannesburg Metro Police stand accused of negligently - negligently - shooting a minor in the eye, beating to death a person in their custody, paralysing two motorists, manhandling a woman at a roadblock in Midrand and raping a teenager at a police station. That is just to start with.
Last week a Soweto teenager, Thato Makgoka, was fatally shot three times by a police officer in Soweto at point-blank range while he was lying down.
The SPEAKER: Order, hon Premier!
Mr M SKWATSHA: On a point or order: Is it in order for the hon Premier to speak about things with no relevance to the Western Cape?
An HON MEMBER: It is relevant.
The SPEAKER: That is not a point of order, hon member. Order, hon Skwatsha, this is a reply ...
Mr M SKWATSHA: To the Western Cape State of the Province Address.
The SPEAKER: Exactly, and to the questions that you posed to the Premier.
The PREMIER: This is entirely relevant to the Western Cape because I am drawing a parallel between the DA government in the Western Cape and the rotten state of many of the provinces.
The SAPS also recently used live ammunition to quell protests in the township in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. At least two protestors were shot and killed during the protests. Cell phone footage also showed police approaching a young man leaving a nearby shop and summoning him to a police vehicle where he was questioned and shot at point-blank range. And so I can continue.
There have been numerous reports on brutality committed by the Red Ants in Gauteng, who are contracted by the provincial government and local municipalities, including moving into informal settlements with iron bars and pickaxes, breaking down shacks, not unoccupied shacks as in Hangberg, but with people living in them, and assaulting the residents and burning peoples' possessions. There have even been reports of Red Ants spraying raw sewage onto people.
The Sunday Times quoted a Red Ant in Soweto saying the following about immigrants:
We will not stop beating them until our work is done, until they leave this land forever.
It is our land and we have the right to help the authorities move them on. If the municipality...
That is in Gauteng-
... asks us to destroy these cockroaches, then we will do that and we will flatten their homes to dust.
That is what we have in ANC-controlled provinces, Mr Speaker. Then you see the difference between how this province deals with land invasions and how Gauteng deals with land invasions. [Interjections.]
The truth, hon Brown, is that we are fixing it here.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: What about Rondebosch Common?
The SPEAKER: Order, hon Brown! I respect you as the Leader of the Opposition party but if you carry on behaving in the way you have been behaving, I really want to warn you.
The PREMIER: I think the hon Brown would agree that land invasions, especially on a proclaimed natural area, are illegal.
Mr P C MCKENZIE: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: The remarks that the MEC of Health is showing to me ...
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS: Remarks he is showing?
Mr P C MCKENZIE: Yes, he knows what he showed me, and I want to ask if that is parliamentary? [Interjections.] He is showing me, an hon member elected to the House, that I should leave, that I should not be here.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS: We agree.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: The member is encouraging his members to leave. He cannot get the support, so I said to him, "Why don't you then leave?"
The SPEAKER: Hon McKenzie, there is no apology. I think there is nothing wrong if one asks you why you are not leaving. What is wrong with that?
Mr P C MCKENZIE: OK, leave!
The SPEAKER: Hon McKenzie!
The PREMIER: I am going to continue replying to hon Brown's speech, which was even more disingenuous when it came to education.
In referring to Manguela and Shapiro's article - of course we all know that Rondebosch Boys' High School is better than most, if not all schools in Khayelitsha, and certainly as good or better that many other schools - the question is what did the ANC do about it when they were in government? [Interjections.] The answer is: Absolutely nothing.
The LEADER OF THE OPPPOSITION: What about no-fee schools?
The PREMIER: The quality of poor schools got worse, and worse, and worse under the ANC. [Interjections.] They did absolutely nothing to improve the performance of the weak schools. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: However, they did a great deal to destroy the quality of the good schools - nothing to improve the weak schools, and everything possible to destroy the quality of the good schools. We allow, and we encourage, the good schools to remain good and to get better, while doing everything in our power and pouring resources into the weak schools to improve their performance, so that everybody can have access to quality education.
This has already, after two-and-a-half years, reflected in the outcomes we are getting. I said it was the single greatest achievement of this government that in the last matric exams the result in the poorer schools went up from a 57% pass rate to a 70% pass rate.
‘n AGB LID: Mooi!
The PREMIER: The spectacular average performance of the province was due to the performance of the weakest and the poorest schools and not to the performance of the best schools. That is the DA government's response to the tragedy of apartheid education and the legacy it left.
We are focusing our resources on the weakest and the poorest schools and, indeed, we are massively improving them. Also, under the DA, Cosat, a school started when I was the MEC for education, has emerged as one of the top 10 schools in the province, a feat that the ANC has not come near to achieving anywhere in South Africa.
The irony, of course, is that we would be making much, much more rapid progress in the poorest schools and they would be much, much better than they are if it were not for the fact that another ANC alliance partner is doing everything it possibly can to keep poor schools weak. I am referring here, of course, to the so-called South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu). This is a union that gravitates education to the lowest common denominator.
This is a union that will not allow its teachers to work after formal classes have closed. [Interjections.] In every other good school you find the teachers who usually belong to Naptosa or a range of other unions, working until the night to make sure that homework classes, extramurals, sport, debating, drama and all the other activities continue in order to give children a rounded education.
In the schools where a majority of Sadtu teachers dominate, however, the playing fields lie empty, the school is dead and recently it was announced, with great fanfare, that it had managed in one area, which is really suffering under gang activity, to keep the school's resources centre open - the computer centre, given to them under the DA's administration. We managed to keep that open during the afternoon.
Big deal. Every school with a resources centre in a poor community should be open all afternoon, but because of the vice grip that the ANC's alliance partner, Sadtu, has on these schools, it is almost impossible to improve the quality of education there. Despite the ANC and its alliance partner, however, we are doing that. [Interjections.]
Yet, as we are doing that and as we are amending the Western Cape Provincial School Education Act to achieve that, the ANC is doing everything it can, with Sadtu, to oppose accountability and to oppose oversight in these schools. Then also, because they are a party that owns the brand of hypocrisy, you will rarely find an ANC public representative, or even a Sadtu member, who will send their child to a school with a majority of Sadtu teachers. [Interjections.] You will never have that. That is the level of hypocrisy.
I can tell you, you will find that the number of ANC MPs' children in schools is inversely proportional to the number of Sadtu teachers in those schools. So outside they talk loudly, they are in partnership with Sadtu, they support Sadtu, ... [Interjections.] ... but boy, when it comes to their own children then you see what they really think, because they run a mile from any school dominated by Sadtu teachers.
The hon Tingwe admitted that. [Interjections.] Hon Tingwe admitted as much in this House. Hon Tingwe works very hard, and good luck to her, to put her own child and her sister's child into former Model C schools. [Interjections.] She claims - now listen to this for a good one -
that the problem in education is that the excellent schools do not admit enough children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is a complete and a racist misdiagnosis. The real problem is that there is a complete mismatch between the supply of quality and the demand for quality in our education system.
Everybody wants to send their child to a good school. I do, hon Tingwe does, we all do. It is completely understandable. So what is the solution? The solution is not to try to destroy the good schools, as the ANC does, and the solution is not to try and force every single child into the very small handful of good schools. The solution, as the DA is trying to achieve, is to spread the quantity of quality to get more good schools.
Ms M TINGWE: Now what are you doing about it?
The PREMIER: As I have said before, hon Tingwe, this is almost impossible in the poorer schools because of your alliance partner, the South African so-called Democratic Teachers Union. So, what is the DA doing about it? A relevant question, hon Tingwe. What is the DA government doing about it?
Well, what we are doing is starting new schools out of the long reach of the Sadtu, so that these schools can be schools of quality for poor children. We are going to the very best schools, hon Tingwe, and we are asking them to start up second campuses under their auspices, so that they can double up on their numbers and take in poorer children. [Interjections.]
The first of these, I am delighted to say, is Westerford High School, which has agreed to double up on its numbers and run two school campuses. So double the number of children as was previously the case, who can also get an excellent education. Westerford itself is a totally integrated and nonracial school of very great excellence. Now they are starting a second campus under their auspices to give an equal additional number of children a fair chance in life, because those children cannot get it in schools currently run by the ANC alliance partners from which the ANC runs so fast.
We must enable poor children to escape the vice grip, indeed the criminal vice grip, of the ANC/Sadtu alliance in our poor schools.
I am very in favour of unions that do the job and fulfil their responsibility and commitment, but I am very opposed to unions who six weeks into the school year have not been into a classroom because they are still striking in the very province that gets the poorest results in the country, and that is the Eastern Cape. [Interjections.] Ask Minister Angie Motshekga what she thinks of such unions. She would make my views look tame. [Interjections.]
Therefore the DA administration is doing whatever we can to create more supply to enable poor children to escape the vice grip of poor quality in many township schools and get a decent education and a decent start in life.
I would love, however, to pass a law - which I would not do, but I would love to be able to -
that says any ANC public representative or Sadtu member must send their own child to a school with Sadtu teachers, so for once they can practise what they preach.
Mr M OZINSKY: Where did your children go?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS: Westerford.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Please don't tell us what to do.
The PREMIER: Of course, but then don't run away from the conditions that you create and then protect.
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! No running commentary allowed, hon Brown.
The PREMIER: What happens? Let me give you an example. Hon Ozinsky has just asked me what school my children went to. They went to Grove Primary School and then to Westerford High School. Both are public schools.
Mr M OZINSKY: Why can't our children go there?
The PREMIER: Of course they can. [ Interjections.] Let me explain the contradiction because this is clearly one step of logic too far for hon Ozinsky. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Tingwe, order please!
The PREMIER: What I am saying is that Sadtu and its teachers are primarily responsible for the lack of quality education in many schools. That is the point of departure. I am saying if the ANC is in partnership with Sadtu and defends Sadtu at every turn, then they must be "konsekwent," they must be logically consistent in their views and support them in their choice of where they send their children. [Interjections.]
I am also saying we are creating schools ... [Interjections.] ... specifically for the poorest of the poor to have excellent education, because they are trapped in these Sadtu prisons. They are trapped in these Sadtu prisons that go under the name of schools. That is what we are doing and that is what I tried to do when I was chair of the Grove Primary School governing body.
Let me give you an example of an ANC MPL who sent his child, or what we thought was his child, to that school. This gentleman happened to be an MEC in this government under the ANC. Way past the deadline for enrolment he arrived with his wife and what we thought was his child, and enrolled the child at the school.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Little gossips.
The PREMIER: This is fact and not gossip; because I was the Chair of the governing body and I was there to see it and I went through the whole drama with it.
Then, after his not paying school fees for five years and being carried by the other parents at the school, we eventually decided to sue him for the fees. And on the night before we were going to court the lawyer phoned and said we were going to lose this case. I said, "Oh, why?" and he said the child was not his child. The child is his wife's child, his wife is unemployed and they can't trace the father of the child so the child is technically allowed free education.
That was an MEC in this government who was prepared to get the best because other parents were contributing and he wouldn't pay a cent on the technicality that the child wasn't his. [Interjections.]
Ms M TWINGE: Name and shame them.
The PREMIER: If you want me to name and shame, it was - I won't say "honourable" because he's not here anymore and he was never honourable - Lerumo Kelako. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: He's not here to defend himself.
The PREMIER: He knows exactly what the truth is ... [Interjections.]
The ACTING SPEAKER: Order, hon members! [Interjections.]
The PREMIER: He knows exactly what the truth is. [Interjections.] You challenged me to name him and I've named him.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I did not.
The PREMIER: Now I'm sure the hon Tingwe who quite correctly ...
Ms M TINGWE: What? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! [Interjections.]
The PREMIER: I'm sure the hon Tingwe, who quite correctly and quite rightly sought out the best possible school she could find for her child, won't do the same. I'm sure that she and her husband, the child's father, will attend all the PTA meetings.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Don't tell us what to do
Ms M TINGWE: Which I do.
The PREMIER: I'm sure she will attend all the governing body elections.
Ms M TINGWE: I do.
The PREMIER: I'm sure she will volunteer for duty including in the tuckshop and at other events. I'm sure she will pay her school fees ... [Interjections.]
Ms M TINGWE: I do. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Tingwe, I've warned you, and this is the last time. Take your seat, hon Tingwe.
Ms M TINGWE: Can I put a point of order, Mr Speaker? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Can the hon Premier address the Chair, thank you.
The PREMIER: Thank you, I will speak through you, Mr Speaker.
The PREMIER: I'm sure the hon Tingwe will help raise funds for the school. I'm sure she will accompany the children on outings. I'm sure she will be prepared to cross-subsidise poorer children at the school. I'm sure the hon Tingwe will be preared to do what many other parents do to keep good schools at the high quality that they are. [Interjections.]
I have absolutely no doubt that when the hon Tingwe's daughter has been through good schools, primary and high school, she will soon join the DA Youth and the DA's Student Organisation because then she will know ... [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
Ms M TINGWE: She won't.
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS: It is true.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Why only this side of the House?
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! When I say "hon Members" I'm referring to all of you, hon Brown. [Interjections.] Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: She will be most warmly welcomed and she will - believe me, hon Tingwe - join the DA Youth and the DA's Student Organisation ... [Interjections.] ...
Ms M TINGWE: She never will.
The SPEAKER: Order, hon Tingwe, order!
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: You so like being the Premier now.
The PREMIER: ... because she will know what it's like to have an opportunity and using that open opportunity and rising to the top and becoming the best that she can be ...
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: It's a ruse.
The PREMIER: ... because children who get an opportunity and who use an opportunity, understand, unlike the hon Brown, that the open opportunity society is not a ruse. In fact, it is the only way to ensure improvements and ensure that we can develop our country better together.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: You need no support from government, that is what you are saying.
The SPEAKER: Order! No running commentary please, hon Brown.
The PREMIER: The open opportunity society says that the state has a duty to protect people's rights and freedoms, to extend their opportunities, to be corruption-free and provide the necessary infrastructure and support to extend people's opportunities and to support people in that way.
An HON MEMBER: What about the Red Doors?
The PREMIER: Let's come to the Red Doors. I've explained about the Red Doors, Mr Speaker, in many previous speeches, but because it's the only "snaar van die kitaar" that the ANC kan still "slaan", I will repeat it again.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: SMMEs are very precious to me. They are the only way that we can help our people.
The PREMIER: SMMEs are very precious to me too. I've run my own small business, which is still going today although I don't have any part in it. I know what it takes to run a small business.
I know how much work it takes to make a small business succeed, and I don't believe that anyone should be in government until they know how difficult it is to make a small business work and how precious time is and how impeding red tape is.
However, the Red Doors were closed because they were an ineffective duplication of other services that existed. And because we believe in working together and not in duplication, and believe in rationalising our systems and getting rid of red tape, we've gone into partnership with national government, the national Department of Trade and Industry, under its Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda).
Now we are being far more effective in doing that than the Red Doors ever were because we've said to the national government and Seda, "Better together". We are working extremely well with them and we've saved much of the money that we used to pour into the pit of what the Red Doors often were. We've saved that money for our youth, skills and wage subsidy and our mentorship programmes.
The very interesting thing is that while the ANC talks about SMMEs and it talks about youth development and job creation, we are doing it here through starting our own youth wage subsidy and mentorship development programmes. But the ANC and another of it's key alliance partners, Cosatu, are doing everything that they can to prevent the unemployment of young people from decreasing. [Interjections.] They are! Cosatu is doing everything that it can to prevent the employment of young people.
Poor old Pravin Gordhan, and Trevor Manel, have been desperate, Mr Speaker, to start the youth wage subsidy. It was, in fact, announced two budgets ago by Minster Gordhan to say that this is the breakthrough we've been wanting and the DA supported them all the way. And now the youth wage subsidy, which is critically needed to get young people into jobs, has been canned because of the opposition of another ANC partner, Cosatu.
The national government cannot even get co-operative governance amongst its own alliance partners; and their argument about trying to do something about youth unemployment will never have a shred of credibility, Mr Speaker, never a shred of credibility while they are determined to prevent the youth wage subsidy coming into being.
In fact, the great irony is that the national government works better with the Western Cape than it does with any other province in South Africa. The national government is at war with the Eastern Cape and we see this bubbling through the surface into education.
The national government is so at war with Limpopo that they've effectively closed the government down. The same applies to Gauteng as exemplified by their health system. The same applies to the North-West. You name it. The hon Brown says the Western Cape is a well-run province, but she says not for all the people. But that's funny because the national government's own statistics contradict what the hon Brown says. [Interjections.] But they do.
The national government's own statistics, when measuring comparative service delivery in the different provinces, says that there is far, far better service delivery to the poor in the Western Cape than in any other province. And that, of course, is why poor people are coming here. And we welcome them and we try to make a better life for them.
However, life isn't nearly good enough for poor people in this province and that is why we are trying to take hands to swim together, but in every other province it's a question of sinking together, pulled down by the weight of corruption and power abuse, and not even the national government can do anything about it.
I now get to the hon Skwatsha. You know, Mr Speaker, the hon Skwatsha has the gall to raise health as a problem in the Western Cape. [Laughter.] But we've seen this week, just after the State of the Province Address by the hon Nomvula Mokonyane, the Premier of Gauteng, how National Treasury officials moved into the Department of Health in Gauteng because R1 billion in contracts cannot be accounted for. This is now being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit. Tenders of R1 billion can't be accounted for.
Until a few weeks ago the flagship hospital in Africa, the Chris Hani Baragwanath, didn't even have Panado to give to people. Recently, a few days ago, the Tswane District hospital didn't have water for five days and relatives of sick patients were comingn in with two-litre bottles of water that they had to buy to wash their relatives who were getting bedsores in bed.
The hon Skwatsha comes and talks about the Gugulethu Community Health Centre and I'm coming to that right now. But the Steve Biko Academic Hospital where people go for very rare cancer treatment, using state-of-the-art equipment, all four radiation machines were broken down and people couldn't get their treatment.
This is the state of health care in the ANC's flagship province, Gauteng. And the hon Skwartsha is right when he said that the Public Protector looked into the circumstance of the Gugulethu Community Health Centre. And we've taken those findings very seriously and we've done something about them. We've implemented a number of measures in order to ensure that the centre complies fully with health and safety guidelines and we monitor those very, very closely. First of all we had a series of meetings with the cleaning teams and the relevant line managers and put in place a number of standard operating procedures.
Secondly, the role of each of the staff members in promoting cleanliness has been reinforced. You would think it's pretty basic to keep a hospital clean, but we've done a huge amount to train people to do so.
Thirdly, a mentoring and support programme developed around the infection control policy guidelines has been instituted for the centre manager and the cleaning teams. Various unit managers have been tasked with close monitoring and evaluation and cleaning in the facility and in addition the administrative officers have been tasked with performing regular random visits to all units, eg the emergency centre, the mobile obstetric units, the ARV treatment centres, etc. The staff are also being trained around the code of conduct in the workplace. To solve the lack of cleaning materials which apparently emerged there, a series of interventions have been taken in order to strengthen the supply chain management process and to prevent theft of those cleaning materials by staff.
Now obviously we take this very seriously and we do whatever we can. If the Public Protector had said that there was a cleanliness problem, we make sure that the cleanliness problem is fixed because you cannot have a hospital that is filthy and dirty and so we have made every possible effort to prevent that from happening.
However, Mr Speaker, compared to the list of some of the four things that were just at the top of my mind, of what is going on in the flagship hospitals of Gauteng compared tot the state-of-the-art Khayelitsha Hospital that we've just opened, shows you the difference between health care for the poor in Gauteng, where you cannot get Panado at Chris Hani Baragwanath, or you cannot wash at the Tswane District hospital or get cancer treatment at the Steve Biko Academic hospital, to the state-of-the-art, out-of-the-box hospital we have opened in Khayelitsha.
Mr K E MAGAXA: Your response isn't to compare with other provinces.
The PREMIER: The response is to compare with other provinces.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS: Yes! [Interjections.] The response is to compare because we are not perfect, but at least we are moving in the right direction from the wrong direction. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Order, hon members!
The PREMIER: And at least we are making life better for the poor and not worse for the poor.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Then why should we sit here today?
The PREMIER: You can leave if you like, hon Brown. Be my guest. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I've never heard anything like this.
The PREMIER: Now the fascinating thing, Mr Speaker, is that the hon Skwatsha said that we have no plan of action against drugs. He clearly has been living on another planet. I won't bore the House by going through our plan of action and what we have achieved for the fifth time. However, let me point out to the hon Skwatsha, that the hon Brown, his leader in the Opposition, said that she applauded the increased speed with which drug and alcohol abuse is being fought by this governement. That is what she said, so please sort out the contradictions between you and if you are going make a speech, please don't contradict and undermine what your leader has said, hon Skwatsha ... [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: [Inaudible.]
The PREMIER: ... because what we have achieved on the front of fighting alochol and drug abuse has been quite momentous and when we roll out the Liquor Act next year, Mr Speaker, I trust the ANC will be absolutely sure to support us. [Interjections.]
Now I come to the hon Bevu, who suggested that the DA had been making up allegations of fraud and corruption because we make the allegation and then nothing ever comes of it. Well, Mr Speaker, I have to tell you that I agree fully with the hon Bevu because we have made many, many cases of fraud and corruption against a large number of people who were in the ANC government and nothing has happened.
Here we have the cases. Number 1, fraud and corruption; number 2, fraud; number 3, fraud; number 4, fraud; number 5, corruption; number 6, fraud; and so we go on - pages and pages. In fact, Mr Speaker, there are nearly 70 cases of fraud and corruption currently before the SAPS which have been reported by the City and provincial departments.
Some of these cases date back as far as 2006 and it appears that no progress has been made by the SAPS to finalise these investigations. Some are so bizarre that when prominent ANC Youth League leaders are seen on national TV destroying public property there are claims that they can't find these people, that documents are missing or that files that were meant to be transferred have not been transferred.
Then when we want a Bill to exercise oversight over the police services to ensure that this kind of abuse does not happen, the Opposition opposes that attempt.
We will carry that through because we will make sure that in this province at least all people will be equal before the law and that you will not be exempt from the provisions of the law if you belong to the ANC. [Interjections.]
Lastly, Mr Speaker, I come to the allegations made against the hon Minister Plato, who is piloting the Community Safety Bill through the House and that we will pass, and we will improve it through public participation, and we will pass it.
There have been all kinds of allegation about his interaction and his strategy to destroy the gang leaders and the high-flying gang bosses in the province. However, Mr Speaker, he has pleaded with the national government to bring back the specialised units to deal with gangsterism, to deal with drugs, to deal with marine life poaching and other things. There is a steadfast refusal by the national government to do that because they do not want expertise that they cannot control and manipulate.
This all became very clear when we saw that the former Police Commissioner was in the pocket of some of the biggest drug and gang bosses in the country. It is no wonder that Commissioner Selebi disbanded the special unit. He did not want his involvement with the crime and gang bosses to be investigated. In contrast, Minister Plato is desperate to get the specialised units back because he wants to deal with it. Very interestingly, far from protecting these high flyers, we read today in Daily Voice a report that the evil empire is crumbling.
The mafia controlling the city's lucrative nightclub security racket is on its knees. Their evil empire is crumbling after two more Specialised Protection Services bosses were arrested and a third Sea Point businessman Mark Liffman, is expected to hand himself over to the Hawks this morning.
We have the most pitiful intelligence service. If I look on Google I will find out more about what is happening in the criminal underworld than we are told by the intelligence services of the police force. You will find out more on Google, Mr Speaker, and yet they disband the special drug and gang units because the top police brass like Jackie Selebi, who are involved with the gangsters, do not want to be found out.
In the absence of being able to get back the specialised units, which we will fight for to the bitter end, and in the absence of any serious intelligence capability in SAPS, we have managed to get to this point and I would very much like to congratulate the policemen responsible for these arrests and congratulate Minister Plato for working so closely with the process to achieve them. Thank you very much, and we trust that Mr Liffman will also be arrested and will appear in court to answer allegations against him.
An HON MEMBER: Why did he meet the gangsters?
The PREMIER: They asked to see him and I can tell you ... [Interjections.] ... we have got an enormous amount of information, which is why we are arresting people and are able to bring them before the courts. There are no intelligence services, there are no specialised units and there is very little capacity in the police, except in a few places, which is now proving exceptional and I am therefore congratulating the police for these arrests. They are critically important and with the help and support of Minister Plato we are making progress.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I would like to say that this government focuses every one of its efforts on addressing South Africa's biggest problem, which is poverty. We cannot improve the lives of the poor and we cannot beat poverty unless we have job-creating economic growth. We cannot have job-creating economic growth without excellent government that creates a context conducive to growth.
We defined exactly what that role is and we are working together to make it happen. No government on its own can achieve a better life for the poor or for anyone else. We have to work in partnership.
We are doing our level best to improve education, particularly for the poor, but it is the responsibility of teachers to teach and give of their best, for parents to take an interest in their children's education and to be there and for children to work hard so that they can succeed, because without that partnership we will never improve education on our own.
The same goes for health care. The same goes for transport. If people continue to drive drunk and exceed the speed limit, no government can improve the safety of the roads on their own.
That is why we say Better Together, because unless we work together for the betterment and improved life of every single South African, we will not succeed as a nation. I give my commitment to the House that while the DA administration is in power we will do everything we can to be the kind of government that plays its part in a better together vision.
We will seek to eradicate corruption. People are fallible and there will now and again be an instance of corruption, but we will root it out and expose it and deal with it. We will focus our money productively and energetically on ensuring the best outcomes for growth and opportunity, particularly for the poor.
We are deeply committed to South Africa and we are very grateful for our Constitution that sets out to and has succeeded in ensuring that the different parties can govern in different parts of the country to demonstrate the alternative outcomes of different political philosophies.
While we are here we will promote the open opportunity society. For the few who still do not know what it means, the longer we are in government the more the distinction between the open opportunity society for all and the closed crony society for comrades only will become visible and more and more South Africans will choose, through the ballot box, to live in a province controlled by the DA.
The House adjourned at 15:25
Source: Hansard, February 23 2012
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