Reply by President Jacob Zuma, on questions posed in National Assembly for oral reply
10 Nov 2011
Question 13. Ms B N Dambuza (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:
What (a) have been his findings on the roll-out of government services during his recent monitoring visits to service delivery sites, (b) challenges has he observed and (c) plan does he intend to implement to deal with obstacles to service delivery?NO3792E
Honourable Members, we took a conscious decision to establish a performance monitoring and evaluation department in the Presidency.
We further decided to go beyond receiving reports from Departments and to undertake hands-on visits to assess the delivery on our five priorities and other programmes of government.
To date, we have undertaken four formal monitoring visits focusing on government’s five priorities, to the Eastern Cape twice, and to Limpopo and the Free State provinces.
We visited Mdantsane Township in East London and Peddie in the Eastern Cape to assess the state of education.
We were convinced that national government’s decision to work with the province directly to turn the situation around was the correct one. We are now working closely together to revitalise education in the province.
The second Eastern Cape visit focused on boosting job creation at the automotive sector in Port Elizabeth, and to assess service delivery and revitalise Mthatha in the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) Municipality.
The KSD Municipality is a special Presidential Project. In this regard, we will continue to work closely with the province to improve the quality of life there.
Last month we visited Qwaqwa in the Free State province to assess rural development. We were impressed with some of the good work done already, although residents also indicated various areas of improvement.
In July we visited the Vhembe District in Limpopo for health care assessment, and undertook to improve services through the building of a new hospital.
In Lebowakgomo, also in Limpopo, we were impressed to see a model hospital which can serve as a standard for most government hospitals.
We have also sent teams of officials from the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Department to check on service delivery frustrations and solutions in Umzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal, Bekkersdal in Gauteng, Balfour in Mpumalanga provinces and other areas.
Principally, the issues which have been raised by residents in most areas include water, electricity, housing, health, schools, clinics, policing, unemployment and other infrastructure.
The major challenges include poor coordination amongst spheres of government, frustrations with the long and complex processes of obtaining assistance from government and lack of resources.
The launch of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission on the 8th of September is meant partly to help us deal with these infrastructure challenges.
We are satisfied that enough is being done to build a better life in the areas visited.
I thank you.
Question 14. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the President of the
Whether he intends to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into the state agencies' alleged illegal interception of communications (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?NO3988E
Honourable members, I do not at present intend to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into alleged illegal interception of communications by State agencies.
Our current legislation, in particular, the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act and the Intelligence Services Oversight Act provide adequate safeguards regarding any alleged illegal interception of communications.
The laws provide adequately for effectively dealing with complaints of abuse of power regarding illegal interception of communications.
In addition, any person who is aggrieved by the decision of the designated judge to issue a direction may approach the courts for an appropriate remedy.
As such, any individual alleging any illegal activities must exhaust the remedies provided for in our legislation.
I thank you.
Question 15. Mrs L S Chikunga (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:
How do the Government and the African Union intend to assist and support the reconstruction, peace and reconciliation process in Libya? NO4029E
South Africa was active in the support and drafting of the AU Roadmap for the Resolution of the Libyan Crisis and the subsequent Proposals to the Libyan Parties for a Framework Agreement on a Political Solution to the Crisis in Libya.
We have also been actively engaged with both the erstwhile Libyan Government and the National Transitional Council in finding a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
We believe the AU Roadmap still provides the best way forward towards peace and normality in Libya.
The elements of the roadmap include the immediate cessation of hostilities, facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance, the protection of foreign and African immigrant workers, the establishment and management of an inclusive transitional period and the adoption and implementation of political reforms to meet the aspirations of the Libyan people for democracy, justice, peace and security.
These elements are in line with the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy.
At the 297th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council, the AU reiterated deep concern with regard to the proliferation of weapons and their impact on regional security and stability.
In this regard, it was proposed that a regional conference be convened to facilitate regional coordination and cooperation.
The PSC also urged the Libyan authorities to ensure the safety and security of African migrant workers and to hold a pledging conference to mobilise resources for the socio-economic reintegration of migrant workers into their countries of origin.
The PSC also authorised the Chairperson of the Commission to establish an AU Liaison Office in Tripoli, to be headed by a Special Representative.
This office will work with the United Nations, the League of Arab States and other stakeholders to stabilise Libya, promote national reconciliation and inclusivity as well as to facilitate the transitional process towards democratic institutions.
South Africa has its own unique contribution to make. Our experience in reconciliation, as well as the integration of the armed forces following the transition to its democratic dispensation could be relevant in the current post-conflict phase in Libya.
In addition, the governance configuration in the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya did not foster a culture of democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Greater effort will need to be exerted to support the establishment of the requisite democratic institutions, legal frameworks and reconciliatory mechanisms.
South Africa stands ready to assist in any way possible so that Libya can return to normalcy.
I thank you.
Question 16. Mr J B Sibanyoni (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:
What steps does the government intend to take to ensure that South Africans (a) appreciate the hospitality that was afforded our exiles in the past and (b) desist from xenophobic attitudes towards people from neighbouring countries?NO4030E
The former President of the ANC, Comrade Oliver Tambo uttered the following words in Luanda, Angola in 1977 at the congress of the MPLA.
“We seek to live in peace with our neighbours and the peoples of the world in conditions of equality, mutual respect and equal advantage”.
This is what should guide our relations with foreign nationals, especially those from the African continent.
Racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance are in conflict with our Constitution and human rights culture and should be eradicated in all their forms.
In addition, South Africans were recipients of friendship, solidarity and support by the peoples of Africa and the world.The South African government therefore understands international solidarity perfectly well.
Foreign nationals have lived among South Africans for decades in conditions of peace and friendship.
The new anti-foreigner sentiment in some communities is fueled by a number of factors. Amongst these are poverty, income inequality, and joblessness.
It also entails competition for scarce resources such as housing and basic services. There is also the high percentage of unemployment among youth which gives rise to vulnerability and negative influences.
Ineffective implementation of municipal by-laws regulating informal trading has also been cited as a problem which has led to competition for trading space.
There are also criminals who hide under the screen of anti-foreigner sentiments. We are attending to all these underlying causes.
Last year we established an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), chaired by the Minister of Police, to deal with the matter. They developed a plan that government is implementing.
An important intervention is to mainstream civic education in society and promote awareness about foreign nationals and the fact that not all of them are illegal immigrants.
There are also foreign nationals who are in our country as refugees fleeing conflict in their countries. Government has systems of providing assistance to them in a humane and caring manner. We acknowledge that many of them contribute immensely to economic growth in our country.
They bring skills and add to the cosmopolitan atmosphere that any progressive country in the world needs.
We welcome the involvement of Chapter 9 institutions, for example the South African Human Rights Commission, in helping us to deal with this challenge.
The Commission sent government its report and recommendations on what government departments should do following the tragic 2008 attacks.
The IMC will be meeting later this month to review progress including what has been done to implement the Human Rights Commission recommendations.
Most importantly, government cannot effectively deal with this challenge alone.
We invite all sectors to become part of the campaign to build a caring society.
I thank you.
Question 17. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the President of the
What (a) policy position will he lay down in response to the Auditor-General's report that fruitless and wasteful expenditure by national government departments has increased by 200% in 2010/11 financial year (details furnished) and (b) steps are being taken (i) to recover the money and (ii) against the persons who are found to have used state funds improperly?NO3987E
Honourable members, it is not necessary for the President to lay down a policy position on matters related to fruitless and wasteful expenditure and on the improper use of state funds.
These matters are satisfactorily addressed in the Public Finance Management Act and in its subordinate Treasury Regulations.
In terms of the Public Finance Management Act, accounting officers of departments and institutions are responsible for the effective, efficient, economical and transparent use of their institution’s resources.
In addition, the Act requires accounting officers to take effective and appropriate steps to prevent unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
Officials are also required to take effective and appropriate steps to prevent, within that official’s area of responsibility, any unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The law also makes provision for appropriate disciplinary steps against any official of a government department or public entity, who makes or permits unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
In addition, Treasury Regulations require accounting officers to exercise all reasonable care to prevent and detect unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure and must for this purpose implement effective, efficient and transparent financial and risk management processes.
Regulations also provide that losses or damages resulting from unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure must be recovered or dealt with.
It is therefore clear that the current legislative framework makes adequate provision for accounting officers and accounting authorities to deal with transgressions, disciplinary steps and the recovery of losses resulting from fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
We also appreciate the role of Chapter 9 institutions such as the Offices of the Auditor General, Public Protector and the South African Human Rights Commission, amongst others, who monitor such conduct on behalf of the public.
We also have law enforcement agencies and investigative bodies such as the Special Investigating Unit, Asset Forfeiture Unit and other instruments to deal with serious transgressions.
In addition, executive authorities are constitutionally required to regularly report to Parliament on matters under their control including actions taken on the matters relating to the Member’s question.
I thank you.
Question 18. Mr M G P Lekota (Cope) to ask the President of the Republic:
(a) How many sustainable jobs have been created in terms of the government's plan to create 500 000 jobs with the R20 billion that has been budgeted over three years as a job stimulus package to create new jobs and (b) what number of people who had lost their jobs since 2009 had been re‑employed in their former line of employment? NO3947E
The Honourable member refers to Section 12 (i) of the Income Tax Act announced in the 2011 Budget.
As of 31 October 2011, the Minister of Trade and Industry has approved eight major industrial projects in terms of this particular scheme.
These projects will create 21 112 direct and indirect jobs and result in total investment of about R9 billion by the private sector. The projects cover a broad range of industrial sectors including agro‑processing, bio fuels, pulp and paper, chemical and plastic industries.
As you are aware, this particular tax based incentive scheme caters for large industrial projects with a minimum Greenfield investment value of R200 million in manufacturing assets. These projects have been selected on the basis of their strong backward and forward linkages and their potential to create jobs along the entire value chain.
We do not have information on the number of people who have since been rehired.
We are, however, very reassured by the strong improvement in employment creation over the past year.
After the substantial job losses from the time the global economic downturn started in late 2008 through the end of last year, employment creation has recovered very satisfactorily.
The latest StatsSA survey shows that total employment grew by 340 000 from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2011, or by 2,7 %.
Formal employment increased by 390 000, or 4,3%, in the same period – a faster rate of growth than the GDP.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
10 Nov 2011
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