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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
TUESDAY, 06 NOVEMBER 2018
PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

QUESTION

19. The Leader of the Opposition (DA),Mr Mmusi Maimane, to ask the President
of the Republic:

With reference to the statement of The Presidency on 15 October 2018 (details
furnished), on what date (a) did he first become aware of the alleged involvement of
executives in corruption and looting at the VBS Mutual Bank and (b) did he
subsequently take any action in this regard?

NUO3254E

REPLY:
Honourable Members,

Shortly after becoming President, I received briefings on various matters by different
government departments. One of these briefings was from National Treasury, where
I was alerted to alleged corruption at the VBS Mutual Bank.

I was informed that the South African Reserve Bank, specifically the Prudential
Authority, had initiated an investigation into the issue.

In response to my request for a comprehensive report on VBS, I received a briefing
from Treasury and Reserve Bank officials on the report submitted by Adv Terry
Motau to the Prudential Authority in October 2018, just before its public release.

The report presents a deeply disturbing picture of theft and corruption on a massive
scale.

It is essential that all those responsible for facilitating this fraud and corruption, and
all those who benefited from it, are held to account.

We call on the relevant authorities to act swiftly to prosecute those responsible and
to recover the funds stolen from the bank’s depositors.

Action must be taken against those municipal officials who deposited council funds
into VBS, knowing that it was not legal, and whose actions could lead to significant
financial losses for these municipalities.

It is particularly disturbing that many of the people who have suffered loss as a result
of these crimes are poor rural residents.

It is critical that every effort is made to recover the stolen funds to minimise the
losses suffered by the bank’s depositors.

For much of its existence, VBS was a good bank for ordinary people that gave loans
and mortgages to people in rural areas – and now, through greed and deception,
that bank has been destroyed.
We take a dim view of those who have been implicated in criminal activity rushing to
court to hide their malfeasance and not making any effort to apologise to those who
have lost money.

The real tragedy of the VBS saga is that money was stolen from those people in our
society who could least afford it.

It is a tragedy that has repeated itself across several of our state owned enterprises,
in municipalities and with respect to several private companies.

For the sake of our people and our economy, we need to make a decisive break with
these corrupt practices and build a new era of integrity and honesty in all public and
private institutions.

That is why we must act against those responsible for destroying VBS and for all
those – in private companies, in SOEs and in other parts of the state – who are
trying to steal our country’s future.

I thank you.
QUESTION

 20. Mr B A Radebe (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:

What will the Government do differently, in light of the stimulus and recovery plan
unveiled on Friday, 21 September 2018, that highlights the setting up of the SA
Infrastructure Fund which will fundamentally transform government’s approach to the
rollout, building and implementation of infrastructure projects that rely on the need to
ensure policy certainty and consistency, in order to attract investors in minerals and
petroleum exploration, tourism and agriculture,

(a) that will create new jobs on a substantive scale, attract investment and
lay a foundation for sustainable economic expansion and

(b) in undertaking measures to improve policy certainty across the minerals
and petroleum, tourism and agricultural sectors of our economy?

NO3112E
REPLY:
Honourable Members,

The economic stimulus and recovery plan announced on 21 September outlined
decisive steps to rebuild investor confidence and mobilise investment to unlock the
growth potential of the South African economy.

The plan recognises that infrastructure expansion and maintenance is a critical driver
of economic activity and has the potential to create a large number of jobs.

Government is setting up an Infrastructure Fund to manage government’s
infrastructure expenditure, which has been budgeted at R400 billion over the MTEF
period, and to focus on more effective execution.

In addition to this budgeted funding, state owned enterprises will continue to invest in
new energy, transport and water infrastructure.

Government is seeking to build meaningful partnerships with the private sector to
design the Infrastructure Fund and oversee project implementation.

The Infrastructure Fund will reduce fragmentation in infrastructure spend and will
work with the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission to strengthen
coordination and improve delivery.

We will draw on individuals with a range of experience in the delivery of large
projects, including established project management and engineering expertise.

The Infrastructure Fund will develop a strong pipeline of bankable projects, improve
project design, prioritise projects effectively and strengthen the capacity of existing
institutions tasked with project implementation.

National Treasury is exploring the possibility of establishing blended concessional
finance solutions to mobilise private and public sector funding.

Opportunities to draw institutional investors, including pension funds, into
infrastructure spending is also being explored.
We will draw on the PICC, Government Technical Advisory Centre, the Development
Bank of Southern Africa and others to provide technical assistance at project
development and oversight stage.

Both the economic stimulus and recovery plan and the framework agreement
adopted at the recent Presidential Jobs Summit identified agriculture, mining and
tourism as sectors with significant potential for job creation.

Government has prioritised a number of key reforms in these sectors to ensure
policy certainty.

The revised Mining Charter has been finalised.

This is the outcome of extensive and meaningful consultation between government,
community, labour and business and represents evidence of our commitment to
solving the challenges in the sector collaboratively.

In agriculture, we will finalise the signing of 30 year leases to enable farmers to
mobilise funding for agricultural development.

These are among the areas where progress is being made to remove all the
obstacles to increased investment and to make more effective use of our public
resources to promote growth and job creation.

I thank you.
QUESTION

 21. Mr X Ngwezi (IFP) to ask the President of the Republic:

With reference to the Minister of Police and the National Commissioner of the SA
Police Service announcing a new strategy called the High Density Stabilisation
Intervention (HDSI) aimed at crimes such as cash-in-transit heists, car hijackings,
murder, house robbery, and gang and taxi-related violence, what interventionist
strategies are in place or does his Government intend to put in place to eradicate
more than 90% of violent crimes and criminal activity which fall outside the Minister’s
HDSI and is taking place in the schooling system that is fast becoming a breeding
ground for gang-related crime and violence among learners against other learners
and by learners against teachers?

NO3117E
REPLY:
Honourable Members,

Violence in schools is a matter of grave concern that calls for cooperation between
government, school leadership, parents and communities.

It is a symptom of some of the social problems confronting young people, which
require concerted and consistent action by all stakeholders.

School-based violence undermines the environment necessary for effective teaching
and learning.

Our schools must be places where learners feel safe and secure.

In response to these challenges in schools, the South African Police Service and the
Department of Basic Education have entered into a Protocol on School Safety.

The purpose of this protocol is to create a safe, friendly and caring learning
environment within schools and to promote multi-stakeholder collaboration in the
fight against criminal activities in schools.

As a consequence, a number of safety measures have been put in place, including
that all schools in the country should be linked to a specific police station so that if
any incident of violence occurs, there should be rapid response.

The South African Police Service has appointed dedicated school safety officers in
most areas to serve as liaison officers between the police and the schools.

School safety committees have been established, comprising of school
management, police, school governing bodies and other relevant stakeholders.

The police, in collaboration with various stakeholders, undertake social crime
prevention programmes that focus on substance abuse, bullying, violence
prevention, sexual offences and cyber-related matters.
The majority of the pupils that are involved in criminal activities are also affected by
social challenges in their communities such as substance abuse, domestic violence
and other crimes.

To address these, the Department of Basic Education, in collaboration with SAPS,
the departments of Social Development and Justice and other stakeholders in
education recently convened a School Safety Summit.

School safety also featured prominently in the National Youth Crime Prevention
Summit held in June this year.
These summits proceed from the understanding that violence in schools is a social
problem, which can only be addressed through collaboration between government,
stakeholders and communities and through a joint problem solving approach.

Among the tangible initiatives to come out of these summits is the national youth
crime prevention strategy, which is currently being developed.

The strategy aims to integrate government efforts to prevent youth criminality,
including in institutions of learning.

Unless we work together as a society to curb violence in schools as a matter of
urgency, we will find it difficult to curb crime and violence in our society for many
years to come.

I thank you.
QUESTION

 22. Mr B H Holomisa (UDM) to ask the President of the Republic:

Whether, with reference to the recurrence of violent community protests where anger
is directed to the local sphere of government, whilst the issues at hand are actually
within the competency of both the national and provincial governments, he has any
plans and programmes to coordinate his Government, either in a form of clustered
Ministers or any other form, to visit the affected communities collectively and/or
individually for the purpose to account to the people of such affected communities
and present them with detailed responses; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant
details?

NO3118E
REPLY:
Honourable Members,

There are several reasons for community protests, ranging from local service
delivery failures to broader concerns around crime, municipal demarcation or
corruption and failure of governance.

Many of these protests, both those that are peaceful and those that turn violent,
reflect the severe weaknesses in local governance, poor consultation with
communities, and a perceived distance between communities and their public
representatives at all levels.

It is necessary to addresses the causes of these protests in an integrated and
comprehensive manner.

This is why national government is working with provincial and local government to
improve the delivery of services, build and maintain municipal infrastructure and
strengthen financial and other areas of governance.

To ensure a systematic response to the causes of violent protests, government has
established an inter-ministerial task team on service delivery integration and
alignment.

It includes a number of ministries that have an impact on local government.

The inter-ministerial task team has adopted an approach to enhance integrated
planning budgeting and implementation of service delivery programmes in 57
municipalities.

These include the 8 metropolitan municipalities, 43 local municipalities and 6 priority
district municipalities.

Together, these municipalities account for over 87% of all households living in
informal settlements or backyard dwellings.
They also constitute over half of all service delivery backlogs and have the greatest
number of recorded service delivery protests.

A set of strategies and action plans are being developed focused on the short,
medium and long-term interventions in these 57 pilot municipalities.

The work of the team is supported by a programme management office located at
MISA, the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent.

This office draws directly on the MISA technical team of professional engineers and
planners, as well as professionals from national and provincial sector departments.

If we are to effectively address the causes of community protests and improve the
conditions under which people in these communities live, it is necessary to proceed
in a systematic manner.

It is necessary to ensure inter-governmental alignment since the issues at hand cut
across national, provincial and local competencies.

At the same time, it is necessary for public representatives – including MPs and
Ministers – to engage with communities on an ongoing basis to ensure that their
needs and concerns are being addressed.

I thank you.
QUESTION

 23. Mr F Beukman (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:

In view of his commitment to use the country’s tenure as a non-permanent member
of the United Nations Security Council to help resolve regional and global conflicts
and promote inclusive growth as part of the effort to ensure a better Africa and a
better world, how will the Government

(a) help to resolve the most pressing global conflicts and

(b) promote a more equitable and inclusive economic growth globally in a climate
of growing unilateralism and militarism by the very members of the United Nations
Security Council?

NO3113E
REPLY:
Honourable Members,

South Africa will become a member of the United Nations Security Council in the
non-permanent category for the third time, for the term 2019-2020.

South Africa will use its term on the Security Council to advance former President
Nelson Mandela’s legacy by focusing on conflict prevention and mediation.

It will seek to bring together divergent perspectives and seek to resolve impasses
which undermine the ability of the Council to act where needed.

South Africa’s presence on the UN Security Council presents an opportunity to work
with the other two African countries serving on the Council, Equatorial Guinea and
Cote d’Ivoire, to promote peace and stability on the continent.

South Africa will build on its own experience in conflict resolution and mediation, and
work closely with permanent and elected members, to fulfil the Council’s mandate of
maintaining international peace and security.

In addition to country specific conflict situations, serving on the Council will also
provide South Africa with an opportunity to place emphasis on the importance of
women in peace and security operations.

We will emphasise the need to work within and through multilateral institutions to
advance post-conflict reconstruction and development, to promote the peaceful
resolution of conflict and to champion the cause of children in armed conflict
situations.

The current global environment is characterised by various threats to international
peace and security, continued poverty and underdevelopment, the displacement of
populations, global migration, inequality and climate change.

Because most of these challenges are transnational in nature, they require collective
action, which is what we will be advocating.
Even the most powerful states cannot achieve security, nor maintain prosperity and
health for their people by acting unilaterally or in isolation.

South Africa will continue to advocate multilateralism as a key aspect of international
relations and that collective action is required at all times to mitigate the risks to
global development, governance and security.
A rules-based international system that fosters greater interdependence and mutual
cooperation is the only way in which we can successfully address these difficulties.

The UN Security Council is the main body specifically mandated with the
responsibility to maintain international peace and security.

South Africa will therefore use its position on the UN Security Council to work
collectively with others to promote a more equitable and a more inclusive global
order, which promotes peace and security for all in the world.

I thank you.
QUESTION
 24. Rev K R J Meshoe (ACDP) to ask the President of the Republic:

Whether, with reference to his reply to supplementary questions on oral question 5 in
the National Council of Provinces on 11 September 2018 and with particular
reference to the R33 billion in loans from the Government of the People’s Republic of
China, any amendments or conditions were written into the Government’s Guarantee
Framework Agreement upon which loans are accepted from any foreign government;
if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

NO3119E
REPLY:
Honourable Members,

As I indicated in the National Council of Provinces in September, there are no
specific conditions for the loan that Eskom received from the China Development
Bank.

The loan is guaranteed by government under the existing Government Guarantee
Framework Agreement.

No amendments or conditions were written into the Government Guarantee
Framework Agreement for the purposes of this loan.

As I also indicated in the NCOP, no Eskom assets have been used as security for
the loan, and the China Development Bank is not entitled to any direct or indirect
ownership of Eskom assets.

The same conditions that are applicable on all government guaranteed facilities are
applicable to the China Development Bank facility.

I thank you
QUESTION

 25. Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:

In view of the last few months in which the centenary celebration of the birth of
President N R Mandela is celebrated, there is also an increasing opportunistic and
open display of ethnic chauvinism and narrow nationalism which present a threat to
the Republic’s national social cohesion, what

(a) are the measures that the Government is taking to advance the values
enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic, 1996, that South Africa belongs to all
who live in it, united in our diversity and

(b) are the sustainable solutions the Government intends implementing going
forward?

NO3114E
REPLY:
Honourable Members,

Nelson Mandela represented the hopes of millions of South Africans who dreamt of a
life unshackled from a system that sought to stifle their potential by virtue of their
race or ethnicity.
The emergence of ethnic chauvinism and narrow nationalism represents a direct
challenge to the hopes of our people and the values of our Constitution.
We need to respond to these tendencies as a society.
While there is much that government can do to reinforce the principles of our
Constitution, this is necessarily a task that must be undertaken by all parts of our
society.
This is a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of all of us as South Africans, of
parents, community structures, schools, faith-based organisations, employers, trade
unions, civil society and all public bodies.
For its part, government regards schools as a fundamental foundation for advancing
social cohesion.
It introduced the National Identity Passport of Patriotism in schools in 2014, which
contains many of our important symbols that define our national identity.
It is finalising the auditing of teaching and learning material for latent racism, sexism,
stereotypes and other forms of discrimination.

A teachers’ guide has been developed to provide practical ways for schools to
promote the rights and responsibilities of children.
It shows how a rights and responsibilities culture can be built into school and
classroom management.
We have promoted the recital of the Preamble of the Constitution in public schools
and printed the preamble on the cover of the workbook on Life Orientation.
We have also introduced the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate
Speech Bill, which gives effect to our obligations in terms of the Constitution and
international human rights instruments concerning racism, racial discrimination,
xenophobia and related intolerance.
Constitutional awareness campaigns through the media, highlighting the
constitutional values, continue.
Some departments have focused this campaign specifically on vulnerable and
marginalised groups.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development conducts community
dialogues on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other forms intolerances.
The Department of Basic Education is incrementally introducing the African
languages programme in schools as part of promoting and increasing multilingualism
in schools.
The task of building a non-racial society cannot be separated from the task of
redressing the huge material inequalities in our society.
We therefore need to pursue all measures to combat racism, ethic chauvinism and
narrow nationalism alongside a clear programme to create jobs, tackle poverty and
transform the economy.
We all share a constitutional obligation to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist
society and democratic society.
As government, we are committed to fulfil our obligation in this regard.
I thank you.

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