26 June 2002
PEOPLE SHALL GOVERN
This is the first issue of Sephadi, the voice of the ANC in Parliament.
Our democratic parliament is just 8 years old and as ANC MPs we have struggled
to transform an institution that was an unrepresentative, obscure and rubber-stamp
for passing apartheid laws.
The ANCs vision is of a parliament that belongs to the people.
A parliament of elected representatives who must pass progressive laws, oversee
the work of government to remain in dynamic contact with our communities. Parliament
must be a forum that encourages public participation. Sephadi will be a channel
of communication for the ANC Caucus, Study Groups, and all other operations
of the ANC in Parliament.
This publication will be distributed quarterly and hope that ANC
MPs will find it useful for report back purposes in their constituencies.
When our people elected us into public office, they bestowed upon us a specific
That responsibility is to create, through this public institution, a peaceful
and prosperous South African nation.
It is for this reason that the ANC identified parliament as a site of struggle.
It is an institution that represents all those without a voice, the nameless,
We are now in the eight-year having assumed leadership of this institution.
In this Year of the Volunteer for Reconstruction and Development, we are charged
with the responsibility of ensuring a light link between parliament and our
people. This emphasises the ongoing sensitisation and consciousness on our part
as legislators in passing pieces of legislation that make a positive impact
in changing the lives of South Africans.
This is an extract from an address of the National Assembly by the ANC Chief
South Africa as a country is faced with the challenge of attracting foreign
skills for economic development and growth. Particularly given that the country
is emerging out of the apartheid past, which ensured that our people remain
unskilled and poor.
is for this reason that the government had to update and review its Immigration
laws, with an emphasis on replacing the Aliens Control Act. On the other hand
the Constitutional Court ordered the government to come up with an Immigration
law that will seek to repeal the Aliens Control Act before the 2 June 2002.
But this challenge of introducing a new Immigration law had to be balanced
with the need to provide employment for the millions of South Africans who were
denied job opportunities under apartheid.
The Immigration Act is an important piece of legislation. The issue of immigration
has become increasingly topical and controversial in South Africa and in the
world in general.
Today we live in a global village where we have to engage and compete in terms
of skills and technology with other markets. We acknowledge the shortage of
skills in many categories that also contribute in the slow down of the pace
of economic growth and development.
It is important to note the trends in the formation of economic regional blocs
with migration regimes that has preferential treatment and mobility of citizen
of member states e.g EU which represents the most advance model of such arrangement.
It is clear that in the long term we will have such arrangement in the SADC.
For this goal to be achieved we should continue to work towards building vibrant
and strong economies of our region.
The Immigration Act is the first step in contributing towards the creation
of a planned system of immigration that is simple, achievable, and manageable
and serves our country`s interest.
The three key objectives of this Immigration Act are:
- To regulate the movement in entry and exit of immigrants.
- To promote capital and human investment in South Africa
- To set up a new system of Immigration control.
The Act establishes a legislative framework for the issuing of temporary residence
permits allowing foreigners to enter, sojourn and conduct certain activities
including work activities in the Republic of South Africa.
The Act empowers the Department of Home Affairs to issue such permits as per
the economic needs and political objectives of the country.
The Act also provides for a human rights based legal framework to deal with
matters relating to foreigners within the Republic.
THE NEW SYSTEM OF IMMIGRATION SEEKS TO ENSURE THAT:
- Temporary and permanent residence permits are issued expeditiously without
consuming excessive administrative capacity.
- State retains control on the immigration of foreigners
- There is inter-departmental co-ordination to enrich the functions of Immigration
- The border monitoring is strengthened to ensure that the borders and the
ports of entry are efficiently administered, managed and that immigration
laws are effectively enforced.
- Immigration control is performed within the highest applicable standards
of a human rights culture
- Lastly that racism and xenophobia are prevented and eliminated from our
South Africa as a country realises that, it has to make a contribution, as
part of the family of nations to combat racism, xenophobia and related intolerances.
We are obligated as a people to promote a culture of human rights and in this
regard ensure that our Immigration laws uphold the values enshrined in the Constitution.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND THE CROSSING
OF THE FLOOR
political realignment of political parties as witnessed provide a lesson for
all of us.
Firstly, the New National Party and the Democratic Party formed what they called
a democratic alliance, and the intention of this particular alliance was to
mobilise for a" white bloc" within the South African politics.
As a result the NNP and DP fought the 5th December 2000 local government elections
under the banner of the Democratic Alliance.
The DA as an alliance failed to pull through and the NNP broke away from the
DA, and this necessitated that a constitutional amendments be effected to allow
DA councillors to be able to move back to the NNP without losing their seats
in the respective municipalities.
The significant political development with regards to a decision taken by the
NNP to move away from the DA led to a change in the country`s political landscape.
More importantly, the agenda for nation building and reconciliation was boosted
as it provided an opportunity to reconcile our people.
Our electoral system at the national and provincial level is on a party-list
system, based on proportional representation, and does not provide for the crossing
of the floor. In local government we have a mixed proportional and ward system.
Under proportional representation voters vote for parties, rather than individuals,
and for this reason our Constitution has an anti-defection clause. Generally,
individual elected representatives should be bound by the mandate of their respective
parties, and should not see themselves as free agents to come and go while still
retaining their seats.
However, the fluidity of our still very new multi-party democracy, the crisis
in the DA, and also the fact that internationally many established proportional
representation systems allow for some crossing of the floor - all of these considerations
led the ANC to support the idea of amending the Constitution and other relevant
laws to allow for some crossing of the floor.
new Constitutional and legislative amendments provide for:
- an immediate and once-off 15-day period in which elected representatives
in all three spheres (national parliament, provincial legislatures and local
councils) can cross over from one party to another, without any fear of sanction
from the parties they choose to leave.
- Two window periods for crossing of the floor in every electoral term. In
other words, in the second year and fourth years of the election term, crossing
of the floor will be allowed. By so doing, we want to ensure that there is
no opportunism, that individuals stand one day on one party list, and then,
within months switch over.
- In future the 15-day period will be linked to a 10 percent requirement.
When we implement these constitutional amendments now in June / July 2002,
there will be no "ceiling" required from members of a party in the
relevant legislature or council.
These provisions will strike the right balance between a degree of flexibility
and realism on the one hand, while ensuring that the basic principles of proportional
representation are maintained.
More importantly, it gives an opportunity as the ANC to consolidate our efforts
on nation building and reconciliation.
LEGISLATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS: JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL
Bills currently before the Justice and Constitutional Development Committee
CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AMENDMENT BILL, 2002
This bill amends the Constitution to allow a member of a municipal council
to become a member of another party and remain a member of that council.
The bill also allows an existing party to merge with another party, or to
subdivide into more than one party, while allowing a member of a council
affected by such changes to retain membership of that council.
CONSTITUTIONAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA SECOND AMENDMENT BILL
This bill amends the Constitution to regulate the allocation of delegates
to the National Council of Provinces.
INTERCEPTION AND MONITORING BILL
This bill regulates the interception and monitoring of communications.
It provides for the interception of postal articles and communications.
The bill also provides for the monitoring of communications in the case
of a serious offence or if the security or other compelling national interests
of the Republic are threatened.
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT BILL
The bill incorporates the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
into South African Law and provides for its implementation and enforcement
in South Africa. This would include the arrest of persons and their surrender
to the International Criminal Court.
INSOLVENCY AMENDMENT BILL
The bill amends the Insolvency Act, to further regulate the effects of
sequestration on employment contracts and the claims for severance and retrenchment
LOSS OR RETENTION OF MEMBERSHIP OF NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURES
The bill amends Schedule 2 of the Constitution to enable a member of a
legislature to become a member of another party while retaining membership
of that legislature; it also enables an existing party to merge with another
party, or to subdivide into more than one party.
JUDICIAL OFFICERS AMENDMENT BILL
The bill amends the Magistrates Courts Act to further regulate the appointment
of magistrates. The Supreme Court Act is amended to further regulate the
remuneration of judges. Certain definitions are substituted in the Judges
Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, which is made applicable
throughout the Republic. The offices of Chief Justice of South Africa and
President of the Constitutional Court are brought in line with the Constitution.
The bill regulates the remuneration of judges and Constitutional Court judges,
the discharge of judges from active service, the performance of service
by a judge discharged from active service, and the vacation of office by
Constitutional Court judges. The bill creates a mechanism to deal with complaints
against judges and amends the Magistrates Act so as to further regulate
the salaries of magistrates. The bill amends the Independent Commission
for the Remuneration of Public Office-bearers Act, 1997, so as to extend
the definition of "office-bearer" to include judges and magistrates and
extends the functions of the Independent Commission for the Remuneration
of Public Office-bearers; Finally the bill amends the Public Finance Management
Act, 1999, in order to add the salaries and allowances paid to magistrates
to Schedule 5 thereof.
PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION BILL
To provide for the prevention of corruption and related offences.
REINSTATEMENT OF ENROLLMENT OF CERTAIN LEGAL PRACTITIONERS BILL
To provide for the reinstatement of the enrolment of legal practitioners
since deceased, who were struck off the role of advocates or attorneys as
a result of their opposition to apartheid.
The core function of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
is to provide a fair, equitable and accessible system of justice.
COPYRIGHT AND PERFORMERS PROTECTION
In the past, South African legislation recognized intellectual property rights
only of composers, but not of performers in the music industry. This meant that
performers, whose recordings were broadcast on radio stations, had no right
to any income. There is a growing recognition that we need to generate an income
stream for performers and the Amendments to the Copyright and Performers Protection
Acts enacted earlier this year 2002. These Acts provide for a royalty payment
to performers whose work is broadcast. A summary of these bills is as follows:
- The Copyright Amendment Act
This Act passed by parliament provides for regulations to be promulgated
to govern the process of negotiating royalty payments to both performers
- The Performer`s Protection Act
This piece of legislation will require a broadcaster who plays a record
to compensate performers as well as composers with a royalty payment set
at a level subject to agreement. This law also makes provision for the registration
and regulation of collecting societies formed to collect royalties on behalf
of composers and performers.
These Acts are a response by the ANC government to a pressing need of our
country`s artist, musicians and other performers. These Acts will provide
a basis for generating an income stream that will contribute in developing
a flourishing musical industry in our country.
THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSACTIONS
The African National Congress, the voice of the voiceless, has once again,
in the ongoing effort to uplift the living conditions of our people, introduced
the Electronic Communications and Transaction Bill in Parliament`s National
Assembly recently. This piece of legislation seeks to give under-serviced communities
access to technology and the Internet in general.
The Freedom Charter states that The People Shall Share in the Country`s Wealth!
This bill seeks, therefore, to realise this dream.
The Electronic Communications and Transactions Bill acknowledges the fact
that, despite having won freedom from apartheid and oppression in 1994, our
people are still marginalized and isolated from this country`s economic mainstream.
The ANC believes that this legislation will contribute towards increased levels
of service delivery in public as well as private institutions. We believe, therefore,
that the Electronic Communications Transactions Bill is in keeping with the
election manifesto, which calls for the improvement of the lives of our people
wherever they stay.
The Bill will empower South Africans to run their own technology in an endeavour
to play a meaningful role in the global community. This piece of legislation
endorses the fact that more than one person should be involved in the decisions
of how to deal with various .ZA issues, the accountability to Internet users
of the country and the free flow of ideas of experts in the field of domain
administration, including a dispute resolution mechanism.
As the ANC, this is our point of departure that the Internet belongs to the
citizens of the world. It also belongs to the public and private sectors, which
represent a vast percentage of the world`s citizenry.
This Bill recognises the need for a public-private partnership in encouraging
the growth of the Internet. This principle was brought to light by ICANN when
it confessed that the original concept of Internet naming and address allocation
of "a purely private sector body, based on consensus and consent, has been
shown to be impractical"
Worldwide there are disputes and a huge demand for domain names by different
sectors such as business, cultural and community groups. There are millions
of South Africans who would love to have their names and cultural and other
personal identities registered by the domain administrator. But where will they
find such an administrator? Will the current administrator be capable of coping
with such demand, and resolve any disputes which might arise? A Business Day
editorial even declared that " control of domain names cannot belong to
a selected group of people who happen to be largely white" We concur with
THE PEOPLE SHALL SHARE IN THE COUNTRY`S
The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill
On the 3rd June 2002, the portfolio and select committees of Minerals Energy
began a process of conducting hearings on the mineral and petroleum resources
development bill. Presentations were heard from various stakeholders in the
mining industry. These include new entrants in the industry, agriculture and
environmental sectors, organised labour and individuals.
principles of the bill include;
- Recognising the internationally accepted right of the State to exercise
sovereignty over all the mineral resources within the Republic.
- Giving effect to the principle of the State`s custodianship of the nation`s
- Promoting equitable access to the nation`s mineral resources to all the
people of South Africa.
- Expanding opportunities for historically disadvantaged persons to enter
the mineral industry to benefit from the exploitation of the nation`s mineral
- Promoting economic growth and development in the Republic.
- Providing for security of tenure in respect of prospecting and mining operations;
giving effect to section 24 of the Constitution by ensuring that the nation`s
mineral resources are developed in an orderly and ecologically sustainable
Each stakeholder has submitted a compelling set of concerns or arguments geared
towards satisfying its particular case or circumstances. In arriving at a truly
representative legislative framework, the committee will have to take into consideration
issues of national interests. These include the following: National and foreign
direct investment directed at economic growth; job creation and skills development;
environmental management and social upliftment; the levelling of playing fields
and the bringing in of new entrants.
It is therefore imperative that all South Africans (irrespective of their
political affiliation, race, religion or any personal interests) should focus
their efforts on ensuring that this piece of legislation assist us in building
our nation and creating a better life for all.
The ANC, through its study group will ensure that we strike a balance between
these sectorial, if not sometimes competing interests. In so doing, we would
have fulfilled our sole mandate and objective of producing a balanced piece
of legislation that will ensure that mining truly becomes an industry that benefits
all the South African people.
When looking at the fundamental objectives of the bill, one can clearly see
that this piece of legislation breathes life into the third clause of the freedom
charter; the people shall share in the country`s wealth.
Our people must cease this opportunity provided by this particular piece of
legislation which opens up to starting businesses in the mining of lime, gravel,
sand, gold, diamond, coal etc. It will encourage the forming of co-ops, in order
for our people to be significant players in this important part of the economy.
In addition, our environment will be better maintained for both this current
generation and for those who will come after us. Workers in the mines will cease
to be treated like pieces of machinery; rather they will be accorded human dignity
Sizabalazela ilizwe lokhokho bethu!
Sizabalazela ilizwe labantu abamnyama!
A TRIBUTE TO OUR FALLEN HEROES
Peter Mokaba joins a parade of honor: Alfred Nzo, Govan Mbeki, Steven Tshwete,
Delivered at Farewell ceremony hosted
We live and speak no longer conscious of our
I know that in our hearts
Today is another battle we face
It is time for all of us
By Lechesa Tsenoli
MEC Local Government and Housing, Free State
Heroic one pass on
The revolution loses champions
People and the revolution itself