Deputy President David Mabuza replies to oral questions in the National Assembly

22 November 2018
QUESTION:  On the process undertaken by government to stimulate future investment in the economy through increased agricultural production and food security.

In April 2015, Cabinet mandated the development of a national plan for food and nutrition security to address the challenges of hunger and malnutrition in our country. The proposed plan was also aimed at resolving the lack of co-ordination relating to existing food and nutrition interventions, and to ensure greater impact on society.
Following this directive, the Integrated Food and Nutrition Security Co-ordinating Committee consisting of various relevant departments and our social and development partners was established to co-ordinate the development of the plan.  The Presidency and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation were tasked to lead this process.
This Committee worked tirelessly to develop this plan and completed it in November 2017. The President, in his previous capacity as Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, approved the plan in December 2017.
The National Food and Nutrition Security Plan 2018-2022 is our single, coherent response for co-ordinating the various interventions by government and other stakeholders with a view to achieving security in relation to food and nutrition in the country. It is a crucial instrument to help us intensify our efforts to eradicate hunger and ensure optimal food security and enhanced nutritional status for all our people.
In addition to establishing relevant co-ordinating structures at national, provincial and district levels, the Plan also seeks to, among others, establish inclusive local food value-chains to support access to nutritious and affordable food. The Plan also seeks to scale up high-impact nutrition interventions targeting women, infants and children.
For us as government, land reform is central to our vision of expanding agricultural production capacity to ensure that agriculture contributes significantly to economic growth and building a food-secure nation.
A well-managed land reform process will not only address the negative legacy of land dispossession, but will promote the entry of new players into the agricultural sector without disrupting existing production capabilities.
Land acquisition, restitution and redistribution will unleash a massive potential of emerging Black small-holder and commercial farmers to contribute to enhanced production across a range of commodities.
As part of the stimulus package for agriculture, government will continue to invest in agricultural infrastructure to support farmers in unlocking production. Partnerships with the private sector will be central in attracting private sector funding to augment government’s fiscal capacity to drive key projects in the agricultural and agri-business value chains.
We will work closely with provinces in the implementation projects aimed at accelerating agricultural production, and ensuring that we focus on skills development and mentorship programmes for youth in agriculture.
As part of the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and Agriculture, unutilized and claimed government-owned land will be released to expand access to land for agricultural production, enterprise development and human settlements.
Alongside enhancing access to food for communities in need, the National Food and Nutrition Security Plan is also contributing towards the imperatives of job creation and economic development in our communities.
We recognise the need for intensified efforts and we are working at improving certain areas in the rollout of the food security programme. These include the need to accelerate the number of additional producers supplying food to established markets; and increasing the rand value of food procured from smallholder producers towards the target of spending 30% of the government food procurement budget.
We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all our efforts towards eradication of hunger and poverty are well co-ordinated across government and are responsive to the real needs of our people.
Thank you.
QUESTION:  On steps taken by the Deputy President to ensure adherence of the Members of the Executive to the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, 82 of 1998, as well as the Executive Ethics Code.
As a point of departure, the Deputy President has no direct responsibility for oversight on adherence of the Executive to the Executive Ethics Code. This is not part of the responsibilities delegated to the Deputy President.
Having said that, the Deputy President regards adherence of members of the Executive to the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, 82 of 1998, as well as the Executive Ethics Code, as important in the promotion and upholding of good governance. In this regard, the Executive arm of the state has been tirelessly working with Parliament and the Public Protector, to ensure that the injunctions of the Act are internalised and adhered to by the Executive Members.
The Secretary of Cabinet, who is the registrar of interests for members of the Executive, has consistently introduced newly appointed members of the Executive to the Executive Members’ Ethics Act and the Code soon after their appointment and swearing in.

Members of the Executive submit the financial declarations in a prescribed form within 60 days of appointment, and annually by 31 May.

I am informed that we have achieved high levels of compliance in the declaration of Executive Members’ interests. The Presidency has a team that focuses on monitoring and tracking submissions of declarations to ensure that Members of the Executive do not miss submission deadlines.

The team sends reminders and coordinates the submission of declaration forms. In all Ministries, the Presidency has identified and trained officials that are tasked to assist Executive Members in preparing and submitting their declaration forms.

Where transgressions have occurred, the Public Protector investigates and recommends remedial actions for implementation. We have adequate checks and balances that include available parliamentary mechanisms to enforce accountability.

Where a report on any Executive Member’s misconduct has been submitted to this august House for consideration, it is incumbent upon members here to act in accordance with the rules governing this house.

Thank you.

QUESTION:  On measures taken by government to address land reform and strategies in dealing with inequalities of the past that flow from the land dispossession and economic exclusion of the majority.


Let us remind ourselves that the land reform measures we are embarking on, seek to address inequalities of the past that flow from the land dispossession and economic exclusion of the majority.

Whereas this issue of land has always been a sensitive matter that is at the heart of what our struggle for freedom was about, there is a general consensus that we have to embark on accelerated land reform programme so that we redress the injustices of the past and ensure that through this process, we harness all efforts of nation-building and social cohesion.

As we interact and engage with various stakeholders, there is no doubt that the issue of land expropriation without compensation has generated anxiety among some of the key sectors of society. Among some of the key concerns are that:

This process will result in land grabs which will fuel social instability, It will erode and undermine critical investments that have been made towards building a competitive agricultural sector in our country, It will cause decline in agricultural output as farmers hold back investment decisions, It will polarize society as some organizations distort the objectives of land reform by spreading falsehoods that government is targeting to harm its own white farmers – a race-based narrative intended to divide the nation.

Honourable Members can be assured that the concerns that have been raised in the interactions with various agriculture stakeholders are going to be addressed by ensuring that the land reform matter is handled with utmost sensitivity and care.

Broadly, key stakeholders in the land reform engagements share our view that the land reform programme must be implemented within a constitutionally defined framework. This is the path that our country has chosen.

Our government has said that, as we embark on this process of accelerated land reform through expropriation without compensation, this must be conducted in a responsible manner without negatively affecting economic growth, investment and agricultural production.

We have assured all stakeholders that this process will be orderly, will not lead to disruption of production. In this regard, the President has on several occasions affirmed that there will be no land grabs.

We are now looking forward to the completion of the constitutional review process that is unfolding through a parliamentary process. We remain confident that as a country, we are capable of resolving our own challenges in a peaceful and constructive manner.

Thank you.

QUESTION:  On the promotion of social cohesion initiatives and progress achieved in helping to enhance the status and recognition of the Khoi-San people.


Let me reiterate that as Government, we recognize and respect the rights of all South Africans especially the rights of traditional, cultural, religious and linguistic communities as provided for and enshrined in our Constitution. This includes the promotion and creation of conditions for the development and use of the Khoi, Nama and San languages.

In giving effect to this principle as far as the status and recognition of the Khoi-San people, the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill was tabled in Parliament on 23 September 2015. The main objectives of the Bill are to inter alia provide for the recognition of traditional and Khoi-San communities and their leadership positions.

Provision is also made for the functions and roles of traditional and Khoi-San leaders; for the recognition, establishment, functions, roles and administration of kingship or queenship councils, principal traditional councils, traditional councils, Khoi-San councils and traditional sub-councils, as well as the support to such councils.

Furthermore, provision is made for the establishment, composition and functioning of the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders and the establishment of provincial and local houses of traditional and Khoi-San leaders.

Following a comprehensive Parliamentary process by the CoGTA Portfolio Committee, the Bill was finalized by the National Assembly on 7 November 2017 and is currently before the National Council of Provinces. Once the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill is promulgated into law, the formal process of recognising Khoi-San communities, leaders and structures will commence.

Institutions like the Commission on the Protection and Promotion of the rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic communities (CRL Commission) continue to conduct programmes that include dialogues and campaigns aimed at the restoration of the diminishing heritage of the Khoi-San people.

We must as well note that a Memorandum of Demands was presented to the Presidency by the Khoisan Kingdom and All People on 31 August this year. This memorandum, contains a range of demands that cut across the mandates of several Government departments, including the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Arts and Culture, Justice and Defence.

Some of the demands include among others the recognition, promotion and implementation of the languages of the San and the Khoi, the implementation of expropriation of land without compensation. I am informed that a coordinated response will be finalized and communicated by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in due course.

Among other initiatives by government, I wish to draw the House to the fact that on 24 September this year as part of our Heritage Day celebration in Kokstad, we honoured the great Adam Kok III with the renaming of the Greater Kokstad municipality building after his name, as well as the unveiling of his statue. 

We did this as part of remembering the history of our country and the proud heritage that defines our being as a people. We did this, to claim our identity, our sense of self, and all that makes and defines us as a united, non-racial, non-sexist South Africa that constantly strives for a just and prosperous society. We are one people and the Khoi-San people have an equal claim to say they are South Africans.

Thank you.

QUESTION:  On the work of the Judicial Commission of inquiry into allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the public sector including Organs of State.


Honourable Speaker, the Judicial Commission of inquiry into allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the public sector including Organs of State as guided by the Public Protector’s State of Capture report, is an independent process and should be treated as such. Therefore, Deputy President is not expected to interfere with this process so that it duly runs its process without compromising its integrity.

I have confidence that the Commission is fully empowered by  law, to invite and subpoena where appropriate, individuals implicated in any form of corruption or fraud as covered under the Terms of Reference of the Commission. If there are members of the public who think they have further information to assist the Commission, they are encouraged to approach it and present their case.

It is furthermore important to note that the ANC National Executive Committee of which I am a member, communicated to the public that it supports the Commission and encouraged all those who are implicated and who have been called upon to present evidence to the Commission, to fully cooperate with this process.

As a member of the Executive Arm of the State, it would be inappropriate for me to interfere with the workings of the Commission until it finishes it job.

Thank you.

QUESTION:  On the role of state-owned enterprises in the development of critical socio-economic infrastructure for poverty elimination.


As government we acknowledge that our state-owned enterprises play an important role in South Africa’s economy through the infrastructure investment programmes. The South African economic growth strategy has been underpinned by public-sector infrastructure spending to total 2.7 trillion Rands between 1998 and 2017.

The economic and social infrastructure spending, mainly by SOEs accounts for 1.2 trillion Rands over the same period, which is 44 percent of the total public-sector infrastructure spending. It is through such infrastructure expenditure that SOEs create jobs and in the process address poverty and inequality.

Thus, SOEs are important drivers to economic growth because insufficient investment in economic infrastructure will create constraints to economic development. The SOEs investment in infrastructure is a powerful lever to re-industrialize and deepen industrialisation in the South African economy and it is for this reason that they should be at the forefront of the industrialisation process.

The SOEs are therefore central in the economic growth and development of our country as they operate within the energy and transport sectors as well as in strategic sectors such as water, air and rail transport, telecommunications and other sectors like financial services and development finance.

The SOEs have made a significant contribution to the economy, social development and poverty reduction in South Africa since 1994. A range of SOEs continue to provide essential economic and socio-economic infrastructure and services in this regard.

They are also playing a key role in enhancing skills, promoting entrepreneurship and opening up opportunities for job creation. We can only reduce poverty by generating income through sustainable jobs and business opportunities. I would like to focus on some practical examples and to provide a small glimpse into the extensive work done by the SOEs to alleviate poverty.

Let me start with the commercial SOEs, for example Transnet, Eskom, SANRAL, Telkom and Broadband-Infraco, which remain an important part of our national economy across a wide range of sectors. These are being directed by their respective shareholders to deliver on developmental outcomes, often in areas where market or institutional failures would make such outcomes unlikely, if left to private enterprises who tend to be wholly focused on profits.

Procurement policies, processes and related systems are being revised to ensure that local supplier development is integrated into procurement practices. Supplier development related Key Performance Indicators are now embedded in the shareholder compacts of most SOEs. Through the supplier development programs, implementation is driven towards maximising localisation and making an impact on both the economy and in the critical socio-economic infrastructure.

For example, Eskom places a particular emphasis on supplier development and localisation to transform the supplier base, whilst developing supply sectors that are important to the industry. Eskom-wide, a total of 1 373 new contracts worth 70.4 billion Rands were awarded and commenced during the financial year 2017/18 alone, of which 87% or 61.3 billion Rands of the contract value was committed to local content. Of those, 85 contracts worth 1.8 billion Rands were awarded within the new-build programme. The local content committed to in the new-build programme amounted to 1.6 billion Rands, representing around 86%.

Eskom continues to connect previously disadvantaged households in licensed areas of supply through the Department of Energy funded electrification programme. During the financial year 2017/18, Eskom connected 215 519 households to electricity, thereby exceeding the target for the year in all provinces. Universal access to electricity has been reached for clinics thus eliminating the backlog that was there.

On 31 March this year, 38 111 people were employed by the capacity expansion programme at the Medupi, Kusile and Ingula new-build sites and on large transmission projects. Collaborative efforts with construction and government partners continue to drive skills development and skills transfer.

Corporate Social Investment initiatives are focused on developing small and medium enterprises, education, health, food security, community development, energy and the environment. For 2018, Eskom’s CSI activities have already impacted more than 1.1 million beneficiaries, with a total spend of 192 million Rands.

It is also critical that we drive our information technology network through companies such as Telkom and Broadband-Infraco. These companies implement the required communications infrastructure – not only for the formal business sector, but also for small micro business sector thus leading to much needed socio-economic upliftment of the poor.

Telkom is implementing strategic transformational projects, which include delivering an integrated broadband plan and becoming South Africa’s leading provider of Wi-Fi services. The provision of Wi-Fi services goes hand in hand with Government’s household electrification policy.

As an example, a small or micro enterprise with an electricity connection and an internet connection can have direct access to information pertaining to its products that will unlock the sale of goods and services, payment for those goods and services, creation of employment and ultimately a reduction in poverty.

In terms of road infrastructure, SANRAL is also making a meaningful contribution to the reduction of poverty through the delivery of socio-economic infrastructure that opens opportunities for SMMEs to participate as well as in the creation of job opportunities and skills development.

The improvement and expansion of key economic corridors, have substantially improved mobility and in the process, stimulating economic growth in the key production centres and areas with depressed economic potential.

This enables job creation and income generation. A few examples are the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), the Gateway and Umngeni Interchanges in KZN, the Gauteng-Durban Corridor and the N2 Wild Coast which have been a good training ground for the development of SMMEs from Grades 1 or 2 to Grades 3 to 5.

The SMMEs are put through an intense 24-month training program and trained in road construction trades in order to equip and enable them to pursue opportunities in SANRAL’s mainstream national projects or other projects in provinces and municipalities.

SANRAL also has a skills development program that capacitates people across various levels. In high schools, it focuses on providing scholarships in Maths and Science, and in universities and TVET colleges SANRAL gives higher education bursaries in engineering and technical careers. Support is also provided to Universities in post-graduate research.

In terms of internships programme, they provide design and construction site experience. SANRAL also has a Technical Excellence Academy for engineers in training to professional registration.

All of these initiatives help grow capacity in the roads construction sector, thus ensuring good quality infrastructure delivery and skilled employment.

Through all these efforts, our SOEs will continue to play a meaningful role in the growth and development of our economy. The measures to improve governance and efficiencies that the President is championing, will place our various SOEs in a much strengthened position to thrive, become profitable thereby enhancing capacity to fulfil their economic mandates that they have been entrusted to them.

Thank you.