Friday 20th Oct 2017

Written Reply, National Assembly - 

 

QUESTION NO: 2426

Ms D Carter (Cope) to ask the President of the Republic:
Whether, with reference to his reply to question 2278 on 11 November 2016, a certain family (name furnished) made monetary contributions towards the home loan of a certain person (name furnished); if not, what is his position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NW2674E

REPLY:

The issues raised in the question may form part of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry recommended by the Public Protector in her Report of “State of Capture”. As such, I cannot go into the details of the issues raised in the question.


QUESTION NO: 2552

Mr M W Madisha (Cope) to ask the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether radical economic transformation is the Government’s official economic policy; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so;
(2) whether, with reference to his advocacy of the radical economic transformation policy as well as his role in leading the country into the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa economic partnership, he has at any stage found his life to be under threat as a result of poisoning attempts; if so, (a) who conspired to poison him, (b) did he commission any investigations in this regard and (c) what are the further relevant details? NW2810E

REPLY:

Radical economic transformation is government policy. The policy of our government is informed by the policy of the governing party, the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC at its National Conference in Mangaung in December 2012, declared that we had begun a second decisive phase of our long transition from Colonialism of a Special Type to a National Democratic Society, and that this second phase would be characterised by more radical policies and decisive action to effect socio-economic change and continued democratic transformation.

When I was inaugurated as President of the Republic for the second time on 24 May 2014, I began to give effect to the resolution in my inauguration address, when outlining the focus of the fifth democratic administration for the years 2014-2019. I said: “Today marks the beginning of the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society. This second phase will involve the implementation of radical socio-economic transformation policies and programmes over the next five years”. The speech is attached for the Honourable Member’s perusal.

The ANC January 8 statement this year further outlined the governing party’s focus on radical socio-economic transformation, and also specifically radical economic transformation with a focus on the economy.

Radical socio-economic transformation was declared a priority for 2017/18 for government in the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA). In the SONA government sets out a Policy Framework and an Action Plan within which we will prioritise the allocation of resources and actions for a particular year. We defined radical economic transformation referring to fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female.

We are already busy with the implementation of many aspects of the policy through our Nine Point Plan, ensuring that work done in the priority sectors that we have targeted for attention in order to reignite growth, include the meaningful participation of black people who were excluded in the past.

These sectors include mining, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, tourism, ICT, water and sanitation, industrialisation and others. We are working hard to enhance the compacts between business, labour and government as one part of effective transformation. Together we need to broaden the ownership, management and control of the economy so that we build a more sustainable future, with an economy in which the majority plays a meaningful role and in which they benefit, as it must happen in any country. The current situation where the income of white households remains at least six times higher than that of black households as per the last Census cannot be left unchallenged and must be corrected by all of us, especially business, government and labour working together.

I am not aware of a conspiracy to poison me because of the decision of South Africa to join BRICS or because of the radical economic transformation policy of government.


QUESTION NO: 2562

Mr N L S Kwankwa (UDM) to ask the President of the Republic:
(1) What is the position of the Government of South Africa with regard to the resolutions taken at the 28th African Union (AU) Summit held in January 2017 to (a) re-admit Morocco to the AU, although this was in violation of the Constitutive Act of the AU and (b) adopt the Kagame Report on AU Reform without it having been discussed by member states prior to the specified summit;
(2) whether the Government supported the adoption of the Kagame Report; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW2822E

REPLY:

The Government of South Africa accepts the outcome of the Summit on the admission of Morocco to promote unity and coherence within the Continent. Member states expressed strong views that by virtue of acceding to the Constitutive Act, Morocco should abide by all provisions of the Act and immediately resolve its relations with the Western Sahara to ensure territorial integrity between the two nations. South Africa also supports the Summit’s decision that the African Union should prioritise the resolution of the impasse between the two countries to change the status quo, failing which the principles on which the African Union was constituted, as articulated in the Constitutive Act, would be undermined. We fully support the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination.

South Africa supports the adoption of the Kagame Report as its general thrust seeks to strengthen the African Union (AU) and improve its functioning and effectiveness. South Africa will continue to safeguard the values of the AU Constitutive Act, and in this regard will continue to engage in AU discussions on the implementation of the report in a sustainable manner.

QUESTION NO: 2563

Mr N L S Kwankwa (UDM) to ask the President of the Republic:
What steps did South Africa as Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation from 2016 until August 2017 take after President Kabila and the Electoral Commission announced that the elections will no longer be held in 2017 and that President Kabila will stand for re-election on an election date to be determined contrary to the December 2016 agreement signed by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) led by President Joseph Kabila, the opposition parties led by the Union for Democracy and Social Progress and civil society organisations aimed at averting a slide into anarchy and civil war in the DRC, which requires President Kabila, whose term of office expired in December 2016 to step down after the elections that must take place before the end of 2017 and (b) did the Government of South Africa take any steps to quell the violence that erupted in the DRC immediately after the violation of this ag reement, in order to ensure peace and stability in the region? NW2823E

REPLY:

South Africa was not the Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation from 2016 to August 2017.

It should be noted that SADC through the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation remains seized with the political developments in the DRC. The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation works on the basis of the Troika which at the time comprised of the Current Chair which was the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Angola as Incoming-Chair and the Republic of Mozambique as Outgoing Chair.

Following the demonstrations led by the opposition parties in the DRC on 19 and 20 September 2016 which resulted in violence, deaths and destruction of property, the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, H.E. Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the Republic of the United Republic of Tanzania mandated the deployment of an Organ Troika Ministerial Assessment Mission to the DRC from 10 to 13 October 2016. The Assessment Mission was led by the Hon. Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania as Chairperson, who was accompanied by Hon. Georges R. Chikoti, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola and Deputy Chairperson and Hon. Patricio Jose, Deputy Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Mozambique representing the Outgoing Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperati on.

The Organ Troika Assessment Mission made the following observations and conclusions:

(i) The political situation in the DRC remained volatile, thus necessitating the need for SADC to remain closely seized with the DRC situation and required deployment of regular follow-up missions and continued expression of SADC support of the DRC;
(ii) The Inclusive National Political Dialogue and the implementation of the outcomes thereof remains paramount in terms of garnering popular support to the electoral process, and the need to ensure the conduct of peaceful credible elections;
(iii) The process of updating the voters’ register should be expedited and finalised within the time line to be agreed upon by the stakeholders;
(iv) The regular deployment of follow-up SADC missions, including the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC), has been prioritised and will remain a priority in order to enhance the visibility of SADC’s continued involvement and to demonstrate SADC’s support to the DRC peace, security and electoral processes;
(v) SADC to ensure that there is high level engagement with the Government of the DRC, especially within the current period up to December 2016, in order to encourage the Government and other stakeholders to refrain from resorting to violence, and instead continue to dialogue with opposition groups with a view to addressing the outstanding issues; and
(vi) The International Community should be encouraged to support the DRC National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) financially and materially in relation to the on-going voters’ registration process that will facilitate the conduct of combined presidential, parliamentary, and provincial elections, to be followed by local elections.

A Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government was also held in Lozitha, Kingdom of Swaziland on 17 March 2017 and noted that the political and security developments in the DRC and:

(i) commended the President of the DRC H.E. Joseph Kabila Kabange, the Government of the DRC, the National Episcopal Conference of Catholic Bishops for the DRC (CENCO), political parties and other stakeholders for the continued efforts in addressing the political security challenges;
(ii) noted and commended CENCO for the renewed meditation efforts, and urged the DRC stakeholders to finalise the Specific Arrangements for the Implementation of the 31st December 2016 Political Agreement, in particular the nomination of the Chairperson of the National Monitoring Committee, and encouraged the opposition to expeditiously submit the nominees for the position of the Prime Minister (now appointed);
(iii) called upon the International Community to support the DRC in the electoral processes that are expected to facilitate peaceful and successful elections; and
(iv) mandated the Organ Ministerial Troika to immediately conduct a follow-up mission to the DRC, on a date to be agreed upon in consultation with the Chairperson of the Organ and the Government of the DRC.

These efforts demonstrate that SADC remains committed in ensuring that the situation in the DRC is resolved in order for peace and security to prevail. South Africa will play her role as SADC chairperson to ensure that the peace and stability goals of SADC in the region are achieved.

QUESTION NO: 2565

Mr N L S Kwankwa (UDM) to ask the President of the Republic:
In light of the fact that no African country submitted a report at the 28th Summit of the African Union (AU) held in January, which required that all African countries present reports on the measures they have undertaken to implement the recommendations of the report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa that was submitted to the AU by the former President Mr Thabo Mbeki, in 2015 (a) what measures has South Africa taken to respond to the challenge of illicit financial flows from South Africa, (b) whether South Africa has since taken steps to encourage other African countries to submit their reports and (c) why did South Africa fail to submit its illicit financial flows report at the specified summit? NW2869E

REPLY:

There was no requirement for South Africa to submit a report to the January AU Summit. However, South Africa has taken several measures and has acted strongly against the scourge of illicit financial flows, both at domestic and international levels.

Domestically, we have taken several steps to tighten the existing laws. These include:

· Signing into law the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act, 2017. This Act addresses, amongst others, a full range of customer due diligence (CDD) requirements which are focussed on understanding customers better; Beneficial ownership, which requires institutions to know and understand the natural persons who ultimately own or exercise control over legal entities or structures; Prominent (influential) Persons, which requires institutions to better manage risks relating to relationships with prominent persons; and Freezing of assets, in terms of targeted financial sanctions against persons identified by United Nations Security Council in terms of various sanctions regimes.

· The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the National Treasury are undertaking a review of the list of scheduled (accountable and reporting) institutions to strengthen reporting from such institutions in sectors susceptible to being abused for the laundering and illicit financial flows.

· The FIC is also partnering with the Department of Home Affairs, SARS Customs and the South African Police Services, in a Task Team which has been established to conduct a pilot project for the cash declaration reporting at ports of entry and exit.

· The National Treasury is also chairing a forum consisting of the SA Reserve Bank, FIC, Financial Services Board and SARS to improve coordination and sharing of information on illicit financial flows. It is envisaged that this forum will be formalised under the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) Inter-Departmental Committee that the Director-General of National Treasury is in the process of establishing as a replacement of the Counter Money-Laundering Advisory Council, which was abolished by the amendments to the FIC Act.

At an international context we have also signed multilateral agreements:

· Automatic Exchange of Financial Accounts Information, also known as Common Reporting Standard, which forms basis for automatic annual exchange information on offshore accounts to tax authorities of the residence country of account holders. It is intended to make it more difficult for taxpayers to hide their assets abroad. South Africa is amongst the first 60 countries that have commenced the first automatic exchanges on 1 September 2017 and has already activated bilateral exchange relationships with 48 of the 60 countries;

· Transfer Pricing Country-by-Country (CbC), which provides tax administrations a global view of the operations of multinational enterprises and provide tax authorities with necessary information to enable them to make a high level risk assessment and to determine whether they should conduct a tax audit. South Africa will receive the first CbC Reports on 31 December 2017; and

· To date South Africa has over 79 tax treaties in place and the signing of the Multilateral Instrument (MLI) by South Africa automatically amended 44 of the 79 tax treaties and this number is expected to grow as more countries sign the MLI.

· Currently, 71 countries have signed the MLI, with Nigeria, Mauritius and Cameroon being the latest to sign. The MLI will swiftly implement a series of tax treaty related Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) measures to update the existing network of bilateral tax treaties and reduce opportunities for tax avoidance by multinational enterprises.

This responsibility lies with the African Union and its 2015 Summit decision, on the report of the High Level Panel, directed the AU Commission to mount a diplomatic and media campaign for the return of illicitly out-flown assets.

QUESTION NO: 2674

Mr N L S Kwankwa (UDM) to ask the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether, in light of the decision of the African countries in 2012 to establish a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by October 2017, which was reconfirmed in Addis Ababa in November 2016, in order to boost intra-Africa trade, the country has taken any steps to ensure that member countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa receive the same revenue they derive from the current free trade agreement even after the new agreement has come into effect; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) what steps has the country taken to ensure (a) the finalisation of this process and (b) that, unlike most free trade agreements, the CFTA does not skew trade and development in favour of the more developed countries on the continent? NW2980E

REPLY:

The negotiations towards establishing the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) are building on the trade liberalisation progress and achievements of the Regional Economic Communities such as our own, the Southern Africa Development Community, (SADC) and others.

The aim is to enhance intra-regional trade and ensure that African countries trade with each other on better terms than third countries. A free trade area implies granting parties thereto preferential access in terms of tariff duties, which has implications for revenue. Each negotiating party makes its own sovereign assessment about the benefits of entering into the CFTA negotiations and whether they potentially outweigh the negative considerations that arise. It is therefore not possible to predict with any degree of precision, how the CFTA will impact on the revenue base of the negotiating state parties. This will depend on the export profile of each negotiating state party to the CFTA.

The overriding imperative of the CFTA is to boost intra-Africa trade, promote market integration and industrialisation in Africa. A bigger market will improve the prospects of African countries to attract investment, promote the development of regional value-chains thus increase the potential of diversifying the economic base. We believe that this will contribute positively to economic growth and development in Africa.

South Africa takes the CFTA negotiations very seriously, as the intervention has the potential to contribute positively to economic growth and development in Africa. Our commitment to the CFTA is evidenced by the fact that South Africa hosted the meeting of the AU Assembly of Heads of States that launched the CFTA negotiations. The CFTA is also one of the priorities of Agenda 2063 and the African Union Assembly of Heads of States receives regular feedback on progress. To demonstrate our commitment to the expeditious finalisation of the CFTA negotiations, South Africa recently hosted meetings of the CFTA technical working groups and the negotiating forum from 20 August to 2 September 2017, in Durban. Further, South Africa has made specific proposals, towards the conclusion of the CFTA negotiations.

In addition, the CFTA negotiations are receiving the highest political attention in South Africa, to provide the necessary guidance to speedily move towards the conclusion of the CFTA. South Africa is represented at all AU Trade Ministers meetings wherein the CFTA is discussed and direction given by AU Ministers of Trade to the negotiators. The International Trade and Economic Development Division of the dti advances and defends South Africa’s trade interests in the CFTA negotiations. The positions that South Africa advances in the CFTA negotiations are an outcome of consultations that take place in NEDLAC.

South Africa has advanced the development integration approach to the CFTA that combines market integration, industrial and infrastructure development. This approach ensures that Africa addresses the fundamental constraints to intra-Africa trade and Africa’s integration into the global economy, which include productive and supply-side constraints. This approach has been adopted by the Continent as a good basis to advance regional integration. This ensures that the benefits of the CFTA are broadened through the diversification of the export base and promoting inter-connectivity through infrastructure development.

Having said that, South Africa advances the retention of the policy space for development, particularly for Least Developed Countries. We defend the retention of policy space in any free trade agreement for the advancement of national development objectives such as industrialisation, access to affordable public health and the introduction of other development advancing measures in all free trade negotiations that we are party to, including the CFTA. South Africa supports free trade agreements that expressly recognise differentials in levels of development, and accordingly create differentiated obligations. South Africa is therefore committed to ensuring that the CFTA benefits all AU member states.


QUESTION NO: 2844

The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the President of the Republic:
Whether he intends to heed the call for 16 August to be declared a commemorative day to be observed annually, in honour of those workers who lost their lives on 16 August 2012 in Marikana; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW3151E

REPLY:

The death of more than 40 mineworkers in Marikana in August 2012 is a tragedy that should never be allowed to happen again in our country.

We should remember those who lost their lives by improving the living conditions of the people in Marikana.

On 26 August 2012, I appointed a Commission of Inquiry to investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the tragic incidents at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana. In total 44 people lost their lives and many others were injured. Government is busy implementing the findings of the report.

I established an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), which is convened by the Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. The IMC comprises of the Departments of Human Settlements, Mineral Resources, Social Development, Police, Justice and Correctional Services, and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in order to manage the efforts to address the short and medium term challenges in the relevant areas.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities, through its work, leadership and intervention, has achieved commendable results, which include:

Approximately 522 housing units that have been completed to date;
Planning for Phase 2 of the housing development in Marikana Extension 5 is already underway and measures 144 hectares in extent, owned by Lonmin. The site has capacity to cater for 5 000 housing units. Lonmin has commenced with the pre-feasibility study for this development;
Lonmin completed the conversion of all their hostels, namely 776 family units and 1 908 single apartments by December 2014, as per the Mining charter requirements;
Lonmin has also submitted a new second Social and Labour Plan for the period 2014 until 2018. It undertook to build 4 000 infill apartments which are not meant to replace homeownership but to provide decent accommodation for employees.

Phase 1 at the Karee Housing Estate has been completed, comprising 100 family units and 225 bachelor units. The next phase is in progress and should be finalised by the end 2017 comprising another 120 single units and 48 family units.

The Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities has been mainstreamed into the Government Programme of Action.

Government continues to engage business, labour and communities to seek sustainable solutions that resolve the concerns of mine workers and distressed mining communities and transform the mining sector to broaden the benefits of our country’s rich mineral wealth.

The Revised Mining Charter also seeks to address some of the medium to long-term challenges through the provision that mining license-holders should, as part of Broad-based Economic Empowerment, provide 8% free carry to the mining communities in their area of operations.

Government encourages all society to commemorate tragedies such as the one of Marikana in every manner possible.

Furthermore, government remains on track with regard to implementing the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry which was led by retired Judge Ian Farlam.

We appeal to all social partners to use the lessons from the Marikana tragedy to honour the memory of the victims through practical measures to improve the living and working conditions of mining communities, which is the most effective way to honour them.

President Zuma to visit Zambia

President Jacob Zuma will undertake a State Visit to the Republic of Zambia scheduled to take place on 12-13 October 2017.

President Edgar Lungu of the Republic of Zambia undertook a State Visit to South Africa in December last year.

Interactions between the two Heads of State during this State Visit are aimed at deepening and strengthening the already existing good political, economic and cultural relations underpinned by strong historical ties that date back from the years of the liberation struggle.

Economic cooperation between South Africa and Zambia is steadily growing, with South African exports to Zambia amounting to approximately R30 billion in 2016.

Zambia remains one of South Africa’s top trading partners in the region and the continent. The two countries cooperate in a variety of areas, including trade and investment, science and technology, defence, agriculture, environment, energy as well as health.

There are over 120 South African companies doing business in Zambia in various sectors, including telecommunications, aviation, tourism, banking, property, retail, entertainment and fast foods.

During the State Visit, the two Heads of State will officially open the OR Tambo National Heritage site in Zambia on 13 October 2017.

President Zuma will be accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa; Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies; Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi; Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr Mosebenzi Zwane; and the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Senzeni Zokwana.

Issued by: The Presidency
Pretoria