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Budget Vote 2 (Parliament), Speech by Hon. DE Dlakude, Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party, National Assembly, 22 May 2018

His Excellency the President of the Republic

His Excellency the Deputy President

Honorable Speaker/ Deputy Speaker

Honorable Members

Distinguished Guest

SANIBONANI

Today's budget vote takes place 3 days after His Excellency the President Cryil Ramaphosa launched the "THUMA MINA CAMPAIGN" at Ekurhuleni in Thembisa, this campaign is aimed at improving service delivery and ensures the participation of all citizens. As ANC members, we are ready to run.

Honorable Speaker

The African National Congress has declared 2018, the year to celebrate the centenary of its two struggle icons, TATA Nelson Mandela, the global icon, the father of the nation and the first democratic President of the Republic of South Africa. We remember his vision of a non-racial society, in order to build a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it, black and white. He was the embodiment of our shared hopes, dreams, aspirations and sense of a common nationhood. In him, we have a repository of all the best values and attributes that are necessary for a new, united and democratic society.

We also celebrate UMAMA Albertina Sisulu, a great daughter of the African soil who dedicated her life to the service of the people of this country. We recall the great sacrifice she made and the pioneering role she played in the struggle for the emancipation of women.

Honorable Speaker,

Allow me to pay respect the two fallen gallant solders of our revolution who contributed immensely to the liberation struggle of this country. UMAMA Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the Mother of the nation, the fearless revolutionary freedom fighter, the epitome of resilience who fought and defeated the brutal apartheid regime.

And also, UTATA Dr Zola Skweyiya, a Veteran of the ANC, a constitutionalist and gallant leader of our revolutionary movement.

All these gallant leaders contributed immensely towards South Africa's liberation struggle. They have all left an indelible mark in the history of our country. Our people will remember their invaluable contribution to rebuild our country.

As honorable members of this house we ought to emulate their commitment to the struggle of realizing the non- racial, non- sexist and prosperous South Africa.

An Opportunity to Reflect and Introspect in order to make the Appropriate Transitional Arrangements

Honorable Members,

As much as the consideration of this budget vote allows us to cast our gaze forward, towards completing this cycle of the fifth parliament, it is also an opportunity for us to critically introspect and assess the milestones, weaknesses and systemic challenges that we have been confronted with during the course of this current dispensation.

It is an opportunity for us to critically reflect on the transitional arrangements that must be activated, in order for our work to have a greater impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans.
Constitutional Mandate of Parliament

Honorable Speaker

In terms of section 42(3) of the constitution, our mandate as Parliament is to ensure government by the people under the constitution. This mandate we execute by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues, by passing legislation, by passing the budget and by scrutinizing and overseeing executive action.

The constitutional mandate given to parliament by the electorate is also guided by the following objectives, which is to:

As the vanguard of freedom and democracy in South Africa, this national Parliament is hence constituted as a critical mechanism, to advance South Africa's transformation and development agenda.

Parliament is constituted to ensure that we continue to reverse the effects of poverty and underdevelopment, while creating a conducive environment to enable inclusive growth.

As a critical role player, the legislature must ensure that a platform for public dialogue on issues of strategic and national importance is adequately functional.

Parliament must also decisively implement its mandate as informed by the prescripts of the constitution. It must do so being cognizant of its functional role in the context of a developmental state.

This Parliament must be alive to the pressing needs currently facing our people, while harnessing the available opportunities to create a better life for all. This resolve must find expression through the commitment to achieve the hopes and dreams of our people.

Honorable Members,

The overarching mission of this parliament must therefore continue to provide the people of South Africa with a vibrant people's assembly that intervenes and transforms society and addresses the development challenges of our people.

To this end, effective oversight over the executive is critical. Furthermore, the effective scrutiny of government activities to ensure that the needs of South Africans are met, is equally critical.

The Role of the Legislative Sector in Advancing People's Power

Madam Speaker

In its 54th elective national conference, the ANC reaffirmed its position in ensuring that the legislative sector remains a critical instrument for advancing people's power and fast tracking the transformation of our society.

The conference also resolved that an assessment of the configuration of the legislative sector, across all spheres of government must be undertaken, with a focus on the efficacy and functionality of the sector. This assessment must establish whether the legislative sector is appropriately configured, adequately resourced, optimally functional and whether it works cooperatively with other arms of state across all spheres.

This assessment comes at a critical time in the life of our democracy. Its findings will allow us to reconfigure the sector in a manner that will allow for seamless implementation of the National Development Plan, to ensure delivery within the stipulated timelines.

Three Arms of State and Judicial Encroachment

Honorable Members

Chapter 3 of the constitution envisaged that the cooperative government and intergovernmental relations must enable the three arms of state to collectively work towards an aspiring developmental state.

Section 41(1) instructs the arms of state to exercise their powers and perform their functions in a manner that does not encroach the geographical, functional or institutional integrity of government in another sphere.

It is behind this background that the Speaker of Parliament embarked on a journey that seeks to mend intergovernmental relations that might have broken between the three arms of state in the past years.
We therefore applaud the act of patriotism and dedication shown by the Speaker, in working towards the attainment of our constitutional imperatives.

Constituting the High-Level Panel

Honorable Members,

This fifth Parliament, through the speaker's forum, as led by the honorable speaker Cde Baleka Mbete, moved to establish an in-dependent high level panel led by eminent South African leaders. The panel was established in order to undertake the task of assessing the content and implementation of legislation that has been passed since 1994.

The panel's mandate has been to review legislations, assess implementation, identify gaps and propose action steps with the view to identify laws that require strengthening, amending or changing.

The high-level panel (HLP) in its recommendations, identified gaps in some legislations and laws that need to be strengthened. Key amongst the challenges that have been identified by the High-Level Panel is the adequacy of inclusive public participation.

In trying to address this challenge, portfolio committees, have begun putting systems in place to strengthen their public participation and oversight processes. The high-level panel has made a number of critical observations, which form an important part of our transitional arrangements into the 6th parliament.

Reviewing the Efficacy of Parliaments Strategic Plan, Oversight and Accountability Processes in relation to the National Development Plan (NDP)

Honorable Members

As prescribed in the ANC's Strategy and Tactics Policy Paper, "the main goal of state transformation, is building a developmental state that provides effective and basic services with capabilities to take forward a far reaching agenda of national economic development, whilst at the same time placing people and their involvement at the centre of this process". These policy principles are critical drivers in this people's parliament and in the process to advance South Africa's transformation agenda.

To this end, Parliament's Strategic Plan is a critical tool for advancing the country's development objectives in line with the above policy directives. The interplay between Parliament's Strategic plan, the NDP as the overarching nexus for development and Parliament's oversight and accountability mechanisms is therefore critical.

In light of these functional policy drivers, the role and capacity of Parliament as part of the triangular nexus of the Three Arms of State, is an equally critical feature in the resolve to bring about measurable change in the lives of ordinary South Africans.

Honorable speaker

The Strategic Plan of Parliament as a Tool to Effect Transformation.

As part of our transitional arrangements going into the sixth Parliament, we must continue to find the appropriate mechanisms to ensure that our oversight processes become location specific and outcome based.

Bearing in mind that our parliament is operating in the context of a developmental state, we must ensure that our strategic planning processes give effect to the most catalyzing policy directives. Our focus must be on conducting oversight over policy priorities that have the capacity to accelerate development and bring marginalized communities into the mainstream economy.

It is for this reason why our perspective on the strategic plan of parliament must be adjusted, to enable us to view it as a tool for effecting transformation. It must become a tool that prescribes key processes that would make transformational oversight and the implementation of the NDP a seamless process. Until we are able to measure the length and depth of parliamentary work and quantify its impact in the lives of ordinary South Africans, then we are failing in advancing our constitutional mandate.
Change in Political Landscape in the Fifth Parliament (Rules of the House Flouted, Challenged and Undermined)

Madame Speaker,

The fifth parliament has by far seen the greatest shift in terms of reshaping the character and institutional architecture of our country's Parliamentary democracy. These transitory changes have been viewed by some amongst us, as part and parcel of the process of a growing and maturing democracy. These challenges have also in many ways hampered the effectiveness of Parliament.

We have witnessed a great deal of intensity, particularly during countless occasions where the rules of the house were consistently flouted, challenged and often completely ignored for seeking relevance on the country's public platform. We often saw deliberate attempts to create anarchy and cause the house to degenerate into complete chaos. This type of chaos often delayed important processes to deal with agenda of the day.

Honorable Members,

If the rule of law, as set out in the rules that govern this house continue to be flouted and undermined, it follows that this is the example that we are setting to ordinary South Africans in terms of their relationship and respect of the rule of law.

If the highest legislative body in the country continues to flout and undermine its own rules, then we cannot expect any sector of society to respect the authority of parliament when it exercises oversight and accountability.

We have found also that in protecting the interests of all South Africans, a number of significant amendments had to be made to the rules, in order to address the type of militancy and aggression that this house has witnessed during the current dispensation.

Honorable Members,

Persuasive debate in this house cannot be won by means of character assassination, mudslinging or destructive politicking. Persuasive debate is won through superior arguments. This principle has sustained the quality of responses of the ANC in the fifth parliament, making this ANC, a unitary party which strives to bring together all disparate views across South Africa's tapestries and identities.

In going into the 6th Parliament, let us exercise caution in the manner in which we exercise our freedom of speech during parliamentary debates. Let us not debate in a manner that erodes the gains that we have made as a country.

Whippery and Parties interaction

The interaction of the whippery with parties was a critical component in the process to ensure that we sustain maximum participation and a balanced representation of perspectives in the execution of our collective mandate.

The Whippery has played an important role in assisting us to find party consensus in the management of parliamentary business. The functioning of the Whippery is therefore at the core of the effective political management of the business of parliament.

In giving effect to the proponent of participatory democracy in parliament, our watershed negotiated transition from apartheid to a democratic South Africa is a historical milestone that reminds us all, that the ANC has built its leadership foundation on the bedrock of consensus building.

Parliamentary Decorum

Rooting out White Supremacist Tendencies Amongst Ourselves

Honorable Members,

In reflecting on the ideological collisions that have taken place during this fifth parliament, we must reflect on the narratives of debate that continue to be harmful to the developmental and unitary agenda of transformation in this house. Indeed, freedom of speech with its broad privileges and limitations, has allowed many to use this platform to debate from a perspective that seeks to maintain the status quo of inequality amongst the people of South Africa.

The unjust regime of the past created a deeply entrenched system of oppression, which was anchored in white supremacy and racial superiority. Today unfortunately, even 24 years after the dawn of democracy, this house has had to contend with the remnants of that oppressive regime, which still find expression in this house, which are often at a glance, disguised as compartments of sophisticated opposition politicking.

Madam Speaker,

Unfortunately for the majority of formerly oppressed masses in our country, the interests that are often defended by some amongst us, still seek to protect an ideology of white supremacy and superiority for the benefit of a small, privileged minority in this country.

Honorable Members,

Parliamentary decorum is not only about adhering to the rules that have been put in place to govern the business of this house. Parliamentary decorum, if properly practiced, is about true respect for others, expressed through genuine efforts to build a cohesive and prosperous South Africa for all.

For those of us who have been at the receiving end of race based politicking, we can identify the subtle tones, insinuations and connotations of oppressive speech. We can identify the casting of aspersions to our dignity, when it happens.

We can identify condescending and degrading forms of speech that make subtle insinuations of superiority against us. Although the battle ground is no longer in the trenches, we are now dealing with a continued psychological onslaught and a stealth resistance against the progressive policies of the governing party.

While the ANC has consistently worked on bringing about transformation in South Africa, others have debated for the protection of white privilege.

This form of degradation, has been at the heart of the racial slurs that often came from the white supremacist amongst us.

Fellow South Africans

As we make plans to transition into the sixth parliament, let us reflect also on the kind of political parties that we are giving the mandate to speak on our behalf. We must be careful not to give parties that seek to retain the benefits made from the spoils of oppression, the mandate to speak on our behalf.

Honorable Members,

I want to conclude my remarks by paying tribute to the members whom we have lost during this fifth Parliament. These are individuals who have served this Parliament and our nation at large, with great commitment and diligence. They have collectively and individually made significant contributions to the transformation agenda of our country. As we mourn this great loss in the tapestry of our institution, let us honor their memory and continue to support their families during their bereavement.

Compatriots,

I want to conclude my remarks by urging this house to remember that white supremacy is not an ideology that was buried with apartheid's oppressive laws at the dawn of democracy in 1994.

White supremacy is still rife in this house. It is a systemic way of degrading and undermining others. It is a behavior that relentlessly belittles and reduces the contribution of others. It is a behavior that deems inferior any view that challenges the current status quo of white privilege and black poverty.

White supremacy is rooted in the continued onslaught to undermine the transformation policies and agenda of the African National Congress. With that in mind, as we ready ourselves to transition into the 6th parliament, let us entrust our lives into the hands of a party with a policy stance that advances transformation, equality and unity amongst all South Africans.

The ANC support Parliament budget vote 2

     
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