13. Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:
Pursuant to the BRICS Summit held in July 2015 and in light of the agreement and the conclusion of domestic ratification of processes amongst BRICS countries in the establishment of the New Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement, what (a) progress has been made among BRICS partners and other developing countries with regard to industrial cooperation and investment, (b) are the key elements of the Ufa Declaration and Ufa Action Plan and (c) are the socio-economic benefits envisaged for the country and the African continent?
The Seventh BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia registered substantive progress.
A key achievement was the entry into force of the BRICS financial institutions, namely the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement.
Two leading South African bankers have been appointed to the board of the new bank. They are Mr Leslie Maasdorp as one of the Vice Presidents and Mr Tito Mboweni as a non-executive director.
The next exciting initiative is the establishment of the African Regional Centre of the Bank in Johannesburg.
South Africa is proud to host the regional centre and preparations are at an advanced stage.
The Summit also reaffirmed the importance of BRICS in the global arena. BRICS presents an aggregate GDP exceeding 32 trillion US Dollars. This marks a 60 percent growth since the formation of the grouping.
BRICS also accounts for almost 30 percent of the global GDP and produces a third of the world’s industrial products and one half of agricultural goods.
In further progress, trade among the BRICS countries has grown by 70 percent since 2009. BRICS countries also attracted 20.5 percent of global total direct investment in 2014 compared to only 16.9 percent in 2009.
The share of BRICS capital investment on the global markets has also increased significantly from 9.7 percent to 14 percent since 2009.
BRICS Leaders also adopted as one of the key Summit outcomes, a Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, aimed at further boosting trade and investment ties.
The Ufa Declaration focuses on important themes such as global politics, world finance, economy and trade, cooperation in the social and humanitarian spheres as well as among parliaments, business and civil society.
The Declaration also highlighted the upcoming 70th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and reaffirmed commitment to the UN as a universal multilateral organization entrusted with promoting global peace, security, human rights and socio-economic advancement.
The Summit also provided an opportunity for BRICS leaders to meet with the leadership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Union. The regional leaders were invited as part of the new practice that was started by South Africa, when we invited the African Union leadership to the Durban BRICS summit in 2013.
We stand ready to expand our economic cooperation with these partners in key areas such as food production, power generation, the petro-chemical industry, mining, tourism, renewable and nuclear energy, trade, transportation, communications and training.
I thank you.
14. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the President of the Republic:
With reference to the Tripartite Alliance Summit Declaration of 1 July 2015, wherein it expresses concern that the very fundamental principle of separation of powers on which our democracy rests is being brought into question, what steps is he taking as the head of the executive to strengthen the separation of powers entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996?
The Alliance Summit Declaration affirms the importance of an independent judiciary as one of the critical pillars upon which our constitutional democracy is premised.
As the ANC Government, we have gone to great lengths to preserve and safeguard the separation of powers, and in particular the independence of the judiciary, which is pivotal for the advancement of the rule of law.
In this regard, Government has taken measures to defend and protect the courts to ensure their independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility and effectiveness.
One of the key interventions was the enactment of the Constitution 17th Amendment Act of 2012 and the Superior Courts Act of 2013, which affirm the Constitutional Court as the highest court in the Republic and the Chief Justice as the Head of the Judiciary.
These affirmations put beyond doubt, the independence of the judiciary and the role of the courts as the final arbiter entrusted with the power of judicial review.
Another major policy reform was the establishment of the Office of the Chief Justice as a national department in August 2010.
These measures are important milestones in the 21 years of democracy. They attest to the Government’s unequivocal commitment to the separation of powers and the independence of the Judiciary in particular.
Honourable Speaker, the late Chief Justice Chaskalson made a profound pronouncement on the separation of powers and the respect that all three arms of the state must accord one another, in the famous Van Rooyen judgment.
“In a constitutional democracy such as ours, in which the Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic, substantial power has been given to the judiciary to uphold the Constitution.
In exercising such powers, obedience to the doctrine of the separation of powers requires that the judiciary, in its comments about the other arms of the state, show respect and courtesy, in the same way that these other arms are obliged to show respect for, and courtesy to the judiciary and one another. They should avoid gratuitous reflections on the integrity of one another”.
This is instructive as we prepare for the meeting of the judiciary and the executive to discuss working relations between the two arms of the state later this month, which I will host.
I thank you.
15. Adv B T Bongo (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:
In light of the fact that the country is held in high regard internationally for its significant role in peacekeeping missions in Africa under the auspices of both the African Union and the United Nations and that since the establishment of democracy in 1994 the country has been in the forefront of inculcating a culture of human rights both within and outside its borders, what is meant by the concept of African solutions to African problems that has been used in various meetings and in decision-making to address challenges on the continent?
The principle of African solutions to African problems embodies the fundamental commitment of African leaders to take full responsibility for the fate of the continent and its peoples.
In the advancement of this principle of African solutions to African problems, the African Union established the African Peace and Security Council Architecture in 2002.
This mechanism encompasses the Peace and Security Council, the African Standby Force, the Continental Early Warning System, the Peace Fund and the Panel of the Wise.
The African Standby Force will enable the AU to intervene in a member state in grave circumstances such as war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity.
Africa also utilizes the mechanism of regional involvement in the search for solutions.
Examples of this approach can be found in recent and current conflict situations such as in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Lesotho to mention a few.
In these cases, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in East Africa, (IGAD), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) are some of the sub-regional organisations that were able to address security issues in their regions as they emerged.
The principle of African solutions to African problems does not however preclude the continent from working with the United Nations and other global partners.
This is appreciated and understood by the United Nations as illustrated by UN Resolution 2033 of 2012 where the UN Security Council commits to taking the cue from the African Union Peace and Security Council and deferring taking decisions before the AU pronounces itself on the matters at hand.
The principle of African solutions to African problems also entails the establishment of norms and principles that also address issues such as political accountability, rejection of unconstitutional changes of government, the promotion of peaceful resolution of conflicts as well as the post conflict reconstruction and development, all of which are central to conflict resolution.
In the South African context, we proudly applied the principle of African solutions to African problems during our own process of the transition from apartheid colonialism to democracy.
I thank you.
16. Ms T Mahambehlala (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:
In light of the resolutions taken at the 25th African Union Summit on 7 to 15 June 2015 which places Africa on / new path of development and growth, (a) how has the call for the industrialisation of Africa been met through the resolutions of the specified summit and (b) what form of economic diplomacy will be required to ensure a qualitative outcome of the resolutions passed?
The AU Summit in Malabo in 2014 had directed the African Union Commission to explore and prepare concrete actions in the implementation of priority programmes and projects identified in Agenda 2063.
The 25th African Union Summit that took place in South Africa in June 2015, adopted the First Ten Years Implementation Plan of the African Union Agenda 2063.
These include the Integrated High Speed Train Network, accelerating the creation of the Continental Free Trade Area, the African Passport, the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision on the Unification of the African Airspace, the implementation of the Grand Inga Dam Project, the Pan African E-Network as well as the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI) which is chaired by South Africa.
The PICI is aimed at unblocking obstacles in the implementation of infrastructure development projects in the continent under the auspices of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa, (PIDA).
All these projects and programmes are aimed at fast-tracking industrialisation, inclusive growth and sustainable development on the African continent.
SADC has also developed a special programme, the SADC Regional Industrialisation Strategy, which is linked to the broader continental industrialisation programme.
With regards to economic diplomacy, it should be noted that Africa remains the centrepiece of South Africa’s global economic strategy.
South Africa has consistently championed broader regional integration through the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), SADC, the Tripartite Free Trade Area, as well as the envisaged Continental Free Trade Area.
We promote economic integration that takes place on three fronts, namely market integration, infrastructure development, and industrial development.
We have also identified the urgent need to address the lack of manufacturing capacity in the majority of African countries.
I thank you.
17. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the President of the Republic:
Despite anecdotal evidence showing new instances of investment into the country, the United Nations’ Conference on Trade and Development’s 2015 World Investment Report found that foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country decreased by 31% during the period under review and also found that outward FDI flows increased by more than 10% as South African companies sought profits elsewhere in the world, what plans and targeted interventions does the Government have in place to turn the tide of dwindling foreign investment and ultimately the loss of jobs because of this decreased business confidence in our economy?
According to the World Investment Report released by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in June 2015, aggregate global Foreign Direct investment (FDI) inflows declined by 16% in 2001 as a result of the continued uneven and weak recovery of the global economy after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
Not surprisingly, South Africa was also affected and FDI inflows slowed by 8.3 billion US dollars in 2013.
The FDI report 2015 by FDI intelligence, which tracks investment projects, also reports a decline in greenfield FDI projects globally.
Nevertheless, South Africa still attracted a substantial 5.7 billion US dollars of foreign direct investment in 2014.
South Africa was again the largest recipient of FDI on the African continent. South Africa also remains an attractive investments destination as per the latest Ernst and Young attractive destination survey.
Multinationals have affirmed South Africa as a regional manufacturing hub and have retained and expanded their investments in new plants.
Many companies have invested in expansions, upgrades and new plants in South Africa.
However, South Africa cannot be complacent. During the State of the Nation Address, I announced a nine point plan to push the economy forward, ignite growth and create jobs.
The nine point plan consists of the following;
- Revitalisation of the agriculture and agro-processing value-chain,
- Advancing beneficiation and adding value to our mineral wealth;
- More effective implementation of a higher impact Industrial Policy Action Plan;
- Unlocking the potential of SMME, co-opereatives , township and rural enterprise;
- Resolving the energy challenge;
- Stabilising the labour market;
- Scaling-up private-sector investment and
- Growing the Ocean Economy.
We are also intervening in cross-cutting areas to reform, boost and diversify the economy which are interventions in;
i. Science, technology and innovation
ii. Water and sanitation
iii. Transport infrastructure
iv. Broadband rollout and
v. State owned companies.
Government is also committed to improve the investment climate and enhance the ease of doing business.
The one stop Inter-Departmental Clearing House to attend to investor complaints and problems, which I announced in the State of the Nation Address, has been established, located at the Department of Trade and Industry.
In addition to South Africa being a destination for FDI, we are now also an important source of FDI on the African continent.
The African continent is the next growth frontier. South Africa is in the fortunate position of having identified the growth opportunities in our continent many years ago.
This is why our trade policy prioritises regional development through the Tripartite Free Trade Area, which was signed last month in Egypt as well as the envisaged Continental Free Trade Area.
These Agreements do not only open the door to South African exports. They also provide investment opportunities for companies owned by South Africans or which are domiciled in South Africa.
These investments show the extent to which South African entrepreneurs and companies have become serious participants in the global economy due to successes at home. I thank you.
18. Mr J S Malema (EFF) to ask the President of the Republic:
When will he pay back the money used for the construction of non-security features such as the visitors’ centre, the amphitheatre, the cattle kraal and chicken run and the swimming pool, as directed by the Public Protector in paragraphs 11.1.1 and 11.1.2 of her report, in terms of which he was to take steps, with the assistance of the National Treasury and the SA Police Service, to determine the reasonable cost of the measures implemented by the Department of Public Works at his private residence at Nkandla that do not relate to security and to pay a reasonable percentage of the cost of the measures as determined with the assistance of the National Treasury and also taking into consideration the apportionment document of the Department of Public Works, in light of the remedial actions the Public Protector is empowered to take in terms of section 182(1)(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, and section 9 of the Public Protector Act, Act 23 of 1994 which can only be overturned by a court of law and which has not happened?
The matter relating to the security upgrades in Nkandla is being discussed by parliament through the Ad hoc Committee on the Police Minister’s Report.
I have also responded to parliament on this matter before. I submitted a report to the Speaker in August last year.
I believe the question is premature as matters have not yet been concluded by this very House.
I will respond further to the debate around this matter once all processes have been concluded.
I thank you.