CTOP Amendment Bill: Intimidation tactics by Health MPs distract from relevance of proposed bill

ACDP Member of Parliament Cheryllyn Dudley today said that “The intimidation tactics used by members of the Health Committee, especially ANC and EFF members, were aimed to distract other MPs from grasping the relevance of the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy (CTOP) Amendment Bill. Calling women in politics ‘emotional’ is a well-known intimidation tactic experienced by women in politics globally”.

In response to one ANC MP’s comment that “one miserable child” doesn’t matter, Dudley said that, “The ACDP does not agree that there is ever a miserable child, only children in miserable circumstances”.

Dudley further said that “Although MPs accused me of being emotional, my observation was that the topic prompted a very emotional angry response from some who appeared ready with their reaction even though most of what was said did not apply to the proposed amendments.  For example, an EFF member ‘went off’ about rape and screamed that I must not be allowed back in the committee.”

Dudley apologised to committee members for offending them with her honest responses to their questions and thanked them for their questions and responses which she appreciated.

“Yesterday was not pleasant but the subject is not pleasant. It touches very deep painful places in people,” Dudley said.

28 March 2018

ACDP says political party funding bill a victory for multiparty democracy

The ACDP welcomes the Political Party Funding Bill which aims to regulate and make private donations to political parties represented in Parliament and Provincial Legislatures,  transparent. The extensive public consultations and hearings and the tabling of this bill today is the culmination thirteen years of efforts by many – and not least of all – the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) which filed a notice of motion in the Western Cape High Court on November 15 2004, seeking an order that legislation should require political parties to disclose the details of all funding that they receive.

The ACDP notes with some satisfaction that this historic Bill, brings to an end a culture of secrecy surrounding the funding of political parties, both pre- and post-1994.  Because it has never been clear who finances those who represent us in Parliament it has never been clear exactly whose interests parties are prioritising. So much has been about ‘blind party loyalty’ and ‘how the story is manipulated and framed to catch media attention’.  Being told what to think from every angle, it is difficult for the public to remain clear on what is, in fact, in their best interests.

While the Bill aims to create a comprehensive legislative framework for the funding of political parties, the Constitutional value of transparency reigns supreme and this new legislation will require political parties to disclose the amounts and sources of donations above R100 000 per donor during any one financial year. Political parties will be required to present this information in a report to the Independent Electoral Commission, which will publish the reports on a quarterly basis. At the same time disclosure will be required by donors, to ensure that political parties are accurately reporting.

The ACDP commends Parliament and in particular the committee chaired by ANC MP Vincent Smith on a job well done and for ensuring that, if it is passed today, South Africa’s party funding legislation will be among the most ‘transparent and accountable’ in the world.

The ACDP, like many others, is all too aware of the potential however, for donors to be less likely to donate and risk public censure if they cannot retain anonymity and we welcome the new Multiparty Democracy Fund, created to provide a solution to this problem. The fund will receive donations from anonymous donors, as well as donors who do not wish to donate funds to a particular political party and all parties in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures will get a percentage based in part, on the proportionality of seats held by political parties across these legislatures.

Since 1994, parties have of course, received annual allocations of public funds but on a “90/10 split” – this Bill now provides for the allocation to be – two-thirds (66.7%) based on proportionality and one third (33.3%) equally, benefitting smaller parties and giving them a greater chance of reaching their potential voters.

This legislation is a real victory for multiparty democracy and the ACDP wholeheartedly supports this initiative which we believe will strengthen and preserve the important diversity of views across parties in our Parliament.”


  • The Bill bans certain categories of donors, including state-owned enterprises and organs of state and donations from foreign governments and foreign government agencies.
  • An upper limit of R15-million per donor per year is stipulated and the cap on foreign donations is R5-million per year.
  • Parties that fail to comply with the provisions of the Bill are subject to penalties, including the suspension of public funding and administrative fines potentially in excess of R1 million.
  • Criminal offences are also entrenched in the Bill. For example, accepting donations from banned donors and concealing donations that are required to be disclosed are listed as criminal offences which could be punished by up to five years’ imprisonment.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE: Political Party Funding Bill
27 March 2018

Moral regeneration? Teach respect in our schools


“According to the Moral Regeneration Movement’s website, the origins of the MRM date back to a 1997 meeting between former President Nelson Mandela, key South African faith-based organisation leaders and others, to discuss spiritual transformation. President Mandela, highlighted the role of religion in nation-building and social transformation, and the need for them to work with the state to overcome the ‘spiritual malaise’ underpinning problems with crime.

Does the Deputy President and government agree with the original aim of the MRM, and if yes, why are Biblical values, such as respect for God, one’s neighbour and those in authority, not taught in schools, particularly in light of recent reports of students attacking teachers in schools – a behaviour the ACDP strongly condemns?”


“Thank you very much.

I think as government, we really agree and share those aspirations of the entire Moral Regeneration Movement. But, because, as I’ve said, religion was seen as a central pillar in the whole movement, we therefore, cannot prescribe – because, in terms of our Constitution, we are a secular state. We are not going to prescribe a form of religion. But, whatever religion is being practised, it must conform and must adhere to our Constitution.

But the very same religion that we know – all of us, Christianity – like I’ve said, it’s beginning to lose the very direction that we hope they must show. There are incidences that you know, Reverend Meshoe, where people are made to drink certain things they say to be healed, people are made to do certain things in churches that undermines what the religion stands for. And now, the Church ceases to occupy the leadership role in our moral regeneration. Of course, this is a matter that we should dialogue with the churches, because I’ve heard a number of churches condemning such actions. But, government must assist. We must assist the Church. We must assist all institutions that seek to uphold our values and build a nation.

Thank you.”

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY QUESTIONS TO THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT in response to question by JH Steenhuisen (DA) on “whether he has engaged any organised segments of society in pursuit of his responsibility as champion of moral regeneration initiatives, since he was sworn in as Deputy President of the Republic on 27 February 2018; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?” 20 March 2018

Is this House really okay with the fact that in South Africa, human dignity is for sale?

The right to human dignity is arguably the most important and fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution. It is the one right that logically precedes and sustains all other human rights. It is one of the founding values of our democracy and constitutional order and it infuses and permeates the whole of our social and legal order.

Where human dignity is not valued and respected, not promoted and protected, there is no basis for human rights and consequently can be no human rights culture.

Why then is the human dignity of countless women and children threatened and violated daily, with the approval of this Parliament?

It is alarming that a Parliament that says it earnestly desires to promote and deepen human rights and a human rights culture, recently passed legislation that not only legalises online pornography, but facilitates greater access to vile and degrading forms of pornography.  Who then can honestly believe that members of this House really regard the right to human dignity as inalienable when degrading and dehumanising sexual exploitation has been legalised for the sake of commercial entertainment?  What is the current Rand value of human dignity in South Africa?  Is there really no-one else in this House who is prepared to defend the priceless status of human dignity?

You have heard repeatedly that scientific research shows that pornography use physically changes the human brain, making pornography users subconsciously cognitively register other people, not as human beings, but as objects. Pornography use destroys moral reasoning and the ability to recognise the humanity of others. It has been scientifically proven that hardcore mainstream adult pornography causes some men to perpetrate sexual violence on women and children. Mainstream adult pornography can and does directly impact the lives of women and children who never use pornography themselves.

Research also shows that pornography drives the demand for prostitution, which in turn drives the demand for sex trafficking. Prostitution reduces human beings to commercial objects, valued for their utility for the temporary sexual gratification of another. Decriminalising prostitution will condone the violation of human dignity for the purposes of commercial exploitation (effectively accepting that in South Africa, human dignity can be bought or dispensed with at a price), and in the process, increase sex trafficking and reduce none of the harms of prostitution.

In S v Jordan, the Constitutional Court stated that “Our Constitution values human dignity which is inherent in various aspects of what it means to be a human being. One of these aspects is the fundamental dignity of the human body…(and) our Constitution requires that it be respected.” The Court said that it is the character of prostitution itself, that diminished the dignity of the person engaged therein. Yet alarmingly, there is support for those who want to legalise prostitution; to legalise the commodification and degradation of the human body.

Honourable members, you and I know: pornography and prostitution devalue human beings and in so doing violates the most basic human right and fundamental constitutional value – human dignity. We will be accountable for our actions in this regard.

Is this House really okay with the fact that in South Africa, human dignity is for sale?”

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE ON HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: Celebrating the Centenary of NR Mandela by promoting and deepening a Human Rights culture across society
15 March 2018

Heartfelt condolences over horrifying pit latrine death of 5-year-old child in Bizana

ACDP Member of Parliament Cheryllyn Dudley today said that “The ACDP is angered to hear we have lost another child in this horrific manner on our watch as a Parliament responsible for the oversight of the Education Department”.

Viwe Jali, a 5-year-old learner from the Luna Primary School in Bizana, Eastern Cape, fell into a pit latrine on Tuesday and died.

“The ACDP sends heartfelt condolences to Viwe’s parents and family. Your grief must be unbearable.  We pray you will experience the peace and comfort of our Lord Jesus,” Dudley said. “We note the response of the department and are glad to hear counselling services are being provided to the school.”

A case has been opened with the local police at the Mzamba Police Station and investigations are proceeding into the circumstances surrounding little Viwe’s death.

“Infrastructure backlogs are a serious challenge but unsafe structures and those without decent sanitation, electricity and water must be acknowledged as crisis situations and be responded to with far greater urgency.”

Minister Motshekga expressed her anguish saying, “Words cannot express the pain I personally feel at the loss of a young life in this horrific way. To know that as a sector we have not been able to address these infrastructure issues fast enough, for a number of reasons, breaks my heart.

When a tragedy like this occurs it makes us more resolute of the continued need for the Accelerated School Infrastructure initiative (ASIDI) so that we can continue to fast track these schools that are in desperate need of infrastructure and make them safe havens for our children”.

5 225 maintenance projects are presently under way around the country and the Eastern Cape has already exhausted its maintenance budget.

“This is not good news especially as we are facing huge budget cuts as a country and the needs grow daily,” Dudley said. “It is some comfort however that provinces have been compelled to set aside funding for maintenance because some provinces were not budgeting for it and letting schools become more and more dilapidated.”

The Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) has delivered 191 schools to date, of those 141 have been in the Eastern Cape replacing inappropriate structures. The initiative has also provided water to 666, sanitation to 453 and electricity to 372 sites around the country with the majority of these projects being in the Eastern Cape. This excludes schools built by the provinces through their Education Infrastructure Grant.

15 March 2018

HPCSA must not prejudice young aspiring doctors

The ACDP appeals to Health Minister to urgently ensure that the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is not allowed to prejudice young and aspiring doctors.

It is important to note that we are talking about South African students, who choose to study abroad, often because quotas in South Africa do not allow for high achieving students to get into Universities in South Africa to study the profession of their choice. These are not foreign students, they are South Africans.

The ACDP welcomes this opportunity to highlight the inefficiency of the HPCSA which is resulting in unethical consequences and the ACDP is appealing to the Minister of Health to urgently ensure the HPCSA is not allowed to prejudice young and aspiring doctors in this manner especially in our country that faces a dire shortage of doctors. This is a legal issue but it is also a human rights issue on many levels affecting service delivery in all communities.

An appeal was served in the High Court, Gauteng Division, on the 2 March 2018 as the HPCSA does not provide a tribunal or internal resolution process for lay foreign graduates. This is shocking when millions of people have little or no access to the High Courts of South Africa due to exorbitant costs.

The legal argument is that the HPCSA and their examination committee are applying the wrong regulation in using section 4 against students with foreign qualifications. Section 2 governs the students with foreign qualifications as they are categorised under interns.

Section 4 governs the registration of foreign qualified doctors to be admitted as general practitioners or specialists. The use of the wrong section is causing concern and great anxiety for students with foreign qualifications in South Africa and overseas and is forcing our young graduates to abandon their calling to the people of South Africa and having to use their medical training in other countries. The HPCSA is confusing students with foreign qualifications – with foreign qualified doctors applying for registration.

The ACDP, on behalf of affected and future students, is calling:

  • on the Minister of Health to ensure these discriminatory practices within the HPCSA affecting medical graduates stop;
  • for the establishment of an independent commission to investigate the discriminatory practices of the HPCSA and their examination committees for an investigation into the placement of foreign qualified graduates by the Department of Health in respect of internships and the prolonged administrative delays; and
  • for a review of regulations and a possible capping of the number of students going to study abroad so that proper mechanisms like sitting exams and adequate budgets are put in place;

The ACDP is calling:

  • for diplomatic ties to be forged with BRICS partners for
    discounting of fees and setting up hostels for South African students who have been bypassed by the Quota system of our education system of South Africa and to assist medical graduates in doing electives and clinical services in our training hospitals;
  • for a review of the present situation in which a shortage of doctors exists and yet qualified doctors and doctors in waiting remain unemployed; and
  • for budgets to be made available for private medical colleges to accommodate the brilliant graduates who are rejected by the present education department that works on the quota system.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE: “The plight of foreign qualified medical students who find themselves ineligible to sit for the Health Professions Council of SA board exams because of section 4 regulation contained in the Health Professions Act”
13 March 2018

Millions of litres of water from natural underground Table Mountain streams must be harvested for human consumption

Many areas of South Africa are experiencing drought conditions, with Cape Town experiencing the worst droughts in its recorded history.

The ACDP wishes to commend all residents and visitors to Cape Town and other drought-stricken areas for being good stewards of water and, in the case of Capetonians, for significantly reducing their water usage to avoid Day Zero.

We also wish to thank the farming community from the Elgin/Grabouw valley who contributed millions of liters of water to the Steenbras Dam , from where it will be pumped to City residents.

The big question is could this crisis have been avoided by better planning and implementation from national, provincial and local spheres of government?

While Cape Town’s previous Water Demand management programme worked well during drought conditions in 2004 and 2005, that programme could only work when there was sufficient rainfall. We have had an extended period of below-average rain fall, resulting in the worst drought in Cape Town’s history.

What has made the situation worse is that the national Department of Water and Sanitation failed to maintain strategic canals feeding dams, such as the canals flowing in to Voelvlei dam – which is an important source of water both for the City of Cape Town and towns on the drought-stricken West Coast. This reportedly resulted in an estimated loss of 7.5 million cubic meters of water in 2016 as well as losses in 2017. Regrettably, we understand that the sluice gates are still not being properly maintained on these canals, which will lead to further losses when the winter rains fall.

Furthermore, the chaotic state of finances at the national Waters Affairs department – with workers on strike in protest – has resulted in money intended for much-needed infrastructure maintenance across the country being used to pay salaries.  We are now reaping the results of this with water shortages being experienced across the country.

The City of Cape Town has pursued three bulk water solutions – ground water /aquifer abstraction; desalination; and water re-use. These are same three bulk water solutions the City has committed to many times before, but regrettably never implemented in time.

The City has a Bulk Water division that spends capital budget and operational budget on new water services infrastructure, renewal of water services infrastructure, upgrading of water services infrastructure and repairs and maintenance of water services infrastructure.

For the last 10 years, however, the City underspent its capital budget on water services infrastructure by R720 million.  This has contributed to the present water crisis.

While we acknowledge that there are no easy solutions to the water crisis, the ACDP believes that the millions of litres of water from the natural underground Table Mountain streams be harvested for human consumption.

Additionally, as a long-term project, rainwater and grey water harvesting devices should be installed in all households and new housing developments, and that subsidies should be given for the fitting of these devices into private properties in the same way that energy saving devices are being installed and subsidised to reduce electricity consumption.

Tourists and visitors must continue to be welcomed in Cape Town as they contribute significantly to our economy. However, hotel guests and staff should be made aware of water-saving measures introduced at hotels and asked to assist with using water sparingly.

While we are praying and trusting for rain for drought-stricken areas, we must be good stewards of the water we do have at this time.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE: The water crisis in the Western Cape, the City of Cape Town in particular, and in other provinces, and the impact it has on the country as a result of drought, global warming and other contributing factors.
8 March 2018

No land expropriation without compensation

The ACDP has always acknowledged that there has been historical socio-economic injustice in South Africa around the question of land ownership, and our black population has been at the receiving end of forced dispossession. That is why the ACDP supports fair, legal and just reform and land redistribution.

This past weekend, the ACDP had a guest speaker Dr Tunde Bakare (the future President of Nigeria), who gave us his insight into the subject of expropriation of land without compensation.

Among other things, he said that for socioeconomic justice to be attained, land redistribution is inevitable. However, the Zimbabwean model is equally unjust, socially hazardous and economically unviable, even if politically appealing in the short term.

He continued to say, and I quote: “expropriation of land without compensation is an aberration under international law. The property, even of an alien, cannot be taken for public use without adequate compensation. This is in line with natural justice and takes into consideration the fact that the current owners have added value to the land in the form of investments.

Resolving this matter requires inclusive policies such as those that helped create a post-Apartheid South African nation under the leadership of Nelson Mandela; hence, nationhood must be the overriding objective.

The state must champion a pragmatic land redistribution drive guided by the principles of equity and justice (close quote).”

The ACDP will therefore not support this motion before us, because we believe that the expropriation of land without compensation is another forced takeover of land which involves paying evil with evil. Honourable members, two wrongs do not make a right. The fact that they Apartheid government forcefully disposed black people of their land does not justify the democratic government repeating the same evil.

Expropriation of land without compensation has historically destabilised economies as it destroys investor confidence and scares foreign investors.

The ACDP will not place ownership of land into the hands of the State, which would then lease it to citizens. True economic freedom and productivity is guaranteed more by innovation, industry and productivity, rather than by radicalism and rebellion.

The ACDP calls on all parties in this House to help build one nation under the Almighty God who desires that the profit of the land be for all its people, regardless of one’s colour, gender or creed.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE: “Draft Resolution (Mr J S Malema): Expropriation of land without compensation”
27 February 2018

Budget 2018: Do more to reduce corruption and wasteful and irregular expenditure

The ACDP believes more must be done to reduce corruption, and wasteful and irregular state expenditure.

In the midst of this season of hope with the election of President Ramaphosa, we are today faced with a very tough budget – a legacy of the looting, plundering and maladministration that took place under President Zuma.

Thankfully, economic growth is set to improve from October’s projected 0.7per cent of GDP to 1.3 per cent, due to heightened investor and business confidence. This will hopefully translate into improved revenue collection. The central fiscal objective must be to stabilise the national debt-to-GDP ratio by closing the budget deficit. One can achieve this by not only increasing revenue, but by also reducing state expenditure.

The ACDP believes that far more can be done in this regard by addressing corruption, and reducing wasteful and irregular expenditure. We believe that more resources should be given to the Hawks, National Prosecuting Authority, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, and Special Investigating Unit in order to recover misappropriated and stolen funds and jail those responsible.

The projected reduction of tax revenue of R50.8 billion in 2017/18 will result in the fiscal slippage we were warned against. The figures snowball in the outer years – with tax revenue projected to fall short of projections by R69.3bn in 2018/19 and R89.4bn in 2019/20.

The consolidated budget deficit for 2017/18 is expected to increase from February’s estimate of 3.1% to 4.3% of GDP – or from R149 to R203 billion. The concern is that, in contrast to projections set out in February’s Budget, the revised projections are set to remain at this elevated levelover the medium term (previously the budget deficit was set to decrease).

Debt service costs remain the fastest growing budgetary item – set to be R163.3 billion for 2017/18. The total gross loan debt is set to reach the astonishing figure of R3.415 trillion or 59.7 per cent of GDP by the outer year 2020/21. This is a matter of great concern, and is not sustainable in the long run given the relatively small tax base in the country. It will also crowd out other socio-economic spending priorities.

While we appreciate that a commission of inquiry will look into the tax affairs, why don’t we rather implement those useful recommendations of the Davis Tax Commission.

The contingency reserve has been pared down to R16bn over the next three years. The expenditure ceiling has already been breached with the SAA bail-out.

We also know that SOE’s and particularly Eskom present significant threats not only to the fiscal outlook, but to the entire economy, given the substantial government guarantees that have been granted. Yet we see ongoing poor governance, wastage and irregular expenditure at various SOEs such as being unearthed in the Eskom Inquiry.

On this score we are also opposed to the nuclear energy build programme. Not only is it unaffordable, but it is also unnecessary given Eskom’s surplus energy capacity.

We also do not support the continued bailouts for SOE’s, such as the R10 billion given to SAA, which may be partly financed by selling the ‘crown jewels’ – government’s stake in Telkom, as well as the R20 billion needed by Eskom.

We regret that it has been necessary to increase personal taxes, VAT and the fuel levy, in order to balance the books. Had government been better stewards of state finances, and not allowed state capture and widespread corruption, this would not have been necessary.”

21 February 2018

Ramaphosa must urgently root out corruption starting with his cabinet

Madam Speaker, Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa, and honourable members.

The excitement, hope and great expectation that filled this House on Friday night during the State of the Nation Address, reminded me of the days when the late former President, Nelson Mandela, was with us in the House. Thank you Mr President for giving hope to the people of South Africa.

Speaker, after making a befitting tribute to Madiba, the President made a commitment to ethical behaviour and ethical leadership. The absence of these two critical essentials in the previous administration, are among the foundational causes of the Capturing of the State of our country.

Even though it was encouraging to hear the President promise that the tide of corruption in our public institutions will be turned, I wondered whether he will have sufficient support to succeed because corruption has now become ‘a culture’ in some of our departments and institutions. It has become so endemic, that trustworthy officials and police officers have become fewer and fewer by the day.

The ACDP calls on President Ramaphosa to show his intention to urgently root out corruption by starting with his cabinet. On Wednesday, we want to see a new Minister of Finance give the Budget Speech. We want to see captured ministers and deputy ministers who are entangled in a web of corruption investigated as soon as possible. Justice must be seen to be done, and done without fear or favour.

Speaker, the President also promised to address concerns about political instability, and to ensure that there was policy certainty and consistency.

This, we believe, is crucial to ensure economic growth. While the ACDP believes that government must have a just and fair land redistribution programme, we are convinced that the expropriation of land without compensation will create policy uncertainty, and will potentially hinder the expected flow of new investors into our country. Besides the fact that we believe it is unjust to take a legally registered property from someone without compensation, we believe that this will dampen hopes for a peaceful and united future.

The unemployment rate in our country remains unacceptably high; South Africans, particularly South Africa’s youth, deserve better. Our country is blessed with many natural resources and our people are resourceful.

The fact is that government ignored warnings a few years ago when there were signs that we would run out of water in Cape Town is totally unacceptable.

But, what is even more devastating is to hear that both National and Western Cape Provincial governments refused help from internationally acclaimed Israeli water technicians to prevent water shortages.

I know that movements such as the BDS and other anti-Israel organisations are urging government to boycott Israel because of the apartheid lie. Surely it is irresponsible for government to refuse help from experts that would benefit all people, particularly the poor and the vulnerable because of narrow political agendas.

I therefore want to appeal to you Mr President not to be influenced by people who hate Israel more than they love our people. The politics of hatred will not help our country. Hatred does not build; it destroys. Hatred does not unite; it divides and hinders progress and prosperity. Political agendas of every kind have brought anxiety and much suffering in many parts of the world, including in this beautiful city of Cape Town. The ACDP calls on government to be humble and ask for help from people with a proven track record – people who  live in a desert and yet have no water shortages.

Mr President, we welcome your commitment to reinforce ethical behaviour and ethical leadership. We urge you to pursue truth, righteousness and justice for all, irrespective of race, socio-economic status or party affiliation. As you do, the ACDP, together with millions of South Africans, will also say “send me!” With the Almighty God at our helm, we will work together towards creating a beautiful and prosperous South Africa for all!

I thank you.

Reply to 2018 State of the Nation Address
19 February 2018