ê5. Mr N Singh (IFP) to ask the Deputy President:
(1) Whether his recent visit to Ghana was in pursuit of finding alternative oil resources in view of the United Nations threat to call for a ban of oil imports from Iran; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details
(2) whether he intends to visit more oil producing nations in Africa and elsewhere to source alternative sources of crude oil supply; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NO1842E
Honourable Member, there is no United Nations resolution calling for a ban of oil imports from Iran. It is in fact the United States of America that is imposing sanctions against foreign banks engaged in transactions with the Central Bank of Iran or US designated Iranian banks. These sanctions are particularly stringent with regard to petroleum-related banking transactions.
Our visit to Ghana focused on energy, which included both oil and gas. We have always and we will continue our efforts to diversify our energy supply. In fact, every country in the world whose economy depends on oil will continuously seek to diversify its energy supply with the view to ensuring security of supply in the long term.
I thank you.
ê6. Dr Z Luyenge (ANC) to ask the Deputy President:
What interventions are being planned for Elliotdale in the Mbhashe Local Municipality whose water, sanitation, roads, schools, hospitals, human settlements, sport facilities and refuse removal infrastructure is in decay? NO1840E
At the Cabinet Lekgotla in July 2011, Cabinet identified 21 poorest district municipalities throughout the country. The Amathole District under which Elliotdale and the Mbashe Local Municipality falls, is one of these.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has conducted socio-economic surveys in Elliodale - namely Wards 18 and 28 in the Mbashe Local Municipality and a Community Profiling report has been produced.
I am informed that the following projects are being implemented:
- Household water connection across the Mbashe Local Municipality, including Elliotdale
- A housing project in Elliotdale
- 25 household gardens have recently been completed
- 50 hectares of arable land has been cultivated
- The Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform is supporting the community of Elliotdale with agricultural inputs
- 10 km of fencing of arable lands has been completed
- 15 Cooperatives have been registered
Honourable Member, more details can be obtained from the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform.
I thank you.
ê7. Rev K R J Meshoe (ACDP) to ask the Deputy President:
Whether the Government will join the USA, France, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia and Bulgaria that announced the expulsion of Syrian envoys from their countries as an expression of their outrage at the recent massacres in Houla in Syria; if not, why not; if so, when? NO1841E
South Africa's position on the current crisis in Syria is that all parties should adhere to the United Nations-led 6-point plan of 5 April 2012, and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2043, which provides the opportunity and basis for all Syrian parties to proceed with a Syrian-led national, peaceful dialogue towards a lasting political solution in Syria.
South Africa condemns the tragic loss of life of ordinary citizens and the destruction of infrastructure in Syria. In a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council on 1 June 2012, South Africa supported a thorough and immediate investigation into the killings at El-Houleh with the full involvement of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria and the Commission of Inquiry established by the Human Rights Council.
Our position is premised on our conviction that peace and political stability are the necessary pre-conditions for growth and development. So too, in the case of Syria, in order for that country to prosper, there has to be peace and stability.
I thank you.
ê8. Mr N Singh (IFP) to ask the Deputy President:
(1) Whether he has taken steps as Leader of Government Business to strengthen relations between the executive and political parties represented in the National Assembly; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether he will make a statement on the matter? NO1843E
Honourable Member, the role of the Leader of Government Business is to strengthen relations between the Executive and Parliament. In this regard, I do meet with the Presiding Officers and other formations in Parliament, including political parties.
I also periodically meet with leaders of political parties on an individual basis to discuss matters of mutual concern, as and when the need arises.
Furthermore, the President has met with leaders of the opposition parties and this therefore confirms the Presidency's commitment to strengthen our relations with political parties.
I thank you.