TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
BUSINESS SECTOR HEARING
DATE: 13 NOVEMBER 1997
HELD AT: JOHANNESBURG
CHAIRPERSON: Everybody, can we settle down? It's half past eight and I really want to start at half past eight as it - eight thirty strictly today.
We have a very long programme and some very important role-players talking about their submissions today. Essentially dealing with the - again SANLAM which spreads across many areas of our economy, The Mining Sector and of course the Trade Union Movement. We also have some submissions dealing with the agricultural sector today.
Let me just say that - and it's always difficult at this time of the morning when we have so few people talking, but it's on record. We in the Commission have a few regrets about this hearing. Part of that of course is that one always feel - we always feel that we're pressurising people as they make their submissions and not enough groupings have been allowed to come forward and allowed to be able to speak to their submissions.
This morning, for example, I heard on the news that the Exford workers marched in Port Elizabeth and they have made - they made quite a substantial submission dealing with the issues of that time and relating to their particular problems. We hope that COSATU will be able to deal with the sentiments of what's coming out within their submission.
Let me also say so that it's on record. When we consulted with the trade union movement, there was a possibility that each trade unions movements, that each federation, each grouping affiliated to the federation, would be allowed to make a submission.
In fact the agreement went the other way that COSATU, through their discussions, decided that they would only make one submission, but that we would have to allow them more time to speak and I think it's only fair given the submissions that we've had from the business sector over the last three days; a number of submissions - that COSATU is allowed that time this morning.
So with that I want to welcome the representative from SANLAM. Sir, would you please introduce yourself for the record.
MR SMITH: Chairperson, my name is Desmond Smith. I'm managing director of SANLAM.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Smith, a warm welcome to you.
Again, can I say, we have your submission and it's quite a lengthy submission. We would like you please to speak to the important points in your submission. We had some discussion earlier on and you told me that you will speak within in the 15 minutes allocated and then there will be questions.
Can I just introduce the panel. On my left is Dr Russel Ally who is a member of the Human Rights Violations Committee, based here in Johannesburg.
On my right is the deputy chairperson of the Commission, a Commissioner and a member of the Human Rights Violations Committee.
Next to him, is the Rev Bongani Finca, who is a Commissioner and member of the Human Rights Violations Committee and is in charge of the East London office.
Next to Bongani is Ms Hlengiwe Mkhize, who is the Chairperson of the Reparation and Rehabilitations Committee and a Commissioner and is also based here in Johannesburg.
On that table I see Prof Simkins has removed himself, but he's welcome to sit on the table if he wishes. Two of our researchers, Mr Simon Segal and Ms Tracy Steyn.
Thank you, Mr Smith, the floor is yours. Before you do that, can you please stand to take the oath or affirmation. Russel, will you assist?
DR ALLY: Mr Smith, the oath or the affirmation.
MR SMITH: The oath.
DR ALLY: The oath.
DESMOND SMITH: (Duly sworn in, states).
DR ALLY: Thank you.
MR SMITH: Chairperson and members of the Commission, also just for the record, it's 25 to now and not half past.
On behalf of SANLAM's board and management, may I thank you that from the many representations and submissions you got from business, we have been given the opportunity to speak to our submission.
If it's okay with you, I will speaking in English. If you don't understand, we do have an Afrikaans submission that you can look at.
With your permission Sir, I'd like to speak to our submission, but furthermore I was here yesterday. I would like to comment on one or two issues which were raised yesterday afternoon which I'm - I believe I can add a further perspective to.
With regards to our submission, we, the individuals constituting the present board and management of SANLAM, acknowledge that in conducting its business, SANLAM functioned in a political and social environment which violated human rights on enormous scale and was fundamentally wrong, immoral and unjust.
We furthermore acknowledge that this environment caused untold hardship, suffering and grief to the people of colour and further that SANLAM as a member of a privileged group benefitted from Apartheid in one way or another, relative to members of disadvantaged groups.
Chairperson, this unjust system which I have just described and the suffering it caused people of colour, leave us with a deep sense of sadness and regret. Regret and sadness that we, the enfranchised citizens of the country allowed the system of hurtful, institutionalised violations of human rights to be established and developed in this country.
In our submission we refer to a specific issue which I should like to address. Steve Biko was tortured in a SANLAM building in Port Elizabeth. I refer to paragraph 13 of our submission. In cases where the security police of the former Government were tenants of SANLAM property, we had no access to such offices.
As is the case with the current Government, our leases specified in respect of such properties and I quote:
"The lessor is aware of the lessees prescribed security measures which will at all time be adhered to. No access to the premises will be allowed unless the lessees prior permission is obtained."
The end of the quote.
SANLAM thus had no prior knowledge of cases of violation of human rights on its properties and like the general public we had to rely on available public information through media reports on that time - at that time the allegations against security police actions.
As these violations on our properties and others as are revealed in courts and through this Commission, we share in the perplexity and the pain of the nation and we regret that such atrocities were perpetrated and furthermore; that our property was misused by the security police of the previous Government.
We distance ourselves from any violations of human rights and we convey our most sincere condolences to the victims of such violations in our buildings. Also to those of bomb explosions on our properties in Amanzimtoti and elsewhere in our country.
Chairperson, although the submission reports to be that of SANLAM it is really an expression of sentiments by individuals. I and individuals constituting the present board and management of our organisation.
A corporation such as SANLAM is a legal entity with no independent emotions. It's decisions and actions are taken by individuals who constitute the various levels of management, non-executive as well as executive.
In making this submission, we as the present board and generation of management are really attempting to articulate what we consider were the factors and circumstances which influenced and prompted ourselves and preceding generations of management in regard to the matters under consideration.
This is a very difficult and complex task, because (a) there exists apart from the required, your minutes and similar documentation, no real reliable continuous corporate memory and (b) because various generations of management operated in different environments, were subject to different influences and had different insights.
Furthermore, one must remember that a generation span in corporate life, i.e. of members of the board and senior management, is mostly much shorter than a generation span of human beings.
What is my task today? Chairperson, in view of the acknowledgement and admission we have expressed earlier on, it seems that the fundamental question which calls for an explanation today is, why did the individuals constituting SANLAM's management over the years, in their capacity as management, failed to take a strong outspoken and vociferous stand against the injustice of Apartheid.
It is this question we attempt to address in our submission against the background of historical and environmental prospectives.
In paragraph three of our submission we say, and I quote:
"We hope to shed light on the interaction of SANLAM as business organisation with the realities of its environment, including inter-alia, the government of the day, which constituted not only the dominant political factor in the land, but also - and I believe Chairperson this to be a crucial issue - as a substantial customer. A material factor on the business and economic terrain."
My I stress we advance these prospectives, not as an explanation - as an explanation for inaction, not as an excuse or a justification.
May I furthermore say that what I wish to present is tabled with the view to contributing to learning and understanding - learning from and understanding the past and applying this to a better and more just future.
A couple of comments of SANLAM and its environment. The previous Government developed, institutionalised Apartheid since 1948, although its forerunner, segregation, had a colonial and historical origin long before that.
The previous Government was predominantly supported by Whites and Afrikaans speaking people. This explains why the so-called separate development policy was part and parcel of White community thinking at the time.
In his presentation the AHI aptly put it in this way and I see they are here. I hope they don't mind my quoting from their submission.
"The Afrikaans churches, newspapers, cultural organisations and the wider community broadly subscribed to the notion that separate development of the South African populations groups was seen as the best guarantee for overall justice and peace in this country."
SANLAM had its origins in this section of the community. i'm therefore suggesting and admitting that many individuals in SANLAM board - SANLAM's board and top management undoubtedly supported the previous Government and its policy.
If I may make reference to an issue that was raised before the Commission yesterday; you do not as a businessman depart from home for the office in the morning, leaving your thinking, feeling, prejudices at home and suddenly transform into a different person. You take your baggage along with you.
The approach of the previous Government, Chairperson, turned out to be totally wrong, but undoubtedly tended to influence, re-assure and even lull earlier management into a sense of acceptance of the initiatives by politicians to establish institutionalised Apartheid.
It is a fact that disillusionment set in over time. In paragraph eight of our submission, we refer to the repugnance of many aspects of the Apartheid policy felt by individuals in SANLAM's management.
May I just rectify a possible misleading expression in our submission. The heading of paragraph eight is the "Demonising of Apartheid." We mean by this; what we say in the paragraph, i.e. that it became clear over time that Apartheid was immoral and unjust and became repugnant.
A more accurate heading, which is reflected in an updated submission would be 'The repugnance of Apartheid'.
I concede with hind sight that these noises and objections were much too weak from SANLAM's managements and board and I wish to express my regrets. However, I should like to proceed to attempt to explain why SANLAM's voice - or for that matter, the voices of its management were not as loud and critical as one now would have wished.
A couple of comments on our relations with the political establishment. Chairperson, it is our conviction that the management of an individual business organisation and I stress, an individual business organisation, cannot in their capacity as managers of that organisation afford to attempt, nor do they have the power or mandates in my view, to influence politicians by publicly attacking their policies.
I submit that it is accordingly unrealistic to expect of those managements that they should act as a watch dog against violations of human rights. We make the point in our submission that this is really a political matter and business has a total different function in society, i.e. to create wealth.
Furthermore, Chairperson, the Government is so powerful and dominant in economy of our country, that individual business cannot afford to cross swords with politicians.
I refer to our submission, paragraph ten. I believe that this is an extremely important issue which I - will have to - which will have to be addressed in future and for which I, at this stage, do not have an answer.
The dual role of the governing party in its capacity as government on the one hand and a major participant in the economy on the other, is of concern.
This is surely not the forum to debate the issue of a free market approach to the economy as opposed to alternatives and the Government's role in this regard. The fact is, Sir, that the Government and the governing political party did and still do, in their capacities as government and political party, play a dual role, namely that of a governing legislating regulating entity, but on the other hand a major direct participant in economy and as such a substantial client of many enterprises in which it also has a substantial hand in regulating.
This undoubtedly, and I speak from personal experiences, places business enterprises in an unenviable situation.
SANCOB in their submission, paragraphs 5.4 and 6.1 also refers to this vulnerability of and individual business and individuals to retaliation by the authorities. An equally important consideration is that a company such as SANLAM, operating nationally, has members, a work force in the market which covers the whole spectrum of political thought. Since a business has to be successful to survive, it cannot afford to estrange any of these stake holders. I refer to paragraphs 12 and 13 of our submission.
In the press, Chairperson, I see, that mention is made by a member of the present Government; that a common decency requires the humility of saying I was wrong. It was because of our cowardness and self-interest that we did not speak up. As far as he refers to SANLAM as a company as opposed to the individuals constituting senior management, I agree; that the company acted in self-interest and in the interest of its stake holders.
It is after all the legal and moral duty of a manager to act in the interests of the company and its stake holders. He may not allow his own actions in promoting his own views to damage the interest of his company. SANLAM, Sir, and I believe this is important to you, is a mutual company and this is of particular importance.
Without share holders, our policy holders and members own our company and control it with all its assets. Any set backs suffered by the company would therefore also have reduced the wealth of our members, many of the disadvantaged groups.
It is our position, Chairperson, that the protection of human rights should be sought in the elements of society, other than individual business enterprises. In the business arena, associations of business enterprises, for example the AHI or SANCOB could perhaps be expected to put pressure on Government, should they infringe human rights.
We say this, because due to their structure such associations are not as vulnerable to retaliation as our individuals and individual enterprises.
We also point out in paragraphs 26 - 29 of our submission that the necessary check and balances should be put in place. This can only be done by Parliament, the legislator. We deal with these aspects more fully in our submission.
In the process of re-addressing imbalances in society, SANLAM I believe took bold and pioneering initiatives, which Mr Chairman, is evidence of a serious commitment to upliftment and reparation of the disadvantaged communities.
We elaborate on these in paragraphs 22 - 25 of our submission. In view of the time I will not go into any further detail.
May I, before concluding, just address two issues, Chairperson, which were raised yesterday and these deal with the Government debts and the Government employees pension fund. A submission was made here regarding a number of alternatives in dealing with Government debt.
The most (indistinct) or the most extreme being that Government debt be written off in its entirety. I'm not in a position to comment on what the reaction would be should foreign debts be written off. All I can imagine, I shudder to think what our borrowing capacity internationally would be should we do that.
As far as the domestic situation is concerned I also cannot comment on behalf of the public investment commission to which was referred. I cannot believe - speak on behalf of commercial institution which were referred to yesterday. I believe its particularly important to note that those commercial institutions are not only bank and life insurance companies, but those are also pension funds repressing the interests of all the workers of this country.
Three comments if I may? Firstly, it's important to understand and appreciate that we did not of our own free will invest in a Government debt. There were legal and statuary requirements which, up to a stage, forced us to invest up to 50 percent of our assets into Government debt.
If I may refer to a competitor's submission yesterday, the Old Mutual who was here; in annexure B they have a number of extracts from their Chairman's addresses from 1960 - 1994 and as far back as 1961 the comment was made by their Chairman against prescribed - so-called prescribed investments which were deemed as a form of indirect taxation, which in fact they were and still are.
A second point is that should in respect of banks, the investments they have in Government stock, be written off, I can assure that Dr Stals will have to come and reply here again on why a number of other banks are being given life boats or bailed out.
As far, point three, Chairman, as far as assurance companies and pension funds are concerned, it's important to note that the beneficiaries of those institutions of policy holders and members of pensions funds; any intervention such as those advocated yesterday, will have a major impact on the benefits and beneficiaries of those funds.
This is an issue which was of major importance prior to the election in 1994 where members of pension funds were concerned that the potential writing off of Government debts and also were concerned about the possibility of the so-
called nationalisation of those funds.
The situation was so critical that our now president, Mandela, put out a document to all members of pension and provident funds, reassuring them and I won't go through the document, that an ANC Government will make sure that your money is secure and that you will receive all the benefits you are entitled to when you retire.
Chairperson, I say this just to indicate that this is an extremely complex issue and a very far reaching issue that should be dealt with with great circumspection.
Secondly, a number - one or two comments on the Government pension funds. A reason was put forward why shortly before, towards to the end of the '80', beginning of the '90's, efforts were made to fund the Government pension fund to a larger extent that it had been in the past and the notion was presented here that prior to that the Government pension fund was based on a pay as you go approach.
This is in fact, I believe, not true. That the intention all along was to have a funded scheme and that after one of our previous chairmen, Dr Andreas Wassenaar's book, ON ROUTE TO FAIRY LAND, in which the Government pension fund, or where the management of it was attacked, efforts were made to reassure the employees of Government by commencing to fund those schemes.
I would advocate that we not look at approaching the Government pension fund on a pay as you go bases. One only need look at the experience in Europe in respect of national pension funds where they were in fact approached on that bases and one finds that it is very easy for politicians to make changes to those funds to enhance benefits and reap the early political benefits of those enhanced benefits that members will be receiving. The financial implications only being moved to future generations who will have to bear the burden of those funds.
Chairperson, in conclusion, the process of reform which culminated in the release of our President, Mandela, and indeed also the revelations at the hearing of this Commission, have I am sure, convinced all right thinking citizens of the country as they convinced me and my colleagues of the importance of being ever-vigilant in the protection of human rights.
I conclude by expressing the sincere hope that the TRC through its activities will in fact succeed in its aim of healing the deep wounds of the past and achieving reconciliation and national unity.
We wish you every success. Thank you, Sir.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Smith, for that very honest submission. The questions from the panel today will be primarily Dr Ally and Rev Bongani Finca.
REV FINCA: Thank you, your grace. My questions are going to bases on your main submission, Mr Smith. Your submission of the 13th of October and I will refer to specific pages. I'll start with page three, paragraph five, where you deal with the origins of SANLAM. You sketch there how your people, the Afrikaans speaking people, were destitute after the Anglo Boer War and how they pulled their resource together in SANLAM, to empower what you call poor Whites.
My question is, after 30 of years Apartheid, perhaps Black people in this country find themselves in exactly the same position. Would you recommend that they learn from SANLAM and follow what SANLAM did at the time when they responded to a particular situation?
MR SMITH: Chairperson, thank you very much. I believe it's a very relevant question and I do indeed agree with you. I think the Afrikaans speaking population in 1918 found themselves in a very similar situation to what the Black population in South African find themselves at the moment.
A situation that we as an organisation can identify very strongly with and have identified very strongly with. If I could then just refer you in this context to page ten of our submission and in particular page 22 and if I may quote from this:
"SANLAM was the first large corporation to take steps to readdress the economic imbalances and depravation of the past. In this context we refer to the metropolitan life transaction in 1993. In a historic transaction SANLAM enabled a new form - a newly formed company, Medlife Investment Holdings Limited and Medhold to acquire effective control of Metropolitan Life, a subsidiary of SANLAM.
The main objective of the transaction through which Black investors acquired control of a company transacting a very large proportion of its business with the Black communities, was Black economic empowerment. Shares in Medhold were marketed predominantly to Blacks. Since then Medhold was renamed, New Africa Investments Limited. NAIL. NAIL was listed with a great success on the JSE. A the time of listing, 78 percent of the shares of NAIL were owned by Black groups or individuals, a total of approximately eight and half thousand people."
I believe of particular importance, Sir, in regard to your question, the empowerment of Black investors by way of financial services organisations as opposed to a manufacturing company, creates further opportunities for Black advancement as additional capital can be provided and leveraged. The recent Johnnic transaction by NAIL is evidence of this.
If I may conclude, I believe there's a great deal to learn from SANLAM and there's a great deal we would like to share. Thank you.
REV FINCA: My second question which is related to the first one, is that on page 13 of your main submission, you recommend a number of proposals which the TRC must take to Government in order to avoid violations in the future.
You seem to be saying that you are opposed to reverse discrimination. You want to see check and balances to ensure even-handedness. You want a robust repress which will promote transparency.
My question is, did SANLAM believe in these values in 1918 when they were established and in 1948 when the National Party came into power or are these new values which you want to see now that the National Party is no longer in power?
MR SMITH: Chairperson, that's a very relevant question. Not as easy to answer as the previous one and as I say I cannot speak on behalf of management in 1918 and 1948.
May I just address the first question as it relates to a new reverse discrimination. We subscribed to the new labour acts which as yet have not finally been promulgated dealing with the questions of employment equity and more particularly with affirmative action and we subscribe to the definition of affirmative action and to the definition of discrimination as defined in those acts.
So that just from a company perspective and what we are doing within the organisation with regard to employment equity and with regard to affirmative action. I can only, thinking back and thinking back to the individuals that I have known with our - within our organisation over many years; they have been very strongly - strong-willed. People with very strong personal views and within the constraints which I have described in my oral submission here, placed on us by the mandate we have as a mutual company from our stake holders who don't have a mutual company, I believe these views that you are speaking to here were held in 1918 and 1948.
Whether we were vociferous enough as I have also indicated, my oral submission in conveying these views, I don't believe so and it's a source of great regret.
REV FINCA: On page six and seven, you acknowledge all be it very tentatively that a special relationship existed between SANLAM and the National Party and you go on to, what the lack of a better word, rejoice that a similar sound relation exist between you and the ANC Government.
Many people find this rather strange. They say that you're having the best of both worlds. Do you care to comment on that?
MR SMITH: Chairperson, as a business person, may I say that I'm delighted we're having the best of both worlds and I really am delighted that we have been able also with the new ANC Government to establish a very warm relationship.
That is the object of business. The object of business is regardless of the Government that is in place. We have to operate, we have to create wealth within the confines of the Government and the policy of that Government and regardless of the Government that is in place, we will do our utmost to - upmost to have cordial relations with that Government.
So, in so far as we have succeeded, may I say, I am delighted.
REV FINCA: Congratulations. There are those who argue that the English speaking business did not benefit from Apartheid. It is guys in the Afrikaans speaking business who benefitted.
I would like to have your comment on that and also your comment on the relationship that ANGLO had with you after Sharpeville, 1960?
(not into mike) ... English speaking business and Afrikaans speaking business in reality or was this just perceived to be a distinction in times of liberal and those who were conservative?
MR SMITH: Chairperson, if I may, I cannot comment on the relationship with ANGLO. We are not particularly close to ANGLO as an organisation. What I can comment on is in our industry, whether we as an Afrikaans speaking, predominantly Afrikaans speaking organisation, had advantages relative to our English speaking competitors.
I believe, no. I believe that we as White organisations had an advantage relative to disadvantaged - organisations within the disadvantaged community. I do not believe that there was significant advantages based on the language or on the predominant language of the business organisations.
REV FINCA: My last question is on violence. On page nine of your submission, you say that you did not support the struggle for justice in this country, because you're opposed to use of violence by the liberation movements.
Just in passing, I don't whether you know that the ANC and the PAC spent many years negotiating with the NP Government before they ultimately resorted to violence, but my real question is this one.
If it is true that you were opposed to violence, why did your Chairman, Dr Fred du Plessis, agreed to serve in the NP Government defence advisory council? Can you say in fact before this Commission, that SANLAM did not involve in the activities of ARMSCOR in any way or was it the violence of the liberations organisations which was - which you're opposed to rather than the violence of the state that is beginning to be coming out before the country in the hearings that are taking place throughout the country on amnesty?
MR SMITH: Chairman, I cannot comment on the late Dr Fred du Plessis's considerations in serving on the board of ARMSCOR. What I can imagine is that there was no appreciation for the facts of the situation of the violence taking place, being perpetrated and that it was an ignorance of this and in an effort to make a contribution to a particularly meaningful element of the economy in South Africa, namely ARMSCOR, that it was in that spirit that Dr Du Plessis served on the board of ARMSCOR.
I'm afraid I have no other comment. Thank you.
REV FINCA: Thank you, Chair.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Rev Bongani. Dr Ally, one question.
DR ALLY: This will be a long question. You just before - this is actually a follow on on the themes which Rev Bongani were developing. You said that regardless of the Government, business has to adapt, but it would seem that in SANLAM's case it was not regardless of Government, it was precisely because of the nature of the Government that SANLAM did so well.
That until 1948 SANLAM was not that big a player in the economy. That subsequent to 1948 when the Nationalist Party came into power, SANLAM's position grew quite significantly and a lot of that had to do with the direct role which Government played in moving pension funds of civil servants to SANLAM and other favours.
Now, would you not concede that on the part of Black people in the country that there may be a lot of cynicism that after having benefitted in this direct way, SANLAM now says that there must not be this direct intervention of Government in economy. It's harmful, after SANLAM has benefitted.
There must not be this reverse discrimination after SANLAM has benefitted directly from discrimination. There mustn't be this special favouritism that you - that it's easy for SANLAM to say that having benefitted.
Why shouldn't the Government do the exact same that the previous Government did to SANLAM?
MR SMITH: Chairman, it's a long question. I'll try and give a short answer. I can understand, Dr, the cynicism and I think it's quite understandable.
I don't believe if one looks at the life assurance industry as such over the last number of decades, I think you will find that the growth experienced within SANLAM has not been out of proportion to the growth within organisations such as the Old Mutual and Liberty Life and Southern Life.
That is has been an industry which has been growing and this - SANLAM has been within a growing industry. I do not dispute and I cannot dispute that because of the cordial relationship that existed between SANLAM and Government and I must assume that those cordial relationships existed between the other organisations that I referred to and Government.
I concede that we were able to do good business in that environment. I also believe that we were not doing business on a bases of not providing value, but that in actual fact we were doing it on the bases of providing value and that it was not to the ....(inaudible) of the ultimate beneficiaries of our products and services that that business was being done.
CHAIRPERSON: I'm glad I have such a disciplined panel this morning.
Mr Smith, thank you very much for coming. We hope that you will stay and listen to the rest of the submissions this morning, but thank you for your openness and for the apology that you've made this morning.
MR SMITH: Thank you very much, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Whilst Mr Moosa comes from - comes forward, can I please ask individuals who have cell phones with them to switch their cell phones off.
If I can, for the benefit of groups who've arrived since I've made my earlier comments; if I can just repeat what I said earlier on.
We have a very full agenda this morning. I ask individuals or groups speaking this morning to please be concise and summarise the relevant points they want to make, because we've all read the submissions.
I'm going to be fairly strict. I have said that most groupings will be getting only half an hour to make their submissions. Fifteen minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for - Mr Moosa, will you sit, you're making feel uncomfortable - for questioning.
I also want to make one further point. In the discussions that lead up to these hearings, there was a feeling discomfort, carefulness on the part of the business community, particularly that this doesn't turn out to be a three day function where accusations are going to be made against one group against the other.
I hope people who have been participating over the last two days have come to realise that this is not the intention of the hearings and I particularly have been very happy to see so little legal intervention over the last two days.
Today, particularly we have representatives from the Trade Union Movement who will be making submissions. We have had correspondence with different legal groupings, wanting to make, if necessary, an intervention where accusations are made.
We have a process as far as this hearings go and I hope that legal representatives for companies here will come to me if there's an issue they want to raise so that we don't take up too much time during these hearings.
Let's work in the spirit of the last three days - last two days. Mr Moosa, welcome. Do you want just introduce yourself as well as the - I think it's your son.
MR MOOSA: Yes. Mr Chairman, my name is Moosa Moosa and I am accompanied by my son Abe Moosa.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Moosa. Will you please stand to take the oath. Dr Ally.
DR ALLY: The oath or the affirmation, Mr Moosa.
MR MOOSA: The oath.
MOOSA MOOSA: (Duly sworn in, states).
DR ALLY: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Moosa, you may proceed.
MR MOOSA: Mr Chairman, firstly just to assure you that I shall confine my delivery to 15 minutes. I'm mindful of the time and the problem.
Secondly, I will speaking to my paper, but through my paper I have curtailed some of the paragraphs, so I can be brief. I also want to settle that my paper is co-ed in three sections.
The one section does give an example of my own story which exemplifies the kind of problem I believe that has to be highlighted and I will commence on that bases.
My submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are based on an account of a life's experiences which epitomise in microcosm, the ...(indistinct) circumstances which were encountered by those who found themselves on the ....(indistinct) side of the Apartheid system in the business environment.
In reflecting on those experiences it is perhaps not inappropriate for me to mention that the only time I have been to court in my life, was when as a young man I had to appear with my late mother and my brothers, in the dark, to confess to the crime of living in our home in which I was born and lived until eventually we were forcibly thrown out by the agents of the Apartheid order.
My story in the business arena is unique in that it was the first time that a group from the disadvantaged the sector, namely Avalon Cinemas, took issue with a monopolistic company, Ster Kinekor, which was a beneficiary of the Apartheid system.
The issue was addressed to the competition board, which after full investigation found that Ster Kinekor was guilty of restrictive practises and an abuse of its dominant position.
I want to give evidence of what happened to me in this particular instance, briefly, because I believe that what happened to me has happened to others of the previously disadvantaged community in different ways.
Section one - background: Avalon Cinemas was established some nearly 60 years ago and is one of the oldest cinema groups within the country. The shares owned by the Avalon Cinemas have since its inception been held by members of my family who are members of the Indian group.
At one time at its peak Avalon Cinemas had many screens operating through out the country. From Durban to Johannesburg to Cape Town, Kimberley, Paarl, Worcester, East London and Port Elizabeth, which is believed, represented in excess of ten percent of the exhibition houses and market share at the time.
This would today be represented by at least 60 - 70 screens in the course of normal business development over the years in a fair and equal opportunity business environment.
As a result of the operation of the group areas legislation in the Apartheid era, Avalon Cinemas had to close down most of its cinemas. Ultimately the remaining two were located within what was locally known as the Grey Stick Complex of Durban, an Indian group area of the Apartheid era.
A five cinema complex in Chatsworth, and Indian group area under Apartheid legislation, which is a suburb inhabited substantially by members of the Indian group, was established during that era in a major shopping centre which was built there.
The developer was a company within the same land group. An application by Avalon Cinemas to be the operator in respect of those five cinemas, was rejected after protracted negotiations. Although it was well qualified to undertake the business and was a member of the Indian group which qualified it automatically for the right to establish a business in an Indian group area in terms of the racist laws of that time.
In stead the cinemas in Chatsworth were given to Ster Kinekor. Then a SANLAM, Old Mutual subsidiary which was a member of the White group and thus disqualified in terms of the Apartheid legislation from occupying premises in an Indian group area.
In other words; although Avalon Cinemas was not entitled to retain its own cinemas in what became White areas, a White controlled company allocated to itself the right to take cinemas in an Indian area.
The group area system was accordingly being applied not only to disadvantage Avalon Cinemas in White areas, but even in areas which are set aside for Indian ownership and occupation. This was duplicity at its worst.
Thus the Ster Kinekor group was able during the Apartheid era to establish itself as a major exhibitor of films in South Africa; both in White and also (indistinct) areas and also to obtain valuable cinema complex sites in group areas designated for people of colour, like Chatsworth and to which it was not in terms of the racial laws enforced, entitled.
In submissions to the competition board in 1994, the Chatsworth issues - regarding the Chatsworth issue, Ster Kinekor had the following and I quote:
"Ster Kinekor has never been asked to, has never applied for and never obtained ...(tape ends)
MR MOOSA: ... in Chatsworth." Unquote.
If what Ster Kinekor stated in this submission is true, then if Ster Kinekor is of the view that it did not have to apply for a group areas permit unless it was asked to do so, anyone else who wished to operate as a disqualified person in a particular group area, would have had to obtain an appropriate permit before being allowed legally to occupy premises in that area.
What was it about Ster Kinekor or any other company for that matter, that they did not have to follow this course of action as was required by the racist laws of that time? If what was therefore said, is true, that Ster Kinekor or any company only comply with the laws when they were asked to do so.
As a member of the disadvantaged, dispossessed and abused persons of the time I would never have been granted a permit to take up a cinema in a White group area. I certainly would not have been allowed to occupy such premises by any land lord without such a permit being issued to me.
Had I therefore taken such occupation of premises in an area where I was disqualified, without having applied and obtained a permit, I would have faced certain prosecution and the danger that my assets will be confiscated by the state.
I believe the Avalon issue is manifest example of many such abuses and restrictive practises which took place in various spheres of the economy during the Apartheid era.
Section two - analysis of business scenario, past and present: South Africa has historically been a monopolist paradise. The economy has been dominated by a handful of individuals who have had mass fortunes of gigantic proportions, based substantially, if not entirely on the process of unjust enrichment during the Apartheid period.
The question that has to be asked is, can we as an intended free market democracy afford to allow the monopolies to continue pulling their economic strings.
It has been reported from time to time that 14 percent of the population as the privileged sector, effectively controls the excess of 90 percent of the country's wealth. Since the Blacks, be the African, Coloureds or Asians in South Africa represent almost 86 percent of the population it will seem that eventually they must also account for 84 percent or 86 percent of the nation's wealth and disposable income, or at least a substantial part of it.
Louis Stager, Chairman of Transnet was quoted in Finance Week of November 3rd 1994 to have said:
"South Africa's system could best be described as monopoly capitalism, because it enable the privileged class to operate in a legally protected environment. They enjoy all the benefits of capitalism without competition from the majority of South Africans who are excluded by law from participating in the economy. At the political level, Government and capital ...(inaudible) was protect by a battery of the strictest statutes, notably the Lands Act, the Group Areas Act and the Urban Act which ensured that Blacks would not advance much beyond the status of consumers and that Whites will be producers and regulators." Unquote.
The fortune top 500 companies in the United States contribute to 10 percent of the GDP of the United States' economy, where as it is believed that the five major conglomerates in South Africa are involved in more than 50 percent of South Africa's GDP.
If one bears in mind that the revenues or turn over of any one of those top few of these 500 fortune companies alone is larger than the entire GDP of South Africa, it then becomes very significant in understanding the inequity lopsidedness of the South African economy and a lack of competitive environment.
In the competition board report of 1995 the following was stated in paragraph four, five and six. The paragraph four refers to certain statistics, Mr Chairman, which I shan't read. It is suffice to say that I quote paragraph five and which says:
"On the basis of these figures one may conclude that international analysis of the position is unequivocal in its finding that competition in South Africa is not effective."
Paragraph six, and I quote:
"Various factors have contributed to this state of affairs, including over regulation of the economy, (indistinct) discriminatory race laws that for many years excluded the majority of South Africans from the effective participation in the main stream of the Republic's commercial activity and a competition policy that is deficient in a number of material aspects." Unquote.
The tragedy inherent in this entire analysis is that the situation which prevailed in the past continues unabated into the present in that the privileged business establishment is going about its conduct essentially in the business's usual approach.
Mr Chairman, I want to also add that over a protected period of some years, reinforced by my experiences of the last two days and the hearings I've sat through here, I must say that I leave today with a sense of sadness and desolation.
I see no shift in the mind set of the privileged establishment in so far as the genuine desire to really try and make good for what we have experienced in the past.
Section three - recommendations, the future: The above scenario which is unsatisfactory, continues to dictate the rest of us all are forced to accept opportunity at the rate at which this corporate establishment finds acceptable.
Opportunity is our right and we are entitled to it. Even the Government has confirmed the view from time to time; that the playing field has to be levelled so that all people of our country may develop equal opportunities.
Thus brought the rate of change and the magnitude of change even in the economic arena, must be determined through joint negotiations between all segments involved in a given industry and not arbitrary determined by the corporate establishment of South Africa.
Far more extensive strategies of empowerment must be designed to seek more ways and means by which parity of opportunity in economic participation could be achieved. That must be our goal.
Mr Chairman, I would draw your attention to the list of empowerment companies we're all familiar with and without diverting more than a moment, I wish to bring to your notice that one - when one values all these companies cumulatively put together, the total cumulative market value of these companies and we're all familiar with them, we read about them, we've heard about them; perhaps (indistinct) to enough percent of the (indistinct) market capitalised value of the Johannesburg stock exchange and that too is on the assumption that that market capitalised value of few percent is totally unencumbered and is not being colateralised in some way.
Obviously their private deals one is not privileged to the deal arrangement. What I'm trying to say to the Truth Commission; that even all those deals put together do not begin to even address the issues in my view. I'm not against the process, I support it, but I'm saying it doesn't go anywhere near to begin to address the problem.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Moosa, I'm giving you one more minute to finish, please.
MR MOOSA: Chairman, I shan't be two or three minutes.
CHAIRPERSON: One minute.
MR MOOSA: Many economists in the United States believe that anti trust laws make an important contribution to economic health and American leadership in the world economy.
Mr Chairman, in this regard, so that I can begin to terminate my delivery, what I am saying is, that we ask the Government and we recommend this to the Truth Commission that urgent steps be made to prorogate anti trust laws which encompass anti monopoly provisions.
Lastly, Mr Chairman, when one looks at the situation as it stands now, I would like to advance the request that a anti - a monopolist commission be constituted so that the issues that I've talked about and has been deliberated over the last few days, can be investigated and addresses in a manner which will bring about a just end.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Moosa. Dr Ally?
DR ALLY: Mr Moosa, over the past two days there have been recommendations by certain individuals, also certain organisations on the question of how to address some of these inequities and injustice from the past.
Calls for wealth tax, the issues of the debt and not necessarily, we're not abandoning the payment of the debt, but looking at other ways how this could be dealt with, because of the way in which - because of the fact that this money was used to finance and strengthen the Apartheid State.
Other than the recommendation that you have made now on the question of monopolies; what were you views and so on on some of those proposal that you put forward?
MR MOOSA: Mr Chairman, some of the suggestions that I have crystallised, I in fact present in my submission. You understandably curtailed me at quite a crucial moment, but I've tried my best to summarise it.
To answer that question, I just want to say that I think that the representations made by Prof Sampie Terblanche in the last two days, I believe merits serious consideration. That's certainly a very strong view I have having reflected on it.
DR ALLY: Was this the call for a wealth tax?
MR MOOSA: Yes. Yes, Mr Chairman.
DR ALLY: And this wealth tax, if you recall, Prof Terblanche actually spoke about it as the assets of all those people, more than two million rand. He didn't make this restrictive to White business or to White people.
So is it in an entirety that you support that recommendation?
MR MOOSA: Mr Chairman, yes, I thought about that and I will answer that adequately. On the one hand I can say that even though there were those that suffered under the system, one is not suggesting that as a result everybody was in poverty. There are many, even among those of the disadvantaged and dispossessed, would fall within the definition.
I believe in the spirit of nation building, in the spirit of the reconciliation we've tried to address and bearing in mind the words of our deputy president resent days of his concerns about - if this issue is not addressed properly what could be the consequences.
I believe, yes, I would agreed that it will apply to anybody and everybody.
DR ALLY: In your submission you indicate that there is a legal case still taking place between yourself in Ster Kinekor. Is that correct?
MR MOOSA: Mr Chairman, it is not a legal case. The matter is in the hands of the board and the Minister. Ster Kinekor as you might know, has now been sold to Primedia. This why I said, formerly a subsidiary of SANLAM and Old Mutual, because those, that interest does not lie any more. It's now in the hands of Primedia.
The matter is at present on the desk of the competition board and the Minister. It is not at this point certainly an issue of legality. In other words, we're not in legal - we haven't joined issue. There is an endeavour towards some kind of an amicable resolution to the problem.
Of course if that cannot be achieved then it will depend on how the Minister acts. It will really be determined by the Minister of Trade and Industry. So, we're not in litigation, if that's what you're concerned about. We're not engaged in litigation.
That may arise down the road, but certainly not at this stage.
DR ALLY: Thank you very much, Mr Moosa. I think that probably one of the most startling things in your submission, certainly for me, was when you point at that even although the Apartheid system was - part of it based on this idea of group areas and that within those group areas the business is supposed to be reserved for the particular group to which the group area has been designated, but even within their own system, the greed I suppose of business undermines the very logic and rational of Apartheid.
So that even in an area designated for Indians, Indians are not allowed to own the complexes established, but White business. I think that actually was a very important part of the submission.
Thanks very much.
MR MOOSA: Mr Burg, your permission if I may just amplify the last point made by your learned colleague there.
When I used my example as merely because I had to confine it to the subject I had dealt with, but I must tell you that this applied even in the African Black areas. The same situation in my industry and I would imagine other industries as well.
So it wasn't even unique to - I just used the Indian area example, because this was a real case history. This has happened rapidly otherwise as well.
DR ALLY: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: No further questions? Mr Moosa, thank you very much. I hope you listened to my regret at the beginning that we haven't been able to give more time to groups presenting as well as groups who are not here.
So I accept again your point that I cut you off at that - at different point of your submission.
MR MOOSA: Mr Chairman, I shan't join issue with you on that, but I must say that I have since the slight feeling of disappointment that I've been here for the last three days and I have not experience any other grouping cut off and I found it a bit disappointing.
DEVELOPMENT BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA: PRESENTATION
CHAIRPERSON: The Development Bank of South Africa, please. Dr Goldin, good morning and welcome. Are you going to be by yourself? It's very brave. A new boy in the block and taking all the responsibility.
Mr Golden - Dr Goldin we of course read your very lengthy submission. It goes into, if I remember rightly, almost 40, 50 pages.
Thank you very much for the work that's gone into that. I would like you please to try and stick within the time. I'll try not to interrupt as you're finishing your most important point, but if I have to, I will.
DR ALLY: The oath or the affirmation?
DR GOLDIN: The oath.
DR ALLY: The oath.
DR GOLDIN: (Duly sworn in, states).
DR ALLY: Okay.
CHAIRPERSON: You may begin.
DR GOLDIN: Honourable Chairperson, Commission and ladies and gentlemen. I'm the chief executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa ... (intervention).
DR GOLDIN: Do you want me to begin again? Chairperson, Honourable Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen. I'm the chief executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and have been mandated by the board and the management to present the institution today.
The DBSA supports the TRC and its vision and welcomes this opportunity to present its submission. The submission I will present to you has been put together through a consultative process, involving key stake holders. Inside and outside the institution we have sought to interview those that are prepared to talk.
The process is an ongoing one and the submission I've given to the Commission today is a slight revision from our previous versions.
As I joined the bank 18 months ago in April 1996, the board was appointed by the cabinet in July this year, it should be noted that the views I've put forward are not from first hand experience in most cases.
I will in the short time available touch in three subjects. The context and establishment of the DBSA. Secondly, the relationship between the DBSA and the Apartheid system. Thirdly, the transformation of the DBSA.
The political environment in which the DBSA was established, was that of total onslaught. The manifest failure of the homelands to provide jobs and the mounting economic and politic failures had since at least 1972 prompted economists like Jan Lombaard and others to consider alternative mechanisms of supporting the structures.
At the end of 1982 a new strategy for regional development was announced in which the Development of Bank of Southern Africa played a prominent role. When the bank was established it was viewed and explained at the time largely as part of what was called "Die verligte" or reformed strategy.
The idea was to promote an investment of public and private capital for development purposes. To mobilise funds that had not previously been available to try and support the system which was rapidly collapsing.
The fact that these participating governments were the homelands of Transkei, Boputhatswana, Venda and Ciskei, the so-called TBVC states, immediately of course framed the operations of the DBSA within an Apartheid political context.
Although article 9.e of the terms of establishment of the DBSA said it should provide finance and I quote:
"With due attention to considerations of economy, efficiency and the stimulation of domestic production without regard to political or other non economic influences or considerations."
The board was constituted to reflect as a spread of private sector professional government interest. It was clear from the very initial stages that this was part of the state's structure and would of course following political lines.
The council of governors of the bank which met twice a year to provide overall strategic direction, was comprised solely of political appointees, nominated by the South African Government and the TBVC states.
From 1983 to 1992, the chief executive and executive chairman of the bank was Dr Simon Brandt. Dr Brandt was formerly the chairperson of P W Botha's economic advisory council.
Given that the TBVC's homelands were regarded as independent countries by the Apartheid Governments, dealings were mainly through the Department of Foreign Affairs and the bank fell under the diplomatic immunities act.
Because of its diplomatic status, it was not subject to the South African judicial system, was exempt from VAT and payroll taxes on its personal remuneration and normal taxes on profits.
This payment exemption amounted to about 20 million rand annual savings. The bank was also exempt from the banking act, the supervision of the Reserve Bank and did not come under the scope of the financial services board.
The authorised capital of the bank was two billion of which the paid in amount was 200 million. South Africa has 66 percent of the voting rights effectively controlling the institution. By South Africa of course I mean what was then considered South Africa. No longer what we would consider White South Africa.
The founding agreement committed the South African Government to providing an annual transfer of funds to the DBSA. These annual contributions were between 160 and 500 million rand per year and by the end of 1994 they had totalled 3,7 billion rand.
The greatest proportion of this money was meant to be passed through to the homelands and from the late 1890's - the late 1980's excuse me, also to the Black local authorities what were called the Black local authorities outside the homelands.
This meant that the DBSA could lend at highly subsidised rates. By 1994 the average spread between the interest rate charts by the DBSA and the commercial rates for similar maturities was about 8 percent. In other words the DBSA was lending at about half of the commercial rates. It has been estimated that in the a (indistinct) - still in the early 1990's the DBSA subsidised the homeland economies to the tune of about 300 million rand a year through these pricing policies.
It also provided a many - a wide range of other functions like technical assistance. Perhaps amongst the most important other functions of the DBSA was the policy work that it was engaged in, because it was receiving such large transfers from Government, it could develop a very large policy function.
This included interventions at the operational level where the bank through, if one believes the documents of the time, applied best practises to its operational appraisals.
Of course, in practise essentials principles of appraisal such as community participation or economic viability were virtually meaningless or at least best highly distorted by the Apartheid policies.
The bank, especially in the late 1980's and early 1990's also engaged an extensive policy formulation in the homelands. In part this was to implement what at the time were effectively structural adjustment programmes in a vain attempt to place homeland finances on a sustainable footing.
With respect to the macro policy work, the DBSA fulfilled functions normally assigned to the Apartheid Government supportive think tanks in Government Departments. Policy work of which a great deal was nationally focuses rather than of direct relevance to DBSA projects, constituted a significant cost to the bank.
It was also, however, a significant contribution of the bank to Government and to the Apartheid system.
If I may turn to the DBSA and Apartheid in other areas. By providing loans to homeland structures, as well as advise to homeland in South African Government officials in the formulation of policy, the bank was an integral part of the system.
It legitimised it and supported it and was part and parcel of the Apartheid gross violation of human rights. Although the bank's leadership in the documents of the time and some of them in interviews, claimed that the bank was modelled on international development institutions, the Apartheid reality meant that its operations and activities remained constrained by and supported the system.
For example, the bank dealt with the TBVC states which were ethically defined in the homeland structures which were its main clients and their officials the main counterparts.
Even in urban area the counterparts of the bank were the discredited urban administrators. The choice of projects was determined by homeland officials or the administrators. Not by the communities themselves. There was no democratic accountability to the communities from the officials.
As the homeland governments had to budget and in most cases guarantee repayments to the DBSA loans, the DBSA required official approval. It did not for the most part operate outside the system.
It was owned by Government. It was staffed by enlarge by individuals who came from Government institutions, especially in the initial years. It continued to warehouse, implement, monitor and evaluate projects which were transferred to it from the Government. It's council, as I have indicated was also pointed by Government.
Although the bank over the period from 1983 to 1994 of course did evolve, as late as 1994 with what was called the inside story which alleged a bank board member and certain staff members criticised the RDP initiative, it was clear that the institution had not totally broken from its Apartheid origins.
In projects the majority of projects which were approved by the bank, applied the so-called development principles within the context of the highly distorted Apartheid economy and the absence of the democratic structures.
The Apartheid framework informed all its projects. At times which the leadership of the time indicate were the exception, not the rule, the DBSA implemented development projects and programmes for explicit political reasons which went beyond the (indistinct) support for the homelands.
For example, there's evidence which suggests direct political and military influence in the DBSA's involvement in the Alexandra urban renewal programme, which was in the state of great unrest at the time.
There are also examples, many of them, of projects financed by the DBSA which, if one may use the phrase, were white elephants, because they were either motivated by homeland policies or economically or technically not sustainable.
Examples of these include of course the projects that were in areas like Jackson and Ndbaza industrial complexes. These would not have been sustainable outside the homeland system.
Despite many suggestive examples and allegations it has not been possible to ascertain the extent of direct political influence on the bank's daily day to day operational activities. The management of the time argue that they were independent and that the DBSA supposedly had a regular system of project assessment involving skilled multi-disciplinary teams.
However, the fact remains that the projects - many of the projects, if not all of them, would not have taken place outside the Apartheid system and clearly that the communities were not generally consulted.
The development bank in the main operated in conformity and support of the political framework that violated human rights. Regardless of those that its helped, it might have maintained reformists views.
As the regional decentralisation programme was implemented, it became clear that the Government alone could not have the resources to finance the system. With the support of the IDC, the SBDC and DBSA and others, industries were being established and people were being relocated to where they should never have been.
This depended on continued Government subsidies and enforcement of pass laws and the many other legislative and other forms of control in the Apartheid system. In addition unionisation of labour in these areas was actively repressed.
Within the bank itself it is evident from the personnel records that the management and staffing for the most part reflected racially discriminatory employment practises, especially in initial years after the formation of the bank.
Evidence of this is that Blacks and women were engaged in lower grades and portfolios than their White male counterparts. Whites compromised the majority of staff, particular at middle and top management positions and as late as 1992 only seven percent of management positions were held by Black people or women.
By early 1990's attempts were beginning to be made to address nominees and apply affirmative action policies, but the bank continued to have a very low use of Black consultants and as I've indicated, representation in management.
If I may turn finally to the transformation of the bank. The water shed event in the history of the DBSA was the announcement in December 1994 by the then deputy Minister of Finance, Alec Irwin, of the formation of a transformation team under the chairmanship of Prof Nkushlu.
This had a mandate to advise the Minister on the process of transforming the DBSA into a new, more focused development finance institution, in line with the new South Africa.
The report tabled in May 1995, identified critical areas which needed to be changed, including the mandate institutional restructuring, human resource management and restructuring of the loan book.
The following, my appointment in April 1996, through a process which included 41 task teams and a highly participative process, the restructuring has occurred.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa act in April 1997 put a legal stamp on the transformation. It has confirmed the DBSA's role as a financier of infra-structure with a development purpose.
This repositions the bank from its past role of funding a wide range of sectors. The mission of the bank is to facilitate the provision of infra-structure or development finance in order to improve the quality of life of the people of South and Souther Africa.
The new mandate is focused on infra-structure and particularly water and sanitation, energy, roads, transport and telecommunications.
Where as the bank previously received annual subsidies from Government it has since 1995 become entirely self-sustaining financially. It gets no money from Government what so ever.
It is also committed to pay tax and to ensure sustainability has increased its interest rate and sharply increased its cost effectiveness. Lowering overhead costs, increasing staff productivity and applying best international development business practises is a priority for the new management and board.
Internally the bank has undergone a fundamental transformation to meet the strategic challenges more effectively. The organisational systems and structures had been changed. The management hierarchies have been reduced, the number of managers reduced from 65 to 24. Business units have been created and closely aligned with the client's needs.
Assertive steps have been put in place to empower staff and ensure fair and acquittal employment practises. Gender and affirmative action issues are specifically emphasized and currently 75 percent of the management team are from previously excluded groups as compared, as I indicated, to 7 percent in 1992.
The recently completed anomalies exercise sought in a joint management and staff initiative to identify the race and gender discrimination which had been suffered by staff and we allocated an amount this year of two million rands towards compensating staff for past discrimination.
We will also be as a carry through of this be allocating three point five million rand a year in future years to ensure that there's absolutely no race or gender discrimination in the bank in the future.
A new board was appointed by the cabinet in July 1997 and includes private sector and community stake holders as well as three director generals to ensure the interest of key constituencies and stake holders are reflected. The governor of the bank is the Minister of Finance.
The bank has one of the riches multi-disciplinary development skill bases in the country. Our challenge is to ensure it is effectively mobilised in the national interest. The bank's internal transformation has facilitated a virtual doubling of our activities and productivity while at the same time we have re-aligned our human resource and business practises.
The bank exists in order to contribute to a better life for all and especially previously disadvantaged groups in South Africa and the Sadec region.
Since 1994 we have invested over four billion rand in RDP and economic infra-structure in South Africa. In addition we have supported the transformation of South Africa in a wide variety of capacity building and other activities. On behalf of Government we've implemented the NUF job creation programme, which created 18 000 jobs, sorry (indistinct) of jobs.
We are housing the spacial development initiatives (indistinct) of farmers and engage in a wide range of other activities which mobilise our skills both financial and human in support of Government and transformation.
The chore business of the bank however, is infra-structure development. Given the needs which are estimated conservatively at over 175 billion rand, we are striving to achieve more and to be a catalyst in support of private and public sector interventions.
We are engaged in partnerships with the national, provincial and local governments at all levels and other development finance institutions as well as the private sector to overcome the enormous back logs.
This year we expect our board to approve over three billion rand of investments in infra-structure, compared to two billion rand last year and one billion rand in 1995. This reflects and extremely rapid growth in our activities despite the fact that at the same time we are down sizing, reducing our costs and have become financially independent.
Alongside our funding we are seeking also to mobilise at least an equal amount of co-funding from public and private sources. Our aim is to do what we can within our mandate and while ensuring we are financially sustainable to contribute to the provision of basic RDP and economic infra-structure.
In conclusion. The bank was established in the dying decade of Apartheid as an outcome of the conjuncture of total onslaught - as what was called total onslaught, economic imperatives and the search for alternative Apartheid development strategies.
It aimed to provide an economic (indistinct) to the homelands and to regional decentralisation. A number of those interviewed claimed that they contributed to the reform of Apartheid. However, whatever the views of individual managers or staff, it is clear that the bank supported the Apartheid system, especially the homeland structures.
The bank contributed very significant amounts of money an policy guidance to Apartheid structures and undoubtedly was part of and contributed to the system and its gross violations of human rights.
The present board and management of the bank cannot speak for those that led the bank in the Apartheid period. However, we firmly believe that the Apartheid system was a gross violation of human rights and acknowledge that DBSA was an integral part of the Apartheid system in the period from 1983 to 1994.
For this the current board and management unreservedly apologises. The bank, since 1994, has undergone a fundamental transformation. This has put it in a position to contribute to overcoming its own and the country's Apartheid legacy, both in South Africa and the Sadec region. I thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Dr Goldman.
REV FINCA: Mr Golden, I hear from your submission that you are in fact part of the new face of DBSA so you will not be able to assist with the problem of what happened in the past which we are dealing with in this hearing.
I will ask just a few general questions, but before I do, could I perhaps just comment you for the manner in which you have taken a position where you feel you must apologise for things that you were yourself not responsible for.
When there are people in this country who were directly responsible and do not feel so moved, we comment you for that.
I don't know whether you've seen the submission which had been made by a certain Mondesemema to the TRC. He is a former financial specialist of the DBSA. In that submission he makes very serious allegations of gross corruption which he says happened in the DBSA.
Will you care to comment on that and to just - we will make our own decision, but just to give us an indication whether you'd consider that this is a matter that is worth being taken seriously by the Commission and being referred to the President for enquiry if it's necessary?
DR GOLDMAN: Thank you, Chairperson. I will to the best of our understanding from looking at the evidence respond to the question. I have not seen the submission by Mr Mondesemema, but I am aware from other documents which I've seen which he showed to me after my arrival at the bank; I believe of the general issues that are of concern to him.
If I'm correct, he's main concern is concerning this so-called inside story, particularly in the period 1994 to 1995 and I'm not sure if that is what is being referred to in the documents referring to.
From what I, in my personal assessment have been able to ascertain, there were certain individuals in the bank, as I've indicated including on the board and in management, who might have said some things which I certainly would strongly disagreed with about the RDP.
I have not been able to follow up with the person on the board. He has not responded to any of my attempts to contact him and has long since left the bank and the board.
The staff - the managers concerned and other staff concerned I have spoken to about the allegations and their view is that they were taken out of context. I do believe that it is inevitable in an institution where a large number of staff certainly did support the Apartheid system, that one would not expect the staff to change over night, their spots, however they might declare it.
I firmly believe that from 1994 the institution have been in line with the RDP. I have spoken about this matter. Also with the Minister of RDP, Jay Naidoo, and he has indicated that he did not consider the bank to be undermining the RDP in a significant way, although he was aware that certain individuals might have been attempting to do so.
As to corruption, I have not become aware in any of the evidence that I have looked at of gross corruption within the bank. We have an internal audit function, we have risk management committees and as far as I'm - and of course it has always been externally audited by external auditors.
As far as I'm aware there's never been an uncovering of gross corruption. I am aware of course that the homelands were grossly corrupt and therefore we were lending to grossly corrupt institutions. How one tallies these two different things, I cannot say, but as far as I'm aware within the institution itself, our control structures, our audit trails and so on have been in order over this time and that there's been no significant gross corruption as far as I'm aware.
REV FINCA: Thank you, Mr Golden. The second question is directly linked to your comments about the homelands. It is not clear to some of us the - how the relationship is structured between DBSA and its manifestations in the homelands.
I know that in Transkei they used to be TDC. Was there a direct relationship with DBSA? Is there a level of accountability for - in DBSA for what happened in those Bantu (indistinct) manifestations.
MR GOLDEN: Thank you, Chair. I believe there was a very direct relationship at a number of levels. At a financial level the DBSA was a major funder of the homelands. Sometimes the tap was turned off and sometimes it was turned on and that of course is something we'd like to understand much better as well. How that related to political pressures and so on.
There was also as I've indicated, a very strong policy dimension where the bank staff provided policy advice to the homeland governments or to sub-structures within the homeland governments like the development corporations that were established.
So, I believe that both at the economic level and at the policy level, there were very strong connections. I don't know if you'd like me to elaborate on this, Chair?
REV FINCA: Not really. I think that's sufficient.
On page 17 of your main submission, paragraph five, you deal with the funding of projects and you say at times which the leadership of the time says were the exception, not the rule, the DBAS implemented development projects and programmes for political reasons.
In the perception of a number of people it will be the opposite. It will be - it appears to us to have been the rule rather than the exception that the DBSA was politically motivated in its funding. Again going back to Bantu (indistinct) area where I come from, it seemed to be the order of the day that those who were aligned to the Government, those who supported Bantu stand authorities, those who were related, those who were friends, those who were girl friends, those who were vocal in support of (indistinct), qualified for loans and those who were in opposition, most of the time failed to qualify.
Is it true that this was an exception rather than the rule?
MR GOLDEN: Chair, I do not say this was the exception and not the rule. This was the views of those that I interviewed.
As I've tried to indicate, the whole framework of the DBSA and perhaps each and every project must be viewed in the political context and it would be difficult, I believe, to find any projects which would have taken place outside the homeland system or the homeland structures.
I believe the institution and all its activities were framed by the political context and particularly the support for the homelands. However, it is also true that there is, for example, an operational manual and I did read the article of agreement which specifically indicates that there should not be direct political motivation in the choice of projects.
I think this is the sort of Alice in Wonderland situation which we see in so much of the Apartheid system; that the system is totally framed politically and is a abuse of human rights, but within it people are trying to operate or said they're trying to operate in what they considered to be rational ways and even in the case of the DBSA they said they were applying those practise and believed it in many cases I think.
So it is a contradiction. I believe that the projects were all politically motivated myself in a broad sense, because they supported a political motivated system. So, I also do know that the choice of projects of course because there was no democracy was not democratically constituted and determined by those that there were meant to be the recipients.
So, clearly the leadership of the homelands, the officials who had to sign off on these projects and in the end the Goverment's had to guarantee them, I believe, would have made the key decisions.
REV FINCA: My last question, Chairperson, is on the question of border industries. You have not dealt with this question in your main submission.
I don't whether it is because DBSA was not directly involved in border industries or whether you do not perhaps see that they linked up any way with the violation of human rights in the way in which they operated?
MR GOLDEN: Thank you, Chair. Please correct if I'm wrong, but I think projects like the Dimbaza and Fort Jackson projects were indeed border industry type projects which we supported as indicated in the paper.
I believe we did support particularly in the provision of infra-structure a wide range of border industries. I would see that as an absolute integral part of the bank's functions in that period.
As I indicated we also did this in conjunction with the wide variety of other institutions like the IDC which had the industrial function, the SBDC for small enterprises and so on.
So, I believe there was a set of parastatal institutions which worker together. I certainly believe, I can speak only for the DBSA, that that was part and parcel of the system and was certainly part and parcel of support for Apartheid and the gross violation of human rights.
REV FINCA: Thank you, Chair.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Dr Ally?
DR ALLY: Dr Goldin, you locate the establishment and the origin of the bank in what you call a conjuncture of the total strategy on the one hand and the attempts at reform and that the bank was an integral part of that, particularly its role in the homelands.
What, from your knowledge of the research you may have done, was the role of the private sector of big corporations in this initiative? What kind of involvement if any did they have with the Development Bank?
DR GOLDIN: Chair, if I may speak from my more general rather than my DBSA knowledge, I believe that an essential part of the strategy was to try and mobilise resources from wherever they may come to try and save these crumbling economies from total collapse and that that certainly involved co-funding with the private sector.
Indeed, it's in the articles of agreement of the DBSA that they should seek co-funding from other sources. I know that the investors in the decentralised or whatever one calls them, industrial occasions, were for the most part private investors.
We know that the location of much of industry, for example, around the Eastern Cape and other areas is determined by those sort of set of factors which influenced location, not only through the DBSA and (indistinct) institutions, but through tax breaks, repression of trade unions and all the other sets of factors which forced those low weight economies to be attractive for private investment.
So, I believe the private sector was an integral part of the system and if I may speak in my personal capacity, I certainly believe that it has much to account for in this.
DR ALLY: Just to continue from again your general knowledge, would you say that the private sector was conscious of some of the political motivations behind these kinds of initiatives or was it because this was a good deal?
DR GOLDIN: Well, good deals and political consciousness, I would have thought goes hand in hand. It's very difficult to be a good business if you're unaware of the society you're operating in . So, I think people knew what they were doing.
DR ALLY: One of the important issues to emerge from these hearing, and I'm sure it's going to be something that will continue for a long time, is obviously the question of reparations, given the injustices and inequities and inequalities of the past.
Now, ...(tape ends)
DR ALLY: ... must have gained some insight into the ravishes of the past of what the consequences of the Apartheid system and particularly its economic component, what the consequences of that has been for the vast majority of people.
Do you perhaps want to make some sort of general comments on the costs for the majority of people and some of the issues that are questions of reparations in order to be - seem to be really addressing these issues as opposed to simply ameliorating some of them?
DR GOLDIN: Thank you, Chair. As to the costs, I don't believe that we will ever begin to grasp the cost of the system and that's why it is a gross violation of human rights. The costs particularly to the deaths of people, their family's destruction - of family destruction of life, destruction of opportunity for the people of this country, is unquantifiable.
One can begin to look at in economic terms, the destruction in terms of the economy, the refocussing of the economy and we live with the legacy of that today which is why we can't grow faster and why we can't do more.
It's obviously beyond a huge number. It's what we're all living and grappling with in all of our lives and trying to reconstruct and transform the economy.
Not only of course of South Africa, but of the region and the DBSA is now a bank that covers the 14 countries of Sadec and often what we're grappling is South Africa's destructive force in the region.
As to reparations, we believe that the most we can do or the most focused thing we can do is to ensure that this institution, the DBSA, runs as fast as it can to try and meet the huge back logs which exist in South Africa and in the region for RDP and economic infra-structure.
We will do all we can without drawing on Government resources which have to be prioritised for other purposes to maximise investment in our mandated area which is infra-structure.
We believe in doing so and by listening to the needs of the people as to what their priorities are, because we know that not all their priorities will be met. We will be doing what we can to overcome the legacy of the past.
Within the organisation a fundamental transformation which we are undertaking, not only through affirmative action, the policies, not only through the anomalies exercised which we've allocated these amounts of money that I've indicated for, but recreating an institution which gives people a learning opportunity.
An opportunity to give back to society what society has taken away from people. I believe that is the form of reparations that we as an institution can take.
Because we are not taking back and because we are getting no subsidy, because we will be paying taxes and dividends, in a sense what we are doing is transferring the subsidy that was given to the institution in the past, for good use in the future on the strength of our balance sheet.
That of course in a sense is, one may interpret, as a form of transfer from the Apartheid system to the new system. I don't know if you'd like to say more than this, but I think the biggest thing we can do is to help change people's lives for the better in everywhere we can.
DR ALLY: Thank you. The last question. The involvement of the private sector presently in the Development Bank; the same, less, more enthusiastic? What's your experiences as to its role in the past?
DR GOLDIN: As you may be aware we have an ongoing, I should say, relationship with the private sector. We believe that we can mobilise private sector funds, both South African and foreign for the use of RDP infra-structure and economic infra-structure in South Africa and the region.
Given the back log and it's probably 200 or more billion rand, we have to bring all the resources and all the skills we have in the region and internationally to bear on the problem.
We want to be a catalyst. We want to support the private sector in investment and infra-structure. We want to support the public sector. What is crucial is that we do this on terms which we believe are acceptable; that the corporate government, that their countability ethics, that the democratic ethics which inform our appraisal principles, inform those of anyone co-funds with us.
We will be and are continuing to work with different private investors to see how we can maximise their contribution in these areas.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Dr Goldin, you may step down.
I ask the representatives of Tongaat-Hulett to come forward, please.
Good morning, gentlemen. Sir, could you please introduce your delegation to us first.
MR SAVAGE: Thank you, Chairperson and members of the Commission. It is our pleasure to be here this morning and thank you for inviting us.
On my right I have Mr Chris Saunders, a very well known businessman in South Africa. Chris Saunders has been with our company for more than 43 years. His family, in fact, has been associated with us and in fact founded the company some 105 years ago.
On my left I have Mr JB Makwasa. JB has been with the company for 22 years. JB is an executive director of the group and apart from his many responsibilities, he is chairman of Corobrick.
Myself, group managing director, being in (indistinct) management for 20 years in the company and have really dealt with many of the nuts and bolts of the issues that the TRC is dealing with and we'll be dealing with today.
I might say, Chairperson, members of the Commission, unlike some of the other presentations, we have been with - dealing with the issues for more than 20 years and we do hold ourselves fully accountable for what has happened; that's the good, the bad and the indifferent.
CHAIRPERSON: Sir, can I stop you before you go on, because we still need to take the oath. We've asked Tongaat-Hulett to come today to talk specifically not about your entire company, but about the cultural sector and that's the area that you're going to be concentrating on and the involvement of Tongaat in that sector.
Are you going to be making the presentation and are you going to be the only person speaking?
MR SAVAGE: Yes, Dr Randera and I will be directing the questions and I will make the initial submission.
CHAIRPERSON: So would you all stand to take the oath or affirmation then?
DR ALLY: The oath or the affirmation?
MR SAVAGE: The oath.
DR ALLY: The oath.
MR SAVAGE, CHRIS SAUNDERS, JB MAKWASA: (Duly sworn in, states).
DR ALLY: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You may proceed.
MR SAVAGE: Thank you, Chairperson, members of the Commission, once again for this opportunity to present the Tongaat-Hulett group submission to the TRC.
Before I have done the introductions and also Dr Randera, the detail back ground information concerning the company has been given to members of the Commission at the time of the submission.
So, I don't intend spending much time on the company's business here, other than to say very briefly it is involved in seven basic industries of sugar, building materials, foods, aluminium, starch and glucose, textiles and property. So, it's a wildly diverse supply group. All the manufacturing divisions are subject to international competition and exports are a major component of the business.
The group is currently one of the leading long term investors in South Africa. We are committed to South Africa and we're confident in the future of South Africa and in this regard we have recently committed more than three billion rands in the installation of new production facilities. That's in fixed assets.
The group employees more than 20 000 people in South African and over 10 000 people in Zimbabwe. It also has interest in Mozambique. Trade unions are well established and the company currently has 43 formally recognition agreements with 19 unions.
So, it's a company that has width and depth. Moving now to the submission itself. It is essentially the product of work done recently by a committee of which I was chairman. The committee comprised 18 people with a wide range of responsibilities and experience within the group and included some of the group's top Black executives.
Resource was also made to retired managers and records of public speeches made by executives. I should say that the exercise itself, members of the Committee, was not without emotion. In fact it was an emotional experience and it ended up being both a (indistinct) and team strengthening exercise.
Chairperson, the group believes that it is not - it has not been responsible for any gross violations of human rights as defined in terms of the TRC act. There were, however, isolated instances of ill treatment of employees, for example by individual supervisors.
There were also instances in the past 30 years were management was guilty of condoning discrimination and discomfort through for example, application of Apartheid's job reservation and the imposition of separate amenities.
My own experience has been that in each case where any unfair incident was brought to the attention of group executives, corrective action was taken. Whites were fired due to the ill treatment of Blacks.
So, unfair incidents did take place and for these we are sorry and for these we apologise. In retrospect it is clear that business in general, including the group, could have done more to hasten the demise of Apartheid. Even though it is well recorded that the group publicly opposed Apartheid for many years, with perfect hind sight its opposition could have been stronger.
The group of course, is a public company and as such it had to act within the ambit of the law and I'm not giving this as an excuse. It has been used before, but as a fact.
There were instances in the mid 1980's, for example, when the group was requested to stop paying taxes as a means of protest. It was felt at the time the group could not do this without substantial backing of other businesses and that was sorely lacking at the time.
On the question of where the business benefitted from Apartheid, the group believes that it actually suffered as a result of Apartheid. For example, through the isolation of South Africa within the international economy. Bear in mind the group is big in exports. The over regulation of social life and constraints on the labour market as well as the poor standards of Black education and the political and social instability and unrest.
There was no doubt in the minds of executives that the group would have been more successful than it is, had it not been for the penalties of Apartheid.
Chairperson, over the years executives of the group, including the three of us here, have devoted considerable energies and time in the pursuit of socio-political change in South Africa.
This has been done through inter-alia, participating in the leadership of organisations such as Urban Foundation, SACOB, the Corporate Forum, USALEP and the Consultants of Business Movement. More recently of course the NBI business against crime and countless other initiatives.
But other initiatives at that time aimed about bringing reform in which group executives participated, were the Buthelezi Commission, that's 1980, 1982, the KwaZulu Natal Indaba, 1986 and the Tongaat-Hulett planning forum, 1989.
Various conferences both in South Africa and abroad on the need for political change were also tendered, for example, the meeting of business leaders and the UDF and COSATU in Broederstroom in August 1988.
Now, this was an illegal meeting where the executives, including myself, were subjected to imprisonment, but that meeting resulted in the formation of a consultative business movement.
I'm pleased to see in that regard, Chairperson, many familiar faces from that meeting, including Dr Boraine and (indistinct).
It has been suggested by some that the group's support for the Buthelezi Commission and the KwaZulu Natal Indaba might have inferred a political alignment. This support however was unrelated to party politics. At that time it was motivated by a deep concern of the group and by leaders in the community that the then Minister of Constitutional Development, Mr Heunis, and the Natal Provincial Administration, were attempting to enforce unjust and unworkable geo-political divisions upon the province.
Some unions also believed that the group was sympathetic to specific political parties. The conflict between the IFP and the UDF throughout the 1980's inflicted unique circumstances on business operating in the area.
In most of the group's plants the allegiance workers was clearly divided between the political forces and employers could not be seen to be siding with either party. It was because the group was never allied to any political party that at different stages it receive both compliments and criticisms from other political parties.
I should say that the group's geographic situation in KwaZulu Natal placed special responsibilities on it and it continues to do so. I've got many cases of these which I could - if we had time we could go through.
But I would like to see - I would like to mention, Chairperson, that one incident comes to mind and that was the time when the group chairman and myself and another prominent businessman in KwaZulu Natal personally facilitated a meeting between the president and Buthelezi before the election.
We believe it was that key meeting where we personally met the president in Johannesburg, convinced him of the need and the timing of the meeting to take place, it was that meeting that we believe was instrumental in KwaZulu Natal coming into the elections.
As I say it's because of our size and our location we have responsibilities in that region. Now, with regard to labour relations, group executives have played pioneering role in the Wiehahn Commission.
In fact JB Makwasa was a leading member of that. That was in the late '70's and by the time trade unions for Black employees were recognised in law, the group had already accepted the employee rights of freedom of association, of representation, of collective bargaining, of training and development and the right to strike.
The Tongaat-Hulett was the regional business leader in the signing of recognition agreements with the emerging unions.
Now, throughout the '80's many operations in the group was severely effected by political violence. This caused stayaways, high levels of absenteeism, employees being killed in the violence and it seems (indistinct) to say consequential loss in productivity and business. It seems (indistinct) to say that, but that was a fact.
Sometimes the continued violence led to the group deciding to withdraw from certain business operations as was the case at Hebok textile mill at Hammersdale. In the 1980's in Pietermaritzburg, Hulett-aluminium lost 15 employees, killed in political violence and during that time many employees used to sleep at work in order to be safe.
At Hambanati, a township located near Tongaat, violence also erupted. This had tragic consequences for many employees and once again, (indistinct) to say, clearly disrupted business.
The groups, rather in trying to deal with this unstable environment is well documented and is also evidence in the participation by many of its executives including the three of us here in trying to mediate between the factions.
Chairperson, earlier this year and arising from a TRC investigation in the Durban area, concerning confessions made by security police, a body was exhumed in the grounds of a house owned and rented out by the group to the South African Police.
At that time, to give some back ground, the group owned more than 4 000 houses, residential houses and was letting out 300 houses to the public. Now, I'm saying that not to distract from this appalling incident.
It was raised by the TRC, brought to our attention, a thorough investigation was carried out by the group and a full report was submitted to the TRC in Durban.
A copy of that full report has also been submitted to the TRC sitting here today. The reply from Commissioner
Richard Lyster, dated 18th of April of this year, stated and I quote:
"We've read the documents and it appears that while the company was aware that the property was let to the South African Police, neither the company nor any of its employees had knowledge of any illegal activities carried out on these premises and in this regard we also had detailed discussions with the KwaZulu Natal leadership of the ANC and COSATU."
Moving onto the issue of land. While the group - while the very nature of its core business has relatively large areas of agricultural and industrial land, it also has been a victim of large scale racially motivated expropriations.
Areas exploited by the Government included KwaMashu and later Phoenix. Phoenix was to accommodate the resident who had been forcibly removed from (indistinct). During the 1980's however, the group successfully opposed the expropriation of thousands of hectares of land under racially motivated Government plans that compensations at Shenembi and the Umthloti Valley.
It also opposed the implementation of group areas in Tongaat in 1965. The group's view is that land should always be put to the most productive and economically rational use.
In this context it has for example promoted Black entrepreneurship into small and medium scale farming and has initiated the development of lower income housing on its land.
The conclusion ... (intervention).
CHAIRPERSON: You have two more minutes.
MR SAVAGE: Thank you. In conclusion, Chairperson, may I say that the historical record of the group confirms opposition to Apartheid in pursuing a more enlarged approach than many other business, it is now proud of the fact that it employs more than 340 qualified Black graduate and diplomates and the majority of skilled and supervisory posts are occupied by Blacks.
Our resources of services to facilitate Black economic empowerment was valued at some 200 million rands last year and is estimated to be 300 million rands this year. Already three percent of after tax profits are expanded on affirmative action programmes and quality of life programmes already.
It is planned to allocate an amount equal to four percent of the group's annual payroll to (indistinct) of that it 32 million rands a year. The payroll is 800 million rands a year. It has planned to put four percent of this into training and development and many substantial grants on top of this have been made to socially deserving causes.
Finally, Chairperson, probably the most important contribution that the Tongaat-Hulett group can make to the greater society in the future, is to remain a world class business in order to survive economically and grow successfully.
Simply put, if we are not successful in business, we will not have anything to offer. You may be interested to know, that today through the payment of wages and salaries to our employees, and taxes paid, the group is contributing an excess of one billion rands a year to the public good.
May I conclude then by saying if the work of this Commission resulting from the business sector hearing can prevent the evils of the past reoccurring, we believe, the three of us here, that this exercise will have proved a valuable contribution to South Africa and the future. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Savage. Rev Finca?
REV FINCA: Thank you, Chair. Your submission, Mr Savage deals primarily with your agricultural work as requested by the Commission, but I'm grateful that you have dealt also with the - what you call an appalling incident which shocked so many in this country when the bones of Mr Meweni were dug in your property.
I know that you said that the Durban office of the Commission is handling this matter and we may not want to delve on it long, here, but I just want to raise a general question with you.
How would you describe your relationship with the security police in the Apartheid period?
MR SAVAGE: I think it's a very good question and after making three comments I'm going to ask JB Makwasa to help answer that.
But there's no doubt about it. You might have had the impression also, after having to deal with so much violence as you've had to deal with, of opposing factions in KwaZulu Natal, the police, the South African - now, I'm not talking about the security police, the South African Police played a very important role and there's no doubt that our own security police within the Government, within the company were close to them. There's no doubt about that. They had to be.
When we had massive disruptions and as we went up that learning curvy over a period of about fifteen years, we learned and the police learned that when there was disruption, they would then keep a low profile.
In the early days they kept - they were right up front and that inflamed the whole situation. So there was close - there was no doubt, there was close contact. Not only with the police, the managers of security in our group, but also the other companies in KwaZulu Natal. There was close contact.
Now, with regard to security police, that's another issue altogether. As I said whilst we knew we were letting this one house of 300 houses being let out at the time, to the SA police and I'd like to add we are continuing to let houses to the Sa police at the moment. It's under new dispensation, but we still continue to let houses to the new South African police.
We weren't aware of the fact that it - that he was a security policeman, but JB Makwasa has also done a full investigation to this and JB maybe you'd like to add to it.
MR MAKWASA: Thank you, Chairperson. I think the issue is actually quite critical. The issue of the relationship between Tongaat-Hulett group and the security police.
At the meetings held in May this year, between Tongaat-Hulett group management and the KwaZulu leadership of COSATU and the ANC, the issue of perceived coalition between Tongaat-Hulett group security department and the South African police particularly the period of state security, was raised.
Then, subsequent to that, we carried out an investigation to try and get to grips with this issue. As far as it can be ascertained, there was no active coalition between the security police - between the security departments within the Tongaat-Hulett group and the security police of the state.
Company security personnel did however liaise with the police in the normal course of their duty and this included contact with the security branch of the state.
Whilst we were doing this investigation, we also became aware of the fact that at some stage the head of the security personnel within Tongaat-Hulett group, a Mr Jan Steenkamp, who has since retired, was in fact a member of the military before he joined Tongaat-Hulett groups and that in fact he had a brother who was associated with the bureau of state security in South Africa.
However, there was no indication that that relationship at any (indistinct) with what was taking place within Tongaat-Hulett group.
Thank you, Chairperson.
REV FINCA: With the benefit of hind sight, after having listened to the testimonies that have come through the Truth Commission hearings, do you think that it is appropriate in your letter that you actually - in your letter to Richard Lyster, you say that the properties - you have rented out properties to a wide range of individuals, families and institutions, such as church groups, schools, hospitals, police, defence force, etcetera.
I mean, with the benefit of hind sight, would you put the activities of the security police on the same level as the other institutions that you are referring to?
MR SAVAGE: No ... (intervention).
REV FINCA: Let me just come back to this question again. Is this just an isolated incident? Can we have just an isolated incident or was there in fact a practice of having a number of these people actually operating within your properties?
MR SAVAGE: I can categorically say it was an isolated incident and there was no conscious efforts of our company to collude with illegal activities with the security police. We can say that categorically. The reason I gave as a back ground the number of houses that we let out, the 300 houses, that fact that we let them out to contractors, church groups, schools, teachers, a wide range; was to indicate the range of people.
It wasn't meant to indicate that we viewed the security police on the same value system as the other tenants. But we were appalled, we were absolutely appalled by the incident.
REV FINCA: Just a last question. Did you attempt to reach out to the Neweni family on this matter? I know that we're told yesterday that the business of business is business, it's not to show compassion and have moral values attached to these things, but it's such an appalling incident as you've said it.
Did you do anything to reach out to the family?
MR MAKWASA: Chairperson, that question has actually occupied our minds to a very great extent and one finds one self as an organisation trapped within the interpretations and the perceptions that can't be given on an incident of this nature.
Would any extension or showing of good hand by Tongaat-Hulett group be considered and seen as an admission of guilt, which there is a good body of people who would interpret that the Tongaat group felt it was clean, his hands are clean on this issue, it would have not have extended this hand.
The human side in terms of our value systems also is saying, so what if there's those kinds of interpretations. The position where we find ourselves right now is that we don't know whether the matter has been concluded or not, because we are still expecting that those people who came to confess to the TRC might be called upon to say more about this issue and also to the question that Cedric answered as to say are we absolutely sure that this was an isolated incident?
One can only say with the information that is available to us right now, in terms of the investigation that we carried, we are absolutely sure that that was an isolated incident, but being in South Africa and knowing South Africa to what it has been, I would not be surprised and we would not be surprised if anything came up.
We don't know. We were appalled and it was the first time that we become aware of that activity. So it is a vexing question. We would like to assist - seek assistance in seeing our way through the question.
Are we expected to extend a word - I mean a hand to the Neweni family? We are not sure what to do.
DR BORAINE: Chairperson, just a comment on this. I have to say that I find the reply totally unacceptable. I'm astonished at the quality of the presentation and the framework of which I know this company to be working in; that there should be any hesitation at all in extending a hand of assistance to people who suffered grievously, not at the hands of your company, but on your property.
I would hope very much that there will be, in the spirit of your own presentation, a reaching out without any delay. Thank you.
MR SAVAGE: Dr Boraine, thank you for that comment and it has been noted.
REV FINCA: Just to move onto a different area. Your company has depended in the past, if I'm correct, on the labour of - drawn mainly from Pondoland.
MR SAVAGE: Sorry, I didn't hear on that.
REV FINCA: I was just checking if I'm right in saying that the bulk of the labour that you've used in your sugar plantation has come from Pondoland.
MR SAVAGE: Migrant labour? Yes.
REV FINCA: Can you perhaps sketch us - sketch for us just very briefly a picture of how you recruited the people from Pondoland, the working conditions under which they laboured and the housing conditions in particular under which they lived whilst they were in your employ?
A person who grew up in Natal, there is a general perception that the people who came in to work at the sugar plantations, they worked under very terrible conditions.
MR SAVAGE: Thank you, Chairperson. It is the sole question of migrant labour and either one of us could answer it, but JB Makwasa was involved in industrial relations for many years.
JB, could I ask you to deal with this?
MR MAKWASA: Thank you, Chairperson. I mean once again the question of migrant labour is a question that has applied the gross mind for a number of years and perhaps it is important to understand how we come to have migrant labour.
The sugar industry by its very - by the very nature of the raw material that it requires, operates in the rural areas, one, and then secondly, we have found that the local people are reluctant to work in agriculture and we have therefore been forced to go and recruit outside KwaZulu Natal as it were.
Over the years one of the vexing questions have been the conditions of employment in agriculture. One of those conditions of employment in agriculture has been housing. We are coming from a history of hostels if a - which we would not be ashamed to admit that if you go back in the early '60's, the early '70's, the conditions were not the conditions that we would be proud of and through that realisation we have tried to improve the conditions of housing for the employment - for the employees in agriculture.
We would not sit here and say that we have the best conditions, but we will be saying that there are efforts in terms of trying to improve these conditions.
One must also bear in mind that it was not just the housing of the employees in hostels are not just in agriculture only. It was in the industrial sector as well. We're sitting now, we would say we have done it far better than perhaps we could have done in agriculture and besides that some of the houses that we are now putting on the land are in a - would be occupied by families as time goes on.
So we are making a lot of improvements as far as housing within the Tongaat-Hulett group is concerned.
We wouldn't say here that we are perfect, but we are putting a lot of effort in that regard.
MR SAVAGE: Yes, can I just add to that to give a slightly different perspective. This migrant labour is seasonal labour. It's therefor six to seven months maximum a year. So, then they go back to their areas of origin, mostly Northern Natal or Transkei.
Transkei is a big provided of seasonal migrants to the sugar industry. It does raise this issue of single sex hostels, by enlarge they have been phased out into flats, but on the other hand it has in the past been a convenient way of providing accommodation for seasonal migrants.
It's not permanent.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I'll take one more question from Dr Ally.
DR ALLY: Thanks, Chairperson. Your submission raises again the classic dilemma that this hearing has been faced with throughout. That's on the one hand businesses which have made submissions to say repeatedly that Apartheid was actually negatively (indistinct). It was deleterious and you say that yourself.
Yet, we have an economic system which is dominated by Whites and a social economic system in which Whites enjoy a very high standard of living.
So there is a need to try and understand that situation now. That is - that dilemma is capture, I think, in a statement which you make in your submission, now which I'm going to ask you to comment on against that back drop.
You say the core business of your group depends on land, especially in its earlier stages and you needed to acquire land over the years in order to grow and to secure your status as a leading sugar producer in a globally competitive arena.
Today the group owns more than 45 000 hectares of agricultural land and industrial land which is quite substantial, but then you say it is not owned land in an unfair manner within a racial discriminatory framework of legislation.
Now, how's it possible to make that statement if it's not owned land in an unfair manner, within a racially discriminatory framework against the back drop of the colonial wars, because your company stretched way back.
Against numerous other laws that were passed with regard to land ownership, the 1930 land act, the 1936 act again, the group areas act and the Bantu stand policy.
What challenges that pose then for the future with regard to reparation and redress?
MR SAVAGE: Yes, it's a good question and it's extremely difficult to answer. There's no doubt about it, throughout our sheer existence we were part of the legislative system. There's no doubt about it, so therefore any negative connotation with that system automatically transfers onto all the participants in the system.
Yes, we are big land owners. That's one of the reasons why we are targeted in KwaZulu Natal on many issues, because of the very few businesses that can go ahead without acquiring land before hand and because we do own lots of land as you say, we are often in the (indistinct) in that context.
We have tried to find, searching through our extensive records; were there any unfair type expropriations which took place where we knowingly exploited a situation.
In all our land, and I know this sounds ridiculous, but the only areas we can find are less than a 100 hectares, which could be construed subject to the whole legal investigation, could be construed as being exploitive. Hundred hectares out of 4 500 hectares - 45 000 hectares.
But on the other hand, if you step back and look at the macro, any acquisition of land over the last 40 years could be construed as being exploitive.
So, I can't answer - I can understand the matter in the micro situation, but I can't answer that question, other than to say we would look and we would conduct any investigation which the TRC would like us to do. We would conduct it fully, using any expert advisors that the TRC would wish to provide us and we would make the - clearly the findings fully available to the TRC and to the public.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Savage and your colleagues. I know my - the panellists here who want to ask further questions. I'm afraid I'm not going to be allowing them to pose those questions, besides in writing to you and perhaps you'll respond.
I'm sure you will respond. Thank you very much for spending the last two and a half days with us. We wish you well on your trip back to Durban. Thank you.
MR SAVAGE: Thank you, Chairperson and members of the Commission.
CHAIRPERSON: Can we break for tea and return at five past eleven?
LAND BANK: PRESENTATION
CHAIRPERSON: Dr Dulny and your delegation, good morning and welcome. Can I please ask you to introduce your delegation and then we will ask you to take the oath or affirmation.
DR DULNY: I'm managing director of the Land Bank. I started on the first of May this year and the first thing that Sunsalow said to me when he saw me this morning, was, how can you possibly speak on behalf of the Land Bank. You've only been there a few months, but I think I represent the New Land Bank and we're referring to the future.
I'm not very much integrated into the old line bank lock, stock and barrel in the last few months.
On my left I have Karl Erinburgh, who is taking a great deal of stress as transformation task team leader. We're wanting to launch a new Land Bank on the 1st of March and I think at the moment we're in the middle of 56 workshops.
Karl Erinburgh has been with the bank for 40 years and is a senior deputy general manager. To his left is Andre Jansen, who is currently regional manager in the Western Cape. He took a pro-active role in the Land Bank working group, producing the document for this forum and for this Commission.
His views were not necessarily reflected, but Andre also served as the assistant to the managing director for 17 years.
To the far left is Bonini Jack. Bonini Jack is the Chairperson designate of the board of directors. At the moment our legislation gives myself a role as being MD and chair, which is not a good call for practice and in the interest of better corporate governance, Bonini Jack has been appointed as chairperson designate.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Dr Dulny. Am I to understand that all of you are going to talk?
Can I just say, you were not present when I made my announcements earlier on. You have, unfortunately, only got 15 minutes to make your presentation. I know there's an addition to the submission you made to us two weeks ago, so you have to work within that time.
Then, of course, there will be some time for questioning. Could you all please stand to take the oath or affirmation? Dr Ally.
DR ALLY: The oath or the affirmation. You're outnumbered.
DR DULNY, KARL ERINBURGH, ANDRE JANSEN: (Duly sworn in, states).
DR ALLY: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Who is going to start?
DR DULNY: In September of this year we had a senior manager's meeting. There were about 70 senior managers and we took the opportunity of responding to an invite from a committee from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission who came and spoke to us about the Commission.
At that meeting a group were selected amongst the senior managers who prepared a document for consideration by the board. The document is the second document in the folder. The board looked at the documents and thought it was very apologetic about the Land Bank's role in the past and was not really facing up to the reality of the Land Bank's role in Apartheid.
What the board then requested was that we should employ an economic historian who would sit in the Land Bank and look at our board minutes from 1948 and prepare an alternative document for consideration.
We had that done and it was completed three days ago and the idea was to come with the new document to this meeting.
Unfortunately, 15 top managers reacted very strongly and signed a document saying that they rejected the new document in totality and so on that bases I contacted the Truth Commission and said could we come with both documents, because it was a much fairer reflection of where we stood.
We are in the middle of a transformation process and we have people who are trying to shift their mental paradigms. People are doing that at a different speed and I think the two documents that you have, reflect the distance that we have to cover and I think the challenge to us will be; can we by March the 1st when we launch the New Land Bank, can we come with one document which would have consential support amongst the staff.
At the moment we don't have that consential support and so we thought it was a much truer reflection to give you ...(tape ends)
DR DULNY: ... we are speaking to the different documents, but is doesn't necessarily reflect that some of us support the first and some of us support the second.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR ERINBURGH: Thank you. If I may kick off then, the Land Bank is a specialised financial institution. We serve the agricultural sector. We operate within the confines of the Land Bank Act. We are autonomous. We report to the Minister of Agriculture, which was previously the Minister of Finance.
Our main object is to promote farming in the Republic of South Africa. At the time under consideration the Land Bank was legally limited to farmers inside the borders of the RSA and we did not include any farms active in the TBVC states.
In '59 the Land Bank Act was amended, allowed us to trade on the money and capital market in order to raise our capital. As a result the land - the rates charged by the Land Bank increased. External investors became a very important group of stake holders who've taken active interest in the Land Bank's functions.
Favourable credit ratings have become an important factor for Land Bank in maintaining prices of its market instruments. We are governed by a board of no more than ten members that traditionally enjoyed great influence over every detailed level of decision making in the past.
In recent years this has changed to allow management greater discretion, but during the years under consideration the board could be regarded as the prime decision making structure.
During the '60's the State came to recognise the importance of agricultural finance and developed a clearer market segmentation which saw the Land Bank become responsible for a very specific group of farmers in the agricultural producers and the organisations who were viable but who could not afford commercial credit. That was the called the category two farmer.
The State assumed the responsibility for financing the small - early riskier and smaller farmers which was the category three farmer. This policy only changed in 1995 when the Land Bank agreed to make - to meet the needs of the whole agricultural sector.
We provide a whole range of financial products, long term, medium term and short term financing. Historically we also served as a channel for the delivery of Government funds to particular groups as a result of disasters, drought and other causes.
The Land Bank's involvement in these schemes was to provide the provision of - was limited and the provision of technical services was not one of our fields.
If I may hand over to Andre Jansen on this point, please.
MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, while the bank is very proud of its status as successful financier, the bank cannot deny that it also has reason to regret certain aspects of its past.
In the submission to this Committee, the bank admits that its capital spending in the past was not applied to be directly be beneficial to Black people. The power of the State was used to allocate resources, such as credit along racial line and the bank was indirectly instrumental in preventing Black people to compete in the market for farm land.
The bank therefore admits, Mr Chairman, that it contributed in creating hardship to the landless Black people. We recognised today that much could have been done by the bank to support these people.
The bank acknowledges that it implicated a more direct form of human rights abuses as more fully discussed in the bank's submission to this Committee.
Mr Chairman, the bank unconditionally apologises for its past inability to alleviate the hardship of the landless Black people.
Mr Chairman, the bank's personnel policy was previously also discriminatory in terms of race and sex. The policy was copied from the civil service, using the same type of job creation, remuneration and promotion systems.
This led to a personnel corpse consisting mainly of White males in the executive posts with women in a different post and salary structure making up the supportive role and non-White staff filling unskilled or service posts.
The bank admits that it participated in denying equal opportunities for women and non-White people. They were committed - accommodated in separate structures with very limited scope for promotions. In retrospective, Mr Chairman, the bank admits its contribution to the enormous hard done in depriving these people of the opportunities to fully compete in the labour market.
For these injustices the bank wishes to apologise.
MR JACK: Thank you, Chairperson. As has been indicated by my colleagues, the Land Bank is an autonomous statutorian institution which provides finance to agricultural initiatives.
It has, historically, operated in the context of oppressive rural Apartheid and was structured as an instrument for the implementation of State policy.
Land Bank can be regarded as a successful development finance institution, given that it is largely self-financing and offers an effective service to its existing clients.
However, it also had a clear role in producing rural misery and poverty. Prompted largely by racist State policies, which Land Bank applied and from which it benefitted.
The Land Bank acknowledges its distinct racial bias in its business practises during the period under review in which we forecast almost exclusively on Whites. We also acknowledge that many White farmers received support, not because they were good farmers who showed potential, but because they were White.
Land Bank acknowledges its role in supporting the displacement of Black South African of the land during the dark cast years of Apartheid. Most aspects of Land Bank business was highly regulated by the enabling statute which often prescribes strict limitations, but we accept that our security requirements, not all of which were imposed by statute, effectively excluded Black people who had been stripped of their land rights.
We also acknowledge that innovations made during the years were not applied in ways which could have increased eligibility of Black farmers, including those in the former homelands for credit services.
Land Bank acknowledges that it was part of a complex work of institutional arrangement in rural South Africa, which led to growth in the political support enjoyed by the National Party.
We acknowledge that Land Bank lending practises undermined food security. By supporting control boards which inflated food prices at a time when Black farming was collapsing.
The fact that the Land Bank did not concern itself adequately with the working conditions of farm workers, contributed to a climate in which workers were dehumanised and were the victims of severe human rights violations.
We also acknowledge that we financed farmers who bought land released by forced removals and thereby played an instrumental part in the worst aspects of Apartheid.
Land Bank policies which caused particular hardship were the promotion of a mechanisation and the adoption of the economic unions, both of which accelerated the process of forced ...(indistinct) and contributed to rural suffering.
Land Bank concedes that it has recently played a very direct role in recapitalising White farmers, offering yet another set of benefits to White farmers over their Black colleagues.
This has contributed a high land - to high land prices and made it more difficult to implement the land reform programme. Land Bank also acknowledges a history of gender discrimination, both in terms of our treatment of women farmers and with regard to the difficulties faced by women staff in a (indistinct) environment.
Land Bank is an institution set up to implement state policy and this is some kind of mitigating factor. We were profoundly effected by the racist and oppressive institutional milieu of the day and the effect that had on our day to day operations cannot be overstated.
Land Bank is of the belief that as an institution wholly owned by the State, the best of correcting the past is to improve our services and to offer real support to emerging farmers, millions of which we have in South Africa.
We wish to conclude to this submission, by apologising as the present board and management unreservedly to those rural people who have been disadvantaged or worse by the practises supported, promoted or implemented by the Land Bank in the past.
Thank you, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Dr Ally?
DR ALLY: Thank you very much, Chairperson. I'm in an invidious position. I don't know, do I ask two sets of questions, because there are two submissions or just one.
The Chairman is very strict on time here. I think that we all sitting up here, appreciated the candour of the submissions, but I think that maybe the issue of the role of the Land Bank needs to probed a bit more, because the impression that came across was that the Land Bank was part of the system of discrimination and part of this system of Apartheid.
But there is another perspective on the Land Bank which actually argues that not only was it part, but it was actually quite essential, it was integral. That one of the crucial issues in the emergence of Afrikaner Nationalism was the question of land.
A complaint of Afrikaners often was that we may have the land, but we don't have the banks and we don't have the mines. So that land therefore was a crucial part of capital mobilisation - of resource from which agricultural - from which Afrikaner capital could launch into other sectors of the economy. The SANLAMS and the VOLKSKAS in their submissions often attribute the first sources of capital is from land and therefore the Land Bank was critical in allowing Afrikaner Agriculture to development and therefore to spread into other areas of the economy.
Now, how would you respond to that kind of perspective; that only a part, but a actual essence in some ways of the way in which Afrikaners were able to establish a strong stake in the South African economy.
DR DULNY: Family ask me how old is the Land Bank and I said it was formed in 1912. I think that answers the question. It is saying here as when the land lords were being implemented.
DR ALLY: I don't know. Is that a case for the prosecution or the defense?
The reason that I actually asked that question was not to want to put the Land Bank in the dock, but rather because one of the big issues that we are confronted with is the question of reparation and I think that you in the Land Bank are also - obviously that is a preoccupation, the question of righting the wrongs.
But I think that one can only really right the wrongs if one understands the magnitude and if one has an appreciation of the instruments which were actually used to inflict the wrongs, otherwise I think there is the danger that one just glides over them and that one ends up with a almost sanitised diversion of the past. Oh, the Land Bank was just part of and we apologise, when in reality it was a lot more and therefore if we are going to take serious the question of reparations, it has to do a lot more; that one of the key aspects of Apartheid was that it was never ad-hoc, it was deliberate, it was conscious, it was tenacious and I think that people at receiving end are wanting to know whether the addressing of the wrongs are going to be as tenacious and as concentrated and as conscious as opposed to (indistinct).
So that brings me to the next question which is what is the Land Bank doing, because that I think is what many people out there would like to know?
MR JACK: I think before we go to what the Land Bank is doing now, I would like to agree with you that the Land Bank was not established, you know, as an event. It was part of process.
Hence, I think I would refer to you the document, one of the documents that Dr Dulny referred to, which traces the economic history of why the Land Bank had to be established, what mechanisms were used to create access, you know, to White farmers. Those who did not even have security in terms of getting the loans.
So of all of those are documented and we are aware of them. Hence, in our approaches in terms of transformation, we would be looking at those and I think it's also the reason why you do find that there is a resistance in terms of the transformation process from some quarters, because it is known that we would also want to reverse the process, such that it can be part and parcel of the reparation process.
DR DULNY: In terms of reparation the things that are being discussed, is we do make money on lending to commercial farmers, should not a portion of this, a percentage of this money go in for a special ground funding for reparations?
That will be one area of reparations. The farmers have raised - the White commercial farmers have raised that they don't want the Land Bank to be doing cross subsidisation, but I think reparation does mean redistribution and so if we do make money on lending to commercial White farmers, then it seems appropriate in terms of reparation, that a percentage of this should go into a special fund.
The other thing is that we have bought in properties which are the result of (indistinct) and at the moment they are, they are sold to the highest bidder at the greatest speed and that is almost invariably White. The board has put a moratorium on the sale of properties, because it says it wants to re-look at the process and I would like a new process in place where, in previously disadvantaged people and land reformed beneficiaries, get first call on those properties to see if they are appropriate for land settlement.
The third area is affirmative action. I mean we had, on the 1st of May, we had a senior staff of 75 people who were totally White and of those 75 people, 77 people, the first 75 were White male and then 76 and 77 were White female in senior administrative positions.
We have in the last five months employed 9 senior managers and of those they are women and Blacks. So that original total of 77 has already dramatically changed in five months.
DR ALLY: Just a final question from me. You know better than what I do that land is an emotive issue in this country. Probably one of the most, given the history.
Do you think that we will be able to address this question of land and the legacy in a way that can really promote reconciliation and I'm sure the Chairman will allow you to give both answers?
MR JACK: I think we definitely can do that. The Land Bank is part and parcel of a complex of support services. It's only providing finance. We do have the land reform programme by the Minister of Land Affairs. We do have other supportive activities, you know, extension, marketing and so forth.
So, the Land Bank is involved in discussions with the Minister of Land Affairs, also with the farmers themselves so that we can come up with an approach that is going to get everyone on board in terms of this process.
As you know, if you take a (indistinct) it might not succeed, it might created more emotions. So we are aware, you know, that that's a problem, but we are in the process for testing that.
CHAIRPERSON: Dr Boraine?
DR BORAINE: No.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Mkhize? Dr Dulny and your colleagues, thank you for coming. Let me just say that many groups who've come through these institutional hearings have commented about the pain that the organisations have had to go through in writing up their documentation and I think what you expressed in your opening remarks is part of the difficulties and the pain that the Land Bank is going through right now.
We record that we have two documents from you at the moment. I hope that in the next few months we'll receive one consolidated document from you that can go forward in writing our document.
Thank you very much for coming.
I ask the Chamber of Mines to come forward, please. Mr Segal, good morning. Do you want to please start by introducing your delegation or is Mr Godsell going to introduce the delegation?
MR GODSELL: Mr Chairman, the delegation consists of Adrian du Plessis, seen on the right, the industrial relations advisor of the Chamber of Mines, Dr Nick Segal, immediate past president of the Chamber and current vice president and myself, Bobby Godsell, the current president of the Chamber of Mines.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Godsell. Are all of you going to speak or ... (intervention).
MR GODSELL: In all likelihood, yes, we're certainly all available to answer questions.
CHAIRPERSON: Will you all then stand? Dr Ally.
DR ALLY: Will you take the oath or the affirmation?
MR GODSELL: The affirmation.
DR ALLY: The affirmation.
BOBBY GODSELL, NICK SEGAL, ADRIAN DU PLESSIS: (Duly sworn in, states).
DR ALLY: Thank you. Then you can begin.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Please commence.
MR GODSELL: Mr Chairman, just by way of introduction, this is an organisation that represents the employers in the South African mining industry, with our membership predominantly, but not exclusively drawn from the Coal and Gold mining sectors.
Mr Du Plessis will talk to our submission.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Du Plessis, I may also remind you that you have 15 minutes.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairperson, Commissioners, I certainly in respect to your request don't propose to read our submission to the Commission and in the interest of leading into the discussion as soon as possible, I propose to keep my opening remarks extremely short.
I simply would like to make one preparatory remark and two observations regarding our submission. By way of preparatory remarks, I would like to present to the Commission the Mining Industry principally as a creator of wealth in South Africa.
Over the last century the Mining Industry has been the largest producer of gold, platinum and many other minerals in the world. It is a major engine of growth, not only in its multiplying effects running into all walks of commerce and industry in South Africa, but also as an employer.
The Mining Industry in the reviewed period employed more than 600 000 people per annum and supported million more dependents. The Mining Industry in our view has contributed significantly to per capita GDP growth in South Africa and in Southern Africa and has yielded real social and economic benefits to the country as a whole.
This is a role that the industry is determined to play well into the future. It is in this light that I'd like to make two sets of observations. Firstly, the history of the Mining Industry cannot be told, since 1960.
Its story begins into the nineteenth century. Mining was South Africa's first modern and was crucially shaped by the colonial and by the racial hierarchy of the day. Migrant labour, job reservation, wage distribution, housing, health care and other conditions of service were racially described.
The racial organisation of work was discriminatory by any account. Its key features were importantly cast prior to 1960 and was subsequently reinforced by further legislation.
This legacy has long served to define the options and opportunities that are open to the Mining Industry today. Black employees' rights and expectations were certainly denied. Families were adversely effected. Community development normally associated with the process of modernisation, was distorted.
The rational organisation of work was frustrated. This legacy is still evident today. It has left a deep trail of human loss, of hardship and of suffering which has to be addressed and in the Mining Industry's view can never be repeated.
The second observation that the industry would like to make, is that it has pursued opportunities to escape this legacy wherever they have arisen.
Clearly there are real limitations on what has been possible. The weight of a racially defined system has created a body of relationships, arrangements and dependencies which are not easily broken.
Opportunities for restructuring have had to be grasped wherever circumstances have permitted. I would like to turn in this regard briefly to the areas covered in our submission.
In respect of race, the industry has continually fought around the table and in the courts and dare I say in the street (indistinct) in 1922 against job reservation. Job reservation not only distorted job structures in the Mining Industry, but also had the perverse of racially describing wage distribution.
Battles which started at the turn of the century, were only finally concluded with the repeal of the coarse scheduled person provision in the mines and works act in 1986. This repeal effectively opened the last set of mining occupations to all races and today half of miners and over 30 percent of artisans are Black.
In 1991 the Chamber agreed a commitment with the national union of mine workers to a set of universally accepted principles of non-racialism and undertook to eliminate discrimination wherever it existed in terms of procedures agreed between ourselves.
In respect of wages, the real earnings of unskilled and semi-skilled Black workers in the industry were increased five fold over the review period all be it of a low base.
The differential between White skilled and Black unskilled wages was also decreased during the review period from 17 to one to approximately four and a half to one.
This amounted to a significant redistribution of wage income, all be it limited by real constraints on gross wageable costs and ruling product prices.
This limitation is most laterally addressed in a wage and productivity agreement with the national union of mine workers that permits further significant wage improvements in line with operational performance.
The legacy of migrant labour has possibly most decisively set the parameters of industry employment practise. This has been aggravated by the origins of migrant labour in a set of racial laws that cohesively regulated the movement of labour.
In the review period progress has been made in replacing short term or periodic employment contracts with long term employment relationships. Herein lies an important policy distinction for the Mining Industry. The emphatic rejection of a cohesive system of migrant labour should not in future prohibit a voluntary system of labour migration of persons from South and Southern African wishing to pursue careers on the mines.
A fair and just system will permit a wider range of choices for every migrant miner. The choices open to miners in the past have admittedly been severely limited.
For much of the century labour relations was racially defined, denying Blacks equal rights to Whites and effectively prohibiting free trade unionism.
This led inter alia to frequent and violent conflicts on the mines that had the effect of fracturing employment relationships and this too left a deep legacy and gave birth to a long tradition of struggle.
The development of industrial relations systems with representative trade unions in the 1980's, opened new opportunities for engagement between employers and employees in the industry.
Already in this regard a body of agreement has emerged that has defined new organisational principles that hold the promise of a more rational and effective work place order that can transcend traditional enmities.
Key features of a racially defined health and safety system are importantly addressed in the passing of the mine's health and safety act in 1996. This act was jointly negotiated between employers, labour and Government and important steps have been taken in the implementation of the legislation and in the improvement of the safety record in the Mining Industry generally.
It is our view that this foundation needs to be actively and fully further developed.
In conclusion then, Mr Chair and Commissioners, the culture of race and evident discrimination in the Mining Industry has been the cause of great human harm, loss and suffering. The chamber should have done more. We should have pushed harder and faster to break the systems of racial classification that existed at the time and the discriminatory practises that were evident.
The chamber deeply regrets that the opportunity lost has uniquely disadvantaged Black employees and has not served the industry well, generally.
We have no doubt that the industry today would be better placed to compete in international product, capital and labour markets, had the opportunities been seized earlier to recast our structure - to recast or restructure the industry in completely different terms.
The challenge facing the chamber today is to repair or address this legacy. This requires particular attention to the concerns for better jobs, accelerated training and skills development, progressive career advancement and active steps to address the migrant labour and health and safety recommendations set out in the Leon and Myburgh Commission Reports which have been fully supported and accepted by the chamber.
Addressing these legacies can be reconciled with the future growth of the industry and in our view, is absolutely essential to secure future competitiveness for the mines.
Careful balances will obviously need to be found that repair the past while having full regard to the pressing constraints of the future on the Mining Industry. The presence of mature bargaining partners in the industry makes this possible to define a better future for all which will not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Thank you, Mr Chair.
CHAIRPERSON: Dr Ally?
DR ALLY: Thanks very much, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Russel, before you start. Can I just ask people at the back, there are some more seats in the front here if you want to come and sit down. A few seats.
DR ALLY: I don't think anyone familiar with South Africa's history is unaware of the centrality of the Mining Industry to the way in which this country developed and you pointed out in your submission as one of our most celebrated historians, you know, said that from 1886 the story of South Africa is a story of gold.
The mining industry was obviously pivotal in that regard and the Chamber and I relied that you are speaking as a chamber and therefore you're not going to be able to necessarily speak on behalf of all your members.
But you also emphasized the other side of the mining industry; that not only, because of the generator of wealth, but also the consequences of that and the legacy that that has left in our country's history - the deep wounds, scars and poverty and impoverishment in some areas.
So I suppose the first question that I really want to ask is; the system which where you acknowledge some of its more unsavoury, sometimes brutal features, was this because it was inherent in the nature of mining or was this because it was Blacks who were the workers who were digging the gold up from underneath the (indistinct) of the country?
MR GODSELL: Just to clarify. When you speak of the system you are speaking particularly of migratory labour or ... (intervention).
DR ALLY: I'm speaking about the whole Mining Industry itself, the cheap labour, the experiences of early migrant labourers, the conditions that you yourself spoke about in hostels in those early years, the accidents and safety and those sort of issues.
The experiences; was this because it was inherent in the nature of that industry that often it is openly admitted that mining is a dangerous business and that accidents are almost an occupational hazard, if you'll excuse me using that phrase in this context, but was this because of the nature of the industry itself, or was this because the main labourer's service in this industry were Black?
MR GODSELL: Okay then. I certainly would offer this perspective. I think fundamentally it has come from the racial laws, which as Adrian has said, way predate 1960 and they way predate the Apartheid system and they go back for example to the Glenray Act, to the pattern of conquest, to the pattern of colonialism.
This created a situation where for many Black Southern Africans the only opportunity of cash employment and a need for cash employment had been imposed essentially by the pattern of conquest and of land occupation.
So this created a group of people that only had one option, which was employment in the mining industry. We turn to another thing and Adrian's referred to the 1922 rand rebellion. This was an argument about the division of skills and the maintenance of a skill monopoly amongst White workers. A strange alliance between Afrikaners Nationalists and European, particularly British socialists to create a preserve of skill, that led to a fundamental chasm between the lowest skilled worker who was White and that was written into the laws of the new pact Government in 1926 and the rest of the work force which was Black.
So, I think it's not inherent in the nature of our mining. If we come to safety, clearly, mining is a hazardous occupation. Clearly deep level mining in hard rock formations in high seismic active areas, is hazardous.
I'm hugely convinced that we can dramatically improve the safety improvement - the safety performance of this industry when we have a rational distribution of decision making and responsibility. When, for example, Black workers believe they can indeed take charge of their own safety and the safety of their colleagues, because they're able to participate in deciding on safety standards, on safety regulations, on when it's safe to mine and when not - when it's not safe to mine.
So I think overwhelmingly, this is a feature of the racial politics that this industry has experienced from its birth.
MR DU PLESSIS: Could I just add to that, please, Chairman. I think Bobby explained very well the history of the supply of labour, but there is also the demand for labour and there was some crucial decisions taken in the 1890's about, in the case of gold which is obviously the major employer and historically was the employer of that period even far more than diamonds and growing much faster, the decision was taken to follow the gold that had been found on the surface, what we call (indistinct) and the deposits were huge and they went down at steep angles.
The technologies available at that time was such that there was a demand for lots and lots of manual labour and that's really what offered those opportunities for Black people coming from rural areas at that time.
Now, that again is a uniquely South African situation. There are not other mines in hard rocks going to the depths that we now do and certainly not at those times, elsewhere in the world.
DR ALLY: Thanks for that. I think that that was important to contextualise it in that way that it's not inherent, necessarily, but it's to do with the history and therefore developed then further.
Would it be unfair then to say that given that racial history, that the Chamber when it established and very early on the life and development of the Mining Industry in the nineteenth century soon after the discovery of gold in 1886, actually maximised and took advantage and exploited that racial history and that the accusations that are often made and that the Mining Industry was the crucible in which many of the features which later came to characterise, which became a racist, a segregationist and later an Apartheid society can be laid at the door of the Mining Industry and the Chamber of Mines and particular in terms of how exploited and called for legislations (indistinct) against the back drop of that racial history.
I would refer to things like the question of migration, of forcing people out with certain taxes which were imposed the then grey legislation which one of the leading pioneers of the Mining Industry, Cecil John Rhodes himself, was responsible for in his capacity not only has a mining or land lord, but as the Prime Minister of the Cape at the time.
So, would it be fair to attribute a large responsibility to the Mining Industry for the way in which the country subsequently developed?
MR GODSELL: Yes, I think these are your words. I think Adrian has said very clearly that this industry was shaped and shaped at the racial politics of our past and that's emphatically so and cannot in any way be denied.
I think the relationship between the State and Mining Industry was perhaps a little more complex than your words suggest. I think there's pretty solid evidence and well academically documented evidence that for example there was a lot of opposition to the industrial colour bar from very early stages.
This monopoly of skills in the hands of at first a few imported White artisans and then a newly urbanising Afrikaner class, didn't actually serve the interests of the company.
So, I think there are elements of quite important conflict and indeed as Adrian has indicated, this is an industry that has opposed the industrial colour bar, because it was detrimental to the industry throughout the 125 years of its history.
But again, as Adrian has said, that this industry didn't at an earlier stage and more effectively and more emphatically opposed the full context of racist laws, is clearly stated and clearly acknowledged and the industry and the country are paying the price for this.
I mean, a very important price that we are paying is that our mines are actually ill prepared to go out into global markets and compete with other mining industries elsewhere in the world because of the racist structure of our work force, because of the unnatural pattern of development that has flowed from our past history.
DR ALLY: Just to (indistinct) the question of the detrimental impact of the laws on the Mining Industry. There is another argument and this goes way back and I'd just like your opinions on it, is that it was precisely because of the - that the nature of the Mining Industry, the quality of the oar, the low quality of the oar, the deep level nature, which makes South Africa's Mining Industry in many instance unique; that ultra cheap, ultra exploited labour which happened to be Black, given the history of the country, was indispensable.
That if this kind of industry had been - or kind of mining had been discovered, let's say in Australia, at the same time as it was discovered in South Africa, it would not have been possible to develop it to the extent that it was developed in South Africa, because you would not have had the same kind of ultra cheap, ultra exploitable Black labour.
Is that fair?
MR GODSELL: Well, it's certainly a point of view, but you know, one can only speculate. Next door to Australia, there were vast hordes of unskilled labour, people who could have offered manual labour and it's quite interesting to note that labour recruitment difficulties were so tough at one point, that in fact people were imported into the South African mines from Asia.
So one can speculate with some interest I guess as to whether the quality of all reserve had been found in Australia that warranted it, whether it could have been imports from across the seas, with vast numbers of unskilled manual labourers. But that's speculation.
DR ALLY: Let's pull a bit further away from those early beginnings to later period. There is an accusation that precisely because this was Black labour and because of the nature of the racism, in fact, that Black lives were considered to be expendable, that the Mining Industry did compromise when it came to questions of safety.
One of the examples often used is Kinross, where there was an argument that materials were used which in other areas - which had internationally been declared not safe for mining because of its high combustibility and so forth, but because the labour force was Black, the Mining Industry believed that they could actually get away with these - with this slackness in safety standards.
This has led to enormous casualties and some of it could have been avoided. How would you respond to that?
MR GODSELL: Yes, I would offer you two contrasting responses. Firstly, I think that a suggestion that management in the Mining Industry had deliberately chosen unsafe methods of mining rather than safe methods of mining, is one I would absolutely reject.
I think it's, apart from anything else, it suggests that there is only one colour of people who work underground. It's, I think, a strange and a thoroughly wrong headed suggestion and I don't want to talk about Kinross, because that's a specifically event subject to two commissions of enquiry.
That's the first response. The second response I think is in a way more interesting and more important. It turns on the question of how safe is safe. Who has the judgement to decide whether this material or this method of hoisting or continuing to mine in this particular (indistinct), whether that is a safe practise.
I think at the heart of the Leon Commission and at the heart of the new mine, health and safety act, is a recognition that that responsibility cannot be the responsibility of management alone.
That the judgement about how safe is safe, is to be a judgement shared between management and labour and indeed in the context of a tripartite management labour government system which generates regulations, which generates in our mines specific risk assessments, where a deliberate view is taken of the risks that can be taken and the risks that cannot be taken and where workers are actually in a daily way involved in the inspection and making judgements about safe working places.
In terms of this act, workers and their unions have the capacity to withhold work where they believe it is unsafe. This is something that the employers in the Chamber of Mines have solidly supported. The Leon Commission was a joint call from the national union of mine workers and the Chamber of Mines and I think ultimately the only way that one can respond to the question of how safe is safe, is to ensure that the right people, that is the people who are directly affected by these decisions are taking those decisions.
DR ALLY: There's a charge often levelled against the Mining Industry that until the 1960's at least, maybe even a bit further along the line, but certainly until the 1960's that Black wages in real terms were probably lower than what they had been in the earlier part of the century and that is was deliberately through the policies of the Chamber of Mines, which had the monopoly.
This monopolist control could fix wages because it was in the interest of the Mining Industry obviously not to compete with each other in terms of wages and because of the Chamber and its abilities to ensure that there was that co-operation, you were able to not only fix wages in that way, but that one didn't see any substantial increase in real terms in wages.
It was only once the trade unions themselves began to - or worker began to agitate, that there was action.
MR GODSELL: Chairperson, the Chamber of Mines is indeed importantly a wage bargaining forum and as employers we obviously have very clear interest with regard to the settlement of wages and I say that not to be perverse, but simply to bring to the attention of the Commission that wages and the wage cost in the Mining Industry is an extremely important factor of production.
The wage bill on the average gold mine is approximately 50 percent of the operating cost of that gold mine and accordingly very small movements in wages without corresponding improvements in productivity or performance, have very adverse effect on operational efficiency and performance.
So, we are a wage sensitive industry. Clearly, as an employers' organisation we want to secure the best possible wage effort bargain that we can. Certainly since 1982 we've done that with fully representative unions in the Mining Industry and every year including, 1987, we did in the end reach an agreement as to what constituted fair wages in the Mining Industry in the context of its particular operations in exchange for particular performance by labour.
With regard to your historical question. I've heard the allegation that wages in 1960 were lower than at the turn of the century. I have attempted to establish the authenticity, the veracity of those figures and have been unable to do so.
CHAIRPERSON: Dr Boraine.
DR BORAINE: Thank you, Chairperson. Because of the strictures of time, I'm going to only ask one question and I want to base it on a comment on your presentation, Mr Du Plessis as well of course the written presentation which we have had time to study.
I want to say that I appreciate very much the acknowledgements that have been made in your presentation. I think it's important for me to identify these, you yourself have made them, before I proceed to my question.
First you have highlighted the primacy of race in the work place. Secondly, you've talked about the wages of Black employees and acknowledged that even though there's been an increase in real terms, it started from a very low base, which is a severe qualification.
Thirdly, you have referred to the system of migration which caused hardship to employees in the industry and you could have gone on to talk about the break down of family life, you could have talked about the housing situation which existed for a very long time in the Mining Industry which even in the early '70's in some mines didn't even measure up to the very inadequate health regulations set down by the State.
Fourthly, you've talked about labour relations which have been often fractures, racial as well ethnic division has aggravated industrial conflict.
Finally, you talked about race frustrating the organisation of work and dividing employees, deepening conflicts and left a legacy of suffering that cannot be repeated.
Now, apart from - this is the question - I don't think anyone can deny that this was a fact ... (tape ends)
DR BORAINE: ... and I do it against the back ground of what this Commission is set out to do, namely, reconciliation. In your verbal presentation, Mr Du Plessis, you expressed your deep regrets. That's not in your written presentation. It may be implied, I think it probably is. What I find missing is, against the back ground of what you have yourself acknowledged and it would take pictures and oral history to talk not only about the enormous good that the Chamber has done in providing jobs and creation of wealth, but also of the harm that the industry has done through the very points that you have raised and which I have underlined.
I would - I must say - I have to say to you that I would have hoped that against the back ground of our situation in South Africa where we have deep, deep divisions, where there is enormous suspicion and distrust that an expression of remorse, of apology, of concern for the harm that has been done in terms of human suffering, I would have hoped for a bit more.
I'm just wondering if you'd care to comment on that?
MR GODSELL: Dr Boraine, as this is a - you know it is a collective statement of an organisation and its executive leadership, let me respond.
In looking at this legacy we try to honestly look at the impact of Apartheid. We tried to describe that as emphatically and clearly as we could.
I think it's quite appropriate that you observe the distinction between the apology in the written and the oral presentation and here's to express apologies and regret and remorse, is something we should do and we do do and we do it as we sit here.
We're quite keen to go beyond that, because it is actually quite easy in a single session in a room in the Carlton Hotel, to offer apologies. We are trying to actually indicate the legacy that we are left with and in that legacy we're trying to actually wrestle with the ways out of that legacy and really with our primary partners and that is the representatives of the work force.
So, as we - it's very easy to actually say the migratory labour system has shattered family structures in South Africa. It's done enormous harm to social structure. It's cause misery to millions of millions of people.
Now, the next issue is with and industry that has a high percentage of migrant workers, where do we go from here? How do we open up options? Do we, for example, tomorrow close our hostels? That is an option. Do we actually close recruitment to a 110 000 people from Lesotho, 40 000 form Mozambique? Is that the right way forward?
So, we were quite keen to sketch a context and I think as Adrian indicated, we must now be judged on our ability to seize every opportunity, not just to apologize. Of course we must do that and we do it and if we should do it five times, we will do it five times.
And if you would like remorse rather than regret, we'll do that. But the real challenge of our readiness to play a role in the new South Africa is going to be the way we address this legacy and actually make some progress so that the damage that has been done, can perhaps be a little - can be undone.
DR BORAINE: Thank you, Mr Godsell. In the note that I made on the last page of your submission, I really wanted to preface this, that I'm in total agreement with you; that the best way to apologise, if you like, or to be concerned about the past, is to identify the areas and to address them logically, sensibly, economically and with passion and compassion.
So, I have no quarrel with that at all. What I would ask you to consider, and you don't even have to comment, is not to underestimate the power of a public apology. Don't underestimate what that does to hundreds of thousands of people who are not in the Carlton Room, but are outside there waiting for some word.
They can read all about the intentions that you have and I respect them and the changes that have already been made, but don't underestimate the - we're not asking for people to go on their knees or to ask for it five times or ten times, to use different words. That's to cheapen it.
Don't underestimate what you can do as a powerful organisation to release the goodwill which could lead to reconciliation in part in this country. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Mkhize.
MS MKHIZE: Thank you. I'll be brief, but I should think the gap in the mind is around what have been raised already which you have spoken to it, but I'll put it in a slightly different way.
What we have learned from, especially organised Afrikaans business over the past two days is that business did not always operate in a political vacuum. They AHI, for instance, referred to their need of addressing the poor White problem when they started.
I was - of course other people have said a lot about what they did around social responsibility and if you compare what organised Afrikaans business did for the - to eradicate the poor White problem, with the effects what social responsibility departments are doing; you see completely different results.
I just wanted to check your thinking whether you think, for instance, looking at the Chamber of Mines, it can be structured in such a way that it eradicate the very problem that you are conscious of as well that in your context here, you really had the majority of your workers, being the migrant labourers and you have indicated the suffering that has caused.
So, it's really about how can business be structured in such a way that people who suffered the most end up being beneficiaries in a meaningful way, not just merely hand outs in terms of helping with schools or doing this, but restructuring business. That's one question.
The related one, I didn't hear much about your relationship with unions. I saw that there's something here, but yesterday the Black Management Forum raised something which was very very important. That conservative business in this country at a certain point adopted a strategy of getting very Black competent and efficient managers who were merely used to suppress the emergence or the power of trade unions and I would just like to check as to how has the Chamber dealt with that? Thank you.
MR GODSELL: I'm going to respond to the first question and have Adrian respond to the second.
Look, without in any way belittling the role of social responsibility and philanthropy, which I think is the duty of any company and the particular duty of big companies and we're characterised particularly in the gold sector by large companies, I think you're absolutely correct.
I think if your analysis is that our industry has been absolutely shaped by the politics of racial exclusion. The question is, can we build a new South African mining industry that reflects a non-racialism and also a democratic set of relationships between stake holders in that industry. I really wouldn't be sitting here unless I believed that that was possible. I do think it is going to be extraordinarily difficult and I think it's going to take incredible effort from all parties to do that.
The first thing you have to do is to de-racialise ownership and I think the fact that the Mining Industry acted against its long term interest, but in the short term interest of White South Africans often in the past, is a fact that ownership was effectively limited to Whites.
There are the beginnings of some movement to de-racialise ownership. I think the de-racialising of management is the next challenge. I think the third challenge is to complete the restructure jobs so that we have a normal distribution of race and gender across the different levels of skill and indeed that we destroy the artificial distinction between a small number of skilled workers and a large number of semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
I think there's a need for both a non-racial and much more egalitarian work structure. I think on almost all of these issues, we are not going to be left to in a sense our own consciences or even our own best judgement. We're going to be doing this in association with a democratic Government and a very powerful trade union movement.
I think people acting together do have a chance of creating a modern non-racial industry. I ask Adrian to address the second.
MR DU PLESSIS: Chair, on the second issue regarding trade unionism, it is certainly the case that the Mining Industry has traditionally been extremely heavily unionised to the extent permitted by the law.
We have made observation in our presentation of the racial exclusion of Black unions until 1983, but with the change in the law in 1983, the NUM was recognised on Chamber member mines for the purposes for negotiation at relatively low levels of representivity across the industry as a whole and of course in the last 15 years, the history of trade union management relationships in the Mining Industry is well know.
The fact is that today the industry, the gold mining industry and the coal mining industry in its entirety is probably unionised to about 70 percent of all eligible employees.
As Bobby has indicated, I think, a feature of industrial relations in the Mining Industry today and indeed in the past has been the management of mature union relationships at both the Chamber of Mines level, at group level and at mine and company level.
While management union relationships have occasionally been fractious, I think there's always been a sense of interdependence and as Bobby has indicated, a common vision of an industry which is going to secure jobs, income, wages, advancement, career prospects to the best extent that the parties are able to find.
MR SEGAL: Chairman, could I just supplement Bobby's answer to the first part of the question. I understood part of the question to refer to the wider need for jobs and if you like, dealing constructively and effectively with people who were not beneficiaries in the past and therefore outside the individual work place. I thought that was perhaps implied in your question.
This obviously goes beyond the boundaries or the effectiveness of the individual corporation, which you have already heard a lot from many sources over the last couple of days, about how South African business has done a great deal in recent times.
It goes back well over a decade though; to seek to influence that socio-economic and political environment, the policy environment, to shape, which you might call, a better society.
I would just like to take this opportunity to add another diverse sentiment on the role of business. You have heard about that diversity and I felt very uncomfortable more than once when people have said the business of business if business.
Because the business of business is clearly to make profits, but frankly people are motivated to survive for the long term and it's not today's profits, it's long term survival probably that matters.
When you acknowledge that, it therefore becomes very important to business to care very much about all those factors in the wider society that infringe upon its performance, the well-being of its employees, the stability of the society and so on.
It's no accident that in this regard South African companies are in the fore front as Ann Bernstein commented yesterday in the resources and the involvements that they have in the public policy processes as well as in the community development processes and through community social involvement type expenditure.
So we are already doing a great deal and that goes back quite a way outside the individual company.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Glamini, last question.
MR GLAMINI: Thank you. My question is around the issue of violence between groups of workers in the Mining Industry. Just as an illustration. In one of the hearings, in Natal, the Truth Commission hearings, we listened to the evidence to the effect that the group of people, amongst whom were workers of that particular mine and others were outside, but they all belonged to a political group, were allowed inside, heavily armed, to assault and I think a few people died during the incident, people who were known to be belonging to a different political affiliation.
As I was listening to that evidence, I ask myself that the violence tends to be a pattern in the Mining Industry and we tend to think naively that it's just based on ethnisism, the Xhosas not wanting to associate with the Zulus. The Zulus not wanting to associate with the Basothos.
Then I ask myself that how much of it is a deliberate strategy to divide the workers. What is the involvement of management, setting (indistinct) or conditions which will be to that kind of situation.
I'm not expecting to answer for that particular mine, because - yes, as I said that is a pattern and that suggest to me that we need to look deeply into the even so-called ethnic faction fights.
MR GODSELL: I mean, if I could just briefly begin, I think you're absolutely right. There has been a long history of tragic violence in the Mining Industry.
I think anybody who seeks to reduce this to mere ethnic tensions is kidding himself. I think equally that the housing of large numbers of people in single sex hostels, creates a context where it's much easier for that kind of violence to take place.
In the industry over the last decade there has been a great deal of engagement about this issue. There had been a number of commissions of enquiry by independent and outside parties. I think there has been a pattern in times past of the ethnic housing of people in hostels, I think people have largely seen that as an undesirable practise in the future.
In the end, you know, I think and I'm sorry to return to a frame, but a lot of the issues that we are dealing with, can be dealt with only by the actors immediately agreeing a way forward.
If I can just be for one moment permitted to speak about my own group, because it's the concrete response after a decade of very intense violence on our mines and it was violence that had many different - it was unionised and non-unionised workers.
It was apparently ethnic in some instances. It was management versus workers in many instances. We, over a period of three years, negotiated a code of conduct with NUM. The first point of which was that both management and union would take full responsibility for the actions of everybody in a sense on their side. Right down to the first line supervisor, the security supervisor on the management side and down to union stewards on the union side.
The second point of this code to decide what kind of space the hostel was. Was it a space in which workers had the right of freedom of assembly, freedom of protest, freedom to march, freedom to picket. So looking at the rights of parties was a very important part.
The third element, was to specifically look at those actions which could instigate violence. That's a document that has certainly contributed, in our minds, to a dramatic decline in violence of any of these three kinds. Union versus non-unionised, union versus management or worker versus management and ethnic.
I think that's the road forward. I mean what you do is you create a sense of shared norms and laws that govern the way people behave in both the work place and also where they live.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you, gentlemen. You may...
I ask the COSATU delegation to come forward and whilst you're doing that, let me repeat what I said earlier on, because the delegation was not here at the time.
I have already said and given the reasons why the delegation will be given more time. We hope we don't have to bite too much into the lunch hour. I've also said that we notified groupings where particular accusations were made by COSATU and of course some of those groupings have responded. I understand the JANCO group have responded and COSATU has got that document, as well as NAMPAK.
So, please bear that in mind as you make your submission, gentlemen.
MR KOMAMA: On my left I've got the first general secretary since this submission was (indistinct), comrade Jay Naidoo. On my right I've got the current general secretary, Sam Selone. At the back I've got Tifo who is our lawyer, comrade Paul Benjamin. These are our lawyers that work very close to us during the Apartheid time. Leon Levi is one of the comrades that have played a very important role in our struggle.
I'm John Komama, the president of this federation.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Komama. Can I ask if all of you are going to be speaking?
MR SHILOWA: We don't know. It depends on the questions, but primarily the people who are expected to speak is the president who'll make a few remarks, myself and Jay.
We want Paul Benjamin to give some personal experience around what he saw in the mines, because I think the people here from the mines, they are here, and they have been lying through their teeth. So I want him to give some personal experiences.
Obviously depending on some issues which has mainly to deal with we may do that. So, my suggestion is that you affirm all of us and that obviously even if all of us don't speak it will be fine.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Selone. Will you all then stand? Dr Ally.
DR ALLY: I was tempted to ask whether the accusations you are going to make will be the truth, but the Chairman says I must not.
JOHN KOMAMA, JAY NAIDOO, SAM SELONE, TIFO, PAUL BENJAMIN, LEON LEVY: (Duly sworn in, states).
DR ALLY: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Selone, can I first say that we are very thankful for the very lengthy submission that we've received from COSATU and it's enormous work that's gone into the submission, as we've had with all other groupings that have come in front of the Commission.
We not only have the submission that you've given us to - given us again this morning, but we have something like 18 annexures that you've added to the submission and we're very thankful.
Some of those, of course, go to, I think it was Mr Godsell, who reminded us of the Leon Commission. If I can just say that one of the submissions made at that commission was to do with migrant labour, the whole question of violence on the mines and there was a study conducted by the University of Witwatersrand from, under your hospice of course, on racism in the mines, which reflected again that these issues have not left us.
I leave it to you as to how you're going to actually organise your submission. Can you please begin.
MR KOMAMA: Chairperson, my apology for not mentioning that a certain Nmfado is our first assistant in our secretaries, is not coming. Koyne September was our first vice president which make the difference that we are a boys club, because she's not around.
These hearings are an opportunity for business to once and for all tell the truth about their role and relationship to the Apartheid Government, Mr Chairman.
So far what we have heard, indicate that they are not prepared to confess of seeking amnesty. It is regrettable as since it all made it impossible for Black workers to forgive.
We are for reconciliation here, but we are also for redistribution. We believe in social transformation. We have already given you our documents. Today we will just summarise the key issues and give personal experiences.
The current general secretary, Sam Selone, will lead our input, assisted by Jay Naidoo, who was the first general secretary since 1994.
The last two days, unfortunately I was not here, but I've got access to the press that were not alone in fighting against Apartheid. Even the business were fighting against Apartheid.
But we will see from after our input whether the truth is truth or not. Thank you, Mr Chairman.
MR SHILOWA: Chairperson, thank you very much. I did note your comment that says however we structure our input, it's fine with us and that the time is ours.
So, before we say, I really put - summarise very briefly in a few minutes our submission which we have. I would want either Mr Malanga or Ngwobo, because these two were part of the workers cultural movement that sustained those workers against the oppression.
MR NGWOBO: Thank you very much. I'll just render a short prayer.
Today, everyone who has died, is here today. Those who died in the struggle of the people, are there, singing with us. They are holding our hands, just that touch moving through all our bodies like a blood stream. Comrade Elija Faha is here today. Noel Erken who died for the liberation of workers is here today. Iphraim Shabalala who died the (indistinct), is here today. Andras Ratichela, who died for us all, is here today with us, sharing this day.
Those who died as oppressors are here. They weep about their past. Their hands are swollen. They cannot hold our hands. I can feel their cold breath brushing my shoulders.
Our babies and children who died because of the system, are here playing around on this day. They are observing and learning from us for their next lives.
Our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, who died confused without making up their minds, are here today. They want to put their arms around us and sing. (indistinct).
The oppressors, the killers, the murderers, assassins, the traitors, the izimpimpi, all those who were against our people's freedom are wandering amongst us. They are looking closely into our eyes. They want to speak to us about what they have done.
Today the day has come. Thank you.
MR SHILOWA: Thank you very much, Ngwobo. That was the way in which the federation was sustained over many years of brutality in the hands of both employers on the one hand and the State.
So we are here today, not as victims of Apartheid to lament only about what happened under a Apartheid. We will say what happened. But we are here, because as revolutionaries we conquered; that those who supported Apartheid, those who thought that there will never be days when our people will be liberated, their dream have been shattered.
The key challenge that they face, is not to today come here and say, we did not know. So which means they're only seen is ignorance. Or to come here and say, but we are changing. It's not to come and do that.
It's to come and truly say this is what happened in our country over a particular period. For the past three days the TRC have heard how all South Africans, Black and Whites, big business and workers, were all freedom fighters for liberation.
We have also heard about the fact that business were victims of Apartheid and have never benefitted from it. Furthermore, that they are not a homogeneous mass group.
It would be very nice if we were all revolutionaries. Oppression, exploitation, humiliation, discrimination, starvation wages, the migrant labour system, child labour, dismissal of strikers, particularly those who went on legal strikes, or engaging in political strikes, would never have happened, because we would all have been revolutionaries.
Why would Anglo dismiss mine workers in 1987 for going on strike if they believed in worker rights? Why would Impala Platinum mine say to NUM, we will recognise you here at Impala, because you are registered in South Africa, yet accept our (indistinct) factory in the Bantu staat and they come here and tell us they were revolutionaries.
I'm saying that that's the situation. Let me give you an example of humiliation that workers suffered. A worker find the job and having find a job, this worker then pitches up the following at his new employment. Now, of course when he have your job, this worker believed that he's got to put the best of his available dress.
He had one, only one long trouser. He put on that long trouser and went to work and as he arrived was told to go and see his boss and the boss said to him; in my employ boys don't wear long pants. Only I do. I don't know if you know what happened to that worker. He had a choice, to go back and starve or to cut off - to cut down into a short his only long pants in order to feed his children, his family. To himself, to clothe himself, he cut his shorts. That's how we were humiliated as workers by these revolutionaries and freedom fighters.
In the - in the discussions and the beginning of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Bishop Tutu had something fundamental to say which I would just want to remind ourselves about. He said:
"There are millions of people whose tears have not always been recorded. We hope that you will do in depth account of those in the shadows so people know the price of freedom in South Africa."
That's what the Arch Bishop said. Now, for us to document the daily experience of ordinary workers in South Africa, is to record a chronical of tears. Often these tears are seen simply as reflections of the pain of Apartheid and workers seen simply as its victims. Of course there is truth in that, but the tears are more innumerous in that the pain of daily life does not come and go with Apartheid. No, followed the definitional boundaries of human rights lawyers. They are more complex in that they're tears also of anger, of hatred and opposition from actors involved in the defiance and resistance of making history, not just victims.
The people who shed the tears already had a great deal of knowledge and brought it in popular consciousness about the price of freedom, because it was merely of ordinary people cast by others into the shadows who were paying the price and constituting the core of the struggle for freedom.
Not our new found revolutionaries and freedom fighters. It is those workers in that situation. Now, just to really go very briefly in terms of the various discussions without wasting your time, I think what we are going to say therefore to you, is that firstly, that most of the submissions that claim that business did not know that they were following, that even though they really swore that they will tell the truth, I would argue they were lying.
I would argue they're lying, because indeed, we know that there was no law that in itself prohibited them from recognising Black trade unions, but SACTO as Leon Lubbe would tell you, if we had the time, because he was the president of SACTO at one point; was precisely prosecuted, because it dared to challenge the White baas and dared to want to organise Black workers into a non-racial institution.
Prof Nic Wiehahn said so yesterday; that forget about the law. The law was there indeed, but nothing prevented them from doing so and they come here today to say, but we did recognise them in 1983.
We did recognise them after the Wiehahn Commission. Now, I don't know what that means. They did not recognise us. Just as the ANC and the communist party were unbanned, because the people had unbanned them, they had to follow in 1973, because workers have themselves decided that enough is enough. We will, ourselves organise into trade unions.
If we are recognised, that's fine. We'll negotiate with yourself. If we are not recognised we will go on strike until you recognise us. So what came with the Wiehahn commission was an acknowledgement of that which we, the struggling workers, had done, not what this new found freedom fighters and revolutionaries say here today.
Indeed it will be very easy to assume that it's Apartheid in 1948 that began to deal with this, but I think history tells otherwise. It's very easy for us to focus on Afrikaner business, because it was after 1948 that their Government came into power and began to do certain things.
But the struggle and the exploitation and oppression of workers in this country and denial of worker rights and political rights, is as owed as the conquest of Africans in our country.
So, even though in the depth and height of industrialisation, unions were recognised. I think we must not make the mistake of saying employers did not recognise unions. They did from the 18-whatever on, but they recognises only White unions.
So it is not they did not know about trade unionism. It is not that they did not support trade unionism. They chose a particular trade union choice to follow. Yesterday you were told by Rupert that indeed we had no choice, but to do this and that, but I'm Braam Fisher, an Afrikaner, a member of the communist party, chose a different route than that which followed by his Afrikaner friends.
So Afrikaners can't come here today and say that they had no choice. They made choices and Braam Fisher made a different choice. Very briefly to say that in stead of going through the whole submission, I would want to really say that my focus, because you can read our submission, is going to give you some brief historical and personal experiences of workers, which we think we should take away with you as you work the way forward.
The assistant general secretary of COSATU is sitting there, (indistinct). Now, employers from Anglo are here and they know that after there had been that much dismissal that included Zwele, they distributed to all mines, that he is persona non grata.
So they were vindictive. They would follow him. So in their mind he would never earn a living again. He had to go, even though he as an official of the NUM, in going to organise for the NUM to negotiate, he had to go as (indistinct) sitting somewhere there.
So he had to lie to represent workers and say he was Sinko Mawase. They accepted him, because they did not know Zwele Simbawawe. They had been told that the Zwele Simbawawe in the NUM persona non grata.
So in pure we thank you for allowing him to use your name in that situation, but those are the experiences that we've gone through. So, when they come here and say, we did not do this and that and with hind sight begin to say, but you know, we did not do enough, it's actually just not true and I will come to some of those areas.
But that's the one example I though we should give you. The other example I thought we should give you is that in 1988, the State effectively restricted COSATU. They banned 17 organisations, restricted COSATU and we thought there are progressive business in our country and led by Jay and other leaders at that time, we mocked with this so-called progressive business. Right.
We're really asking two things. Our fellow Africans, our fellow South Africans, we are under siege. There's a clam down on COSATU. Are you able to come up in our defence and together with us say that clam down is wrong. They said no, we're not able to do that and I think if you look into our submission, it is summed up in a theoretical question that COSATU asks and it was captured in the weekly mail in its time of need, can COSATU rely on employers.
We said the answer was a categoric no, but that experience we have had from the progressive business community. We have not met with all business. We met with them, because we had really been told that these are your - the top of the progressive, but that's what we got.
In the same year, in the same meeting, one of the point that we raised, was support. On our position around the LRA, which we said was going to take out our rights. Bobby Godsell said at that time and I hope Bobby is still here so at least, you know, he can know that I'm not just sort of attributing something to him; that as business they don't see anything wrong with such a legislation even though we were saying it will roll back.
I'm sure if he's honest he will confirm later that he did see employers using that law to sue unions - to sue unions. They know that at one time, the workers from Lascon, organised by NUMSA had to themselves all go to court, because shop stewards refused to represent them, because those shop stewards were themselves be liable to such situation. So this is a day in the life of a trade union, if I may just connect like that.
Workers went on strikes - went on strikes. Legal strikes. We tried to promote legal strikes, but they were dismissed. I would leave that to Jay to later deal with that.
So, but I thought I must give you some of those experiences. Another experience I thought I should give you, is that the Chamber here have said something about the, you know this current period, because some of these change, the NUM is pushing.
But the Chamber, if they're honest, they will tell you that they opposed the NUM's insistence on the establishment of a commission of enquiry, Matamala is there, he knows, he had been noting time and time. It was still very late that they agreed to the establishment and this is documented history.
So the fact that the Leon Commission sat in the end, is not because mine bosses wanted a commission of enquiry. It's because workers had persistently done that situation.
Now, just by the way in terms of migrant labour system which you have just been (indistinct). Let me give you a quotation about somebody called Archie Gamal, I hope - I'm being - I'm doing justice to his name. He was the chief medical officer of the Chamber. He argued that such (indistinct) were beneficial to the physics of the natives. He was talking about beds, you know bunkers, because we used to sleep on concrete banks and he said, but for the physics of a native, these things are necessary.
Then he went over to say any change from the migratory labour system to established urban communities, would have a catastrophic on the natives themselves.
Today they say to you it was the law. This is what they say. I'm sure they won't deny him, because I'm sure the know him and they can find what he said in that situation. By the way, he was responding to the African Mine Workers Union in that situation. I thought it was important that you take note of that.
Of course we argue in our representation that business engaged in various ways that made the whole issue of Apartheid profitable to them in terms of their participation in the war - in the war machinery. It's something that is there and we know that even the FINANCIAL MAIL listed is one of (indistinct) achievement, I quote:
"They have the private sector involvement bought at board and production level in armour (indistinct) production."
Yet, today they would say and I'm sure they were speaking to you earlier, they didn't know. Of course there was a link, in terms of the production of those arms.
I want to give you an example of a situation where employers say, but we did support reform and I want to concede upfront, they did support reform. The question is not whether they supported reform, it's what type of reform they supported and under what conditions?
Now, let's listen to Sir Michael Edwards, a former chairman of British Leyland and subsequently head of the Anglo American Corporation of Offshore Operation Monaco. He says:
"South Africa could regain internationally acceptability by sensible representation, but without the trauma of one man one vote. Before the issue becomes some what of a choice between isolation and total franchise and nothing less, for God's sake, get discrimination of all sectors sorted out and (indistinct) out of the system."
Now, he would argue he did support it, but the key word is that he says, do it for all to see, to pre-end the trauma of total franchise. So he's not talking about total franchise. He's not talking about that, but he wants some symbolic gesture that will make the world think about something else in that situation.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Selone, can I just remind you, you've used up 25 minutes of your time.
MR SHILOWA: Okay. Thank you very much. The - without going to the detail, we raise the issue of child labour. We've given an example of the racial work place and the whole issue of gender. I think there are some graphs, Chairperson, that we have given you that shows the way in which, if you look at the new one on page 27, in terms of income distribution, women as a percentage of earners in annual income, 1991, not that very old. It's there for you to see.
We think you really have got to take that into account. If you look on page 28, we've shown the whole issue of women as a percentage of the labour force in each occupational category.
The other things which I think the Commission have got to look into, is the real issues of suffering. Not about whether business profited in terms of money. Apartheid wages, we were paid Apartheid wages. Now, indeed, if all of us were to launch claims for lost wages, I think we would be able to do so and that's not what we want to do that.
We don't want to claim for lost wages, but we do want to say the Truth Commission must say from now onwards, at least reparation must be the living wage. But that's only if it has accepted that the Apartheid wage was a problem. So these are some of the areas which I think you may need to be able to look at.
I won't deal with the Kinross disaster, because it is said that a - some of the things are there and we may give one or two examples.
I want to conclude by dealing with three issues very, very briefly. Now, because you have as Commissioners our documents, if you look on point five, one, six. That 5.1.6 is an experience of a vice president of National Union of Mine workers, which for those who don't have the document, I'll sort of just read it very very briefly. I promise you I won't take more than a minute on that issue.
Now, you see, it says:
"Mr Zonkwana testified about the use of the mining language, Funigalore, it's part of the humiliation by the way, although his ...(tape ends)
MR SHILOWA: ... workers found this offensive as (indistinct) in this regard. We wish to refer the TRC to an English to Funigalore dictionary published by the Chamber which was revised in 1985 and printed as recently as 1990."
Now, this is in 1990 when they really say we have come on board. That's really what they do in that particular situation. So I just want to give you that, because I think it's an example which many workers have gone through.
I'm giving the example of Zogwana, because they would argue that the natives could not speak the queen's language. Zogwana can speak both English and Afrikaans, yet that's what he has to do, but they also give in that dictionary, it has got names. In you spare time, it's really good reading. It says - it says a mine leader a gang leader, something like that, a miner. The translation in Funigalore, what does it say? Baas. From our revolutionary business people.
My second last example is found on 5.2.0 and here (indistinct) behind me, according to the mines and Munro, he should not be a lawyer, because he is a Mosotho and the mines say the Basothos are known in the mines, the genetical skills that they have, is as sharp thinkers.
It's there, Chairperson. You can look at it. It says:
"Basotho people from Lesotho excelled in the art of sharp thinking. The Zulu speaking people are excellent in production sections, like the Swazi's in drilling machines."
They said the Xhosas excelled in smelting operations and running furnishes. They were also good at doing operational jobs, such as driving logos and operating scoop trams.
The Tswana skills did not immediately come to mind. He could not remember. The Shangaan - the Shangaans, people from Mozambique are very good mechanical people. So, we're giving you all of those as some of the examples in that situation.
The final point I want to make is that we have some proposals that we are making to yourself as the Commission, because I don't want to come back after Jay in that sense, without going to all of these proposals, if I can summarise them, as firstly. We're saying that our submission show that Black workers in particular Africans and women, were victims of Apartheid.
Secondly, that we now require systematic redress for this injustice and thirdly we then say let's differentiate between business coalition with Apartheid regime in terms of loans which is what they really say.
You know, that we are willing to plead guilty to. So, we're willing to let them off the hook on that one and the business violation of human and trade union rights of workers under Apartheid which include directly using Apartheid legislation, pass laws, compounds and so forth.
We then say if we are serious, we think we've got to deal with the issue of reparation. Under 6.6 we say:
"If the only meaningful reparation is a future without abuse, it hinges on how you define abuses. If abuses is to pay starvation wages, then the reparation is a living wage. If it's to force minors unemployment, the the reparation becomes employment creation."
There are others that we raise in terms of the recognition of unions in other areas.
Secondly, we raise the point about the closing of the wage gap and I have a supplementary version which I'll pass over to you, which also adds into the future.
We also deal with the issue of the workers museum. But we're not asking - talking about building new ones. There are indeed existing Apartheid museums which are being kept by our own tax payers' money. It's high time that one of them is dedicated to the heroic struggles of workers.
The point about capital flight was dealt with yesterday, but we've also made an issue there. But we also think you must look at something called a reconstruction bond. No one in South Africa is not committed to reconstruction. We believe we should concede a reconstruction bond and finally, to look at redistribution and reconciliation.
We think really the way in which we must move forward is to say the following. Reconciliation and redistribution equals peace and justice. Jay?
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Selone.
MR NAIDOO: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. I - Sam Shilowa is the general secretary of COSATU. He was a security guard. Felezima Babi is the assistant general secretary. He was a mine worker. John Komama is the president of COSATU. He's an auto worker.
If you want to study truth and reconciliation, you will study the history of trade unionism in this country. In spite of everything that our commentators and our so-called independent media, and opinion makers and decision makers in this society say, trade unionism and in particular the role played by SACTO and COSATU has been fundamental in transforming our country and being, what I consider to be, the greatest stabilising force in our society.
To take a movement of people who have been (indistinct) and lived under harshest of experiences, under the most brutal repression, under the strain and burden of under development, illiteracy and fashion an organisation against all the odds that is not christened here today.
Fashion an organisation that today has two million paid up members; that has tens of thousands of leaders that have been trained outside of the Apartheid education system and that have contributed to the stability we see in society, is a debt we owe these workers. Perhaps today, maybe we hope that there will be some feeling of remorse in those editorials that used to barb us in the eighties, that workers, illiterate they may be, not as articulate in the queen's English that we hear Sam talk about, have made a fundamental contribution to making this political miracle a reality.
Maybe there will be some concern in remorse and apology for the treatment that was meted out, what constitutes, I think, the worst excess of Apartheid, the worst abuse of human rights in our country. There will be some apology for that and accepted that the racial stereotyping of whether it is Government today, whether it's individual Black leaders in the business community, whether it is COSATU, which often in our media and in our society in affluent and privileged circles in the discussion in our Northern suburbs, are chose as being the root cause of all problems we have today.
A stereotyping that we see everyday in our newspapers that a Government that is Black lead is incompetent or corrupt, that the trade union - that all our economic problems in the country are the consequence of the irrational and unreasonable actions of the Sam Shilowa of this world.
Maybe there will be and I hope there will be some remorse about what they did to us and the fact that we never retaliated, except through using a peaceful protest, except by the real organisation of people, developing the organisation, in fact, initiating the principle and culture of negotiations in this country.
There will be an acceptance of the role that the trade unions played. The tens of thousands of people that negotiated (indistinct) those agreements that laid the bases our modern day miracle. I don't see that. I see in our society today an overwhelming wining by the privileged and the affluent.
As racial stereotyping of any progress that we may want to make of an attempt to say, let's whitewash our past and say that all problems of our society and there are gigantic problems, which we don't deny, are rooted in that Apartheid parcel.
Yes, we have made mistakes and we'll continue to make mistakes, but we have the courage to admit them and we have the courage to correct ourselves, which I don't see having been displayed here today or yesterday or on Tuesday.
I'm astounded that someone can come onto this platform and representing Barlow Rand, say that they have consistently fought Apartheid. They have consistently opposed the violence of Apartheid, but in the next breath say they have co-operated in the military industrial complex of our country that armed the defence force and the police that unleashed the worst damages, not just in South Africa, but the whole of Southern Africa.
And say they conspired with the Apartheid Government to break the UN sanctions and arms embargo, and yet claim that they've done nothing wrong. That they never benefitted from Apartheid. That it's a myth of our imagination that Black people were the victims of Apartheid and they still are.
The reality, Chairman, the reality even today and travelling up in the business class of SAA, if you want to have a McDonald's index of Black empowerment, you will see besides the crew, I was the sole figure in the Black community sitting in that class.
The reality today is we still have the type of inequality that has dominated our society for centuries.
So it is in that reality that we sought recognition and we won recognition through our efforts and the efforts of millions that are unrecognised today.
Examples that Sam gave are accurate, because there was never any law that said don't recognise Black trade unions. And if you look at it, BTR, Samcor, I helped organise that factory. I knew the persons intimately. I worked with them. We shared food together. We broke the crusts together. They were dismissed by a multi-nation, a British multi-nation for demanding a better a wage, for demanding a trade union recognition.
Not only were they locked out and dismissed. The brutality of the system was brought to bear on that community. Free of those leading (indistinct), (indistinct) is a (indistinct).
I would like the majority of Whites in our country to know that name. To know that history. To go back into your homes and ask the nanny that raises your child, what families they have, what children they have, what are their children doing? Because Fenias Sebea was abducted. He was with two other burned alive in a car in an environment that was created by employees in a climate that was enforced on us by an Apartheid state.
So when employers come here and say we defended your right to organise, tell me in a legal strike during the mine workers strike; how can you dismiss, Anglo American, 40 000 workers? Explain to me how is that an acknowledgement of the rights of workers either as workers or as human beings.
I don't see the sense of that and what we have and we can go through the history of it, is a overwhelming evidence of collaboration between the business community and Apartheid.
In the suppression, the brutalization and in the death and destruction that we have had inflicted in the vast majority of our people and I think they should beg us for forgiveness.
That even in the harshest of circumstances, in the most brutal of actions against us, when COSATU house was bombed, when we stood outside the building which had been declared unsafe, the security police arrives with a search warrant to see certain publications and when we accuse them, but you've just bombed our building, how can you demand to go and search it. It's now unsafe. They said, we will arrest you for making allegations that are unsubstantiated.
Well, Mr Vlok has to have come an account for that today. So, I agree with what Bobby said, Mr Godsell has said, that we need to look to the future and Bobby Godsell has been an individual that gave evidence in my trial. I respect him for that and I respect the contribution he's made. There are many other outstanding individuals, either as organisations or individuals as persons, that have contributed.
But overwhelmingly no one can stand up here and claim to be speaking the truth when they say that business did not be - were not the direct beneficiaries of Apartheid. In fact, the core of Apartheid was the perpetuation of a cheap labour system.
It will be (indistinct). It will be an insult to millions in Southern Africa and yes, we need to concentrate on the future and building our beautiful country, but we need to do it from a foundation of truth.
The truth is that there's an (indistinct) link between the work of business and the economy and the functioning of the Apartheid State and so I hope in that context that we understand there is an issue of violence that broke out in strikes.
COSATU as an organisation, and if you study our history, has been committed to peaceful protest and demonstration. At every point of our existence, even under the most extreme provocation, we argued for disciplined mass action, for peaceful mass action.
We had leadership that was ingrained in the fact that we had to negotiate and find solutions. It was our initiative to put recognition agreements on the table.
Yet, the State reacted with brutality and in that brutality there was some retaliation. The issue which we never condoned, the issue which we condemned, an issue to which we can apologise, that there was harm caused to people and some innocent people, but ultimately I have not heard on this platform any of that remorse that the deputy Chairperson of the TRC has talked about.
Any of the apologies that is unqualified for what was done to the mass of humanity in our country. Thank you.
MR KOMAMA: If I may just give Paul Benjamin about two or three minutes to give a real experience of what he saw of workers who had died in that situation. Paul?
MR BENJAMIN: In September 1986 I travelled with a pathologist to the mortuary at Springs. Looking for the district surgeon we open an unmarked door. In front of us were piled the bodies of 32 Black mine workers. They have been transported to the mortuary in a cool drink truck.
They were some of the 177 mine workers killed in the Kinross accident who'd been identified by the mining death as Sotho 45 Shangaan, in brackets Mozambican 21, Pondo 20 etcetera.
The image of those corpses embodies for me the brutality of the South African work place. The health and safety record of our employers shows the capital with no shrinking violate. Employers actively sought and exploited every inch of latitude alerted by an anti-worker in an anti-union and racist Government.
Employers used their powers to exclude Black workers from participation in health and safety. In the aftermath of Kinross, the mine and the Government were more concerned to prevent the NUM asking questions at an inquiry.
I find it quite extraordinary that to this day, the mine has not apologised for this conduct and Cyril Ramaphosa who I saw in the audience earlier, would find the explanations for Kinross's conduct under those circumstances, which included an application to the Appellate Division, quite extraordinary.
They were all directed at preventing a Black, a representative of Black workers asking questions about the cosy relationship between employers and the state.
Kinross was not an ...(indistinct) pattern of exclusion, it was repeated time and time again in many worse ways and away from the public eye. The Mining Industry sought and it was granted an approach to health and safety based on self regulation. It wasn't forced to do what it did by law.
The industry was allowed to police itself in respect of major hazard, with disastrous consequences. The Leon Commission in 1995 said that the industry had failed to regulate itself in a responsible manner. This failure (indistinct) with the deliberate suppression of information, has caused, for instance, the epidemic of asbestos related diseases that has been so graphically described in the press this week.
The approach to health and safety as been indicated, is closely linked to the migrant labour system. Within that framework the industry made many deliberate choices. One of them was that it was cheaper to allow people often to be sick than to prevent the conditions that created that sickness.
If one looks at the history of the suppression of dust in the Mining Industry, the failure to do so and the immense and quite unknown epidemic that we are now experiencing in rural areas, one will say that the industry made a choice that was alerted by the migrant labour system, because when workers got sick from lung diseases, you could send them home with two or three thousand rand in their pockets and hire somebody else.
The law did not force those attitudes. Racial discrimination remained an active part of health and safety legislation. Till 1977 Black workers who were injured, the families of Black workers who were killed in accidents, didn't receive those pensions.
Many of those workers are alive today, having lived for 20 years, often unemployable, on a small lump sum. Those are the workers perhaps that we need to address in looking at how reparation will be done and how reconciliation will be achieved.
The neglect was not confined to the Mining Industry. It is a (indistinct) irony that we can focus on the Mining Industry, because we know more, although not enough, about its health and safety record.
Other sectors of the economy are worse. It's a pity, for instance, that the agricultural industry has chosen not to come. They might like to explain the study done at UCT recently, which we've put in our papers, indicating that in fact only 15 percent of fatal accidents in rural areas get reported to the relevant Government authorities.
The full extent of the consequences of these heath epidemics is only now beginning to be documented and in particular we refer the Commission to the work referred to in our full submissions of Dr Neil White and others, who've attempted for the first time to document the full extent of disease caused in - by mining and now present in epidemic proportions in rural communities.
The industry resisted independent enquiry until 1994. One of the tragedies perhaps of the Leon Commission, that it came so late. It could have come ten years earlier and a lot of its reforms could have come earlier.
Impressive reforms have been introduced. The Mining Industry has achieved a new framework through tripartite negotiation of which all three social partners are proud, but one must remember is that new framework for future regulation is not addressing the problem of the uncompensated injured, the uncompensated widows and children who suffered under discriminatory compensation system and the many many sick workers which has been - which our submissions do refer to in full.
This is perhaps one of the aspects of what Adrian du Plessis referred to as the human suffering caused by the Mining Industry and by other sectors and as yet one has not seen any attempt to address that full suffering as part of the request for reconciliation. Thank you.
PERSON UNKNOWN: Just, Dr Randera, the - I don't want to stretch your patience, but just to say that we were - we asked a worker to write a concluding summary, because I think that will give an impact of what it's about and maybe as Charles say one or two words.
If Mesa could come over to do that (indistinct) for that worker and we would be really - we really apologise that we took a longer period, but I think if you take account of the human suffering that people have gone through, we really appreciate that. So, Charles, one or two words and then Mr Mesa ... (intervention).
MR CHARLES: Over the past two days and indeed today, captains of the industry have come before you to make the point that there was in place in this country a political system to which they had to succumb in terms of the dictates of that policy.
They have said to all of us in our country that they are sorry about this, but that they are asking for forgiveness, simply because they were foot soldiers whose actions were determined by the policy that was in place.
We do not know how you are going to reflect on this in your final report to our country, but we know how our own people feel about what has happened in the past three days, because they were at the cold face of the suffering that they experienced, particularly in terms of the programmes that business had put in place.
We have a situation here where the Chamber of Mines has just made a presentation and they have also given that impression, but in March 1912, the president of the Chamber of Mines said this among a number of things that he was saying; that what is wanted is surely a policy that would establish once and for all that outside special reserves, the ownership of land must be in the hands of the White race and that the surplus of young men in stables squatting on the land in idleness and spreading out over unlimited areas, must end their living by working for a wage.
You will say that was 1912 and that was outside your particular mandate, but let us look at what happened as a result of this kind of attitude on the part of this particular captain of industry.
As a result of that our people were dispossessed, 1913, the land act, but not only that. Our people were (indistinct) into reserves like slaves and they hated compound system and as a result of that observation came into place in our country.
But apart from that, the entire system of Bantu stands had to do with this observation, but let's come to a more recent history where Harry Oppenheimer, looking at the political situation in this country, said, he never subscribed to the view that Apartheid was morally wrong.
They have come here in the past three days to say that Apartheid was morally wrong, but that is the position that informed their actions and he said, it was at the root an honest attempt to cope with overwhelming racial problems.
He's not the only one. Gavin Riley ... (intervention).
CHAIRPERSON: Charles, I'm sorry I'm going to - if you could please ... (intervention).
MR CHARLES: The point I'm making is that the people who have come here are not even in so far as we are concerned, really sorry for what they put in place.
They are talking about the future, but they have not placed before you a programme of how they are going to deal to address this problem in future. Thank you.
PERSON UNKNOWN: The poem is entitled, THE TRAILS OF BLOOD, TEARS AND REPRESSION.
When the sanctions started hitting on the economy the Apartheid Government and employers doubled their gloves. They retaliated, hitting back on our workers. They hit a social outfall, they hit a (indistinct) trade union (indistinct).
Strike became the only weapon. Union bashing intensified. They hit and they moved to their homelands. They hit and we started to bury.
Present women came with their withering shores, they came back broken with no shoes, but their husbands had produced the wealth of this country, but they never enjoyed.
I further my gain in (indistinct). They said without shifting their hands when the bodies came one by one, because they were not to be there at one point.
Silias Sebea, a humble comrade, a peace maker and negotiator, his body came lonely. Florence Mikati, a daughter of a striker, a young woman, also came in.
Simon Gubani, a strong man, a fighter and artist, you know, I was there and I experienced. Soldiers everywhere, some comrades who returned back.
The workers cry, blood, they cry, tears, they cried repression. The (indistinct) continued with bashing. The (indistinct) community mourn. I mourn the dead friend, I mourn a dead comrade. Workers think their blood will not be in vain. The struggle of some course continues today.
Strikes, local retrenchment, homelands became the news of the day. We sat and negotiate in day time. They came, haunted the workers at night time. They caused confusion. They caused chaos. They clamped down on COSATU. They clamped down on the press. It was all propaganda.
The workers, the worker poets, chanted, it is all propaganda, don't leave them to it.
Then in the midst of things, the (indistinct) came. He called, ban the passes, not the workers. The (indistinct) that became the famous speech of 1985.
The struggle intensify in KwaZulu Natal, the violence, the killings, the massacres, assassination. There was blood everywhere.
Cries, we went crazy - we went crazy and crazy and crazy. The violence spread. The mines, the hostels, the farmers, the railway, the township, every place went crazy - were crazy.
Then the former speech again. Mandela was to be released. All the leaders were released. Today we're reaching out. Let us all reach out for one another in remembrance of all the fallen workers.
Let us remember with honour and dignity. Let us remember so that it will never happen again, so that it will never be repeated. Let us remember some co-workers, the pyrochemical workers, (indistinct), unmarked graves, those motherless children, the widows in the rural, let's all remember them.
Let's reach out to them. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Komama, Dr Ally will be leading the questions.
DR ALLY: Chairperson, we have had a very comprehensive submission from COSATU and in the presentation as well the a - it has been very wide ranging and I can give the assurance that from the Commission's side the submission will be studied very very closely, particularly the recommendations which have been made.
So, I'm not going to be too long, because we've already been going on for a while, except to make a general observation and then just pose one question, really.
That is that when we first decided to have this kind of hearing, there was criticism which we anticipated. Criticism that we were perhaps going beyond our mandate. That was the one criticism. The press that you have spoken about, picked up on that, but the more serious criticism against the Commission was, you are going to deepen divisions.
Why don't you just focus on this issues that you're looking at? Why do you want to drag other institutions, other sides or aspects of what happened into this process of truth and reconciliation, because this is just going to create further divisions.
But I think we were correct in insisting that a hearing of this kind is fundamental, because fundamental to any reconciliation in this country, is dealing not just with the gross human rights violations, as defined in the act, but with the context in which these were taking place and particularly the social economic conditions, because as it's come out very clearly, that this is the biggest challenge to reconciliation, the legacy of which Apartheid has left.
Not just around the political exclusion, but more fundamentally around the way in which the majority of people, Black people in particular were discriminated against in the economy, the access to resources.
If a hearing like this has highlighted divisions, then that is good, because I think that from the perspective of the Commission, we can only really begin to tackle this question of reconciliation if we are honest about how wide the divisions are and how wide the different perceptions are, otherwise we are fooling and deceiving ourselves.
So, notwithstanding the fact that COSATU in its submission has made very strong allegations or very strong charges and has questioned the bona fides of those, in particularly business, who made submissions, that I think that this is important for us in our work so that we can reflect accurately the perceptions as a bases to proceed for reconciliation.
It's on that note that I really want to ask for some comment; that in view of what seems to be these diametrically opposed views, that we've had business come and speak about its perception. Now it saw its role, and I think that we have to acknowledge that, because business can only speak from the way it saw and understood the situation.
We have COSATU making its submission which seems they so diametrically opposed. Our task is to promote national unity and reconciliation. That's what the act is actually called to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Now, in view of what has happened over the past three days, from your side, is there any hope for this national unity and reconciliation or are the positions so far removed that this is an illusion; that we're deceiving ourselves to believe that there can ever be reconciliation between those who benefitted and those who were the victims of the system of the past?
MR KOMAMA: Thanks. I think that if you look at our conclusion, in our document, it says:
"COSATU strongly believes that big business in our country directly benefitted from the decades of Apartheid, enslavement of the majority. It would be nice that all of us were freedom fighters as is so often portrayed by those who have been the direct beneficiaries of Apartheid. In fact, too often we hear the view that I did not know what atrocities were committed in my name to maintain my privileges."
Then we go on to say - then we go on to say that common decency would require the humility of saying, I was wrong and I commit myself to helping make our new South Africa a better place to live for all.
As raise elsewhere in the whole submission as workers, we will judge South African employers in the bases of full disclosure and how they behave in the future on such issues as basic trade union rights, the closing of the Apartheid wage gap and the allocating of sufficient resources for the training of workers, especially African and women workers.
The majority of South Africans require no more and no less. So, can we have reconciliation? Absolutely. Can we forgive? Yes, but I think what we've got to move away from, is a situation that says the natives who were wronged, must reconcile with their oppressors.
But really that's not what it means. It means we must reconcile and say poverty is God given in the Black community. It was not an act of Apartheid. That low wages is God given. The fact that many people don't - so I'm saying reconciliation is possible and I agree with (indistinct) and what they said yesterday as that group with the wise men (indistinct), but reconciliation and transformation are the same side of the same coin and I did conclude there by saying, furthermore we are saying it's really the only route to peace and stability, but for that to happen we can bring all workers here, and I think that's really why I'm happy that you did give us some latitude, because our alternative would be to first bring all our unions here.
Secondly, to bring workers to come here with (indistinct). If they all came, it would take decades for them to tell their story. They will forgive. They will not forget, but they will forgive and reconcile, because we see steps that says we will create jobs. We will invest in the productive sector of the economy.
That when COSATU says prescribed as it investment no more into the army, but rather into building houses for people, business will begin to say it is something we need to be able to look at.
So, the challenge is not with us. I think the deputy president have already said that really, Whites and White business I would add for that matter, really have to as well extend a hand. It's possible to reconcile. Leon Levy, his union was not banned. It went underground, that is SACTU, because it was hounded by the police.
But he's back. He does not show areas of saying he's going to fight everybody. And indeed we work with this employers, I mean, everyday in spite of the fact that we were denied recognition.
Take - and that's just my one part - you know, BTR SAMCOR, 13 years the case still continue. Now of course those people will reconcile, but really before they reconcile they are going to say, but 13 years this (indistinct) our case go through and I think BTR should have been here to say they apologise, because what happened is that after Fina Sebe and other two had been killed in which in the inquest it transpired that they were killed by nine IFP cart carrying members, they asked for the court - I mean they asked for proceedings to be adjourned, because - it was the industrial court - because their fellow comrades had died.
The company said, no, no, no. We will reconcile, but it requires a hand and for the past three days we have not seen really an open hand that comes over. We've seen a hand that says, chaps, forget about the past.
That which we have accumulated through the past, is ours, it has nothing to do with Apartheid. Let's see what we can now do together. How you deal with the recommendation will also help us move forward.
But we are committed to our country. We will not allow them to make us not love our country. We have loved our country and fought for it in spite of that operation.
MR BENJAMIN: Could I just add one? I think this Commission hearing has been fundamentally important for our country, because this indicates that we over and out of the danger period.
That we are a matured democracy. We can disagree with each other as strongly as we have disagreed during these hearings. I think that's a sign of optimism for our country, but really I would echo the words of the Chairperson of this Commission.
I would like to know what is the feeling of ordinary Whites in South Africa that have been the beneficiaries of Apartheid. Are they effected? Are they remorseful? Are they prepared to ask the nanny that brings up the children; where do you actually come from? Are they prepared to go into the townships and see the humiliation of our people? Are the people in our media prepared to accept that we're not just a bunch of blood thirsty terrorists, that we've so often been stereotyped in. That there's an inevitability that once we have democracy and a Black lead Government and the end of White racism, that base failure, that there's incompetence, that there's inferior and lowering of standards.
I think that is the judgement; is to whether those millions that had benefitted, not to deny the reality of the past, to accept it and with open arms ask to participate with us to build that new South Africa, the country that we love.
That is the most lasting legacy we can lead. I would really appeal that people shed their selfishness, their arrogance, their whining and winching and say to us, let's together tackle the monumental challenges that are the direct consequences of what happened here in the past and let us build together with both feet here in Africa, not one here and another in Sydney or Paris.
That perhaps if there's just that flick of recognition of what they did to millions, a flicker of remorse and a flicker of commitment, we stand the chance of a major econom.... (indistinct).
So that is our appeal, speakers of ex general secretary of COSATU. I can sit here for days and tell you individual incidents, but I won't do that. What we want to think about is the future and let's work on that future together, but on the bases of equality, on the bases of respect and dignity for even the most uneducated person, because that uneducated person is a consequent and result of the past.
We have showed in COSATU that you can take the mine worker that Felenzimas and make him a world class leader. That's the challenge that we extend to our compatriots in our country.
MR SHILOWA: By the way, just to say in a minute, that we're not putting forward - we have got no perception of big business and we worked for them, we know.
So, what we're telling is not some historical analysis of the situation. I don't know whether to use Zwele as an example, but he really does not know his date of birth.
I ask him when are you born? He says, I don't know, but the parents say it was about a week after the rain when they had been out in the street having been evicted from the farm.
Now, that's a story that's real and other people have. So it's not a perception that we have. They're giving a perception that they were doing something, but we will not give you perception. We can tell you our daily stories.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Komama, your colleagues and comrades, may it not be felt that just because there aren't any further questions that we don't respect your submission.
I think what you've done today is given voice once more to the thousands of workers that have come to the Commission, because at the end of the day, although they've come forward as deponents, those people are workers.
We've seen as we've travelled through the country, the length and breadth of the country, the destitution and the poverty that Black workers face to this day. In 1977 in a democracy that we have in South Africa. That continues.
I think in the first day of our hearings, we posed that question very clearly. Why is it that we are getting this diametrically opposed position? On the one side from the Black working movements. On the other side from representatives of industry.
I think that is challenge that has to be taken away from here today; that the Commission has initiated, it's not the end. I would like to bring the example of one institute, the Wits medical school for example, when they actually came to the Commission during the health sector hearing, went away and said we are going to continue this process, because it has start.
It's a beginning and it's been a painful process and we need to continue that process. I hope that this will continue in all the industries and amongst the working class movement that that we've heard today.
Thank you very very much indeed.
Can I say that we will recommence at quarter past two. Thank you very much.
ANGLO AMERICAN: PRESENTATION
PERSON UNKNOWN: By way of introduction I would like to say four things. First, at Anglo American, we all recognised that Apartheid was a (indistinct) to human dignity which effected every aspect of South African life. Our submission outlines particular areas ...(tape ends)
PERSON UNKNOWN: ... acknowledge the suffering, mental as well as physical that Apartheid entailed.
Secondly, under the leadership of Harry Oppenheimer, Anglo American opposed privately and publicly the policy of Apartheid from its very beginning on the grounds that it was both morally wrong and economically disastrous.
In consequence we were hated by, discriminated against by and had virtually no contact with the Nationalist Party Government. Our business did not grow as it otherwise would have done.
Thirdly, we do not believe that capitalism and Apartheid were or are synonymous. We believe that in general modernisation and industrialisation (indistinct) and all, ultimately made Apartheid unsustainable.
We believe that there's much to be proud of in Anglo's contribution to the modern industrial state from which not in considerable base, we all hope to build a better life for all in South Africa.
In addition to the economic contribution, there's also been an educational, intellectual and developmental contribution to society. Much of it through Chairman's fund, the Urban Foundation and more recently the joint educational trust, all of which we humbly submit as been beneficial to the country.
Over the last five years, total contribution to these causes have exceeded one hundred million rand per annum and the total dispersed over 30 years has been an access of two billion rand in today's money.
Fourthly, Anglo American is fundamentally committed to a post-Apartheid South Africa. It has signalled that commitment in word by always speaking positively and confidently at home and abroad about the changing South Africa and indeed beyond its 30 billion rand in new investments in South Africa, committed over the next few years, its programmes in employment equity, small business promotion, training, education, social investment and its major contributions to Black economic empowerment, each seek to help build a flourishing market democracy.
In closing, (indistinct) that Anglo American has some 15 000 individual registered share holders overwhelmingly South African. In addition it has 45 000 Black and White employee share holders and there's an employee share holder scheme.
At least a further six million South Africans, the majority of whom are Black have an indirect investment in Anglo American, whether pension, provident fund, unit trust and other investment.
Now I will ask Bobby Godsell to take you through the submission.
MR GODSELL: Mr Chairperson, this organisation, Anglo American, has expressed its views on the political and social and economic context in which it wish to do business on many occasions and indeed we included as an annexure to our submission, a set of quotations.
But of course at a moment like this, it's - we must be judged not simply by our words, but much more importantly by our deeds. The first thing that I want to do is to point to three areas, three very important areas where the deeds have failed to match the words.
The first of those is the area of migrant labour and housing. This tells the sad story of the development of the Free State Gold Fields. As Anglo prepared to develop these gold fields, seven new mining companies, it was its intention to provide for married housing for 10 percent of its Black employment force.
That 10 percent level was set in a way to provide married accommodation for all South African Blacks who were married. This would have enabled every Black employee who wished to live on the mines, to do so with his family.
The Minister of Native Affairs, Dr Verwoerd, wanted no married housing at all. Indeed, he instructed Anglo to destroy the housing already constructed. The compromise reached at that time, was to retain houses already built, but built no more and this is the origin of the three percent quota that has - that was only scraped - with the scrapping of influx control in 1986 and which was applied to the whole Mining Industry.
The particular failure here is that Anglo itself, failed to meet this three percent quota, and in fact that the married housing built never exceeded more than one percent.
If indeed we had been able to house 10 percent of Black workers and indeed had done so, this would have provided a model for non-racial urbanisation in South Africa in the 1950's that I think certainly would have changed the pattern, of both urbanisation and industrialisation.
It would have created a Welkom that was almost equally White and Black in terms of its permanent married population.
The tragedy is that the opportunity to provide infra-structure on this scale occurs really only at the time of planning and designing new mines.
A second area where deeds had failed to meet words is that of employment equity. Of course Apartheid laws did (indistinct) Blacks from many key jobs in the Mining Industry and elsewhere in the economy. Yet, in many other areas it was social convention rather than law that prevented the development of Black encumbrance.
This applied equally to gender. Until recently women were barred from all underground occupations. It was social convention which prevented the employment of women in important surface occupations such as finance, company administration, human resource management and information technology.
The management of our organisations could certainly have done much more to break down the social prejudices that confined recruitment and promotion to only one small part of South Africa's total population.
The third area is that of work place desegregation. Efforts were made from the mid-1970's onwards to desegregate work places. These efforts, however, should have commenced much earlier, proceeded much more quickly and been achieved much more consistently.
This segregation not only gave the lie to the values expressed by Anglo's leaders. It was also a direct affront to the human dignity of every worker thus excluded from facilities and opportunities.
So, this is as bluntly as I can express an admission of failure to match words with deeds. Does this then mean that no serious attempt were made to differentiate the Anglo work place from other areas of Apartheid where our words utterly without consequence.
We would argue that was not the case. Here again I want to focus ons just a few areas for illustrative purposes.
Wages. When in the early 1970's gold was liberated from its fixed 35 dollar an ounce price, Black wages in Anglo gold mines were increased three fold over three years and this at a time when inflation was still low.
The ratio of unskilled to semi-skilled - that ratio of unskilled and semi-skilled wages on the one hand to skilled wages on the other was reduced during the early '70's from seven to one, to five to one and today this ratio is three to one.
Let me come to the important issue from trade unions. In 1974 the then Chairman of Anglo American, Harry Oppenheimer made a public call on employers to recognise Black unions, noting explicitly that there was no law that prevented employers from doing that.
He also called on the Government to appoint a multi-racial commission of enquiry to comprehensively review South Africa's labour laws.
Anglo gold mining companies and in the mining sectors and other sectors of the economy, were amongst the first to grant independent Black trade unions access for recruiting purposes and then to recognise them as collective bargaining agents and our companies remain the most significantly unionised of mining companies.
A further area is in the area of urbanisation. This is an area which Ann Bernstein spoke to at some length and I will just remind people of the role that the Urban Foundation played in changing Government policy to afford Black South Africans, first lease hold, then full property rights and then finally the abolition of influx control during the 1980's and I would just note that Harry Oppenheimer played an important role in the creation of the Urban Foundation.
If we turn to the area of education and training. In 1979 Anglo introduced bridging education programmes in the core disciplines of business. Mining engineering and commerce. Our concern was to see Black university students in these core disciplines. Since that time more than a thousand Black matriculants have participated in pre-university and university schemes at Wits, Cape Town and Natal in the disciplines of engineering and commerce and a significant number have gone on to take up management positions in our group.
Under the broad theme of working for change, there had been a number of initiatives. Perhaps the most publicly prominent and far reaching in terms of the audience that it has achieved, was Clem Suttner's scenario work, popularising a high road for South Africa and really making the term political negotiation one that was both acceptable and increasing deemed to be inevitable amongst White South Africans.
If we turn to corporate social responsibility the Anglo American and De Beer's chairman's funds have pioneered, particularly in the area of education, important departures from past policy and practice.
Part of that practice was to exclude Black South Africans from technical and vocational institutions and so Anglo was significantly involved in creating the first technikon open to Black South Africans and also in building technical colleges in both Daveytown and Attridgeville.
At the school level there was an effort and here we're talking about the early 1980's, to support important non-racial schooling initiatives, such as the St Barnabus College, the Nest Schools, Grace College and St. Anne's and the Bishop Baven School, St Gregory College, Sacred Heart and Tiger Kloof.
Then more broadly there was a commitment to trying to enhance, particularly - particular areas of teaching and Black schools, starting with the Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto in 1975 and a programme supporting particularly science and maths teaching in over 800 schools across the country.
Then there was assistance to universities, particularly to help them broaden access and make universities more accessible to disadvantaged groups of students.
The final area of an example of putting deed to word, has been the small business initiative. This was to give practical effect to the positive relationship we sought between large and small businesses and to date some 850 million rands worth of business has resulted from the small business initiative in the hands of some 500 emerging businessmen and women, employing some 7 000 people.
Now, the last point that I would seek to make is a theme that has been much discussed over these past three days and this is whether business benefitted or did not benefit from Apartheid.
The one distinction I would seek to introduce here, is just to draw a distinction between the fact that without a shadow of doubt, all White South African fared very much better than their Black compatriots throughout the Apartheid decades. So all White South African were beneficiaries of Apartheid.
Every piece of Apartheid legislation amounted to a massive affirmative action programme, a quite targeted affirmative action programme, because when it came to the allocation of state contracts and state businesses; then it was not only all Whites, but particular groups of Whites who benefitted.
But I just want to pause a note that to jump from that to argue that business as a category did better under Apartheid than it would have done without Apartheid, is a big leap in logic.
If you imagine a South African without Apartheid from the decades of 1960 to 1990, it seems quite plausible to suggest that South African would have grown at Brazilian growth rates rather than the ones that we did and our economy would be twice the size that it is.
Now, that is important looking forward, because as we look to the RDP and to year, it's clear, to me, that there's a coincidence between a national political agenda to address the legacy of Apartheid and the need of the business community to grow companies effectively.
Thanks very much.
PERSON UNKNOWN: Mr Chairperson, Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen, out of occasion such as this meetings like this, one has to grow through these experiences and look to the future.
For business it means that we have to be able to operate in an environment where the world is becoming smaller and more competitive and in the same time we have to operate in an environment which fully - and in a way, which fully supports the non-racial and democratic principles of the new South Africa to which we all so fully subscribe.
But when one looks to the future one cannot lose sight of the past, because the one flows from the other and it's certainly true the National Party's Governments, Apartheid policy, was an effect, a mass affirmative action for the Whites in South Africa.
That's something which Bobby had eluded to and which had an obvious flow on to meaning that the Black people in South Africa were disadvantaged by the activities of this Government policy.
The Government had a further policy which was not so all-embracing and that was to support, in a business sense, its friends in supporters and this one saw very much in the years of the Apartheid regime.
Anglo was the - stood out during these times and the National Government of the time looked on as far from friendly and there were very many hostile attacks, both on Anglo and on its chairman, my father, first, Gavin really after him and more recently Julian Ogilvy Thompson, who were portrayed as being unpatriotic and anti-South African and there's evidence of this in the Hough(?) Commission which the Government set in place in 1964.
Then in the direct business sense in the efforts, successful efforts that the Government of the time made to frustrate Anglo being able to buy Samancor when it was privatised.
So there was an effect from both the Apartheid policies and Government's - the then Government's business policies.
Certainly, as Bobby has said, if the democratic and non-racial South Africa of today had been put in place in 1960, the Anglo we see today would be a very different company to what it is.
It would certainly be more focused on mining, because that is our base, but in relation to what we're talking about today, it is my belief that it would - that the racial mixture of employees at the Anglo American Corporation would very much more reflect today the demographics of the country.
But sadly these changes only came in place in the '90's. With hind sight it's quite clear that we at Anglo did not do everything we could have or should have during those periods and as Julian has said, for that we must express our apologies and our remorse.
However, what we must now be certain of, is that we learn from our mistakes of the past and that we don't make them again in the future. Certainly during the Apartheid decades hundreds of thousands of lives were wasted and the human dignity, talent, wisdom and energy of tens of millions of South Africans denied.
The social, political and also economising costs imposed by the Apartheid politics are quite literally incalculable.
Yet, of all South Africans, including business and labour, can learn those lessons and affirm never again, perhaps some value may yet be redeemed.
When we look forward, Anglo looks forward with confidence to the new millennium. We in our company in a democratic country, part of the community of nations or the Government whose following sensible economic policies and it is our belief that even as we had not been able to fulfil some of our words of the past, in the new South Africa, we will be able to fulfil those words more easily and with greater determination and that we commit ourselves to.
We also believe that we will now be able to fulfil those words my grandfather used when he founded the Anglo American Corporation. To earn profits, but to earn them in such a way as to make a real and permanent contribution to the well being of all the people and to the development of Southern Africa. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Dr Ally?
DR ALLY: Thank you. Thank you very much for that submission. I'm going to put some questions to you which flowed out of submissions by other groups, organisation and COSATU particularly, because I think that it's important that we have you to respond, because some are very strong accusations.
But before that, just one or two general questions. Bobby, you speak about the 1960's as a period during which if there was not Apartheid, it was possible that the country would have experience phenomenal growth, growth rates which you say (indistinct) to what Brazil experienced.
I'm sure that you are aware that the 1960's was a period of the worst repression. The Sharpeville massacres and the banning or organisations and that lead to a massive outflow of capital from the country and the Nationalist Government then was in a very vulnerable position, a very weak position.
Yet there's the charge that if it was not for the role that Anglo American played in the 1960's, the period that you say if there wasn't Apartheid, the economy would have grown phenomenally; that Anglo actually made a deal with the Engelhart Corporation of the United States and the effect of that deal was for foreign capital to flow back into the country through a group like the Engelhart Corporation which had a lot of credibility and that other funds followed.
If it was not for the role of Anglo during that period when the Apartheid State was so vulnerable, change may have come a lot sooner. How would you respond to that kind of charge?
PERSON UNKNOWN: I don't think there was any (indistinct) deal with the Engelhart Corporation to bring money into the country. It is the case that as I remember that Mr Engelhart formed a company which is now known as American South African, it may have been called something else then.
It may have been a South African investment company and they were interested in buying gold shares and they bough a number of gold shares, some from us and some from other corporations in the country.
The - I can't remember the exact figure, what this was - we could easily look this up and let you have it, but in my recollection it was something in the order of 10 million dollars which of course was more money then than it is today.
But I don't - there was no other major deal that brought money into the country that we were involved in. It was the Engelhart group that I can recall.
DR ALLY: The allegation was not so much that there were other deals necessary, but that this action in itself, by the Engelhart Corporation showing that they had confidence to invest in South African and in particularly a deal with Anglo, after a serious out flow of capital because of the political situation, helped to bring other foreign investors.
That if Anglo had perhaps acted differently at that point, then this growth that could have taken place without Apartheid may have come sooner. That's the charge. Not necessarily that Anglo did more deals.
PERSON UNKNOWN: I'm not sure if I entirely follow that. I mean we did sell some shares to this company which was formed by Mr Engelhart. It wasn't actually the Engelhart Corporation and we took those funds and invested them in other things in South Africa.
I can't give you an assessment of what effect that had on other foreign investors at the time.
DR ALLY: Well, just to further develop this, because these are charges which you obviously can respond to, but not only did Anglo - is the charge that Anglo actually played that role in helping to restore confidence during the period in which there was a flight, but that later Anglo and the words that some people actually used - they practically gave away general mining and finance corporation which later became GEMCOR to Federale Mynbou, which was the mining subsidiary of Sanlam; in that cementing links between English and Afrikaners capital.
Now if this was the case that there was this opposition to Afrikaner Nationalism, to Apartheid, why then would Anglo have been so ready to enter into such a relationship, which was very important in strengthening Afrikaner capitalism which was also obviously important in the political strengthening of Apartheid?
PERSON UNKNOWN: Well, I was pretty junior but just senior enough to have done some of the arithmetic at the time of that deal. I can assure you that Anglo American didn't give anything away. We sold an interest in our shares in general mining (indistinct) you correctly said, to Federal Mynbou, but I can assure you that we sold it at a firm market price.
Now, Nikki may be able to - being Harry Oppenheimer's son, to give a - and I hope he will comment if I get this wrong, but my understanding was that Mr Oppenheimer did this, because, as has already been touched on, the Nationalist Government was anti-business. We though that their whole policy was - as I've already said - was morally wrong and economically disastrous.
I think what was sought then was, if you brought people who had contact with the Government, you would be in a better position to change the Government's views and that is indeed how it helped work out, was Afrikaner interest becoming involved in the Mining Industry.
They saw the problems of the Mining Industry. One was then able to make present representations to the Government for changes in order for the economy to grow. I must be quite open with you. We have through out this period been in favour of the economy grey, has Mr Godsell said earlier. Had it grown from 1960 to 1990 at the Brazilian proportions we would perhaps have had an economy twice the size. We would - the budget would be stronger. We'd be able to do more in the social welfare and so forth.
We believe that that was a constructive step and helped in the long term bases bring about the end of this very narrow minded Nationalist Party Apartheid Government's way of approaching life.
Now, can I just make sure. Nikki may have heard from his father a fuller or different version.
MR NIKKI OPPENHEIMER: I regret that you may have young enough to do some of the out-figuring. I was too young to be able to even do that.
DR ALLY: I wasn't allowed to do anything, so I'm not going to comment on that.
MR NIKKI OPPENHEIMER: Then you and I were in the same boat.
DR ALLY: Yesterday we had a submission from the Black Management Forum, knowing that Anglo is familiar with, because there are ties and links.
One of the accusations that the Black Management Forum made, a very very strong accusation, was that it was a policy, particularly of liberal capitalism and one would include Anglo into that (indistinct); that in order to (indistinct) the demand for fundamental change there needed to be created a Black middle class, a buffer between the masses on the one hand and those who were in power on the other hand and would dampen the aspirations, who would work within the system and therefore would forestall real serious change.
That the Urban Foundation which you're proud of the record of the Urban Foundation, that part of the charges is that Urban Foundation was precisely such an organisation that it was created, not so much because there was a commitment for fundamental change, but because there was the need to co-opt, to create a middle class to forestall and prevent fundamental change taking place.
Now, would that be a fair charge, a reasonable charge to make, or were there other issues at stake?
PERSON UNKNOWN: I see it quite differently. We have always believed in evolutionary change, rather than revolutionary change. I think we felt and I don't know, some people here will say that some of us have had too much of an English education.
By that I mean some of it in England; that some of us have studied the change in England, through Victorian England, have society change from being rather like the South African society was, in the - shall we say the middle of this decade. It wasn't all that different in England in the middle of the '80's if one reads Dickens' books and so forth.
We've always believed bringing more and more people into the economy would facilitate change. More and more people participating in economic - having economic opportunity, that you would get change along those lines.
My understanding and I did play - I think was a vice chairman of the Urban Foundation for some of its career, our group was intimately involved in this and we were as I think is known, major contributors to it.
So we stand fully behind what it did. We actually think is was one of the success stories in bringing about change in this country. We believe Bobby recited these and I won't go into the details. I understand you've had a full submission from Ann Bernstein. I did read through her submission last night.
We believe this ...(indistinct) change played a major part in getting the Nationalist Party Government to see that things like urbanisation were, as Bobby referred to, were constructive and would - that this country could move to new bases. We believe this is what they contributed to.
DR ALLY: Earlier today, I don't know, Bobby may have been present, the - there was a submission on behalf of Avalon Cinemas and Mr Moosa. One of the things that he said was that South Africa has been a paradise for monopolies and gathered statistics to show the concentration of wealth and the ...(tape ends)
DR ALLY: ... corporations. He said that one of the things that the Commission needs to look at if we were going to take seriously this question of reconciliation as the other parties, is redistribution and a fairer distribution of the resources.
That one should be looking at anti-trust laws, the monopolisation of the economy in this country was not a good thing and a healthy thing.
Do you want to have say in anything about that?
MR GODSELL: I think there are two separate issues. The first is that any modern and vigorous economy should have effective anti-competition measure in place.
Price fixing, erecting entry barriers that make it impossible for any new comer to enter an industry or industry sector, are clearly bad for the economy, their clearly unfair and they're bad for the society.
There is a debate that is continuing with Government, a debate lead by Minister Alec Erwin about looking, re-looking at our competition policy and seeing if its vigorous and fair and effective. Certainly, ours is an organisation that entirely supports that. So, that's the one issue.
The other issue is the issue of size and you know this a feature of the CG economy. If you look at a number of different sector like building and construction or like mining or like auto mobile manufacturer, you might see a member of the Anglo group as being a large company in that sector.
The moment you start to look world wide, there's a very different picture indeed and really the most effective way to introduce competition into this economy is to lower tariff barriers and we've absolutely seen it, precisely in auto mobiles and it's to take away exchange control, because then actually we will be part of a global economy which in fact we are and then the effectiveness of the firm will be entirely on its ability to compete on global conditions.
PERSON UNKNOWN: In our group, with one possible exception I will come to, there's none of the companies that we run that isn't subject to intense competition from others.
The one exception may be the Darwin business, but as you know we think that's rather a special case and anyway our world wide arrangements depend on voluntary co-operation.
But the chairman of De Beer's may have something to say.
The second point I'd like and I entirely support what Bobby has said, is that almost all the companies in our group listed in these calculations in the stock exchange, which actually we have some dispute with, but I don't think we exaggerate the situation, but we accept that we have in our group a large percentage of the stock exchange, but I think it's something like 80 or 90 percent of that is companies that we have built from the beginning.
(indistinct) to include one's predecessors who built up these companies; that the Anglo American and De Beer's group have built up pretty well from scratch and therefore, as Bobby said, if there wasn't exchange control, there would be a lower percentage, others, foreigners would be in, but this has also been a measure of the success of our predecessors and I'm sure nobody wants to go around ...(indistinct) success.
Can I put it another way. I have often said to people when they criticise us, do they think South African would have been better off if Oppenheimer has gone to Australia rather than come to South Africa. I know how I would answer that one.
DR ALLY: And how an Australian would answer that one, but to focus a bit more on some of the charges which were made by COSATU, because I think it's very important.
Firstly, the question which I think was really from the heart and this is, I think, what is important about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; that it's not just a sterile exercise in looking back at the past.
Fundamentally it's about people and about their human rights and the way that these human rights have been trampled upon.
They spoke about treatment of mine workers, particularly around questions of language, Funigalore and the terms in the language. Are these issues being addressed? What is being done on some of those issues which lead to the humiliation of people?
MR GODSELL: Certainly, if I can talk about mining and I will fully concede that this dictionary that Sam quoted is absurd. It's a document I haven't seen. I'm going to go off and look for it. It's outrageous that it should exist.
Thank you. Thank you, I thought you would say that. Let's just go to a deeper level. I mean look, if you look back in history, you have an industry that drew workers from the entire subequatorial Africa and so somebody constructed a linga franca, a way of people coming with very many different vernaculars to communicate with each other.
But let's be quite clear. This was a bastard language. It was not a language at all. It had only verbs in the imperative tense. It was a language for giving commands, not for communication.
Certainly what I can say about the gold mines in Anglo is that we've made an emphatic commitment and this takes us a little bit to the future; that by no later than very early in the next millennium, 2000, 2001, 2002, we want to have eliminated illiteracy in our work force entirely.
By illiteracy what we mean is that we want people to be able to converse, to problem solve, to discuss and to negotiate in a language which is either English or Afrikaans, because those are the two languages that had the most common industrial vocabulary.
We do have programmes set up to do that. This is going to involve taking our entire work force and it is a 100 000 people through probably six to eight weeks of full time language tuition.
So, you know, did Funigalore exist? Yes. Did it exists for far too long? Absolutely. Should it exist into the future? Absolutely not.
DR ALLY: Another very serious charge was on the treatment of families of workers, migrant workers where there had been fatalities. In fact even the treatment of the workers themselves after fatalities. The description which Paul Benjamin actually read which was in a Gencor mine, the Kinross disaster, but more generally there is this strong feeling that the mining companies and Anglo as one of them, has not done enough to compensate for what has happened to workers as a result of the health hazards from silicoses to the asbestos dust to actual fatalities.
Is this - would this be fair comment and is there an attempt by the Mining Industry, but Anglo in particular, to address this issue?
MR GODSELL: You know, I think in short, yes, over 30 years you will certainly find examples of - probably many examples of inhumane treatment of families and of the inappropriate dealing with death and serious injury like paraplegics and quadraplegics.
I couldn't sit here and say those things hadn't happen on Anglo mines. I know that they have and I fully concede that. Now, if you say okay, well, how are we trying to go forward?
Paul Benjamin, I think, talked about the new mine, health and safety act. This is a way of empowering workers to make decisions about their own safety. We now have a much better compensation regime, so that at least there's a meaningful amount of financial security where a family looses a bread winner.
The monstrous accident in our group's history in the Vaal Reefs two shaft accident two years. (indistinct) we set up a joint disaster fund and in the end what is interesting about that fund, is not the money that we collected which was in the order of 14 million rand, with significant contributions coming both from NUM and from Anglo and Vaal Reefs, but it was a step that we took as a board of trustees, jointly chaired by Walter Sisulu and Helen Suzman, to visit each family, each of the 104 families in the terrains of Southern Africa and that gave a human face to the suffering.
I'm responding in this way, because I'm saying we've got to rediscover the full humanity of the total - of the totality of South Africa. That's what Apartheid did. It made Whites unable to related to Blacks as fully human beings and this is what we're trying to do.
I certainly would like to see us being able to deal with individual mine accident deaths in the same way that we dealt with the Vaal Reeve tragedy, because at least what we did is we visited the family, not once, but now regularly, two to three times a year and that trust is seeing to the education of the children.
In the words of one of the (indistinct) trustees, its standing in the place of the father visiting the education of the children. I think that's a human response to a human tragedy.
DR ALLY: The last - the final question is a very direct question and you can give a direct answer.
Now as Anglo a supporter of the total strategy which was developed by P W Botha, which is often an accusation made?
PERSON UNKNOWN: We thought it was a total nonsense.
CHAIRPERSON: That's very direct. Bongani?
REV FINCA: I wish to begin by making a comment that the difference for me between yesterday and today compared to Monday - sorry, compared to Tuesday, is that there seems to be a growing acknowledgement that Apartheid advantaged those who are White and disadvantaged those who are Black.
On Monday I sensed that that was absent. But this morning someone made a comment which capture my attention, but I did not have time to ask a question on it.
The comment that he made, to phrase, derationalising ownership, given the fact that Apartheid has advantaged those who are White and for that reason they are now owners and disadvantaged those who are Black and for that reason they are now workers, users of food and drawers of water.
How do we derationalise ownership so that it seizes to be defined in terms of how Apartheid has defined our lives hitherto?
PERSON UNKNOWN: Well, let me kick off and then either Nikki or Bobby might like to add to this.
I entirely agree with your analysis of the situation. As you say what do we do now? I think this is one of those problems that has to be attacked on a whole number of fronts.
We've already mentioned how there are a large number of Black who are share holders in our group and in other groups through pension, provident funds and unit trusts and so forth.
We touched onto the employee share ownership scheme that we implemented in our group where for a period of five years, we gave a number free shares to all the employees right through the group.
Bobby mentioned a figure of a 100 000 that was the gold mining division. It was mere a 200 000 when you added everybody in together. We've also felt that another front in which to attack was this outsourcing of purchasing operations, the stores and suppliers and touching examples like chefs hats and gun boots and so forth for the mine..
To try and outsource these from as many small and emerging businesses which in the (indistinct) of things are mostly a Black (indistinct) throughout the group.
We have a programme in place throughout the group. Each company is really required to account for itself as to what progress its going to make - making on those lines.
We also have a section that small and medium enterprises initiatives is what it's called nowadays and in our group this lends money to and encourages sometimes those companies that are dying from and sometimes others.
To continue the approach we felt that it was sensible and had to make available the Johnnic to largely Black investors. We've sold our shares there or rather we sold 35 percent of them to the other group led by Cyril Ramaphosa which now runs that as a Johnnic group.
And similarly with the JSE, the mining side, the Johnnic being the industrial side, we sold 30 percent which is what they wanted rather than the 35 to a group led by Enzic Khumalo.
Now, then my colleagues may remember other ways in which we're working or other ways that others may be working on, but I think this is multi-facetted approach; that again the more the economy grows, the easier this will be and the faster you will get to a more sensible and equitable distribution of ownership and earnings in the economy.
MR NIKKI OPPENHEIMER: Chair, if I could just add one thing that's not really to do with ownership, but I think in your question it has - it impinges upon that and that is the management structure within the major companies within South Africa and for us here talking for Anglo American Corporation, the management structure within Anglo.
If you look at the management structure today, it's quite clear that there are completely inadequate numbers of Blacks and women as Bobby has commented on.
This is something that we will have to quite clearly address in the future, because the management structure in order to take advantage of the talents available in the country, must come to reflect the country.
We obviously has set in our submission, have been doing - making several initiatives on the educational front to speed this process up, but we will be judged in time when people come to look at Anglo, which we very much hope will continue to be the largest and most successful company in South Africa.
The country will come to judge us by looking at the management structure that we have in place and we don't think we will fail that test when the time comes.
REV FINCA: Thank you.
MS MKHIZE: I hear you mentioning that you have Walter Sisulu, I suppose the one who is leader of the ANC as one of your - of the chairpersons of your companies.
I just wanted to know whether in the past you ever had that kind of a directly relationship with the Nationalist Party, either by way of financing them or having them sitting in in some of your policy decision forums?
MR GODSELL: Sorry, I just don't know - I think this is - I may have mislead you in which case absolutely unintentionally. What I was talking about is the Vaal Reefs Disaster Trust. This was a trust created to look after, to address the needs of a 104 families killed in a single accident at Vaal Reefs.
A fund set up jointly by NUM and Anglo American Corporation with trustees contributed from each side.
Now, I will make it very clear, it was thought at that time that we should have two chairpersons and NUM's nominee was Walter Sisulu and our nominee was Helen Suzman, but the capacity in which they served is running a sort of 14 million rand trust to making sure it does what it was meant to do in terms of addressing the needs of widows and dependents of a large mine accident.
We haven't had Walter Sisulu serving on a board of Anglo American. That might be interesting from both sides of the equation.
MS MKHIZE: Yes, but sorry, you - just the second part of the question will still hold. Did you ever had a direct relationship with the previous Government in whatever form?
PERSON UNKNOWN: I think as I've said in my submission, our opening remarks that I read out, that our impression was and I think Nikki touched on this too, that the - we were hated by the Nationalist Party Government for opposing them publicly and privately in speeches and in actions and we certainly had no Nationalist Party senior members in any of our boards or on any of our councils.
What I can't say is how many Nationalist Party supporters were down stream employees in our group, because that was not a requirement to say whether you supported the Progressive Party although some people thought it was, or the Nationalist Party, in order to get on in our group.
MR GODSELL: Mr Chairman, I wonder if you'll permit me just. This is one piece of history that is relevant, but also interesting.
In the 13 years that John Vorster was the Prime Minister of South Africa and Harry Oppenheimer the Chairman of Anglo American Corporation, those two individuals never met, didn't talk on the telephone, had one piece of correspondence, initiated by John Vorster and the purpose of the correspondence was actually to seek the permission of the Koffiefontein mine to exhume bodies of Ossewa Brandwag members who had died in detention camps during the second world war.
So that - and this is from a first hand source, from Harry Oppenheimer. It is an indication, there wouldn't be too many countries in the world where the head of the largest business and the head of State over a sustained period, that is 13 years, didn't actually have contact.
It was yet another of the abnormalities of our society.
MR NIKKI OPPENHEIMER: I might just add to that the contrast with the present situation, is absolutely dramatic and it's one of the most exciting things for those of us in Anglo in the new South Africa, this interaction that is taking place between us for the first time in our history and the Government today.
CHAIRPERSON: Dr Boraine?
DR BORAINE: Thank you, Chairperson. I have a number of questions, but I'm also told that we have the limited time. So I will restrict them if I may.
First, let me express a word of appreciation, particularly to the distinction between deeds and words. I think that's very helpful. I have to say without being mischievous that's a remarkable contrast between this presentation and that of the Chamber of Mines.
I wonder sometimes if Anglo American was ever tempted to move totally independently, but I - you don't have to respond to that.
Two questions. Right through out the three days of hearings, there's been an attempt, I think, to reach consensus as to what the role of business is in a country like South Africa with its unique problems and possibilities.
From the extreme of deep cynicism of business is business. That's it. They are there to make profits and anything else is by the way and if people want to act towards others in need, they do that independently in - as ordinary citizens, but not as business.
To those who said, well, we really wanted to play some kind of role, but we very limited by Government or authoritarianism, we didn't want to offend some of share holders, we weren't able to move as much as we would liked to have done. So we tried to do our best as a business.
To another point of view, which seems to me is coming through in what you have been saying to us today, but rather than me put words in your mouth, let me quote another company, Tongaat-Hulett who gave evidence this morning, I think it was this morning. We've been going at it so long, I've forgotten what day it is.
CHAIRPERSON: It was this morning.
DR BORAINE: Where they said this and I want to quote:
"The group also recognises that the prospect and future of an open society is not solely the responsibility of the TRC, for example, or the Government. It, together with other businesses has a role to play, not only in proving the lot of its employees, but particularly through its senior management, influencing other business concerns and contributing time and effort constructively to the benefit of the greater society."
One of the example they gave, was an initiative that was taken, and I don't have to go into names. I think you know them well. Prior to the election in 1994, when it looked as though KwaZulu Natal was not going to participate in the election and that would have had very serious repercussions for all of us; that they took the initiative of getting now President Mandela, together with Dr Buthelezi.
In other words they - it is far more than just making profits. It may be argued that the greater stability, the greater opportunities for business and so on, but I sense that there was more to it and some of the quotations that you've given to us now and some of the comments you have made.
Where do you see it. I mean, what is the role of business in South Africa, both in the past and in this exciting future?
PERSON UNKNOWN: I think, I mean, I haven't got that definition of a general business purpose that you say the Tongaat gave. After - from what I could pick up from your reading, I think we would go along pretty well entirely with that.
I think in a way, part of the answer to your question is the question in the beginning that you said we need not answer. Yes, we did think on many occasions whether we should cut loose and leave the Chamber and then when this was debated, I mean our annual group conference, I mean at least ten years running, I think pretty well, and we decided not to do so, because we thought we would achieve more by dragging the others along too.
I mean we can go and I'm sure it's particular familiar with you, of the whole question of the wages in the Mining Industry on which Bobby touched on there.
Yes, I think another point is some of us have on occasion sat on foreign boards, overseas companies, based in London and elsewhere.
The amount they have expended, I mean, their sort of contributions to what they tend to call charity, are really laughable compared with what our group and many others do, I can't - don't know the figures and all the others what one sees what they're doing, so one has some idea of what their budgets and expenditure must be.
Indeed it's just those things that kept us in the Chamber, led us to play the part we played in the Urban Foundation. The part our people played, catches on in submissions here and the Consultative Business Movement, these two have come together and are now in the NBI, now people who've played a part there.
And also to our - I think it's fair to say, Dr Boraine, that it was Jan Steyn's idea, the joint educational trust, but I think it's fair to say if we hadn't given the lead and said that we will put up 50 million rand a year for five years, that shamed the others, well that's not - perhaps that's too strong a word to use - that encouraged the others to come along.
As you know that raised something like five forty, five seventy million rand. It hasn't all been spent and is likely to be spent over the next three years.
We happen to think that this has been a major success story which I think has probably not (indistinct) its fair share of credit for what its achieved in the field of education.
Now, there may be other examples and Nikki, this is an important philosophical thing. Do you go along with it?
MR NIKKI OPPENHEIMER: Can I add. I can go along with that. I mean, one, South Africa as has been said at this forum here, is an unusual most probably a unique country and it requires all South Africans to do more than just interact with themselves. It requires them to reach out around them and certainly we in Anglo will encourage that very much.
DR BORAINE: I have just one last question. We listened as was earlier indicated, to COSATU before lunch and a question which was put to them, collectively and I would really like to put it to you as well.
That is; bearing in mind the fact that we remain a deeply divided society with millions of problems and quite a lot of hostility and different perceptions of the past, as you look to the future rather than us dwelling in the past; do you think that we can overcome the divisions of the past?
Do you think that reconciliation is more than just a nice word with some religious connotation? That it can be achieved in South Africa, despite the gulf between business and labour, between Black and White, between men and women, between so many different groups? How do you see it?
PERSON UNKNOWN: I personally do think we're going to achieve this. I think we're making great steps towards achieving it already. I think this has been to a great deal, as in so many things, led by the splendid, if I may use that word, policy that President Mandela has followed.
The whole spirit of reconciliation. I think too that I, and I'm sure many of my colleagues, maybe all of them, have been amazed and pleased and generally touched by the general lack of hostility or antipathy from the Black people of the country who were, as everyone knows, hideously discriminated against during the period.
As Nikki has said, we find the constructive discussions that we can have with Government leaders today, putting forward ideas, testing our ideas, very refreshing, having not been in that positions for 40 odd years.
So I believe this is coming about and I think, if I may say so, the purpose and effect that your Commission is having, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is moving along in these directions and I hope keeping a balance that will help this come about.
But this is such an important subject. Can I ask if either of my colleagues would like to add to that.
MR NIKKI OPPENHEIMER: I think I would agree with that. The country has had a miracle and now we have to take that miracle and build on it and it's no easy task, because as you so rightly say, we are still a divided society in many different ways.
The submissions to the TRC like - I absolutely agree with Julian, is part of the process of allowing that reconciliation to take place.
But once we've been through this process, then we have to settle down and grow together and we have to then blend with each other and feed of each other's assets and maybe we need to remember the story set out in chapter eight of the Gospel of St John at that time.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, gentlemen, for coming this afternoon.
I ask the Steel and Engineering Federation to come forward, industries to come forward. Are you leaving?
Can I please ask people to settle down. I would also like to make an appeal to those of you remaining that it's very important to listen to the rest of the submissions.
We've had Prof Simkins sitting right through the day listening to everybody else, I think it's just courteous to listen to him at the end.
Prof Terblanche will also making - be making a three minute summation at the end.
Gentlemen, welcome. Good afternoon.
CHAIRPERSON: ... you have 20 minutes to do your presentation, thank you.
DR ALLY: Are you going to take the oath or the affirmation.
MR ANGUS: The oath.
DR ALLY: The oath.
MR ANGUS: (Duly sworn in, states).
DR ALLY: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Angus, you may proceed.
STEEL AND ENGINEERING FEDERATION: PRESENTATION
MR ANGUS: Thank you, Chairperson. I'd like to lead off on the introduction by talking a little about Seefsa itself and the background and then I'm going to leave to our president, Mr Colin Campbell to draw some conclusions before we deal with any questions you may have.
We'd like to start by thanking the Commission very sincerely for giving us the opportunity of making a submission to you and also for making time available to us to participate in this business hearing.
Briefly by way of background. Seefsa is a federation of 41 independent employer associations. These associations represent the different sectors and regions of the metal and engineering industry in South Africa.
The total membership of our associations is just under 3 000 individual companies and together these companies employ some 70 percent of the industry's total work force and that amounts to something over 300 000 workers.
Seefsa and its predecessor organisation, Safeema, have been in existence since January 1943 and that is to say for some 54 years.
We understand that the purpose of these business hearings is to assist the Commission to arrive at an understanding of the political conflict in South Africa over the period 1960 to 1994 and in particular the roles of business and labour in the society during this period.
Your letter to us, Chairperson, I refer to three broad themes and the second of these themes really forms the main focus of our submission.
That is business, Government and the trade unions. The reason for this focus is because of the particular role which Seefsa has played over the years in the area of industrial relations in general and especially in the negotiation of industrial agreements, covering workers in the industry.
By way of background I should explain that the metal and engineering (indistinct) in South African is an organised industry; that is to say an industry where agreements between employers and trade unions are struck at central level and of an extended, broadly speaking, to all workers and all employers in the industry on a national bases.
That's what we mean when we refer to an organised industry. These agreements cover comprehensive terms and conditions of employment for workers, such as annual leave, pay, hours of work and so on and also very extensive social security benefit schemes, such as pension and provident funds, sick pay, medical aid, agreements relating to the training of workers and so on.
Seefsa has played a key role in the negotiation of all of these agreements and I'll be talking a little bit more about that later on.
We provided the Commission with a fairly detailed account of Seefsa's involvement in matters which seemed to us to be relevant to the Commission's investigations during the years in question.
We've also submitted together with that very detailed document, a much briefer one which comments on events and developments which we believe to be perhaps of particular significance.
It's not our intention here today to try summarise those documents. What we'd like to do in the relatively short time available to us, is just to highlight three of the matters referred to in our written submission and then to draw some conclusions, which we haven't included in our written submission.
The areas we'd like to highlight, are firstly the removal of job reservation in the industry. Secondly, the recognition of Black trade unions and thirdly, conditions of employment for the industry's work force.
As far as the removal of job reservation is concerned, we've heard already in the hearings over these three days that the concept for job reservation for White workers was introduced into the industrial conciliation act in 1959.
In our submission we've pointed out that from the time of that introduction, Seefsa apposed this legislation at the highest levels of Government.
We quote the words of a Seefsa president a year after the introduction of the legislation, where he said:
"We remain convinced that this system will need a dove tail into a system of collective bargaining, nor succeed in producing anything, but frustration amongst those who were likely to be deprived both of livelihood and opportunity."
We also quote the words of the Seefsa president a year later in 1961 where he said:
"Perhaps the most disturbing bar to full development through the efficient use of man power, is that implied in the provision of work reservation appearing in our laws. I mean disturbing in every sense and I believe that its removal from the statutes would have a beneficent effect in all quarters wherein it has been generally regarded with dismay."
We've pointed out in our submission that this opposition continued over the years, both in the form of statements from successive presidents and also in the form of direct representations, made to the Minister of Labour against specific job reservation, determinations in our industry.
Some of these were successful, other unfortunately were not.
On this subject, we further point out that in 1978, the last (indistinct) of discrimination were removed from the metal industry's main agreement when Seefsa became a signatory to the Urban Foundation code of employment practice.
On the face of it, it may appear that Seefsa's opposition to job reservation, removal of work place, discrimination were fairly straight forward and obvious things to do.
But I think it is important that the Commission bear in mind that throughout this period Seefsa was negotiating on an ongoing bases with powerful White trade union organisations which reflected the views, the prejudices of the (indistinct) White constituency at that stage.
So steps which we took in these areas had to be negotiated with these union groupings, they certainly couldn't simply have gone ahead on a unilateral bases and without their support.
Secondly, the recognition of Black trade unions. We point out in our submission that from the time of the beginning of the period that we're talking about in these hearings, 1961, Seefsa objected to the fact that the law contained no mechanisms whereby Black workers could participate in negotiations determining their conditions of employment at industry level.
Representations made to the Minister of Labour, to the Department of Labour during that early period of the 1960's in this regard, were unsuccessful.
Our submissions also records Seefsa's continued efforts to persuade Government to allow for some form of direct representation for Black workers in the industry's centralised negotiations.
These efforts resulted in the 1970's in Government allowing firstly, White government officials representing Black workers and subsequently Black work force representatives directly to participate in these negotiations.
In 1977, the then director of Seefsa, Errol Drummond, was one of 12 commissioners appointed to serve on the so-called Wiehahn Commission, which as we all know ultimately lead to the extension of trade union rights to Black workers.
We further record the fact that in 1980, the metal industries' industrial council became the first in South Africa to admit Black trade unions to membership.
The early 1980's were marked by concerted efforts on the part of Seefsa to persuade the other Black trade unions in the industry to follow this example and as a consequence and after very prolonged negotiations, the largest Black trade union in the industry, then called Mawu, today called Numsa, joined the council in 1983.
The last issue, Chairperson, that I'd like to deal with is the question of conditions of employment for the industry's work force and particularly during the years in question and the role which the employers in the industry played in developing a comprehensive set of employment conditions for workers in the industry.
I've already referred to the fact that in the metal and engineering industry in South Africa, agreements on conditions of employment, social security benefits and so on, are reached at central level between the employer organisations which are members of Seefsa and the industry's trade unions, then extended broadly speaking, to all employers in trade unions in the industry.
This is a system of centralised collective bargaining which is by no means universally popular amongst employers. There are many employers in our industry who are opposed to the system and certainly many employers in other industries as well.
Many would argue that it's contrary to the dictates of the market and that it fails to take into account the differing needs, the differing cost structures of different business organisations.
The Commission has in fact heard some of these arguments put forward during these business hearings.
However, I think that very few people would argue against the fact that the system has produced a far more comprehensive system of working conditions and benefits for workers than would otherwise have been the case.
The underlying philosophy of the system is that it's fundamentally undesirable for companies to compete with one another at the expense of their workers.
In other words, on the bases of low wages and inadequate employment benefits. It seeks, if you like, to level the playing field in this area, by taking these matters out of the competitive arena, by bargaining them across the industry as a whole.
The result of this practice has been a set of employment conditions which for many years has far exceeded those of nearly all other major industries in South Africa and which continue to do so today.
In our submission we point out, for example, that an industry wide pension and life assurance fund for Black workers was introduced as early as 1966 into the industry.
Today the combined assets of our industry pension and provident funds amount to some 22 billion rands and these funds have provided benefits to many thousands of workers who have either retired from our industry or left it for reasons - for other reasons over the years.
More over these funds have been controlled on a joint bases between the employers and the trade unions in the industry from the out set.
We also point out that during the late 1970's and early 1980's, deliberate steps were taken to introduce a more equitable wage structure into the industry's main agreement, particularly for lower paid workers.
Our submission also records the fact that when in 1989, the Minister of Man Power refused to extend the industry's main agreement to non-parties, because it included for the first time, the then politically sensitive June the 16th as a special public holiday for workers in the industry, Seefsa and the industry's trade unions instituted legal proceedings against the Minister in the supreme court.
This resulted in the Minister reversing his decision in an out of court settlement.
Chairperson, I've really tried to emphasize the role that the industry has played in this area, because of the many statements that have been made during the course of these hearings, to the effect that during the years in question, during the Apartheid years, Black workers were often treated (indistinct) and that is no doubt. It has been the case and that they were treated as a kind of commodity to be bargained in the cheapest possible way.
I'm simply trying to point out in this part of our submission, that we have - in a limited sense, attempted not to deal with workers in our industry in that way over this period.
That's all that I want to say, Chairman, and I'd like to now pass over to Mr Campbell to draw some conclusions.
MR CAMPBELL: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. I'd like to draw some conclusions from our submission.
In our submission we've tried to point out the actions undertaken by Seefsa to oppose the system of Apartheid in our country during the years in question.
In conclusion one must inevitably ask the question. Did we do enough? If not, what more should we have done?
I think it's pretty clear that the answer to the first question must be no, we did not do enough. Apartheid was a vicious and misguided experiment in social engineering, which was doomed to failure from the outset.
The problem which we together with most other business organisations had, is that not all of our members saw it in that way at the time and as we've pointed out in our submission, even those who did, would not necessarily have seen Seefsa as the appropriate body through which to express direct and open opposition to the system as a whole.
None of this, however, is really enough of an excuse. Today we would acknowledge that those of us in leadership positions who did understand Apartheid for what it was, and what it would inevitably lead to, should have done more to try to convince our constituency to support a stronger, more active and more broad bases opposition.
Whether or not we would have succeeded in convincing our constituency as a body to do this, is not really to the point.
Furthermore, whether or not such broader or stronger opposition would have had any impact on the National Party Government, is also not really the point.
The point is that we could and should have tried harder. However, we did not do so. We adopted a more conservative approach. We confined our opposition in the main to those specific areas where we had both a direct involvement and we believed some particular expertise.
This leads me to the final question which we would like to address upfront today and that is; what more could we realistically have done in this perhaps more limited and more conservative sense?
We believe today, with the wisdom of hind sight, that major area in which we failed to do enough, soon enough, was in the systematic enhancement of the skilled levels of our lower paid workers.
While a great deal was done at industry level during the Apartheid years to ensure the proper training of skilled workers, the training of the unskilled and semi-skilled was left largely to the individual companies in our industry to deal with.
Some of whom, did a lot, but many of whom, did very little in this regard. Today, we are working very hard to rectify that error. Together with the trade unions in our industry, we are in the process of developing a national qualifications framework for workers at all levels, the objectives of which are to broaden and enhance the over all skill level of workers across the entire industry and to provide meaningful career paths for workers in the various fields of technology in which we operate.
It is an ambitious programme which is costing the industry many millions of rands, both in actual money spent and also in the time being put into the project by program which is experiencing - by management at industry level and workers in all major sectors of the industry.
It is also a programme which is experiencing a level of co-operation, I'm pleased to say, between management and the trade unions, seldom if ever seen before in the industry, because it is one which clearly has enormous potential benefits to both sides.
We are confident that it will provide us with the base on which to build a world class metal and engineering industries to the benefit of shareholders and employees alike.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Dr Ally?
DR ALLY: Thank you very much, gentlemen. I'm going to be brief, because we've been here a long time and I'm also going to be brief for another reason and that is that Prof Simkins, Charles Simkins who is the Prof at the head of the economics department - Department of Economics at Wits University, will also be making some comments on the issues that we've been dealing with here in this hearing, the relationship of business to politics, Apartheid and the economic system which developed and also some observations, looking at what the submissions were saying and what we can learn from them.
I want to reiterate to what the Chairperson has said, to please ask people not to leave before that's completed, because Prof Simkins has been - he spent the day with us and he has also prepared a submission. So, I think we will benefit from his insights.
The two issues really, and I ask them together, so that you can respond and then I think we can move to Prof Simkins if there are no other questions.
The first is that in the COSATU submission, one of the messages which came out very strongly and very clearly and what came out with a lot of anger attached to it, is that there seems to be a tendency amongst many businesses that now in the after match, the end of Apartheid, to want to falsely take credit for its dismantling.
That if it was not for the struggles which workers actually waged and which other members of the oppressed community waged, in particular Black people, business and White people would have been quite happy with the system, notwithstanding its inconveniences and notwithstanding the other problems, because they benefitted.
The business may have been inconvenienced, but individually, personally, White people did benefit. There's an anger at this wanting to take credit now that within this new democracy, by business and big corporations, particular to say, but we were responsible and we fought against Apartheid.
So, there are two parts to it. The one is the anger, being expressed by organisations like COSATU, but I would imagine more generally by Black people, the anger at this attempt now by business, White business to want to claim some kind of moral credit. Is that anger valid, legitimate.
Secondly, is it not more important for business to acknowledge that the main driving force of what lead to the ultimate changes were the struggles of those who were oppressed, those who were at the receiving end, no matter how business may have been convenienced or inconvenienced.
That's the first. The second, and this has got more general ramifications, is that when the - in the amnesty process, the Amnesty Hearings, one of the things that comes across very strongly, is that those who carried out the killings and those who administered shock treatment and who tortured, say that they were doing that because they were carrying out orders. They were the foot soldiers, but nobody now who gave them the orders, wants to take responsibility. They are abandoned. They did not do this on their own behalf. They did this in protection of a system which they were indoctrinated to believe in.
Now, a similar theme seems to emerge from some of the submissions. From the Anglo submission, to a certain extent, but from your submission, that White workers seem to be given the burden of having been responsible. That White workers wanted discrimination. White workers wanted job reservation and these workers were organised in such powerful trade unions that it was difficult for management to do anything, so that they become the escape codes of this when in reality the whole society was bases on White supremacy and that workers were part of that and that therefore it is unfair now for managers and for bosses and corporations who've benefitted to lay all the blame - in fact a charge that is made, is that between 1950 and 1973, that the industrial council whom which Seefsa was a - the employers' representative, actually behaved or functioned as quite a rosy cartel; that together with the unions, mainly White unions, Seefsa determined at a national level the wages and conditions for all workers in the metal industry. Not just for White workers and that together there was originally defined grade and wage scale in which higher paid grades were under racially exclusive closed shop agreements, open only to White union members.
That from time to time such categories were redefined so that the job colour bar was (indistinct) upwards, but that it was only after workers themselves, Black workers began to push, that this system began to break down.
So, it was not just White workers who were imposing their world, but management who also has - was complicit.
MR ANGUS: Okay. Chairperson, a long question. I don't know whether we can give a very long answer, but I'll certainly kick off and then ask my colleagues to contribute further.
I think firstly on the question of the employers trying to take false credit for dismantling Apartheid, our comment would be to say, and COSATU's anger in that regard, certainly I'm not going to speak for any of the other employers, but certainly from Seefsa's point of view, we have our hope not ever given the impression of trying to claim that we were solely responsible or even that employers were solely responsible or even that Whites were solely responsible for dismantling Apartheid.
Quite clearly the mass action of the 1980's, there's no question that sanctions - there's no question that all kinds of forces came into play during the - particular the period of the 1980's which ultimately lead to the collapse of the Apartheid system and we would certainly not want to claim that we were solely responsible for that. That would be an absurd, a manifestly absurd claim for us to make.
I certainly would not like to be the one who would try to weigh up, you know, the relative strengths of the different actions against Apartheid which finally brought about its downfall.
But, you know, to be fair, we've been asked to talk about the role which we as an employer organisation have played and we've tried in our submissions and in the words that we've put to here today, to spell out what we believed the role that we played was.
We've admitted, Mr Campbell, in his concluding remarks, has admitted, it was a limited role. It was a role that we could have tried to expand. We could have worked harder at trying to express that opposition on a broader and perhaps stronger and more virulent bases.
It's to our discredit that we didn't do that, but certainly it would not be - it would not at all appropriate to claim that we were the only dismantlers or even the major causes for the dismantlement of Apartheid.
As far as - as far as the question the sort of making the - making the White trade unions escape goats. If I've given that impression it's a false impression and I would like to withdraw it.
The point which I was trying to make was not in any sense that they held us back. In fact, quite the contrary in many respects, in many respects the White trade unions displayed what we think for those days, was a fairly remarkable degree of understanding of what it was that we believed was necessary and a fairly high level of accommodation for what we believed to be necessary.
Namely, the elimination of racial discrimination from our agreements on the one hand and secondly, the need to move Black people up from simple labouring tasks into the higher level grades.
We worked together with them in that process. The only point that I was trying to make was to say that it wasn't simply a matter for Seefsa to say we're going to go ahead and do that. It was a matter which had to be negotiated and it was a matter which had to - which had to be done in a manner which won their support.
I certainly would not like to in any way suggest that, you know, they were recalcitrant in that area as I said, they did in fact surprise - in many ways show a remarkable degree of understanding and agreement with us.
I don't know whether that's covered everything.
MR CAMPBELL: Yes, perhaps I could just agree with everything that Mr Angus has said, but I would just like to say that it certainly wasn't the intention in our submission to try and take the credit for anything or to take away anything from the struggle from the trade unions.
I certainly understand and sympathise and agree with COSATU's anger and we're certainly not trying to take credit for that. I think all we were trying to say to you, we tried to put a submission in which was as factual as possible. We took purely extracts of everything over the years that had any bearing, we thought, on the matter and the discussion and put it factually down whether it was favourable towards Seefsa or otherwise.
In our summary I think we were merely trying to indicated where we felt we had contributed to it, but we're certainly not trying to take credit for everything.
MR ANGUS: Sorry, Chairperson, can I just comment on the rosy cartel bit, which - I'm sorry - I realised I missed.
Yes, what you know, what was said in the question was absolutely true; that the negotiations were between the employers in the industry or the employer members of Seefsa in the industry and what at that stage were essentially White trade unions.
We did determine the terms and conditions of employment for the workers in the industry. We've pointed out in our submission that we did the best we could. Well, you know, maybe we didn't do the best we could, but we did what we think was quite a lot to try to get direct Black worker representation into those negotiations and ultimately, you know, we were successful in doing that.
But during the period in question, when we were simply not allowed to involve Black worker representatives directly, I don't know what other alternatives we would have had.
We had Black workers in the industry, large numbers of them. We had to determine what their wages would be and we therefore, as I say, simply had to work within the confines of what was basically a very unfair and unjust system.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Angus, let me just take advantage of asking one quick question.
We've heard a great deal over the last three days about training for Black workers, the question of Black management not being represented within structures of capital ...(tape ends)
MR ANGUS: ... to add very much to the debate on ownership, it's not a matter that Seefsa has directly become involved in. The Anglo American representatives had some comments in that area. I don't really know whether I can add meaningfully to that. Mr Campbell may well be able to do so.
As far as training is concerned, yes, what we're attempting to do in the metal and engineering industry is a general upliftment of skill levels, because, yes, it is important to have Black people in managerial positions. Yes, it is important to have Black people in ownership positions in companies, but those are things over which we as an employer federation have a fairly limited influence and that is something that we would really look to our members as opposed to Seefsa as a federation to take a lead in.
The area that we think we can and we have in the past made some meaningful progress in, is in the area of work force training. In other words the general upliftment of skill levels in the work force and of course together with that, the general upliftment of wages and terms and conditions of employment.
That's really what Mr Campbell was referring to in his concluding remarks in terms of the major initiative which we now have in place in the industry. To develop an industry wide national qualifications framework system for workers, a system which will provide meaningful career paths for workers in the industry and which will provide them with meaningful training which will be, we hope, not only relevant in the companies in which they operate, but also will enable them to be more transferable, to give them portable skills which in the event of them leaving the particular organisation for whom they happen to be working, to give them portable skills which they can then use in a other organisations as well.
It's a major initiative as Mr Campbell has said. We're spending many many millions of rands on it. It's an area where we've had a very major input and very major positive input from the trade unions in the industry.
All of the trade unions in the industry and it's an area that we believe will make a major contribution to the industry and to workers in the future.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I believe there are no further questions. Did you want to add something, Sir?
MR CAMPBELL: If I may? I know you are short of time, but I'd like to just add and this is more as an employer than as a president of Seefsa, because as a president of Seefsa it's difficult to do anything other than encourage training, which we do do and as Seefsa we have a lot of training, a lot of bursaries available and most of those go to Black or disadvantaged people.
As far as the management structure and training at company level is concerned, I totally agree with the fact that we've got to get down to it and certainly, my company, we've been doing it for quite some time now and we intend to do it considerably more into the future.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Thank you very much for your submission.
Can I just go straight onto Prof Simkins? Prof, thank you sitting there and listening to all of this. I know you have a submission. Let me just introduce you. You are the Professor in head of department of economics at Wits University.
Thank you again for the work that you've put in for today, as well as the submission you've made.
I don't know how you want to play it? Whether you want to speak to your submission or whether you want to integrate your submission with what you've heard today?
PROF SIMKINS: Mr Chairman, I think in the interest of time especially I'd like to integrate, I think I can do that, given the nature of my submission that I will be touching on matters not raised there as well, but which have been raised today, if that's all right with you?
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Can I also ask Prof Terblanche to come and sit at the table?
You may proceed, Sir.
PROF SIMKINS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I'd just like to make a few comments under four or five broad headings, either occurred to me in relation to today's proceedings and indeed to the proceedings in general.
Firstly, to remind ourselves that really the core project of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was to identify gross violations of human rights as defined under the act.
For something to be a gross violation of human rights it had to satisfy two criteria. It had to be either murder, torture, abduction or several treatment and it had to be done for a political purpose.
Gross violations of human rights in these terms were in fact illegal when they were committed, but the TRC is part of a wider process under which amnesty could be applied for and granted if the conditions were met by applicants.
It has the further implication of shutting off, if you like, a recourse by victims through the court and therefore an alternative route of establishing a fund for compensation and reparation.
Now, the hearings on business as I indeed - I think the hearings on the health system and on the legal system, are to some extent an add on and they take the TRC into another role which also has a great deal to do with human rights, but is less well defined than gross violations of human rights under the act.
If we're talking about violations of human rights we consider a whole set of other things which may have been - which would have violation of human rights, but in some sense less serious than the gross violations.
Secondly, this business of having to be done for political motives, largely falls away. In so far as business violated human rights, the main reason would have to do with the core objective of business which is to make profits.
So it would have been in the interest - in the economic interest of business, not necessarily in political interest.
I think when we broaden the scope like this, we have a couple of important questions to which the Commission will need to pay attention.
The first is, just try and get some notion of what human rights ought to have been under the period under review. Are we going to use the post 1994, the human rights as defined in our final new constitution or are we going to use some other yard stick, particularly in relation to those human rights which actually depend on the level of the wealth of a society.
Then I think also that you, one would have to erect criteria for distinguishing between a violation of a human right and the frustration of a demand. People may have demands and interest which they have the right to try and satisfy, but it's not human right if they're not fully satisfied, a human right is not violated.
So, I think, these two areas are going to be quite important in - if you like - taking the Commission beyond its core project and you will have to think about these issues in relationship to writing up this particular section.
The other thing I want to say about this head is that what our political transition has done, has been very important and it is removed racial discrimination from public policy and from our legislation and that's been the most significant political development of the century.
But of course it has not removed every source of conflict from our society. Scarcity remains - economic scarcity remains and so there's always competition for economic goods. And, if you like, class conflict, if we may use that rather now, rather an old fashioned term, remain.
Those things have not been abolished by our political transition and we need to understand what remains and what has disappeared in our discussion.
The second broad heading I'd like to talk under is this question of the composition and heterogeneity of business. Some speakers have said this is not a very important issue, but I think that would be a mistake.
I think the hugely complex composition of South African business is important for at least three reasons. Firstly, if you don't understand the heterogeneity of business, you don't understand the different interests and the different behaviour of parts of business and that's pretty important to understand.
Secondly, I don't think you can understand the degrees to which business met, if you like, its moral obligations. That depends on the structure and the location in the structure of business that that particular agents occupied.
Thirdly, if you don't look at the heterogeneity of business, you can't understand the capacity of business to contribute now to the building of our society or to the modalities through which it can make a contribution.
Now, when you look at heterogeneity of business, I'm going to suggest very briefly, three dimensions you might look along.
The first has to do with the size of business and businesses market power. We have very small businesses, we have one person businesses ranging from micro-enterprise in formal sector right up to very large and powerful corporations which have very substantial amounts of market power.
The obligations of businesses with market power who could determine at least to some extent, the market environment from which they operated, are different from businesses which are essentially price takers to which - in which all activity is directed to earning a normal rate of return on capital.
The second dimension that one has to look at, is perceptions of business and expectations about the future. It's one thing to look back at the record of business from our current perspective, our perspective of late 1997.
It's another thing to think about business actions in the light that businesses themselves would have had regard them in the 1960's, in the 1970's, in the 1980's, where they could merely make conjectures about the future.
And I think this question of expectations about the future is terribly important. The literature on political and economic change suggests a fairly common sense classification which will be important here.
In an environment which demands change you can have three broad sorts of responses. Firstly, you can have the stand patters. The people who want to maintain the present system, who are going to try and stick with what they have for as long as possible.
At the other end of the extreme, you have the innovators. The people who are looking for change, who are trying to find ways of innovation and are exerting themselves to the utmost under the constraints they face, to innovate.
In between those two groups of people, you probably have the biggest class; that is of pragmatic adaptors and I think some of things we've seen and heard today, have been the responses of pragmatic adaptors.
Now, pragmatic adaptors on the whole would stand pact for quite a long time, but when they see the change is inevitable they will shift their position and adapt to new circumstances. Their heart may not be in it a great deal, but they make a pragmatic decision to adapt.
If you look at South African business responses, to the pressures on it in the period since 1960, you'll find people falling in each of these categories and indeed within businesses there may have been different responses at different times, but these expectations about the future, I think, are essential in evaluating the extent to which business met its moral obligations in South Africa.
The perceptions, they're beyond business in fact. They're very important in relation to COSATU's evidence and what we have to say here is, that the evidence of today says, that, right now in 1997, let alone what happened in the past, people do see things in very different terms.
And implicitly in the way that they asses their contribution, is the idea of a counterfactual of what might have been if Apartheid had not been.
I think there is a chasm between business and certainly COSATU on that. That would be important to talk about in assessing contributions.
Thirdly, business was heterogeneous and very heterogenous in its relation to the State, between 1960 and 1994. Closest to the state were the parastatals. The parastatals very often structured park your wholly along civil service lines, closely subject to Government direction.
Beyond them you might then identify what you could call the "Binnekring" private sector Afrikaners. The people who were close to the Government who were in the private sector, are connected to the Government by cultural associations in the light and having at all times close accessibility to meet - to seeing officials and cabinet ministers and to engage in discussions with them.
Beyond them you have Afrikaners more generally and also White English speaking business. Certainly in important ways beneficiaries of the system that applied in that time, although the White English speakers point to and rightly point to ways in which they were disadvantaged, both in the (indistinct) size of the business and at least relative to some of these other groups that I've already talked about.
The Avalon Cinema contribution this morning reminds us of the particular treatment of a dynamic entrepreneur of community among people known to Apartheid as Asians or Indians, suffered particularly under the group areas act and some of its predecessor legislation in the 1940's and then right outside of that, Blacks subject to huge disabilities to the point in which Black formal business only really start to become a reality in the later Apartheid period, the informal sector in the (indistinct) of the system of course was always there.
So, these considerations which I've tried to sketch out in broad terms, I think these been brought to bear on the evidence that we've heard today and no doubt in the two days before it.
The third point I'd like to deal with and this is not dealt with in my submission, is the issue of reparations.
Closest to the work of the TRC is the formation of the President's fund and the dispersement of compensation to people who suffered from gross violations of human rights who apply for assistance.
We have seen in the press recently and in recent weeks two quite important contributions in relation to the financing of this President's fund.
One suggestion has been the financing by means of a wealth tax. Another suggestion has been the appropriation of some of the capital - some or all of the capital reserves of Sasria, the right insurance company that was formed during the Apartheid period.
Those are two ideas. I think there are several more ideas that could be brought to bear on it and I think will have to be brought to bear on it, before this matter can be finalised.
That's the most important thing. I would just make a suggestion, Mr Chairman, if I might, it would be helpful if as soon as possible one could get at least a bull (indistinct) estimation of what is required by the President's fund to discharge its obligations, because I think once you start from the expenditure side, then I think some of the financing things will fall most easily into place and I think you might get quite a lot more co-operation if you start with the task and not necessarily with the taxation aspects of it, although that all has to be dealt with by the time we're finished.
I think there are two aspects of reparations which have been dealt with today and these are firstly, the clear aspect - aspiration on the part of South Africa's workers that there should be greater satisfaction of worker claims than there has been in the past. So that's one dimension.
I think also implicit in matter of what we have said around not only this part of the TRC's hearing, is that there's a need for funding of more social infra-structure, much of which I would have to be provided through the public sector, though in partnership with the private sector.
These two broader sets of claims start to interface actually with Government policy and can hardly be considered without it. We after all, do have a Government policy - a Government in charge where COSATU is part of it - and a most organised part of its support base. We do have a Government that's committed itself to the reconstruction and development programme and so these things need to be raised, but they need to be discussed in the light of Government policy.
There needs to be, if you like, a distinction between the specific things flowing out of the TRC in light of its specific task and then the more general orientation of Government policy and identification in either case of the actors that should be involved in the debates that need to happen.
The final point, Mr Chairman, that I would like to make in relation, again back to my original submission, is that one of the things - one of the jobs of the TRC was to make recommendations on how we would avoid a repetition of gross violations of human rights and violations of human rights more generally.
We can rule it out with a great deal of certainty there's no chance of the Apartheid system ever re-emerging the particular historical circumstances which gave rise to that has passed beyond recall.
I would say that the two things that really have to be focused on here to avoid a repetition of violation of human rights, is firstly, the importance of democratic consolidation.
Mr Naidoo here expressed himself in very optimistic terms that we already had a mature democracy. I would beg to differ. I think the bedding down of democracy is a matter of decades even of centuries and that we have to pay attention to the conditions of democratic consolidation to make sure that we avoid a repetition of the large scale violations of human rights that we've seen in the past.
The second thing that we have to pay attention is firming up the rule of law. Now, firming up the rule of law is not the same thing exactly as democratic consolidation. You can have democracies where the rule of law is rather weak. In the end if the rule of law becomes very weak, then democratic break down is much more likely and may indeed become inevitable.
But there is a major concern in South African society at the moment that the rule of the law is far too restricted. There a whole regions of the country in geographical terms where the rule of law is very weak and there are whole areas of our society which are insufficiently regulated by the laws that we have.
So, that extension of rule of the law is the second important thing about repetition. And so, I think it's not so much a question, if you like, dismantling a set of supports for Apartheid, that has already happened, it's bringing to bear the loads of capital accumulation, of human capital and inspanning it to work for these two goals; the consolidation of our democracy and the extension of the rule of law in South Africa.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Prof Simkins. Is there anything - Prof Terblanche?
PROF TERBLANCHE: Mr Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to make a short statement.
My proposal for a wealth tax has caused quite a roar. As I could have expected the proposal was made suspected by some, by deliberately concentrating only on the disadvantages of such a tax without acknowledging the dire need to restore ...(indistinct) and social justice after 100 years of structural impoverishment and enrichment.
The TRC should take note of the fact that the anti-tax lobby is in all probability the best organised and the strongest lobby in South Africa. Let us picture for ourselves two groups of South Africans.
On the one hand the mainly group of million people, the million richest people, mainly White South Africans with their learned tax advisors. On the other hand the poorest 20 million South Africans, mainly Africans, people living in (indistinct) poverty and depravation.
Although the two groups are standing in many ways miles apart their past, their present and especially their future, are structurally closer linked than many business people were prepared to acknowledge during this week.
Luckily many people understood the purpose of my proposal correctly. By raising the issue of wealth tax, my purpose was to focus as sharply as possible on the close and structural interdependence - the close structural interdependence between undeserved wealth and undeserved poverty in South Africa.
It is between what Prof Mandani called beneficiaries and victims in the broader sense to word. It is high time that especially the rich should realise that the South African poverty problem and the South African wealth problem, are not two separate problems, but two sides of the same problem.
The socio-economic transformation that has to take place during the next 10 to 20 years are hold towards a sustainable system of democratic capitalism, must be of such a nature that the legacy of racial should be removed as completely as possible out of our capitalistic system.
Only in this way can we restore (indistinct) justice. Perhaps the economic miracle will not be as easy obtainable as Mr Gavin Relly like us to believe this afternoon. I agree with Prof Simkins, the development of a proper democratic system and a proper capitalistic system and to link the two will not be easy and will take a long time.
The popular opinion that South Africa can grow out of its ugly legacy of Apartheid while the concentration of wealth and economic power mainly in White hands remain more or less unaffected, is nothing but a pipe dream and a dangerous one.
Greater social stability and social justice are pre-conditions to create conditions for growth and job creation. Let us not confuse means and end. The main aim must be to restore social justice. If it became apparent that a wealth tax is too disruptive and too costly to collect, let people come forward with practical proposals how to address the structurally linked problems of undeserved wealth and undeserved poverty jointly.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Professor, you've seemed to have gained a lot of support in the last three days. Prof, it's only appropriate that as you started, we finish the session with you. Thank you.
That brings to the end these three days on the business hearings. We as the Commission now have the difficult, onerous task of actually putting all this information together and to give substance and meaning to many of the recommendations that have been made here today.
We thank you very much for coming here today. Can I also thank my team, the panel who've been sitting here as well as the researchers and the many administrative staff who've been running around and making sure that everybody gets copies throughout these last three days.
It's been a very difficult task. It's been a difficult hearing to conduct. I hope we'll be - we'll be able to give more meaning to this in our report. Thank you very much.