National Assembly Cape Town: Thursday, 01 September 2011
Please allow me at the outset to briefly refer
to the establishment of the International Parliamentary Union.
It was established in 1881. It currently has a membership of 157
parliaments and 9 associate members. The IPU normally meets
every year to discuss matters of international importance. It
takes resolutions and member Parliaments are then expected to
forward those resolutions to their respective countries for
The IPU has since its inception in 1889 been a
standard and focal point for international parliamentary
dialogue, and a promoter of peace and co-operation between the
countries of the world through their respective parliaments.
The wording of the IPU theme that we are
debating today puts it finger exactly on the main problem facing
It speaks about "ownership of the
Behind these very words is hidden the real
problem facing the IPU, namely that the resolutions passed every
year by the IPU do not effectively find their way into the
agendas of the various member Parliaments of the IPU.
I think this is where we fail.
We should therefore seriously rethink what we, the South
African Parliament, could contribute to effectively pay
attention to, and implement IPU resolutions.
The topic of this debate: The redistribution
of power, not just wealth:
Ownership of International Agendas is
important to the current situation within South Africa because
the divide between rich and poor is expanding exponentially.
At its current rate of expansion South Africa
could soon be divided into two main camps, namely the very rich,
and the very poor. The middle class will struggle to survive
because of poor governance and excessive taxation.
As far at the IPU's status is concerned, if we
do not effectively take its resolutions seriously, we will allow
the IPU to become nothing less than an international talk shop
with no teeth. It may eventually only serve as a very nice
holiday for Members of Parliament.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, the rich-poor
situation is a serious problem. It will require a commitment
from all role players and specifically our government to embark
upon and embrace a wealth and power redistribution policy in
favour of all South Africans and not just those who know how to
organise lucrative tenders and government contracts.
I thank you.
Contact: Mr Koos van der Merwe MP, 082 444