Chairperson, allow me to thank the hon members from all political parties for their comments, suggestions and wisdom that they have passed on to the department. I think all the speakers had very valuable information to share with us.
Let me start with a confession. Notwithstanding the comments which have been made by the chairperson and other members with regard to Mr Mc Gluwa for what he has done - the advice and the correction which has been made - I am a bit of an accomplice to the problem. Before we started, he came to me and said he had a problem and asked if I would mind if he spoke about it at the podium. I said no, I did not have a problem.
So, to that extent, I am an accomplice because I am not sure if he would have withdrawn had I said no, but at least he had the courtesy to come to me to say that he had this issue. [Interjections.] I think I need to raise that and it's important for me to say it, because we did talk about the issue earlier on. However, we will take the matter further in spite of the challenges that might have appeared.
With regard to the issue on the Public Service Commission, PSC, that you have raised, hon member, I had the privilege to serve on the management committee of the Constitutional Assembly at the time we were drafting the Constitution. I participated in a number of theme committees. There is a reason why each and every institution has been given powers and a space in the Constitution in the manner in which it has been done.
I do not want to go into details now. We can debate that later, but I think the PSC has the right to tell Parliament what it thinks will enhance its work in terms of operations, because it reports to Parliament anyway. However, I just wanted to say that it is the role of Parliament to decide that; it is not for the department to do so. The PSC is one of the hybrid institutions. We can debate those issues at some point, but it has the right to raise those issues. So, it is for Parliament to decide whether or not to increase their powers. It is not an issue for the department to deal with.
Let me come to the matter which has been raised. There are a few issues which we South Africans have never debated thoroughly and I think there is a need for us to begin this debate. One of them is the constant accusation that government is spending a lot of money and wasting resources on consultants.
I would like a debate on that issue, because most people debate it without having applied their minds to it. As a result, we begin to brand consultants as if they are simply criminals; doing consulting work is like doing something criminal.
The reality is that it is undesirable and it will never happen that government institutions do not use consultants in this country, or anywhere else in the world. It is not possible. If you want us to argue, we can argue and explain how it works.
The problem we face is the capacity for government to manage consultants. That is the problem, and I think that is the issue we must attend to, rather than attending to the wrong one. If you want to debate it, I am willing to continue to debate it and find solutions to it. The way the debate is carrying on now is, I think, going in the wrong direction.
There are a few issues which have been raised by the EFF. When I was at school, I did science. I never did history, so some of my recollections may be wrong. There was an incident sometime in history that referred to Nongqawuse ... [Interjections.] Am I correct?
HON MEMBERS: Yes, you are right.