It was, however, a concern before the colloquium even began that members of the committee and the Minister had already made pronouncements on beneficiation and were, in short, only interested in securing discounts on raw minerals. In the eyes of the ANC, securing such discounts would lead to massive industrialisation, jobs would be created overnight, and South Africa would be led into the land of utopia, reaching nirvana without much effort.
This skewed notion was best captured by Minister Davies when he said, "If we secure a 20% discount on platinum, we will capture the world's market of catalytic converters." Translated, the Minister believes that simply with their securing a discount, industry will just follow suit. This is about as believable as the ANC's "good story", and we know that that is now in tatters, especially when it comes to the economy and job creation.
The truth is that this sort of outmoded 1960s Marxist thinking still holds the ANC captive with the misguided hope that it will one day release South Africa's poor from the shackles of poverty. The reality is that it will only make poor people poorer. Such thinking is born out of a warped logic which believes that the battle lines are drawn between industry and the state, and that it is industry that must act to create jobs under such circumstances.
When one reads through the NDP, the blueprint for economic growth championed by the ANC government, one sees it is explicit that the creation of the enabling environment is vital to industrialisation, growth and jobs. One must then ask the immediate question: Why is Minister Davies so hellbent on going down a road that is so at odds with the NDP? Surely if the ANC and Minister Davies subscribed to the NDP, they would realise that the enabling environment to boost beneficiation is created through reliable electricity generation, a stable labour force and infrastructure development. Distorting the market price on minerals creates instability in the market and will lead to disinvestment and job losses.
During the colloquium the committee bore witness to countless examples of how industry had been let down by government when they had wanted to climb up the value chain and create jobs. The worst example that comes to mind, Minister, is when the forestry industry described how 100 000 ha of land was supposed to be handed over to local communities for forestry activities, as envisaged in Ipap. This would allow for a greater feedstock, leading to jobs for rural communities. Ten years later only 9 000 ha, or 9% of the land, has been allocated for such activity. This is a shocking indictment of government's failure to deliver on its very own promises.
Further, the committee heard how government could do more to allow local industries to be more competitive by the lowering of administrative prices such as those for electricity and water. Government has the means to create an enabling environment, but just simply refuses to do so. This is where the creation of the enabling environment must start.
South Africa must industrialise on a massive scale, with government, industry and the unions working together. Goodwill must be shown by all sides if we are to achieve our goals. Destroying the mining sector, which employs half a million people, through forced discounts will only take South Africa backwards, causing more miners to join the ranks of the unemployed.
Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, said 2 500 years ago, "Harmony is the most valuable of all things." If we want to industrialise and build up the manufacturing sector, it is about time we create a harmonious, enabling environment to do so.
There is also a famous Chinese proverb that says that the less the king does, the more gets done. By being the calm centre around which the South African economy turns, the government must allow everything to function smoothly and they must avoid tampering with the individual parts of the whole.
This, however, seems impossible under this current administration, which has a desire to capture and cadre-ise every sector of government and the economy. This is clearly evident in the ANC's skewed quest, through its own version of beneficiation and industrialisation.
Now, let me get to a few comments that some of the previous speakers have made. The hon Fubbs spoke about the need for state intervention to successfully industrialise, but let's just look at what state intervention has done: Eskom - failed, SAA - failed, and the SABC - failed. So, what is going to happen when the state intervenes in industrialisation? It will fail! [Interjections.]
We've heard about Ipap - it has been spoken about. We're six versions down the road, but it is more like we've hit i-pap because we are so at odds with what the NDP says that we actually don't know what version we are on now.
The hon Mkongi suffers from two fatal problems. The first one is that he takes himself way too seriously. [Laughter.] The second problem is that nobody else takes him seriously. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
It is wonderful to have the Minister back in South Africa and visiting this House for a short time. Minister, I hope you enjoy your stay and grace us with your presence more often. [Laughter.] If we have to understand ... Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.]