Hon Deputy Chairperson, the theme for the Taking Parliament to the People which we are currently debating was the impact of migration in Gauteng, was a reactionary and an anti- African theme. During the Taking Parliament to the People, and in the report a picture was painted of foreigners coming to our country and draining the resources of the country, resources and services that should instead be going to South Africans.
However, this is incorrect and must be dismissed. Firstly, the simple reason why South Africans are not getting services is because of government's failures. However, secondly and more importantly we as South Africans must disabuse ourselves of the idea that any African is a foreigner in South Africa. And I will now provide historical perspective as to why I say this.
Africa's borders were not decided by African people. Instead they were decided in Berlin, Germany in 1885 when the major powers of Europe gathered to discuss and negotiate how they were going to divide Africa amongst each other.
While colonialism was not new on the continent at that time, in fact it had been taking place in Africa for over 400 years. The decisions taken at the conference cemented and formalised who would control what territory, and have a direct impact on the material conditions, but also the psychology of all Africans till today.
In a space of four months, the fate of a continent and its people were decided for centuries. And from that point on, the continent has been curved up with unnatural borders drawn up by criminals, barbaric, mass murderers and whose only intention was to exploit the
people and resources of this continent in their narrow and twisted pursuit of profit.
These very same borders which were imposed on us by white colonisers for our exploitation are used to divide us, and we must be reminded that the goal of total liberation of this continent and its people will always remain distant if we cannot break down these physical borders, and the psychological barriers created by the colonisers.
Yet today in South Africa, where we have experienced over 350 years of oppression, dispossession, exploitation and humiliation at the hands of the white man, we still continue to welcome white foreigners. However, our black African brothers and sisters with whom we have so much in common, are looked down upon, abused, discriminated against, attacked and blamed for any and every challenge that is facing this country.
Some also forget that people do not come here because they want to leave their homes.
Chairperson, they come here because they have no other choice. They are forced to leave their homes because of war, economic collapse,
the destabilisation of progressive governments by the worst, corrupt leaders, and the consequences of centuries of colonisation.
However, instead of embracing them with open arms our fellow Africans are rejected, not only by the people, but by politicians and government officials who feed the people with lies and blame their own failures on our African brothers and sisters.
In an ANC government whose comrades were fed, clothed, trained, and kept safe across the continent, you have Ministers blaming Africans for their own failures and incapacity. At the same time, you also have the DA embarking on an all-out xenophobic campaign, taking their queue from their father who is the most racist person by the name of Donald Trump.
The irony of this of course is that the very same people whose ancestors arrived in Africa from Europe with boats are now telling us that we must prevent our own African brothers and sisters from crossing borders those very same Europeans invented.
Some South Africans must not allow themselves to be blinded to why they are not receiving services. It is not because Africans are
taking services meant for them; it is because government is failing to deliver services to its people, regardless of their origin.
Whose fault is it that children die in the pit toilets at schools? Whose fault is it that the black majority continue to own no land? Whose fault is it that we have over 40% of youth ... [Time expired.]
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Let us start by
appreciating the NCOP for having in the past years strategically chosen communities with differentiated developmental characteristics; rural, farming, small towns, struggling and progressing municipalities.
Hon Chairperson, the NCOP would not have chosen any other community as a closing engagement in our term than Ekurhuleni Metropolitan municipality in Gauteng. Ekurhuleni is the hub of industrialisation in South Africa and the largest industrial zone in the continent thus far.
The profile of its population and communities is a reflection of a microcosm of South Africa as a whole - industrial concentration, an aerotropolis, hosting the main port of entry to this country, South
Africa by all foreign nationals travelling by air, Oliver Regional Tambo International Airport.
Ekurhuleni contains all national geographic characteristics; metropolitan character, urban; township, rural and farm land, mining villages inhabited by upper income groups, Middle income groups, lower income groups, the unemployed and employers.
The homeless and toiling masses of South Africa and the world, which were displaced by either hunger, adverse economic conditions or war of destabilisations somewhere else, who came to Ekurhuleni with a hope of finding peace and economic prosperity are found here also.
Bathi abaziyo, eGoli kukwanyama ayipheli, kuphela mazinyo endoda. Kukwamfazi oshaya indoda ...
... Because she refused to tolerates abuse. Some of these people survived through profits generated by inheritance of their fore fathers, who hire others for production; others use their professional expertise and their artisanal skills to earn a living. Others survive through small, medium and micro enterprises
initiatives and others through entrepreneurial initiatives, solidarity economic activities, like economic cooperatives and stokvels. Others are trying to work the land and small scale stock and poultry farming.
While others try to survive through informal business initiatives and dirty jobs that hardly pay beyond hand to mouths. Therefore the concerns raised at the taking Parliament to the people during the public hearings and site visits on Growth and Development is consistent with the character of what Ekurhuleni is and that's why they raised a need skills development and mentorships; unregulated foreign ownership of spaza shops; limited economic development in some areas; lack of transformation of the economy and a lack of jobs being created; Poor access to finance and high cost of lending; limited access to land, red tape and legislation inconsistencies; shortage of sustainable jobs; need for coordinated support from the different spheres of government and the private; sector to establish and expand businesses; and call us to reduce communication and transport costs.
If you look at the variety of these concerns and needs, they tell you that all nations, all the people of South Africa, nations of the continent and across the world have descended into Ekurhuleni and
they want their representation to be reflected when these needs are addressed
As we are concluding a 25 years journey of change that has been travelled since 1994, the concerns raised by the above are heartening in that they adequately reflect progress - what have been concluded, what is to be done and support for skills and policies need to be improved to carry us forward.
They give us a barometer and projection of what is still to be done into the future, if you like a new mandate and applause of some areas of work well done.
As the ANC-led government, we are committed to advance the values of our constitution that place at the centre of our national agenda, the needs of the poor, unemployed, marginalised and dispossessed.
In honour of the centenary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, we shall continue to devote our action of the vision of democratic future, just and equitable society.
In response to the challenges raised by the people of Ekurhuleni, we want to indicate that government is well aware of them and is for
these reasons that we have decided to adopt a number of programmes to respond to them. We know this because we interact with them on a daily basis and also they constitute the highest number, the majority of them belong to the ANC which is the governing party.
As a start, we needed to get people of South Africa's efforts to be aligned and focussed. And secondly we need to ensure that we assure foreign investors and professionals that South Africa was on a path of prosperity and that it was worth investing in for good returns.
We also needed to ensure that our own resourced people believe in their own country, end what is normally called investment boycott and start investing.
We are glad that out of this, we have seen the presidential investment conference raising a minimum of about R300 billion ready to be implemented investment plans and not a talk shop.
The investment conference was preceded by a job summit that identified a number of initiatives to catalyse job creation, including strengthening of support for small, medium and micro enterprises and cooperatives; and activate and define the role of informal business can play and the required support in this regard.
Through the stimulation packages, the President has also outlined a number of actions that will facilitates process towards actioning the above. These include; immediate removing obstacles to travel of minors, and reducing number of countries that require visas, to allow high skilled foreigners to enter the country, and allow more tourist to enter our country, and strengthen our economy. Approving the revised mining charter that would provide certainty to investors to allow growth in investment in mining and therefore create jobs. Prioritising of R50 billion in spending towards focus on agriculture, township economy and rural areas, support measures for black commercial farmers. Township and rural entrepreneurship fund would be created to scale up jobs in this regard.
These broad countrywide investments, in as much as they facilitate growth and creation of jobs, impact remains to be felt at a local level, that is why we are very hearten that the provincial government with the support of national and local government have made strides in the area of supporting township development in Gauteng. These include support for SMMEs and formal enterprises. Through Gauteng's township revitalization strategy, progress has been made registering a roll out of enterprise hubs and industrial parks.
Hon Deputy Chair, we are also happy that Gauteng has provided non- financial support, which includes access to markets, provision of support and invested substantial resources, Industrial Parks, agri- parks and eKasiLabs to township entrepreneurship towards pitching posters and boosters
Members of this House have tasted a bit of benefits of some of these investment initiatives, including the Automotive Industry Development Centre, AIDC, in City of Tshwane Metropolitan, an example of good partnership in the Automotive Industry, that has ensured that beneficiation in that space assist locality is realized. Although challenges remain, success stories of this programme are demonstrated that we are moving in the right direction
The Gauteng NCOP's visit has highlighted urgent areas around policy, regulation, partnership, facilitation of access to resources that must be dealt with by government to ensure that we build on the progress that we have currently registered
The issue of economic integration is one of the critical issues that have been raised by the people but the President has actually addressed and asked us all to collaborate between departments and the provinces, it is for this reason that its not appropriate, hon
Engelbrecht to be provincializing yourselves because if we are to go through that, we are going to tell that the ports that are here and are employing people, the initiative of Special Economic Zone, SEZ in Saldana and Atlantis, the financing of infrastructure including your MyCiti, your Waterfront, these are all projects that are financed at the national level.
THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: sorry hon Deputy Minister, Hon member, what point are you rising on?