Ngiyathokoza mhlonitjhwa Sekela Somlomo. Ngilotjhisa woke amalunga ahloniphekileko weNdlu le, iintatanyiswa ezikhona kunye nesitjhaba soke seSewula Afrika.
The impact of activities within the illicit economy is a real threat to the country and its impact is huge. The illicit economy ranges from the underground economy,
which operates outside the rules and regulations of the country, to organised crime. Sometimes, well respected companies partake in illicit activities too.
The United Nations estimates that money flowing to organised crime outstripped all the money that the developing countries could devote to long-term development. South Africa is losing a large portion of its gross domestic product, GDP, every year to the illicit economy. This has mainly been in the form of smuggling of tobacco products, counterfeit textiles, drug manufacturing and smuggling, illicit mining of gold and diamonds, ivory smuggling and the poaching of endangered species like abalone and rhino.
[Stjhaba sekhethu] My fellow nation, all of us as South Africans can stop the growth of the illicit economy if we can do the following: Firstly, refuse to buy counterfeit goods or contraband cigarettes, secondly, report poaching incidents to SA Revenue Service, Sars, the police and the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, and thirdly, report informal trade in precious stones such as diamonds to Sars and the police.
[Malunga ahloniphekileko] Hon members, the co-operation between financial institutions, public law-enforcement agencies and other government agencies is critical in dealing with illicit financial flows. The Financial Intelligent Centre which is housed in the National Treasury is a significant tool for monitoring the financial sector. However, it is limited for monitoring the formal financial sector. The financial sector has a high-level of compliance with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act. The Act, and recent amendments, gives the Reserve Bank significant powers to monitor transactions and require banks to report suspicious transactions.
The legislative framework also creates room for greater co-operation among the three institutions namely: The SA Revenue Service, SA Reserve Bank, and the Financial Intelligence Centre in order to connect the dots and pick up patterns regarding money laundering, tax evasion or fraud.
[Mhlonitjhwa Sekela Somlomo] Hon Deputy Speaker, the 54th ANC Elective Conference resolved that and I quote, "Government must urgently crack down on tax avoidance and
illicit capital." The ANC's vision for South Africa is that of a society based on democratic values, social justice and human rights and a democratic and open society.
Our President, His Excellency Matamela Ramaphosa always emphasises the democratic values of transparency and accountability. Transparency and certainty are well- understood as characteristics of a good tax system. The Tax Administration Act sets out precise methods and standards for tax administration to be fair, transparent, equitable and predictable.
[Stjhaba sekhethu] My fellow nation, the National Development Plan outlines our long-term vision. A core element of this vision is a commitment to strong, sustained and inclusive economic growth to sharply reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality. We are building partnerships to find solutions to the developmental challenges faced by South Africa and the region. We are determined to support greater economic development within our townships and countryside communities. Our spending
on infrastructure aims to promote industrialisation across the country.
[Mhlonitjhwa Sekela Somlomo] Hon Deputy Speaker, I think in a nutshell as different political parties, we are agreeing on the challenges that are facing us as a country as far as issues of economy and fiscal challenges. We are all agreeing that [Siphefumula ngenceba] we are breathing through the wound. However, I hear other political parties speak as if we as the ANC we are not accepting the challenges that are facing us as a country. For instance, the hon Hill-Lewis comes here and says the ANC is protecting what he said are the millionaire managers in the public sector, whereas it was the Minister of Finance who came with the concept of the millionaire manager in the public sector. [Laughter.]
It is the Minister of Finance who came here during the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement and said we need to address that and we need to freeze the salaries of the so-called millionaire managers in the public sector. However, today Hill-Lewis is bringing this thing here to say no the ANC is protecting those people. Where did we
protect them because even in the committee we agreed that we need to address that? That it is a challenge that needs to be addressed. [Applause.]
Equally the EFF, well they are raising the number of challenges that they are raising. The hon Mohlala - which are the challenges that we spoke about in the committee and all of us agreed that these are challenges that are facing us and need to be addressed. Nobody amongst us - all political parties we all agreed that these are the challenges that are facing us and they need to be addressed.
So, as members of this House what is important is that we must not spend 80% of our time speaking about our challenges, but we rather spend 20% indicating what are these challenges and spend 80% coming up with solutions as to how are we going to address those particular challenges. [Applause.]
So, the members sit with us in the committee and we all agree that we have these particular challenges, but now they come here and accuse us as if we as the ANC have
refused to address and attend to these particular challenges. For instance the issue of the illicit tobacco there are leaders of political parties in this House who are benefitting from illicit tobacco. We know that, but now they come here and pretend to be holy and say no there is an issue of illicit tobacco when we know that the leaders of some of these parties are benefitting from them.
So, members you must not do that. Let us join hands, work together and make sure that we address the challenges of that are facing us as a country. [Applause.]
Mhlonitjhwa Sekela Somlomo, siyi ANC, siyawusekela umbiko lo. Ngithokoza khulu kwamambala. Inarha ayilale. [Iwahlo.]