Chairperson, I want to start off by congratulating Minister Davies on his appointment. My congratulations also go to his deputies and the hon Fubbs as chairperson of the portfolio committee.
The Department of Trade and Industry must be the engine room for economic growth and development, real transformation and empowerment, sustainable job creation and future economic prosperity in South Africa. Minister, you have a very important but challenging task ahead of you and you should not expect the path to be strewn with rose petals.
Rest assured that, where appropriate, the DA will co-operate constructively with you, your department and the portfolio committee in the best interests of South Africa's macroeconomic growth requirements, but be very critical where it is justified. It is not only expected of us to be the watchdogs, but we have the expertise, knowledge and political will to add value to improved service delivery.
We have already experienced constructive co-operation in the portfolio committee and we hope that you and your department will offer us the same opportunities. Graag wil ek ook my voorganger, die agb dr Pierre Rabie, bedank vir die goeie nalatenskap waarmee hy ons in die portefeulje gelaat het.
Die DA onderskryf die visie, missie en mikpunte van die departement. Dit gee die algemene doelwitte waarna almal streef en dit kan selfs positiewe verwagtings by beleggers laat. Die toets is egter of dit in die praktyk haalbaar is en of hierdie begroting dit steun.
Die DA het kommer in hierdie verband. Die Uitgebreide Openbare Werke- program gaan nie permanente werk skep nie en gaan waarskynlik ook nie die werkgeleenthede skep wat die President voorsien het nie. Dit kan ook nie die ruggraat vorm van volhoubare ekonomiese groeiherlewing nie. Met die huidige resessie het ons bepaalde beleid- en aksieplanne nodig wat 'n nywerheidsrevolusie kan ontketen, nie net om broodnodige buitelandse vastekapitaal-investering te lok nie, maar ook om volhoubare werk- en uitvoergeleenthede te skep.
Steun die Nywerheidsontwikkelingskorporasie se strategiese aksieplanne dit of word die NOK net gebruik om voorkeurbedrywe en -ondernemings te steun waarby die ANC en sy maatskaplike vennote 'n belang het? Het die NOK die gedaante van 'n eksklusiewe finansieringsbank aangeneem of is dit steeds daar om strategiese en arbeidsintensiewe nywerheidsektore se vestiging en ontwikkeling te finansier?
Waar is die maksi-arbeidsintensiewe nywerhede soos die Yskors en Sasols van ouds, en die noodsaaklike steun aan die landbousektor? Die relevansie van die huidige aksieplanne en strategie - die sogenaamde Industrial Policy Action Plan oftewel Ipap - tot die nasionale nywerheidsbeleidsraamwerk moet dringend heroorweeg word om die vereiste holistiese en gentegreerde steun te verseker.(Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[I would also like to thank my predecessor, Dr Pierre Rabie, for having left us with a good inheritance in this portfolio.
The DA subscribes to the vision, mission and goals of the department. They provide the general targets towards which everyone is striving and this can even leave the investors with positive expectations. The test, however, is whether they are attainable in practice and if this budget supports them.
The DA is worried in this regard. The Expanded Public Works Programme will not create permanent work and will probably also not create the job opportunities which the President has envisaged. It also cannot be the backbone of sustainable economic growth recovery. With the current recession we need particular policy and action plans which can ignite an industrial revolution, not only to attract badly needed foreign fixed capital investment, but also to create sustainable work and export opportunities.
Do the strategic action plans of the Industrial Development Corporation support this, or is the IDC merely being used to support preferential companies and undertakings in which the ANC and its social partners have an interest? Has the IDC taken the form of an exclusive financing bank or is it still there to finance the establishment and development of strategic and labour-intensive industrial sectors?
Where are the maxi-labour-intensive industries such as the Iscors and Sasols of old? The relevance of the current action plans and strategies - the so-called Industrial Policy Action Plan, or Ipap - to the national industrial policy framework should be urgently reconsidered in order to ensure the required holistic and integrated support.]
Another DTI strategic objective in question is the success and effectiveness of the current BBBEE policy. Most will agree that there's a vast difference between the noble objective of broad-based black empowerment and the reality that it is always the same few who benefit over and over again, mostly on the back of, ironically, the same black communities who are supposed to benefit from this.
It also seems that ownership, which is not easily realisable in the current economic climate, is the only priority, and that education, transfer of skills and sustained improved social welfare of the broader community is not high on the BEE agenda.
We urgently need to review the current BBBEE policy and objectives if we are serious about transforming our communities to be economically independent with the social and occupational skills needed to support sustainable macroeconomic growth development.
The effectiveness of the National Lotteries Board and its distribution trust fund is a matter of huge public concern. In reaction to a question by the DA, the Minister confirmed that the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund has over the past three years only paid out 28% of the available R8,5 billion to beneficiaries. Accordingly, billions of rands are now available for distribution, excluding the expected millions of rands of interest earned on these retained funds.
We urge the Minister to take responsibility for this embarrassment and poor performance, especially in these tough economic times when charities and the arts and sports federations need the funds to assist the needy, deprived, disabled and marginalised.
Sir, we recommend that you call on credible agents to manage the distribution more effectively, for example, Sascoc, who should and can manage distributions to the sports sector.
We, however, have entities in the Department of Trade and Industry that support economic growth effectively, which we should cherish. Increased support initiatives and incentives must be considered in support of, amongst other things, the International Trade Administration Commission, or Itac, inward fixed investment promotions and renewed export development promotions.
Our economy urgently needs to be transformed to again be a net exporter of goods and services to exponentially and sustainably earn much-needed foreign currency to finance the deficit in the balance of payments and all imports in future, and to create sustainable jobs.
Die DA het empatie met die oogmerke van hierdie begrotingspos en weet dat indien dit met die regte motiewe en politieke wil aangepak word, dit stukrag aan die noodsaaklike ekonomiese stimulering kan verleen. Minister Davies, jou objektiewe leierskap is egter 'n voorvereiste, ook om die Sadu- dilemma die hoof te bied. Ons wil jou aanmoedig om nie hiervan weg te skram nie. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[The DA has empathy with the aims of this Budget Vote and knows that, if managed with the correct motives and political will, it can lend impetus to the essential economic stimulus. But, Minister Davies, your objective leadership is a prerequisite, also to take on the Sacu dilemma. We want to encourage you not to flinch away from this. I thank you.]