NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TUESDAY, 18 MAY MINI PLENARIES (VIRTUAL) 10:00 – 12:15 Vote 39: Trade, Industry and Competition

Hon. RT Cebekhulu / Hon. MN Nxumalo

 

Honourable Chairperson,

We are meeting under difficult circumstances brought about by economic decline, as a result of the pandemic and other issues that affected the economy long before the outbreak of Covid-19.

As the IFP, we reiterate that sustainable economic growth will only come from growing our industries and giving them a liberal environment to participate in the economy. We need to give them the support they need and the protection they require through this Department.

We must take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to enhance our exports and global competitiveness.

We note that this Budget provides for industrial and infrastructure financing. It also seeks to enhance the regulation of competition for the benefit of our industries.

Our industries will thrive only if we finance them and if we improve the infrastructure on which they depend. They also need the protection of a robust legal framework for detecting and ending unlawful competition. This requires a fine balance.

We recognise that as part of the global community, we need to strengthen trade and investment within our region, Africa and globally. However, this should not be done at the expense of our industries, on which our youth depend for employment. If we become a consumer nation, we will not have industries, and this Department will be unnecessary.

As such, we need innovative strategies to drive economic transformation and increase youth participation in industrialisation. Our economy must transform and empower our people. For this to happen, we need innovative solutions to economic and financial exclusion. We also need to create the right framework for businesses. Among other things, we need to lower taxes to make doing business easier in South Africa.

We should improve sectors that support industry and trade, such as the education sector and labour, to ensure that these sectors support reindustrialisation.

Meaningful growth can only come from diversifying our manufacturing sector. We should ensure that we produce as much as we can and export as much as possible. To do this, we must return to manufacturing, which is the basis for reindustrialisation.

We must set up industries for the goods that we need to deliver on the full potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Thus, our manufacturing and industrialisation strategy must be driven by the technological needs of the day and must accommodate the needs of the future through innovation.

The IFP accepts this Budget.

Thank you.