Hon Prof CT Msimang MP
DTI’s main objective is the development of a productive and vibrant economy for the purposes of creating new jobs as well as sustaining existing ones.
This can be achieved through a radical transformation from a consumption driven to a production driven economy but with an emphasis on beneficiation.
Key to all of the above though is through the provision of a reliable and sustained supply of energy. If Minister Davis is serious about transformation he should influence the energy war room, and be more encouraging over private sector solutions to the energy crisis.
Radical transformation should not only be confined to urban areas but also in our rural areas where about 40% of the SA population still resides.
It is often disappointing to observe that many economic programmes are intended for towns and cities even though the DTI has selected agriculture and agri-processing as one of the key drivers of the production economy; the rural areas which provide the ideal space for agriculture have been side-lined. Even in the DTI budget nothing is earmarked for the rural areas. The argument might be that Minister Nkwinti’s Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs is dedicated to developing the rural areas. I would still take issue with this! The Department seems focussed on Land affairs and establishment of agri-village. It has done very little, if anything about building infrastructure. Rural farmers cannot even access local markets, let alone export markets.
The National Credit Regulator is doing sterling work in communicating to consumers the perils of over indebtedness and its consequences, as well as ably protecting them against exploitation from unscrupulous market creditors, but is still not representative in our rural areas. Why is this?
Our rural areas are where abuse and exploitation are rife owing to the fact that rural people are generally poor and semi-literate.
The IFP welcomes the decision by the DTI to set aside R100 BILLION and ring fence same for the production assistance of 100 black industrialists. One can only hope that the candidates will be selected on merit. I state this in view of the strong perception by non-ANC applicants who claim that beneficiaries of Umsobomvu Youth fund and also of the NYDA are also card carrying members of the ruling party.
Greater regional and continental integration is paramount and efforts to achieve this must be sustained and supported. In this regard the recent initiative to bring together three regional blocs, SADC, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the East African communities to establish a trading bloc is very welcome.
We also welcome the commitment to the broadening of black participation through the black industrialists programme and National empowerment fund and remain firm in our opinion that mineral beneficiation remains key in advancing the empowerment of historically disadvantaged communities in South Africa and must receive greater support. It will also have the distinct advantage of creating opportunities for development of new entrepreneurs in large and small mining industries.
In conclusion, we are in support of DTI’s strategic priorities with their core focus being to overcome the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment and we are in support of this Budget vote.
I thank you.
Hon. CT Msimang, MP, on 082 452 2650
IFP Media, Parliament