Budget Vote Debate- Extended Public Committee
Mr JA Esterhuizen MP
Inkatha Freedom Party
Honourable House Chairperson,
I read this debate on behalf of the IFP spokesperson on Economic Development, Ms Sibongile Nkomo, MP.
This Department remains at the coal-face of job creation through strategically implemented economic policies. Its goal is to implement policy that will further the synergy between development, employment and growth, with its guiding lights being policy integration and coherence, and all of this in the pursuit of sustainable economic growth.
Is the department succeeding? Is it promoting economic development through its stated ‘participatory, coherent and coordinated economic policy’ and are all South African’s benefitting thereby? We submit that more can be done.
A better working relationship between government and the private sector would create exiting prospects for any international company to invest in a way that is environmentally sound but most importantly that promotes and emphasize essential skills development and training of our people.
South Africa with its diversities and challenges, requires transformation to ensure economic development, but corruption and the government’s failure to create suitable conditions for economic growth are still its biggest impediments.
A key aspect of transformation is wealth redistribution, but without economic growth there will be redistribution of poverty rather than redistribution of wealth.
For effective and sustainable economic development in South Africa we need to look at our citizen’s and their multiple pluralism as a strength and not as a weakness.
We are observing companies are placing less effort and resources into skills development than they did under apartheid, they had four year apprenticeship programs and more, and all contributed to economic development.
This attitude changed when the government closed down apprenticeship schools and nurses and teachers training colleges.
Countries become internationally competitive by producing goods and services, we can’t beneficiate in this country if we don’t have the skills.
Government has failed us on the policy side and corporates have failed us by abandoning investing in skills development into the economy – they expect government to hand them ready made employees.
It is time that government and the private sector in South Africa realize that the workers are crucial for economic development, to understand that all our people especially our young are not a burden to society but rather a key component of human capital that must be maximized.
Our economy must rise not only to the challenge of contracting global factors but also to the ticking time bomb of unemployment.
And the ways in which the challenges and potentials of young people are addressed by policy will influence current economic development as well as the wellbeing and live hood of future generations.
Business doesn’t need more regulation and penalties, there needs to be more carrot and less stick. Then we would again see the training facilities that we so require that will take our economy forward.
The IFP supports this budget vote.
I thank you.
Mr JA Esterhuizen, MP
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IFP Media, Parliament