Speech by Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, MsThandi Tobias Pokolo on the occasion of 2012 Budget Vote 36, in the National Council of Provinces

Honourable Chairperson
Honourable Members
Good Afternoon

This budget debate takes place in the fifth month of the celebrations of the centenary of the ruling party, the party I am fortunate to belong to, the African National Congress, wow what an achievement the ANC that is, The African National Congress is the only party and I repeat it is the only party in existence to realize hundred years, even the mighty Communist Party of China is a decade younger than ANC.

I also take this opportunity to pay homage to all caders of the ANC who fell this year, to them I say hamba kahle qabane, you served our movement with diligence,and we who are remaining will continue the fight to realize the strategic objective of building a non-racial, non-sexiest, democraticand prosperous South Africa.

We also celebrate this hundred years with a stark reminder that we still experience racial tensions fuelled by opportunists who doesn’t want to accept defeat and majority rule, I am referring to the latest statement by Hellen Zille who referred the black South African children as refugees and FW De Klerk who wanted to own white South Africans as “his people.” now honourable chair let me take this opportunity to remind this two delusional individuals, the Freedom Charter says, South Africa belongs to all, black and white, and indeed it is only the African National Congress that espouses this believe hence it is its key strategic objective.

Having said that if we look at the economy from a global perspective, there exists economic uncertainties which leaves countries with no choice but to exercise resilience, but over an above this, we are still expected to build a vibrant economy, by improving on innovation and competitiveness, we as the dti will continue to invest our resources to improve growth of domestic suppliers, for import substitution, and self-sufficiency, we will also continue to expand and diversify our industrial base to avoid activities of diminishing returns, we will also continue to invest in capital goods as outlined in the infrastructural development plan.

the dti will continue to play a major role in clothing and textile, and the automobile sectors respectively, we have also supported other sectors like the entertainment industry, but we have equally devised an Africa Strategy that will see more trade relations amongst African countries, we have also relooked our national funding model through the National Lotteries Fund distribution Act, but having said this, we will invest in human capital by providing portable skills to young people to participate in the economy, but we will also continue to consult with our people through imbizo’s to refresh our thinking.

Young people stands a good chance to benefit from our programmes, our newly established youth directorate has partnered with the National Youth Development Agency to implement the Youth Strategy, our focus will mainly be more on promoting local trade and local content, we will build strong trading posts within South Africa with an intention to build a strong exporter collective.

We have also realized that many South Africans doesn’t understand how to access government services, we will therefore communicate in the language they understands and reach out to them, we will also hold forums with private sector to gain their confidence in government support to pursue Public Private Partnerships, we have met with Banking Associations and they showed preparedness in collaborating with government for economic growth.

Our Priorities will remain that of building a financial stable country that protects its consumers, and ensuring that ordinary South Africans have access to financial services, we have also combated financial crime by dealing with elicit trade, our CCRD unit has been hard at work, whilst we are focusing our energies on capitalizing on increased trade and Investment, the demand and supply remains a competing phenomenon, therefore we will always look at our incentive models to attract more investment, we will fight inflation by maintaining growth.

We have also received a lot of challenges on consumer rights, more has been done and we congratulate the Consumer Commission for its achievements, however as earlier indicated, many people doesn’t know how to access government services, therefore we will go to them on this matters.

The economy continues to experience structural challenges, labour absorption challenges saw the rise of opportunism, debates and conduct in the public discourse, we can’t afford to gamble with sensitive matters like unemployment, we need to inspire confidence, the state has carried the heavy burden of creating jobs, but we should always remember that it is very important to work in National Interest.

We have also experienced a boom in one of the job growers that is Agriculture, therefore we will change plans to attract a boom in manufacturing, we have started to run Proudly South African Campaign, this Campaign will encourage preference on locally produced commodities, however we need more funding for Proudly South Africa and the Consumer Commission, we have also identified that South Africa has a weak Marine Industry therefore attention will be paid to South African waters.

Energy continues to be a challenge, consumption levels must come down, Government has invested in Solar energy but we should strongly consider harvesting wind especially Ocean Wind.

The South African masses has continued to bring funding proposals for job creation, our officials should not look at the faces and English of those who applies before providing funding, we need unity of purpose, we need to support their efforts, but we need to provide more skills on how to run an effective and competitive business.

The success we have recorded is that we have created million jobs higher than any Country emerging from financial crisis and unemployment remains below crisis point, but we must also address issues of high wages and disposable income in society which continues to limit new entrants in the economy, we can’t forever ignore the discussion on whether is there a need to increase the government wage bill, what comes first between spending and growth?

Ha ke thethela puo yaka Modula Setulo, ke ipiletsa ho MaAfrika Borwa bohle ho hlompha ditokelo tsa botho, ho amahana, ho tlama maqhama le Mmuso wa African National Congress, ho theha mesebetsi tlasa twantsho ya bofuma.

Re tshwanela ho ikopanya ka bongata ho etsa dikgwebo potlana hore bongata ba rona bo fumantshwe dithuso tsa ditjhelete ke Mmuso wa rona, re ipeletsa le ho Setjhaba ka kakaretso ho se phahamise maikutlo ka taba ya tshotleho ho fihlella moo re sebediswang ke batho ho fihlella ditaba tabelo tsa bona tsa ho nyefola Mmuso empa bao ba etsang jwalo ba sa tla ka maano a ho fedisa bofuma moo ba busang teng.

Ka bokhutshwanyane ke re ha re tshwaraneng Setjhabasa Rantsho re se ke ra kgutlela morao, pele ya pele.

Pula, Nala

Ke a leboha.

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