Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Opinion piece in The Star on land grabbing in Protea Glen, Soweto

Last Wednesday's May 16th edition of The Star newspaper published my opinion piece on the recent spate of land grabbing in Protea Glen which is in my Soweto constituency.

I visited the area and saw that the police and local homeowners had managed to deter the invaders from taking possession of the land. There were remnants of burned tyres and other objects used to block the roads which had been placed their by residents trying to protect their properties.

The issues are complex and more nuanced than many commentators like to think. This was a case of landless members of the Naledi community invading private land adjacent to a bonded house development. where homeowners took offence at the prospect of an informal, unserviced settlement taking root and reducing the value of their hard-earned property.

You can read the article below.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Budget speech delivered in Parliament today: DA has solutions to grow the SME sector in South Africa

Chairperson, Minister, Deputy Minister, Honourable Members, distinguished guests in the gallery, good afternoon.

The Portfolio Committee’s report on the Department of Small Business Development’s budget and annual performance plan is a cutting indictment of four wasted years.

Just last week the Committee received an anonymous letter from a whistle-blower within the Department, extracts of which read as follows: “even now as I speak there is no structure with an approval signature of the Minister of DPSA, the Department has incurred a huge over-expenditure on goods and services, there is a desperate lack of capacity in CIS, Co-operative Unit and BBSDP, with only five officials expected to serve nine provinces as well as DG having announced that CIS, EIP, BBSDP and IMEDP will be migrated to agencies without proper, open and honest discussions with staff on this matter.”

For our purposes the meaning of the acronyms is immaterial. Suffice it to say they refer to core Department programmes which it now wants to hive off to its agencies without proper discussion or consideration. As well as chaotic and dictatorial management by the DG.

Minister Zulu, as the Executive Authority, must take responsibility for this disaster in the making.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Media statement - DA proposes establishment of an SME Ombudsman to save jobs

Date: 11 May 2018
Release: Immediate
Today, DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development, Toby Chance MP and the DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Provincial Treasury and e-Government, Adrianna Randall MPL, presented a Private Members Bill(PMB), to be presented in Parliament, that will see the establishment of a Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Ombud service to mediate disputes and resolve late payment issues between SMEs and government in order to save jobs.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Media advisory: DA to present plan to prevent job losses in the SME sector

Date: 09 May 2018
Release: Immediate
On Friday, 11 May 2018, DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, will be joined by the DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development, Toby Chance MP and the DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Provincial Treasury and e-Government, Adrianna Randall MPL, to present our plan that will help solve the problem of late payments to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by government departments and the private sector.
While SMEs generate half of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and nearly 60% of employment, the sector’s viability is threatened by the problem of late payments.
Payments made after 30 days affect the cash flow of SMEs undermining their ability to survive as going concerns. This often leads to job losses and closure of some SMEs, further worsening the rate of entrepreneurial activity in South Africa.
In a country with almost 10 million jobless people we should be focusing on SMME’s as the drivers of creating jobs. Despite this national government is notorious for late and non-payments to SMME’s who do business with the state. Government departments have as much as R7 billion in outstanding invoices to date.
The event will take place as follows:
Date: Friday, 11 May 2018
Time: 10:00
Location: Denel Vehicle Syatems, 12 Barnsley Street, Benoni

Media Enquiries
Democratic Alliance
Portia Adams
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082 319 6666
Lulama Mankabane
Communications Officer
078 955 6834
Enocent Nemuramba
National Press Officer
071 095 1806

Friday, 4 May 2018

Letter in Business Day - more businesses of all sizes

Today's Business Day published my letter, written in response to a leading article in the 30th April edition of the newspaper.

Business Day is generally upbeat about the state of the nation four and a half months after Cyril Ramaphosa was elected President of the ANC. But what caught my eye was its comment that South Africa needs more businesses. Small and medium enterprises contribute roughly 60% of the GDP of successful economies. In South Africa it is only around 40%, meaning 60% comes from large enterprises. The only way around this is for us to start more businesses that survive and grow.

If we are to reduce unemployment there is no other way of achieving it than having more businesses employing more people. How do we do this? My letter provides some essential first steps.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Statement in Parliament on the continuing impasse between Sefa and the Gauteng Industrial Parks

                   NATIONAL ASSEMBLY                  MEMBER STATEMENT       ____________________________________

Internal Ref Number:
Member:                              Mr Toby Chance
Statement:   GAPIPA / OWIPA

Honourable Speaker

The tenants of the Gauteng Industrial parks, representing several hundred small businesses, are getting a raw deal from their landlord, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency.

More than thirty years after they were established, tenants’ rights are being denied, by an ANC government which has demonstrated a callous and discriminatory attitude towards these businesses.

The tenants presented their plight to the Small Business Development Portfolio Committee in Parliament in 2015. Since then, negotiations with SEFA over the transfer of ownership of the parks have reached a stalemate.

They last met in February 2017 and in May 2017 SEFA unilaterally stopped payments to a supplier of cleaning services to the parks, resulting in their conditions deteriorating to the point of becoming a health hazard.

Minister Zulu, in a written response to questions I posed to her in August last year, dodged the crucial questions of what her department and SEFA are doing to provide technical and business support to the tenants to facilitate the transfer of ownership.

Continued delays in resolving the Gauteng industrial parks impasse places the sustainability of the businesses in danger. This is yet another example of the ANC government’s promises on job creation by small business being hollow and meaningless.


Minister Zulu was in the House when I read this statement yesterday and put up her hand to be included in the 6 ministers the House Chair selected to respond to member statements but sadly she was number 7 on the list so no answer was forthcoming. This does not leave her off the hook, though, and I will pursue this matter through other channels.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Small businesses continue to get bad service from government departments - a case study

This week I received an impassioned email from the owner of a small business who had applied for funding from Sefa but got nothing but the proverbial run around. Our correspondence and his submission to the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development, copied below, describe his frustrations at the failure of the Department, its agencies and other government departments to do their job.

I have kept the identity of the individual he is complaining about at Sefa confidential as it would not be fair on her to reveal her name until Sefa has investigated the complaint.