Thursday, 29 November 2018

Motion without notice read in the National Assembly on the effects of uncontrolled immigration to SA



Internal Ref Number:
067
-
2018
Date:
29.11.2018
Subject:
Securing our Borders

I hereby move, on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, that this House:

1.      notes that the former Minister in the Presidency, Mr. Jeff Radebe, reported to Parliament's Ad Hoc Committee Probing Violence Against Foreign Nationals in November 2015, that the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration estimated that there were between five (5) and six (6) million documented and undocumented foreign nationals in South Africa, or 10% of the population;

2.      further notes that studies by the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation found that up to 75% of spaza shops in Delft in Cape Town and Ivory Park in Johannesburg were owned or run by foreign nationals;

3.      recognises that the retail sector in our townships and rural areas has been dramatically affected as a result, leading to anger and resentment among former South African spaza shop owners; 

4.      acknowledges the periodic outbreaks of violence against foreign nationals since 2008 resulting from this anger, most recently in Soweto in August this year;

5.      and calls upon Government to accelerate the plan of action outlined in the Ad Hoc Committee's final report which includes securing our borders, professionalising our police service and improving access to jobs and small business development, so that long term solutions can be found that eliminate outbreaks of violence and lead to a thriving locally owned retail sector once again.

I so move.
T CHANCE MP

Declaration in the National Assembly on Vote 31 of the budget adjustments


 Declaration on Vote 31 of Votes and Schedules 
28th November 2018
Small Business Development

South Africa and this House have heard the ANC speak ad nauseam about the central role small businesses play, or should play, in our economy.

But the plain fact is, with economic growth of less than 1% our economy and the fortunes of small business are going backwards, not forwards.

This department is but a blip on the radar of small businesses struggling to survive a deluge of red tape, inaccessible government support and an unfriendly business environment.

It is totally irrelevant to the vast majority of them. With the result that it is incapable of making a dent in the 9,7 million unemployment queue.

Small businesses have the potential to create millions of jobs in South Africa but this department has shown little capacity to be the driver of government initiatives to make this happen.

The DA rejects this budget adjustment.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Statement by the IMF team after visiting South Africa

The IMF was recently in SA to assess the state of our economy. Their report bears, in parts, a striking resemblance to what I said in my speech yesterday about what is needed to stimulate economic growth, particularly the second bullet in paragraph 4.

You can read the report here.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Speech in the National Assembly: Growth the pre-requisite for jobs

Yesterday the National Assembly debated the DA's motion on access to jobs and I was selected as a speaker alongside my colleagues Geordin Hill-Lewis (who sponsored the motion) and Gwen Ngwenya.

While the topic was access to jobs, we agreed that my speech should focus on what was required to create the jobs in the first place, i.e. measures to stimulate economic growth.

You can view the debate on YouTube here, my speech starts at 4:13:20.

You can read Geordin's speech here and Gwen's here.

The ANC were on the defensive from the beginning and had nothing to offer the country by way of solutions: they are out of ideas, incompetent, corrupt and stuck in an economic paradigm that will never create broad, inclusive prosperity in SA.
___________________________________________________

Just a few days ago I was in conversation with a Wits masters student about the future of South Africa. She said she was seriously considering emigrating to the UK, following many of her friends who had left South Africa in the past few years. Her reason? The jobs situation here is so bad, and prospects in the UK are better, even with Brexit looming.

What really concerned me is that she and the friends she referred to are young, black professionals – the sort of people our country needs to be a successful nation.

ANC government’s late payments killing small business development and jobs

Date: 20 November 2018
Release: Immediate
 
Note to Editors: This statement follows a press briefing by the Democratic Alliance (DA) Spokesperson on Access to Jobs, Geordin Hill-Lewis MP, the DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development, Toby Chance MP, and small business owner Bobby Mabe, on the scourge of late payments by the ANC government which threaten critical jobs.
Small businesses are the life-blood of the South African economy, contributing nearly 60 % of the labour force and 34% of GDP. However, the reality is that, some 80% of South African small businesses fail within the first three years of activity. Many of these businesses fail because of unnecessary burdens placed on them such as late payments.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Media advisory: DA and small businesses to brief media on how the ANC government’s late payments kill jobs

Date: 19 November 2018
Release: Immediate

Tomorrow, 20 November 2018, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Spokesperson on Access to Jobs, Geordin Hill-Lewis MP, the DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development, Toby Chance MP, and various small businesses will address the media on the scourge of late payments by the ANC government which threaten critical jobs.
The failing ANC continues to pay lip service to small businesses but fails at every turn to assist them. The government is notorious for the late and non-payment of small businesses, with an estimated R27 billion in outstanding invoices.
Late payments have a direct impact on job security for people employed. With 10 million unemployed South Africans, the functioning and existence of small businesses are vital.
Details of the briefing are as follows:
Date: 20 November 2018
Time: 10:00
Venue: Nkululeko House, 21 Ernest Oppenheimer Street, Bruma, Johannesburg

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Statement in the National Assembly about last week's Investment Conference

This afternoon I read this statement in the House:

ANC fans are hailing last week's Investment Conference in Sandton as a major step in President Ramaphosa's goal of attracting $100 billion of investment in 5 years.

A total of R290 billion of investment was pledged, topped by Anglo American's R71,5 billion.

While we don't want to rain on South Africa's parade, we can see the spin for what it is.

Is the R290 billion new investment on top of what we were likely to have secured in the normal course of events? Would the investments have been forthcoming anyway? Was the conference a huge propaganda exercise to elevate the President's status as he sat on his gleaming white throne receiving gifts?

Anglo's statement refers to the preservation of 79,000 jobs, not the creation of new ones. The other investors provided very little detail on how their money would be spent.

The investment of R1,4 billon into tech start-ups bucked the trend, but this is only a tiny fraction of the total pledges.

It's all very well making the trophy buffalo announcements, Mr President, but where's the beef? 
Where's the concomitant reduction in the cost of doing business, deregulation of labour markets,  incentives for exports and entrepreneurs and fixing the skills deficit? 

Without them, all these investments will wither and die in South Africa's unfertile economic soil.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Small Enterprise Finance Agency still leaving township industrial parks in the lurch


NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY

“2657. Mr R W T Chance (DA) to ask the Minister of Small Business Development:
(1)        Whether the R163 827 014,90 spent to date by the Gauteng provincial government on industrial parks in the province is reflected in the accounts of the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa); if not, why not; if so, (a) how is this expenditure reflected and (b) what repayment will Sefa make to the provincial government;
(2)        have the improvements resulting from the specified expenditure resulted in an increased rental collection rate from tenants at the industrial parks; if so, what are the relevant details;

Media statement: ANC's rejection of Small Enterprises Ombud Service Bill threatens jobs

Date: 25 October 2018
Release: Immediate
 
The ANC's decision to declare the DA's Private Member's Bill for the establishment of an ombud service for small enterprises "undesirable", proves that effectively and efficiently resolving disputes that cripple small businesses in South Africa is not a priority for the governing party.
The Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development yesterday rejected the Small Enterprises Ombud Service Bill based on unfounded promises by the Department of Small Business Development that they would be attending to it themselves.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Humanity at work


Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development recently returned from a five day study tour to the Basque region of Spain as well as Madrid. Our purpose was to visit the Mondragon Corporation, Spain’s leading exponent of cooperatives as an organising principle of business, learn from its successes and failures and understand the role government plays in the cooperatives sector.

The development of coops has long been on the South African government’s agenda, but its track record is lamentable. A 2009 DTI study revealed that 88% of coops formed to date had failed. Since responsibility for coops was transferred to the Department of Small Business Development in 2014 their performance has not improved while hundreds of millions of rands have been pumped into the sector to try to kick start it. It remains moribund and lacking direction.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

DA Premier Candidate Solly Msimanga visiting industrial parks in Orlando West and Pennyville

#MsimangaForPremier: DA Gauteng Premier Candidate Msimanga takes his Listening Tour to Township Industrial Parks in Soweto
by DA Media -

Date: 03 October 2018
Release: Immediate
 
On Thursday, 4 October 2018, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga, will take his Listening Tour to the Township Industrial Parks in Orlando West, Soweto.
The Township Industrial Parks are in a state of disrepair due to a lack of proper maintenance despite the fact that the business tenants are paying rent to the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA).
The DA Gauteng Premier Candidate will listen to, and engage with businesses about the issues that they face on a daily basis.
The DA Gauteng Premier Candidate will also engage with Ekasi Entrepreneurs at the Township Entrepreneurial Conversations panel discussion in Orlando West.
The media is invited to attend and there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.
The details of this leg of the Listening Tour are as follows:
Date: Thursday, 4 October 2018                                                                        
Meeting with businesses in the Township Industrial Parks in Orlando West, Soweto.
Time: 10:00 am: 11:30
Venue: Township Industrial Parks in Orlando West, Soweto.
Address: 65 Makhetha Street, Industrial Park, Orlando West, Soweto.
Meeting with business associations in Orlando West
Time: 12:00 am to 13:30 pm
Meeting with Ekasi Entrepreneurs
Time: 15:00 pm to 16:00 pm
Venue: Soweto Gold and Beer Garden
Address: 11846 Senokoanyana Street, Orlando West, Soweto.

Monday, 10 September 2018

The DA's plan to get SA growing helps small businesses play their part

The DA’s plan to get SA growing
by Mmusi Maimane - Leader of the Democratic Alliance
 
Date: 10 September 2018
Release: immediate
 
Note to Editors: the following statement was delivered by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference in Johannesburg today. Maimane was joined by DA National Spokesperson, Refiloe Nt’sekhe.
This week, Statistics South Africa confirmed that we are in recession. This news came as a surprise only to foreign ForEx and bond investors, and it would seem, to our government.
This is no surprise at all to anyone living in South Africa. The truth is that South Africans have known this for months - they have felt it in their own homes as the struggle to make ends meet gets more difficult, they have heard it as the word spreads about more job losses every day, and they've seen it in the streets and in the shops and in their pockets.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Letter to Hon Bathabile Dlamini, Minister of Women in the Presidency, re late payment of supplier

This morning I wrote to the Minister of Women in the Presidency, Bathabile Dlamini MP, drawing attention to her department's late payment of invoices from a supplier, Duma Travel. This is the same company who came to me for help some weeks ago when trying to get their outstanding payments due from Parliament for travel services rendered. I wrote to the Speaker  and the Chief Financial Officer of Parliament demanding their attention to the matter and I am pleased to say some outstanding payments were made soon after that. But they still owe Duma Travel money.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Jack Ma of Alibaba was in Joburg last week - some useful takeaways

Last week I listened to one of the world's great entrepreneurs tell the story of how he created a business empire worth $500 billion in a matter of 19 years. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba.com, was in Joburg as the keynote speaker at the Netrepreneurs conference, all about how African tech entrepreneurs can grow and compete on the world stage. 

Ventureburn magazine has an excellent summary of his speech with the six takeaways - highly recommended reading you can find here.


Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Section 25 of the constitution and expropriation without compensation

On Saturday I attended the hearings on amending Section 25 of the constitution at Heartfelt Hall in Tshwane where a long line of people offered their opinions on the topic. I later learned from Glynnis Breytenbach that many of the EFF submissions came from the same people who had appeared at other hearings. While the highest quantity of submissions were for amending the constitution the best and most cogent arguments came from those opposed. I was joined by my colleagues Patrick Atkinson, Sej Motou and Anchen Dreyer, and earlier in the day Darren Bergman, Glynnis and Ghaleb Cachalia.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Opinion piece - Evidence points to marginalised small business sector


Three recently released reports paint a dismal picture of the contribution small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are making to the economy. They are a wake-up call for policy-makers who assume that SMEs are the main jobs drivers and will create 90% of new jobs by 2030.

Compared to its peers, South Africa has a smaller number of firms in proportion to the size of the economy and a much higher proportion of jobs coming from large firms and government. With smaller firms closing down and shedding jobs, and larger firms getting bigger though not necessarily hiring more people, it is inevitable our unemployment rate will increase further.

The reports focus on the formal SME sector and extract data from Treasury, SARS, commercial banks and other providers of finance as well as firms seeking finance. They each claim, in their respective focus areas, to be the most comprehensive studies yet done.

They home in on changes in tax receipts over time, access to finance and the quantum of firms and their contribution to employment to gauge whether the sector is making its expected contribution to the economy and participants are succeeding or struggling.

Letter to Business Day on why business should prioritise late payments

Yesterday's editorial in Business Day asked the question, is lip service paid to the SME sector? The answer is a resounding YES, for all sorts of reasons the editorial refers to. You can read it here.

This prompted me to write to the Editor to highlight one of the biggest burdens small businesses have to bear - late payments by customers.  You can read my letter here or below.

At the SBI Indaba last week Chairman of BLSA and the CEO Initiative Jabu Mabuza said late payments is an issue big business has to deal with. My question to him and new BUSA chair, Sipho Pityana is: when and how? If they don't give a clear direction on this issue soon I will be requesting the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development to summon them to account in Parliament in our next term beginning in August.

Dealing effectively with late payments is the flip side of introducing a small business ombudsman, contained in a bill I tabled in Parliament in May. We have to deal with the source of the problem - putting our payments house in order - but also have a back-stop mechanism that deters offenders from repeatedly abusing their suppliers in the first place.

Letter to the Speaker of Parliament about late payment of suppliers

On Friday I wrote to the Speaker of Parliament drawing her attention to the late payment of Duma Travel, which services MPs and Parliamentary staff travel needs. This follows an email I sent to Parliament's Chief Financial Officer last week after I received a tip off that Duma was owed hundreds of thousands of rands. It seems it could have had some effect - since then Parliament has paid around R700 000 to Duma, though over R800 000 is still outstanding.

You can read my letter below.

27 July 2018
Hon B Mbete MP                                            
Speaker of the National Assembly
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Dear Madam Speaker
REQUEST FOR URGENT INTERVENTION IN PARLIAMENT’S LATE PAYMENT TO SUPPLIERS
I am writing to you to request an urgent intervention with regards to late payment by Parliament to one of its suppliers.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Interview with The New Economic Rights Alliance about my Ombudsman bill

I  recently conducted an interview with Scott Cundhill of the New Economic Rights Alliance about my bill tabled in Parliament to establish a small enterprises ombud service to resolve disputes involving SMEs.

You can listen to the interview here.

Scott has created a very innovative website which helps small businesses get their invoices paid on time. It's called the Gentle Reminders Club and uses the power of peer pressure and publically displayed ratings of customers' payment records. It's a very neat solution to deal with the problem of late payments at source and business should support it wholeheartedly.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Letter to The Star about late payments of government suppliers

Yesterday's Star newspaper carried my letter to the editor following a front page expose in Monday's paper about government failing to pay its suppliers.

Read the letter below:

Give the small guys a chance
Toby Chance MP

The Star article published on the 9th of July 2018 titled “State’s R7 billion debt headache” refers. It is inconceivable how, in an economy which is struggling to create jobs, government departments are failing to pay suppliers and small businesses on time for services rendered.

Reports that the state is sitting on 93 000 unpaid invoices highlights a government that does not care about the sustainability of small businesses or the jobs of thousands of South Africans who rely on them to feed their families.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Interview with Cape Talk Kieno Kammies on my private member's bill

On Tuesday 5th June Cape Talk morning show host Kieno Kammies interviewed me about my bill to establish a small enterprises Ombud Service.

You can listen to the interview here.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Supermarket news covers my private member's bill to establish a small enterprises ombud service

The word is getting out to the retail sector about my ombud service bill. Big retailers are some of the worst offenders when dictating payment terms to small suppliers. Even big suppliers are affected as are their own supply chains which negatively affects their suppliers' cash flow. It's a chain reaction and normally in the supply chain the organisation sitting at the top comes out best - retailers take in cash from customers and regularly pay suppliers in 60 days or more so getting a turn on their money.

Read the article in Supermarket News here.

My ombudsman proposal has many features of the UK Grocery Code Adjudicator - more info can be found about this here.

Notes from the House features my private member's bill on the small enterprises ombud service

Parliamentary correspondent Moira Levy has featured an article on my private member's bill to establish a small enterprises ombud service in her newsletter Notes from the House.

This is how they describe themselves:

Notes from the House is an independent weekly digital newsletter that tracks and monitors Parliament in its role of holding government to account and passing legislation to improve people’s lives. It aims to bring you the news from Parliament that you don’t get elsewhere.

You can read the article here.

Cape chamber backs plan for a payments ombud for small businesses

Today's Business Day carried a follow-up story to yesterday's coverage of my private member's bill to establish a small enterprises ombud service.

The momentum for this proposal is building up step by step. The Cape Chamber is an influential body and its endorsement will be noticed by its members who will hopefully add their voice to this proposal.

You can read the article here.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Business Day coverage of my proposed Ombud Service

Today's Business Day gives prominent coverage to my private member's bill to establish a small enterprises ombud service.


You can read the article on Business Live here.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Media statement: Department of Small Business Development has no approved organizational structure after 4 years

Date: 31 May 2018
Release: Immediate
 
The DA has received information that confirms that the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) does not have an approved organisational structure, four years after its formation. This has rendered it incapable of fulfilling its core function of small business development in the country.
On 23 of October 2017, the former Minister of Public Service and Administration, Faith Muthambi, sent a cautionary note (see here) to Minister Zulu advising that the DSBD still lacks a finalised organisational structure based on the Department’s strategic plan.

My Small Enterprises Ombud Service private member's bill tabled in Parliament

On Tuesday 29th May my Small Enterprises Ombud Service private member's bill was ATC'd. That's Parliamentary speak for being listed in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports of that day. The bill has been sent to the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development for consideration. I expect to present it to the Committee early in the Third Term, in August.

I had hoped to wait until the deadline for comments and submissions on the bill, 11th June, to make final adjustments before tabling it. However, out of the blue Parliament imposed a deadline of 31st May for bills to be tabled if the sponsors wanted them finalised during this, the 5th Parliament which ends just before the next election, expected in May 2019. Fortunately the many submissions I received included nothing fundamentally different from what the bill envisages so we were able to get it through in time.

The bill is available to download from the DA website here.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

First review of my Private Member's Bill to establish a small enterprises ombudsman

Today's edition of Legal Brief, the online legal news hub as it calls itself, is first out of the starter blocks to comment on my private member's bill to establish a Small Enterprises Ombud Service.

It points out that both the Department of Small Business Development and the Portfolio Committee have supported the idea of an ombudsman to resolve disputes, so we now have to see if politics gets in the way of common sense and the bill encounters hurdles when it comes before the Committee.

You can read the review here.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Complaint lodged with the Public Service Commission about poor management of the Department of Small Business Development

Yesterday I wrote to Dr Dovhani Mamphiswana, Director General of the Public Service Commission, to lodge a complaint about the generally poor state of the Department of Small Business Development.

This has long been coming, but the final straw was when our Portfolio Committee received a letter from a whistleblower in the Department earlier this month. I referred to it in my budget debate speech last week.

You can read my letter as well as the letter from the whistleblower below.

Opinion piece in The Sowetan on how to solve the late payments scourge

Tuesday's edition of The Sowetan published my opinion piece on how we can help small businesses deal with the scourge of late payments. The three proposals are: support the Prompt Payment Code; introduce Supply Chain Finance as the norm for procurement by government and big business; and establish a Small Enterprises Ombudsman to resolve disputes quickly and cheaply.

You can read it here, or the full unedited text below or click on the link here.


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
Spokesperson to the DA Leader
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:
028
-
2018
Date:
24.04.2018
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.

END

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.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Media statement: DA calls on Public Protector to investigate Minister Lindiwe Zulu's luxury cars purchase

Date: 22 March 2018
Release: Immediate
 
The DA will lodge a complaint with the Public Protector to investigate the Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, for wilfully misleading Parliament on the purchase of cars by the Department for herself and her then deputy Nomathemba November.
In an oral reply to a question I posed to her on the 29th of November 2017, Minister Zulu seemingly omitted that the Department was in the process of buying new cars for her and her Deputy.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Motion in Parliament on the launch of Project Naledi


Today I moved this motion in the House:


NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
   MOTION WITHOUT NOTICE


Internal Ref Number:
017
-
2018
Date:
13.03.2018
Subject:
Project Naledi

I hereby move, on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, that this House;

1.      Notes that On Saturday 17th February, Project Naledi was successfully launched at the Soweto Equestrian Centre in Moroka, Soweto;

2.      Further notes that Project Naledi is a partnership between international law firm Pinsent Masons, the Soweto Equestrian Centre, Soweto Cricket Club and Sir Ramabitsa Education Programme and

3.      Takes cognisance of the fact that the project has already enrolled over 200 youngsters onto the programme, who are receiving extra lessons in maths, accounting, English and science to better equip them for the world of work;

4.      Congratulates the local community members who initiated this programme, based on a firm commitment to improve the life chances of their young people;

5.      Acknowledges the important role Pinsent Masons is playing by providing funds, resources and networking opportunities;

6.      Further acknowledges that this epitomises the sort of partnership President Ramaphosa called for in his state of the nation address; and

7.      Encourages the establishment of other similar partnerships in communities throughout South Africa, to build trust, collaboration and work towards the betterment of the lives of millions of South Africans who deserve better than they have experienced under 24 years of ANC government.  

Toby Chance MP