Friday, 19 April 2019

Minister Zulu's international trips revealed

Questions to Ministers, both written and oral, are an excellent way to extract information from the executive they are reluctant to reveal through other means. 

See how taxpayers' money is spent by one such minister, Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development. The air travel costs alone amounted to R1,3 million for 12 trips, some of which were paid for by the host country/organisation. That's over R100 000 per trip. 

The DA has been pressing for the Ministerial Handbook to be amended to minimise expenditure by the executive. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni might be forced to listen as a cost-cutting exercise will soon become mandatory, due to the government's coffers running dry.

The other question that needs answering is this: what actual good comes out of these overseas trips? For example, two-way trade with China is overwhelmingly dominated by primary exports from SA and value-added imports in return. We have seen no concrete info that funding a trade fair for SMEs in China has led to significant business or export deals. 

The Minister's response is vague to say the least.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY

“195      Mr R W T Chance (DA): 
What was the (a) destination, (b) purpose, (c) detailed cost breakdown and (d) outcomes of her overseas trips conducted since 1 June 2017?”

NW18E

REPLY:
Date
Date:  13-16 June 2017
(a) Destination
Washington, Unites States of America
(b) Purpose
Attending the 11th Biennial United States-Africa Business Summit
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  R133 038.23
Approximately Subsistence and Travel (S&T):  R8 202.01
Approximately Accommodation:  R 83 338.40
Approximately Ground transport:  R 9 254.00
(d) Outcomes of the trip
Minister was requested by the State President, former President Jacob Zuma to represent South Africa at the 11th Biennial USA-Africa Business Summit wherein Minister would speak to South Africa and Africa’s economic strategies and partnership with the US Governments policies towards South Africa and Africa. This included the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and elements of the SA-US bilateral partnership. In addition, Minister provided the rationale for Africa’s developmental approach as implemented through regional integration and as premised on Agenda 2063: The Africa we want. Minister further provided a progress update on how Africa is making great strides to realising its regional integration aspirations through the implementation of the Tri-Partite Free-Trade Area (and other regional free trade areas) as well as the Continental Free Trade Area. Minister Zulu further met with the World Bank Group to discuss potential partnership with the Bank in so far as entrepreneurship is concerned. The Bank committed to work with DSBB through their regional office to render relevant assistance in entrepreneurship policy and support for emerging and high performing enterprises.

Date
Date:  21-24 June 2017
(a) Destination
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
(b) Purpose
Attending the 9th Conference of Ministers of the Coordination Committee for Development of African Handicraft (CODEPA)
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air Travel:  R 21 564.69
Approximately S&T:  R 8 571.00
Approximately Accommodation:  R 12 200.00
Approximately Ground Transport:  R 11 481.00
(d) Outcomes of the trip
The focus of the 9th Conference of Ministers of the Committee for Development of African (CODEPA) Handicraft was to engage on matters relating to the development and promotion of African handicrafts.  The Conference also reflected on the 8th CODEPA Conference and held dialogues on ways to address obstacles in the handicrafts sector across the continent. The conference agreed on renewed efforts towards; investing additional resources in the sector for development purposes; the need to enhance support for infrastructure, skills and market access initiatives within the African continent and beyond and; the necessity for data-collection and analysis in the craft environment, amongst the key outcomes.
Minister Lindiwe Zulu was elected as the Second Vice President of the CODEPA. South Africa will assume the Presidency of and host the CODEPA Conference in 2019 given CODEPA’s succession system. Linked to this role, South Africa is to share with other member states the best practises on the development of and on the promotion of the craft sector. Furthermore, South Africa and Zimbabwe, agreed to work together in mobilising Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States to participate and collaborate on flagship projects in the craft sector through bilateral means as well as through CODEPA.

Date
01 – 7 September 2017
(a) Destination
Xiamen, China
(b) Purpose
To attend the 9th BRICS Summit which was held against the theme: BRICS A stronger partnership for a brighter Future? The Minister was requested by the President to support him in attendance particularly with matters relating to SMME Development.
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  R 188 677.38
Approximately S&T:  R 28 766.00
Approximately Accommodation:   R 102 349.00.
Approximately Ground transport:  R 35 156.29
(d) Outcomes of the trip
The BRICS Summit adopted the BRICS Declaration which looked at progress on matters discussed in the previous BRICS Summit and determined ways and means to further enhance the partnership based on mutual and equal benefit for all members. The summit further prioritized putting in place mechanisms that enhance economic development and inclusion of all members particularly through the promotion of SMME Development. The meeting also discussed matters pertaining to the global economic situation and international economic governance, international and regional hotspot issues and national security and development, amongst others. The Summit also acknowledged the recent launch of the Africa Regional Centre of the New Development Bank (NDB), which was launched last month in Johannesburg. The BRICS Development Bank underlines BRIC’s commitment to the development of the African continent and emerging markets.

Date
Date:  07 – 13 October 2017
(a) Destination
Guangzhou, China
(b) Purpose
Attending 14th China International Small and Medium Enterprise Fair (CISMEF)
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  R 180 838.29
Approximately S&T:  R 32 683.00
Accommodation:   Not applicable.
Ground transport:  Not applicable.
(d) Outcomes of the trip
South Africa co-hosted the 14th CISMEF and this provided the Department with an opportunity to show-case the capabilities of local SME’s in South Africa with those at a global scale. The opportunity afforded our SME’s with a platform not only to access global markets for their products but, also to gain linkages to their Chinese counterparts. 
The upshot of CISMEF was the conducting of Business to Business (B2B) match making engagements principally with clients from the Bank of China and other business associations. South African exhibitors have reported successful market linkages with Chinese counterparts. The process of engagement between South African and Chinese companies is ongoing which may translate into trade opportunities for participating enterprises, as well as possible new markets.

Date
Date:  17 – 23 November 2017
(a) Destination
Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland
(b) Purpose
Attending the 2017 Start-up Nations Summit
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air Travel: R 90520.00
Approximately S&T: R 28 443.00
Approximately Accommodation: R 8 490.00
Approximately Ground Transport: R 54 269.70
(d) Outcomes of the trip
The Minister represented South Africa in participation in the Start-up Nations Chapter in South Africa, the Start-up Nations Summit and Bilateral meetings in Finland was aimed to broaden economic relations between South Africa and Finland in the areas of Informal and Communication Technology; and Research and Development. 

A series of bilateral engagements between the Minister of Small Business Development with counterparts in Finland took place.  These engagements led to amongst other outcomes, to strategic partnership noted through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Minister of Small Business Development and the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Entrepreneurship Network to facilitate access to market for SMMES and start-ups, partnerships and navigating through government regulations in the respective countries.

Date
14 - 19  April 2018
(a) Destination
Istanbul, Turkey
(b) Purpose
To attend and participate at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC). South Africa through the department of Small Business Development is a member of the Global Entrepreneurship Network which is responsible for the GEC.
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  R 135 841.93
Approximately S&T:  R 25 388.00
Approximately Accommodation:   R 24 881.00
Approximately Ground transport:  R 22 186.00
(d) Outcomes of the trip
South Africa participated in the GEC as we previously hosted the 2017 Congress in Johannesburg and needed to take forward the matters discussed in that year. South Africa also serves as a Member of the Start-up Nations Steering Committee which directs the agenda for the Start-up Nations Summit. The Conference discussed ways of enhancing Entrepreneurship policy globally and success and failures experienced in various regions. South Africa also took a few of its high performing start-ups to experience the global developmental trends by other start-ups but also to share our own experience. South Africa also received 3 awards for its work in developing the South African and regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. These included: the GEN Country of the year award; the GEN Brand Champions award; and the GEN Research Champions awards. This acknowledgement is good for the country as it is seen as a catalyst in developing entrepreneurial policy and encouraging start-ups. South Africa further contributed to discussions on digital inclusion for entrepreneurship ecosystems, the role of entrepreneurship ecosystems and governing with dynamic growth-orientated business in mind.

Date
03 – 08 June 2018
(a) Destination
Brussels, Belgium
(b) Purpose
Attending and participating in the 12th European Development Days Conference
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  R 226 165, 36
Approximately S&T:  R34 763, 32
Approximately Accommodation:  R 56 940, 00
Approximately Ground transport:  R 12 000, 00
(d) Outcomes of the trip
Minister Zulu participated in the 12th EU Development Days representing South Africa upon the request of Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. The conference deliberated on “Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower and invest.” Minister delivered remarks at a Special Session dedicated to the Centenaries of the late President Mandela and Mama Alberatina Sisulu on their role in the Upliftment of women. The South Africa delegation also had meetings with the European Union division responsible for Entrepreneurship development and with the African and European Business Angels Network to forge stringer ties with South African entrepreneurs and possible partnerships on entrepreneurial policy. Minister Zulu also met with her Belgian counterpart to strengthen our bilateral partnership on the enhancement of SMME and Cooperatives development and consider relooking at agreements that have lapsed in this regard. 

Date
09 – 13 July 2018
(a) Destination
Washington DC, USA
(b) Purpose
Attendance at the 17th AGOA Forum representing South Africa.
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  R 196 995.00
Approximately S&T:  R 18 122.80
Approximately Accommodation:   R 25 000.00
Approximately Ground transport:  R   3 000.00
(d) Outcomes of the trip
Minister Zulu together with Minister Davies represented South Africa participated in AGOA to further strengthen Africa’s position of the forum and to also highlight South Africa’s own priorities under the partnership in line with the theme Forging New Strategies for US-Africa Trade. South Africa also contributed to discussions on “facilitating US-Africa Small Business Trade through e-commerce and highlighted Africa’s experience in this regard. South Africa also engaged with the US Small Business Administration to enhance bilateral relations as it related to the promotion of Small Business and Cooperatives development.

Date
27-30 August 2018
(a) Destination
Balaclava, Mauritius
(b) Purpose
Attendance and participation at the Indian-Ocean Rim Association Ministerial Conference on Women economic Empowerment
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  R29 544.68
Approximately S&T:  R11 982.80
Approximately Accommodation:  Not Applicable
Approximately Ground transport:  R10499. 76
(d) Outcomes of the trip
Minister Zulu was invited to attend and Co-Chair this session by virtue of South Africa’s Chair-ship of IORA from 2017-2019. South Africa’s participation was against the premise that Uniting the peoples of Africa, Asia, Australasia, and the Middle East through enhanced cooperation for peace, stability and sustainable development, in line with our national interests as a country which are manifested in our policy frameworks and underpinned by the National Development Plan (NDP). Minister Zulu also met with her Mauritius counterpart to strengthen trade and investment relations ass driven by SMME’s and Cooperatives. South Africa’s participation also highlighted the work we are doing on building the Blue Economy, Infrastructure Development, Industrialisation and Manufacturing, ICT Development and Digital Technology, and Agriculture and Agro-processing, with emphasis on localization, enterprise supplier development programmes and procurement and skills development for SMMEs within these high end productive sectors, and incorporating women into these sectors.


Date
06 -10 November 2018
(a) Destination
London, United Kingdom
(b) Purpose
Attendance and Participation Women MPs of the World Conference and Visit to We Work London 
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  Not applicable 
Approximately S&T:  R 6882.84
Approximately Accommodation:  Not applicable
Approximately Ground transport: Not applicable
(d) Outcomes of the trip
Minister Zulu attended the Women MPs of the World Conference which deliberated on women economic empowerment issues, ending violence against women and girls, championing access to voluntary family planning, and breaking barriers to girls’ education. Minister participation expressed ow South Africa has integrated women into all spheres of society including in parliament, and leadership positions including in business. Minister also visited and met with WeWork London and Flatron School with the aim of learning about their incubation model. We Work’s model provides for shared workspace for technology start-ups communities, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, start-ups, small businesses and large enterprises. South Africa has a similar model through which local SMEs can also access services to enhance their operations.




Date
23-24 February 2019
(a) Destination
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
(b) Purpose
Minister Zulu was requested by President Ramaphosa to attend the Presidential Inauguration of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President elect Mr Felix Tshiskekedi on behalf of the Republic of South Africa.
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  Not Applicable
Approximately S&T:  Not Applicable
Approximately Accommodation:  Not Applicable
Approximately Ground transport:  Not Applicable
(d) Outcomes of the trip
Minister Zulu represented South Africa at the Presidential Inauguration of the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo to show South Africa’s cordial relations with the People of the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Date
10-17 March 2019
(a) Destination
New York, United States of America
(b) Purpose
Attendance and Participation at the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women
(c) Detailed cost breakdown
Approximately Air travel:  R100 298.68
Approximately S&T:  R13 671.00
Approximately Accommodation:  R58 400.00
Approximately Ground transport:  R 8400.00
(d) Outcomes of the trip
Minister Zulu formed part of the South African delegation in attendance at this 63rd Commission on the Status of Women, and highlighted South Africa’s role in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and its Action Plan. In particular Minister Zulu focused on the South Africa’s advances in the inclusion of women into the economy through entrepreneurship, as well as South Africa’s role in promoting human rights, peace and security especially for women.



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