Thursday, 31 July 2014

Small businesses must be protected from big unions

Media statement

30 June 2014

The DA will write to the Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, requesting she advocate for the exclusion of small and medium business enterprises from collective bargaining agreements which they are not signatories to through amendments to the Labour Relations Amendment Act. 

This follows on-going strike action within the metal and engineering sector post the signing of an agreement between major workers' union NUMSA and major employers' association, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA) - bringing a partial end to a 4 week long strike in the metal and engineering sector.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Budget vote speech - Trade & Industry

Speech by Toby Chance MP
DTI budget vote
Old Assembly Chamber
22nd July 2014

South Africa below SADC neighbours on entrepreneurship

Chairperson, Honourable Members and visitors in the gallery, good evening, sanibonani, goeie naand.

The Honourable members on the other side of the House like telling stories. So let me tell a story of my own. And thank you, Honourable Bhengu, for providing such a perfect introduction for me.

For many South Africans, the formation of the Department of Small Business Development is a fairy tale come true.

And in all fairy tales there are heroes as well as villains.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Budget vote speech - Economic Development

Speech by Toby Chance MP
Economic Development budget vote
Old Assembly Chamber
22nd July 2014

DSBD must make more funding available for small businesses

Chairperson, Honourable Members and visitors in the gallery, good morning, sawobona, goeie more.

In 1994, after years of economic isolation, Anglo American Corporation controlled 44% of JSE-listed companies and the top five corporates controlled 84%.

Since then the structure of our economy has changed dramatically. But the concentration of the main economic levers in the hands of a few large companies remains a concern.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Nelson Mandela Day in Athlone, Cape Town

Today was Nelson Mandela Day, commemorating the birth of the great man 94 years ago, on July 18th 1918. The United Nations has declared this a day of kindness and goodwill, to honour the deeds of a man who contributed so much to humanity and who, along with FW de Klerk and other courageous leaders of that time, rescued South Africa from centuries of racial hatred and conflict and set us on a new course.

South African tax payers, all 5 million of us, do not need reminding we are supporting another 45 million less well off people. It is drummed into our heads daily. We live in a very unequal society, and yesterday was an opportunity for us not just to begrudgingly hand over our precious taxes but go the extra mile and give of our time too.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Is Julius Malema the new Oswald Mosley?

Every country throws up populist leaders from time to time. They usually emerge in times of national tension or weak institutional leadership, or when the government of the day is directionless. They play on the anxieties of their constituencies, let down by competing ruling elites scurrying around to protect their interests while they vie for power.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Owning up to the trust deficit - Letter published in Business Day 7th July 2014

Click here to go to the BDLive website or read the letter below.

Thursday’s Business Day carried an article by Paul Vecchiatto on the exchanges between me and members of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development (ANC rejects claim it is ‘against business’, 3 July).

What it omits to mention were the further denials by some ANC members of the Committee of my claim that a trust deficit exists between government and business, not to mention labour. I referred to the trust deficit because I thought this was something we could all agree on.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Here's how to be radical, Mr Netshitenzhe - Letter to the Mail & Guardian

The Mail & Guardian this week published a letter I wrote to them in response to an article by Joel Netshitenzhe in last week's edition. Read it here or below:

Joel Netshitenzhe, former ANC spin doctor turned sage, attempts to stand above the fray in his call for collective responsibility in bringing about radical change to South Africa.

Would that he had adopted such a disinterested approach when he and his comrades developed the ANC’s cadre deployment policy in the mid-1990s. Had he done so, this policy would never have seen the light of day.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The trust deficit between government and business - even the NDP mentions it!

Today's Business Day runs an article by Parliamentary Correspondent  Paul Vecchiatto on the exchanges between me and members of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development yesterday.

You can read it here.

The comments I made in committee yesterday constituted around 10% of what I said, the rest being constructive criticism, but ANC members, especially Deputy Minister Thabethe, Committee Chairperson Ruth Bhengu and MP Xitlhangoma Mabasa took exception to and spent much of their time trying to refute them.

Minister agrees to the need for an urgent performance review of the Incubator Support Programme

3 July 2014
Release: Immediate

This morning I met with the Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, for our first meeting to discuss plans and priorities for the new department.

Minister Zulu agreed with me that an urgent performance review of the Incubator Support Programme was required, and that the legislative environment be scrutinised with a view to easing the burden on small business as quickly as possible.

This is critical if we are to increase the number of small businesses and boost job creation.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A constructive start to the Small Business Development Portfolio Committee - with some riders

Today it was the turn of the Small Business Development Portfolio Committee to sit. We did so in the intimate surroundings of Committee Room 315 in the Marks Building, which is where all Opposition parties have their offices. No need for breakfast earlier for all committees are amply provided with food and drink (no alcohol) which we snacked on before things got under way. Lots of hugging and shaking of hands as we assembled, the Minister and her Deputy Elizabeth Thabethe both greeting me as they entered the room. I had a brief chat with Minister Zulu who repeated her invitation for us to meet, which we are doing tomorrow morning. This was a good start to proceedings.

Trading jibes with Minister Patel

Yesterday was my first taste of portfolio committees in Parliament. In the morning there was a joint sitting of the  Economic Development Committee and the Small Business Development Committee (which Henro Kruger and I belong to) and in the afternoon we sat with the Trade & Industry Committee. Committees comprise 11 members, 6 from the ANC, 2 from the DA and 3 from other parties. Last Wednesday we elected the Chairpersons of the committees, in our case senior ANC member Ruth Bhengu although technically DA members abstained in line with the party whip. This week all the committees are sitting to listen to their respective ministers present their plans and budgets for the remainder of the financial year and to take questions from Members. Minister Patel was not at all pleased with the question I posed to him and gave me a ticking off like I was a naughty new boy at school who didn't know his place.