Sunday, 31 May 2015

Lucas Mogashoa's funeral in Soweto - the DA pulls out all the stops for a true son

This morning I attended Lucas Mogashoa's funeral in Soweto. It was a very moving occasion - actually two, for first there was the service then the burial.

Lucas was employed as the Constituency Officer in the DA's Mvelaphanda constituency, formerly known as Soweto North. It adjoins my own constituency, Soweto West. He died of a stroke last week, aged only 40, leaving three daughters and two sons.

He was born and spent his early years in Naledi. In the funeral leaflet, a brief Story of My life recounts how "I attended preparatory school in Naledi Day Care, because I was too smart. I started school at the age of 4 in 1980 at Lethabo Combined School, when I was 7 years old my teacher took me to a radio station as I was always a good speaker."

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Minister Lindiwe Zulu is listening to the DA, at last!

In an interview with Fin24 journalist Matthew le Cordeur on Friday, Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu as good as admitted she is taking the advice my colleague Henro Kruger and I gave her in our budget debate speeches last Wednesday.

Not only will she focus on cutting red tape, but she will seek the merger of Sefa and Seda which I first mooted at a Portfolio Committee meeting earlier this month. I issued a press statement on May 7th to this effect.

Here is the first article and interview clip on red tape reduction and Sefa/Seda:

Fin24 Red Tape interview

Here is the second article and interview clip:

Minister Zulu correctly said that the Portfolio Committee is adopting a constructive approach to policy development. Many of my suggestions are finding expression in her statements, including references to 'gazelles', or fast-growing businesses which have the potential to create large numbers of jobs. I first brought this up in our strategy workshop last September and listed it as one of the things her department should focus on.

Without the DA's advice and input on the committee I think it's fair to say the Department and Minister Zulu would have been much slower in getting to grips with the priorities for small business.

Friday, 22 May 2015

You Tube video of the Small Business Development budget debate

Parliament has loaded the video of the Extended Public Committee debate on Small Business Development in Parliament on May 20th - you can view it here

I come on about 38 minutes into the debate.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Budget debate speech in Parliament

Today at 5 pm, the Extended Public Committee on Small Business Development sat in the National Assembly to hear the debate on the Department's budget. I was the third speaker, after Minister Zulu and Committee Chair Ruth Bhengu.

Here is my speech below:

Speech by
Toby Chance MP
DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development

Extended Public Committee
20th May 2015

Minister Zulu needs to wake up and defend her job-creating ministry


Last year I spoke of the fairy tale formation of the Department of Small Business Development and likened the Honourable Zulu to Cinderella.

If she took the DA’s advice Minister Zulu could rid herself of the ugly step-sisters Rob Davies and Ebrahim Patel and become the first business-friendly minister in President Zuma’s cabinet.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Resolution on enterprise and opportunity moved at the DA Federal Congress

Apart from listening to the debate on the family (see my previous blog post), earlier on Saturday I seconded a motion (proposed by Dean Macpherson) promoting enterprise, freedom and opportunity. Here it is below. I'm pleased to say the motion was carried.

The Democratic Alliance recognises that unemployment and poverty remain significant challenges to a large proportion of our people. Currently, 36% of South Africans are unemployed and 20% are living in extreme poverty. Since Jacob Zuma became President in 2009, 1.4 million additional South Africans have become unemployed. Our economy has also experienced depressed economic growth over this period, with the current growth forecast for 2015 only being 2%.

The DA believes that:

•     As the party of freedom, opportunity and enterprise, it is our responsibility to foster an entrepreneurial culture;
•     Significant job creation in our economy can be driven by the formation and growth of new businesses;
•     South Africa’s economy can thrive in an environment unburdened by restrictive regulations and red tape;
•     Businesses should be incentivised through innovative tax and other stimulatory measures so as to create new jobs to bring unemployment, and thus inequality, down from today’s unacceptable levels;
 Resolves that a DA government will:

•     Grow our way to economic prosperity through increased incentives for manufactures, entrepreneurs, building a capable state that can achieve 8% growth;
•     Reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, with an aim to encourage the formation of new businesses, and spur the growth and success of existing enterprises;
•     Cut corruption from R30 billion per year and use these savings to reduce tax;
•     Establish a national guarantee/ capital venture fund to draw the private sector and state together in support of new businesses.

 Proposer: Dean Macpherson,   
Seconder: Toby Chance 

The vexing issue of family and the DA

On Saturday delegates to the DA Federal Congress in Nelson Mandela Bay deliberated and voted on a number of amendments to the Federal Constitution. The most contentious of these concerned whether the party's recently-finalised vision and values charter, which forms the preamble to the amended constitution, should include a section on family.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Press Statement: DA calls for unified agency to support job-creating entrepreneurs

7 May 2015
Release: immediate

The immediate merger of the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) into one, unified and mandated agency providing support for new and existing small businesses and entrepreneurs cannot be delayed any longer. 

I will today write to the Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, calling for this merger to be instituted without delay, as a necessary step towards job creation in the private sector.  

This comes after yesterday’s mammoth eleven hour meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development, in which it became clear that the department is failing in its mandate to support and promote small businesses and entrepreneurs in South Africa. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Letter in Business Day: SA must nurture entrepreneurship

Today's Business Day features my letter on entrepreneurship which was prompted by three recent articles in their excellent new comment and opinion pages, as well as my visit to Riversands Incubation Hub last week.

I am very pleased Mmusi Maimane is pushing the need to support entrepreneurship in his campaign to take over from Helen Zille as DA leader. For without entrepreneurs, we will not meet our job creation target of 11 million new jobs by 2030. Big businesses shed jobs to cut costs to become more competitive, new and growing businesses create them. Government's top priority must, therefore, be to introduce policies that maximise the job-creating opportunities for new and growing business.

You can read my letter on BDLive here or the unedited version below:

May I commend you on your new opinion and commentary section in the revamped Business Day. There is always something new and interesting to read.

Wednesday’s edition featured two articles of particular relevance to South Africa’s prospects. It is common cause that job creation will depend on the formation and growth of small and medium enterprises, which in turn will depend on their being nurtured and provided with opportunities to enter the mainstream economy. In the longer term, an entrepreneurial economy requires an education system which teaches and instills an entrepreneurial culture in our youth.