Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Member statement in Parliament - 100th anniversary of the Russian Revoluion

Today is the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, the day the Bolsheviks took over Russia and ushered in 72 years of rule which included the formation and death of the Soviet Union. I was chatting to James Lorimer on the plane to Cape Town this morning and he suggested that I make statement to the House, which is reproduced below (thanks to him for most of the wording).

What I do not mention in the statement is that around 1967, when I was 7 years old, Alexander Kerensky paid a visit to our family home in Rugby, UK. He was very old by then (he died in New York in 1970) but I vaguely remember him, I think accompanied by members of his family whom my parents had got to know as they lived nearby.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

ANC presidential hopeful Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma joins the PC on Small Business Development

Today, ANC presidential hopeful Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma sat for first time as a Member of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development.

Her appointment was published in the Announcements Tablings and Committee Parliamentary papers on Friday which elicited some media coverage but little commentary as to why she had chosen or had been deployed to this committee.

She arrived shortly before the meeting opened along with another new member, Mervyn Dirks, also from the ANC (he replaced the late Timothy Khoza who was tragically killed in a car accident while on an Education Committee oversight visit in Paarl in August).

Monday, 2 October 2017

Opinion piece in Sowetan newspaper 5th September - how to reduce unemployment through growth of small businesses

South Africa’s unemployment rate has hit a new high, with 36,4% of working age people out of work or no longer looking for a job.

In the current environment of flat or no growth, with large firms slashing jobs and small firms just hanging on, any talk of new jobs may seem wishful thinking. A negative attitude towards the future is self-fulfilling, so we must craft a future of positive outcomes based on realistic scenarios.

In the NDP’s scenario, 90% of the 11 million new jobs we need by 2030 will come from small business. The NDP is already 5 years old, written at a time when SA’s economy was growing at around 3%. Now growth is less than 1% and a further ratings downgrade in December (or earlier) would undoubtedly keep it there, or worse. So is it realistic to expect small businesses to hire people in such depressed conditions?