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



“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.