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Speech by ANC MP, Hon. Joanmariae Fubbs on the occasion of the Presidency Budget Vote (Vote 1) debate in the National Assembly, Parliament of South Africa

31 May 2017

The Presidency is driving key projects that are fostering an inclusive economic growth in a developmental State

It is twenty-three years since we celebrated the advent of political freedom and constitutional democracy. However it remains an indictment on all of us that the majority of black people continue to be economically disempowered and that there is the emergence of economically polarized classes. The majority of South Africans are dissatisfied with the "economic gains from liberation", that a few have achieved.

No, this is not an opportunity to shift blame onto this sector or that sector of society but rather to acknowledge that the "skewed nature of ownership and leadership patterns needs to be corrected, and urgently.

There can be no sustainability in any economy if the majority is excluded. We have seen this expressed not only in earlier slave, peasant and middle-class revolutions but in modern history and more recently in global riots. People are rising against the unfair distribution of the wealth in their countries.

"The objective in our struggle in South Africa, as set out in the Freedom Charter, encompasses economic emancipation. It is inconceivable for liberation to have meaning without a return of the wealth of the country to the people as a whole.

As Oliver Regional Tambo put it that "to allow the existing economic forces to retain their interests intact, is to feed the roots of racial supremacy and exploitation, and does not represent even the shadow of liberation.

We need to drive towards inclusive national emancipation that must include what Oliver Tambo referred to as "economic emancipation".

The budget of the presidency is focused on results based performance, monitoring the planned outputs and outcomes of prioritized policies and commitments and evaluating measurable objectives identified in the Presidents strategic plan. This means Mr President that as the captain of this ship sailing in stormy seas you are responsible, not only to steer our ship but also to instruct your ministerial lieutenants to account effectively for their performance and their respective outcomes in this results based budget.

The budget of the presidency in a time of tight budgeting is focussed on "value for resources" and this depends upon an accountability chain. We know that public accountability and engagement with the people civil society, captains of industry, and generals in business enhances the legitimacy of governance and underpins your role Mr President as the custodian of the our dreams and to transform them into concrete delivery of services.

Honourable Speaker this budget offers the President an opportunity to ensure that all members of cabinet are brought into line, to account for their outputs and outcomes and in this way bring to life the vision of the National Development Plan.

Oversight has many meanings, are we understanding its meaning in respect of an instrument of accountability. Often it means simply site visits, at other times it amounts to a cursory look at reports from departments. Sometimes oversight is misinterpreted to mean Ministers simply "overlook" or "miss-out" key issues linked to service delivery for radical transformation.

We cannot afford to see oversight as simply a joy ride. The people of South Africa look to you Mr President so that they too benefit from this people centred budget. Scrutiny as part of oversight is not a spontaneous spark lit in wet weather during times of crisis but rather a sustainable process within our developmental State.

So what do we mean by radical socio-economic transformation? We mean fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female. When we talk about measures, strategies, and actions to achieve an inclusive economy it must reflect not only racial but also our gender demographics.

The presidency has engaged, business leaders, leaders from all sectors of the economy, indeed parliament has held colloquiums, public hearings and other engagements with captains of industry with business leaders and they confirm that they are not opposed to transformation. However their concerns revolve around the process and the measures adopted and implemented.

Mr President in your SONA address this year you said: "We reiterate that radical economic transformation should mean moving beyond share ownership schemes only. We would like to see black people involved directly in business, owning factories. The response of your ministers in the economic cluster together with development finance institutions such as the IDC, more recently the National Empowerment Fund have concretised the Black Industrialist programme.

A couple of examples will illustrate this. There is the funding of the first 100 percent black owned foundry that was funded through this programme. Naledi Foundry is the largest black owned foundry in South Africa. It moulds grey iron, SG iron (spheroidal graphite iron or ductile iron) and steel for applications in the automotive, transport, railway, mining, energy and valves. It employs about 320 people.

Naledi Forging is a licensed distributor of MG Valdunes and supplies railway wheel and wheelset requirements. In 2015, Naledi Forging was awarded a 7-year contract by Transnet for supply of forge train wheels to replace imports. To date, Naledi received the following government support:

R34 million under the Automotive Incentive Scheme to support further investment in plant and equipment. R900 million 12I tax incentive to support capital investments to be made for the forging and machining of forged wheels. The tax allowance will be realized through tax deductions over eight years. Equity, loans and working capital provided by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

Then there is the first 100 percent black female owned pet food company. is K9 Pet Foods represented by Ms Candice Steward.

In SONA the President confirmed the collective decision of cabinet that it is imperative to "start a new chapter", a chapter that would signify a decisive shift from the past slow pace of change and implementation of policy.

Echoing the clarion call of Oliver Regional Tambo in 1981 that called for Economic Emancipation the presidency confirmed that in this new chapter the State would play a role through radical socio-economic transformation.

Consequently the State will employ realistic and practical measures and make use of all the strategic levers available. The State will use not only legislation and regulations, licensing budgeting and procurement but charters, in particular the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment charter, to influence the behaviour of State Owned Entities, other agencies in the public sector and the private sector to drive transformation.

In a developmental State with an inclusive economy both men and women need to be able to reach their full potential. The presidency is intent on creating an enabling environment for our human capital youth men and women to contribute to their full potential. This is part of radical transformation.

South Africa seeks to be a developmental state as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP). This injunction requires all institutions to be aligned, to be functional, intersecting appropriately and optimizing the use of our state resources to achieve a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.

Such a state will defeat the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. I believe that the state we are building will be able to confront the fourth industrial revolution with confidence through the skilling, tooling for purpose of our youth and anticipating the future in a world that has become increasing difficult to predict.

Inkunzi isematholeni (the bull is among the calves) ie Leaders of tomorrow come from the youth.

Again the mind of a man is elevated to the status of the women he associates with, according to Alexandre Dumas therefore it is important that men meet women on equal terms in places of education, the work place, and of course in the home where they complement each other. Reframing perceptions of women is imperative.

The role of women is an intrinsic part of an inclusive economy. Whether women are located in their families, businesses, industry, market networks or promoting peace for development to take place women are critical catalysts for radical economic transformation.

An African proverb best sums up the value of women: When you educate a man you educate an individual but when you educate a women you educate a nation. ufundisa indoda ufundisa isiqu ukufundisa umfazi ufundisa isizwe.

"We are now stepping up our actions to deal with the other challenge, namely economic concentration, where a small grouping controls most of the market. It is expected that in this budget period that the Department of Economic Development will bring legislation to Cabinet that will amend the Competition Act of 1998. This will truly benefit people in business, industry but most important of all the ordinary person especially the poor. It will, among others, address the need to have a more inclusive economy and to de-concentrate the collusion by big companies and exploitation of our people we see in many sectors.

As members of Parliament, the voice of the people, we welcome the impending crafted amendment to the Competition Act of 1998. Why, because we seek to open up the economy to new players, give black South Africans opportunities in the economy and indeed help to make the economy more dynamic, competitive and inclusive. This is our vision of radical economic transformation.

Then there are the amendments being considered to the National Credit Act of 2005, which cushioned South Africa against the worst global crisis in 2008 and continues to promote a fair and non-discriminatory market place where all consumers can access credit from responsible lenders.

We use the NDP to guide every sector, plans and policies, programmes, projects and operations - including how budget and skills investment and other resources are allocated to move South Africa forward.

Operation Phakisa is one of the mechanisms we have put in place to implement the National Development Plan. It is a rapaid results delivery programme that we launched in July 2014. With the ultimate goal of boosting economic growth and creation of jobs. Operation Phakisa is a cross-sector programme where various stakeholders engage to implement initiatives and concrete actions to address constraints to delivery in a prioritised focused area for public accountability and transparency.

Phakisa is an innovative and pioneering approach to translate detailed plans into concrete results through dedicated delivery and collaboration. "Phakisa" means "hurry up" in Sesotho and the application of this methodology highlights government's urgency to deliver. It plays a crucial role in accelerating the delivery of some of the development priorities. This is a unique initiative to address issues highlighted in the NDP 2030 such as poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The implementation of the plans are rigorously tracked, monitored and regularly reported on in a project driven manner so that implementation challenges are actively managed for effective and efficient resolution.

Recently South Africa was downgraded indeed this is a challenge and many of our low income and impoverished people are negatively impacted upon.

However I believe we should seize this serious challenge as an opportunity to grow the economy by encouraging and promoting local procurement this will cut imports of the product and push value added production, manufacturing and agro-processing.

South Africa is also determined to expand its trading and cultural footprint beyond its traditional partners including the European Union and the United States to include countries in the South, BRICS and fresh partners in Asia. This is critical in our volatile global environment. South Africa has also played a significant role in strengthening trade on the Continent as well as facilitating regional industrialisation. Internationally South Africa is respected as a negotiator and supporter of multilateralism.

The presidency is leading the way for all South Africans to not only remain a geographical expression of Africa but to become an integral part of a united continent, the Presidential Infrastructure Programme in Africa ie the presidential flagship PICC seeks to open up Africa so that we can drive an exponential trajectory of partnership through culture, trade and investment.

This is in line with the objectives of the African Union and agenda 2063. Yes we committed not only to the political vision of a united Africa but also the socio-economic integration of the continent. Nkosi Sikeleli iAfrika.

I am an African we are all, who were born in Africa who live and contribute productively to our country, we are all Africans. Think Afrocentric and you will assimilate the conceptual paradigmatic change from simply economic growth or economic development to an inclusive economic growth. The ANC supports this new chapter in our developmental state. We support this budget.

     
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