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President Jacob Zuma: Reply to questions at National Council of Provinces (NCOP)

16 November 2017

Mr S J Mohai (Free State: ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:

(1) Whether, as part of the implementation of the Declaration of the 9th BRICS Summit (details furnished), the Government will expand support for the manufacturing sector in order to ensure that it also benefits from the strong manufacturing sector of other BRICS countries; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

(2) whether this will include collaboration to enhance South Africa`s Industrialisation Programme in order to create jobs for our people and grow the economy; if not, why not; if so, (a) what plans are in place to implement the Declaration and (b) what are the further relevant details?

Reply:

Honourable Chairperson,

Manufacturing forms the backbone of our economy. It is an integral element in addressing some of the challenges facing our country.

Collaboration with BRICS countries on manufacturing is ongoing and includes inward foreign direct investment and outward export promotion of South African products, trade relations and technical co-operation including training programmes.

The manufacturing sectors of both India and China continue to be key drivers of broader economic and industrial growth in the global economy. South Africa benefits considerably from the export of primary commodities and intermediate goods to both of these economic powerhouses and other BRICS members.

We are keen to further promote foreign direct investment, particularly from manufacturing companies in BRICS member states. Significant progress has been registered in this regard and a good example is the significant investments made by Chinese companies into the automotive sector, which are estimated to be in the region of eight billion rand.

We have been engaging our BRICS Think Tank Council in order to identify concrete areas of cooperation that we can take forward during the BRICS Presidency in 2018.

A BRICS Network of Smart Manufacturing Hubs has been recommended which will pool together knowledge, technology and new ideas on the identification of new and interconnected value chains.

We will indeed seek to implement the Declaration as it relates to the fostering of partnerships for cooperation in Information and Communications Technology hardware, software and skills through developing the next generation of innovative solutions in the areas of smart cities, health care and energy efficient devices, amongst others.

Enhanced support for the manufacturing sector will be set out in the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2018-2019 which will be announced by the Minister of Trade and Industry.

We look forward to hosting the BRICS Summit next year, which will enable us to take the cooperation further, and also enhance benefits for South Africa.

I thank you.

Mr J J Londt (Western Cape: DA) to ask the President of the Republic:

What were the reasons for his decision to effect the 11th Cabinet reshuffle on 17 October 2017?

Reply:

Honourable Chairperson,

According to Section 91 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, the President of the Republic has the prerogative to appoint and remove members of Cabinet.

I exercise this power after careful consideration. The specific decisions to which you refer are presently the subject of judicial consideration.

I thank you.

Mr M Khawula (KwaZulu-Natal: IFP) to ask the President of the Republic:

(1) Whether the (a) monitoring and (b) evaluation of the performance of Ministers and Deputy Ministers impacts in any way in the consideration of the reshuffling of Cabinet; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;

(2) whether such considerations have any bearing on the ousting of the former (a) Minister Pravin Gordhan, (b) Minister Blade Nzimande, (c) Minister Derek Hanekom and (d) Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Honourable Chairperson,

According to Section 91 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, I have the prerogative to appoint and remove members of Cabinet. I exercise this power after careful consideration.

Some of the decisions to which you refer are presently the subject of judicial consideration.

I thank you.

Mr E R Makue (Gauteng: ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:

Whether South Africa has developed any programmes that give expression to the Southern African Development Community Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan that was adopted in Maputo in August 2012 (details furnished) to address the shortage of water in the region; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Honourable Chairperson,

The issue of augmenting water storage capacity is recognised as a key issue for climate resilience at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional level.

The SADC Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, adopted by the SADC Ministers Responsible for Environment and Natural Resources at their meeting in Gaborone, Botswana in November 2015, included water as a key component of the Sector Based Adaptation Strategic Interventions.

These interventions aim to promote the development of water resources infrastructure, water supply, conservation as well as related infrastructure development in order to increase the surface storage capacity of the region.

South Africa signed the SADC Protocol on Environmental Management for Sustainable Development at the 34th SADC Summit held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on the 18th of August 2014.

The Protocol will come into force once 10 SADC Member States have ratified it.

The Protocol enables among others, the joint implementation of environmental impact assessment for cross-border infrastructure development which includes water. This paves the way for faster completion of the projects.

The Protocol promotes the sustainable utilisation and trans-boundary management of the environment, thereby contributing to the Regional Industrialisation Strategy and Action Plan.

With respect to the SADC Infrastructure Master Plan of 2012, our government has been working with the New Partnership for Africa`s Development (NEPAD) Planning Agency and the African Union (AU) in rolling-out the priority projects. The NEPAD agency and AU took a decision to consolidate all regional infrastructure master plans into one continental plan called the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

Sixteen priority projects have been identified in the PIDA which include water and sanitation, Information and Communications Technology as well as transport and energy infrastructure. These projects are currently in the investor mobilisation phase, which was initiated in Dakar, Senegal in 2014.

The Department of Water and Sanitation is currently implementing the water sector projects that were identified in the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan.

These projects include the Lesotho Highlands Phase II and the Vaal-Gamagara Water Supply, which is a multiple phase project that seeks to meet the growth of the mining sector, the growth of domestic water requirements and to supply stock watering to farmers in the Kalahari Region of the Northern Cape.

The other water project undertaken by the Department of Water and Sanitation, which is part of the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan, is the Limpopo Basin Joint Water Monitoring. This project entails the monitoring of the Limpopo River, which is a trans-boundary river that is shared by Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

Last year our government launched the Trade Invest Africa programme in the Department of Trade and Industry. It aims to mobilise South African investments to priority infrastructure projects. These will include priority water projects in the SADC region. All these developments indicate our commitment to realising infrastructure development not only in South Africa but on our continent as a whole.

I thank you.

Mr G Michalakis (Free State: DA) to ask the President of the Republic:

Whether he intends to make fresh representations to the National Prosecuting Authority on the 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering before the deadline of 30 November 2017; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Honourable Chairperson,

The matter of the eighteen charges is currently before the National Prosecuting Authority and I am taking legal advice on it.

I thank you.

Mr L P M Nzimande (KwaZulu-Natal: ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:

(1) Whether, in line with Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy, the Government is making any progress in unlocking the economic potential of South Africa`s oceans, especially in affording the previously marginalised such as blacks, women, youth and rural communities greater access to the oceans economy; if not, why not; if so, (a) what progress and (b) what are the further relevant details;

(2) whether any plans are in place for greater investment in order to ensure that rural communities which are located along the coastal line areas have more economic initiatives that will create jobs; if not, why not; if so, (a) what plans and (b) what are the further relevant details?

Reply:

Honourable Chairperson,

A lot of progress has been made since the launch of Operation Phakisa.

Since the launch of the Oceans Economy segment of Operation Phakisa, the investments that have been unlocked are worth about twenty five billion rand, with a government contribution of fifteen billion rand.

Over six thousand five hundred jobs have been created in the various sectors. Over thirty percent of these jobs are taken up by women, youth and the persons with disability.

The largest contribution to the total investment in the oceans economy was from infrastructure development, mainly in our ports, manufacturing, mainly in boat building, aquaculture and scientific surveys in the oil and gas sector, having being facilitated through Government incentives.

Skills development is a core component of the Oceans Economy in which women and youth are prioritised, especially in the Marine Transport and Marine Manufacturing sectors.

Specialised Operation Phakisa Training programmes are taking place to assist communities around the Ports of Cape Town, East London and Durban.

In the Port of Durban twenty four apprentices from surrounding communities are receiving training at Transnet Engineering depots in Durban. The apprentices are being trained to be qualified coded welders and millwrights.

Also the Maritime Youth Development Programme, which recruits unemployed young South Africans onto international cruise liners has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Eastern Cape Office of the Premier to train one hundred and fifty candidates from the OR Tambo and Buffalo City Municipalities.

Employment for local communities has been an important spin-off from the Oceans Economy project.

In the Eastern Cape, the Hamburg Community Project has employed twenty three people from the local community to produce twenty tons of dusky kob fish per annum.

More jobs are expected to be created in the aquaculture projects, focusing on women and youth and black people in particular as part of radical economic transformation.

With regards to future investments, the New Business Development department of the Transnet Port Authority working under the Oceans Economy are busy identifying new business opportunities in the maritime industry.

The Oceans Economy Phakisa also seeks to grow the boat building sector. The manufacturing of vessels has unlocked huge investments.

The tugboat manufacturing project has unlocked one point four billion rand investment by the Transnet National Ports Authority in the Port of Durban. An amount of seven hundred million rand has been earmarked for supplier development, empowering suppliers, youth and graduates.

In the Oil and Gas sector, six production rights and fourteen exploration rights have been issued.

In addition, two technical co-operation permits have been issued, both of which are held by companies that are one hundred percent owned by black people.

More rural and local economic opportunities are planned for Qolorha in the Eastern Cape and Amatikulu in KwaZulu-Natal and other inland and coastal areas.

As government we will continue to work closely with our partners, especially the private sector, to attract investments that lead to economic growth and job creation, through this important economic programme.

I thank you.

     
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