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Economic Development Budget Vote Speech by comrade S A Tleane 10 May 2018

The African National Congress (ANC) supports the budget vote of the Economic Development portfolio. When the ANC was formed in 1912, many African countries sent representatives to this historic moment, thereby making it a continental affair. Since then, the ANC has always understood the particular role it has to play as a partner and not as big brother, in the development of Africa in general and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in particular. All it's succeeding conferences have resolved on striking partnerships with African countries, for economic cooperation and development. These partnerships are mutually beneficial to all participants.

In 2017 alone, the total value of exports and imports with Africa was R430 billion! We are also proud to indicate that more than a quarter of all South African exports went to African countries during the past year, despite the tough competition it faces from China and Germany. It is therefore not surprising that the major entity of the Economic Development Department (EDD), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has approved a whooping R2,4 billion for investment opportunities in the SADC region during this current year! Approval for funding for the rest of Africa (RoA) for 2018 is R95 million! The IDC remains a beacon of hope not only for our country, but for the rest of Africa and their work must be highly appreciated!

These investments will help to create jobs for our brothers and sisters in the SADC region and the (RoA), while also enhancing wealth creation in those countries. However, South African firms stand to benefit even more as the machinery, products and technical know-how required for this industrialization will be sourced from South Africa. The more exports we send to recipient countries, the more we will be promoting localization and creating more jobs for our people. When the economies of neighbouring countries grow, food security is enhanced, to enable the African mothers to be nourished, so that their breasts can be full of milk, and for the young ones to suckle and grow.

As a result of a condition put on a tin-mine financing deal in the DRC that the IDC supported, South Africa has benefitted directly with more than half a billion rands worth of orders placed in our country! I don't want to steal the thunder from Honourable Minister Ebrahim Patel. Minister, can you please shed more light on this beautiful development?

Phakama President Cyril Ramaphosa - Africa beckons! Phakama Minister Patel and Minister Davies - Africa beckons!

The fight against the legacy of colonial oppression on the continent must be intensified by Africans themselves! Over the last year, the Department has presented to the Portfolio Committee its insights into South Africa's trade relationship with other African countries. We want to encourage the Department to continue this work, and to highlight vulnerabilities and opportunities for partnership and unblocking of obstacles.

Gauteng, where I come from, remains the Industrial heartland of South Africa and of the continent as well. Our province is blessed with strong industrial capacity and deep expertise in financial and legal services which are very vital for African businesses and international businesses looking to invest in Africa! The efforts of the Minister through competition merger proceedings to ensure that the African Headquarters remain in South Africa are very important for our integration with the rest of Africa and I wish to appreciate that our ANC-led government is standing up for our people! Once more, the ANC supports this budget vote! I thank you!

     
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