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Speech by Honourable Pikinini, During the Economic Development Budget Vote, National Assembly, 10 May 2018

Honourable Speaker/House Chairperson

Honourable Members

Guests from COSATU as well as from business

In this year of our beloved icons mama Albertina Sisulu and tata Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela we will leave for your values. This Portfolio Committee is making several strides in our fight to create jobs and provide our people with opportunity.

I want to focus on oversight of the IDC and industrial funding.

As referred to by the conference hosted in November last year with Professor Stiglitz, highlighted the importance of maintaining South Africa's industrialization, with a focus on high value-add manufacturing, agriculture and the service economy.

The Conference decision also said, and I quote:

In order to increase industrialization in South Africa is it is necessary that retailers, government and companies buy locally-made goods. The ANC National Conference in December laid out very clearly the importance of localization.

The NDP focal areas on economic transformation resolutions are as follows:

1. Placing emphasis on mineral benefitiation
2. Support for women and youth owned small businesses and cooperatives
3. The establishment of a state bank
4. Rural developmet and land reform
5. Supportive macro economic framework

The initiative with the retail sector will be especially important to ensure South African manufacturers can grow.

The apology of the retailer, H&M for their offensive marketing is not sufficient to address what was a very hurtful comment. We must also send a message to H&M that Africa is not simply a consumer market. The clothing in their stores sold here in South Africa, are all imported. It is time they woke up to smell the coffee and began to source clothing for their local and international stores from local clothing factories.

I am from the Eastern Cape and I have seen the closure of clothing factories because many retailers simply source from countries which do not support workers rights and fair wages. The industry in Dimbaza was destroyed, which deepens poverty. That is not responsible business. Surely that is not what responsible retailers want to do? We need a new model that Woolworths and Pep Stores must also follow so that they can source locally and help South Africa to industrialise.

We also welcome the work which Ministry is doing with other government departments to ensure that more of the State's procurement can come from local suppliers. This was a matter highlighted by President Ramaphosa on Tuesday in this very House. We must put an end to government buying imported caps or t-shirts and we hope all political parties will follow suit.

I must also commend the work of the IDC to support black industrialists, and women and youth-empowered businesses. Investment from the IDC is supporting community forestry projects like those in Makaula and Ludidi in the Eastern Cape, which if it is successful, can employ hundreds of young South Africans in my province. However, the IDC can still do more I believe. We must do more to remove bureaucracy, speed up the time taken to make a decision on applications and ensure a smoother process for those South Africans who need industrial funding to expand their production.

I am glad that the IDC is taking clear steps to improve its governance and the Minister may want to share with the house how this will help in the fight against corruption.

I applaud the President's Investment Initiative to bring R1.2 trillion of fresh investment to South Africa in the next 5 years, to help develop South Africa's industrial capacity. I wish his investment envoys and government officials all the best in their endeavors to bring home this investment.

I am glad that IDC is taking clear steps to improve its governance and the minister may want to share with the house- how this will help in the fight against corruption?

In conclusion, as the ANC, we support this Budget.

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