National Assembly, 12th April 2011
The aftershocks of the recent recessionary
period have by necessity caused governments to prioritize economic
development and placed this at the forefront of government policies
the world over.
South Africa, arguably the economic
powerhouse of the continent, experienced an unprecedented 15 ½ years
or 62 quarters of uninterrupted economic growth before the
recession. We are the most infra-structurally sound country on the
continent of Africa, we have an abundance of mineral wealth as well
as a highly developed financial sector and a world class legal
framework. In addition we have just become a member of BRICS, and as
such are perfectly poised for rapid economic growth.
In South Africa, we have a substantial
amount of Small and medium sized enterprises, which the IFP believe
are potentially the largest generators of sustainable economic
growth. SME's, their establishment and growth must be encouraged and
assisted by government through favourable policy and finance
measures. Continuing education for small business owners in the
areas of business and accounting management should be offered in all
Academy's such as the one recently sponsored
by Samsung Electronics, the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy,
which seeks to tackle the shortage of technical and engineering
skills in this country, are also to be encouraged. Multi-National
businesses have both an ethical and moral responsibility to their
host nations to fund skills development programmes for the youth,
the unemployed and the under-privileged. Samsung's goal of reaching
out and impacting on 5 million lives by 2015 through such programmes
is to be well commended.
The ten billion rand stimulus loan package
unveiled by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) last month
will certainly assist small businesses and as such foster economic
growth and reduce unemployment. The IFP is particularly pleased that
this finance will also be available to business "start-ups" as a
culture of entrepreneurship needs to be encouraged by government.
As far as challenges to economic growth are
concerned, the IFP is particularly concerned about the reliable
supply of energy to our growing economy particularly in light of
recent predictions of demand starting to outstrip supply.
Incompetence is still rife at Eskom with recent breakdown of an R3bn
600 megawatt turbine, with the taxpayer as always having to foot the
Unemployment, the highest it has ever been,
is another key challenge to economic growth and this together with
other debilitating social conditions such as HIV and poverty need to
be addressed urgently and in a sustainable manner. We at the IFP
believe that not enough is being done in this regard.
Service delivery protests in different parts
of the country and the continuous cry by people that they are not being
assisted sufficiently by government are cases in point.
Infrastructure grants not being fully
utilized is both as shocking as it is criminal. It speaks volumes
when an ANC APPOINTED Minister of Finance withholds allocations to
each and every one of the 8 ANC run provinces because of their
failures to spend their infrastructure grants correctly.
Fact: The ANC-run provinces are being denied
a combined sum of R2.47 Billion in infrastructure grants this
financial year alone due to bad administration, planning and
This is economic growth retardation of the
worst kind because it is solely due to incompetent, inept and
corrupt staff within provincial departments.
In conclusion Mr Minister, the IFP want to
see a year of quantifiable action. A year in which real economic
growth takes place. We, as the IFP, have faith and wish you and your
department all the best in transforming faith into reality.
I thank you.
IFP spokesperson on Finance
on 083 788 5954