Statement by the Minister Of Trade And Industry on
Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP)

 

by Mrs Pat Lebenya-Ntanzi MP
 

National Assembly: 18 February 2010

 

Honourable Speaker,

 

Last year the Minister announced to business that a new Industrial Policy Action Plan would be released early in 2010. Its release today is a good sign that things are moving within the expected timeframe.

 

The question, however, is whether this new Plan will ensure that actual job creation and job retention can be achieved within an adequate timeframe to meet the needs of our people, or whether this will be just another policy that is slow in getting off the ground and ineffective in its implementation.

 

The IFP has repeatedly raised concerns with South Africa's lack of leadership and direction, especially on the economic front where there is a lack of economic vision and the lack of a clear, crisp and coherent industrial policy.

 

The Minister's statement today, that the new plan will lead to the creation of 2 477 000 direct and indirect decent jobs over the next ten years and that it will diversify and grow exports, improve the trade balance, build long term industrial capability, grow our domestic technology and catalyze our skills development must be welcomed and the IFP supports these initiatives. However, we sincerely hope that these ambitious plans will not remain a mere wish-list but that it will be a significant step forward in scaling-up up our efforts to promote long term industrialization and industrial diversification .

 

The IFP has warned on numerous occasions, that a failure to urgently address our employment crisis will come at the expense of our young people, and the future of our nation. The urgency with which we need to move on this issue was highlighted by the IFP President when he spoke in the debate on Monday.

Long before the world economic recession hit South Africa, he warned Government that it would affect us severely.

 

Now we face another hurdle in the struggle to create and retain jobs; the anticipated recessionary effects of infrastructure being completed and spending ending in respect of the 2010 World Cup. Thousands more jobs will be shed by August this year. An Action Plan that fails to address this immediate crisis is a failed Action Plan.

 

The IFP therefore urges Government to move quickly!

 

 

I thank you.