National Assembly: 18 February 2010
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
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
I thank you.