Department of Trade & Industry 2011 Strategic Plan; Committee Strategic Plan

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Trade and Industry

29 March 2011
Chairperson: Ms J Fubbs (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee discussed its plan of action for the year. It reviewed what it had not done in the previous year, what the Department wanted done and how the Companies Bill and Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP2) would influence its plan. To spread the workload the Committee would split into tasks teams comprising a minimum of three members. In the first financial quarter it would tackle the Intellectual Property Amendment Bill. It wanted to get a mandate from the Department to monitor the Industrial Development Corporation programmes as it impacted on IPAP2. The steel report was the only outstanding report from last year and it needed to be passed in April. The Committee would meet on the afternoon of 12 April 2011 to deliberate on the Department’s budget vote.

Meeting report

Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry: Draft Annual Plan 2011/12
The Committee discussed its plan of work for the year. It reviewed what it had not done in the previous year, what the Department wanted done, how the Companies Bill and IPAP2 legislation would influence its plan. It started off by discussing aspects of its vision, mission, mandate and key objectives. It acknowledged that financial institutions were one of the stakeholders it needed to engage more with.

Mr B Radebe (ANC) suggested that the Committee had to meet with the new entities that fell under its auspices, because they were new and the Committee needed to see their plans.

Mr J Smalle (DA) proposed that the Committee had to follow up on the Companies Amendment Bill by meeting with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

Ms S Van der Merwe (ANC) wanted the Committee to meet with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) in light of the emphasis on job creation in the State of the Nation Address.

The Chairperson said it was important that the Committee met with the Lotteries Board but that it awaited a report from the Department which had been sent to Cabinet.

The Committee agreed in principle to divide into task teams of a minimum of three Members to spread the workload.

The Chairperson said that the Committee needed to monitor the Industrial Development Corporation‘s (IDC) programmes, not its plans and budget. It needed to get a mandate from the Director-General regarding its right to engage with the IDC as it impacted on the IPAP2.

The Chairperson noted that the Intellectual Property Amendment Bill had been tabled in 2009 and was anticipated to be finished by June. Key policy issues were not only South-South co-operation, as per the document, but also regional and continental trade.

On an oversight visit to Coega, the Committee had discovered the importance of a funding model that was co-ordinated amongst the three spheres of government as the project had ground to a halt because of a lack of co-ordination.

The Committee had a number of projects that it wanted to follow up. It wanted to send a letter requesting it to be invited on international trips for two or three Members of the Committee, especially to African countries.
The Committee Secretary had to get a list of conferences held in Africa as the Committee wanted to participate in them. It also wanted to request the Department that it be represented on BRICs. It wanted to discuss the Doha round developments with the Minister. The Committee felt it had to develop its own input on carbon reduction. It wanted to know from the Department what was climate change’s link to the Department and to public procurement and it wanted more information on Support Program for Industrial Innovation (SPII) as well as inform it what ‘New generation issues’ were all about. It saw the implementation of policies like IPAP2 and the Khumba steel issue as particular priorities.

There were a number of pieces of legislation the Committee would have to deal with this year. The first being the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill. The Co-operative Laws Amendment Bill had gone to Cabinet and the Committee was waiting for the process to go forward from there. The Estate Agents Amendment Bill would be tackled in the second quarter as well as The National Credit Amendment Bill. The Lotteries Bill was scheduled for August and BBBEE in September. A member of the Department said that the Companies Regulations would be finalised and published the following week.

Deliberations on the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill would start at end of May. The Committee wanted to prioritise its tasks as it did not want to operate in crisis mode. The Chairperson asked the Department’s representative to provide its business plan as the strategic plan was not suitable for the Committee’s purposes. It needed the figures in the business plan to do its oversight function. It would not seek to rewrite the Department’s budget but its recommendations would then be from an informed point of view.

On oversight visits it wanted to be accompanied by representatives of the different dti entities who could answer any questions communities might raise.

The Committee had a number of projects. It wanted new members to do a short study tour. The Committee was told to write a letter of motivation why new members were to be considered for the study tour. It wanted a workshop organised by the Department to inform it on “new generation issues.” Members wanted the training it did through the
Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa (TRALAC), the dti and other institutions to result in a certificate being issued. The Secretary was tasked with identifying the statutory bodies and the discharge of statutory functions the Committee was involved in. It wanted to investigate Rob Coss Aviation, manufacturers of training aircraft, who could potentially provide a Pilatus equivalent trainer at half the price and it was manufactured in South Africa.

The Committee still needed to pass the steel report by April. This was the only outstanding report.

Ms Van der Merwe would chair the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill task team. Other members were Mr T Harris (DA) and Adv A Alberts (FFP).

It would meet on the afternoon of 12 April 2011 to deliberate on the Department’s budget vote.

The meeting was adjourned.



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