Committee's Strategic Plan and Budget, and outstanding matters: consideration

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Trade and Industry

16 November 2011
Chairperson: Ms Fubbs J (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered its Strategic Plan and Budget, and outstanding matters.

The Committee Researcher guided Members through the Status Report and Outcomes of the 2011 Trade and Industry Workplan document. The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill [B8-2010] had been redrafted; the Committee’s report on the bill had been adopted only in October 2011 was currently being processed by the National Council of Provinces.

The Committee had undertaken in July 2011 an oversight visit to Northern Cape and Gauteng over the newly established National Consumer Commission and Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. The Committee had heard briefings on the Department of Trade and Industry's strategic plan and budget vote.  It had adopted its Budget Vote Report on 14 April 2011. The Committee had completed its Budget Review and Recommendation Report and Annual Report. As part of this process, it considered the Department of Trade and Industry’s Annual Report, as well as the South African Bureau of Standards and the National Regulator of Compulsory Specifications’ Annual Reports. Furthermore, it had focused on challenges experienced by the National Consumer Commission and the National Credit Regulator.

The Committee had adopted on 24 September 2011 the Report on the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2. The Committee undertook public hearings in the Sedibeng District Municipality during its July oversight visit to Gauteng on the financing of business to promote industrial and small business development. The Committee had engagements with the Banking Association of South Africa, the Industrial Development Corporation, the National Empowerment Fund and Khula Enterprise Finance on their contributions in providing access to finance. The Minister had in June 2011 briefed the Committee on recent developments in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa - East African Community – Southern African Development Community Tripartite Free Trade Agreement.

The Committee had not completed its plan to assess the development, implementation and impact of Black Economic Empowerment Charters and the Empowerment and Economic Development Division training on the Codes of Good Practice.

Issues remaining unresolved were the analysis of the impact of the financial crisis and the proposed financial crisis interventions, for which the Committee had requested input from three economists, and the plans for reviewing and promoting rural development initiatives and strategy for agro-processing industries.

The Committee resolved to take forward the activity on financial crisis interventions because there was need for an engagement on this as it would impact on the Industrial Policy Action Plan. The Committee also resolved to focus on areas directly related to the Department of Trade and Industry, specifically agro-processing industries. It would possibly request reports from relevant portfolio committees on promoting rural development initiatives.

The Chairperson said that the system for reporting had been changed from the calendar year to the financial year.

The Committee Secretary gave an update on the Committee's budget  as of November 2011.

The Committee agreed that the attendance register for each meeting should be attached to the respective minutes.


Meeting report

Committee's Strategic Plan and Budget, and outstanding matters: consideration
The Committee Researcher guided the members through the Status Report and Outcomes of the 2011 Trade and Industry Workplan document.

In the period under review the Committee had redrafted the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill [B8-2010] and finalised its process in September 2011. The Committee adopted its report on the Bill only in October 2011 and the Bill was currently being processed by the National Council of Provinces.

Some of the legislation awaited in 2011/12 was Cooperatives Amendment Bill, Estate Agents Amendment Bill (introduction date pending consultation between Ministers of Human Settlements and Trade and Industry), National Credit Amendment Bill and Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Amendment Bill. Legislation also being awaited was the Lotteries Amendment Bill, Final Regulations for Companies and Consumer Protection Acts, and Regulations for the Public Preferential Procurement Framework Act (PPPFA).

The Committee had undertaken in July 2011 an oversight visit to Northern Cape and Gauteng over the newly established National Consumer Commission and Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. Visits were  also made to ArcelorMittal South Africa and Kumba Iron Ore Ltd.

The Committee had heard briefings on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)'s Strategic Plan and its Budget Vote. It had also requested the DTI to submit an annual business plan to assist more accurate monitoring and evaluation of the DTI’s quarterly financial and non-financial performance. The Committee had adopted its Budget Vote Report on 14 April 2011. The Committee had completed its Budget Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) and Annual Report. As part of this process, it had considered the Department of Trade and Industry’s Annual Report 2010/11, as well as the South African Bureau of Standards and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications’ annual reports. Furthermore, it had focused on challenges experienced by the National Consumer Commission and the National Credit Regulator.

The Committee had adopted on 24 September 2011 the Report on the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) 2, after the oversight visit to ArcelorMittal SA and Kumba Iron Ore in July 2011.  The Committee undertook public hearings in the Sedibeng District Municipality during its July oversight visit to Gauteng on the financing of business to promote industrial and small business development. The Committee had engagements with the Banking Association of South Africa, the Industrial Development Corporation, the National Empowerment Fund and Khula Enterprise Finance on their contributions in providing access to finance.

The Minister had in June 2011 briefed the Committee on recent developments in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa - East African Community – Southern African Development Community (COMESA-EAC-SADC) Tripartite Free Trade Agreement, and two Members of the Committee attended the SACU Regional Conference held in Gauteng in July 2011.

In addition the International Trade and Economic Development Division (ITED), DTI, had briefed the Committee on relations with the India, Brazil and South Africa group (IBSA), the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa group (BRICS), and the European Union (EU) in April 2011.

On Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) the Committee had not completed its plan to assess the development, implementation and impact of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Charters and the Empowerment and Economic Development Division training on the Codes of Good Practice during the 2011/12 financial year. Issues that had remained unresolved since the 2010/11 financial year were the analysis of the impact of the financial crisis and the proposed financial crisis interventions for which the Committee had requested input from three economists. In addition the plans for reviewing and promoting rural development initiatives and strategy for agro-processing industries remained unresolved

Discussion
The Chairperson asked the members if the Financial Crisis Interventions which was one of the issues that remained unresolved since the 2010/11 financial year should be taken forward.

Mr B Radebe (ANC) replied that the financial crisis had actually worsened. There was need for an engagement about this matter as it would impact on the Industrial Policy Action Plan. The Committee needed to be sure so that decisions that were made would be in the right direction.

The Chairperson asked the Members if the issue of reviewing and promoting rural development initiatives that had remained unresolved since the 2010/11 financial year should also be taken forward. The Committee was dealing with this issue in the context of IPAP 2.

Ms C Kotsi (COPE) advised that the Committee should focus on areas that were directly related to DTI, specifically agro-processing industries; and possibly request reports on other issues from the related portfolio committees.

Mr Radebe agreed with Ms Kotsi’s position. The Committee should just follow up on aspects related to the agro-processing industry.

The Chairperson observed that there was need to put time lines in the Strategic Plan as well as possible resources. These were presently missing. 

The Chairperson pointed out that the Cooperatives Amendment Bill should be reflected as two pieces of legislation and not one as was reflected in the Strategic Plan.

Mr Radebe pointed out that in terms of the Budget Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) and Annual Report activities in the Strategic Plan, the Committee needed to request all entities to brief it on their strategic plans and budgets. The Committee had not managed to do this in the past.

The Chairperson expressed concern that some issues that had been covered were not reflected in the Strategic Plan. These issues included, among other things the Working Group visit to gambling sites in the Gauteng province and the International Property (IP) Law Conference hosted by the University of Stellenbosch, which had been attended by Members of the Committee.

Mr Radebe observed that more needed to be done under International Trade and Regional Integration. The Committee should follow up on bilateral agreements and establish what had been achieved at least a year after these had been signed.

The Chairperson agreed with Mr Radebe and further pointed out that the Committee was doing well in areas of legislation but had failed in the area of International Trade and Regional Integration.

The Chairperson informed the Members that the system for reporting had been changed from the calendar year system (January to December). Reporting would now be based on the financial year system.

The Chairperson informed the Members that the Strategic Plan would go to the Committee's management committee (MANCO) after the issues that had been observed had been taken care of by the Committee Secretary.

The Committee Secretary updated the Members on the budget of the Committee as of November 2011. The budget allocated for this financial year was R888 000 and total expenditure to date was R527 452. The money that remained available was R360 548. The budget outlined how the money was allocated and spent. (Budget not circulated to public during meeting).

Committee Minutes: adoption
The Committee adopted its minutes of 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 21 September; 12, 14 and 19 October 2011.

Discussion
The Chairperson, referring to the minutes of 14 October 2011, ‘Minister & Department of Trade and Industry: briefing on Annual Report 2010/11, & Industrial Policy Action Plan’  observed that the minutes needed to contain more substance on the deliberations. Such detail should not be confined to the attached transcript.

Ms F Khumalo (ANC) observed that she was missing from the list of those present for meetings that she had attended. 

Mr B Radebe (ANC) proposed that in future the attendance register should be attached to the minutes.

The Chairperson seconded this suggestion and instructed that this mistake be rectified and that in future minutes should include an attached attendance register.

The Chairperson reminded Members that any apologies should be handed to the Committee Secretary on a Wednesday prior to a Friday meeting and not on the Friday itself.

The meeting was adjourned.

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