Committee Report on Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape oversight visit

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Trade and Industry

10 March 2015
Chairperson: Ms J Fubbs (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry met briefly to discuss the report on its oversight visits to Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.  The Committee had visited the South African Bureau of Standards, the National Metrology Institute of South Africa, the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications and the South African National Accreditation System. In addition, the Committee conducted oversight visits to the following regulatory institutions: the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, the National Consumer Commission, the National Consumer Regulator, the National Lotteries Board, and the National Gambling Board. The Committee also visited the National Empowerment Fund, a development finance institution mandated to empower black individuals.

The Committee, informed by its deliberations, formulated recommendations for the Minister to consider based on these visits.

The Committee debated how the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission could increase its accessibility not only through self-service terminals, but also to have business registration points in all provinces. In terms of the National Lotteries Board and funding to sporting bodies, the Committee decided that the recommendation should include the fact that it might require an amendment of the principal legislation. In addition, Members insisted that the developmental aspects of sport be prioritised and that professional bodies be excluded from funding. Some Members felt that the National Empowerment Fund recipients did not ignite real productive economic opportunities. Even if it warranted legislative or regulatory change, the recommendations on NEF should include the fact that all the funds allocated should ignite or sustain local productive economic activities.

Meeting report

Committee Report on oversight visits to Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape

The Chairperson tabled the Committee report on its oversight visits to Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape. 

The Committee had undertaken a two part oversight visit. It visited 10 of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) 14 entities and the Coega and Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zones (IDZs). In terms of the entities, the Committee focused on the four technical infrastructure institutions, namely the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA), the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), and the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS). In addition, the Committee conducted oversight visits to the following regulatory institutions: the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), the National Consumer Commission (NCC), the National Consumer Regulator (NCR), the National Lotteries Board (NLB), and the National Gambling Board (NGB). The Committee also visited the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), a development finance institution mandated to empower black individuals.

The Committee, informed by its deliberations, formulated recommendations for the Minister to consider based on these visits.

Mr D Macpherson (DA) asked that the recommendation for the review of the South African safety standards be amended. There shoul be minimum standards for motor vehicles in terms of airbags and the anti-lock braking system (ABS). The wording of the recommendation as it was, conflated generators and motor vehicles.

The Chairperson said it should be worded so that it included the whole motor vehicle. She asked the Committee Secretary and the Content Advisor to amend the recommendation.

The Chairperson said the recommendation for the Design Institute to have an increase in its financial resources to promote innovation and research should be amended, because the entity also needed more space and wanted to increase its stock.

Mr F Shivambu (EFF) said the recommendations concerning the CIPC should reflect that the Commission should have business registration points in all provinces and all accessible areas.

The Chairperson agreed.

Mr A Williams (ANC) said one way to get the sites closer to the people would be to put them in the Thusong Service Centres.

The Chairperson said the recommendation further stated that CIPC should look to connect with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) to increase accessibility and the Thusong Centres could also be added.

Mr Shivambu said the CIPC expansion should include more than just the increase of self-service terminals.

Mr Macpherson said any place that had high use by the public, whether a shopping centre or a community service centre, should be considered by the CIPC. Naming specific places excluded many others.

The Chairperson said it also needed to be in a place with a high level of security and she asked Mr Williams to rework and draft the recommendation to include everybody’s suggestions.

In terms of the NLB, the recommendation was to review the Draft Regulations that proposed a reduction in the allocation to the arts, culture and heritage category.

Mr Shivambu asked whether submissions could still be made on those Regulations, because the NLB gave money to elite sporting bodies and there should perhaps be a recommendation that sport should be funded separately and NLB could focus on community projects where people had no other source of assistance.

The Chairperson said this would mean an amendment to the principle legislation.

Mr Shivambu said the NLB could fund developmental sport, but not elite sporting bodies like the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Mr M Kalako (ANC) agreed, but added there were a lot of developmental work being done by SASCOC and the recommendation should perhaps capture that th eNLB should allocate funding to SASCOC with the condition that the bulk of the funding should go to developing sporting codes.

Mr Williams suggested excluding ‘professional sporting bodies’.

Mr Shivambu said he did not think SASCOC should be distributing the NLB funding.

The Chairperson said the recommendation should include the fact that it might require amendment of the principal legislation and that the Committee insisted that the developmental aspects of sport be prioritised and that professional bodies be excluded from funding.

Mr Shivambu said the recipients of NEF did not ignite real productive economic opportunities. Even if it warranted legislative or regulatory change, the recommendations on NEF should include the fact that all the funds allocated should ignite or sustain local productive economic activities.

The Chairperson recalled the Minister had said that in future, allocations above a certain level should have his personal approval. She asked Mr Shivambu to draft the recommendation so that it included the importance of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) for the right purposes.

Mr Macpherson said the NEF dealt with entrepreneurs and innovators and innovators did not fit into a mould and it would be dangerous for the Committee to prescribe “who could do what through the NEF”. It could exclude the kind of people that needed to be attracted. The NEF should be focusing on high value innovations that could have broad ranging effects and consequences for South Africa.

The Chairperson said it would have to be discussed the following day, based on what Mr Shivambu would draft. The primary mandate of NEF was B-BBEE and it became a challenge when all the material to manufacture the product had to be imported to such a degree that the label could not even reflect South Africa.

The Chairperson asked Mr Macpherson to also draft an alternative recommendation and it would be discussed the next morning, because the Committee had a commitment with the Standing Committee on Finance.

The meeting was adjourned.

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