The Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development considered and adopted the minutes of meetings held on 14, 15 and 22 April 2015.
The Committee unanimously adopted the minutes with amendments. The Committee noted an objection raised on reference to the Freedom Charter in the minutes of 14 April.
The following issues to be followed up were identified: the Minister and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) Board were to be invited to discuss the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for SEDA; SEDA’s use of consultants to complete their mandate as opposed to giving opportunities to unemployed graduates; and the support of spaza shops.
SEDA was to present the Committee with an organogram in order to know how many people were employed in SEDA and to understand how much was spent on remuneration of SEDA personnel and consultants. The Committee would also follow up on whether Elnah Sekwane was assisted by SEFA.
The Committee unanimously adopted the third term programme of the Committee.
Consideration and Adoption of Outstanding Minutes
Committee Minutes dated 14 April 2015
There was some discussion about whether the Freedom Charter should be referenced in the minutes as
Mr R Chance (DA) felt it was not relevant and that its inclusion reflected an attempt of the ANC to impose a document on all parties. Some Members felt that the removal of the reference to the Freedom Charter would make no difference to the meaning of the document, while others felt that the reference could not cause offense as it was the basis of the Constitution and was a guiding document that was used to bring about a new phase of South Africa and to transform the country.
It was agreed that the objection be noted but the reference to the Freedom Charter would remain.
Typographical and grammatical errors were corrected, and Members expressed concern that minutes of meetings were being presented for adoption too long after the meeting occurred. It was suggested that minutes be made available immediately after the meeting or on a weekly basis. Corrections were made to the closing remarks.
The minutes of the 14 April 2015 of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development were adopted with amendments.
Committee Minutes dated 15 April 2015
Typographical and grammatical errors were corrected.
There was discussion about whether or not the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) subsidised foreign investments. It was suggested that the word ‘subsidizing’ be replaced by the word ‘supporting’.
The Chairperson under observation proposed that the word movement be replaced by the word migration and under page six proposed the use of Presidential poverty nodes.
The minutes of the meeting of 15 April 2015 were adopted with corrections.
Committee Minutes dated 22 April 2015
Spelling and grammatical errors were corrected.
The minutes of the meeting of 22 April were adopted with amendments.
Follow up on the minutes of 15 April 2015
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee discuss the appointment of SEDA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Mr Chance commented that he had asked SEDA’s Acting CEO some weeks ago if he was willing to apply for the position of CEO but said he wanted to go back to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). He agreed that the Committee needed to send an urgent message to the Minister to update the Committee on the status of the CEO position and the Committee had asked for the organogram of SEDA too.
The Chairperson suggested that follow up be made on the issue of the Acting CEO with the Minister and the Board of SEDA.
The Chairperson also proposed that the Committee follow up on the support given to spaza shops. SEDA planned to have an outreach programme to train people in rural areas but faced challenges due to its lack of personnel. The organisation claimed it did not have enough funds, yet it was using consultants to do its work. While SEDA was asking for more money to retain its staff there were unemployed graduates that could be put into learnership programmes to meet up the lack of capacity in SEDA. The Committee had the responsibility to look at interventions that addressed the unemployment of graduates and utilization of consultants as opposed to giving more money to SEDA who delegated its work to expensive consultants.
Mr T Khoza (ANC) agreed with the proposed follow up issues and commented that he did not understand why SEDA was asking for more money when it could afford to utilize expensive consultants.
Mr X Mabasa (ANC) suggested that the Department of Education be brought forward to address the problem of unemployed graduates.
The Chairperson said that SEDA was to present the Committee with an organogram in order to know how many people were employed in SEDA and to understand how much was spent on remuneration of SEDA personnel and consultants. The Committee would also follow up on whether Elnah Sekwane was assisted by SEDA.
Third Term Committee Programme
The Chairperson explained why the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and other entities were to be visited and the third-term programme of the Committee was adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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