The Chairperson took the Members to page 41 to revisit the Recommendations made by the Committee in relation to the Committee’s observations. Members recommended a report back on outstanding issues related to the Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo report; an adequate answer on the now discontinued process to appoint members for the National Small Business Advisory Council and that the process should be reinstated; the issue of the transfer of the incubation support programme from the DTI should be reiterated in the Report. Members moved for the adoption of the Report. However, Mr Chance noted that the DA did not second the Report.
Committee Report on Small Business Development Budget Vote
The Chairperson reflected that the Committee did not have much to do regarding the draft Budget Vote Report, as most of the work had already been done in the first consideration of the draft Budget Vote Report. However, observations had been made as well as recommendations in relation to the first batch of observations. The Committee would only focus on those observations and recommendations that it had made the last time.
Mr X Mabasa (ANC) pleaded with the Chairperson that the meeting had to proceed after waiting for quite a while for members.
The Chairperson agreed and allowed members to make inputs.
Mr R Chance (DA) had three additions to the recommendations of the Committee in the Budget Vote Report; firstly, he noted that the DSBD had not yet produced a comprehensive report to the Committee on its reaction to the recommendations and implementations of the SNG (Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo) report which had been commissioned by the DSBD itself. Therefore, there was uncertainty on whether the DSBD agreed with that SNG report or not.
Secondly, there had not been an adequate answer from the DSBD on why it had discontinued the process of appointing the members of the National Small Business Advisory Council. The positions had been advised last year, but the process had fallen by the way side and it was in the provision of the Act under which the DSBD was currently operating, and the establishment of that Advisory Council was essential. He suggested that the Committee had to insist on that process being restarted.
Thirdly, it seemed like the DSBD had lost the transfer of the incubation support programme from the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry). So the committee had to reiterate the need for that programme as it had in its previous report, and that the transfer had to happen in order for DSBD to be at the centre of competence in terms of development within government.
The Chairperson highlighted that on the first suggestion made by Mr Chance, the DSBD had reported back to the Committee last year on its presentation. That presentation had been based on the SNG report, and it was appropriately discussed in the Committee, and a conclusion had been reached that those programmes that had been agreed on had to continue. The Chairperson also noted that the SNG report had been analysed and the Department had then held workshops internally within its structures. A report had then been compiled which had considered the recommendations entailed in the SNG report. Albeit that in the SNG report there were some issues that the DSBD had differing views on, as well as questions the Committee also had raised. It had indeed been taken into account when the Department presented to the Committee the previous year. However, there were issues that were agreed on and were given a green-light for implementation and those had then been incorporated on the Strategic Plan of the DSBD. For instance, there had been a programme that was designed for women and it had been concluded that that programme had to be discontinue. That had been recommended in the SNG report, and so the DSBD was in accord with the recommendation. However, from the Committee’s engagements with Cooperatives and SMMEs five issues had consistently come up, which included; a lack of access to finance, lack of access to the market, technical and business skills training, infrastructure and red tape. It had then recommended the programme had to continue. She suggested that perhaps the DSBD should report back to the Committee on the outstanding issues out on the SNG report.
Mr Mabasa noted that under the recommendations the name ‘Cooperatives’ should be embraced, and he also highlighted some grammatical errors.
Mr T Mulaudzi (ANC) said the issue of the name ‘Cooperative’ was being handled by the office of the Presidency as had been reported by the DSBD, certainly then the issue was been dealt with, and it seemed as though the name was being forced. The process should be left to take its course.
The Chairperson said that it was important to emphasize and embrace the name ‘Cooperative’ because it was one of the three pillars driving economic growth and development in the country. Therefore having the issue embraced and finalised would serve as motivation and Cooperatives would be then radically transformed.
The Members moved for the adoption of the Budget Vote Report with the said amendments, except that the DA would reserve its right to adopt the report.
The meeting was adjourned.
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