Economic Development Budget: Committee Report

Economic Development

08 May 2018
Chairperson: Ms E Coleman (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered its Report on Budget Vote 25: Economic Development Department. No substantive changes were made to the Report. Grammatical and minor technical changes were made to the Report where necessary. The Committee did agree to include in the Report if it was not already covered in existing recommendations, a recommendation to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) that Price Preference System (PPS) amendments on scrap metal be finalised as soon as possible.

The Committee adopted the Report as amended.

Meeting report

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development on Budget Vote 25: Economic Development Department
The Chairperson placed the Report before the Committee for consideration. She proceeded to take the Committee through the Report page by page.  Members were encouraged to effect changes to the Report where they deemed it necessary.

Members effected grammatical and minor technical changes to the Report where it was deemed necessary. No substantive changes were made to the Report. Where necessary, members also asked Committee staff to check on the correctness of figures contained in the Report and to remove unneeded information that had been included.

Committee recommendations to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)
Contained in the Report the Committee recommended that a monitoring strategy be developed to ensure that the Black Industrialists Programme met its goal of inclusivity to reduce income inequalities in the country and to contribute to rural economic growth.

Dr M Cardo (DA) asked whether the Black Industrialist Programme would really reduce inequality.
The Chairperson responded that the current focus was to bring about equality between the previously disadvantaged and the previously advantaged, essentially to close the gaps between the have and have nots. She explained that where even one black individual became a success it had a ripple effect that extended to the person’s family members even if they lived in rural areas. One could see the change in the lives of people. Better houses were built and the quality of lives of people in general was improved.

Mr S Tleane (ANC) noted that inclusivity did reduce inequality. 

Dr Cardo also suggested that the Committee in endeavouring to do its best in doing its work should also monitor the process of including the private sector.

The Committee felt the suggestion to be a good one.

Competition Commission
The Report spoke about the Competition Commission being established to deconcentrate the market and level the playing field in the South African economy in accordance with the Competition Act no 89 of 1998, as amended.

Dr Cardo felt that the Competition Commission had not been established to deconcentrate the market. The Competition Commission was amongst other things tasked with regulating mergers and promoting competition.

Mr Tleane disagreed with Dr Cardo. The Competition Commission was established to deconcentrate the market. One of the key tasks of the Competition Commission was to fight dominance. It had to take action against the abuse of dominance.

The Chairperson said that the issue was perhaps around the use of language. Deconcentration could mean to deal with dominance in the market. Government and the Competition Commission were now tasked with dealing with dominance in the market which essentially meant deconcentrating the market. Perhaps further clarification could be done in the Report.

Mr I Pikinini (ANC) agreed that the issue was around the usage of words. There was perhaps a need to define the term “deconcentrate”.

The Chairperson stated that perhaps it should be clearly stated that the focus of the Competition Commission was now about deconcentration. The correct wording would be looked at.    

International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC)
On the ITAC, Dr Cardo asked for an update on the Price Preference System (PPS) on scrap metal. He wished for the Committee to recommend that the PPS be finalised.

The Chairperson asked Dr Cardo to come up with a formulation for the recommendation that he wished to be made.

Dr Cardo came up with the following formulation, “The PPS amendments on scrap metal should be finalised as soon as possible.”

The Chairperson asked whether what was being recommended by Dr Cardo was not covered already in recommendation 3 in the ITAC part of the Report.

Dr Cardo responded that his recommendation was not covered in recommendation 3. He pointed out that the amendments were gazetted in 2015. It was supposed to have been finalised in 2017 which had not happened.

The Chairperson said that if the recommendation made by Mr Cardo was not already covered then it would be included in the Report.

The Committee agreed.

The Committee adopted the Report as amended.

The meeting was adjourned.


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