The Committee was briefed on the 2019/20 Annual Performance plans and budgets of the Department of Small Business Development and Economic Development Department. The Deputy Ministers of both departments were in attendance.
In her opening remarks, the Deputy Minister of Small Business Development highlighted that unemployment in SA was high and that the Department’s efforts were to try to mitigate this. She emphasised that the Department was tasked with developing entrepreneurs who could contribute to the economy of SA. She also assured the Committee that the Department was committed to assisting struggling businesses and rolling out incubators to more areas.
DSBD provided the Committee with a breakdown of the targets that had been set for the financial year 2019/20. These were categorised according to its four Programmes ie Administration; Sector Policy and Research; Integrated Cooperatives Development and lastly Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship.
The Committee was given a very brief synopsis of the entities that reported to the Minister of Small Business Development ie the SEDA and the SEFA.
The total budget for the DSBD for the 2019/20 financial year was just over R2.56bn. Transfers to the SEFA and the SEDA were R1bn and R867m respectively.
The Committee asked about the vacancy rate, blended financing and details on which municipalities and in which provinces they were working. Members expressed concern about market access for small businesses and cooperatives, that the targets were vague, and the contribution of small business to the South African economy over the last four to five years.
Due to time constraints, DSBD was asked to provide outstanding responses to the Committee in writing.
The Committee’s Report on Budget Vote 31, Small Business Development was adopted unamended.
In her opening remarks, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and Economic Development
pointed out that the DTI had merged with the Economic Development Department. This merger was aimed at reducing policy uncertainty, and enhancing capabilities between the two, while leading to a more efficient use of financial and other resources in this constrained fiscal climate.
The Committee was briefed on planned interventions by the EDD under its three Programmes ie Administration; Growth and Job Drivers and lastly Investment, Competition & Trade. The Committee was provided with a comprehensive breakdown of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) funding in provinces with the commensurate number of jobs that had been created. The Competition Commission and International Trade Administration Commission’s focus areas were touched on as well. Members, in addition were provided with a snapshot of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission’s infrastructure targets across provinces.
The appropriated budget for the EDD for 2019/20 was just over R1bn of which 86% would be transfers to entities.
The Committee picked up that funds were allocated by the EDD to SEFA even though SEFA already received funds from the DSBD and asked why this was the case. Members asked about the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, township enterprises, zama zamas and what plans the EDD had in place to prevent budget transgression and illicit imports and exports at borders. Members felt that there seemed to be a huge discrepancy on the Return on Investment on the creation of jobs in provinces. The EDD was requested to provide outstanding responses to the Committee in writing.
The Committee’s Report on Budget Vote 25, Economic Development was adopted unamended.
Opening remarks by Deputy Minister of Small Business Development
Ms Zoleka Capa, Deputy Minister, thanked the Committee for the opportunity of presenting the Department of Small Business Development’s (DSBD) strategy on the usage of its budget. She asked that the Committee approve the budget so that the DSBD could do its work on delivering to South Africans.
The DSBD had to listen to the needs and problems of the citizens. Unemployment in SA was high which lead to poverty, hunger and starvation. The efforts of the DSBD was to try to mitigate this. DSBD was formed as a new department in the Fifth Parliament. The legislation through which the department had been established had to be amended in order for the DSBD to fulfil its mandate. The amended legislation had been approved and had been gazetted. The DSBD was tasked with developing entrepreneurs who could contribute to the economy of SA. The issue at hand however was that SA had 17m people who were on grants. Services such as water and electricity etc were free and it was taking a strain on SA. These individuals were consumers instead of contributing towards the growth of SA.
DSBD ensured that all nine provinces were aware of the work that it was doing. The DSBD had a programme dedicated to the Sixth Parliament. The DSBD based its work on the Legacy Report of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development. Some of the issues that the DSBD would endeavour to deal with included receiving complaints from individuals who it paid late. Due to the late payment businesses suffered losses as a result. The Minister of Small Business Development had undertaken to address information technology issues so that businesses should know what the status of their payments were.
Another issue of concern was the high mortality of small business and cooperatives. The DSBD would assist struggling businesses. There would be rescue plans for businesses. Incubators were also identified as a critical element. Incubators were mostly in urban areas and the intention was to roll them out in district municipalities as well.
The Department’s strategy had been prepared prior to the collapse of departments under the new administration. The collapse of the Economic Development Department (EDD) had also affected the DSBD. Consequently, the Department had to tweak its strategy. The problem was that cooperatives had been registered under various departments. Cooperatives should fall under the DSBD. There should be a legal register for cooperatives.
A serious complaint that had been received was that the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) were not working with one another. There were instances where SEDA assisted businesses with business development but thereafter SEFA would not approve finance. The Minister of Small Business Development believed that SEDA and the SEFA should be under one roof. There had to be collaboration and integration. A decision should be taken on whether businesses were viable. For long term projects there needed to be assurances that infrastructure and land was in the hands of the business owner. She felt that aftercare to businesses was also important. There were principles in place on which the DSBD based its strategy.
The Chairperson asked the Acting Director General of the DSBD to be as brief as possible in briefing the Committee.
Briefing by Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) on its Annual Performance Plan 2019/20
Mr Lindokuhle Mkhumane, Acting Director General, DSBD, presented the Department's Annual Performance Plan (APP). The strategic goals of the DSBD included policy and planning coherence in the sector; equitable access to responsive and targeted products and services; sound governance and optimal utilisation of available resources; an enhanced contribution to socio-economic development outcomes by the sector; and a professional and coordinated small business development sector.
The organisational values of the DSBD were hinged on innovation, integrity, professionalism, customer-centeredness and commitment. It sought to work with relevant persons and entities to achieve its mandate.
One of the key delivery areas for the Department will be the development, evaluation and review of strategies and legislation for small enterprises and co-operatives. These activities will be carried out in the Sector Policy and Research programme that has an estimated budget of R117 million over the MTEF period. Expenditure in the programme is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 12.3 percent, from R29.9 million in 2018/19 to R42.3 million in 2021/22.
The second most important area of priority is the scaling up financial and non-financial support for small enterprises. For instance, Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP) is a cost sharing grant for small enterprises to acquire tools, machinery, and equipment as well as training to a maximum of R1 million per applicant, it is allocated R906.5 million over the medium term period. Spending on the scheme is situated under the SMMEs Programme Design and Support, a subprogram under the Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship programme, which has a total allocation of R248.4 million over the MTEF period.
The third area of focus for the Department is the provision of support to co-operatives through Co-operatives Incentive Scheme (CIS). The scheme provides a 100 percent grant to the maximum of R350 000 per registered primary co-operative and R11 million per registered clustered co-peratives. In doing so, the scheme intends to improve the viability and competitiveness of co-operatives by lowering the cost of doing business. Over the MTEF period, the Co-operatives Programme Design and Support, a subprogram in the Integrated Co-operative Development programme aims to support 890 co-operatives with a total allocation of R278.7 million.
Ms Mkhumane outlined the targets for each of the programmes:
Programme 1: Administration
On compliance and good governance for 2019/20 the target was to obtain an unqualified audit outcome. On human resource capability and on having a high performing organisation the plan was to have 50% women in Senior Management Service (SMS) positions, to employ at least 2% of persons with disabilities and to maintain a vacancy rate of below 10%.
Programme 2: Sector Policy and Research
On reducing regulatory burdens and having a conducive legislative and policy environment for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and cooperatives the plan for 2019/20 was to have a Red-Tape Reduction Awareness Programme rolled out in sixteen municipalities. The intention was also to have the Draft National Small Enterprise Bill submitted to the Minister of Small Business Development for consideration. The intention was further to during 2019/20 to have a SMME and cooperatives ombudsman established and to develop a SMME Index.
Programme 3: Integrated Co-operatives Development
With the intention of having scaled-up and coordinated support for SMMEs, cooperatives, village and township economies for 2019/20 the plan was to have four product markets for SMMEs and cooperatives developed, to have a Master Plan on SMMEs and cooperatives contracting developed and also to have partnership agreements with Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) signed. On expanding access to finance for SMMEs and cooperatives through partnerships and innovative service offerings the target for 2019/20 was to support cooperatives to the tune of R67.9m.
Programme 4: Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship
Continuing with the objective on expanding access to finance for SMMEs and cooperatives through partnerships and innovative service offerings the target for 2019/20 was to support SMMEs and cooperatives through blended finance to the value of R100m. In keeping with the intention of having scaled-up and coordinated support for SMMEs, cooperatives, village and township economies the targets for 2019/20 were to have four incubation centres/ digital hubs established, to have a SMME payment tracing platform developed and to have a funding model developed.
The Committee was given a very brief synopsis of the entities that reported to the Minister of Small Business Development ie the SEDA and the SEFA. SEDA provides non-financial business development and support services for small businesses in collaboration with other role players. SEFA supports the development of sustainable SMMEs through the provision of finance. Transfers to the SEFA and the SEDA were R1 billion and R868m respectively.
The Chairperson asked whether there was a formal written apology from the Minister of Small Business Development for not attending the meeting.
Deputy Minister Capa responded that she was not sure what had happened to the formal written apology but on behalf of the Minister wished to extend an apology to the Committee as the Minister had urgent matters to attend to in cabinet. She assured the Committee that when the political heads of the DSBD were required to attend meetings they would do so.
Mr T Brauteseth (DA, KwaZulu-Natal) asked that if the target for 2019/20 was to have the vacancy rate below 10%, what it was at present? How did the DSBD intend meeting the target? He also asked how the DSBD judged its capacity in meeting the 2019/20 target. During the briefing mention was made that the intention was to have a centralised SMME index. The problem with it was that it would be a one-size fits all. The issue at hand should be about the staff of the DSBD understanding the needs of different types of businesses as well as sectors. Centralisation should not lead to a breakdown. His understanding of blended finance was that it was a combination of public and private finance. He felt the target for blended finance of R100m was a bit too conservative. Where were the funds to come from? Was it from the private sector?
Deputy Minister Capa replied that there was not that many staff in acting positions. At one point there had been a moratorium on the appointment of executives. The contract of the current Director General had come to an end and could not be renewed. Hence Mr Mkhumane was in an acting position. The position of Director General had to be advertised. The post would be filled subject to what the strategy of the DSBD was. The DSBD Strategy needed to be reviewed and this would speak to the Director General that was needed. Some of the functions of the DSBD had been placed with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Some of the DSBD’s strategies too had changed. On capacity, she explained that the APP had timelines and these would be aligned to performance contracts of individuals. These would be monitored. Having a clean audit was not the only outcome. The actual format would speak to outcomes of contracts. DSBD would have capacity building initatives for small business and cooperatives at levels that were accessible. Employees would also be placed in units dealing with incubation. Funding was also set aside for training. Small businesses and cooperatives had to be trained on governance.
Mr Mkhumane said that the current cacancy rate was 7.7%. The target set was for it not to exceed 10%. On how best to resource and capacity, a workload analysis had been done. Staff had to be chosen carefully according to the needs of the DSBD. On blended finance, the R100m came from the DSBD. Blended finance was made up of loan and grant portions. The SMME Index tracked the growth of SMMEs and tracked its failures and successes as well.
Mr J Londt (DA, Western Cape) hoped that the DSBD would no longer use the excuse of being a new department when it fell short. It was no longer a new entity. He was concerned that many of the targets set were vague. The point after all was to identify what outcome had been achieved. Unemployment in SA had risen by 2%. Given the efforts of the DSBD, the unemployment figure should have gone down instead of up. On the Red-Tape Reduction Awareness Programme, looking at the targeted rollout figures in municipalities, he felt it would take 17 years to cover all. It should not only be government departments/entities that should make payouts to small businesses. Businesses competed in the private sector so they should not only depend on government business. The entire framework should change. Government providing finance was not the only way out of poverty. He intended - to over the next four to five years - to bring up the matter again. He asked how it was possible that the SEDA and the SEFA were not on the same page. They were after all accountable to the DSBD’s political heads. The Committee needed to see results/outcomes from the DSBD’s efforts. The work that it was doing could easily be done by another department. At the moment, from his perspective, it looked as though money was being wasted. He hoped that things would change. He would check with municipalities whether the Red-Tape Reduction Awareness Programme was succeeding.
Mr Mkhumane, on the Red-Tape Reduction Awareness Programme, pointed out that 133 municipalities had been covered. A breakdown in terms of provinces and municipalities would be provided to the Committee. He was aware that government was not the primary provider of finances to the market.
Deputy Minister Capa stated that the DSBD would sign partnership agreements with municipalities. The Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) would speak to the plans of municipalities.
The Chairperson urged members to ask pointed questions related to the briefing. Members should refrain from making broad political statements.
Ms H Boshoff (DA, Mpumalanga) asked what the financial injection by small business was to the South African economy over the last four tofive years. On land ownership for small businesses, she asked what steps the DSBD had taken to ensure that people got title deeds of land. She felt that the DSBD needed to do more to get small businesses up and running in rural areas. She added that data costs in SA were far too high and that the DSBD should discuss the matter with networks such as Vodacom, MTN and Cell C etc. She asked in what provinces and towns were the four digital hubs targeted for.
Deputy Minister Capa said that the land issue was important as sometimes for instance there could be an agricultural project taking place on a piece of land. If the project was so to say bearing fruits the lessee could be the one losing out if the owner took his land back. On certain projects the DSBD was aware that the land was needed for a certain period.
Mr Mkhumane, on high data costs, explained that there was a technical task team which included the six major telecom companies. There was agreement on a framework within which a working relationship could take place. The matter of high data cost had been brought up.
Mr M Dangor (ANC, Gauteng) pointed out that he did not see any alignment with the 2019 State of the Nation Address. He asked to what extent there was harmonisation between the DSBD and provinces.
Mr M Mmoiemang (ANC, Northern Cape), on the matter of the transfer to the SEFA, asked whether issues around the Economic Development Department been sorted. It seemed as if SEFA was more expensive in providing finance than other agencies. On the R2.5bn budget appropriation to the DSBD, he pointed out that the SEDA received R867m, the SEFA received R1bn and the remaining R407m went to the DSBD itself. He asked Deputy Minister Capa to provide political guidance.
Deputy Minister Capa stated that too much funding was going to the SEFA and not to the SEDA. SEDA provided the support system to the small business and provided capacity. It looked at the feasibility of the business project. SEFA on the other hand provided finance.
Ms B Mathevula (EFF, Limpopo) asked for how long Mr Mkhumane had been the Acting Director General. She was concerned that most small businesses and cooperatives experienced problems of access to markets. Markets were monopolised. What was DSBD doing about it? She also pointed out that many cooperatives could not cover overheads like electricity. How were these cooperatives being assisted? She asked the DSBD to send her a list of small businesses and cooperatives that had been assisted in Limpopo.
Mr S Zandamela (EFF, Mpumalanga), on work being done with municipalities by the DSBD, asked for detail about which municipalities and in which provinces work was done.
Ms M Moshodi (ANC, Free State) asked why there was an Acting Director General. What was the issue with the previous Director General? She understood that the work of the DSBD was guided by the Legacy Report of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development but noted that the Committee was not the same as the Portfolio Committee. The Committee needed detail on what was rolled out in the provinces. She urged the DSBD to be more specific in future briefings as to what was being done in provinces.
Deputy Minister Capa said that Mr Mkhumane would stop with immediate effect in his capacity as Acting Director General. The process on appointing a Director General had been followed. The DSBD’s Strategy would speak to what was needed to fill the organogram. This included the post of Director General and Deputy Director Generals.
The Chairperson said that in the interest of time the rest of the responses would have to be provided in writing to the Committee. Given the vast workload of the Committee and the amount of departments and entities that it was doing oversight over the likelihood of the DSBD getting an opportunity to present quarterly reports was slim. He suggested that the best route to follow was for the DSBD to send its quarterly reports to the Committee.
Committee Report on Budget Vote 31: Small Business Development
The Chairperson presented the Committee’s Report on Budget Vote 31, Small Business Development to the Committee and it was adopted unamended.
The Chairperson accepted the formal written apology from the Minister of Trade and Industry for not being able to attend the meeting.
Opening remarks by Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and Economic Development
Ms Gina Nomalungelo, Deputy Minister Nomalungelo noted that it was the first meeting with the Committee and the start of the journey between the DTI and the Committee. She pointed out that the DTI had merged with the Economic Development Department (EDD) which meant that there would be parallel APPs and budgets. Very soon the two Departments would be integrated. An integrated approach was needed and everyone should work together. Foremost on the agenda was job creation. It was part of the mandate of the DTI to create jobs. In the near future the DTI would brief the Committee on its efforts to create jobs and to promote economic growth. How did the EDD work? Its focus was more on research and policy on the economic structure of SA’s economy. In essence its task was more about laying a background. Co-ordination amongst departments was key.
The Chairperson in the interest of time asked the Acting Director General to be as brief as possible and to go directly to the EDD’s APP and budget.
Briefing by the Economic Development Department (EDD) on its Annual Performance Plan 2019/20
Mr Monde Tom, Acting Director-General, EDD, explained that EDD is responsible for legislation, as well as the policies for all the sub-sectors directed to contribute inclusive growth and job creation. It is entrusted with conducting sectoral research, and formulating legislation and policy to set the strategic direction of sub-sectors. In addition, it is mandated with assigning responsibilities to public entities and other tiers of government, regulating through setting norms and standards, and monitoring implementation.
Earlier this year, the President announced the reconfiguration of government to promote coherence, better coordination and improve efficiency. This included a merger between the Ministries of Trade and Industry and of Economic Development. This merger is aimed at reducing policy uncertainty, and enhancing capabilities between the two, while leading to a more efficient use of financial and other resources in this constrained fiscal climate.
The EDD’s strategic goals are to:
-Ensure good governance in its administration.
-Coordinate jobs drivers and implement the New Growth Path Economic Strategy to support the NDP.
-Facilitate social dialogue and implement social accords.
-Coordinate infrastructure development and strengthen its positive impact on the economy and citizens.
-Promote productive investment, industrial financing and entrepreneurship for jobs and inclusive growth.
-Promote competition, trade and economic regulation to support job creation, industrialisation and economic inclusion.
The EDD is structured into three programmes to achieve these targets, namely:
Programme 1: Administration
To ensure good governance for 2019/20 the EDD planned to achieve an unqualified audit opinion by systematically addressing concerns and weaknesses identified in the preceding year’s audit whilst maintaining high standards in all areas.
Programme 2: Growth and Job Drivers
On coordinating job drivers and implementing the New Growth Path (NGP) in support of the National Development Plan (NDP) the target for 2019/20 was to have analytical and public policy advocacy reports. There would also be coordination with other departments, promoting investment, working with regulators and engaging sector stakeholders on jobs and growth. Support would be provided to provinces to meet their targets including aligning provincial economic development APPs with national agenda.
Programme 3: Investment, Competition & Trade
On coordinating infrastructure development and strengthening its positive impact on the economy and citizens, the target for 2019/20 was to compile reports on the eighteen Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPS) to provide cabinet with detailed dashboards (progress reports) of performance. There would also be the implementation of cabinet and Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) strategic decisions.
To promote productive investment, industrial financing and entrepreneurship for jobs and inclusive growth, the plan for 2019/20 was to unblock/fast track and facilitate investments and infrastructure projects. Economic transformation would be promoted by giving support to township enterprises. Funding efforts by DFIs would be monitored including looking at the impact made. There would furthermore be ministerial and departmental oversight engagements with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on its corporate plan, governance, project performance or investment and also on its development impact.
The Committee was provided with a comprehensive breakdown of IDC funding in provinces with the commensurate number of jobs that had been created. The Competition Commission and International Trade Administration Commission focus areas were touched on as well. Members in addition were provided with a snapshot of the PICC’s sixth administration infrastructure targets across provinces.
The appropriated budget for the EDD for 2019/20 was just over R1bn of which 86% would be transfers to entities.
Ms Irene Ramafola, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), EDD, indicated that a sum of R837m was transferred from the EDD’s allocation towards DFIs and regulatory bodies.
The Chairperson picked up that funds were allocated to SEFA even though it already received funds from the DSBD.
Ms Ramafola responded that the IDC funded bigger enterprises whilst the SEFA provided funding up to R5m.
The Chairperson was still unconvinced as to why the EDD funded the SEFA when it was already funded by the DSBD.
Ms Ramafola explained that the SEFA was a subsidiary of the IDC. The IDC was in turn an entity of the EDD.
Mr Tom stated that National Treasury allocated funds to the EDD which was earmarked for SEFA.
The funds were passed on to the IDC of which SEFA was a subsidiary.
The Chairperson stressed that SEFA already received R1bn from the DSBD which was roughly 43% of its allocation.
Mr Tom felt it best that the Committee obtain an explanation from the DSBD. SEFA after all was accountable to the DSBD.
The Chairperson asked how the EDD followed the money that it allocated to SEFA.
Mr Tom said that the funds were tracked through the IDC.
The Chairperson asked what the status of the PICC was at present.
Ms Ramafola answered that the PICC had moved to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.
The Chairperson, being aware of time constraints, noticed that certain members wished to leave the meeting so as to attend others. He asked whether the Committee Report on Budget Vote: 25, Economic Development should not be adopted before taking questions from members. The EDD was to be phased out and to be integrated into the DTI. There was no longer a Portfolio Committee on Economic Development so the Committee was solely tasked with oversight over the EDD. Perhaps the EDD should also provide the Committee with quarterly reports which would allow members to ask a multitude of questions.
Mr Londt stated that the Committee should not take shortcuts. Members should be allowed to question the EDD and thereafter the Committee Report could be adopted.
Ms Boshoff asked the EDD what plans it had in place to prevent budget transgressions. On closures of leakages at borders to prevent illicit imports/exports, she asked what the EDD had put in place. Was there collaboration with border control units? On the PICC Infrastructure targets to build 428 schools, which included Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) schools, she asked whether provincial budgets would be used towards the construction of schools.
Mr Tom, on leakages in the system, noted that there was a Technical Task Team in place which was made up of amongst others the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African Police Services (SAPS).
Mr Londt, on PICC funding via the IDC in provinces, asked whether the jobs to be created (page 41) was permanent, sustainable jobs. What percentage of the jobs had a larger lifespan? How many of the jobs created had since been lost? He felt that there seemed to be a huge discrepancy on the Return on Investment (RoI) on creating jobs in provinces. In some provinces it cost more to create a job. Was it a feasible exercise to spend huge amounts to create a single job? He pointed out that since 2010, 39% of new entrants in SA’s labour force were now unemployed. People also tend to migrate to areas where there were more jobs. He asked to what extent targets of previous years had been met. One needed to spend money where one got more bang for one’s buck.
Mr Tom explained that the PICC had a budget to roll out infrastructure plans that were in place. Most of the jobs being referred to were in construction and were of a temporary nature. Once the construction phase was over there would be permanent jobs to staff clinics, libraries etc.
Deputy Minister Nomalungelo, on IDC funding in provinces, explained that entrepreneur applicants had to apply for funding. In their applications they were required to set out how many jobs they were willing to create. Detail would be provided to the Committee at a later stage.
Mr E Landsman (ANC, North West) remarked that white monopolistic capitalists were being allowed to steal from SA’s economy for far too long. He asked why no mention was made of the Steinhoff matter. What was the EDD doing about the matter?
The Chairperson responded that the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) and the Portfolio Committee on Finance had dealt with the matter in the Fifth Parliament. The matter had nothing to do with the EDD.
Mr Tom said that there was a legal process which was ongoing on the Steinhoff matter. The EDD did not engage directly on the matter.
Ms Mathevula asked what the EDD was doing about filling vacant posts. What was the EDD doing to bring about gender balance amongst its office bearers? The EDD seemed to be dominated by men. The EDD was asked to provide the Committee with a full breakdown of township enterprises that had been supported thus far.
Deputy Minister Nomalungelo said that gender balance was fifty-fifty. The EDD had been integrated into the DTI and gender balance would be looked at. On the filling of posts, one had to consider the integration process. The only acting position was that of Director General. She noted that many of the questions related to monopolies. The Competition Amendment Act envisaged to close gaps that existed.
Mr Zandamela asked what the EDD was doing on the Zama Zamas issue. Why were the Zama Zamas not given mining licences so that they could pay taxes and in so doing contribute to the economy of SA? Could applications for mining licences be made in provinces? He also asked why the EDD had not assisted Highveld Steel in the Mpumalanga Province from closing down.
Mr Tom stated that the EDD did work with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). The EDD tried to understand the sustainability of activities. The issue of Zama Zamas had been discussed and further engagement with the DMR would take place.
The Chairperson, in the interest of time, asked that written responses on unanswered questions be forwarded to the Committee.
Committee Report on Budget Vote 25: Economic Development Department
The Chairperson presented the Committee’s Report on Budget Vote 25, Economic Development to the Committee and it was adopted unamended.
Deputy Minister Nomalungelo, in conclusion stated that a great deal of work lay ahead. Once the EDD was integrated with the DTI, there would be a continuation to prioritise job creation. The relationship with the Committee was off to a good start.
The meeting was adjourned.