In a virtual meeting, the Committee met to consider the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development on Adjustment Budget Vote 36 of the Department of Small Business Development for the Financial Year 2020/21.
Members appreciated the need to finalise the Department’s overdue structure because it affects the implementation of the Department's mandate and stressed that an action plan from the Department is required on improving the ranking of the World Bank business index before the end of the third quarter this year. Clarity was sought on the R500 billion loan, allocation made to the DSD and an update and progress on the spaza shops aids. The Department was encouraged to do more. It was said the amalgamation of the entities is long overdue to reduce the burden small businesses are encountering.
The Report was adopted but it was not supported by the EFF which said the allocated funds to the Department did not prioritise rural areas and spaza shops. The DA reserved its right.
Members were also taken through the Committee programme for the third term.
The Chairperson welcomed Members to the meeting the purpose of which was to consider the adjustment budget for vote 36: Department of Small Business Development (DSD). She invited the officials to adopt the agenda in terms of the rules.
Mr H Kruger (DA) adopted the agenda with a correction - he advised the item titled “tabling and consideration of an amended 2020 Budget Vote Report” on the minutes to be changed to “tabling and consideration of the amendment of the 2020 Budget Vote”.
Ms K Tlhomelang (ANC) seconded the adoption of the agenda with corrections.
Apologies were received from Mr V Zungula (ATM).
Ms B Mathulelwa’s (EFF) presence was acknowledged and warmly welcomed in the Committee.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development on Adjustment Budget Vote 36 of the Department of Small Business Development for the Financial Year 2020/21
The Chairperson asked the Committee Content Advisor to table the Report before the Committee.
The Committee was taken through the Report.
The Chairperson opened the floor for clarity, comments and questions.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) appreciated the need to finalise the Department’s overdue structure because it affects the implementation of the Department's mandate.
Mr Kruger offered two recommendations. The first one was on recommendation 5.8 so that “end of financial year 2020 /2021” be changed to “end of third quarter” because the Bill was overdue. Based on 188.8.131.52, Mr Kruger stressed that an action plan from the Department is required on improving the ranking of the World Bank business index before the end of the third quarter this year.
Prof C Msimang (IFP) complimented the concise summary of the Report. He sought clarity on the R500 billion loan. When will the allocation be made to the DSD? Secondly, what is the update and progress on the spaza shops aids?
Ms Tlhomelang welcomed the Report and commended the Department for the work well done during this strenuous time. She encouraged the Department to do more. She argued that the amalgamation of the entities is long overdue to reduce the burden small businesses are encountering.
Mr H April (ANC) also commented on the collaborative work done on the Report and felt it should be adopted. He echoed the need for improvement.
Ms Mathulelwa rejected the proposed Report. She stressed that allocated funds did not prioritise the rural areas and most of the spaza shops.
Ms M Lubengo (ANC) welcomed the Report and supported its adoption.
The Content Advisor welcomed all the inputs which he assured Members would be reflected. He further advised Mr Kruger that he would include the action plan that he proposed with the respect of the ease of doing business between small businesses and big banks. He encouraged the Committee to engage with Minister of Finance to mobilise funding into the Department, considering how much stress this Department has been under the pandemic. With regards to the spaza shops assistance, DSD does not have information on how many spaza shops benefited from the SEA funding but this would be looked at as part of the Committee’s oversight work in next quarter.
Mr Mbhele said that he and Mr Kruger has no issue with the Report but for the record, as members of the DA, they do not carry a voting mandate for the budget vote. Therefore the DA reserves its rights on the Report.
The Report was adopted.
Committee Programme Term Three
The Content Advisor took Members through the proposed draft programme for the third term, subjected to start on 5 August 2020.
Mr Kruger was concerned about the dates as it was in the same week as the constituency period.
Mr T Langa (EFF) suggested SEDA accounted to the Committee on the numbers of incubators so that the Committee can have a feel of the diversified reporting across the country.
Mr April echoed the need to increase the incubators and asked for an email of all the incubators within SEDA in the nine provinces so that the Committee can prepare thoroughly for the meetings.
The Content Advisor said he would contact SEDA regarding this. There will be a selection of one project each province.
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