Video: Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism, 19 March 2021, 08:00
Western Cape Appropriation Bill
Western Cape Third Adjustments Appropriation Bill (2020/21 Financial Year)
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEOT) informed a virtual meeting of the Committee that it had adopted an economic approach towards the determination of the Departmental budget. It saw its role as providing an enabling environment for economic growth to take place. This was as the Committee was briefed as part of the Appropriation Bill process.
The Department had allocated R39.4 million to the economic resilience programme and R8.3 million for the compensation of employees. It had also allocated R230 million towards promoting investment, economic growth and job creation priority areas. These priority areas included transfers to Wesgro and the Saldanha Bay and Atlantis industrial development zones. The Department had introduced a tourism safety police force, which was the first such programme in South Africa, and only a few other countries had such a force. These safety policemen had come in handy during the current Covid pandemic, as they also ensured that the public complied with the Covid regulations. The Department had also allocated R77 million towards tourism promotion.
Members posed various questions related to the skills gap in priority sectors, and requested information on the Department's efforts to facilitate skills development. They were also informed that R39 million had been disbursed to Western Cape-based businesses that had faced distress as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Solly Fourie, Head: Department of Economic Opportunities and Tourism (DEOT), Western Cape said that with the 2020-2021 budget, the Department had taken an economic approach towards the determination its budget. It saw its role as providing an enabling environment for economic growth to occur.
The Department had allocated R39.4 million to the economic resilience programme and R8.3 million to the compensation of employees (CoE). It had also allocated R230 million towards investment, economic growth and job creation priority areas. These priority areas included transfers to Wesgro and the Saldanha Bay and Atlantis industrial development zones. The Department had also allocated R77 million towards tourism promotion.
Mr A van der Westhuizen (DA) said that he would like to focus on the staff establishment of the Department. It was his impression that the planned budget cuts did not correspond with the increase in the staff establishment, as indicated in the presentation. It seemed to him that the Department would have to limit or decrease its staff establishment significantly in order to stay within budget.
He asked how the Department envisaged decreasing its staff establishment.
He also wanted to know whether Departmental officials also qualified for the severance packages that had been announced by the Minister of Finance.
He added that something did not quite gel with him, since the reduction in the budget had had no impact on the staff establishment's numbers.
He added that in the current economic environment and with the challenges that people faced, there would obviously be incremental increases which would place an additional burden on the budget.
Ms N Makamba-Botya (EFF) said that she was encouraged by the emphasis on skills development and skills transfer by the Department.
On the skills gap in the investment and catalytic infrastructure sector, she said that the Department had spoken of addressing the skills gap within the sector through research. When such an exercise was conducted, one obviously had to identify the skills gap first and then implement policies and procedures to develop that skills gap. This would determine which skills the province lacked and what the Department had done to address it.
She also recalled that the Department had mentioned that it was busy with upskilling programmes in the province. A lot of money and time normally went into these programmes, so she hoped that when the up-skilling participants finished their training, they would be placed in jobs.
She also wanted the Department to respond to the skills gap mentioned on page 633, and the role played by the Department. Private stakeholders normally determined the skills that they needed, so she wanted to know whether the Department collaborated with other partners on skills determination.
The Chairperson recalled that according to the Department's presentation on page 627, it had been indicated that the largest and fastest growing export market for the Western Cape had been Namibia. She asked what the Namibians had imported from the Western Cape.
She congratulated the Department on having created 2 000 jobs within the space of one year at the Saldanha industrial development zone (SIDZ). This had brought the total amount of jobs created to 6 000.
She asked for more information on the fourth tenant and the negotiations on the lease agreement, as indicated in the presentation. She also referred to the two factories that had been completed, and asked whether these two factories had been the two buildings that had been under construction when the Standing Committee had conducted an oversight visit.
The presentation had indicated that the SIDZ had 12 investors “in the pipeline.” She wanted to know where these investors were in the pipeline. She also wanted to know whether there had been developments regarding the challenges experienced at the Saldanha port, where vessels had had to be assisted. These challenges had been indicative of port infrastructure challenges, and she wanted to know what Transnet had done to address them.
The HOD had already addressed her concerns regarding the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) in his presentation.
Referring to the Atlantis Industrial Development Zone (AIDZ), she said the presentation indicated that 14 priority pipeline investors had shown an interest in becoming tenants. One investor had been approved. At what stage was the other investors’ interest?
With regard to the oceans economy, marine services and efficiency, the Department had contracted a reputable industry partner to conduct research on the Western Cape's ports’ efficiency. She wanted to know the outcomes of the research.
The HOD had also spoken about the Western Cape manufacturing forum that had recently taken place. The Standing Committee had conducted an oversight visit only to the oil and gas forum, and the manufacturing forum had been something new. She wanted to find out more information about the forum, as it spoke only of partners and the budget, yet was scant on details such as the objectives and aimed outcomes.
The presentation referred to 90 tourism safety monitors that had been deployed, and she wanted to know whether this included actual personnel on the ground, or equipment.
She asked for more information about the Department's domestic tourism campaign, and how this related to job creation in the industry, especially within the current economic environment.
She turned her attention to the George Airport, and said that the province had assisted the airport with the ability to scan arriving passengers. The Department had decided to assist, as failure to assist would have had serious consequences for an already strained tourism industry. However, George Airport belonged to the Airports Company of South Africa, and she wanted to know what they had done to assist. She reiterated that the airport remained a national competency.
She recalled the announcement by the Minister of Energy about energy resource resilience, and said that Western Cape Premier Allan Winde had already highlighted in his last two State of the Province Addresses, the need for the province to become independent from the national grid. In light of the above, what opportunities existed for the Western Cape in the renewable energy space? Energy security meant jobs, dignity and safety. Load-shedding had serious and wide-ranging consequences, such safety concerns for working class women who worked late.
The Chairperson touched on the various disasters that had beset the province, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, natural disasters and the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV). She said that national government had cut budgets, yet it had also given out bailouts with no conditions. Even if energy security topped the priority list of government, the latter had to engage business on the terms of the new announcement.
She declared her happiness with the direction of the Department on the COE, saying it had been proven that happy employees were more productive. Richard Branson had said that clients were not the most important stakeholders in a business -- employees were. If employees were happy, they were more than likely to perform and service clients effectively. She wanted to know what the Department had done to ensure that officials had been capacitated and that their well-being had been looked after, and that they had become eligible for benefits in the Department. It was a fact that those with considerable experience in the public sector could easily find a job in the private sector.
Ms Mamoena Abrahams, Chief Financial Officer, DEOT, addressed the question that had been posed by Mr van der Westhuizen on the apparent budget inconsistencies. She said that the presentation had detailed the main appropriation for 2021, and the reduction in the budget was already done last year. If the Department wanted to fill a majority of the vacant posts, it would need about R165 million. The provincial Treasury had then informed the Department that it would be cutting its budget to R123 million. The Department had approached the provincial Treasury to ascertain whether it could provide additional funding to enable the Department to fill critical vacancies aligned to the province's priorities. These priorities were the green economy, and the ease of doing business. The budget had then been slightly increased to R132 million, compared to the revised budget.
Mr Nezaam Joseph, Director: Economic Research and Development, DEOT, said the Department compiled a quarterly skills report. It relied on data that described all jobs that had been advertised by the Department. This served as a general guideline. The Department had also worked with universities and colleges on the supply side of the economy.
He said that the skills that had been in demand in the Western Cape were hospitality, manufacturing, business services and technology. The retail sector had bounced back, with a 20% growth in the offshore market due to the servicing of boats in Cape Town. The Cape Town boat repair industry was the most renowned in Africa.
He said that with the declining budgets, it became more and more difficult to respond to challenges with the allocated funds. The Department then had to look for additional funding from the private sector, as well as from the national government.
The Department expected to report on leveraged funding of R80 million. He said that the leveraged funding would support the skills gap in the market. The Department had also responded to the demand side, with various skills development programmes and internships. The Department had negotiated with these companies to absorb these interns and those who had been upskilled. The Department proposed that the salary costs be covered by the Department and the businesses.
Mr Tim Harris, Chief Executive Officer: Wesgro, said that Namibia had been the Western Cape's biggest export market for the last three years. This assessment had been premised on a 2019 report. This scenario had, however, changed since 2020. 2020 had brought about big trading changes in the short term. This had obviously affected Namibia, which had now dropped to the number four spot.
Members were informed that the Western Cape exported crude oil and petroleum products, oil, wine, cigarettes, whiskey fruit juice and cosmetics. These changes had meant that the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom now counted as the Western Cape's largest export markets. Exports to these three countries had increased significantly, whereas Namibia had declined.
He said that cognisance had to be taken of Angola as well. Products exported from the Western Cape to Angola transited through Namibia as part of the free trade agreement in southern Africa.
The West Coast Corridor had proved to be an easy trading route, and the province would focus on this corridor to prioritise exports and tourism. Once the domestic market had been attended to in terms of tourism, Wesgro would look north to African markets like Kenya and Angola, as well as Namibia, as target markets. He said the fact that both the tourism team, as well as the trade team, focused on this ideal, meant that there was alignment in economic strategy in the province. As the effects of the coronavirus wore off, Namibia might in all likelihood bounce back in the future, but for now it had dropped to number four.
The Department had launched a domestic tourism campaign during October and November 2020 to boost inbound domestic tourism to the Western Cape. The Department had also managed to establish a presence in Kwazulu-Natal. This had been done with a view towards the Easter weekend. The campaign had also included Namibia as " low-hanging fruit".
The Department had spent a significant amount of energy and time to ensure that the number of domestic tourist arrivals increased. As a result of the domestic tourism campaign, over R9 million in sales revenue had been generated thus far.
Ms Monica Luel, Chief Marketing Officer: Wesgro, spoke to the international tourism campaign by the Western Cape government, and said it had been important for the Western Cape to maintain its international presence and to continue with tourism awareness campaigns about the possibilities that the Western Cape tourism market offered.
She announced that Lufthansa had indicated that it planned to return to Cape Town. She felt encouraged by this news, given that Germany counted as one of the province's core markets. The campaign aimed to strengthen the Western Cape's presence and to create more awareness of the offerings of the Western Cape. The campaign would ask would-be visitors to imagine they were in a dream state about visiting Cape Town. Wesgro would update the Committee closer to the time on this campaign.
Saldanha Bay Development Industrial Zone (SBIDZ)
Ms Kashiefah Beukes, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Saldanha Bay Development Industrial Zone (SBIDZ), said that the lease agreement with the fourth tenant had been put in place. The Access Complex currently had four tenants that included, amongst others, a shipping agent and a contractor. There had been extensive marketing on social media and its website of the Access Complex, and various industries had shown an interest in becoming a tenant. Funds received from the IZ Fund had been utilised to build two additional facilities. She added that the SDIZ first had to wait for the prospective tenant to secure equipment funding. Regarding the 12 investors, all of them were in different stages of the process.
She told the Committee that she and her team had developed what they called an "investment journey," that comprised of an initial engagement followed by due diligence. After the due diligence had been completed and showed that the investor was in good standing, "a right of first refusal agreement" would then be entered into. This was then followed by the allocation of a piece of land and then further discussions on wide-ranging issues, as some businesses might be at the feasibility stage, while others might be at the approval stage.
Lately, potential investors/tenants had posed questions related to utility demand such as a water and electricity. The environmental authorisation also played an important role once they had satisfied themselves that the investor would be able to honour their commitments, and they would then sign a lease agreement.
She said that the potential investors ranged from storage units to shipyards, ship repair manufacturing and data centres. The SBIDZ had taken a more active approach towards the strategic plan, especially on the need to develop the infrastructure that had been promised for Saldanha under the Operation Phakisa programme.
The SBIDZ had entered into a partnership with Transnet on the port issue. They had identified joint projects that responded to the needs of the market at this particular time. Feasibility studies were under way, and all other studies had been finalised. Both Transnet and the SBIDZ had indicated that this process should be market-led. Investors had told them that the concessions on the market did not factor in the environmental authorisation, and that was why all angles had been assessed. She said that they would continue to work with Transnet.
Mr Fourie said that the port of Cape Town had always been a challenge, and admitted that the Department had made significant progress in addressing the challenges there. At the height of the citrus season, vessels had waited for up to 14 days to enter the harbour, and this had been unacceptable. After the intervention of his team on the “ease of doing business” unit, they had been able to clear the backlog.
On previous occasions, whenever a possible case of Corona virus had been suspected, the entire port would be shut down and decontaminated. The port had since learnt from experience and realised that it need not lock down the full facility. They had now implemented procedures that mitigated the impact on the productivity of the port. He commented that it was quite ironic that the port now also faced a challenge with the export of table grapes, which had seen exponential export growth.
The two main issues that had affected the port concerned natural elements such as winds above 70 km an hour as well as wave surges that created underlying structural damage. The Department had engaged Transnet on what needed to be done to address these two critical areas.
He said that the study on the cold storage containers would be released at the end of March. The study would assist in determining the value of chain blockages and how best to improve efficiency, from when the product left the farm to when it ended up with the consumer. One of the issues that had become apparent was that exporters in the Western Cape did not utilise the 24/7 service that the port offered, as it experienced little activity at night. To this end, the Department had been involved in interactions with Transnet on the need for the entity to deliver an effective service.
He concluded with the statement that there would be sustained collaboration with the port authority to expand and grow the Western Cape's economy.
Mr Rashid Toefy, Deputy Director General: Economic Operations, DEOT, said that the manufacturing forum indicated that the Department had got better at identifying key projects with an ever decreased budget allocation. The forum had organised along sectors, and this had contributed to the identification of respective sectoral needs. Particular emphasis had been placed on the clothing and textiles industry, boatbuilding, technical assistance, metal engineering and plastics. The Department had also linked these manufacturing businesses with the various incentives that were available through the Department of Trade and Industry's website. The manufacturing forum met quarterly and various clusters had been formed. These clusters facilitated skills development and access to funding.
He commented that he had always thought that Operation Phakisa had been a blunt instrument in relation to the oceans economy. What the Western Cape had done had been to organise into a working group on the oceans economy. The working group had spearheaded substantial research on the high-impact oceans economy. Despite the blockages, Cape Town remained the best port in African and was thus well placed to capitalise on the ship repair market. Skills played an important role in the work of the ease of doing business unit that facilitated skills development and capacity training within the sector.
On the tourism safety police force, he said that the programme had been the first in South Africa and that only a few other countries had such a force. These safety policemen had come in handy during the current Covid pandemic as they also ensured that the public complied with the Covid regulations. He added that domestic and international tourists should be able to feel safe when they climbed Table Mountain, visited Lions Head and walked in the Bo-Kaap. In the Bo-Kaap, the safety police and the neighbourhood watch had formed a cordial working relationship, and they continued to advise tourists not to display obvious signs of wealth. The police force had operated on a reduced budget of R5 million, and the Department had invested in infrastructure such as cars and equipment. Thus far, 10 policemen were on active duty.
A Chief Director of the Department said that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula had not opened the George or Port Elizabeth airport because of port health concerns. The ports required operational equipment such as scanners during the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) did not have the operational capability to scan the passengers that would have arrived at these airports. The Western Cape government had then intervened and purchased the scanners. ACSA had since taken over, and the joint effort with the Department of Health as well as the George District Municipality had proved to be successful. She added that it had been important for ACSA to provide all airports with the relevant resources. To this end, ACSA had taken up its mandate.
Ms Jo-Ann Johnston, Deputy Director-General: Economic Coordination, spoke on the Atlantis Industrial Development Zone (AIDZ), and said that 14 investors had been in the pipeline, all of them being in the negotiation phase. The pipeline envisaged expansion due to the expected growth in the energy space and the general interest in energy security. Given the current economic climate as a result of Covid-19, even the mere fact that investors had retained their interest, spoke of the confidence that investors had in the Western Cape economy and the Western Cape government.
An official from Wesgro addressed the question related to municipal energy resilience and the practical application thereof. She said that it would be a collaborative effort to provide energy with a lower carbon footprint. Several countries, especially in the European Union (EU), had instituted carbon trade barriers, so the Western Cape should ensure that it stayed within the required limits. This, of course, had to be aligned to South Africa's international obligations. This plan would assist in a reduction of pressure on the national grid, and South Africa needed all the energy it could possibly get. The programme allowed companies, as well as households, to generate their own electricity and sell it to the municipalities directly. Government would also procure energy resources through the Independent Power Producers (IPP) programme. She said that the Department would have to work very closely with their national counterparts, and this would be an opportune time to show what was possible.
She welcomed the announcement of the 2 000 megawatts emergency electricity tender that had gone out, adding that the online capacity of renewable energies would almost double the online capacity. The Minister's speech had also included an announcement on the preferred bidders, and some of these bidders would be based in Cape Town. It was expected that the generated power should come online and fed into the national grid by August 2021.
One of the other key areas she highlighted related to policy certainty, especially for local industry players and for IDZs like Atlantis. This was particularly important for localisation and she hoped the national government would push through on this.
Mr Fourie said he would ensure that the Departmental staff remained motivated. Naturally, there were challenges inherent to the public service. The Department had identified the skills that the officials possessed, especially where staff members had been placed in a function different to their qualifications.
The Department's wellness programme had made a significant impact on the well-being of staff. He added that the Department continued to explore ways of how to incentivise staff.
On ease of doing business, he emphasised the importance of economic diplomacy and the role that all role players from the Department, the municipalities and business, had to play in the identification of trade and investment opportunities for the Western Cape, both locally and abroad.
Mr David Maynier, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, recalled that a question had been asked about whether upskilled beneficiaries ended up being placed in jobs after their training. He would be in attendance at an event where upskilled trainees in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector would be placed in permanent jobs.
On energy resilience, he agreed with Wesgro that the country needed all the energy it could possibly get. The province had allocated R20 million to support municipalities for energy resilience programmes.
He said the Port of Cape Town remained a significant strain on the province's economy. He planned to meet with the CEO of Transnet Ports Terminals to ascertain what could possibly be done to address the port’s woes.
Ms Makamba-Botya commended the Department for the sterling work that had been done with the up-skilled participants. She asked whether the MEC would be open to extending the invitation to Members of the Committee as well.
She referred to page 635, which dealt with the "ease of doing business," in tandem with a commitment to reduce red tape. Further to this, the Department had assisted various registered businesses to become compliant, and had conducted training on how it had reduced red tape to facilitate the ease of doing business. She wanted to establish how many of these registered businesses the Department had assisted during the hard lockdown.
On the "Expenditure Trend Analysis on Integrated Economic Services,” R39.14 million had been allocated for 2021-2022. This had been a marked decrease from about R94 million the previous year. She wanted to find out how the Department intended to create an enabling environment for economic growth and job creation under such budgetary conditions.
A decrease in the "Research and Development" budget was also noted by Ms Makamba-Botya, and led her to ask how the decrease had come about. She added that research and development stood central to economic planning, and as such required sustained investment.
On tourism, she asked why only R5.5 million had been allocated towards an ailing sector, and how the Department justified this move.
The Chairperson congratulated MEC Maynier and Departmental officials for the funding provided for the construction of the Laingsburg informal business centre in her constituency. She was happy that the facility was up and running, and confirmed that she had met each and every trader. A Whatsapp group had been created through which she interacted with the traders. Some minor issues had been raised by some traders, which included requests to extend the overhead covering so that it could provide more shade for visitors, and a workbench to display wares. The artist who had requested the workbench, also intended upskilling local youths. She would forward the information to the MEC and added that this project had a significant impact on the smallest municipality in South Africa.
She also asked for more information on the Pick and Pay spaza shop revitalisation programme in Langa, such as the number of jobs that had been created, how the people felt about the programme, as well as whether there had been an increase in revenue.
She recalled that the Department had assisted various municipalities with the digitisation of film and event application permits. This had assisted municipalities to streamline applications. She said the Western Cape remained a preferred destination for local and international filmmakers and photo shoots.
She asked which municipalities the Department had assisted, as the presentation had been on scant on details. She also recalled the comment that had been made by the HOD about the woes at Western Cape ports, and had taken note of what he had said about the congestion and red tape. She asked to what extent the Department had engaged industries about the 24/7 service, and whether the Department had considered engaging Transnet on the introduction of a schedule. She suggested that heavy industries could deliver their produce at a certain time in the evening, with light industries delivering theirs during the day. She urged the Department to address the issue of red tape with other Departments.
The presentation had indicated that the Saldanha Bay IDZ aimed to be self-sufficient by 2023 to 2024. She asked what this meant in practice.
The report also mentioned that during a previous oversight visit to ACSA, it had been highlighted that George needed cold storage facilities. She asked what the possibility was of lobbying national government on this issue. This would greatly assist George's ability to export products from there.
Mr Fourie replied that the budget of 2020/21 had a special allocation earmarked for businesses, which had been made available to mitigate the economic fallout of Covid-19. The special allocation had been received from the Covid Relief Fund. The province had allocated R39 million, and the entire amount had been allocated. 250 businesses had been beneficiaries of the fund. The Department could not continue with this assistance in the 2021/22 financial year.
Mr John Peters, Chief Director, DEOT, added that the funds had been premised on two components, such as compliance of businesses with the relevant legislation, and how best the Department could support these businesses. The Department had also assisted 251 small to medium-size enterprises directly with financial support and had assisted five business chambers with the ability to support their business operations, as well as small businesses.
He added the Department had also focused on early childhood development (ECD) centres, as these were businesses as well. It had provided substantive safety kits, such as masks and sanitisers, to about 250 of these centres. It had also funded the centres to assist them to get compliant and become registered. 11 small to medium-sized businesses had also been assisted to convert parts of their factories from clothing lines to the production of masks.
The Pick and Pay spaza shop revitalization programme had been hugely successful in terms of the jobs it had created. South Africa's spaza shop ownership had changed significantly, and about 162 people had been employed by this programme. The turnover generated compared to last year had increased by 34%, and all the stores had shown an increase in turnover.
On the question about film permits, he informed Members that during a training session with municipalities, the Department had asked these them whether they would be interested in the digitisation programme. These municipalities had been Cederberg, Drakenstein, Knysna, Stellenbosch and George.
Ms Abrahams addressed the questions related to tourism and the allocations received. She said that the full allocation for tourism had been R77 million. She conceded that research was important, and that the human resources department had stated that the Department had to prioritise the filling of critical posts with a decreased budget.
Mr Fourie thanked the Chairperson for her comments on the centre that had been constructed in Laingsburg. This had been a complex programme that had involved working together with several entities. He said Laingsburg had been proactive when calls had gone out for applications.
He reminded members that the MEC had earlier indicated that he would be meeting with the CEO of Transnet and that they would explore ways to unblock the challenges experienced by the logistics value chain. The research that had been commissioned by the Department aimed to identify impediments, as well as how to improve the port's efficacy. This would assist the Department to determine what should be done, and required a multifaceted approach. With the ever increasing exports of South African agricultural produce, and a general increase in exports, the province needed another container port with a dedicated terminal. Cape Town counted as the only container port in the province, and discussions with Transnet about Saldana's possible viability as a container port was definitely on the table.
On the sustainability of the Saldanha Bay IDZ, he said that this had been a long time coming. It had been projected that the IDZ would break even by 2023/24. Until then, the Department would continue to cover the operational costs.
Minister Maynier said that he was very passionate about the revitalisation programme, and at the last launch in Delft, he had met a woman who had worked in the retail sector for 14 years and would now have the opportunity to manage and own her own store. He added that to date 18 job opportunities had been created, and he thought that this program had provided sterling results. The next launch would be in Paarl, but he would not be able to be there as he needed to be in the House to be debate the Department's budget.
On a possible cold storage facility in George, he said that it remained a critical issue, as George was not considered to be a mainstream airport.
Mr Harris responded to the question on cold storage facilities, and said that a perishables hub had formed part of the air access programme.
Ms Labeeqah Schuurman, Chief Strategy Officer, Wesgro, added that in 2020, Wesgro had embarked on an air cargo assessment as part of the air access programme. Through this program, it had been able to keep an eye on air freight movements during the Covid period, and this would give the entity the capability to provide accurate information to manufacturers. This would also indicate the appropriate infrastructure that was needed for exports. Wesgro had worked closely with air access partners such as the DEOT, the City of Cape Town, as well as ACSA on the required infrastructure needs of a potential cold storage hub hub.
The Chairperson thanked the MEC and his team for having presented the budget and vote. She commended them for the work done.
The Chairperson said that just as the Committee had given officials homework, the officials -- or rather the Department -- had also given the Committee homework. She suggested that if the Department had any upcoming events that entailed the work and oversight of the Committee, it should extend an invitation to the Members as well.
Mr Fourie said that to draft a budget in the current constrained economic environment remained an enormous challenge for a regional economy like the Western Cape. He affirmed that the Department remained focused on the key priorities of government and on what needed to be done to give effect to these priorities. He thanked the MEC, his colleagues, as well as the Committee, for their support.
Minister Maynier extended his gratitude to the Committee for having allowed the Department to present the budget. He recalled that in his Budget Vote speech, he had noted that government had to do much more with very little.
The Chairperson excused the MEC and the DEOT delegation.
Resolutions & Committee Report on Vote 12
The Chairperson read out of the resolutions that dealt with Adjustment Budget vote 12.
Mr Van der Westhuizen proposed that the Committee adopt the report.
Ms Makamba-Botya indicated that the EFF did not support the vote as presented by the Department.
Despite the EFF objection, the Committee passed the resolution along party lines, with Mr D Mitchell (DA) carrying the vote for the DA-controlled Committee.
On the main budget vote for Vote 12, all the DA Members supported the main budget vote, with the EFF voting against.
The Chairperson read out the report on the main budget Vote 12, and the Committee adopted the report along party lines.
The Chairperson proposed that the Committee should request the Department to provide a copy of the ports’ efficiency study that was due for release on 31 March. The Committee unanimously agreed.
The Committee also resolved to conduct an oversight visit to the Pick and Pay spaza shops.
The meeting was adjourned.
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