Election of Chairperson

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Trade and Industry

11 May 2004
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Meeting report

trade and industry Ad Hoc Committee
11 May 2004
Chairperson Election
 


This minute is an edited version of a report produced by kind courtesy of Contact Trust: www.contacttrust.org.za

Chairperson:
Mr V Ngculu (elected)

Documents handed out:

Department PowerPoint presentation: Introduction to the DTI and its groups

MINUTE

 

Mr M Mzwakawi asked for nominations for the position of Committee Chairperson. Dr R. Davies (ANC) was elected unopposed.

The newly-elected Chairperson announced that the budget vote debate would take place on 14 June. Preparation for this budget would be the Committee's main task. He suggested that Members visit with Department officials during the last week of their recess.

The Ad Hoc Committee's main programme would include debating the budget for 2004-05, reviewing the Department's Strategic Plan, and evaluating the Department's measurable outputs from the previous cycle. In addition, the Committee would meet with some of the institutions that reported to the DTI and would review the Co-operatives Policy, as well as the Companies Amendment Bill.

Ms Wendy Dobson, the Department's Chief Director in the Office of the Director-General, delivered a presentation to inform the Committee on the Department's scope and structure, and various acronyms.

Discussion
Mr L Zita (ANC) asked whether the Department was monitoring the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) budget, and whether it had a good grasp of the various sectors under its jurisdiction.

Ms Dobson replied that the IDC was self-financing and as it did not receive money from the DTI, was reluctant to disclose information to government. The DTI has suggested that the IDC develop an annual business plan so that the Department could have a better grasp of the IDC's operations. She acknowledged that the DTI did not have comprehensive knowledge about each sector. The DTI had been recruiting economists and analysts but that it was difficult for the government to match their salaries.

A Member asked about intergovernmental relations and relationships between municipalities.

Ms Dobson replied that good working relationships were necessary between the provinces and the government. The DTI had arranged monthly meetings among the provinces for information-sharing purposes. The DTI had also participated in the South African Cities Network in order to align local economic strategies with national strategies. The Department would continue its efforts to strengthen economic co-operation among municipalities.

The Chairperson asked the extent to which the DTI was challenging the 'dual economy'. Many DTI services did not cater to people living in townships, so he wondered if the DTI had plans to restructure services.

Ms. Dobson remarked that every year the DTI designated certain initiatives as priority 'flagship projects' to be completed by year-end. In the past year, six of the flagship projects had targeted the 'second economy'.

A Member asked about South Africa's ten-year goal for economic growth and employment. He asked to what extent the DTI was targeting foreign versus domestic investment.

Ms Dobson replied that the DTI showed no preference. The same incentives were available to domestic and foreign investors. There was high liquidity among many South African companies.

The meeting was adjourned.

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