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PORTFOLIO ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY
14 September 1999
NATIONAL GAMBLING AMENDMENT BILL: DISCUSSION & VOTING
After each party put forward its position, the Bill was voted on and agreed to.
On Friday 17 September at 13h00 a press conference will be given by Minister Alec Erwin in the Rain Forest Auditorium
On Thursday 16 September at 13h00, the Industrial Development Corporation, a parastatal of the Ministry, will give a presentation in E249.
The proposed visit to Pretoria has been submitted and a response is awaited.
Brief statements were given on parties' positions on the Bill:
African National Congress
The Bill and its intention is desirable, that is, that the North West Development Corporation (NWDC)should be included in the March 1999 amendment. It should be passed and applied retrospectively to give effect to the intention of the March 1999 amendment. Moreover it should be fast-tracked due to the possible loss of jobs and business in the North West province.
Although the reason given for the amendment was that there was an oversight in the March 1999 amendment, if the present Bill were to be passed then it would seem as though the government was "changing the rules to suit itself" in order to avoid lo9ss suffered via the North West government. Moreover the object of privatisation is to place assets in the hands of the people who are able to maximise productivity. It is therefore more important to put the company in the hands of the "people" than for government to benefit. The DP is sceptical about the "true purpose" of this Bill. It cautions that government, by its actions, should not create a perception with investors that it seeks to interfere with the process of privatisation.
Inkatha Freedom Party
The IFP representative was not given a mandate by the party but he is of the opinion that the issue at hand is of a technical nature and therefore should be rectified. He also said that the IFP believes in a free market economy and it is crucial that government should not interfere with "business".
New National Party
It supports the Bill because failing to do so will result in a "fire sale" of the shares of NWDC which in turn will lead to loss being suffered by the North West province.
United Democratic Movement
If there is a possibility that the NWDC could become an economically viable entity then the Bill should be passed. But if there is no possibility of the NWDC recovering financially then there seems to be no reason to interfere via this legislation
African Christian Democratic Party
It believes in non-governmental intervention in matters of business but it reserves comment on an official position pertaining to the passing of the Bill.
It supports the Bill.
In conclusion the chairperson, Dr R Davies, said that it is clear that the majority of the committee supports the Bill so as to prevent a "fire sale" of the shares held in NWDC.
Formal motion of desirability: The majority of the party agreed to the Bill.
The chairperson pointed out that in terms of Rule 251 (e), the minority opinion should be taken into account and any statement given by the minority will be forwarded to the Clerk of the Committee.
The meeting was concluded.
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