Questions and Replies

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01 July 2022 - NW2273

Profile picture: Macpherson, Mr DW

Macpherson, Mr DW to ask the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

With reference to the directive issued by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications on 18 February 2020, what are the reasons that the process to strengthen existing and introduce new minimum energy performance standards has stalled after the successes of those introduced by VC 9006 and VC 9008, which have resulted in major energy savings on water heaters and other household appliances; 2) by what date is it envisaged that the process to strengthen existing and introduce new minimum energy performance standards will progress?

Reply:

The Department has provided a brief report on the work done on updating the previously approved standards. It does not adequately explain the need for the time taken and I have requested a more detailed reply. A supplementary reply will be furnished within a week.

I have also requested the Department to review the processes to ensure that they are not cumbersome and that duplications in processes are removed, as part of the red-tape review.

-END-

01 July 2022 - NW2272

Profile picture: Macpherson, Mr DW

Macpherson, Mr DW to ask the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

What is the current status of the development of policy measures (i) VC 9109 and (ii) VC 9110 by his department, as gazetted on 1 March 2021, to transition our domestic lighting away from old, outdated and inefficient lighting technologies that often get dumped in our market, to newer and more energy-efficient technologies such as light-emitting diode bulbs and (b) by what date is it envisaged that the new policy measures will be adopted; 2) whether he intends to table the proposed new policy measures in the National Assembly for its consideration and input prior to adopting them; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. I am advised that the proposed specifications were published for public comment and that the dtic has considered the comments and is currently finalizing the publication of the Compulsory Specification for Performance of general service lamps (VC 9109); and the Safety of general service lamps (VC 9110).

The new specifications are expected to be published in the Government Gazette by September 2022.

2. The Department does not table technical regulations/compulsory specifications at the National Assembly prior to implementation. The matter is regulated by section 13(1) of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, 2008 (Act No. 5 of 2008) which prescribes the process for finalizing regulations. The Honourable Member is encouraged to provide any submission on the matter to the Department within the next two weeks. Although the deadline for public comment has passed, I will request the Department to take these into account prior to submitting their final report to me. the dtic and the technical agencies would be subject to oversight by the National Assembly through the Portfolio Committee in relation to the work they have undertaken.

-END-

01 July 2022 - NW2251

Profile picture: Mulder, Mr FJ

Mulder, Mr FJ to ask the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

(a) Which development projects, such as Yekani Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd in East London, were established with the financial support of the Industrial Development Corporation during the past 10 financial years, (b) what were the amounts that were invested in each project, (c) which of the specified endeavours have since failed and (d) what are the reasons for their failure in each case; (2) Whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

The IDC provides funding for companies based on the mandate to industrialise the economy and support broadening the base of the economy. A number of IDC investments are successful whilst some projects fail, for a range of reasons. These reasons may include changes in market conditions resulting in changes in either demand or costs, failure by investors to adhere to their commitments and counter-party challenges.

As a development finance institution, the IDC will normally take a higher risk profile than commercial banks.

The IDC publishes information in its annual reports on loans and equity approvals or disbursements that it makes and the level of impairment to its book, which includes amounts written off. In a number of cases, the IDC pursues recovery of funds where there is a legal basis for doing so, for example, that an investor has applied the funds for purposes different to what is in the funding agreement.

I have requested the IDC to review a number of its transactions in East London with a view to identifying common or unique reasons for investment projects failing or succeeding and will provide the Honourable Member with a supplementary reply on conclusion of the study, citing specific project details as appropriate.

-END-

01 July 2022 - NW2194

Profile picture: Roos, Mr AC

Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

Whether, with reference to his reply to question 1293 on 18 November 2019, wherein he indicated that the second phase of the Ekandustria Revitalisation Programme has not been initiated as yet pending funding approval, the second phase of the programme has been started and/or completed; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, on what date did it commence and/or was it completed; (2) (a) what was the quantum of budget set aside for the specified programme in the (i) 2019-20, (ii) 2020-21 and (iii) 2021-22 financial years, (b) what phases and deliverables were completed in the specified financial years for the programme, (c) what further phases and deliverables are planned for the (i) 2022-23 and (ii) 2023-24 financial years and (d) what are the budgetary estimates for expenditure in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 financial years for the programme?

Reply:

Industrial Parks fall within the responsibility of Provinces and in some instances, municipalities. The dtic considers requests for funding for infrastructure improvements, typically on areas such as fencing and security. The Department has tabled a report on SEZs and Industrial Parks at the Portfolio Committee of Trade and Industry, addressing the challenges with the existing model and the need for reform.

The Department has provided more details on developments relating to the Ekandustria Industrial Park, which I set out below.

It advises that the Ekandustria Industrial Park application for Phase 2, was submitted on 10 November 2020 by Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) to DBSA. This was to solicit assistance from DBSA to finalise the Bill of Quantity and Project Schedule before submission to the dtic. The department has not adjudicated on the application from MEGA for Ekandustria due to incomplete information and delays in responding to requests to provide the outstanding information. In an effort to assist the Province, the IDC based PMU project support team has been requested to provide support.

In respect of the second part of the question, the Department advises:

(a) (i) – (iii)

There was no budget sum set aside because the Phase 2 application has not been submitted for the 3-years in question.

(b) No Phases were delivered and implemented prior to application approval being granted.

(c) (i) – (ii)

Further Phase development is dependent on Phase 2 approval being granted and successfully implemented.

(d) There are no budgetary estimates applicable since no application has been approved for the said period.

-END-

01 July 2022 - NW2322

Profile picture: Mohlala, Ms MR

Mohlala, Ms MR to ask the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

(1)Whether the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone is still within its project timelines and scope; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the details of the current status of the project; (2) whether the issue of the Environmental Impact Assessment has been resolved; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) of the 21 000 jobs envisaged to be created by the project, what total number of (a) jobs are going to benefit the residents of Limpopo and (b) businesses from Limpopo stand to benefit?

Reply:

The project is under the control and management of the Limpopo province.

The Department has contacted the CEO of Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) in order to respond to the questions posed, and the CEO has furnished the department with the following reply:

1. The project is behind schedule due to delays in the process of securing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) authorisation on time. The timelines for the implementation of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) are dependent on amongst others, the granting of the environmental authorisation. The environmental authorisation granted on 23rd February 2022 is currently the subject of an appeal process. As a result, no development can take place on the site until the appeal processes are completed.

2. Environmental authorisation was granted on 23rd February 2022 and currently undergoing appeal process.

3. It is anticipated that majority of the job opportunities to be created in the MMSEZ will benefit the people of Limpopo, based on the available skills. Priority will be given to local entrepreneurs for the majority of business opportunities in line with the existing government policies and regulations. A comprehensive enterprise development strategy has been developed for the integration and empowerment of local Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the implementation of the project.

The Honourable Member is encouraged to engage directly with the province and the SEZ Management to get more details about the project.

-END-

01 July 2022 - NW2277

Profile picture: Marais, Mr EJ

Marais, Mr EJ to ask the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

What (a) is the name of each company that has invested in the Saldanha Special Industrial Development Zone, (b) is the total amount in Rands that each company has invested to date and (c) are the details of the industry and/or business that each company conducts? [

Reply:

I advise the Honourable Member that the management of the SEZ is with the Provincial government and queries should be directed to the appropriate sphere.

To assist with the question, the Department sent the question to the CEO of Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), who provided the following information:

(A)

Investor Names

(B)

Investment Amount

(Rm)

(C)

Industry / Sector

(D)

Status of Operations

West Coast Corrosion Protection (WCCP) [SEZ Facility]

25,00

Manufacturing, repair & installation

Operational

Off-Shore Supply Base Saldehco

92,00

Maritime

Operational

Anchora Enterprises

1400,00

Maritime

Construction to commence

Cape Oceans Terminals

2000,00

Energy

Construction to commence

New Tenant SEZ Facility

1500,00

Medical

Lease negotiation underway

New Tenant SEZ Facility

1300,00

Renewable

Lease negotiation underway

Chemie Tech/Goal

900,00

Chemicals

Delay in environmental permits

ALE/Mammoet (Q1’21)

24,00

Logistics

Contract Completed

Absolute Wind (Q1’21)

2,50

Logistics

Contract Completed

Rennies (Q1’21 & Q4’20)

1,08

Logistics

Operational

Total

7244,58

   

a) Column A – name of companies that have invested;

b) Column B – total amount invested to date by each company; and

c) Column C – details of the industry / business conducted by each company.

Column D indicates the actual operational status of each investment. Only three (3) companies are operational and the rest are at different stages of: contracting, lease drafting, or to commence with construction. The SEZ does not yet wish to have details of two tenants published until the transactions have been completed.

-END-

17 June 2022 - NW2015

Profile picture: Siwisa, Ms AM

Siwisa, Ms AM to ask the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

What (a) actions does his department intend to take against scrap yard owners who buy stolen cables from criminals and (b) intervention measures will be put in place to ensure that no scrap yard is allowed to buy stolen cables in future? [

Reply:

During the Budget Vote on Trade and Industry, I noted that building an enabling environment for industrialisation requires securing our key network infrastructure, such as energy and logistics, and protecting our electrical grid and rail network from the continued threat of scrap metal syndicates. I committed that by the end of July, the Department will have developed and tabled a draft policy on scrap metal, which will introduce a blend of domestic and export measures to address illegal trade in copper cable and scrap metal.

Since then, research has been completed and Cabinet has been briefed on the overall strategy. A document setting out the draft policy is being developed and will be published for public comment shortly.

-END-

17 June 2022 - NW2001

Profile picture: Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN

Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN to ask the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

What (a) has his department identified as the biggest stumbling block in finalising legislative changes that aim to narrow the earnings gap between company executives and the lowest paid workers and (b) is the progress report on this from the perspective of his department? [

Reply:

First, proposals to address a broad public policy on dealing with wage gaps in industry, were developed and drafted into legislation, in the form of a Companies Amendment Bill, 2021 (the Bill)

Second, these proposals were discussed with social partners in Nedlac, where the principle of disclosure of the wage gaps and responsibilities assigned to shareholders, were agreed

Third, Cabinet was briefed on the proposed changes

Fourth, the proposals were published for public comment.

The public comments are currently being considered and in the Department’s Budget Vote this year, I indicated that the anticipated timeframe for the Bill be submitted to Cabinet for consideration, which is within the next three months.

-END-

17 June 2022 - NW2118

Profile picture: Cuthbert, Mr MJ

Cuthbert, Mr MJ to ask the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

Whether he will furnish Mr M J Cuthbert with the final list of the beneficiaries of the R210 million COVID-19 Relief Fund; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The question replied to in PQ 1464 dated 22 April 2022. See submitted reply below.