South Africa: economic government ministers answer questions at the National Assembly


Ministers from ministries that fall under the economic cluster appeared before the National Assembly (NA) last week to answer questions about the performance of their respective portfolios.

Public companies: Minister Pravin Gordhan

Eskom’s inefficiencies related to an unreliable electricity supply have come under heavy criticism. MP Steven Swart asked why, if Mr. Gordhan’s department is serious in its attempts to end the sabotage that is reportedly taking place at some power plants, isn’t Eskom installing surveillance cameras to detect people involved in this crime.

Mr Gordhan replied that there is room for improvement in this regard, but Eskom has huge electric utilities and it is difficult to monitor every nook and cranny. He further urged the National Prosecution Authority to redouble its efforts to ensure that Eskom employees who are already involved in wrongdoing are prosecuted.

Referring to a statement by Eskom CEO Mr. Andre de Ruyter in which he called Eskom a dead horse, MP Ms. Omphile Maotwe asked why the minister is allowing someone to lead a state entity in which he do not believe. Mr Gordhan replied that the CEO apologized for his comments.

Ms Maotwe also asked for clarification on the government’s position on clean energy, given the government’s announcement of its intention to move away from coal and the transition to clean energy, in light of the Minister’s statements. Energy, which seem to contradict this position.

Mr Gordhan replied that South Africa has vast reserves of coal and our transition to clean energy will not happen suddenly. The government will also do due diligence to ensure that it does not have negative effects on the job market. He added that the reality is that we need to decarbonize and be part of the climate change deals to protect not only our country, but humanity. This means that Eskom has to find other ways to generate energy in the future.

Tourism: Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu

MP Phumeza Mpushe asked Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu about the tourism department’s recovery plan after the devastation caused to the tourism industry by Covid-19.

Ms Sisulu replied: ‘To date, we have allocated well over R200 million to rejuvenate the sector, which has been hit hard by the advent of Covid-19. As a result, the trade and consumption indices are now higher and the norms and standards for safe operation have been introduced. “

She added: “These interventions have helped revive tourism demand nationally, which has been further boosted, in large part by the removal of South Africa by the UK government from its Red List of travel destinations. hope other European countries follow suit. “

MP Ahmed Shaik Emam asked: What effect will an impending wave of infections, scheduled for December, have on the department’s achievements so far, given that December is a huge tourist month?

Ms Sisulu replied: “We have learned a lot from the downsides that have almost brought the sector to its knees. As such, our stimulus package is intended to deal with any emergency or disaster that the sector may be exposed to. to come up.”

Public Works and Infrastructures: Minister Patricia de Lille

The members of the AN wanted the Minister of Public Works, Ms. Patricia de Lille, to report on the progress of the Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) policy, which aims to place infrastructure development at the heart of economic growth. and job creation in the medium term. .

His response was: “Our infrastructure development plan is aligned with our country’s economic recovery. We see infrastructure as a catalyst that can stimulate investment. This growth will be mainly driven by the Infrastructure Fund which will be invested in bankable projects, while eliminating red tape. and bottlenecks whenever they arise. This will be coupled with effective project designs and implementation and hopefully this will lead to job creation. “

Trade and Industry: Minister Ebrahim Patel

During the previous State of the Nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the launch of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP), as a blueprint for economic growth and job creation in South Africa. South. Mr. Simanga Mbuyane wanted the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr. Ebrahim Patel, to inform the members of the AN on his progress.

Mr. Patel said one of the ERRP’s major short-term accomplishments is the industry’s growing uptake of the call to buy local products. “Our injection of funds in this regard has allowed the creation of 700,000 jobs and the use of localized products. Coca Cola’s investment in locating its production line bodes well for this campaign.

In addition, the program goes beyond our borders and seeks to harness the African Union Free Trade Agreement, which will give South African businesses access to untapped consumer pools for their products across Africa.

“We are calling for the localization of production and the purchase of local goods, as we consume products that we do not produce and produce products that we do not consume. This policy aims to change that for the benefit of our economy. “

Industrialization remains the longitudinal pattern of ERRP. The continued commitment in this regard has led Johnson and Johnson to commit to making vaccines locally. This is in addition to Toyota’s commitment to locally manufacture and produce some of its vehicles for domestic markets.


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