Good evening, hon House Chair and hon members. As the NFP we believe that our economy is failing to create a conducive environment to enable us to boost investor confidence and in the process create much- needed jobs. However, we can still change this situation by tackling issues broadly. We need to have the political will to take decisions that can also force the private sector to play its role.
Our country has vast natural resources, but the sad reality is that white monopoly within the mining sector is party to the economic crisis that we are faced with. The time has come for a policy shift that will force mining companies to invest half of their profits into the communities they operate in. This should not be debated.
We also need to invest in the township economy by making capital available to assist small and emerging businesses. This should be coupled with skills empowerment so that we do not spend millions of rands on businesses that will not succeed.
We also believe that co-operatives need to be revived and the focus should be on agribusiness so that the vast land that is lying unused in rural areas can be utilised. This will also open doors for government to revitalise agricultural colleges. Agriculture is crucial, not only for food security but, most importantly, for creating jobs, because no matter the economic crises, land will always be there.
We also need to deal with the predicament of ageing infrastructure that causes unnecessary delays in the delivery of services to the people. We can no longer ignore the problems caused by infrastructure that has been there for the past 30 years.
It is also imperative for government to have parastatals that are functioning properly. Load shedding is not doing us any good in this regard, but instead it points to even bigger problems at Eskom and the immeasurable challenge this puts on businesses. I thank you.