Hon Chairperson; hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers; hon members; the Acting Director-General of the department, Ms Ncaphayi and her team; the small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, and co-operatives represented here; ladies and gentlemen and fellow South Africans, the ANC has tasked me with explaining the context in which the ANC government is developing SMMEs and co-operatives. Before I do that, I will explain why we are participating in the Budget Vote debate of the Department of Trade and Industry.
I will briefly report on the oversight conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development since the proclamation of the Department of Small Business Development so that hon members can understand where the process is now.
The Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development is participating in the Budget Vote debate of both the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Economic Development, because the budget allocated for SMMEs and co-operatives is currently in these two departments. The Minister of Small Business Development briefed the portfolio committee on the mandate of the department, which the portfolio committee supports.
The process of establishing the Department of Small Business Development to become a fully fledged department with its own budget is progressing well. The budget report of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development therefore relates only to the mandate of the department for now.
All the political parties that attended the portfolio committee meeting that considered and adopted the report supported it. We thank all parties for their frank political engagement with the Ministry, pointing out issues that affect SMMEs and co-operatives, which the Department of Small Business Development will need to address.
The exclusion of the word "co-operatives" from the name of the department was sharply highlighted by the ANC in the context of marginalising and treating co-operatives as a secondary issue. All parties supported the view of the ANC study group. The ANC study group believes that co-operatives have a political-perspective role to play in the development of SMMEs. If adequate support is given to SMMEs and they are made to understand the concept of co-operatives, SMMEs could become a powerful co-operative movement that could control the economy, as is the case in Kenya, and the Mondragon co-operative in Spain.
The Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development thinks that the department should be named the "Department of Small Business and Co- operative Development". A number of co-operatives that have contacted the portfolio committee share the same view.
Kungaba kuhle ukuthi silungise igama lomnyango kusaqala nje, kungaze kwakheke isithombe sokubukela phansi izinhlangano ezisebenza ngokubambisana ezingqondweni zabantu. Kumele senze abantu bazi ukuthi izinhlangano ezisebenza ngokubambisana zinezimiso zokwakha imiphakathi, azifani namabhizinisi ancike kogimbelakwesabo anenhloso yokwenza imali kuphela.
Izinhlangano ezisebenza ngokubambisana yizo ezingasiza kakhulu ekushintsheni indlela yokuphathwa komnotho waleli zwe, ubuyele ezandleni zabantu nakubasebenzi bezimboni, kuphinde kuphele nokuxhashazwa kwabasebenzi ngongxiwankulu nogimbelakwesabo. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[It would be a good idea to change the name of the department at the very beginning of its establishment before the general impression that co- operatives are looked down upon is created. We must inform our citizens that co-operatives are aimed at developing communities, unlike capitalist businesses whose sole aim is the generation of profits for themselves.
Co-operatives could play an important role in changing the manner in which the economy of the country is handled. They could pave the way for ordinary people and blue-collar workers to play an important role in the development of the economy, thus eliminating the exploitation of workers by greedy capitalists.]
We should avoid having a narrow perspective of co-operatives and begin to place them at the centre of our radical socioeconomic transformation agenda. We also need to confront the evils of capitalism that are dominant in our economic space. The issue of the name of the department therefore becomes very crucial in creating the correct mind-set about what we seek to achieve through SMMEs and co-operatives. [Applause.]
The portfolio committee and the Ministry have agreed to have a strategic planning workshop before the final configuration of the department so that the portfolio committee can also provide the political leadership required of it. The strategic planning workshop will take place before the Budget Review and Recommendation Report process.
We still need to understand which programmes will migrate from both the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Economic Development.
Hon members, resolutions of the 53rd conference and the Election Manifesto of the ANC outline specific interventions in the identified challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. The establishment of the Department of Small Business Development is a direct intervention in these challenges.
The 53rd conference of the ANC resolved that, in the second phase of our transition, the ANC government would lead a radical economic transformation agenda as a continuation of our struggle for liberation and a consolidation of our democracy. The focus of the ANC government on small business and co- operative development is in the context of building a developmental South Africa, wherein ordinary citizens would actively participate in their own development. Our job creation drive is in the context of enabling workers to own the means of production. [Interjections.]
The small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, and co-operatives therefore become an important pillar in mobilising communities actively to participate in the second phase of our transition. Those who think that SMMEs and co-operatives are Cinderella businesses that deserve only breadcrumbs have a lot to learn about our radical socioeconomic transformation approach and should prepare themselves for a radical paradigm shift.
The current situation in market share that is 80% big business and 20% SMMEs and co-operatives will have to change to 80% SMMEs and co-operatives and 20% big business. [Interjections.] This would demonstrate the firm commitment of the ANC government to inclusive economic growth that begins to address the socioeconomic inequalities that exist in our society. The growth of our economy should have a direct impact on poverty reduction, resulting in poor families becoming self-sufficient and self-reliant. There should come a time in South Africa when not so many poor families are dependent on social hand-outs for daily survival. [Interjections.]
The development of SMMEs and co-operatives should be aimed at creating a permanent exit of poor families from the social grant register and the indigence registers of municipalities.
Sihlalo, ngokuthuthukisa amabhizinisi amancane asafufusa, phecelezi ama- SMMEs nezinhlangano ezisebenza ngokubambisana siqonde ukuthi uma kufika unyaka wezi-2030 babe sebabaningi abanezithakazelo, abayobe sebenezitolo emadolobheni amakhulu nezimboni zokukhiqiza ukudla nezimpahla. Akungabi sengathi thina bendlu emnyama sasidalelwe ukuthenga nokuba yizisebenzi ezimbonini zabokufika kuleli zwe lobabamkhulu. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Chairperson, we have set ourselves a target, that by 2030 small and developing businesses - that is SMMEs and co-operatives - should be well developed. Our goal is that many of these business owners should own businesses and factories that produce food and other products in big cities. It should not look like we black people were destined to be only customers and servants in the industries owned by those who are not the indigenous inhabitants of this country.]
We will not only give people fish to eat, we will also teach them how to fish. [Applause.] We will ensure that SMMEs and co-operatives operate in the mainstream of the economy and become the backbone of our economic transformation process. Through SMMEs and co-operatives, the ANC government seeks to bring about sustainable development. One of the objectives is to effectively reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. [Applause.] We can only achieve this goal by putting in place proper support systems and creating investment opportunities for SMMEs and co-operatives, as well as ensuring that there is a sustainable market for them, starting with government becoming such a sustainable market.
The biggest challenge to the development of SMMEs and co-operatives would be our own failure to understand the role that SMMEs and co-operatives can play in reversing the inequality that exists in our economy. We should be brave enough to admit and overhaul policies when we realise that some of them do not adequately address the needs of SMMEs and co-operatives and, as a result, retard progress.
We will not be shy to exercise our power to legislate and to use the space we occupy to remove obstacles that prevent the development of SMMEs and co- operatives.
Some of the policies that we will focus on to assess their impact include the Preferential Procurement Policy, the Set-aside Products Policy, the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Policy and the price-based Supply Chain Management Policy. Our target group for development includes organised groups that operate on the periphery of the economy and continue to be exploited. These groups include the taxi industry, street vendors and hawkers, stokvels and burial clubs. These are real broad-based black economic empowerment groups that organise themselves. They resemble the structural design of co-operative movements that exist in other countries, yet they are continuously exploited and marginalised in South Africa. Our role will be to release them from the shackles of exploitation.
An announcement by the President is non-negotiable. That should be understood by all government officials. This includes an announcement like the 30-day payment policy relating to all invoices for goods and services supplied to government that was announced by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma.
This means that all government departments and all spheres of government must pay service providers within 30 days of the invoice. [Applause.] There are government officials in various departments who do not process and pay invoices of SMMEs and co-operatives within 30 days, resulting in affected SMMEs and co-operatives being forced to close down due to nonpayment by a government they voted into power - a shame, an embarrassment and a complete lack of understanding of what the struggle was all about.
To government officials with an ANC background, I would like to say that we depend on you, comrades, to instil revolutionary values and principles at bureaucracy level. [Interjections.]