Statement on Economic Development NCOP budget speech
17 May 2012
Today the Minister of Economic Development, Mr Ebrahim Patel, presented the Economic Development Department (EDD) budget for debate in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The speech reviewed the Economic Development Department's performance over the last year, as well as activities for the year ahead within a provincial context.
Minister Patel provided an overview of South Africa's labour market performance, highlighting that 305 000 net new jobs were created in the last 12 months. In agriculture, 53 000 new jobs were created in the same period, indicating growth of almost 9%.
The top-performing province for jobs growth were Gauteng, with 141 000 new jobs, which created 46% of all new jobs created in South Africa. Kwazulu Natal came in second place with 90 000 new jobs. A total of 63 000 new jobs were created in the Western Cape. The Eastern Cape and Free State experienced the highest level of job losses.
Minister Patel highlighted how EDD, together with sister departments such as the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and agencies such as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), ITAC and Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SAFA), integrate their efforts in order to realise new growth path outcomes. In the Free State, the IDC, through an R80 m, is partnering with the Vrystaat Kooperasie Beperk (VKB), a 2 200 member co-op, to finance development of the fifth largest chicken broiler in the country. It will create 1 328 jobs and replace 40% of national poultry imports.
Through key projects and a range of policy instruments described in the speech, Minister Patel illustrated how EDD is fostering integration across government and its agencies to facilitate inter alia economic diversification and competitiveness, localisation, strategic infrastructure investments, uptake of the green economy, as well as the growth and sustainability of small businesses in provinces.
In Kwazulu Natal, 51 000 solar water heaters have been installed as a result of government and social partner integration and coordination for effective outcomes in the Green Economy.
Plans to significantly improve the capacity of the rail network in the Northern Cape are underway, specifically for the transportation of manganese from that province, with an IDC-backed sinter plant to do first stage transformation.
The IDC-funded Russel Stone soya crushing plant in Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng, will replace 240 000 tons of imported soya cake per year creating 48 permanent and potential for a further 1 040 agricultural jobs.
Vektronix in the Eastern Cape has a revolving R123m credit facility with the IDC, which has allowed the company to gear up capacity for contract assembly of a range of Samsung flat panel models.
In Mpumalanga, Tubular Construction Projects Pty Ltd plans to execute a contract for the supply, fabrication and erection of an air-cooled condenser system for Eskom’s Kusile Power Station. 687 new jobs will be created.
The African Queen Newco project in the North West will allow the mining of a continuous platinum ore body, placing the project in the top 5 platinum producers in South Africa. Through the project, 9 000 jobs will be created and the local community will own 27% of the consolidated mine.
Transnet's investment in rail, as well as the Department of Water Affair's laying of water pipelines together with Eskom's energy generation and transmission infrastructure and the IDC's industrial investment will unlock industrial development in Limpopo's Northern Mineral belt.
Last year the Khula Land Reform Facility (LREF) approved R63.5m to land reform beneficiaries in the Western Cape for planting vineyards and citrus orchards in the Citrusdal community. These two projects will create employment and ownership opportunities to about 565 workers.
EDD has ongoing capacity-building for provinces, including Employment Impact workshops and training of municipal officials in economic development and planning.
Mahomed Saleem Mowzer
Cell: 082 808 8135
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by: Economic Development Department
17 May 2012
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