CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ON JOINT OVERSIGHT VISIT TO KWAZULU-NATAL AND GAUTENG PROVINCES WITH PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY AND SELECT COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM, EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR
SPEECH BY ACDP DEPUTY PRESIDENT, WAYNE THRING MP
ACDP wants the government to send a national recuperative and preventative strategy to all in the business sector
At the outset, the ACDP again wishes to place on record its condemnation of the wanton looting, destruction of property and the needless loss of lives during the week of madness in early July this year.
Clearly, this was an attack not just on the business sector and the residents of our communities, but also an attack on the democracy and freedom of all in South Africa. I had the opportunity to visit many of the sites where the looting took place, Amaoti, Phoenix, Cornubia, Durban central, Isipingo and Pinetown, before the oversight visits of our respective Portfolio committees. It is the view of the ACDP and many others that the protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng were planned and deliberate. The first group of looters were the “brains” who formed the spear of looting and destruction. This “spear” gained access to buildings and premises targeting ATMs, safes holding cash and other valuables, before the masses arrived, including the criminal element, who took advantage of the easy access to buildings and valuables.
It must be said that SAPS were hopelessly outnumbered, under-resourced, ill-prepared, threatened and hence stood back. In many instances, they were conspicuous by their absence. Of great concern to the ACDP were the allegations of police involvement in the looting and protest, if not physically and in person, then complicit by their inaction. Additionally, there was a glaring deficit of intelligence sharing between the crime-fighting agencies, which is in place, could have prevented much of the looting and destruction in KZN and Gauteng. The threats, by those supporting former President Zuma, were either not taken seriously or were simply ignored. The internal battle for power within the ruling party has manifested externally and once again, South Africa as a nation suffers collectively.
The economic and financial loss resulting from destruction to property and business disruptions across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has been estimated to be in excess of R50 billion and some 150 000-250 000 people may lose their jobs. Business confidence is at an all-time low and the reputational damage to the country is extensive and possibly incalculable, with billions of rands worth of potential investment wiped off the books. Furthermore, economists predict that the damage caused, will shave off 1% from our GDP.
The ACDP welcomes the recommendations and financial incentive packages in both reports but notes that for many businesses, it may be too little too late. We have further called for a national, interdepartmental, recuperative and preventative strategy to be sent to all in the business sector. It’s time for change and the ACDP stands ready to unite, build and grow our country, its economy and its people.
I thank you.”0