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Today we met Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies, to discuss the Democratic Alliance’s key concerns and proposals for the Department. The discussion was productive and focused on the following areas –
The need for a much stronger DTI presence in South African embassies around the world, especially in countries which are our key trading partners, to ensure that South African businesses are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities and to maximise foreign investment into South Africa. The DA believes South African diplomatic missions are currently seriously under-equipped to deal with issues of trade and investment, and South Africa loses out on a great deal of trade and investment as a result.
The Minister committed to leading a discussion with the Portfolio Committee about how best to prioritise the allocation of the DTI’s resources in foreign missions.
A discussion around the proposed revised Codes of Good Practice for Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment. The DA pointed out to the Minister what we view as certain anomalies in the new Codes which actually make it more difficult for small black-owned companies to gain accreditation and participate in deals.
The Minister committed to re-looking at these problematic provisions.
We discussed the economic impact of alcohol abuse in South Africa and its negative affect on productivity. We proposed the need for a fundamental review of alcohol policy and legislation in South Africa with a view to amending the National Liquor Act (2004).
The Minister committed to begin a discussion on the review of alcohol policy at the National Alcohol Policy Council.
We discussed the need to speed up the process of introducing a new and reformed Lotto Bill, which will improve accountability and transparency in the way that the National Lottery is operated, and the way in which funds are distributed to NGOs.
The Minister assured us that a new Bill would be introduced in Parliament imminently.
The DA will continue to engage the Minister on these and other pressing issues in the South African economy and will follow up on these commitments.