Gauteng deserves a better story

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Caucus Leader

Summary extract of Speech by Jack Bloom MPL in State of the Province debate on 28 February 2014

The Honourable Premier has told us many good things about Gauteng, and we agree that Gauteng is a better place to live in.

But if we are capable of reaching the stars, and we only reach the moon, then we have achieved something, but it is not the best that we are capable of.

I can’t deal with all the failed promises as I would keep you here all day, but let me start with job creation.

According to Stats SA, there are nearly two million unemployed people in this province. This is 600 000 more than when the Honourable Premier came into office.

Two years ago the Honourable Premier promised that six Township Enterprise Hubs would be built.

This has been scaled down to only two, one in Winterveldt that has only recently started functioning, and one in Mohlakeng that is to be launched shortly.

In 2009, the Honourable Premier promised “the revitalisation of Ekandustria” and she also said she would “rehabilitate the Babelegi Industrial Park”.

Unemployment is desperately high in these areas, but these are yet more failed promises.

Many jobs are dependent on companies that do business with the provincial government, but late payments are still an enormous problem.

Madam Premier, this is not a good story.

The Honourable Premier claims credit for dismantling the failed Gauteng Shared Services Centre and for rationalising the economic development agencies.

This was very necessary. But the Honourable Premier should reflect on why the same ruling party that has ruled this province since 1994 should be praised for digging itself out of its own mess.

If you dig a ten foot hole, and then fill it up by half, is this really progress?

The Honourable Premier said in 2009 that there must be no more “embarrassing stories” in the provincial administration.

Here is a small sample of embarrassing stories of the past five years:

  • Male patients had to wear nighties at George Mukhari Hospital because of a linen shortage.
  • Surgeons finishing operations by cellphone light after generators failed at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital
  • Food shortages in hospitals because of non-payment of suppliers
  • Broken radiation machines delaying treatment for cancer patients
  • Medical negligence claims that total more than R1 billion
  • Broken lifts at hospitals, with dead bodies, food and patients sometimes in the same lift

Another failed promise is that essential medicines would be available to patients 98% of the time.

The figure now given is 89%, which means that one in ten essential medicines are not delivered to patients.

Last year I pledged R10 000 to the ANC’s election campaign if 98% availability was achieved, but my money is safe.

The Honourable Premier made a huge blunder by creating a new Infrastructure Development Department.

This department has been a continuing disaster. There is not a single large project that has been delivered anywhere near budget or on time.

The two worst examples are the Jabulani Zola and New Natalspruit hospitals, both years overdue, and costs have doubled or tripled.

This is really an embarrassing story.

The major reason for failure is an incompetent administration that is full of cronies and prone to corruption at all levels.

The vacancy rate at senior management level is a whopping 24%, and other vacancies are 10 percent.

But three years ago the Honourable Premier promised to fill all vacant posts within six months.

This is another embarrassing story.

According to the last four annual Auditor-General reports, there was an astounding R11 billion in irregular expenditure over four years. Unauthorized expenditure was R5.5 billion and fruitless and wasteful spending was R1.6 billion.

Now, is that a good story to tell?

Then there is the corporate credit card saga. It took 50 days for former MEC Humphrey Mmemezi to resign after media exposure of his credit card abuse.

The Honourable Premier also splurged R30 000 on her card on one day when she was overseas in Milan, Italy.

Then there was the R1.2 million spent on new furniture for the official Premier’s residence in Bryanston, and the R574 000 spent on repairing the swimming pool there.

That’s a lot of money to spend on a swimming pool, Madam Premier, or is it perhaps a fire pool?

Yes, it’s an embarrassing story.

I have one more story to tell. It’s about the imposition of e-tolls on our highways.

It’s not a good story at all as there is a mass boycott of e-tags and large numbers are not paying the e-tolls.

A better story in Gauteng would be a new provincial government, one that really serves the people with efficiency and clean administration.

Madam Speaker, last year I outlined the DA’s alternative State of the Province.

This included three private members bills:

  • The Gauteng Business Interests of Employees Bill will prevent civil servants enriching themselves through state contracts.
  • The Reduction of Red Tape Bill will assist small businesses to create real jobs, not temporary work opportunities.
  • The Community Safety Bill will assist oversight over the police so that they effectively tackle the high crime that still makes people fearful in this province.

We will also adopt a “no frills”  Ministerial Handbook to cut down on all unnecessary perks. This means no Italian handbags or R1 million official cars, and no fire pools!

And blue lights will be outlawed so that people are not terrified by arrogant politicians who can’t plan their diaries so as not to rush to meetings.

When we are in government, all these things will happen.

This will enable the next chapter in Gauteng to be an even better story.

A story where we return to the founding values of our democracy.

A story where promises made are promises kept.

A story where every person has the opportunity to be the best that they can be.

A story where politicians serve the people, not themselves.

Madam Speaker, this will be the best story ever told.

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Municipalities owed whopping R131 million by government departments

Dacre Haddon MPL

Shadow MEC for Local Government

Municipalities in the Eastern Cape were collectively owed a whopping R331 million in outstanding fees for services rendered to government departments at the end of December 2013.

It is of concern that rural municipalities with small budgets are placed under unnecessary financial strain due to non-payment by the government.   It is inexcusable that service delivery in our already failing municipalities is hampered further by poor administration and inefficient government departments.

In reply to a question for oral reply in the Legislature on Wednesday (26 Feb), the MEC for Local Government, Mlibo Qoboshiyane,  stated that the full outstanding amount of fees owed to Eastern Cape municipalities as at 31 December 2013 was R330 808 064.  For the reply, click here.

While it is encouraging to note that R554 183 455 was paid to municipalities from April 2013 to January 2014, we must be serious about development, reform and creating real job opportunities.   No stone should be left unturned to ensure that municipalities are paid timeously.

The progress that was made towards realizing a better life for all with increased access to municipal services such as water and electricity is no longer happening under the ANC of President Jacob Zuma.

I will be writing to Auditor-General and ensure that quarterly reports about payment are presented to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government so that on-going oversight is done in this regard.

With regards to national departments who owe money to our province, I will be liaising with my colleagues in parliament to engage with the appropriate Ministers to expedite payment.

Our results in recent by-elections in the province show that voters have taken note of what the DA has achieved in the Western Cape, where we have proven that where we govern, we govern well.  The May 7 elections are the opportunity for our citizens to change their fate from an uncaring government to one where service delivery and job opportunities will come first.

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SOPA 2014: Mpumalanga needs a new vision

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

With the 2014 national and provincial elections only weeks away, the hopes and aspirations of Mpumalanga’s citizens of a better life, are ever increasing.

Today, Premier DD Mabuza will deliver Mpumalanga’s 2014 State of the Province Address (SOPA), the last of his term of office.

While the Premier will undoubtedly use this SOPA address to parade self-acclaimed achievements of his tenure, the true state of our province is yearning for a new vision and direction for its citizens.

Despite early progress by ANC administrations post 1994, life in Mpumalanga under the leadership of DD Mabuza has become increasingly tough. Unemployment abounds with thousands of citizens trapped in poverty with few to no economic opportunities. Economic development has been scarce and scattered. Rural Mpumalanga remains in a deteriorating cycle of decay, with no immediate prospect of improved service delivery.

DD Mabuza has presided over an administration where corruption and maladministration has become entrenched as the order of the day. Department after department are unable to deliver on their core mandates. Collapsing health facilities, the failure to improve conditions in schools – especially in rural areas, lack of proper sanitation and the unreliable provision of clean drinking water has made life in Mpumalanga a daily battle for the delivery of life’s most basic services.

While DD Mabuza has learnt well how to eloquently “talk-the-talk”, his administration has failed dismally to “walk-the-walk”.

To this end, the DA hopes for a SOPA address that will outline a new vision for Mpumalanga, that will implement sustainable solutions to end corruption, fight poverty, and create jobs.

We hope that Premier Mabuza will:

  • Take a definitive stand against corruption by making public the investigation reports into scholar transport, the provincial archives building, the Pilgrim’s Rest tender adjudication, as well as the many other probes into questionable supply chain processes;
  • Announce his support of the DA’s proposed provincial bill outlawing and prohibiting all government employees, their spouses and immediate families from doing business with government;
  • Disallowing every head of provincial government department from being an active member of any political party;
  • Taking decisive action in local and district municipalities by removing all municipal managers and financial heads who do not comply with National Treasury minimum competency standards from office;
  • Announce the removal of mayors of municipalities who do not comply with financial management legislation;
  • Provide a comprehensive progress report on the provision of bulk water as promised two years ago;
  • Outline a comprehensive plan to support the ailing provincial agriculture sector, and how government will support farmers in our province to grow the sector and expand investment, and increase our contribution to national food security;
  • Announcing Mpumalanga’s rolling out of the Youth Wage Subsidy including steps to building the economy by attracting investment to create more jobs;
  • Announce a fresh approach to saving Pilgrim’s Rest and other prime tourist destinations with a new approach to expanding our provincial tourism sector; and
  • A new vision on how government intend to turns around the despair of rural Mpumalanga to provide residents not only with basic services, but how to give individuals a greater sense of ownership of land, with opportunities to establish small businesses.

The DA firmly believes that all is not lost. We can rekindle the dreams and aspirations of a united South Africa, with prospering opportunities and the delivery of a better life. All that is required is the political will to reduce corruption, increase investment and create jobs that enable all citizens to develop their potential, and achieve the best that they can be.

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Cape Rouleur kicks off bumper month of premier cycling events

Minister Alan Winde

Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism

Western Cape Government

The multi-stage endurance race, the Cape Rouleur, kicks off this week, marking the start of a series of premier cycling events taking place in the Western Cape this month.

Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, joins 160 riders as they line up at the starting line for the Cape Rouleur on Sunday. Around 80% of the participants come from overseas countries.

Beginning in Franschhoek, riders will travel across some of the Western Cape’s most scenic mountain passes.

Western Cape youngster, Nicholas Dlamini, who was recently chosen as first ever ambassador for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, is also set to race in the event. The event includes 600km of racing and 6000m of uphill cycling.

The Western Cape Government co-sponsored Nicholas’s participating in the London-Paris cycle race last year.

Riders will also have the opportunity to gain seeded entry into the world’s largest timed cycling race, the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour. The Argus takes place on the 9th of March and typically attracts over 30 000 participants.

March ends off with the 11th edition of the Absa Cape Epic, in which local and international mountain bike riders tackle the challenging 718km route, including 14 850m of climbing.

The province’s official destination marketing, investment and trade promotion agency, Wesgro, supports the Cycle Tour and Absa Cape Epic with R300 000 for each event.

Minister Winde said cycling was becoming an increasingly popular activity in the Western Cape, with the number of formal cycling routes and races growing each year.

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism has set itself the target of attracting 100 000 cycling tourists to the Western Cape per year, within the next ten years.

“To reach this goal, we are developing an informed cycle tourism strategy which seeks to promote the Western Cape as a cycle-friendly destination for casual and competitive cyclists.”

“As part of this strategy, we aim to ensure that we have well-designed infrastructure in place for cyclists at public spaces and key strategic locations such as the airport, on transport systems and at accommodation establishments. We must also ensure that safety for cyclists using our roadways is improved through better cooperation with motorists,” said Minister Winde.

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Gauteng Investment Centre won’t create REAL jobs

Janet Semple MPL

Deputy Spokesperson on Economic Development

The recently launched Gauteng Business Investment Centre (GIC), located amidst the glitz and glam of Sandton and a Gautrain ride away from OR Tambo for foreign investors, fails to reach and support those who need it the most.

The aims of the GIC are noble: it hopes to reduce the cost of doing business in Gauteng by improving application and documentation turnaround times and growing business in the province.

However, its focus, location and prospects are questionable.

In the first instance, focusing on reducing the cost and turnaround times of the extensive and suffocating red tape and regulatory environment is misguided.

The Gauteng Provincial Government should instead eradicate red tape that are significant burdens to setting up and running small business in Gauteng.

Additionally, housing the GIC in Sandton – far removed from the local entrepreneurs and small business owners across the province – makes it inaccessible and undermines its impact and prospect for success.

The GIC and similar initiatives must be based at the municipal level in local communities. This makes it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners from KwaThema, Soweto, Orange Farm, Olievenhoutbosch, Mapobane and Vosloorus to succeed.

Big corporate operations already have the money and capacity to navigate government’s extensive and suffocating red tape burden.

Instead, it is ordinary one man and one woman operations who find it burdensome and costly to set up, maintain and run a small business to support themselves and their families. These are the people the centre should assist, but it is making it even more expensive for them to get assistance by requiring that they travel to Sandton instead of getting help in the community they live in.

The GIC model as it stands has very limited reach and slight prospects for successfully growing small business to be the primary drivers of real job creation.

The GIC demonstrates that the current government is not serious about real job creation.

The DA government in Gauteng will:

  • Roll out Small Business Incubators where start-ups can share free basic office resources in a single location;
  • Establishing Opportunity Centres where entrepreneurs can access support services from government more easily than ever before;
  • Pioneering a new system of Opportunity Cards for entrepreneurs as a means to access credit from government; as well as discounted business advisory services like accounting, training and insurance.

The DA is serious about real jobs! And core to our commitment to real jobs is creating a province of entrepreneurs, each with their own job-creating businesses.

When entrepreneurs and small business succeed, Gauteng succeeds.

Together for change, together for jobs!

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Eastern Cape DA response to State of the Province

Bobby Stevenson MPL

Chief Whip in the Provincial Legislature

Note: The final debate on the State of the Province Address took place in the Bhisho Legislature this morning.  Herewith the speech delivered by Bobby Stevenson, on behalf of the DA.

The Democratic Alliance agrees that life is better in South Africa than it was prior to 1994. Progress has been made in the delivery of basic services such as water, housing and electricity as well as infrastructure development. This is a good story and the Democratic Alliance is proud to be associated with the progress that has taken place in the Eastern Cape.

We also appreciate the Premier’s commitment to national reconciliation by including names from across the broad political spectrum in her speech including our late colleague, Pine Pienaar. Molly Blackburn was someone I worked very closely with in the fight against apartheid. Yes we fought apartheid and are committed to redressing its shameful and hurtful legacy that is still with us today.

But another story is being told daily on the streets of our province where people express their frustration by means of service delivery protests. Over the last three months there have been 254 service delivery protests in the Eastern Cape.

Municipal IQ regards Gauteng and the Eastern Cape as the most protest ridden provinces in 2013, each accounting for 25% of all protests.

People have moved on beyond just a call for basic services but the ANC as we saw from speakers yesterday is trapped in the rhetoric of the past and denialism. Voters are crying out for a brighter tomorrow and the message that these protestors are sending us is “what got you here will not keep you here”. They are hungry for change that will create jobs.

This province is failing to create the right framework and policy environment that is conducive to job creation. Corruption is costing us jobs. Corruption is a cancer that is eating away at resources that should be there for the up-liftment of the poor.

The R6 million Buffalo City taxi scandal has now ensnared the ECDC to the tune of R250, 000.

Did the Provincial Treasury do a due diligence check to ensure that the company was registered for tax and had the necessary numbers in place?

Was there a tender system in place?

What kind of invoice did the Provincial Treasury receive to pay this money? What action has been taken to ensure this money was properly spent?

It is disgraceful that people would try to profit from the funeral of the greatest South African that ever lived. These are contrary to the values that Nelson Mandela stood for.

When it comes to economic growth and job creation, the Eastern Cape economic growth rate has lagged that of South Africa for all but 4 years in the 17 year period, from 1996 to 2012.

Why are we not making progress in a very important industry namely that of tourism? The Eastern Cape share of both domestic and national tourism is declining. In 2012 there was a 19% decline of bed nights sold to foreign tourists whereas in South Africa as a whole, there was an increase. This costs our province R500 million. These figures tell a sad story.

Yesterday, speakers referred to the Western Cape which has the lowest unemployment rate in South Africa; 12% lower than the national average. In the latest stats SA report, in the last quarter of 2013, the employment gains in the Western Cape were 98,000 jobs out of 141,000 that were created in South Africa; this is 70% of all new jobs. We also celebrate the fact that 38,000 jobs were created in the Eastern Cape.

In terms of health and infrastructure a study in 2012 revealed that fewer than 100 of the over 1,300 facilities meet the requirements of technical norms and standards of a fully functional facility. The Hon Trollip was telling the truth yesterday. The DA built new hospitals in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.

Safety and security is of paramount important in this province if we are to create the right type of climate to attract investors and create jobs.

Yet we find the efforts of ordinary members of the SAPS are undermined by poor management when it comes to vehicles. Yesterday, the East London Flying squad had only one operating vehicle. There should be 7 operating vehicles. This is a provincial wide problem. Fix it!

There is a leadership vacuum in our country today. People are put into positions because they are connected. It results in a decline of integrity in our public service. The looting of state coffers is on the rise. The barriers between party and state are falling away. This is creating a vacuum into which factions jostle for space, domination and tenders.

We need to rediscover the dream of 1994, when this country was enthused with the spirit of hope and optimism and we were all working together to build a better and united South Africa.

We have a vision for this province of rising opportunity for all – where we can dream of life being better tomorrow because change is taking place today. Together we can bring the same changes that are taking place in the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape.

A DA government will take this province forward to new heights. We will restart progress towards creating a better life for all.

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DA Northern Cape: Together for Change, Together for Jobs

Andrew Louw MPL

DA Leader and Premier Candidate in the Northern Cape

Today, the DA has put up the first DA election poster in the Northern Cape, outside the Provincial Legislature.

Our message is simple: Together, we can bring change and jobs.

A lot has been achieved since democracy in South Africa and in this province. But in the past five Jacob Zuma’s ANC has taken us backwards.

The choice for voters is more of the same or change that brings jobs and economic freedom.

More than 54 000 posters will be erected throughout the province conveying our offer to voters: creating real jobs, fighting corruption, delivering better education, and more internship opportunities for the youth, as well as more support for small business.

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Patronage and dependency: Magashule’s real story to tell

Roy Jankielsohn MPL

DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature

Note: This was the speech delivered by the DA Leader in the Free State Provincial Legislature, Roy Jankielsohn MPL, during the State of the Province Address debate in the Legislature yesterday evening.

Honourable Speaker;

On Friday we listened to a political speech delivered by the Chairperson of the ANC in the Free State. It was not a speech delivered by the Premier of the province.

The DA acknowledges the advancements made in Free State and the country since 1994 to restore the dignity of our people. However, we also know that that the material circumstances and economic prosperity of our people have deteriorated significantly over the past five years.

What we heard in the State of the Province address painted a rosy picture by a Premier who has clearly lost touch with the realities facing our people in the province. Our people in the Free State have a very different story to tell than that of the Premier.

According to Statistics South Africa, the Free State has the highest unemployment in the country. If you include those individuals who have lost all hope and no longer even seek employment, then at least 41% of our people are unemployed, and youth unemployment is at 46,7%. These hundreds of thousands of destitute people have a story to tell.

While it is important to acknowledge that the work opportunities generated by the expanded public works programme is an important mechanism that brings temporary financial relief to our people, these temporary work opportunities can never replace real sustainable long term permanent jobs.

The Premier indicated that the social grant system in the Free State caters for approximately one million people, that 85,5% of schools are no fee schools and that the national School Nutrition Programme caters for 438 937 learners. It is important that we assist the most vulnerable in our society, however, the more people we add to the social grant system, the more the economic failures of this government become apparent. The social grant system seeks to alleviate the deprivation of poverty, but it should never replace our determination to create opportunities where our people can access permanent employment. A job allows people to take care of themselves and their families and is a source of pride and dignity.

This government has extended patronage and dependency to levels that are completely unsustainable. Temporary government created jobs and a widening social net, together with a shrinking tax base is a recipe for ultimate economic meltdown, and fuels the current wave of violent protests and radical populism threatening the social fabric of our communities.  Operation Hlasela was designed to create this dependence on the government and the Premier, and is used as an election tool.

Stats SA indicates that in the last decade alone, the Free State has shed 39 000 jobs in the agricultural sector, 2600 jobs in trade, and 59 000 jobs in the mining sector. These are real private sector jobs that have been permanently lost. Jobs created by government will never replace jobs lost in the private sector. Jobs in the private sector generate tax income, unlike jobs in government that consume taxes.

Speaker;

While our people who have become political slaves to government in exchange for hand-outs have grim stories to tell, the beneficiaries of the dissolved R143 million Magashule Trust have a very good story to tell.

While the 51% of our people who live in poverty have a sad story to tell, companies like Letlaka Communications that benefit from lucrative multi-million rand communications deals, and their friends in government, have a very good story to tell.

While many of our people depend on hand-outs from government to feed their children and who themselves often go hungry have a heart wrenching story to tell, ESTINA and those in government who benefited from the inflated goods and services of the Vrede Dairy Project have really good story to tell.

While the many unemployed youth in Maluti-a-Phofung who remain hungry and jobless have a story of desperation to tell, Mr Moloi who received a R250 000 per month government contract to oversee projects and who defrauded the people of the Hlasela flagship Diyatalawa Agri-Village of their money in a shady cattle deal has a good story to tell.

While the people who are injured in accidents caused by potholes have a painful story to tell, the mayor of Tokologo who overspent his budget to purchase a R510 000 Jeep to navigate the poor roads and then spent a further R500 000 on an inauguration party has an extravagant story to tell.

While our people who are without water for days and even weeks at a time have a shocking story to tell, the overpaid ANC cadres who receive multi-million rand packages and performance bonuses every year who are responsible for the prevention these problems have good story to tell.

While our people in Ezenzeleni are being evicted from dilapidated RDP houses that are being demolished have a gruesome story to tell, contractors like Koena Property Developers and Allitory as well as their friends in government who benefited from tenders to build these houses have good story to tell.

While the people of Zamani have to wash their clothes and obtain water from a sewerage infested stream have a sick story to tell, the various companies that were previously paid to fix the sewerage problems, and their friends in government who appointed them, have good story to tell.

While our entrepreneurs who are struggling to make ends meet in the Free State have an atrocious story to tell, companies like C Squared who enjoy a monopoly on government events have a good story to tell.

Speaker, I agree with the ANC that our people in the Free State have a story to tell, it is however only those people who benefit from this Premier’s patronage who have a really good story to tell.

This patronage has become so morally and materially corrupt that the story around it is totally obscene.

Speaker, the people of the Free State deserve better, and they realise that the key to meaningful change in their lives is at the ballot box, and only at the ballot box.

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Agriculture MEC must provide emerging farmers with promised relief

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga agriculture MEC Violet Siwela must honour her department’s promises of disaster relief to emerging farmers who lost over 1700 heads of cattle during heavy hail storms in late 2012.

The DA today supported the Thembisile Hani/Dr JS Moroka emerging farmers association as their representatives handed over a memorandum of demands to departmental officials near Vlaklaagte.

Click here to view the memorandum.

In their memorandum, the farmers demanded compensation for the loss of their cattle, as well as further sustainable measures to ensure a better and more prosperous future for them and their families.

Should the department not accede to the emerging farmers’ demands within 14 days, the association has promised intensified action.

The DA is highly concerned over the ANC-led government’s seeming disregard for emerging farmers and its opposition to removing barriers to their entry into the mainstream commercial agricultural economy.

While its national and provincial leaders constantly use land and agriculture to drum up political support among the rural poor, the ANC missed a perfect opportunity to put its money where its mouth is, and all but doomed hundreds of households to a life of poverty and despair.

Emerging farmers must be assisted, supported and encouraged so that they too can reap the benefits of commercial farming practises. By entering into partnerships with established commercial enterprises, emerging farmers will acquire the necessary skills and access to markets – giving them the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their children.

The DA will continue in our fight to ensure that emerging farmers across Mpumalanga will not suffer from the ANC’s short-sightedness.

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Design Indaba to kick off in Cape Town

Minister Alan Winde

Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism

Western Cape Government

Thousands of visitors are set to attend the Design Indaba at the Cape Town International Convention Centre this week.

Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, welcomed those attending the Design Indaba. The conference starts today and runs until 28 February. The Design Indaba Expo kicks off on 28 February and runs until 2 March.

In previous years 40 000 visitors attended the event.

Minister Winde said this year was particularly significant as it coincided with Cape Town hosting World Design Capital 2014.

The event draws creative sectors from across the world and gives local designers an audience to whom they can exhibit their innovative solutions and products. This year 495 exhibitors will showcase their products.

On Friday (28 February 2014) Minister Winde will attend the Design Indaba to launch a new Western Cape Government-sponsored competition calling on creative industry players to design a piece of street art for Lower Dorp Street. This forms part of the government’s 20 years of democracy celebrations and the WDC 2014 programme.

Minister Winde said the Design Indaba was an important economic catalyst.

“The economic impact of the Design Indaba is about R326 million. It is yet another example of the importance of events for our economy. In the previous financial year, major events hosted in the Western Cape generated R1.3 billion for the provincial economy. It is estimated that put together, these events attracted 196 600 tourists.”

“We are focused on building our creative sector and events such as this one help us in achieving this goal. Close to 80 000 people work in the design-related industries in the Western Cape and this sector contributes R14 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product. Between 2003 and 2013 the Western Cape attracted 19 Foreign Direct Investment projects in the creative industries. These projects were worth R2.3 billion and created 598 jobs,” said Minister Winde.

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