Remarks by the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube
Operation Vula Fund – More than R50 million worth of equipment/machinery handed over to emerging entrepreneurs
Deputy Mayor of Umgungundlovu Cllr S Dlamini-Mabaso;
Speaker of Umsunduzi Local Municipality Cllr N Majola;
Mr Sbu Myeza representing the Acting DG;
Members of the media;
I wish to start by paying tribute to the pathfinder of our Freedom – uBaba OR Tambo.
He would have turned 103 today.
The question that we must ask is – what would be his words today?
He would have been on the side of the marginalized members of society.
OR Tambo would have urged all of us to ensure access for economic opportunities for the people in all corners of this province.
OR Tambo had this so say in his one of his speeches:
“We need to understand that racialism cannot be separated from the political oppression and economic exploitation of black people. It serves both, and is in turn sustained by both. It is an integral part of a socio-economic system peculiar to South Africa, but one which has all except the geographic features of colonialism. The difference between South Africa and other systems of colonialism is, therefore, that in South Africa, colonizer and colonized live side by side within the same country. Colour and race are used as the dividing line between the resident white army of occupation and their subject population – the black people. The extreme exploitation of labour is the raison of the existence of the apartheid system.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here to continue the work that OR Tambo started centuries ago.
Our presence here this morning is a demonstration of the fact that we are conscious of the fact that our freedom is not be complete while millions continue to live in poverty. We are relying on you as entrepreneurs to help create much needed jobs for millions of our people in the townships and rural arrears.
Importantly, when we presented the Budget Vote on the 2nd June, we pointed out that our programme of action included the focus on the entrepreneurship revolution
We emphasized that government has a responsibility to unshackle millions of people from the bondages of economic oppression. Today, we are handing over to you this equipment that will ensure that you are the creators of wealth for the nation.
We have stated in various platforms that as the department, COVID-19 has ignited us to double our efforts to translate the political freedom we enjoy into economic freedom for millions of people in this province.
There are few things that we have also stated:-
Firstly, we have said as the department we have indicated that those who live below the poverty line will be given our urgent attention. We have said we will never fail them.
Secondly, we have pointed out that greatest impact of COVID-19 has been job losses in both informal and formal economies.
We have observed that job losses have resulted into spiraling levels of poverty. Many people have been retrenched and condemned to rural villages and peri-urban informal settlements with no means of survival.
In addition, spiraling food prices will is rapidly increasing the number of people who are food insecure.
Despite these foreseen challenges, we are here to re-afirm our determination to tackle unemployment and banish poverty.
We are here to show our determination to use this outbreak, to relegate our sad history of apartheid designed economic exclusion to the distant memories of only those of us who lived through those turbulent times.
We are here to give you as entrepreneurs the ammunition to soldier on and sustain the entrepreneurship revolution.
When I presented the Budget Vote I quoted, Herbert Hoover – a well-known engineer and a politician who served during Great Depression. Hoover remarked at that time:
“economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncements.”
He went on to say –
“economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body – the producers and consumers themselves”.
Ladies and Gentlemen we are here to join hands with you as entrepreneurs to heal the economic wounds inflicted by both economic exclusion and COVID-19.
We believe that entrepreneurship is vitally important to the economic and social wellbeing of this province.
Operation Vula Fund – Umgungundlovu
Programme Director, the wheels of radical economic transformation are being set in motion here in Umgungundlovu District.
We are handing over bakkies, bakery equipment, catering equipment, animal feeds and other machinery to twelve (12) emerging entrepreneurs.
This follows a rigorous process undertaken by my Department to assist those that applied for funding through Operation Vula Fund. This is the successful Tier 1 batch among the three tiers of funding within Operation Vula.
It should also be noted that these are not the only Tier 1 beneficiaries within uMgungundlovu Municipality, however, following a successful due diligence done over these 12 business, I felt it was prudent that we hand over the equipment to the beneficiaries in order to speed up economic recovery.
I must also point out that the work which include due diligence for Tier 2 and 3 is continuing. I will make similar announcements in due course when we are ready.
We will also be going to other district municipalities.
• A total of R25, 6 million has been committed to support eighty seven (87) existing small enterprises in the clothing and textile sector.
• Fifteen (15) existing small enterprises in the toilet paper manufacturing are also being assisted;
• More than R11, 7 million has been allocated to support fifteen (15) existing small enterprises in bakery and confectionery in the township and rural areas. We want to ensure that every rural area has these bakeries.
• An amount of R5, 4 million has been allocated to support five (5) small enterprises in detergents and chemical cleaning products manufacturing;
• Another R18. 3 million has allocated for emerging entrepreneurs in various sectors of the economy.
Localisation and Innovation
Ladies and Gentlemen, this afternoon, I have convened a meeting to discuss our localisation strategy.
As the department, we are finalizing the KZN Localization Framework so that we ensure that local people benefit from economic opportunities at local level.
We are channelling our energies and resources as the department and our entities towards building local capacity.
We want the people of this province, across all corners, to produce local products for domestic consumption and exports.
I have stated that the lockdown regulations, which resulted in the disruption of global value chain, should be viewed as a blessing in disguise.
The lockdown has presented us as indigenous people with the opportunity to be self-sufficient and produce their own goods.
As part of the Buy Local Campaign, we are mobilizing society to buy from local entrepreneurs in order to create much needed jobs.
As we do that we want to safeguard our ports and borders. Our local economy has been crippled by the proliferation of counterfeit goods that come through our ports and borders.
We will continue with our efforts together with law enforcement agencies to rid this province off counterfeit goods coming from other countries.
As I conclude, I wish to encourage other entrepreneurs who were not successful not to give up. There will be another opportunity to apply for funding. We will make an announcement to that effect.
Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, we have been forced to re adjust our programmes of service delivery.
Having said, I always remind people of what Kevin Dcruz once said:
“We don’t need to have deep pockets or be rich to help the needy, the poor and the hungry. We need to have a heart.”
I thank you
Source: Government of South Africa