Minister Patel and Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry & Competition won’t come to KZN after week of looting

Please find attached soundbite by Dean Macpherson MP.

The DA has spent the better part of the last 10 days trying to get Trade, Industry & Competition (DTIC) Minister, Ebrahim Patel, and Parliament’s Portfolio Committee for DTIC to come to KwaZulu-Natal to assess for themselves the sheer extent of the devastation and destruction during the week of looting that took place 17 days ago.

Minster Patel, who is charged with advancing industrialisation and investments into job creating industries, has buried his head so far in the sand, it has become covered with the rubble left behind by the looters and arsonists. On 20 July 2021, the DA formally wrote to him to request his presence in KZN and more especially in Durban, where billions of Rands in investment have gone up in smoke. To date, he has simply refused to respond or come to the province.

Also on 20 July 2021, the DA wrote to the Chairperson of the DTIC Portfolio Committee, Duma Nkosi, recommending that an oversight be done in KZN and Gauteng to assess the damage and provide recommendations on how Parliament can provide solutions to ensure this disaster never takes place again which has cost South Africa dearly.

In a reply by Mr. Nkosi, he cited that no physical visits to KZN by the committee would be permitted by the House Chairperson, Cedric Frolick, despite the Police and Defence Committee already having done so.

He further goes on to offer that he will engage with the Minister to ascertain how bad the situation is.

These are nothing other than lame excuses and an abrogation of Parliament’s responsibilities and speaks to the very real fear that ANC politicians have of seeing how bad their internal fight has been for the country and the economy.

Ministers and MPs need to be on the ground and show leadership. Hiding in air-conditioned offices and behind security walls simply won’t cut it when so many people stand to lose their jobs.

By their inactions, the Minister and Portfolio Chairperson have rendered themselves entirely impotent in the face of a crisis that will haunt South Africa for years to come, which is entirely consistent with Parliament’s behaviour during this recent time.

The DA will continue to be on the ground with businesses, big and small, who have lost everything, and we will continue to show the leadership that Minister Patel and Mr. Nkosi are simply incapable of.