DA urges MPs to choose SMMEs over 5-star hotels 

Today, the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development met to be briefed by the Department of Small Business Development on the recent unrest and violent looting in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng – which impacted grossly on small enterprises and informal traders – and the plans that are in place to assist affected Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises.

During the meeting, I urged members of the Committee to refrain from staying in fancy, established hotels when travelling across South Africa, and instead opt to stay in accommodation venues that qualify as SMMEs.

The South African government has grossly neglected SMMEs to the detriment of job-rich economic growth. It is the responsibility of Members of Parliament as duly elected representatives of the people of South Africa to lead by example and support SMMEs, starting with those in the tourism sector which have been decimated by the ill-considered and irrational lockdowns of the ANC government.

Although the DA only urged members of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development to support SMMEs, we call on the Minister of Public Service and Administration to urge all public representatives across all spheres of government, regardless of party affiliation and political ideology, to only make use of affordable SMME accommodation venues where reasonably possible to do so.

This should, of course, not deflect from the moral duty on Members of Parliament to band together to pass legislation that reduces the red tape and systemic barriers to growth imposed on SMMEs by the ANC. Showing first-hand support to struggling SMMEs is merely a small step towards reaching the broader goal of creating an economic environment where SMMEs can thrive and achieve their full potential.

The DA will also submit a Parliamentary Question to the Minister to ascertain the amount of taxpayer funds that public representatives have spent on travel-related expenses, and what portion of these expended funds went into the wallets of SMMEs.