The Guard

The Truth On Board

Portfolio committee visits MAPSEZ

By Emily Setona

TSHIAME –The deputy director of Free State Treasury, Gunnet Kaaf says the MAPSEZ has submitted a corporate plan that is in line with the stipulated submission timelines and contains all pertinent information as per section 29 of treasury regulations.

Kaaf said this in a presentation of the analysis of the MAPSEZ performance plans to the provincial legislature committee on economic development, tourism and environmental affairs.
He said MAPSEZ’s mandate is to attract foreign and direct investment to stimulate the local economy as well as to create meaningful work opportunities for the community of Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality.

“The SEZ is a subsidiary of the FDC and in the five years that the SEZ has been established it still does not have any incentives to offer to investors, therefore it is somewhat still functioning like the FDC. National treasury was approached to help with these anomalies as well as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“I hope that through this visit the committee can thoroughly investigate this matter,” Kaaf said.

He was responding to committee member Roy Jankielsohn’s concern about whether the money that the provincial treasury is allocating will be valued given that the FDC and MAPSEZ have a similar mandate and both have a track record of poor performance over the years.
MAPSEZ CEO Mpho Mgemane said SEZ’s operating investors are Kevali Chemicals – a chemical blending facility, Steynsburg Pork – a pork abattoir, Intabazwe Agri and Agriculture Hub and a hair synthetic and natural hair manufacturer.

“The SEZ pipeline investors have a challenge with funding but what we do as the SEZ is write a letter to their prospective funder that we will be backing the prospective project. The challenge is that we do not have working factories for our investors to occupy; the factories are all owned by FDC, and they need to be refurbished,” Mgemane said.

The chairperson of the committee Thembeni Nxangisa said the committee has to account for this meeting, that is why a site visit is equally important for the purpose of a thorough report.
The committee convened a reporting session with the Department of Economic, Small Business, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA), and the Free State Treasury where they presented their Annual Performance Plans (APPs) and quarterly reports.

The role of the portfolio committee is to consider the performance reports of government departments and entities as well as to hold the executive accountable.
According to Tshidi Pholoana the analysis of the provincial treasury is focused on compliance, and they use treasury regulations.

“When entities such as the FDC and MAPSEZ compile their APPs and send them to legislature for approval they must comply and align with treasury regulations even in their budgets, they must state how they plan to achieve their targets,” Pholoana said.