I have today written to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, asking him to recommit to continuing to build trade and investment relations with Taiwan and dismiss the ANC and DIRCO’s reckless and hypocritical statements about Tshwane Executive Mayor, Solly Msimanga’s recent trip to Taiwan.
These statements included accusations that Mayor Msimanga had committed ‘treason’, violated the ‘constitution’ and that the visit had breached the ‘One China Policy’ that South Africa currently recognises.
It has been revealed that in 2014, the department of Trade and Industry undertook an Outward Selling and Investment Mission (OSIM) to Taiwan with 18 business people, all paid for by the Department at a cost of R400 000.00, excluding the cost of senior DTI officials. In a DTI statement, Minister Davies is quoted as saying the mission would lead to “increased export orders, and more production output and the resultant additional job opportunities for South Africa”.
The DA believes the Minister was right to endorse this mission because Taiwan is South Africa’s second largest Asian investor with R14 billion worth of investments and trade between the two countries totalling R22 billion, with a trade balance of nearly R4 billion in South Africa’s favour according to 2013 statistics.
It is therefore highly hypocritical of the ANC and DIRCO to suggest that Mayor Msimanga’s actions, aimed at attracting trade and investment into Tshwane to deal with the high levels of unemployment, as anything but complimentary to what Minister Davies is trying to achieve. It is laughable to suggest that Mayor Msimanga breached the ‘One China Policy’ by going to Taiwan but our own government department did not by undertaking the same trip two years earlier.
I therefore call on Minister Davies to endorse the work of Mayor Msimanga to attract trade and investment to Tshwane, to reject the ANC and DIRCO’s ludicrous accusations and continue to push for increased trade and investment between Taiwan and South Africa in order to deal with the devastating crisis of unemployment in our country.
The 9 million jobless South Africans in our country deserve nothing less.