Government to fast-track Black Industrialists Programme

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says government plans to accelerate the creation of black industrialists
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says government plans to accelerate the creation of black industrialists

Cape Town – Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says government plans to accelerate the creation of black industrialists with an aim of creating 100 black industrialists by the end of the coming financial year.

The Minister said this when the Economic Sectors, Employment and Economic Infrastructure Development Cluster briefed the media, on Tuesday, on the implementation of its programme of action following President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, earlier this month.

“The first phase of the Black Industrialists Programme envisaged us supporting 100 black industrialists [over three years].

“We have done 25 so far and the financial year is not yet over … and I am sure we will do three [by end of March]. So we’d hit the 30 that we were supposed to hit in the current financial year.

“But we actually said that instead of 70 more over two years, we will now do 70 more over one year,” Minister Davies said.

Earlier, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti, who chaired the briefing, said the Black Industrialists Programme had supported 27 entrepreneurs, and leveraged R2.5 billion in private sector investment and created 5 235 direct jobs.

Minister Davies said the programme had produced quality industrialists.

“So [the new] target has been set for us now so we are accelerating the roll-out of the programme and in the Portfolio Committee later on, I will try and demonstrate that these are serious industrialists and significant industrialists, we are trying to profile two or three of them.

“These are people who have taken risk, are personally involved and that this is industrial activity that we are supporting so I think that this is a programme of quality,” he said.

Implementing a higher-impact industrial policy action plan

Minister Nkwinti said the target of the cluster, which is detailed in the nine-point plan, is to also scale up industrialisation by reviving industrial parks, expanding industries supplying the infrastructure build programme, investing in manufacturing sectors and setting up special economic zones.

He said several milestones had been achieved in driving the country’s industrialisation programme:

  • For the first time, the automotive sector exported R150 billion in 2016 and received the country’s largest investment of R11 billion from the Beijing Automobile International Corporation. Construction on this project is underway and production is expected to commence in 2018;
  • More than R20 billion in industrial finance was approved last year, creating 27 000 direct new jobs and approximately 108 indirect new jobs;
  • More than R180 million was committed to upgrade six industrial parks across five provinces. In 2017, the first phase of the revitalisation of Babelegi (Hammanskraal) and Vulindlela (Mthatha) industrial parks will be launched;
  • About 21 products have been designated for local production, including rail rolling stock, bus bodies, electrical transformers and transmission lines, fire trucks, boats, solar photovoltaic components and electricity meters.

 – SAnews.gov.za