Dti lobbies support for black industrialists

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is to lobby other government departments to prioritise black industrialists in their procurement processes.

The department on Wednesday held its inaugural Black Industrialists Roundtable dialogue as part of efforts to foster open discussion between government and the private sector.

The purpose of the dialogue was to facilitate and foster open discussion between government and the private sector, including beneficiaries of the Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS), on means and ways to strengthen collaboration and share lessons learnt during the initial roll-out of the scheme. 

The BIS is an incentive of the Black Industrialists Programme that aims to unlock the potential of black industrialist companies operating in strategic and productive sectors of the South African economy.

Amongst the concerns raised by black industrialists was that market access and penetration of established sectors of the economy still pose a challenge.

Davies said all government departments across the three spheres of government will be lobbied.

The black industrialists at the session urged government to address the issue of localisation and procurement, particularly from State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and local retailers.

Other concerns raised include the rising cost of electricity and fuel, and the limitation of imports and border management, among others.

“Likewise, the question of border management and cheap imports of all sorts of products from Lesotho, Swaziland and other neighbouring countries is not an easy matter because we are in the customs union with these countries and they have a right to enter our markets.

“It is not easy to stop their products unless there is something illegal going on. If there is something illegal happening, then bring it to our attention to make sure that we address the matter and that there is fair play in the market,” said Davies.

He urged banks and retailers to do more to support black industrialists and emerging entrepreneurs.

Since the inception of the scheme, 128 projects -- with a total projected investment amount of R11.1 billion -- have been approved through the Funding Forum. The projects have total projected 16 179 direct and 4 235 retained jobs in key strategic Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) manufacturing sectors, in line with the Black Industrialists Policy. - SAnews.gov.za