IPAP to create thousands of jobs

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pretoria - The new version of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) is set to create 129 000 jobs, bringing the country one step closer to realising its job creation plan, says Trade and Industry (dti) Minister Rob Davies.

"The IPAP plays a critical, critical component to the [new] growth path," said Davies on Wednesday at the launch of the latest IPAP. 

Davies said the IPAP will result in the creation of 43 000 direct and 86 000 indirect jobs. It now includes more sectors, such as oil and gas services, boating, and the forestry and furniture sector. 

The IPAP 2 was launched last year, with a newer version released earlier this year. The latest version is a result of the consolidation of programmes and plans in the previous plans.

The new document aims to clarify the relationship between the New Growth Path released by the Economic Development Department last year, as well as the IPAP.

"The IPAP is that part that deals with value added activities in manufacturing and certain high quality services," said Davies. 

The IPAP identified constraints such as an over-valued and volatile exchange rate, a weak skills system and failure to exploit domestic supply opportunities. A more stable and competitive exchange rate is an important element for the local industries. 

Davies said what was also identified was that the proportion of consumption growth grew twice as fast compared to the production sector before the recession. "The problem persists," he said.

To address these issues, dti will put in place key action plans with quarterly time frames to address issues in the various sectors.

There have been issues raised that the IPAP covered too many sectors and that the current one covers even more sectors than before.

"The fact of the matter is that we have diverse sectors in South Africa anyway. I don't think that we are taking ourselves into a territory where we are either not focusing or don't have the capacity to address matters. We want to extract more jobs from more industries," explained Davies.

The plan will also have a look at industrial financing. Government is in the process of conducting studies into the long term models of industrial financing.

Chairperson of Parliament's Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee Joan Fubbs said: "The IPAP is a far greater cohesive plan ... which for the first time is a catalyst for job creation, beneficiation and linking it to procurement and skills." - BuaNews