Trade and Industry programmes boost economic performance

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) has tabled in Parliament its 2022/23 quarter three report, which highlights efforts made to help businesses navigate economic pressures and the persistent load shedding.

Minister Ebrahim Patel on Tuesday presented the report to Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition. The presentation took note of global economic developments such as commodity price fluctuations and inflation, while providing insight into South Africa’s own economic position.

"The report highlighted the work of the department and illustrated how the work impacts the lives of South Africans, [with] 50 case studies of government interventions that have positively shaped a more prosperous and inclusive economy," the department said. 

Patel particularly noted the impact of load shedding and outlined efforts made by the dtic to address this urgent and important issue.

The dtic’s efforts include a R1.3 billion energy resilience scheme facility to support companies affected by load shedding; promote investment, cut red tape and establish an Energy One-Stop Shop, managed by InvestSA.

The dtic has also made interventions to improve energy efficiency and to implement an energy resilience scheme, among others.

Patel welcomed investments enabled by the dtic, which benefited communities and created new jobs.

“To this effect, government secured private sector pledges to invest more than R1 trillion in the economy, resulting in the opening, expansion and continued operations of several projects across the country,” the department said.

These contributed to R188 billion in manufactured exports during the third quarter, according to provisional SARS data.

Notable investments included:

•           R11.5 billion on a solar thermal power plant in the Northern Cape

•           R1.1 billion on a data centre and solar power project in Ekhuruleni

•           R3.3 billion on a new flat steel plant

•           R3.62 billion on new automotive manufacturing in Tshwane

•           R300 million on a business services centre in Durban and the rescue of a major industrial park in Gauteng.

“These investments by the private sector are testament to the effectiveness of incentives and support provided by the dtic as well as the confidence that the business community has in the South African economy and its growth potential,” the department said.

Patel also welcomed a 26% increase in vehicle production compared to the previous year’s quarter three, and a 15% increase for the first three quarters of the year, bringing production up to 408 135 vehicles.

The Minister also welcomed a 31% increase in vehicle exports compared to the same quarter of the previous year and a 26% increase in exports for the three quarters, bringing total exports of vehicles to 263 422.

The total value of automotive exports and domestic sales came to R87 billion in quarter three.

“During quarter three, employment in manufacturing grew by 26 000 jobs, and more than 650 000 jobs were retained in sectors protected under masterplans.

“The report provided an update on the Social Employment Fund, administered by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC),” the department said.

The Fund created 44 300 jobs by the end of quarter three, giving opportunities to young people like Mahlatsi Glenrose Ngwenya, who found her first job after matriculating as a participant in the Fund.

In one of the 50 case studies, Patel spoke about how Agnes Khabonina Mogale, a 47-year-old mother of two from Tshwane, started as a cleaner and is now a thermoforming operator.

She is employed by a company manufacturing components for the Next Generation Ford Ranger in the Tshwane Special Economic Zone. Mogale reflected on how a few years back, she could not save money and was living hand to mouth, but is now able to buy a stand.  Mogale is saving to build her own house. –