SA commits R1bn to supporting black industrialists

27 March 2015

A R1-billion incentive scheme to support the creation of large and competitive black industrialists is to be made available, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at the closing session of the Black Industrialists Indaba on Thursday.

The indaba, hosted by the DTI and held over two days in Midrand in Gauteng, aimed to engage and generate dialogue between the public sector and key private sector stakeholders on black industrialisation.

Davies said that South Africa’s path to economic prosperity should continue to be anchored on the twin imperatives of industrialisation on the one hand; and economic inclusion, of which the Black Industrialists Development Programme is an important pillar, on the other.

100 black industrialists

The DTI launched the Black Industrialists Development Programme in August last year and is aimed at creating more than 100 black industrialists within three years and put black industrialists at the forefront of South Africa’s industrialisation efforts.

The programme promotes the participation of black industrialists as manufacturers for the key sectors identified in the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) as well as other sectors driving economic growth and development.

The programme outlines key measures aimed at supporting black-owned manufacturing companies such as access to finance, access to markets, skills development, and standards, quality and productivity improvement.

Davies said the government was committed to deracialising the economy through the accelerated development of black industrialists. He said the government had committed financial resources and support to expand and upscale support for black industrialists.

Funders

On Wednesday, DTI Director-General Lionel October said the R1-billion in funding was expected to attract an estimated R10-billion to R20-billion from other funders, such as the Industrial Development Corporation, the Development Bank of South Africa, the National Empowerment Fund and the Public Investment Corporation.

October said that when South Africa’s new broad-based black economic empowerment codes came into effect in May, only companies with a minimum level of four would qualify for the incentives, Business Day reported.

Access to finance was the primary constraint for existing and emerging black industrialists and financial support initiatives would help accelerate South Africa’s industrialisation, October said.

Three commissions set up at the Indaba looked at access to finance, access to markets and state procurement, as well as policy and skills development.

Recommendations from the commissions included:

  • A committee comprising government and the private sector and comprising experts be established to explore more ways and instruments to accelerate the implementation of the Black Industrialists Development Programme;
  • Review of the Preferential Public Procurement Act,
  • Setting up the black majority threshold at 75% for companies qualifying for the Programme, and
  • Skills development should be at the centre of the Programme.

SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.za

Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/business/economy/black-industrialists-270315.htm#.VUekYCGqqko