The Department of Trade and Industry's (dti) R48 million grant to a food manufacturing company has contributed to the creation of 300 permanent and 500 contract jobs in Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo.
Speaking at the launch of Eastern Trading which trades as Dursot All Joy's expansion project on Monday, Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe said the funding from the dti through its Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) has helped in the creation of work for the community.
The BIS is a grant programme that aims to unlock the potential within black industrialists operating in the South African economy through deliberate, targeted and well-defined financial and non-financial support measures.
Eastern Trading used the grant to purchase machinery that has resulted in the company increasing its production and creating more jobs.
"As government we are inspired by the risk and courage demonstrated by the owners of this company in their commendable efforts to help government create the much-needed jobs and contribute in growing the economy.
"As beneficiaries of government's policy intervention in the form of our Black Industrialists Programme, we are honoured to see the impact that we are making in partnership with the private sector in the community of Modjadjiskloof and surrounding areas," said Deputy Minister Magwanishe.
He added that the expansion project undertaken by Dursot All Joy perfectly illustrated what government was capable of doing in order to assist companies to increase their production efficiency, job-creation and global competitiveness.
The Deputy Minister said Eastern Trading found a niche in the agro-processing sector to the investment value of R120 million.
The targeted production of tomato related foods ensures premium quality food for local and impending global markets.
Modern technology installed through the Black Industrialists Scheme has enabled the company to triple their production.
With a processing of approximately 500 tonnes of raw tomatoes; Eastern Trading is now afforded the opportunity to be competitive in relation to modern standards of manufacturing.
"As an enterprise advancing industrialisation and manufacturing, this company will contribute in changing the racial composition of our economy, inclusive growth and job creation. I must commend the owners of Dursot All Joy for challenging the dimensions of food security and to lead us to an understanding of food sovereignty. This is where we internalise our call for ownership of production lines, localise and build domestic markets without doubt, and to additionally support local procurement."
Empowering local farmers
The Deputy Minister was also pleased that local farmers will benefit from Dursot's expansion efforts after a Tomato Out-grower Scheme was established. The scheme aims to empower small-scale tomato growers.
"The surrounding local areas benefiting from the scheme are individual local farmers and co-operatives from Tzaneen, Giyani and Musina. As a result, a market for small scale-farmers has been created, to trade their products to the company. The scheme has also contracted 80 developing farmers and 10 commercial farmers. Through this, the growers have benefited value in the form of training, supervision and growing of the crops," said Deputy Minister Magwanishe.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies launched the R100 million tomato processing plant in May last year. At the time Minister Davies said agro-processing is an important sector in the South African economy, particularly in job creation, as it pushes South Africa closer to its goal of having more value-added products.