South Africa: R50 Billion to Support 400 New Black Industrialists

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Trade, Industry and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel says government will over the next five years invest R40 billion to create an additional 400 black industrialists.

Patel said this when he led a debate on the department's budget vote on Thursday.

"To enhance the growth of black industrialists, we will combine the efforts of the department, the IDC [Industrial Development Corporation] and the NEF [National Empowerment Fund] into a seamless and coordinated programme.

"Over the next five years, we will support an additional 400 black industrialists projects with financial support of R40 billion, through identifying sustainable businesses and promoting both industrialists, new enterprise formation and worker involvement in the enterprises," he said.

The Black Industrialists Scheme is the incentive programme of the Black Industrialists Policy, which aims to promote the participation of black industrialists as manufacturers in key sectors of the economy as identified in the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).

In February, the department told Parliament that the approval of 131 projects of black entrepreneurs leveraged over R13.2 billion of private sector investment, with about 9 500 new jobs created and 8 900 retained in a wide range of manufacturing sub-sectors.

SA to finalise agreement with UK in case of no-Brexit deal

With reports trickling in around the world of a possible no-Brexit deal, Patel said over the next few weeks, government will concentrate on finalising terms of an agreement between South Africa and the UK in case no deal is reached to protect SA exports and jobs.

"We will engage the US around AGOA [African Growth and Opportunity Act] and point to the mutually beneficial impact thereof," Patel said.

New programme in metal fabrication

In the steel industry, government will this year launch a support programme for new plant and equipment in metal fabrication.

He said the department was meeting investors on the development of foundries and steel mini-mills, including measures to enable beneficiation of scrap metal.

"We will make the R1.5 billion Steel Industry Competitiveness Fund more attractive and easier to use," Patel said.

Meanwhile, the clothing textiles and footwear sector has a support system in place that stabilised the industry over the past eight years and saved thousands of jobs.

"To promote local fashion and jobs in the industry, we will finalise an industry Master Plan, containing proposals dealing with the future of the incentive scheme, trade measures to address illegal imports and value-chain competitiveness. We start discussions with the industry during July to build consensus on a sector social pact," said the Minister.

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