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FNB to help government bolster black industrialists

SA needs to move towards a more industrialised and transformed economy, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says.

The Department of Trade and Industry and FNB have pledged to fast-track economic transformation for black industrialists through the black industrialists scheme.

The scheme is an incentive programme to support black-owned manufacturing companies by improving access to finance and markets, as well as offering skills development and productivity improvement.

FNB would help make the department’s schemes and funding platforms more accessible, Davies said on Tuesday, at an event at the Hyatt in Rosebank to mark the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the bank and the department on the black industrialists scheme.

"This partnership will improve access to finance particularly for businesses in manufacturing, thus ensuring government’s strategic objective of creating new role-players in the economy."

"Through this programme, government hopes to contribute towards shifting the demographic composition of SA’s industrial sector and engage the underutilised source of jobs, revenue, taxes and innovation, which are black industrialists."

The black industrialists programme has approved 52 projects with an estimated value of R4.5bn since last year, co-funded by various financial institutions.

FNB’s CEO for public sector banking, Kgosi Ledimo, said: "We have dedicated resources to assisting government’s focus on growing entrepreneurship and involving a greater number of previously disadvantaged qualifying businesses."

The agreement formed part of FNB’s commitment to working with government to achieve the goals set out in the National Development Plan (NDP), he said.

This comes as the Manufacturing Circle briefed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba last month on its strategy to reverse the decline of the sector, and to create 1-million new jobs.

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