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SA News | 21 March 2024

President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended black industrialists who have been honoured for their outstanding contributions to the country’s economy and society.

“Your resilience, innovation and vision inspire us all to reach greater heights and build a brighter future for generations to come,” President Ramaphosa said.

Addressing the Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference and awards ceremony at the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday, President Ramaphosa called on all black industrialist companies to unite in their commitment to building a more inclusive, dynamic and prosperous economy that where every entrepreneur, regardless of background, has the opportunity to succeed.

The awards acknowledged the contributions by black industrialists to the economy while reflecting on progress made in advancing redress and transforming a skewed racialised economy.

A total of R261 billion has been committed for procurement from black industrialists companies over a period of five years.

“As we continue to support, invest and collaborate, we will unlock even greater potential and prosperity for our nation,” President Ramaphosa said on Wednesday.

He said through technology adoption, market diversification and strategic partnerships, black industrialists are positioning themselves as leaders in their respective industries and ambassadors of African excellence worldwide.

“As we celebrate the achievements of black industrialists, we must look to the future. Our businesses must not only thrive locally but also compete on the global stage.  

“My challenge to the 239 black industrialists who will benefit from these procurement commitments is to return to this stage at the 3rd Black Industrialists Conference, not as beneficiaries of procurement but as drivers of investment in the next generation of black entrepreneurs.

“These commitments will help to accelerate the re-industrialisation of our economy,” President Ramaphosa said.

The R27 billion committed to agriculture and agro-processing will bring more black farmers into the formal economy, readying them for the export opportunities that lie abroad.

“The R79 billion that has been committed for procurement in the retail sector will see more local products – made by black industrialists – in the hands of South African consumers.

“The R52 billion in procurement commitments in infrastructure will see more black-owned and -managed businesses contributing to the expansion and improvement of our ports, energy infrastructure and logistics networks.

“We are now at the point where black industrialists can be the capital that can fund and support growth in the next generation,” the President said.

President Ramaphosa said the black businesses are a cornerstone of the country’s economy.

“They are creating jobs, exporting goods, earning foreign exchange and helping to lift communities out of poverty.

“We know that the playing field for black business in South Africa is still not level. Yet there has been significant progress over the 30 years of freedom,” President Ramaphosa said.

The Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference also featured exhibitions that showcases proudly South African products manufactured by black industrialists and an awards ceremony that recognised and reward industrialists who have contributed significantly to industrialisation, job creation, poverty alleviation, innovation and transformation efforts.

The Black Industrialists and Exporters conference took place on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (B-BBEE Act).

The objective of the black industrialists programme is to increase participation of black South Africans in the ownership and control of productive enterprises in key sectors and the entire value chain of the country’s economy.

More than 600 firms supported by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition showed a turnover of about R80 billion during the 2023/24 financial year, illustrating the tangible results of drawing more black entrepreneurs into the industrial economy.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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