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Government invests R18 billion in black industrialists


Over the past five years, nearly 800 black industrialists have been funded to the value of R18 billion, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Black industrialists across the value chain, from hospitals to medical devices, have enjoyed support from development finance institutions such as the Industrial Development Corporation. Last week, we received firm commitments from both Germany and France to provide support for this venture, including financing technical expertise, skills training and know-how,” President Ramaphosa said.

Addressing the 45th Black Management Forum (BMF) corporate update dinner on Friday, the President added that nearly 120,000 jobs have been created or saved.

He said that one of the most important initiatives to support the growth and sustainability of black business is the Black Industrialists Programme.

Businesses that received support include those in food production, agro-processing, manufacturing IT and technology, among others.

The total approved funding since the inception of the programme is around R32 billion, the President said.

“Another key programme of government is the Equity Equivalent Programme. It was created for multinational companies that cannot sell equity to black South Africans and have never sold equity outside their country of origin.

“In return for BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) ownership points, these multinationals need to invest in skills development programmes, support for enterprise and supplier development, or research and development.”

Over the last year, 87 black industrialists have been support through the Equity Equivalent Programme, including 39 owned by women.

“Last year, we announced that we are working towards ensuring that 40% of government procurement will be set aside for women-owned businesses. Training programmes are currently being conducted around the country to prepare women-owned businesses for participation in this venture,” President Ramaphosa said.

Integrating SMMEs

The President added that government’s vision is to realise a transformed and restructured economy that is a “catalyst for economic growth, employment creation and shared prosperity.”

The President said integrating small and medium enterprises (SMMEs) into value chains is key to achieving this vision. This as it will provide for a strategic shift of the South African economy from the one concentrated in few big industry players into broader participation.

“We know that smaller producers and SMMEs often struggle to gain market access because they are not able to compete as a result of lack of knowledge, information, skills or technology to meet market requirements.

“That is why support for SMMEs is a cornerstone of our economic transformation policies. Confronting the spatial inequities that limit opportunity for black people is an important part of our work. We have sought to revive the township and rural economy through supporting local ecosystems for entrepreneurship,” President Ramaphosa said.

Economic recovery presents new opportunities for black business

The President said that government is determined that the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, launched in October 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, should present new opportunities for black business.

“We want to position black industrialists to drive [the] economic recovery and build industries of the future. Our massive infrastructure programme creates opportunities for black enterprises through localisation and community procurement.

“There are opportunities in the green economy, including in the hydrogen sector. We have seen for example during COVID-19, pilot programmes for fuel cell electricity generation at field hospitals with black-led companies.

“Last year we gazetted regulations to incorporate the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) into local laws, paving the way for South African businesses to benefit from the agreement. We have also gazetted a list of the products that can be exported and imported with no customs duties within the next five years,” President Ramaphosa said.



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

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