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SA News | 13 September 2023

Trade, Industry, and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has highlighted the significant strides achieved by the Black Industrialists Policy within the food and energy sectors.

The transformative policy, initiated in 2015, is reshaping South Africa's economic landscape by nurturing new enterprises led by black South Africans.

Briefing the Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition on Tuesday, Patel said historically transformation policies primarily focused on facilitating black ownership in existing enterprises.

However, the Black Industrialists Policy centres on promoting the development of new enterprises, fostering entrepreneurship and ensuring the emergence of businesses controlled by previously marginalized groups.

During the briefing, Minister Patel presented 46 case studies of Black Industrialists across the country in the food and energy sectors.

The evolution of empowerment policies over time has broadened their scope. Initially, they centered on individual share ownership, enabling capital accumulation among black South Africans. Subsequently, they embraced broad-based empowerment and community initiatives.

Today, the policy prioritises Black Industrialists, supporting individual black entrepreneurs with controlling stakes in new firms and employee share ownership (workers empowerment).

Minister Patel underscored that the Black Industrialists Policy is just one pillar of a broader transformation agenda.

Other transformation instruments include industrial financing, sector master plans, localization, competition measures, B-BBEE codes, equity-equivalent investment programs, special economic zones and state preferential procurement.

The Black Industrialists Policy spans various industries, including agro processing, automotive components, textiles, steel and metal fabrication, mining, machinery and equipment, aerospace equipment and technology.

"The Black Industrialists Policy represents a pivotal shift in South Africa's transformation strategy. It fosters new enterprise development, entrepreneurship, and economic inclusion while addressing historical disparities and promoting innovation,” Minister Patel said.

“The policy's impact on the food and energy sectors underscores its significance in driving South Africa's economic transformation,” the Minister said.

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


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