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African Business - 21 July 2022

The Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour has noted with appreciation the success of the inaugural Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference, which took place on Wednesday in Sandton.

The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Mandla Rayi, said the committee was impressed with the manner in which government is intervening to transform the economy. “The committee appreciates the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s deliberate interventions in the economy,” he said.

“This conference should lay bare the challenges faced by black industrialists, as supported through the Black Industrialists Programme. We need to know, not only their constraints, but also their achievements and needs.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa officiated at the conference, saying that the programme has benefitted over 800 black industrialists, including women and youth, and 55 000 jobs were created in competitive industries.

Mr Rayi said the conference began zooming in on what needs to happen to diversify the South African economy. “Incubation programmes need to be identified for these industrialists and their start-ups, focussing on competition and revenue generation.”

“Another option is to twin new entrants into the programme with successful business ventures, so that capital does not become a source of frustration and failure. Given the dynamics of our economy, it may be relevant that focus is given to those ventures that are rural-based and have a potential,” added Mr Rayi.

The committee would like to hear feedback on recommendations and will in the future try to schedule for a report back session into its programme.

The Black Industrialists Programme was founded in 2015 for the sole purpose of transforming the economy. President Ramaphosa said the government is using state money and capacity to unlock the potential that exists within black-owned businesses. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency: Republic of South Africa.

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