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Black industrialists programme to grow SA economy

black industrialists

Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina says the department has so far registered 18 qualifying black industrialists in a range of sectors to grow the South African economy.

“We will continue to accept applications from industrialists, as we have set a target of 100 black industrialists that we want to up-scale,” Deputy Minister Masina said.

This follows on the heels of the Black Industrialists Programme launched by the department in August this year, through which government said it would create 100 black industrialists.

The Deputy Minister was briefing media at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday, following issues discussed in the last Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Advisory Council meeting convened by President Jacob Zuma.

The Deputy Minister said the qualifying black industrialists ranged from agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing, beneficiation, and oil and gas sectors, among others.

“We are very excited. We are currently looking into one of the programmes around the oil and gas pipeline, which is a $10 billion investment and it will be run by a woman industrialist,” Deputy Minister Masina said.

The Deputy Minister said government did this to create an enabling environment for industrialists to benefit from government’s work, and “also to make sure that we mobilise local funding, so that they do not only depend on external funding”.

He said an advisory panel, which was also announced in August, will look into some of the technicalities affecting the initiative.

“We are talking about big projects here that are going to have an impact on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE),” he said.

The panel comprises members with diversified expertise from many sectors, including finance and legal.

The Deputy Minister said the industrialists are hard at work and that a timeframe cannot be attached to what they do. The number of those participating in the black industrialists’ initiative is subject to increase, as the department has opened its doors for applications.

“Once we have processed everything, we will call a press conference so that people will know which criteria were used, how was it evaluated, how did these people qualify and what sort of assistance will they be receiving from government,” he said.

The Deputy Minister said the department will not stop at 100 black industrialists, but the number will be up-scaled with time as the department strives for job creation.

He announced that a summit will be held regarding the programme in November this year, where a strategic framework will be presented. – SAnews.gov.za

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