Government’s black industrialist programme is picking up speed with 46 projects having been approved and more than R2 billion deployed for this purpose through government agencies. Department of Trade and Industry (DoT) Minister, Dr Rob Davies gave this update during a media briefing prior to his budget vote speech in the National Assembly last week.
The programme was launched in March 2016 with the aim of supporting 100 black industrialists until March 2019. In addition to the financial support of the government agencies, approved black industrialists have received R122 million in grants from the department. “Our support has allowed these black industrialists to undertake investment projects of R3.7 billion and is projected to create more than 8 000 direct jobs and close to 12 000 indirect jobs.
“As we have indicated earlier we have now decided to accelerate the implementation of the programme to support 100 black industrialists. Instead of reaching this milestone by March 2019 we now intend to reach this target by the end of the current financial year, that is. by March 2018,” Davies told members of media. He stressed that those benefitting from this programme had passed through a “rigorous test” to ensure that they were genuine manufacturing entrepreneurs who had met the identified criteria of ownership and personal leadership.
The minister also announced that the government had set aside R1 billion to fund a sector-specific incentive for the agro-processing sector. The incentive would support both brown-and greenfield investments, encourage investment in upstream and downstream support services, and the expansion of infrastructure to be used by farmers and agro-processors. Davis said the agro-processing sector was an important labour-intensive sector prioritised in the department’s industrial policy action plan.
WATCH summary of Minister Dr Rob Davies addressing the media, CLICK HERE