South African Government to create 100 black industrialists

Johannesburg – Government will create 100 black industrialists in the next three years to contribute to the economy and create jobs, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Mzwandile Masina said on Thursday.

“These industrialists… must be active participants in their companies. We want them to get involved in the productive sectors of the economy.

“…We want to make practical examples about people that have been created by this system because government accounts for 30% of the GDP [gross domestic product] and we want that to go to our people.

“We want to have more black people involved in the productive sectors of the economy, taking charge, opening those factories and so on because for us, if that happens, we would have achieved a number of things,” Deputy Minister Masina said.

He was speaking at a Black Industrialists Stakeholder Engagement session in Johannesburg.

The session highlighted the policies and support offered by government in empowering black industrialists towards full-scale industrialisation and inclusive growth.

The black business sector had an opportunity to interact with the policy makers and other key stakeholders.

“In the immediate, we are going to launch an incentive that is going to support black industrialists. We will also be launching an incentive for black film makers in the country.

“We have decided to create an advisory panel that is going to help us work fast in creating a framework strategy and implementation plan. I will be chairing the committee, and we want views outside of government,” Deputy Minister Masina said.

He said government needed to create a cohesive strategy and implementation plan on how the black industrialists would be created.

Deputy Minister Masina said that government had set a target that 75% of procurement in government would go to the black industrialists.

He encouraged black business to provide quality goods and services.

Deputy Minister Masina said the law needed to be amended to accelerate Black Economic Empowerment because policies such as the Preferential Procurement Policy did not promote transformation.

“The legislation has been a hindrance in creating transformation so when we reform it, we are going to reform it in such a way that it is able to allow government to perform and deliver on its targets,” he said.

Government would continue to support existing industrialists.

“If you look at the work that we are doing in the automotive and textile [sectors], we are already supporting industrialists. Some are black and some are not necessarily black but we will also continue to support them because we are managing the entire economy,” Minister Masina said.

He said work had begun to quantify how many jobs could be created by the black industrialists.

The BEE Act and its codes were amended last year to close a number of loopholes in terms of dealing with firms that engage in ‘fronting’ and to better align Broad-Based-Black Economic Empowerment imperatives with the need to promote the industrialisation of South Africa’s economy.