South African Govt to buy 75% of goods from SA producers

The South African Government has set an ambitious target to buy 75% of goods and services from South African producers, says acting President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Radical economic transformation must ensure faster, inclusive growth, combined with much higher levels of employment creation, reduced inequality and the deracialisation of the economy.

“This (75%) is eminently achievable. We are quite literally building the nation,” he said.

Deputy President Ramaphosa was speaking at the gala dinner of the Black Business Council (BBC) at Gallagher Estate, Midrand, on Thursday evening.

He said a critical part of the radical economic transformation programme is government’s massive strategic investment in infrastructure which aims to promote broad-based black economic empowerment through local empowerment.

It is geared towards support for local suppliers and smallholders, while obtaining better value for money, with an intention to eliminate corruption.

Acting President Ramaphosa said successful black industrialists will require broader access to financial services to fund growth in existing and new sectors.

“We can no longer ignore poor lending practices and excessive charges in some parts of the financial sector and the lack of more inclusive and accessible financing opportunities.

“Through our development finance institutions, we will provide increased access to affordable lending that supports diversification of the economy, broad-based black economic empowerment and investment in smaller businesses in the productive economy,” he said.

Economic transformation, partnerships:
However, the acting President said radical economic transformation needs partnerships with organised labour to stabilise the labour market, improve working conditions and increase productivity.

He urged the BBC to join government in developing mechanisms that can support meaningful transformation and greater equality in the workplace.

“Government is prepared to do its part by fostering an environment for growth and investment through the development of adequate infrastructure, provision of services such as energy, and water, mobilisation of industrial financing, consistency and certainty in regulation, removal of unnecessary burdens for business and the improvement of our skills base,” he said.

Class of black industrialist:
He said the country needed a dynamic and entrepreneurial class of black industrialists. “We need people who will take a long term perspective, roll up their sleeves and drive the development of our productive capabilities from the shop floor up.

“As a nation, we are looking to black business in particular to take this country forward. It needs to be an active agent in the implementation of the National Development Plan. It needs to be a driver in its own right of radical socio-economic change,” he said.

Small Business Ministry committed:
Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said after many years of travelling across the African continent and abroad, now it was time for her to be grounded at home so that she can contribute positively to the challenges facing South Africa.

“The time has come for Africans, especially black South Africans, to fight for what they should have been enjoying for a very long time.

“This will be a toyi-toyi of a special type because the toyi-toyi that we’ve been seeing of late is the reflection of the energy that is directed to burning schools and libraries. Now, we need to turn that energy into a better energy that is contributing to a better South Africa,” she said.

Minister Zulu said government is fully aware of all the challenges faced by small business in the country.

“We are already aware of all the challenges that are faced by small businesses, be it access to information, skills, financing and entrepreneurial skills. We are very much aware of that and we would like to work together with you. We would like to make sure that the older generation of entrepreneurs who have succeeded despite all the challenges, become role models to young people who want to be future entrepreneurs,” she said.