South Africa: Government Committed to Support Black Industrialists

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Government is committed to supporting more black industrialists so as to achieve deeper levels of industrialisation, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

“The space and opportunities for black companies in the manufacturing sector have been limited. Therefore it is imperative for government to support more real, genuine and serious black industrialists to enable them to operate in the mainstream of our economy,” said Minister Davies.

The Minister was speaking on Tuesday at the opening of the United Industrial Cables (UIC), a black industrialist factory in Alberton, Johannesburg.

Opening the factory, Minister Davies said government support of black industrialists will not only help the country to achieve higher and deeper levels of industrialisation, but it will also go a long way in radically transforming the ownership of the country’s economy, and increasing inclusive growth.

UIC is one of the 46 companies that have benefited from the Black Industrialists Programme since its launch in 2016 which attracted over R3.7 billion investments in various prioritised Industrial Policy Action Plan (APAP) sectors.

The state-of-the-art R100 million manufacturing facility is 90% black owned and manufactures specialised cables for clients in the energy, transport, communication and mining sectors.

The company has been supported to the tune of R46 million by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) through its Black Industrialists Incentive Scheme.

Minister Davies emphasised that a 100 black industrialists will have been supported by the end of this financial year.

He further added that industrialisation is critical in bringing about fundamental change in the structure of the economy which is still depended on the production of exported primary commodities.

The IPAP, he said, has been initiated by government to promote industrialisation in the country.

“The Black Industrialists Programme aims to accelerate the participation of black industrialists in the country’s economy, selected industrial sectors and value-chains, as reflected by their contribution to growth, investment, exports and employment, amongst others.

“As we roll out the industrialisation, infrastructure and localisation programmes, we need to support more black industrialists. In this way, we can create new industries, build on new expertise of people, and achieve more industrial development for the benefit of the country’s economy,” said Minister Davies.

Managing Director of UIC, Andy Matakanye, said the dti funding together with the support provided by the Industrial Development Corporation have enabled the company to establish a world-class facility that will enable it to produce a range of copper cables including optical ground wires, a product that was previously only available as an import.

“This will make UIC the only manufacturer of this particular cable in Africa. More than 200 jobs will be created by the company as a result of the support it received.”

The United Industrial Cables was established by a group of young black professionals with extensive experience in cable manufacturing, finance and project management, with the aim of transforming the South African cable manufacturing industry.

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