The Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry, (the dti), Mr Lionel October says industrialization and transformation will play a big role in driving the economy especially in less developed provinces where jobs are scarce.
Lionel was briefing the select National Council of Provinces Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on the dti’s Annual Report of 2016/17 in Parliament yesterday.
The report focussed on industrial developments in different provinces and the implementation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ), Industrial Parks and Black Industrialists programmes.
The South African director said the department is now busy with two SEZs in the North-West and one in Mpumalanga. He gave an update on the development of other provinces where there is still a need for the SEZ like in the Northern Cape.
“In pursuit of driving economic transformation and increasing participation in industrialisation, the dti has approved six industrial parks for revitalisation under the Critical Infrastructure Programme. These are in Phuthaditlhaba, Garankuwa, Seshego, Nkowankowa, Ekandustria and Bodirelo. Of the thirteen projects approved in the last financial year under the Critical Infrastructure Programme, grants to the tune of R310.9 million were approved with 4 515 jobs created,” said Lionel.
Lionel added that with the newly-launched agro-processing scheme which will cover the length and breadth of the country and focus on rural areas and emerging black farmers, there was an urgent need to speed up transformation and create more Black Industrialists.
The Director highlighted that in the first full year of operation of the Black Industrialists Programme 36 companies were assisted, with the support of approximately R1 billion and investments of over R3 billion have been leveraged, thereby creating 7 000 new direct jobs in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape.
*The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa