The South African Government has remained committed to restoring the nation’s society through the socio-economic promotion of previously marginalised sections of the population. With reference to manufacturing, this requires transforming the patterns of asset ownership in an approach that is consistent with the national objective of fostering a society and industrial economy that channels the power of diversity.

To this end, South Africa’s government has developed various policies with the objective of realising an inclusive economy within the strategic framework of black economic empowerment. Structural transformation of the nation’s manufacturing landscape requires swift and consistent continuance of spatial integration, high levels of decent employment, demographic shift of industrial assets, growth, and global competitiveness of black-owned enterprises operating within the manufacturing realm.

It is within this context that the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) launched the Black Industrialist Programme and cabinet approved the Black Industrialist Policy which aligns with the Industrial Policy Action Plan and the National Development Plan. These policies underscore the importance of boosting black participation and entrepreneurial drive within both the manufacturing and national economy. Stakeholders such as commercial banks, development finance institutions, multinationals and state-owned enterprises have collaborated with the dti to raise funds in a bid to assist black industrialists with access to markets.

Promoting black manufacturers aims to increase both the quantitative and qualitative presence and participation of black industrialists within the country’s economy through national integration plans. Such initiatives aim to maximise industrial linkages amongst black entrepreneurs and established industrial businesses as well as improve the capacity and competitiveness of black manufacturers by embracing Industry 4.0. Moreover, investing in black industrialists ultimately contributes to economic development and transformation as well as job creation. Specified recipients include established, experienced manufacturers requiring support to expand their operations and/or improve their business proficiencies. Also included are emerging black industrialists seeking to start new businesses or adopt brownfield projects.

The challenges of accessing capital and markets, ascertaining the requisite technical skills and improving productivity are major challenges afflicting black manufacturing entrepreneurs. These constraints are brought about by a finite pool of financiers, lack of security for loan applications, high cost of borrowing and, essentially, fear of rejection when applying for loans. Governmental leaders have proactively responded to these concerns by offering black industrialists a range of funding solutions by means of investment and incentive grants and equity loans to acquire, develop, expand or reconstruct facilities.

Moreover, government has provided black entrepreneurs with working capital support through low-interest concessional loans; mentorship support; increased opportunities for networking and matchmaking; joint venture support; financing feasibility studies, licenses and quality assurance standards on a cost-sharing basis; along with core training of workers to fully capitalise on prevailing technological developments. Over and above these initiatives, black industrialists have available to them export insurance funding as well as market access support.

A robust and globally competitive economy relies heavily on inclusivity and sustainability. The KwaZulu Natal Manufacturing Indaba is set to address the challenges that confront black industrialists and impart expert knowledge on establishing and implementing solutions to the benefit of black manufacturers, that will both broaden and strengthen the region’s industrial foundation.

Press Release Ends

MORE ABOUT THE MANUFACTURING INDABA

The annual KwaZulu-Natal Manufacturing Indaba will be hosted at Durban ICC , Durban on the 14 – 15 August 2019. The aim of the Manufacturing Indaba 2019 and its provincial roadshows is to focus on and boost the growth potential of key industry sectors, namely: automotive, construction, metals, forestry, paper & packaging, chemicals, aerospace & defence, industry products and services, and to provide a platform for informative and interactive sessions with the prime movers of the nation’s manufacturing sectors.

For more information on the event, please visit: https://manufacturingindaba.co.za/mi-kzn/

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