THE Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies has reiterated government’s commitment to supporting more black industrialists in order to achieve deeper levels of industrialisation and economic transformation.
Minister Davies was speaking during the opening ceremony of the state-of-the-art R100 million manufacturing facility belonging to the United Industrial Cables (UIC) in Alberton.
The 90% black-owned company, which manufactures specialised cables for clients in the energy, transport, communication and mining sectors has been supported to the tune of R46 million by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Black Industrialists Incentive Scheme.
“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. This will not only 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. It was against this background that we started the Black Industrialists Programme,” said Davies.
“The Black Industrialists Programme aims to accelerate the participation of black industrialists in the country’s economy”
He added that UIC was one of the 46 companies that the department has supported under the programme, and emphasised that a hundred black industrialists will have been supported by the end of this financial year.
Minister Davies said industrialisation was critical in bringing about fundamental change in the structure of the economy which is still depended on the production of exported primary commodities. The Industrial Policy Action Plan, 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 Davies.
The Managing Director, Mr Andy Matakanye of UIC said the dti funding, together with the support provided by the Industrial Development Corporation, has 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 is 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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