Johannesburg - Black industrialists must not merely buy shares in companies, but be prepared to dirty their hands in their day-to-day running, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Thursday.
This would shift discussions on Black Economic Empowerment away from uninvolved shareholders to the creation of industrialists.
“Part of South Africa’s democratic success will be measured in its building of industrial capabilities as well as growing a strong black industrial class,” Gigaba said in Polokwane.
They could start by exploiting the opportunities unfolding on the sidelines of construction of the Medupi power station, he said after meeting Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha, and representatives of Eskom, Transnet, Broadband-Infraco and the SA Forest Company.
This would bring much needed economic development and socio-economic development to the region, and in so doing, would help address unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Medupi was one of eight industrial projects underway in the province, and two more were planned in the next two years.
The multi-million rand development included the rehabilitation of the rail route north west of Polokwane to carry coal to Medupi.
“This infrastructure programme will undoubtedly result in the development of new industrial capabilities locally, and comprehensive transformation of the supply-chain value of South Africa industry as whole,” Gigaba said.
In an attempt to do away with the dependency of accessing wealth by purchasing shares, and to get people to focus on creating sustainable procurement of goods and services, the government would procure goods and services from companies owned by the youth and women, he said. - Sapa