Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies (File Image: IOL)

CAPE TOWN- The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) said on Monday that it will take a group of Black Industrialists on an outward trade mission to Uganda to assist them to search for a market for their products and investments opportunities.

According to dti, the mission will start from September 18-23 and will be consisting of export-ready Black Industrialists operating in the economic infrastructure, agro-processing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, electronics, as well as textiles, footwear and leather sectors.

Minister Rob Davies said that the mission is part of the implementation of the Black Industrialists Programme (BIP). The programme is one of the government’s industrialisation initiatives to expand the country’s industrial base and inject new entrepreneurial dynamism in the economy as outlined in the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).

“The Black Industrialists Programme is specifically dedicated to supporting the growth and building the global competitiveness of majority black-owned and managed businesses in the manufacturing sector. The intention is to contribute towards shifting the demographic composition of South Africa’s industrial sector by engaging with and nurturing emerging Black Industrialists to tap into a reservoir of potential jobs, revenue, taxes and innovation,” said the Minister.

He added that the goal of the programme is to accelerate the growth of Black Industrialists who are actively participating in the national economy, selected industrial sectors and value-chains in order to increase their contribution to economic growth, investment, exports and employment.

“The BIP is anchored on three fundamental pillars, namely access to capital, access to markets and non-financial support. The trade mission is expected to open a market for the Black Industrialists for trade and investment in Uganda and potential markets in other parts of the East African region,” said Davies.

Davies added that one of the dti’s strategic goals is to grow the South African manufacturing sector in order to promote industrial development, job creation, investment and exports.

“In order to achieve this, the department embarks on international missions in order to promote exports of South African value-added goods and services to increase market share of the markets in various regions of the world.”

Uganda has been selected due to its geo-political position within the East African region, as well as its economic size and importance for trade with South Africa and as a destination for South African investments.

The mission to Uganda will be the third that the dti has arranged for the Black Industrialists, after missions to Nigeria in September last year, and Namibia in June this year.

Fifty projects with an estimated grant value of R1.3 billion have been supported through the Black Industrialists Incentive Scheme since the inception of the programme in 2015.  This is matched by approximately R3.6 billion of private sector investment across all sectors with 8 000 jobs supported. The main sectors in which approved entities participate in are agro processing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and plastics.