File image: Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies. (Photo: Leon Nicholas).
JOAHNNESBURG - The Black Industrialist Scheme (BIS) has supported more than 70 projects owned by black industrialists since its launch in 2015, empowering them to leverage projected investment of R7.2billion and create thousands of jobs.

Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies briefed the media in Cape Town yesterday on the 10th iteration of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) for 2018/19, which puts emphasis on stronger interventions to support transformation led by the flagship BIS.

The scheme also outlines an emphasis on a stronger export effort, focusing on existing lead and dynamic national export champions and new, especially black-owned entrants.

The new edition of Ipap includes new, significant interventions to gear up and respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by the Digital Industrial Revolution.

Davies said core to South Africa's industrial policy was the objective of transforming the racially skewed ownership, management and employment profile of the economy and that the synergies between industrial policy and transformation were obvious.

“If a product is imported there is no possibility of building a transformed supply chain. Industrial policy needs to make a concerted effort to ensure that support for investment is integrated with support for transformation. For example, the Black Industrialist Programme provides significant grant finance for investment in new plant, provided that the enterprise has at least a 50percent black shareholding and/or exercises control over the business,” said Davies.

Projects

Since the launch of the BIS in November 2015, it has so far supported 78 projects, empowering black industrialists to leverage projected investment of R7.2bn, estimated to result in the retention of 7999 baseline jobs and the creation of 9459 new jobs.

Ipap’s Industrial Park Revitilisation Programme has also resulted in 11 industrial parks countrywide being upgraded with an allocation of R415million, while R231m has already been spent and the programme has resulted in the employment of 55000 people.

Davies said foreign direct investment in South Africa increased by R1.9bn in the third quarter of last year, which averaged R533.38bn from 1956 until 2017.

Highlighting the performance of some of the main sectors, Davies said the automotive sector contributed 33percent to manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP) and about 6percent overall GDP, produced 600000 vehicles a year and supported 113000 jobs, while exports have doubled over the review period, which had also seen R45bn worth of investment by the majority of the world’s leading global vehicle manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, VW, BMW, Ford and Isuzu. Davies said the clothing, textiles, leather and footwear sector currently contributed 8percent to manufacturing GDP and 2.9percent to overall GDP.

He said as a result of the conditional support measures offered under the Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Programme, the sector now supported 95000 workers, while in the leather sector 22 new factories have been opened, supporting 2200 jobs.

- BUSINESS REPORT