JOHANNESBURG - The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Fikile Majola on Tuesday said the department has set aside R40 billion to support 400 Black industrialists.
Majola urged local entrepreneurs to be conscious of the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), and strengthen their capacity to supply products to the entire African continent.
He says this will assist in building a globally competitive African market and boosting the economies of the continent.
The main objective of the AfCFTA is to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments.
Majola was speaking at the launch ceremony of Malvilox, a company which is a beneficiary of the Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) of the department of trade and industry. The company is based at the Chamdor Industrial area in Krugersdorp.
“The AfCTA is a gamechanging economic flagship programme of the African Union which must enable Africa’s common industrialisation. The continent needs about $170 billion in infrastructure investment a year to achieve its underlying potential, therefore suppliers in the construction industry stand to benefit."
"We must work together to pool our shared skills and resources, and we can use these projects to activate the types of industrial activity that will underpin a transformed African economy,” said Majola.
He commended the founders of the Malvilox firm for establishing their company and factory.
"It is hugely gratifying to see that the company we are opening today is one of the beneficiaries of the Black Industrialists Scheme. Through such programmes, government aims to unlock the potential within black industrialists. Our immediate and unavoidable task is to grow the South African economy and create jobs," said Majola.
The executive chairman and managing director of the company, Xolani Qubeka, said 90 percent of the work force was made up of people who had never been employed and therefore had no skills.
Malvilox is a roofing manufacturer, supplier and installer of concrete tile roofs. Its products include concrete roof tiles and fittings; roof support structure; and light weight, cold rolled steel trusses.
The company received grant funding of R23 million from the BIS. It also secured debt funding through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of R48m for capital and operational expenditure.
- African News Agency (ANA)