Minister Davies and MEC Zikalala during the signing ceremony of the KwaZulu Natal Black Industrialist programme MOU in KwaZuluNatal,04 June 2017 (supplied by the DTI)

The KwaZulu-Natal black industrialists  received a major boost from the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department This momentous moment took place during the launch of the KwaZulu-Natal Black Industrialists Programme in Durban.

According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the two departments have committed themselves through the memorandum to establish a framework that will promote and ensure meaningful participation in the advancement of the black industrialists in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) . It will also demonstrate a joint effort between the provincial and national governments in advancing the objectives of the Black Industrialists Programme in the economy.

“Through this memorandum of understanding, the dti is committed to working with the the KZN Province to ensure the establishment of the Supplier Development Incubation Programme in the Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone and Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone for the BI Programme. Furthermore, the dti will, in collaboration with the province, identify and implement joint programmes to accelerate the implementation of economic transformation policies and compliance, especially to empower women, youth and people with disabilities,” highlighted Minister Davies.

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The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala, said black industrialists in KZN will benefit from this understanding between both the dti and the KZN government. According to him, the BI programme is alive and kicking in KZN and the government aims to grow it from strength to strength as it provides a strategic avenue for the transformation of the economy in a tangible and practical manner.

“The BI programme in the province will develop and prepare KZN enterprises and entrepreneurs to access the national Black Industrialists Programme opportunities, leverage both private and public partnerships  for KZN’s BIs, facilitate access to markets as well as ensuring finance and procurement opportunities for KZN BIs,” said Zikalala.

He added that the MoU will also assist in establishing strategic linkages and partnership with key role players; provide black industrialists advocacy and information dissemination, conduct Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment research, monitoring and evaluation, including economic and market research to support the National Programme as well as to advance the KZN Support Framework..

The Government has embarked on a number of developmental policies that form the basis for addressing unemployment, poverty and equality to promote inclusivity and shared economic growth. The Black Industrialists Policy has been identified as an instrument to enhance transformation in the economy and ensure meaningful participation of black people in the mainstream of the South African economy. To date, 46 projects run by black industrialists have been approved, with government agencies. A total of 10 of these approved are from KZN. The support has allowed these black industrialists to undertake investment projects of R3.7 billion and is projected to create more than 8 000 direct jobs and close to 12 000 indirect jobs.