Economic downturn a blow to manufacturing: Davies

Cape Town – Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has highlighted that the global economic meltdown and European debt crisis was affecting SA’s manufacturing industry.

The minister recently briefed journalists following his department’s presentation of its unqualified annual report to MPs at Parliament.

Davies said that the manufacturing industry had slipped down by minus 6 percent and shed 6000 jobs in July.

Manufacturers of rubber, tyre and glass were some of the industry players who had been severely hit due to massive imports.

Davies said that they planned to boost productivity and confidence in the sector, adding that they were still opportunities in the industry but indicated that stakeholders should be prepared to attend to issues of competitiveness and the upgrading of old machinery.

With SA now part of the Brazil, Russia, India and China economic partnership (Brics) “the future for us is a bright one,” he said.

He said that government’s aim was to go through the credit crunch with the manufacturing industry intact.

The department spends 70 percent of its annual budget supporting incentive schemes in various industries.

Some of its achievements highlighted in the annual report included the launch of the Automotive Investments Scheme with investments approved to the tune of R7.3 billion.

The report said that Enterprise Investment Programme (EIP) had approved investments amounting to R11.3 billion with a forecast of creating 12 394 jobs in the manufacturing sector and 2 264 jobs in the tourism area.

The Critical infrastructure Programme (CIP) had supported 12 new investment projects valued at R34.6 billion and aimed at creating 9 271 new jobs.

By March 2011, the department said that through Trade and Investment SA, trade deals had been finalized with countries such as Zimbabwe, Brazil, Russia and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The department said that the Companies Amendment Bill and Regulations had been finalised for the effective implementation of the new Companies Act.

The Act simplified business registration processes, reduced red tape and enhanced transparency of companies.

By Francis Hweshe, BuaNews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.