In the past five years, the Department of Trade Industry (dti), through its agencies, has financed the creation of 800 of what are classified as critical and dynamic black industrialist businesses in a number of critical value chains across all nine provinces, with support from the private sector. This is highlighted in the inaugural Black Industrialists Report 2021.
The dti’s investment, Implemented through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), spans a range of sectors which include: food production, clothing and textiles; mining metals machinery & equipment; transport logistics & infrastructure; chemical products and healthcare; plastic products; the green economy; the creative industry; property, construction & building materials; tourism and the fourth industrial revolution. The report says, thus far, the black businesses in these sectors have created nearly 120, 000 jobs.
The initiative is enabling black entrepreneurs to enter a space in which lack of access to funding has been a big hindrance. “The Black industrialist funding, provided by the dtic and its entities, is creating platforms for a new entrepreneurial class to play its rightful role in boosting industrialisation and fully harnessing the resources of our country,” Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, commented in his review of the report.
The dti is aiming at developing new industries which can reduce South Africa’s reliance on imports by 20% and boost economic output. It hopes to see small and medium businesses and industrial owned and controlled by black South Africans growing businesses and creating jobs.