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Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference Marks Milestones in Economic Empowerment

Tinashe Mupasiri



Johannesburg, March 20, 2024 – President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a keynote address at the Second Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference, held at the Sandton Convention Centre. The event brought together a diverse array of stakeholders, including government officials, business leaders, and entrepreneurs, to celebrate the achievements of black-owned businesses and chart a course for future economic empowerment.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, Photo Credit: GCIS

In his address, President Ramaphosa highlighted the significance of the conference, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act and takes place as South Africa approaches the 30th anniversary of democracy. He underscored the importance of reflecting on the nation’s empowerment journey, emphasizing the historical imperative of providing redress to those who were discriminated against and excluded under apartheid.

The President commended the resilience and determination of black industrialists in overcoming systemic barriers and creating thriving businesses that contribute significantly to the nation’s economic development. He emphasized that empowerment has been earned through hard work and innovation, rather than being handed out as charity.

President Ramaphosa highlighted the collaborative efforts between government, private sector stakeholders, and civil society in creating an enabling environment for black industrialists to thrive. He outlined various initiatives aimed at supporting black-owned businesses, including funding programs, regulatory changes, and market access initiatives.

The President also provided an overview of the progress made in key sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing, agriculture, and renewable energy, noting the positive impact of government interventions in promoting economic inclusion.

Looking ahead, President Ramaphosa set ambitious targets for the next five years, including scaling up support for black industrialists, increasing financial assistance for small businesses, addressing market concentration, and expanding export opportunities.

In closing, President Ramaphosa invited attendees to join the Awards Evening and Gala Dinner, where black industrial excellence would be celebrated. He reiterated the government’s commitment to transforming the economy and changing lives through continued collaboration and partnership.

The Second Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference serves as a testament to the progress made in advancing economic empowerment in South Africa and underscores the importance of sustained efforts to promote inclusive growth and development.

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