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Industrial Policy and Strategy Review Unveiled Alongside R200 Million Investment by Citibank for Black Industrialists

Tinashe Mupasiri



Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Hon. Ebrahim Patel and President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Hon. Ebrahim Patel and President Cyril Ramaphosa

Gauteng, South Africa – May 8, 2024

In a momentous event held yesterday at the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) in Gauteng, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel, unveiled the much-anticipated Industrial Policy and Strategy Review. This comprehensive review delves into the measures and actions taken by the South African government over the past five years, aligning with the Reimagined Industrial Strategy outlined by President Ramaphosa and reflecting on the evolution of policies since 1994.

The launch, attended by key stakeholders including Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Ms Tasneem Motara, Acting Director-General of the dtic, Malebo Mabitje-Thompson, and TASEZ Board Chair, Mr Lionel October, symbolizes a new era of collaborative industrial policy focused on partnership with social stakeholders.

Minister Patel highlighted the significance of choosing TASEZ for the launch, emphasizing its transformation from veld to a bustling hub of manufacturing excellence. The Tshwane Automotive SEZ, approved by Cabinet in 2019, stands as a testament to the government’s reinvigorated approach to SEZ development, fostering collaboration between anchor investors like Ford Motor Company and various government levels to create a thriving ecosystem supporting over 3,200 jobs.

In addition to the policy review, the event witnessed a landmark agreement between Citibank and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), with Citibank committing R200 million towards a fund aimed at supporting black industrialists in the Vaal Special Economic Zone. Facilitated under the Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act, this investment underscores a concerted effort to drive local ownership and empowerment.

Minister Patel lauded this collaboration with the private sector, noting its pivotal role in complementing governmental initiatives. The investment not only catalyzes urban and commercial development in the Vaal area but also ensures the meaningful participation of black entrepreneurs, furthering economic growth and job creation.

The event showcased success stories from various industries, including pharmaceuticals, glass packaging, appliances, and renewable energy, highlighting the tangible impact of government interventions and private sector partnerships on job creation and economic growth.

Reflecting on the challenges faced during the Sixth Administration, Minister Patel acknowledged the disruptions caused by various shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and global geopolitical tensions. Despite these challenges, the government remained steadfast in its commitment to implementing targeted policies aimed at stimulating growth, fostering innovation, and enhancing competitiveness.

Looking ahead, Minister Patel outlined key priorities for future industrial policy, including infrastructure investment, green industrialization, and leveraging opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). He emphasized the need for agility, practical partnerships, and policy innovation to navigate the evolving global landscape successfully.

The Industrial Policy and Strategy Review propose a holistic approach to industrial policy integration, advocating for enhanced coordination across government departments and the establishment of an Industrial Policy Coordination Council chaired by the President to drive industrial sector growth and job creation.

For further details, the Industrial Policy and Strategy Review can be accessed here.

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