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DFI’s will determine success of Black Industrialists Program - Black Management Forum

“The success of government’s initiative to create 100 black industrialists, is largely dependent on the support that development finance institutions (DFI’s) will provide emerging industrialists over the next five years”, says Black Management Forum (BMF), Gauteng branch chairperson, Langalethu Manqele.

According to Manqele, DFI’s such as the IDC, PIC, Sefa, Land Bank and DBSA owe it to the dti’s Black Industrialists Program (BIP) to broaden the empowerment beneficiary base. “These institutions have the data of all the people that benefited from the first BEE deals created in the post -Apartheid era. We have to guard against the usual suspects hijacking the BIP,” said Manqele.

Speaking at a recent BMF summit held to explore opportunities for black-owned firms in the state’s drive to beneficiate local resources, he further appealed to DFI’s to broaden the beneficiary base and allow for creation of a new breed of black industrialists.

“The first wave of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) merely created a few black players that have done little to influence or change the economic and social landscape of our country. The focus now is for institutions such as IDC to help us to recover lost ground and create a new breed of black industrialists,” said Manqele.

Manqele further applauded Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel for making bold policy decisions that he believes were key to unlocking black entrepreneurship. Delivering his budget speech in Parliament in March 2015, Patel committed R23bn towards the development of South Africa’s black industrialists. Mr Patel also announced a range of competition‚ trade and infrastructure initiatives intended to deepen industrialisation and localisation. The measures included the establishment of an independent panel of steel-industry experts that would advise on a more competitive steel price for downstream users in order to stimulate local demand for steel.

Areas of focus included deepening the gains of the infrastructure programme; making measurable progress on the big-build programmes; advancing the country’s growing economic integration with the rest of the continent; and working with local companies and sectors to address the slowdown in demand.

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