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Transforming SA’s economy through black industrialists

The next step in South Africa’s economic transformation has been taken with the setting up of a forum to oversee funding applications from black industrialists.

The Industrial Development Corporation, with its policy of supporting both economic transformation and industrialisation, will play an important role in this forum. Other members of the forum include the Export Credit Insurance Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Land Bank, National Empowerment Fund, Public Investment Corporation and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency.

The forum will coordinate applications from aspiring and emerging black industrialists, particularly those in the manufacturing sector.

While the forum will play an information sharing and coordinating role, including pre-assessment of applications, it will not make final funding decisions. These decisions will be up to the country’s development finance institutions.

The IDC will provide some R23-billion towards black industrialists.

A Black Industrialists Policy has been approved by the cabinet and aims to strengthen the country’s industrialisation efforts.

An important aspect of the policy is that businesses who wanted to benefit had to demonstrate their value to the economy: the black industrialist must have experience and be able to identify new opportunities and develop ways to implement and grow these prospects.

Supporting black economic empowerment has been central to the IDC for over two decades. During this time, the IDC funded black-owned business to the tune of R28-billion, and more than R53-billion going to broad-based black economic empowerment.

While B-BBEE remains important to the IDC, its focus has shifted to making more expansionary investments and supporting the creation of black industrialists; funding for black industrialists will account for about 22% of its investment for the coming five years.

The IDC will be proactive in its approach to supporting black industrialists, identifying entrepreneurs worth funding, and helping them to become more competitive.

Part of this approach will be to find ways to increase localisation, reducing reliance on imports, and expand markets into Africa.

Through supporting black industrialists, the IDC is ensuring a transformed economy that is innovative, inclusive and investment-friendly.

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