DTI out to develop and grow Black industrialists


The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has partnered with the First National Bank (FNB) in its endeavour to lure more black people to its Black Industrialists Programme.

The programme is part of the broader government initiative to transform and broaden the face of the economy in the country, from just being predominately white to be more inclusive of the demographics of the population.

In an effort to accelerate the programme, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and FNB signed a pledge with the bank’s CEO for public sector banking, Kgosi Ledimo, designed to improve access to financing for prospective black industrialists.

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Speaking after the signing ceremony, Davies said the time when black people were just consumers of products and services has gone and ‘we now want to place them in the forefront of manufacturing and producing those products and services’.

He said the signing ceremony of this pledge was one of many initiatives designed to accelerate and grow the establishment of black industrialists as part of the government programme to fast-track economic transformation in the country.

The partnership will see the two entities share information in their digital spaces regarding various products being offered by the DTI, with a focus on facilitating information sharing on the incentives on offer.

For its part, the bank will endeavour to make it easy and quicker for aspiring black industrialists to access finance through establishing innovative ways of enabling black industrialists to begin to emerge.

“I am saddened by the fact that it is so easy for a person wanting to buy a car to obtain a loan with the bank, yet a person that wants to establish an industrial business that will create more jobs in the economy finds it so strenuous to access finance. I think this has to change if we want to grow this economy and transform it to accommodate the various demographics of our country and shift the face of industrial sector,” said Davies, who also indicated that since the establishment of the programme last year, 52 black industrial projects had been approved for support with a projected investment of R4.5 billion.

The minister said he hoped for a speedy approval of the Financial Sector Charter to play its role in changing the funding mindset and lean more towards items that will grow industries and businesses as opposed to consumables.

Ledimo said aspiring black industrialists who may not necessarily be FNB clients will not be denied the opportunity to access funding. “This is only a pilot project with the DTI, and other banking institutions will be engaged.”

Do you think this is a good move by the government to incentivise the establishment of black industrialists? 

Sipho Siso

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