A life­line for foundry sec­tor

CityPress - - Business - XOLANI MBANJWA xolani.mbanjwa@city­press.co.za

The ANC’s dis­cus­sion doc­u­ments on eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion have pro­posed mea­sures that the depart­ment of trade and in­dus­try has cited as key to the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of the coun­try’s dwin­dling man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

Among a slew of mea­sures the ANC has penned for dis­cus­sion at its na­tional gen­eral coun­cil in Oc­to­ber are those that in­clude lo­cal­i­sa­tion and di­ver­si­fy­ing trade with a fo­cus on Africa, Brics mem­ber coun­tries (Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa) and Latin Amer­ica.

Last week, when it met Par­lia­ment’s port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on trade and in­dus­try, the depart­ment and stake­hold­ers in the foundry in­dus­try dis­cussed gov­ern­ment’s lo­cal­i­sa­tion drive in its own pro­cure­ment to stim­u­late de­mand.

The met­als fab­ri­ca­tion sec­tor is at the core of the in­dus­try.

The depart­ment said South Africa’s foundry in­dus­try needed to fo­cus more on African growth and de­vel­op­ment to cre­ate al­ter­na­tive mar­kets.

The ANC’s dis­cus­sion doc­u­ments pointed to “deep­ened lo­cal­i­sa­tion through the des­ig­nated sec­tors, up­scaled in­dus­trial sup­port mea­sures and a fo­cus on Africa, Brics and Latin Amer­ica”, among pro­pos­als to stim­u­late growth in the in­dus­try.

“The African con­ti­nent has be­come a very im­por­tant des­ti­na­tion for lo­cally man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts and its rel­a­tive share is ex­pected to ex­pand fur­ther.

“More­over, sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment in Africa’s in­fra­struc­ture, rapid ur­ban­i­sa­tion and a fast-grow­ing and in­creas­ingly so­phis­ti­cated con­sumer mar­ket pro­vide im­proved trade and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for South African busi­nesses,” said ANC doc­u­ments dis­cussing the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

“These are some of the strate­gic op­por­tu­ni­ties to turn around the eco­nomic strain and cre­ate much­needed jobs, as well as op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­alise broad­based black eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment.”

While gov­ern­ment’s In­dus­trial Pol­icy Ac­tion Plan was hailed for its pos­i­tive in­ter­ven­tions in the foundry sec­tor, the ANC’s dis­cus­sion doc­u­ments lament the fact that this plan has not gained trac­tion across the rel­e­vant im­ple­ment­ing state agen­cies and de­part­ments.

PHOTO: TEBOGO LETSIE

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