A lifeline for foundry sector
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.