Richards Bay In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Zone to drive Black In­dus­tri­al­ists Pro­gramme in KZN

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

TO achieve eco­nomic par­tic­i­pa­tion, free­dom and in­de­pen­dence for the ma­jor­ity, vi­able ven­tures should be de­vel­oped and ev­ery thought should be put into ac­tion to re­alise the de­sired out­comes. The Black In­dus­tri­al­ists Pro­gramme (BI Pro­gramme), which is specif­i­cally ded­i­cated to the growth and global com­pet­i­tive­ness of Black-owned busi­nesses, is one such ven­ture be­ing im­ple­mented by the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (dti). The pur­pose of the pro­gramme is to: • Pro­vide co­or­di­nated and ex­plicit guide­lines for the pro­mo­tion and longterm de­vel­op­ment of Black man­u­fac­tur­ing en­ti­ties;

• Pro­vide a plat­form to su­per­vise the di­rec­tion of Black en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment;

• Em­pha­sise Black in­dus­tri­al­ist sig­nif­i­cance for eco­nomic growth and sus­tain­abil­ity.

Richards Bay In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Zone has now been nom­i­nated to spear­head the Black In­dus­tri­al­ists Pro­gramme in KwaZulu-Natal in or­der to en­sure it be­comes a cat­a­lyst for rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth.

Im­por­tantly, a few months ago, cap­tains of in­dus­try, heads of states, econ­o­mists, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, pol­icy mak­ers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of govern­ment en­ti­ties at­tended the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum on Africa. All del­e­gates agreed that driv­ing in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth should be ev­ery­body’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

En­trepreneurs and or­di­nary mem­bers of so­ci­ety are there­fore un­der­stand­ably ex­cited that RBIDZ has been nom­i­nated to be one of the pi­o­neers of the BI Pro­gramme, to­gether with Dube TradePort.

The ur­gency with which this pro­gramme is viewed was demon­strated through the re­cent sign­ing of a Me­moran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU) be­tween the dti and the KZN Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Tourism and En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs (Edtea). The sign­ing cer­e­mony saw the launch of the KZN Black In­dus­tri­al­ist Pro­gramme in Dur­ban. These de­vel­op­ments have brought hope to thou­sands of emerg­ing en­trepreneurs, with those at­tend­ing the cer­e­mony agree­ing un­equiv­o­cally that the agree­ment her­alds the dawn of a new era char­ac­terised by equal ac­cess to eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter, Rob Davies, the two de­part­ments will now es­tab­lish a frame­work that will pro­mote and en­sure mean­ing­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ad­vance­ment of Black in­dus­tri­al­ists. Through this me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing, the dti is com­mit­ted to work­ing with the prov­ince of KZN in es­tab­lish­ing a sup­plier de­vel­op­ment in­cu­ba­tion pro­gramme at the Richards Bay In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Zone and Dube TradePort Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone for the BI Pro­gramme.

The pro­gramme seeks to en­sure that ini­tia­tives to ac­cel­er­ate eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion poli­cies and com­pli­ance are im­ple­mented with the aim of em­pow­er­ing mainly women, youth and people with dis­abil­i­ties. The BI Pro­gramme in the prov­ince aims to:

• De­velop and pre­pare KZN en­ter­prises and en­trepreneurs to ac­cess na­tional Black In­dus­tri­al­ists Pro­gramme op­por­tu­ni­ties;

• Lever­age both pri­vate and pub­lic part­ner­ships for KZN Black in­dus­tri­al­ists; and

• Fur­ther fa­cil­i­tate ac­cess to mar­kets as well as en­sure fi­nance and pro­cure­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Davies high­lighted that the MoU would also as­sist in es­tab­lish­ing strate­gic link­ages and part­ner­ships with key role play­ers, would pro­vide black in­dus­tri­al­ists with ad­vo­cacy and in­for­ma­tion dis­sem­i­na­tion, and con­duct Broad-Based Black Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment re­search.

This pro­gramme is also one of the many ini­tia­tives govern­ment has em­barked on to ad­dress un­em­ploy­ment, poverty and in­equal­ity while pro­mot­ing in­clu­siv­ity and shared eco­nomic growth.

“I am de­lighted that RBIDZ is nom­i­nated to drive the mo­tor force of change and en­sure that this pro­gramme de­rives the pos­i­tive de­sired re­sults. We com­mend the prov­ince in its en­deav­our to ac­cel­er­ate in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth and we see the pro­gramme as the so­lu­tion to the frus­tra­tions that are en­coun­tered by emerg­ing con­trac­tors, which in­clude ac­cess to fund­ing and ac­cess to mar­kets,” said RBIDZ CEO, Pumi Mot­soa­hae.

“Be­ing iden­ti­fied as one of the main driv­ers of this crit­i­cal pro­gramme is an in­di­ca­tion that we carry the as­pi­ra­tions and hopes for many mil­lions of people. We want to as­sure the people of KwaZu­luNatal that we will not dis­ap­point them. We are in­spired by be­ing nom­i­nated as the driv­ers of this crit­i­cal pro­gramme, we need to cen­tralise the role of black people and pro­mote own­er­ship and the real sense of black people be­ing vis­i­ble and tak­ing part in in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion,” he con­cluded.

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