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