Johannesburg, 9 September 2018 – The black industrialist programme championed by the Department of Trade and Industry will come under discussion during the fourth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, with a special focus on the progress made to date.
The indaba, scheduled to take place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton, will bring together business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers and labour leaders to deliberate on ways to stimulate manufacturing – but especially the metals and engineering sector – in the SADC region.
Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said inclusive economic growth was in the best interest of all South Africans, and not only those who were previously excluded from meaningful participation in the economy.
The Black Industrialist Programme is aimed at, placing particular emphasis on the need to strengthen and increase black participation and enhance entrepreneurial dynamism in the mainstream economy, particularly in manufacturing.
But just how much has the Black Industrialist Programme achieved since its launch three years ago? This is the question that will be under the spotlight on the second day of the fourth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba..
“This session will provide a platform for a critical assessment of what radical economic transformation means for the metals and engineering sector and just how much progress has been made in implementing the Black industrialist Programme,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
Taking part in this plenary session will be Black Business Council CEO Kganki Matabane, Department of Trade and Industry Acting Deputy Director-General Thandi Phele, the Industrial Development Corporation’s Head of Basic Metals and Mining, Mazwi Tunyiswa, and Weir Minerals Africa Marketing Director Rajen Govender.
Mr Nyatsumba said with poverty and inequality rife in the country and still predominantly defined along pre-1994 racial lines, there was a growing need for greater emphasis to be placed on levelling the economic playing field, with deliberate policies adopted by the Government to advance those who were previously excluded from the mainstream of the economy.
He said companies with foresight should embrace and actively implement transformation now, and not wait for radical economic transformation to force them to do so or to push them out of business.
Whether called “the second phase of the transition” or “radical economic transformation”, this posture emphasises the need for more work to be done to ensure that black South Africans — Africans, coloureds and Indians — are brought into the mainstream of the economy.
Mr Nyatsumba said that while some may not readily acknowledge it, the fact remained that it was vitally important that all South Africans felt that they have a real and meaningful stake in the country’s welfare. He said addressing inequalities was not just the responsibility of the Government, and that the business community had to appreciate that transformation was also in its own long-term interests.
“Not only will it lead to a growing middle class that will ensure a bigger market for their products and services, but transformation also unlocks opportunities for companies to do business with the public sector, State-owned enterprises and companies that are protective of their high BEE ratings,” said Mr Nyatsumba.
Other topics that will feature prominently during the 2018 Indaba include:
- The Continental Free Trade Area: How Much Progress Has Been Made to Date?
- How much of the National Development Plan has been implemented – and is it still relevant?
- Exploring and Leveraging the Link Between the Metals and Engineering Sector and the Mining, Construction and Auto Manufacturing Industries
- Constraints to investing in the Metals and Engineering Sector and improving trade on the African continent
- Innovation and Excellence as Strategic Levers for Global Competitiveness
- Administered Prices As Factors Negatively Affecting South Africa’s International Competitiveness: Can we Change the Situation?
Among the high-profile speakers expected to address the conference are:
- Cabinet Ministers Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Dr Zweli Mkhize and Pravin Gordhan;
- Business leaders like Black Business Council CEO Kganki Matabane, ArcelorMittal General Manager: Africa Overland Alph Ngapo, Hazleton Pump International Managing Director Mathys Wehmer, Atlantis Foundries CEO Mervyn Moodley, Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe, Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama, PWC Africa Director Andrew Shaw, National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA Director Nico Vermeulen and Master Builders Executive Director Roy Mnisi;
- Policy makers and civil service representatives like Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) Director-General Lionel October, and Dti Chief Director for Africa Multilateral Economic Relations Wamkele Mene;
- Representatives of global organisations like World Bank Group Lead Economist John Gabriel and International Finance Corporation Senior Investment Officer Paul Mukasa;
- Civil society leaders like Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini; Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse Executive Director Wayne Duvenage and Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution Executive Secretary Lawson Naidoo; and
- Politicians like ANC Economic Transformation Head Enoch Godongwana, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry Geordin Hill-Lewis and DA Shadow Minister for Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone.
For more details on the conference, please visit www.meindaba.seifsa.co.za.
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Web: www.meindaba. seifsa.co.za