DTI: State must help manufacturing sector create jobs

State intervention is going to be crucial to get South Africa’s manufacturing sector to grow and create jobs according to the department of trade and industry.

This was a key theme as Minister of Trade and Industries Rob Davies launched the industrial policy action plan (IPAP) 2012/12-2014/15 on Monday at the Industrial Development Corporation’s offices.

It was clear from the presentation that South Africa will be taking examples from its Brics [Brazil, Russia, India, China] partners as to how the state can facilitate manufacturing sector growth.

Davies was keen to stress the fact that government’s industrial policy was doing well, despite the tough economic times.

This point was reinforced by the department’s director general Lionel October, who said the department had developed a competent management team to put the government’s industrial policy into action.


Davies stressed that a slow down in demand from Europe had a massive impact on South African manufacturing with exports to major developed countries remaining stagnant and exports to distressed European countries declining significantly, with Portugal singled out for a decrease by more than a third.

Davies pointed out that unlike our fellow Brics members, we do not have a massive population, which means South Africa needs to look to move into Africa to create the economies of scale to drive our manufacturing sectors.

Davies said South Africa did not want to be “gatekeepers” to Africa, but rather a “gateway” to Africa.

“The road ahead is a difficult one but a strong foundation has been laid,” said Davies.

“This makes it possible to arrest the threat of deindustrialisation and grow value addition and jobs and in the manufacturing sectors of the economy, thereby underpinning economic growth and employment creation in the rest of the economy.”

Key highlights in the new IPAP include a R5.8-billion manufacturing competitiveness enhancement programme (MCEP) announced in the national budget in February, with the budget spread over the next three years.

According to Davies the MCEP will come into effect by next month.

Davies said the main aim of the MCEP was to encourage manufacturers in a broad range of sectors to invest and raise competitiveness.

“The MCEP will be deployed towards upgrading the competitiveness of relatively labour-intensive and value-adding manufacturing sectors impacted by the currency, the global economic crisis and electricity cost escalations.”

The IPAP also contained a special economic zones where a R2.3-billion budget allocation has been made available.

The new IPAP document stresses that government’s focus will be on the key sectors of green industries, agro-processing, metal fabrication, transport and capital equipment.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Lloyd Gedye
Lloyd Gedye
Lloyd Gedye is a freelance journalist and one of the founders of The Con.

Related stories

South Africa has surplus food, but we need to intercept it

One third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. We can reduce hunger if we collaborate

African students in Wuhan just want to be evacuated

If African governments really cared about their citizens in China, they would bring us home

The fable of SA’s special economic zones

The country is being pushed to develop more SEZs. But is this a viable strategy, given unemployment and ‘deglobalisation’?

Shopping malls are ‘killing’ independent retailers

The Competition Commission’s Grocery Retail Inquiry has found national supermarket chains are putting small, independent players out of business

Competition Tribunal hears meat supply ‘cartel’ case

Food giant I&J has found itself in front of the tribunal on charges of collusion in the beef sector

Solidarity in opposing the Bolivian coup

Participants at the People’s Brics meeting in Brazil encouraged grassroots resistance to fight for democracy
Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

Shabnim Ismail bowls her way into the record books Down...

The night before Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final, fiery South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail lay awake pondering how...

Hawks make arrest in matric maths paper leak

Themba Daniel Shikwambana, who works at a printing company, was granted bail and is due to return to court in January

Andile Lungisa: Early parole for the house of truth

Disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa calls for a change of leadership in the ANC immediately after being released on parole

War of words at Zondo commission: ‘Grow up Mr Gordhan,...

The cross-examination of the public enterprises minister by Tom Moyane’s lawyers at the state capture inquiry went on well into overtime on Monday evening
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…