The Black Industrialists Programme is a practical programme implemented by government to ensure achievement of demographic transformation of economic power.

This is according to Mzwandile Masina, deputy minister of Trade and Industry, who says the programme also aims to achieve spatial development within the overall industrial strategy as outlined in the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), as well as the objectives of national development as articulated in the National Development Plan (NDP).

Masina was speaking at the uThungulu District Economic Development Symposium and Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) Fair in Richards Bay.

“It is important to note that the continued economic dominance of the white minority, as demonstrated through the patterns of ownership, management and control of strategic resources within the economy, systematically directs almost all economic opportunities and benefits away from the majority black population. It is in the above context that the Black Industrialists Programme arises,” he says.

Masina adds that the concept of black industrialists refer to black people directly involved in the origination, creation, significant ownership, management and operation of industrial enterprises that derive value from the manufacturing of goods and services at a large scale. He says these should be acting to unlock the productive potential of South Africa’s capital assets for massive employment locally.

Masina says there is a need to systematically align the respective functions of the country’s development finance institutions towards a quantitative black economic empowerment output that will qualitatively alter the racial balance of industrial ownership.

“The one biggest mistake our entrepreneurs commit is not registering businesses and patents. We have the provincial Small Enterprise Development Agency to assist with access to finance and putting together legible business plans. For company registrations, there is the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. Those agencies are there to serve you and bridge the gap. Make use of them,” he urges.

Masina adds that the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) took the role of government in fostering transformed economic relations very seriously.

“It is in this context that the dti progressively evolves a policy regime that is a midwife to transformed relations of assets ownership and high economic growth,” he says.