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Rob Davies
Rob Davies

Rob Davies launches the latest industrial action plan


By Mark Allix - May 10th 2017, 08:48

Radical economic transformation is about giving black people participation in industrial economy, says minister. 

The ninth iteration of the industrial action plan (Ipap) that Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies launched on Monday is an action plan and an effort to promote domestic and regional industrialisation.

Davies said the plan was to build a less concentrated, more competitive economic and manufacturing framework within the context of a volatile global economy. That included implementing as-yet undisclosed incentive programmes in downstream steel-making and agro-processing.

"Ipap … must contribute to radical economic transformation," Davies said. This meant bringing about radical change in the structure of SA’s economy, by reducing dependence on the country’s exports of commodities and import of goods.

He said South African manufacturing had regressed over the past few decades. The economy needed to be more inclusive. That meant giving black people ownership, leadership and general participation in the country’s "industrial economy".

Radical economic transformation meant "putting coherent initiatives together that can begin to shift the productive base of our economy away from the inherited colonial division of labour and create decent sustainable jobs" — particularly for the most marginalised and vulnerable groups.

"It means unequivocal and urgent support for programmes such as the black industrialists programme … to ensure that ownership, management and control of the economy is increasingly in the hands of black people."

Davies said unless SA took the necessary steps towards such structural change and secured much higher levels of investment, radical economic transformation might "become a hollow phrase and a moveable feast for any manner of ill-considered economic recipes".

"Radical economic transformation is essential. But it is not about quick fixes and big bangs. It is hard, painstaking work. It needs pragmatism. It requires dialogue. It requires policy certainty and programme alignment. It requires a collaborative effort with the private sector," he said.

Davies said the government would support 100 black industrialists by the start of the next financial year in April 2018.


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