The Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel today addressed the Portfolio Committee, highlighting the significant strides achieved by the Black Industrialists (BIs) Policy within the food and energy sectors. This transformative policy, initiated in 2015, is reshaping South Africa’s economic landscape by nurturing new enterprises led by black South Africans.

Minister Patel stressed that this marks a pivotal shift in the nation’s transformation strategy. Historically, transformation policies primarily focused on facilitating black ownership in existing enterprises. However, the Black Industrialists Policy centres on promoting the development of new enterprises, fostering entrepreneurship, and ensuring the emergence of businesses controlled by previously marginalized groups.

During the briefing, Minister Patel presented 46 case studies of Black Industrialists across the country in the food and energy sectors.

The evolution of empowerment policies over time has broadened their scope.

Initially, they centered on individual share ownership, enabling capital accumulation among black South Africans. Subsequently, they embraced broad-based empowerment and community initiatives. Today, the policy prioritises Black Industrialists, supporting individual black entrepreneurs with controlling stakes in new firms; and employee share ownership (workers empowerment).

Minister Patel underscored that the Black Industrialists Policy is just one pillar of a broader transformation agenda. Other transformation instruments include industrial financing, sector master plans, localisation, competition measures, B-BBEE codes, equity-equivalent investment programs, special economic zones and state preferential procurement.

The Black Industrialists Policy spans various industries, including agro-processing, automotive components, textiles, steel and metal fabrication, mining, machinery and equipment, aerospace equipment, and technology.

Minister Patel stated: “The Black Industrialists Policy represents a pivotal shift in South Africa’s transformation strategy. It fosters new enterprise development, entrepreneurship, and economic inclusion while addressing historical disparities and promoting innovation. The policy’s impact on the food and energy sectors underscores its significance in driving South Africa’s economic transformation.”

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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