More than R261 billion has been committed for procurement by both the private and public sector from 239 black industrialists over the next five years at the Second Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference held in Sandton yesterday.

In a pledge ceremony presided over by President Ramaphosa, South Africa’s corporate sector confirmed its commitment to supporting black economic empowerment, industrialization, and job creation by pledging to procure goods and services across various sectors and value chains of the country’s economy.

The pledge ceremony formed the closing of the Second Black Industrialist and Exporter Conference, which coincided with the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, and formed part of a series of events which will mark 30 years since the first democratic elections.

Procurement commitments covered several sectors in the economy, including:

  • Agro-processing, Agriculture and Forestry;
  • Auto and Rail;
  • Electrotechnicals;
  • Metal Fabrication and Industrial equipment;
  • Glass, Plastics, White goods and Marine;
  • Clothing, Footwear and Govt Procurement;
  • Retail;
  • Pharmaceuticals, and Medical devices;
  • Infrastructure; and
  • Information Technology and financial services

The largest commitment came in the retail sector where R80.8 billion was pledged from four retail procurement companies, as well as from the government for the procurement of uniforms and badges.

Leading corporates in the agro-processing, agriculture, and forestry industries pledged R27.6 billion towards procurement from various Black industrialists, including Rainbow Chicken, Astral, and Country Bird Holding.

Other major procurement commitments included:

  • The auto industry, represented by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa and National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers, which made a joint pledge worth R23.7 billion;
  • The electro-technical sector which pledged R20.6 billion;
  • the metal fabrication and industrial equipment sector which pledged a total of R20 billion, with companies such as Conlog, Euro Alloys, Unica Iron and Steel, and Caterpillar among the contributors;
  • The glass, plastics, household goods, and marine sector which pledged R3.7 billion
  • Infrastructure sector which pledged R52.5 billion from two procurement companies;
  • The Pharmaceutical and medical devices sector committed R6.3 billion from five procurement companies; and
  • the information technology and financial sector which pledged R14.4 billion from three companies.

Notably R11.6 billion was committed by 18 black industrialists for procurement of goods and services from 55 other black industrialists marking an important junction in the programme, where black-owned businesses are themselves driving procurement in the economy.

Reflecting on this, President Ramaphosa remarked “This is very significant, for we are now creating an eco-system that does not only rely on orders and procurement from larger established companies. We are now at the point where black industrialists can be the capital that can fund and support growth in the next generation.”

Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Mr. Ebrahim Patel, commended the companies for their commitments, stating that the support by the country’s major corporations to the Black Industrialists will enable them to contribute significantly to the prosperity of many firms, create employment opportunities, produce world-class products, and contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

“The link between private and public sector support for an inclusive economy is strengthened by the standing commitments and undertakings of leading corporates in our economy to procure goods and services from Black Industrialists,” said Minister Patel.

The Second Black Industrialist and Exporter Conference, organized by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), was held some 8 years after Cabinet adopted the Black Industrialist programme in 2016 with an initial goal of supporting 100 black-owned and managed businesses.

Since then 1 714 black-owned and managed businesses have been supported through the dtic family, including direct grant support from the dtic and industrial funding from the IDC and NEF. In the last 5 years alone, R24 billion in funding support has been provided to black industrialists through the work of the dtic family.

The conference was addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa and was attended by more than 1,350 delegates representing more than 1,000 black-owned firms across various sectors, highlighting the breadth and depth of black entrepreneurship in the country.

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