The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Park Tau says the new leadership of the department under his stewardship has no intention of reinventing the wheel, but will be focusing its attention on accelerating the implementation of the industry policy and economic transformation. Minister Tau was speaking during a live in-studio interview with SABC News last night.

“The Government of Unity is guided by the Statement of Intent and there is a clear commitment on the underlying principles that inform the economic agenda of this 7th  Administration.  Some of the underlying principles of the GNU include the need for social equity, redress and social justice. Part of the minimum programme that has been adopted in the Statement of Intent has a direct focus on industrialisation and job creation.  It has direct focus on transformation and on ensuring that trade happens in a manner that addresses the interests of the country, as well as our ability to grow the economy and create jobs,” said Tau.

He added that the mandate of the GNU in regards to the department was “quite clear”.

“All we have to do is to focus our energy on implementation.  We have gone through various phases of industrial policy in a democratic South Africa. And all that we will be doing is to look at where our industrial policy is, starting with the sector master plans as mechanisms for the implementation of the policy,” emphasised Tau.

He committed to engaging with the private sector to identify priority areas that will enable the implementation of the industrial policy and economic transformation to be accelerated.

“We do not have to start from scratch. There are nine industry based sector master plans that have already been adopted. All that we need to do is to bring all the critical stakeholders together and focus on ensuring that these are transformed into implementation to produce the intended results in order to accelerate industrialisation, economic growth, job creation and transformation,” noted Tau.

He undertook to work with all the 18 entities of the department to ensure proper coordination in order to achieve maximum impact in the implementation of the mandate of the department.

“It is important that we work collectively with all the agencies and pull in the same direction. We will be articulating to them what the key priorities of this government are and how we can work together to achieve them,” he explained.

He said that he would be hosting a dedicated session that focuses on how Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment will be accelerated.

“We need to address what business has identified as gaps in the implementation of the policy because we certainly believe that transformation should underpin the work that we do as a department,” he noted.

Tau also emphasised that he did not foresee any challenges working with the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Andrew Whitfiled, who is from the Democratic Alliance. Mr Zuko Godlimpi is the other Deputy Minister of the department

“I will be working in collaboration with the two deputy ministers. I do not anticipate that there will be any challenges. We have already started discussing and have identified specific areas around which we would want to work closely together. Our working relationship has started off quite well,” he assured.

Minister Tau also said the trio’s immediate task was to ensure that there was stability in the department and across its entities by filling vacant positions that are critical to the maximum and efficient functioning of the institutions.

“First on our agenda is the stability of the institution. We have a number of vacancies ranging from the Director-General  of the department to CEOs of major entities including the National Empowerment Fund and the Industrial Development Corporation. Therefore, stabilisation is important. Our second major task is focusing on industrialisation, re-industrialisation and economic transformation. We will be doing all of these in partnership with the private sector which we think has a critical role to play in what we do,”  said Tau.

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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