The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina will visit the Western Cape-based businesses supported by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition to assess the effects of Covid-19 on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and government-supported factories. The visit will take place from 7 – 11 June 2021.
The national lockdown from March 2020, had devastating effects on the businesses with Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) being the hardest hit. The visit is the second leg of the national Siyahlola Programme whose purpose is also to assess progress made in the implementation of the Special Economic Zones Programme, the revitalisation of Industrial Parks, and the sector-specific Master Plans that are part of the re-imagined national industrial development strategy. The first of the Siyahola Programme took place in Kwazulu- Natal last month.
Deputy Minister Gina says black-owned companies have been rendered even more vulnerable by the Covid-19 pandemic, and government intervention is important in ensuring they recover.
“Black companies are even in a more difficult position because they have fragile balance sheet with no collateral to assist them in accessing credit even in times where government had cut the base for lending rate. There is also a real danger that because of liquidity challenges, more and more of the BBBEE Level 1 companies may face closures and be forced to sell either their large percentage shareholding to non-black companies thereby lose their BBBEE 100% ownership to avoid insolvency. We are concerned about this reality because it represents a fundamental reversal of the very foundations and the objectives of the BBBEE and transformation policy instrument in our economy,” says Gina.
Among the categories of the businesses to be visited by Gina are those in the Black Industrialists Programme, SMMEs located in the SEZs and those factories within the Clothing, Textile, Leather and Footwear (CTLF) industry.
According to Gina, it is critical to gain first-hand knowledge of the impact that government programmes and interventions are making on the country’s businesses in particular, and the economy at large.
“I will be meeting with the leadership of these SEZs and companies and then undertake tours of their facilities to see the difference that government support makes in the daily lives of the people whose factories operate in the SEZs and parks. The clothing and leather companies are direct beneficiaries of our incentives and the roll-out of the Retail, Clothing, Leather and Textile Master Plan and it would be inspiring to observe how we are turning around the clothing, leather and textile sector as government through our interventions,” says Gina.
Gina says that the SEZs and Revitalisation of Industrial Parks programmes form part of many important instruments that government uses to drive industrial development as a key contributor to employment in the country.
“South Africa, like many other developed and emerging economies, recognises industrial development as a critical route to sustainable economic development, prosperity and success,” says Gina.
The schedule of the visits is as follows:
|One of Each
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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