The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition has paid tribute to the outgoing Director-General of the Department, Mr Lionel October describing him as a loyal and dedicated public servant who has served government with distinction. October leaves the Department tomorrow, 30 April 2021 as the Director-General and Accounting Officer, to take up a position as the head of the new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Unit at the Industrial Development Corporation from 1 May 2021. He will also act as an Advisor on Industrial Policy and related matters to the Ministry.

“Mr October has served government with distinction over the past twenty years and developed deep experience and insight into a range of policy matters, including industrial policy. He has driven in the past two years the revised SEZ strategy adopted by Cabinet in 2019. He has also been responsible for highly-effective implementation strategies in the range of areas that he led in government,” says Patel

DG October joined the department as a Chief Director of Industrial Policy in 2001, served as the Deputy Director-General responsible for Enterprise and Economic development, and served as an Economic and Trade Diplomat at the South African Embassy in Brussels from 2007 to 2011. He was appointed Director-General on 1 May 2011 and served two terms of office as DG.

October spearheaded key industrial and enterprise development policies such as the National Industrial Policy Framework and Action Plan, the re-imagined Industrial Strategy and the development and implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment legislation, and the development and growth of the SEZs, amongst others.

In the past decade, he received the Best Performing Director-General Award and the dtic has received numerous Best Performing Department Awards. It has also secured four consecutive clean audits from the Office of the Auditor General.

“These accolades are not only testimony to the considerable personal achievements of DG October but also to the role he played in the development of a young and demographically diverse staff in the dtic. We are grateful that October responded warmly to our request that we not lose his services to the wider the dtic family. He will therefore drive the spatial development work covering SEZs, Industrial Parks and the District Development Model. One behalf of the dtic family. I wish to thank him sincerely for one job completed and wish him well in the new responsibilities he is taking up on our behalf in the other new job,” says Patel.

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry (the dtic)
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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