Sasolburg, Metsimaholo Municiality Sasol Business Incubator Launch – Address by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mzwandile Masina

Mzwandile Masina
The Executive Mayor, Councillor Brutus Mahlaku
The Vice President of SASOL, Mr Maurice Radebe
The Senior Vice President, Mr Louis Fourie
Senior Executives of SASOL
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I extend my greetings and on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry. We are deeply honoured for having been invited to this launch here today. We are honoured because this launch is a step towards affirming the principles of our work as a department and government.

As it is known to all of us we as the South African government took a strategic perspective to work towards a radical transformation of our economy as part of a broader social transformation project.

Among other things we have stated that this radical transformation should be the changing of the ownership profile of our country’s productive industrial assets.

This is informed by the understanding that the dividends of a thriving and growing economy must be distributed equitably. A democratic mechanism of this equitable distribution has to be strategically different from the mechanisms of the past.

It is common knowledge that our past is based on the outlines of the Apartheid political economy that was centred on the exclusion and exploitation of the black majority. Black people served only as sources of low-ranking labour without access to senior managerial positions and ownership.

Our perspective in this regard asserts that public institutions must be drivers of this radical reconstruction of our economy and society as we pursue economic and social redress to overcome this persistent Apartheid legacy.

This principle of state-led radical transformation is particularly relevant for state owned economic institutions. These are institutions that have capacity to redirect investment towards a path that promotes black ownership and management of strategic industrial assets.

It is for this reason that as government we have undertaken the task of facilitating the emergence of Black Industrialists in strategic industrial assets.

It is part of an acknowledgement that deliberate interventions are necessary if we are to achieve a reorganization of ownership and development of industrial assets in our economy.

Part of these deliberate interventions includes the availing of investment capital to potential black industrial enterprises. It further extends to the creation of public market structures that will serve as incubators of emerging black industrial enterprises for performance in the broader markets.

In this regard, we take this opportunity to congratulate SASOL for having taken the decision to establish and launch this Incubation project for the purpose of which we are gathered today.

This is a critical move towards the affirmation of the philosophy of State Owned Enterprises as drivers of developmental and transformative investment.

SASOL must continue to use its institutional capabilities and economic muscle to perform its developmental mandate. This mandate must inform the institution’s engagement in both domestic and global markets.

Such a mandate entails progressive social investment and the promotion of our national objective of affirming black masses in meaningful economic enterprise. It is about using SASOL as a strategic tool to unlock pathways that were historically denied to black people.

I would therefore reiterate the point that the launch of this SASOL Business Incubator project is an important part of this work. It is crucial that we sustain this relationship between SASOL and emerging black business.

We must see the growth of black enterprises throughout the value-chain of SASOL’s business value chain. This includes the primary area of energy exploration and development. This is important in view of the fact that the energy sector, particularly renewable energy, is poised to continue being a strategic driver of growth.

On our part as government we will continue to encourage and facilitate cooperation between all stakeholders towards developmental outcomes. We will continue to pursue policy instruments that make this cooperation an unavoidable task.

In those few words, I wish to again congratulate the leadership of SASOL for this initiative and implore them to draw in as many black businesses and professionals as possible into the network of this Incubation.

I thank you!

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