The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has set aside R415 million to refurbish 11 industrial parks across South Africa.
Presenting the dti’s Annual Performance Plan to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry this week, Director General Lionel October said the revitalisation of industrial parks is one of the department’s key areas.
“The Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme is one of the flagship programmes of our department aimed at facilitating broad-based economic participation to achieve inclusive growth, as well as facilitating the transformation of the economy.
“These industrial parks will promote industrial development, investment, competitiveness and employment creation.”
The department has therefore allocated R415 million for the revitalisation of eleven industrial parks across the country. The ten industrial parks employ a total of 55 000 people, said the Director General.
October added that the implementation of the programme, which focuses on both the physical infrastructure and other support requirements, was started in 2016.
Industrial parks that have already been renovated and launched as they have completed the first phase of the programme include Vulindlela and Komani in the Eastern Cape, Botshabelo in the Free State, Seshego in Limpopo and Isithebe in KwaZulu-Natal.
The revitalisation programme will help to enhance the occupancy rate of the parks and drive retention and expansion. It will also contribute to economic growth and diversification of economic activity, attract investments and promote job creation as well as address inequality.
It is also aimed at providing new opportunities and support high growth in the townships, rural and distressed areas.
Turning to the department’s Black Industrialists Programme, the Director General said the department is on course to support 100 black industrialists by the end of March as per the target set by Minister Rob Davies.
“Since its launch in November 2015, the Black Industrialists Scheme has supported 78 projects owned by black industrialists, empowering them to leverage projected investment of R7.2 billion. These are estimated to result in the retention of almost 8 000 baseline jobs and the creation of 9 459 new jobs,” said October.
He also said the future work of the dti will remain in the implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) which is implemented in order to grow the manufacturing sector to promote industrial development, job creation, investment and exports.
The tenth iteration of IPAP is expected to be launched soon.