Black firms from SA is represented at the conference

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Black firms from SA is represented at the conference

The final part of it will be the release of research results on the impact of various policy measures to promote economic inclusion and grow the base participation in our economy,” he said. Minister Patel said the spotlight of the conference will be the 500 businesses “that are making, growing, and digging things, adding to GDP, employing South Africans, exploiting their products. It’s about emphasising the opportunities that they have to grow the economy”.

Black businesses have the same challenges as other businesses. “They have challenges getting raw materials on time, at reasonable prices, getting the right technology, [and] fixing the technology when it breaks down. “They have challenges of] recruiting a great team of managers and workers, training everybody, getting the infrastructure in place, including public infrastructure that they need, getting customers – let’s call it the traditional problems of business.”

This has been replicated in many other parts of the economy,” he said. The programme was an element of a wider broad-based black economic empowerment society-wide programme. These, he said, include worker ownership, union investment schemes, women-owned community schemes that bring together capital and then find ways of increasing the equity in businesses.

Above this, black businesses face challenges of limited access to capital and finance. He said it was for this reason that government started the black industrialist programme to find ways of supporting the entrepreneurial energy in spite of these challenges. At the conference, government will outline many of the elements of the programme. “We work in partnership with businesses [that] are working with black suppliers, bringing them into the supply chain.

Story Highlights

  • The conference will be broken into five broad components. These include a keynote address by President Cyril Ramaphosa and several panel discussions; the launch of important growth initiatives like the black export network; and a marketplace to showcase the products produced by small businesses. “The fourth one will be the Presidential Awards that will be issued for Excellence in Business.

  • He said they are entrepreneurs – what they know about is making and producing food, making chemicals, cosmetics and the other products. “We’ll also look at structures that limit the opportunities for Black shareholders to play a meaningful role in the economy,” he said. While government did not create industrialists, the State did create a supportive and enabling environment that either enables industrialists to take off or that limits their ability to do so.