South Africa cannot continue to actively participate as a global player without the creation of sector hubs such as Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks that will be industrialised and advanced in manufacturing. This was said by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe during his address at the Dialogue Breakfast Session and Seminar on the Rural and Township Industrial Economy that took place in Mahikeng, North West.
The seminar under the theme “Facilitating economic opportunities for small medium and micro enterprises and community through agro-processing, culture and tourism” served as a platform to deliberate imperative topical issues that impact on the rural and township economy.
Magwanishe said the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) was in the North West Province to convey its commitment in building local capacity, export promotion and attracting investment in the Special Economic Zones, Industrial Parks and other investment projects.
“As at the end of March 2018 , the dti had allocated R415 million for the revitalisation of eleven industrial parks across the country. We are proud to announce that Babelegi and the Garankuwa Industrial Parks are included in the above. The revitalisation of these parks aims to attract further investments and increase local employment and core competencies,” said Magwanishe.
The completion of the revitalisation programme will be followed by investor promotion programmes and the creation of economic hubs to ensure strengthened enterprises in our rural and township areas.
“We request Black Industrialists in this province to therefore apply; to increase economic value and enable an environment for growth. The continued success of these interventions rests with how we continue to develop and mobilise black entrepreneurs,” he said.
The Premier of the North West Province, Professor Job Mokgoro commended the dti for convening a dialogue session on the Rural and Township Industrial Economy. He said it was about time government moved with speed to implement programmes of this nature for the benefit of the citizens
“We don’t need an extra budget allocation to improve turnaround time in government. Senior management needs to be prompt and responsive as South Africans are growing impatient about the pace at which services are being rendered,” he said.
Mokgoro identified potholes, water and street lights as low hanging fruit that could be speedily attended. He further indicated that quick wins needed to be identified and implemented.
the dti’s dialogue session took place at a time when the North West Province has identified villages, townships and small dorpies as requiring government attention on terms of access to economic opportunities.
The North West Seminar was the fifth seminar as a build up towards the Presidential Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Rural and Township Economy Summit that will take place in East London from 19-20 July 2018.