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Zuma urges black businesspeople to enrol in industrialist programme

Jan 08 2017 17:53
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town – The ANC is pinning its hopes on government’s Black Industrialists Programme, launched in 2016, to increase the black majority’s ownership of the economy. 

Delivering the ANC’s January 8 statement at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday, President Jacob Zuma in his capacity as party leader, said the Programme, which resorts under the Department of Trade and Industry, must develop township and rural economies and create jobs for South Africans. 

“The manufacturing sector can be a catalyst for transforming the economy and creating jobs,” Zuma said. “This is illustrated by the fact that this sector created more than 7 000 new jobs during the first six months of 2016.” 

READ: Industrialist programme: Scope must reach beyond manufacturing

Zuma also called on young, black and female entrepreneurs to take advantage of government’s initiatives so that the country can be turned into a “bustling hub of industrialisation and manufacturing”. 

“We must boldly turn our country into a construction site,” Zuma said. 

Commodities recovering 

The ANC was encouraged by the recent rise in commodity prices, Zuma said. 

“We are relatively confident that our mining sector will begin to show an improvement in the near future.” 

Zuma emphasised though that mining communities should benefit from mining activities in their areas. 

READ: Massive boost for commodity shares on JSE 

Referring to the Marikana tragedy in 2012, where 44 people lost their lives, Zuma said the ruling party recommits efforts at improving the social conditions of mining communities. 

“The ANC calls on mining houses to give greater effect to the obligations undertaken in their social and labour plans and to work more closely with government and organised labour in this regard.” 

Agriculture grows despite drought 

Zuma said despite the severe drought, agriculture and agricultural production managed to make a significant contribution to South Africa’s GDP and net exports during the 2016. 

“The ANC urges government to continue supporting this sector in mitigating the impact of the drought. We are convinced that there will be an upswing in growth and that the sector will continue to contribute to economic development and the creation of jobs.” 

Affordable nuclear 

Zuma said the ANC also pledges to balance the need for clean energy sources with ensuring security of electricity supply. 

“In this regard, we are still committed to ensuring that expanding nuclear capacity for energy will only take place at a pace and cost that the country can afford.” 

READ: Renewable energy becoming an economic no-brainer 

He also said the ANC is committed to expanding renewable energy capacity and initiating ongoing projects to advance the use of renewables. 

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zuma  |  jacob  |  manufacturing

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