Parliament, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 – A delegation from the Department of Trade and Industry appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry yesterday to present a briefing on progress with the finalisation of its master plans, which are aimed at bringing about inclusive industrial development and job creation in various sectors of the South African economy.

Four master plans have been finalised, for poultry, sugar, textiles and leather footwear, and automotive manufacturing. According to the department’s Deputy Director, Ms Thandi Phele, the plans are meant to reconstruct and give effect to the economic recovery plan trajectory, which was launched recently to much optimism.

At the heart of these plans, she said, is the social compact that will ensure buy-in from critical partners and relevant stakeholders, and which will contribute to the plans’ success. She told the committee that the plans will move South Africa away from a state-centric developmental approach.

Ms Phele said the poultry master plan is on course to save 54 000 jobs and create 3 600 new ones. It will drive the export of white meat more vigorously than ever before. To date, well over R365 million has been invested in this sector, which led to an accumulated R1.14 billion against the R1.7 billion initially projected.

She further reported that due to the interventions arising from the master plans, the value chain from retail clothing, textiles and leather footwear is now estimated at R74 billion. It is projected to create 212 000 jobs, 120 000 of which will come from the retail sector.

The automotive manufacturing master plan has been boosted by the R15.8 billion committed by Ford to the Tshwane Auto Hub and a R10 billion investment by Mercedes-Benz. “These developments are set to improve the competitiveness of our car production capacity from 600 000 to 1.2 million cars in 2024,” Ms Phele said.

The sugar industry master plan is seen as a critical intervention in rural development. As such, it targets the 19 300 black sugar growers and has set aside R1 billion to support transformation in the industry to make it more inclusive.

On compliance to localisation policy, the committee heard that the forthcoming Procurement Bill will include regulations and sanctions for those who do not comply.

The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Duma Nkosi, told the department that to have protected growth “we need to design a local procurement instrument”. He added: “It’s only when we have such an instrument that the ideal of the localisation of production can be realised. The Procurement Bill is one such instrument and will go a long way in fulfilling the core objectives of these master plans.”

Furthermore, Mr Nkosi said: “We would like these plans to be implemented to not remain as ideas. It’s one thing to come up with plans, it’s another to ensure that they get implemented. We have heard of many plans before that never see the light of the day. Our interest now is to see these plans implemented; that is what matters to us as a committee.”


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