Coronavirus – South Africa: Localisation will be new focus of SA Government – Deputy Minister Majola
Despite weak economic outlook brought upon by COVID-19 pandemic, government’s reconstruction and recovery plan will prioritise broader pacts with workers and businesses
Government will continue to unlock the potential of black industrialists through initiatives such as Black Industrialists Programme and its subsidiary Black Industrialists Scheme
Localisation will be the new focus of the South African government and to kick-start a massive programme of localisation, certain local industries where localisation is driven aggressively will be supported with special measures. This was said by the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola, during a virtual sod-turning ceremony of Toronto Group’s first of a kind charcoal manufacturing plant which took place in Cape Town, today.
Toronto Group specialises in the manufacturing of high-quality lump wood charcoal and was approved for support to the tune of R50 million by the dtic, for business development, purchase and installation of modern capital equipment.
Majola said that despite the weak economic outlook brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, government’s reconstruction and recovery plan will prioritise broader pacts with workers and businesses, focused on saving as many companies and jobs, identifying new opportunities and addressing economic inclusion with greater urgency.
“Government will continue to unlock the potential of black industrialists through initiatives such as the Black Industrialists Programme and its subsidiary Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS). To supplement the R50 million capital funding for development which we have already awarded to Toronto, we will continue to provide non-financial support for the next five-years,” said Majola.
He further expressed excitement that through the BIS support, Toronto Group company will be able implement its green field charcoal plant in Wellington, Somerset West, in the Western Cape Province, wherein they will be supplying retailers and exporting to Europe and Scandinavian countries.
“It is also pleasing to learn that Toronto Group has direct business relationships with private farmers in Mozambique. It is important that we continue the conversation and interaction between South African businesspeople and their counterparts from other African countries. This is to ensure that we continue to work collectively to identify new trade and investment opportunities. This is also part of South Africa’s commitment to increasing intra-African trade and investment in line with the spirit of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA),” said Majola.
Toronto Group has so far created five direct jobs and is projected to create 90 jobs by December 2020, plus additional indirect job opportunities through its sourcing of raw materials from local suppliers. Its primary feedstock is alien invasive species that are mainly harvested under the auspices of the Working for Water Programme, to enhance the flow of water in riparian zones.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, South Africa.