Economic growth and transformation will rely on Black Industrialists who can produce, own and distribute goods and anchored in value-addition. This was said by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe at the opening of an R81 million factory belonging to Africa Bespoke Apparel (ABA), a Black Industrialists Programme beneficiary firm based in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal.
“Economic growth and transformation will rely on industrialists who can produce, own and distribute goods, anchored in value-addition. These are the ones who harness the development of local content and are able to integrate into global value-chains. It is industrialists like Africa Bespoke Apparel, who give meaning to Africa’s agenda and policy implementation,” said Magwanishe.
He described the launch of ABA as a historic moment and a crucial milestone in the roll-out of the Black Industrialists Programme as the company is the first Black Industrialist company in the textile, clothing and footwear sector.
“This is in line with government policy to set the economy on a higher path of shared growth, and to transform its structure, enabling opportunities for millions of South Africans. To this end, our department has developed a master plan to grow the clothing, textile, footwear and leather retail value-chain. The plan, which is aimed at creating 60 000 jobs in the sector and enhance competition, will soon be announced,” added Magwanishe.
He said that at the heart of government’s policy intervention was the advancement of the industrial sector to alleviate poverty, inequality and unemployment.
“With Black Industrialists like Africa Bespoke Apparel, I am confident that we are close enough to achieving our objectives,” added Magwanishe.
He welcomed ABA’s planned training academy saying it would go a long way in developing the skills of young people and equip them for the new age of innovation and discovery.
Speaking at the same launch, the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala said the ABA facility was a demonstration of concerted and continued efforts to supporting the local clothing and textile industry.
“We know that in the recent past this industry succumbed to severe international pressure, leading to the decimation of the local manufacturing capacity and job losses. We are pleased to report today that government in partnership with private sector stakeholders are working together to rebuild the manufacturing capacity in the clothing and textile industry,” said Zikalala.
He added that government continued to avail financial assistance and other support in order to make the domestic clothing and textile industry more competitive.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.