Patel: Broken port system hinders black industrialists

Patel: Broken port system hinders black industrialists

Minister Ebhrahim Patel 7146 Dv

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

South Africa’s logistics and energy crises have made it difficult for black industrialists to succeed, Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel said on Monday.

He was briefing reporters ahead of the Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference, set to take place in Johannesburg on Wednesday. 

Highlighting Transnet’s deterioration, Patel noted that the country’s industrial activity is concentrated in Gauteng and so having a functional transport logistics system is important. Without one, industrialists will continue to struggle to transport South African-made goods to other parts of the country and the world. 

Patel noted efforts by the department of public enterprises and the presidency to bring the Transnet crisis to heel. “They have begun to bring down the waiting times in the Durban port. These are first steps, we need to do more in order to build a truly competitive transport logistics system.”  

Established in 2015, the black industrialists programme aims to boost ownership among black South Africans in key sectors of the country’s economy.

Patel explained that the programme is for black South Africans who have been deprived of the opportunity to accumulate capital. Black families have not been able to bankroll and support new industrialists, while their counterparts have benefited from intergenerational wealth, the minister noted.

Wednesday will see the second edition of the Black Industrialists Conference, which was first launched in 2022 when more than 1 300 delegates took part. This year’s conference — which will be attended by business owners in the manufacturing, mining and film industries — takes place under the banner: “Black Industrialists catalysing economic growth and jobs”.

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