President Ramaphosa Calls for Investment in Green Industrialization at Black Business Council Gala

South African President Ramaphosa urges black businesses to join efforts to rebuild the economy, highlighting green industrialization as a key growth opportunity with government incentives.

Rafia Tasleem
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President Ramaphosa Calls for Investment in Green Industrialization at Black Business Council Gala

President Ramaphosa Calls for Investment in Green Industrialization at Black Business Council Gala

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa urged black businesses and industrialists to join efforts to rebuild the country's economy, emphasizing the critical role of investment in job creation and economic transformation. Speaking at the Black Business Council (BBC) gala dinner in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Ramaphosa highlighted green industrialization as a significant opportunity for growth and innovation.

The president outlined the government's focus on the production of electric vehicles, green hydrogen, and the processing of critical minerals. He announced a set of incentives over the next 10 years to stimulate investment in these sectors, aiming to encourage innovation, attract private capital, and expedite the adoption of green technologies.

Why this matters: South Africa's embrace of green industrialization represents a significant step towards sustainable economic growth and job creation. The government's incentives and focus on key sectors like electric vehicles and green hydrogen have the potential to position the country as a leader in the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

Ramaphosa also noted the government's commitment to economic inclusion and 'leveling the playing field,' with the Competition Commission conducting market inquiries to address high levels of economic concentration and encourage participation by small businesses. He commended the Black Business Council for its partnership with the government, particularly during the challenging period marked by the pandemic, civil unrest, and other crises.

The president acknowledged the 'deep, fundamental and irreversible change' that South Africa has undergone since the end of apartheid. He celebrated the progress made in economic transformation over the past 30 years, including the enactment of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, affirmative action legislation, and supportive initiatives like the Black Industrialists Programme.

Ramaphosa revealed that over 1,700 black-owned firms are now benefiting from the Black Industrialists Programme, contributing to a R330 billion annual turnover and supporting more than 282,000 jobs. He expressed confidence in the continued partnership between the government and the Black Business Council to address the country's challenges and drive economic transformation. "The economic landscape was extremely unequal during apartheid, with a small number of white-owned firms dominating key sectors," Ramaphosa noted, emphasizing the importance of the ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive economy.

Key Takeaways

  • Ramaphosa urges black businesses to join economic rebuilding efforts
  • Govt to offer incentives for green industrialization in EVs, hydrogen
  • Commitment to economic inclusion, addressing high concentration
  • Over 1,700 black-owned firms benefit from Industrialists Program
  • Govt-BBC partnership to drive economic transformation post-apartheid