South Africa should raise the economic growth rate and promote inclusive growth to win the fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said.
“For us as a country, industrialisation is fundamental and we need to move-up the value chain,” Davies said at a two-day Export Strategy conference on China’s electronics manufacturer Hisense in Cape Town over the weekend.
“Infrastructure is necessary to support and underpin industrialisation. It can also be a basis to support industrial development, because infrastructure roll-out programmes create demand for news factories. We also need to support new innovative technology coming to our country and transferring those technologies to our people. I believe that these elements will enable us to reach an inclusive growth.”
Davies said government had come up with ”various instruments” that would promote inclusive growth. Industrialisation and infrastructure development were critical elements of achieving this, he said. Davies turned to Chinese electronics company Hisense, which has a head office in Midrand, Johannesburg and a factory in Atlantis, Cape Town. The factory was launched in 2013.
He said South Africa can learn from the Chinese by promoting domestic and foreign investment.
“One of the things that are interesting about Hisense in particular, is that it is one of the first Chinese investments that came to South Africa and located itself in value added industries. ”The People’s Republic of China changed from being the net recipients of foreign direct investment to becoming net investors outside of the boarders of China,” Davies said.
He said that government’s policy on black industrialists was important to promote inclusive pattern of economic growth.
“We need to include more historically disadvantaged people in the manufacturing sector. It is for this reason that we have taken a decision to support black industrialists on top of the BEE programmes, so that we actually assist to create many more black people who are leaders of industrial enterprises in the country,” he said.