Free State premier, Ace Magashule, met with MECs, mayors and local government officials in Welkom on Saturday to discuss the impact of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) on local municipalities in the province.
Magashule said the fifth iteration of the Ipap, which was launched on April 4, is aimed at spurring industrial growth and reducing unemployment in the province by 2016.
“Government has deployed a range of complementary and intergrated measures to grow the economy and create jobs. The reason for our meeting today is to get all the mayors and MEC’s of the province informed and clued up about the new up scaled Ipap 2012/2013 – 2014/2015, which was released by the department of trade and industry (the dti),” said Magashule.
Each year, the dti launches a revised three-year rolling Ipap with a 10-year outlook in a context of rapid economic changes and significant global uncertainty. This has proved to be a robust formula, which allows continual scaling up of interventions and sufficient flexibility to respond to change.
Implementation of successive versions of Ipap has resulted in significant achievements and on-going scaling up of interventions to retain, grow and diversify South Africa’s industrial base.
The policy includes significant interventions in three clusters of sectors. Firstly, sectors including metals fabrication, capital and transport equipment, green and energy-saving industries and agro-processing, are qualitatively new areas of focus of the action plan.
Moreover, the up-scaled Ipap builds on and broadens interventions in sectors which were identified in the first Ipap, namely automotives and components, medium and heavy vehicles; plastics, pharmaceuticals and chemicals; clothing, textiles, footwear and leather; bio-fuels; forestry, paper, pulp and furniture; creative and cultural industries; and business process services.
The third cluster focuses on sectors in which South Africa has the potential to develop long-term advanced capabilities. They include nuclear, advanced materials, aerospace and defence as well as electro-technical and ICT sectors.
The premier, the MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, Mosebenzi Zwane, the executive mayor of the Lejweleputswa District Municipality, Mathabo Leeto, the executive mayor of the Matjhabeng Local Municipality, Sebenzile Ngangelizwe, and the executive mayor of the Nala Local Municipality, Theko Mogoje, and ANC officials were invited to the meeting.
Magashule said the Ipap is based on the need for sustainable, long-term industrial development that is underpinned by higher growth, exports and labour-intensive, value-adding economic activity in the production sectors, led by manufacturing.
The premier explained that the Ipap will in the next year focus on mineral beneficiation, regional integration, providing incentives to promote innovation and technology, as well as infrastructure development.
Referring to the nation’s massive infrastructure development drive, the premier said the strategy offered “the possibility of substantially increasing aggregate demand for the key inputs that will be required and for the localisation of a wide range of manufactured inputs”.
Other manufacturing growth opportunities are seen in the exploration of new export markets, as well as expanding trade with Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations.