The government is building strong partnerships with business that will help address challenges the country is facing, South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, told delegates attending a breakfast meeting hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce, this Tuesday.
He also said small business development was critical to job creation adding that the government had promulgated laws that allowed small business to survive in industries dominated by giants.
“Agriculture and agro-processing sectors are key to job creation and as part of the AGOA deal with the United States we have made sure that we get black owned companies to participate in food imports,” he said.
“To ensure that they succeed, we have been facilitating skills development and training in the U.S.,” added Davies.
Davies said agro-processing was the largest employer in the agriculture sector calling for improved investment in this space.
“We have realised, both in the region, and within our borders that trying to grow our economy relying heavily on minerals will not take us very far,” he warned.
He said structural changes in the global economy made it almost impossible for resource driven economies to go back to their glorious days.
“As part of our future strategies, we are looking at manufacturing, services sector and value addition as growth areas,” he said.
Davies warned that economies that failed to attend to issues of job creation and poverty alleviation were bound to face social conflicts. He said as part of ensuring black South Africans were actively participating in the economy, the government was in a drive to promote black industrialists.
“We need our own versions of Aliko Dangote,” said Davies.
He called on delegates to also profile some positive developments coming from South Africa.
“We have things going on well for us, we must emphasise more on what is working and not the negative aspects,” he said.