Zikode: SA economy needs to grow at a faster pace

DURBAN – The South African economy must grow at a faster pace in order to create job opportunities, especially for youth.

This was said by the deputy director-general of special economic zones and economic transformation at the Department of Trade and Industry, Sipho Zikode, at a inaugural oil and gas sector transformation workshop held at the South African Bureau of Standards in Pretoria.

The workshop was organised by the department with the aim of highlighting the opportunities and support measures available for new entrants to facilitate transformation and shared growth. It also sought to give emerging entrepreneurs an opportunity to dialogue with regulators, policy developers and important industry stakeholders on issues of innovation, financial support, as well market and product access in the sector.

“South Africa has one of the best policies in the world, but where we are still lacking as a country is with regard to implementation. The Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment and the National Industrial Policy are some of the polices that have been designed to govern and to grow the South African economy. These policies have been designed and benchmarked from other countries, but taking into account the dynamics of the South African economy and the legacy of policies on discrimination.

“As we implement these policies we need to learn and improve on implementation gaps, but we also need to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sector in order to achieve success.” He also advised entrepreneurs to be willing to take risks, but also to deliver quality products and services regardless of whether they are emerging or established.

Some of the issues highlighted during the discussions include:

A transformation fund targeted at new entrants and emerging entrepreneurs in the oil and gas sector.

Ensuring policy coherence and simplification of legislation.

A one-stop shop for support measures available for entrepreneurs in the oil and gas sector.

A clear blueprint for transformation and industrialisation of the sector.

– THE MERCURY 

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