South Africa is not able to manufacture enough electronics products but relies on imported tablets, cell phones and all kinds of electronic equipment, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Tuesday
“What we are witnessing today [Tuesday], is a company that is getting into this space which is very important as we prepare ourselves for the 4th Industrialist Revolution,” he said at the launched of a billion rand Yekani Information and Communication Technology (ICT) electronics and manufacturing factory in the East London Special Economic Zone (ELIDZ).
“This is an example of what we can do if we put our minds to it. So I think this an investment to celebrate at a number of levels in an industry that is of strategic importance and key to job creation.”
Yekani is a beneficiary of the Black Industrialists Programme and the Special Economic Zone Fund.
R350 million provided for construction
Davies said the department of trade and industry (DTI) provided R350 million for the construction of the company’s infrastructure through the Special Economic Zones Fund and a R50-million grant under the Black Industrialists Programme for the machinery.
In future, the DTI would convene all Black Industrialists beneficiaries that have received financial and non-financial support, to discuss pertinent issues on how the department can improve their incentives grants, and on taking other beneficiaries to the next level, he said.
Group Chief Executive Office of Yekani, Dr Siphiwe Cele said the new facilities would allow Yekani to lead the way in technology innovation and help Africa secure its rightful place among global technology leaders.
“We believe that this new home will allow us to showcase our capability, flexibility, expertise and quality as well as contribution to the development of the manufacturing industry, not only in the country but also in the African continent,” said Cele.
Pioneering new technology
He added that the company wanted the world to know that Africans are capable of pioneering new technology and also nurturing young people.
Yekani Manufacturing is a 100 per cent black-owned ICT electronics and manufacturing company that currently manufactures Explora HD decoders, TEAC television sets, set-top boxes and tablets.
The company will be able to employ 1 000 more people as a result of the expansion.
The Black Industrialists Scheme is a grant programme of the Black Industrialists Policy that aims to unlock the potential within black industrialists operating in South African economy through deliberate, targeted and well-defined financial and non-financial interventions.
The Black Industrialists Scheme was announced in 2016. At that time the government target was to support 100 black industrialists by the end of the 2018/19 financial year. However, by the end of March 2018 the target was exceeded, as 102 black industrialists had been approved for financial support and 48 companies had received market access support.
Author: ANA Newswire