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Background and Objectives

The Manufacturing Circle, along with XA International Trade Advisors, Stratalyze, and Trade Research Advisory engaged to review how South African manufacturers can successfully navigate the complexities of the regional and international trade arena. The session highlighted the risks and opportunities inherent in this regard and identify opportunities for increased industry input into trade negotiations. Discussion included:


•    the trade environment (opportunities and risk arising in the trade environment and an understanding of value chains);

•    trade agreements, tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade, and the impact on regional trade or regional value chain development;

•    government’s programme of designation;

•    the implication of the increased protectionism on SA manufacturing industry; and

•    creating an effective designation process.



The Manufacturing Circle undertook to pursue two actions:



Regulation 8 of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework on Designation

Formulation and presentation of a position paper on what needs to be done to improve the designation process.


Trade Agreements

Trade Agreement Platform

Development of an IT platform to ensure better access to trade-related information required in the trade negotiation process, and more efficient flows of information between industry and policymakers.



Background and Objectives

This engagement was held by the Manufacturing Circle and the Black Business Council together with Cova Advisory on the Black Industrialist Scheme (BIS) to discuss the benefits and identify areas for improvement. It brought together industry decision-makers, existing and aspirant black industrialists as well as large-scale companies exploring empowerment transactions. 



BIS Design

•    The private sector needs to be more involved in the scheme during all phases including formulation, review, and implementation.

•    From a government point of view, there is a need for greater consistency in the project team working on an application from start to


•    The dti needs to emphasise the importance of community engagement and the impact this will have on project implementation.


BIS Legislation, Policy, and Guidelines

•    Define financial closure and specify a realistic time frame to achieve this.


Implementation of BIS Projects

•    The local economic departments within the municipalities should play a liaison role throughout the implementation of 

    a project.


Administration of the BIS

•    Closer alignment and streamlined communication between the dti and IDC (and other DFIs) are required to avoid information    asymmetry; reducing the chances of an application being rejected by one government entity and approved by another.

•    Better communication is required to highlight how the dti and the IDC align objectives and collaborate on project funding.

•    There needs to be a technical committee to assess applications before these are presented to the dti and the IDC (one suggestion was       to include a project preparation phase prior to application for funding submission, driven by the IDC).


Next Steps

•    The Manufacturing Circle and the Black Business Council to collaborate on supporting aspirant and emerging 

      industrialists with identifying opportunities.

•    The Manufacturing Circle and the Black Business Council to facilitate an engagement between Black Industrialists,         

      the dti and the IDC to discuss recommendations.

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