Ricochet News

Government commits to increase export council funding

Aug 22, 2018
Government commits to increase export council funding

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has committed to increasing the funding of the export councils in order to drive the transformation agenda in different sectors. The commitment emanated from the export councils meeting hosted by the dti’s Director-General, Mr Lionel October in Pretoria.

October said it was important to increase the funding in order to meet export targets and also to attach the conditionality of transformation to address the imbalances in different sectors.

“Transformation of different industries is very important and that is going to be the pre-condition of funding for all export councils to commit to transformation and to grow the economy through exports. export councils’ knowledge of industries and global markets is invaluable and it can never be replicated without decisive interventions, but what is important is to pass the knowledge on to the new players and have succession plans in order to transfer knowledge and skills,” said October.

October urged the councils to set targets for transformation and work towards them expeditiously. He said they could also set targets in their councils, in terms of staff complement, companies they procure goods from, and work towards having their own Black Economic Empowerment Export Councils’ Scorecard.

Speaking after the meeting, the representative of the South African Electro-Technical Export Council, Ms Chiboni Evans, said the key thing about this engagement with the dti was that it brought all export councils together not just to air any issues but to actually discuss constructively with the department on delivering on the country’s export agenda and targets.

She said the discussions will help the export councils to also understand from the government’s perspective what is it that was needed from them, and in turn communicate to the government what they need in terms of support in different sectors of the economy.

“The biggest commitment we received out of our engagement is the fact that our funding will be increased. Obviously the finalising of the quantum and how is it going to work needs to be finalised internally. But what was also important is that the Director-General insisted that we will not just get funding from government, but we also need to give something back from the private sector,” said Evans.

Evans added that as export councils, they all agree that issues around transformation are very important and commitments needs to be shown from both parties to make sure it happens in all sectors.

Caption: Director-General of the dti, Mr Lionel October addressing members of export councils in Pretoria.