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African Industrialist Pins Hope on MPs

By Dipo Olowookere

An Ekurhuleni businessman, Mr Sibusiso Maphatiane is optimistic that Members of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry will assist him overcome some of the challenges that his company is experiencing.

Mr Maphatiane was speaking soon after the Members of Parliament visited his company premises in Benoni today. They were on a two-day oversight visit to companies that have been supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).

According to the Chairperson of the committee, Ms Joan Fubbs, the visit was aimed at gathering information from beneficiaries on how the department’s incentives have impacted on their companies as well as the challenges they could be battling with in their interaction with the dti.

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Maphatiane’s steel and iron manufacturing company, Naledi Inhlanganiso, has been funded by the department through its Automotive Incentive Scheme and Tax Incentive.

“As a company we are grateful to the dti for having facilitated the visit to our company by Members of Parliament. It could not have come at a more opportune time as we are experiencing some challenges in regard to matters related to local procurement by some state-owned entities. I could not have asked for a better platform for me to express our successes, challenges and future plan to influential people such as the MPs,” said Maphatiane.

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He added that government had a critical role to play in supporting black businesspeople, particularly black industrialists, and ensuring that their enterprises were a success in order to achieve economic transformation.

“The only way that parliamentarians can get a better understanding of our constraints as black manufacturers trying to contribute in the country’s economic growth and industrialisation is by interacting directly with us. Today’s interaction was a real eye opener to them. They learnt that if there is a disjuncture between government policies such as localisation and procurement by SOEs, and their implementation, there will be a negative impact on Black Industrialists,” stressed Maphatiane.

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He added that he pinned his hopes on the MPs assisting his company to get support from some of the country’s SOEs to help him sustain the 320 jobs he has created in his company.

The MPs, some of whom praised him for his resilience, tasked the dti to provide more information on the company’s challenges so they can determine the nature of their intervention.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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