The South African government has come in for a lot of criticism regarding its ambitious localisation policy, but clearly it is not deterred.
Much of that criticism has been directed at Trade, Industry and Competition minister Ebrahim Patel, who has been driving the policy, and some of it has come from abroad. Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund’s annual report on South Africa suggested that “different parts of the government are not uniform” on the policy.
The department’s chief economist, Stephen Hanival, has responded, saying all state entities are willing to implement the policy and where differences or doubts emerge, these are resolved by discussion. Business Dayheadlined its report “localisation widely supported within government and parastatals, department says”.
The day before the IMF report was released, President Ramaphosa in his state of the nation address praised the industry master plans, which are a key part of the localisation policy.
“An important pillar of our Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is to revitalise our manufacturing base and create globally competitive export industries. In the past year, we launched new master plans in the steel industry, furniture and global business services,” he said.
“Masterplans in the sugar and poultry industries are contributing significantly to increased investment, improved production and transformation,” he added a little later.
Image: Minister Ebrahim Patel in Parliament. Image courtesy GCIS.