Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies says manufacturing should be the leader of industrialisation in the country.

Davies says the manufacturing sector has proven that it can be the driver of industrialisation “Manufacturing is the driver of economic diversification and the generator of employment. Even if most of the jobs don’t reside in the manufacturing, the sector also supports and sustains a range a service jobs which are high quality and more secure because they are rooted in a growing manufacturing base.”

The minister was speaking at Bell Equipment’s manufacturing facility and head office in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal during handover of the company’s 50 000th vehicle.

As the most industrialised country on the African continent, Davies says South Africa will play a large role in the development of regional economic infrastructure on the continent. Government will be looking to support companies which have the competitive ability and capacity, to contribute toward this effort. Government’s Infrastructure Development Plan hopes to drive industrialisation with all spheres and agencies of government.

Speaking on the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Davies says, “One of the areas of improvement and focus must be to increasingly identify and support ‘champions’, winning SA companies, and strengthen their efforts in a more focused and strategic manner with the range of policy instruments we have in our armoury.”The minister’s department will be looking to local manufacturers for a deepening of localisation and supplier development, employment creation, skills development and improving technological ability.