JOHANNESBURG, First National Bank, one of South Africa’s leading banks, has signed a pledge with the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) to improve access to finance for black industrialists in order to fast-track the government’s accelerated economic transformation initiative.
By committing to this agreement, we undertake to collaborate with FNB in marketing our incentives and other related programmes on their website, we will also put measures in place to evaluate applications for financial support that are referred or received through FNB,” Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) here Tuesday.
“This partnership will improve access to finance, particularly for businesses in manufacturing, thus ensuring the government’s strategic objective of creating new role-players in the economy.
Davies added that the partnership with FNB would see the two entities sharing information regarding various products offered by the department with a focus on facilitating information-sharing regarding its incentive programmes.
The dti says black industrialists refer to “black people directly involved in the origination, creation, significant ownership, management and operation of industrial enterprises which derive value from the manufacturing of goods and services at a large scale; acting to unlock the productive potential of our country’s capital assets for massive employment locally”.
FNB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Public Sector Banking Kgosi Ledimo, who signed the MoU with the Minister, said the bank had dedicated resources to assist the government’s focus on growing entrepreneurship and involving a greater number of previously disadvantaged qualifying businesses.
The Memorandum of Understanding to disseminate information through the FNB website is a commitment from FNB to show how serious we are with working with Government in achieving the goals set out in the National Development Plan 2030, said Ledimo.
The department had identified the Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) as a pilot programme to initiate the proposal with a view to adding new incentives to previously disadvantaged and/or predominantly black-owned businesses. Through this programme, government hopes to contribute towards shifting the demographic composition of South Africa’s industrial sector and engage the under-utilised source of jobs, revenue, taxes and innovation, which are black Industrialists, Davies said.
e its establishment last year, the Black Industrialists Programme has approved 52 projects for support, with a projected investment value of 4.5 billion Rand (about 344 million US dollars); this has been co-funded with other financial institutions.”
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK