By Amanda Mfuphi
South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan sets out government’s bold vision for the South African economy that is aimed at rebounding the economy particularly post-Covid-19 and ultimately stimulate equitable and inclusive growth in light of our past with a large segment of society being excluded from economic participation. One of the key pillars to achieve this desired economic rebound is industrialisation through localisation which seeks to reduce the proportion of imported intermediate and finished goods.
In addition to government providing an enabling environment for the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan goals to be achieved, corporate citizens will play a critical role in rebounding the South African economy. The story in this article is heartwarming as it speaks to both localisation and inclusive economic growth.
Enterprise Development Grant
Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf) recently took an incredible step in driving localisation by issuing an Enterprise Development Grant of R485,000 for the localisation of an extended reach aerial platform – also known as a cherry picker – in South Africa. The SLT 180 telescopic aerial platform will be developed and manufactured locally by Isuzu business partner Smith Capital Equipment (SCE) to reach heights of 16 to 18 metres, which previously could only be achieved with imported platforms. The SLT 180 will be fitted on an Isuzu truck, and is set to provide state-of-the-art truck body solutions for Isuzu customers in a range of industries.
SCE is a majority black woman-owned company that specializes in aerial platforms, drilling rigs and importation and installation of FASSI cranes. The Enterprise Development grant will therefore provide support to Black industrialists while achieving government’s call for localisation through import substitution of a product that would otherwise be imported into the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of SCE, Fortunate Mdanda, indicates that “the development of this new product will help with job retention as it poses new market possibilities likely to expand the company product range and consequently cultivate internal skills development.” The first engineering prototype of the SLT 180 manufactured in South Africa is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, said Mdanda.
Inclusivity and economic growth
“Isuzu is committed to transformation and continues to drive a culture of inclusivity. If we do not empower our value chain, the economy cannot grow. We therefore ensure that we support supplier and dealer transformation initiatives, as well as the deepening of the local value chain through enterprise development initiatives such as this partnership with SCE,” said Dominic Rimmer, Senior Vice President of Technical Operations at IMSAf.
We look forward to more enterprise development initiatives from corporate citizens that will aid in rebounding our economy and promote more localisation of products that will yield job creation and retention.
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