Department of Trade and Industry
Government needs to develop strategies to help informal furniture businesses grow and contribute to the local economy.
The trade and industry department’s chief director of agro-processing, Ncumisa Mcata-Mhlauli, emphasized this during an address at the final consultative workshop on the Furniture Industry Master Plan in Port Elizabeth.
She called on the private sector to get involved and form a partnership with government.
The department and the South African Furniture Initiative are in the process of drawing up a Furniture Industry Master Plan designed to grow and protect the South African furniture industry and promote industrial development in the sector.
The chief director highlighted that master plans are about “commitment and collaboration between government, private sector and labour so that we can implement actionable strategies that are going to take the industry forward”.
In a nutshell, the Master Plan will be “used as a catalyst to tackle challenges facing the industry as well as boosting the economy to create employment opportunities in the country”.
Challenges include overpricing of raw materials, capital investment, access to market, competition from cheaper imports and issues around skills development especially design and technical skills.
The 12I Tax Incentive is designed to support greenfield and brownfield investments by offering capital investment and training.
Rejected and withdrawn applications are also provided.