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Steel and Furniture Master Plans on Track

November 2, 2020

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition

The Steel and Furniture Master Plans are to be finalised over the next five months.

The trade, industry and competition department revealed this during a briefing in parliament on the status of master plans.

The department added that the implementation and monitoring of progress of the Retail-CTLF, Automotives, Sugar and Poultry Masterplans was also on the agenda.

The department also plans to deepen localization efforts across all master plans and make adjustments to take account of Covid-19 as well as the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

The department described master plans as industry social pacts in which each partner is “expected to contribute, shifting away from a state-centric approach to a partnership model”.

As regards disruptions to global supply chains wrought by Covid-19, the department pointed out that the disruptions provide a stronger rationale for localization.

The department plans to “sharpen our non-financial support and focus efforts on addressing illicit trade including through use of trade measures to support domestic industry”.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the department expressed support for the implementation of a set of interventions to promote chrome beneficiation that can contribute to strategic localisation and reindustrialisation.

The statement follows a briefing in parliament on the ferrochrome and cement industries.

According to the department’s director-general, Lionel October, as regards transformation targets, government will ensure “necessary legislative imperatives are adhered to ensure empowerment, through ownership, local procurement and opportunities for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, among other areas”.

In another statement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) negotiations, the department announced that the trade, industry and competition minister, Ebrahim Patel, has chaired his second meeting of the African Union Ministers of Trade with the aim of finalising the key aspects of the outstanding AfCFTA negotiations to enable the start of preferential trade on 1 January 2021.

“Ministers noted significant progress in the finalisation of additional Rules of Origin following the adoption of a prioritised work programme and roadmap for the outstanding negotiations by the 11th AMOT held on 30 September 2020 to facilitate the start of preferential trade under the AfCFTA.”

Further meetings are scheduled in November to ensure that the necessary prerequisites for trade are in place to support the commencement of preferential trade.

“These include, amongst others, the consideration of trade in services offers, the finalisation of tariff concessions on the basis of as many agreed Rules of Origin as possible, as well as the finalization of the necessary customs documentation.”