MCEP gives a boost to South African manufacturing sector, minister claims

robdaviesSouth African trade and industry minister Rob Davies. (Image source: World Economic Forum/Flickr)The launch of the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP) has caused the manufacturing sector in South Africa to boom, according to the country's trade and industry minister Rob Davies

“Since the launch of the MCEP in May 2012, 187 projects have been received, and 60 have been approved,” Davies claimed.

A report compiled by the South African Government Communication and Information System explained that the programme has consisted of a package of incentives designed for established manufacturers, with the aim of promoting competitiveness and ensuring job retention in the country’s manufacturing sector. 

It added that the incentives had been designed to improve the general ability of the South African manufacturing industry to compete against imports and to compete globally in other export markets.

“We’re taking a leaf out of the books of the fast-growing emerging economies of Asia, where countries have relied on the manufacturing sector to drive economic growth and introduced strategies to raise competitiveness in their manufacturing sectors,” Davies said.

The MCEP has been positioned towards upgrading the competitiveness of relatively labour-intensive and value-adding manufacturing sectors impacted by the currency, the global economic crisis and electricity cost escalations.

“We believe that now is the time for manufacturers to invest in order to emerge much more competitively out of the current period of significant economic uncertainty," stated Davies.

“MCEP cash grants and concessionary industrial financing facilities have been made available to companies operating in certain manufacturing industries managed by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

“In addition, niche projects identified by the dti and the IDC that focus on new areas with the potential for job creation, diversification of manufacturing output, which would otherwise not be candidates for commercial or IDC funding, may be eligible for a MCEP grant,” he added. 

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