The Gauteng City Region is formulating a sector strategy to break the monopoly-structured economy, Premier David Makhura said on Monday night.

“We are formulating sector strategies in the province so that we know which interventions to provide for and for which sectors. We need to overcome the monopoly-structured Gauteng economy because out of the 11 sectors in the province, our research indicate that white-owned companies are still dominating in all sectors,” Makhura told a packed boardroom during a dinner held with black entrepreneurs and industrialists hosted by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in Sandton.

Makhura said black people should also be at the centre of the economy. He further noted that the economic participation of black people in key sectors of the economy is important, “and we can’t claim that black people have been empowered just because they participate in the economy.

“Transformation is not about people who are just buying and selling products from other economies like China and India,” he said while describing the difference between an entrepreneur and an industrialist.

While the focus of the gathering was to ensure that black South Africans are active in productive sectors of the economy, Makhura and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said the night belonged to the business leaders in attendance to help drive government’s policies to be more business-friendly.

“Our task is to bring black South Africans to key industries central to economic growth. During my Budget Vote speech recently, I announced a R23-billion programme that the IDC would be managing for government. And I am happy that we have a premier that is well-aligned to the national policies that seek to fight poverty, inequality and unemployment, in line with the National Development Plan,”  Patel said.

Business leaders made their voice heard. Women in the automotive industries and other budding industrialists in various sectors highlighted the challenges they face around funding.