The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies launched a billion rand Yekani Information and Communication Technology (ICT) electronics and manufacturing factory in the East London Special Economic Zone (ELIDZ) today. Yekani is a beneficiary of the Black Industrialists Programme and the Special Economic Zone Fund. Speaking at the launch, Minister Davies said as a country South Africa has not been able to manufacture enough electronics products but has relied on imported tablets, cell phones and all kinds of electronic equipment. “What we are witnessing today, is a company that is getting into this space which is very important as we prepare ourselves for the 4th Industrialist Revolution. This is an example of what we can do if we put our minds to it. So I think this an investment to celebrate at a number of levels in an industry that is of strategic importance and key to job creation,” said Davies. According to Davies, the dti provided R350 million for the construction of the company’s infrastructure through the Special Economic Zones Fund at the ELIDZ and a R50 million grant under the Black Industrialists Programme for the machinery. Davies also said the dti will in future convene all Black Industrialists beneficiaries that have received financial and non-financial support to discuss pertinent issues on how the department can improve on their incentives grants and also on taking other beneficiaries to the next level. Speaking at the same launch, the Group Chief Executive Office of Yekani, Dr Siphiwe Cele said the new facilities will allow Yekani to lead the way in technology innovation and to help Africa secure its rightful place among global technology leaders. “We believe that this new home will allow us to showcase our capability, flexibility, expertise and quality as well as contribution to the development of the manufacturing industry, not only in the country but also in the African continent,” said Cele.   Cele added that the company want the world to know that Africans are capable of pioneering new technology and also nurturing young people.   Yekani Manufacturing is a 100% Black-owned ICT electronics and manufacturing company that currently manufactures Explora HD decoders, TEAC television sets, Set- Top-boxes and tablets. The company will employ will be able to employ 1000 more people as a result of the expansion.   The Black Industrialists Scheme is a grant programme of the Black Industrialists Policy that aims to unlock the potential within black industrialists operating in South African economy through deliberate, targeted and well-defined financial and non-financial interventions   The Black Industrialists Scheme was announced in 2016 and by that time government   targeted to supporting 100 Black Industrialists by the end of the 2018/19 financial year. However, by end of March this year the target had been exceeded as 102 Black Industrialists had been approved for financial support and 48 companies received market access support.   Caption: From left, Yekani’s Line Manager, Ms Nokulunga Nazo with her CEO, Dr Siphiwe Cele, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Davies, and Eastern Cape Premier Mr Phumulo Masualle at the launch of the smart factory.   Enquiries: Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson Tel: (012) 394 1650 Mobile: 079 492 1774 E-mail: Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti                                

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