A total of 144 applications, collectively valued at R1.8-billion, had been received for the South African government’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced on Thursday.
The scheme, which was unveiled in 2011 and implemented in June this year, formed part of a R25-billion package to support the country’s embattled manufacturing sector.
In addition, tax incentives of R7-billion had been approved since 2010 to support large manufacturing projects, collectively valued at R28-billion.
But the performance of the sector had varied widely during 2012, with output growth in petrochemicals, food and beverages and motor vehicles contrasting sharply with the metals subsector, where output fell and remained below pre-recession levels.
Overall, the National Treasury expected that manufacturing output would remain muted in 2012, despite recent rand weakness.
Gordhan said government would continue to promote localisation around the R845-billion infrastructure programme and would seek ways to promote special economic zones for industrial development and export opportunities.