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    Minister Patel lauds Madiba at country's biggest clothing factory, announces Mandela Scholarship, Bursary and Fashion Awards

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    MEDIA RELEASE 13 December 2013

    Three living memorials to the legacy of Nelson Mandela were announced by Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel at a clothing factory in Cape Town today.

    Addressing large gathering of workers at Pep Clothing factory in a memorial service, he announced a Nelson Mandela Scholarship for 10 university students, a Madiba School Bursary for 100 primary or high school children with disabilities who have special needs and a Mandela Fashion Award for designers who promoted local jobs and fashion innovation. The SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) will sponsor the three awards.

    "These awards speak to three key things we remember Madiba for: his passion for education, his love for children and of course, his colourful shirts. They ensure that the memory of a great man is carried forward in acts that transform the lives of people," Minister Patel said.

    He recalled the many examples of Madiba's support for workers and for the clothing industry. These included an intervention in 1993 when Madiba phoned US President Bill Clinton to request greater policy space on tariff liberalisation for the clothing industry during trade talks at the predecessor to the World Trade Organisation.

    "The result was that the previous offer by the National Party government for wide scale tariff reduction was replaced with a more balanced trade agreement that has helped to save tens of thousands of clothing and textile jobs. It is the measure of the man that he did this while he was in Norway in December 1993, ready to receive the Nobel Peace Prize," Minister Patel told the gathering.

    "The legacy of the Mandela years was a modern progressive constitution that protected fundamental freedoms of speech and assembly but also entrenched worker rights in the basic law of the country. In the first five years of democracy under his stewardship, all the key pieces of labour legislation were passed by parliament and Nedlac was set up as a forum for social dialogue and partnership. The painful legacy of discrimination in the labour market and denial of rights of workers began to be dismantled. Madiba is loved and respected by workers across the nation and the shop floors have been ringing with songs of tribute to him," Minister Patel said.

    He told workers about a meeting in 1993 when Madiba addressed Coloured workers who were fearful about the future. Madiba told them that the country belonged to all who lived in it. He told Afrikaans speaking workers that their concerns were the same as Xhosa speaking workers, that the need for a fair wage knew no colour and that the divisions of the past should not become the divisions of the future. Madiba's speech that day about the need for unity of Coloured and African workers had many women in tears as they realised they would become full citizens in the new democracy. It helped to cement worker unity at factory level.

    He spoke of the meeting between Sactwu and Madiba a few weeks after his release from Victor Verster prison in 1990 when the union, which had the largest membership in violence-torn KZN, called for his support to end the bitter conflict in the province. Madiba subsequently made his famous 'throw your weapons into the sea' speech at a rally in KZN which laid the foundation for the subsequent National Peace Accord and stability in the province.

    The meeting heard of efforts by Madiba to improve union-business relations and foster a partnership at the workplace to promote job creation and economic development, which he regarded as critical priorities that was necessary to strengthen and protect the new democracy.

    Recent successes by government on infrastructure are a continuation of the road opened during the Mandela presidency. These include what is now the country's largest infrastructure investment programme to build schools and universities, dams and rail lines, roads and ports as well as clinics and hospitals. It was, said Minister Patel, the most fitting tribute to Madiba's life and work.

    The memorial gathering was marked by songs on the life of Madiba, as Afrikaans and Xhosa speaking workers stood patiently in the sun during the open air gathering at the country's largest clothing factory.

    Issued by the Ministry of Economic Development
    Enquiries: Phumzile Kotane - 0714628246 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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    Minister Patel opens manganese mines’ power substation

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    MEDIA RELEASE 29 November 2013

    Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel, officially opened the main electricity sub-station of the Kalagadi Manganese mine in the Northern Cape.

    The R7 billion Kalagadi Manganese mine launched 7 key projects on 29 November 2013 among them the substation and the sinter plant which Minister Patel pointed out was the largest in the world. Other key projects opened were the mine shaft, the rail line, the road infrastructure, the ore preparation, the reservoir, the electricity substation.

    The substation that Minister Patel opened has a 40 MVA power supply capacity that is sufficient to meet the energy requirements of the mine in totality. It also is a showcase of the benefits of government’s Infrastructure Development Programme. Although the substation will primarily service the Kalagadi Manganese mine, it will also provide power to nearby communities in Hotazel and Klipkop and other surrounding mines.

    The Chairperson of Kalagadi Manganese Daphne Mashile-Nkosi indicated during the ceremony that not even one single piece of manganese would leave the mine, without attaching some form of beneficiation for the people of South Africa. She also reiterated her commitment to building a smelter in the Eastern Cape, to further beneficiate their product. This is very much in line with South Africa’s key economic strategy which seeks to drive for the local beneficiation of the country’s mineral resources. The company invested in excess of R3 billion to build the plant, and during the construction phase of this plant more than 2800 jobs have been created.

    President Jacob Zuma during the unvailing of a plaque ahead of the launch of Stanely Nkosi Sinter Mine of Kalagadi Manganese company in Hotazel,Northern Cape(in the pictureMiniser of Mineral Resorces Susan Shabangu,Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel,President Jacob Zuma  and Chair Person of the mine Daphne Mashile Nkosi)..29/1/2013.GCIS Minister Patel opens manganese mines’ power substation Minister Patel opens manganese mines’ power substation

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    Government welcomes strong jobs growth in the economy, million new jobs since adoption of the New Growth Path

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    MEDIA RELEASE 29 October 2013

    Government today welcomed the latest jobs statistics published by Statistics South Africa that indicates strong jobs growth in the past quarter ending September 2013.

    Employment was up by 308 000 for the quarter and more crucially, by 383 000 for the twelve months ending in September 2013.

    Quarterly unemployment numbers are down by 114 000 and there were 125 000 fewer discouraged work-seekers for the three months period.

    The unemployment rate went down by close to a percentage point, to 24,7%.

    Total employment has now reached just over 14 million, marginally above the highest employment level ever reached by the economy. The previous highest employment level was in the fourth quarter of 2008, before the global economic recession led to very significant job losses.

    Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel today welcomed the results.

    "The strong jobs growth during a period of global economic uncertainty is good news. Since the adoption of the New Growth Path in October 2010, the economy has created just more than a million new jobs. This is also the largest quarterly jobs growth in the past 22 quarters and the annual jobs numbers are up for most sectors. Our high unemployment levels require high job creation over a sustained period for us to meet our target of five million new jobs by 2020," Minister Patel said.

    "The annual jobs numbers in infrastructure related sectors are encouraging, with a growth of 58 000 in the construction and public utilities sectors. While public employment levels grew strongly, the data shows a robust private sector contribution to jobs growth. Manufacturing job performance was, however, disappointing with job losses in this key sector of the economy," he said.

    "KwaZulu Natal recovered strongly with 134 000 new jobs after weak performance in the previous quarter. Seven of the nine provinces showed an expansion of employment. Youth employment performed well for the quarter, with about 160 000 new jobs for young people, which is more than half the total new jobs created. Given the very high levels of youth unemployment, we need to further strengthen efforts to bring young people into productive employment," Minister Patel said.

    "Deeper partnerships on the shop-floor between business and labour, sustaining the state's infrastructure investment programme and expanding the level of private sector investment are all key to building on these positive employment results," Minister Patel said.

    Issued by the Ministry of Economic Development
    Enquiries: Manelisi Wolela - 0713134192 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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    Minister Patel welcomes High Court decision on scrap metal export system for RSA

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    MEDIA RELEASE 29 October 2013

    Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has welcomed the judgment of the North Gauteng High Court to dismiss an application to interdict the implementation of government’s new scrap metal export regulations.

    Minister Patel says today’s court decision to dismiss the application of the Metal Recyclers Association of South Africa (MRA) with costs, reaffirmed the prerogative of the executive arm of government to make policy decisions and directives that seek to re-industrialise the country’s economy and create jobs.

    The application for an interim interdict against the new export regulations that came into effect on 16 September 2013 was submitted by the MRA. It was opposed by the Minister of Economic Development and the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC), as well as the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), the Minister of Trade and Industry and the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs.

    “I appeal to all role-players to use the new framework to rebuild the steel manufacturing industry, including the foundry sector, create more jobs and strengthen government’s R1 trillion national infrastructure build programme,” Minister Patel said. “The government had an obligation to make policy interventions to reverse the decline in the local foundry and scrap processing sector which resulted in over 10 000 job losses," Minister Patel said.

    Minister Patel had issued a policy directive on scrap metal exports in May 2013 that was followed by ITAC’s announcement in August 2013 of new export permit guidelines that came into effect on 16 September 2013.

    In terms of these guidelines, exporters of scrap metal have to first offer domestic foundries, mini-mills and secondary smelters scrap metal at a price discounted by 20% to international prices before qualifying for an export permit.

    The ITAC administered price preference system is intended to improve the security of supply of affordable and quality scrap metal feedstock to the local metal industry, meet government's carbon emission targets and support the public infrastructure plan, which relies on a large level of steel procurement. This system on scrap metal exports is expected to help contribute to the re-ignition of industrialisation and job creation.

    The price preference system formed part of a set of recommendations made by a government-wide team on Iron Ore and Steel in 2012. The recommendations sought to give effect to government efforts to secure a developmental iron ore and steel price in support of downstream value-adding industries and to enhance the competitiveness of the steel value chain. The recommendations were endorsed by Cabinet on 5 December 2012.

    “We expect that the ailing local metal manufacturing industries will begin to grow again, create jobs and above all provide the necessary industrial capacity for the infrastructure build programme. The affordable scrap metal inputs are also important for a series of downstream industries, including construction and the manufacturing of pumps, valves, batteries, cars, automotive components and machinery. Scrap metal processing is a more climate-friendly way to produce certain steel products and government action shows our commitment to greening the economy”, said Minister Patel.

    Minister Patel added that the local demand for scrap metals will be further boosted by the country’s long-range catalytic infrastructure development programme with a series of additional initiatives to assist the sector. These include:

    1. State-Owned Companies’ capital expenditure programmes with a localisation drive including the local production of Transnet and PRASA’s rolling stock, power pylons and other products; and
    2. The establishment of the National Foundry Technology Network with its key objective of facilitating the development of a revitalised foundry industry through appropriate skills training, technology transfer and diffusion of state-of-the-art technologies.

    Issued by the Ministry of Economic Development
    Enquiries: Manelisi Wolela - 0713134192 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
    Download a copy of the Media Release and Judgement - Scrap Metal Exports

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    Minister Patel Welcomes Efforts To Fast-Track Youth Entry Into Business

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    MEDIA RELEASE 21 October 2013

    Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel today congratulated public agencies for joining hands to drive youth entrepreneurship and employment. The youth entrepreneurship programmes of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (sefa) have already approved loans to 44 youth owned enterprises since the signing of the Youth Employment Accord earlier this year.

    Minister Patel’s comments followed the launch of a programme to implement joint initiatives of the IDC, sefa and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in Pietermaritzburg – KwaZulu Natal today – 21 October 2013.

    Minister Patel welcomed the partnership which includes a grant of R10 million by the IDC to NYDA to help finance a youth targeted Voucher Programme that seeks to introduce more young people to the business world. He noted progress made since May this year, after the signing of the Youth Employment Accord and the IDC and sefa announced youth focussed programmes. These programmes have to date supported 44 youth owned businesses with concessional lending and financial support to the value of R37.4 million.

    The IDC, sefa and NYDA have entered into a partnership to increase the number and quality of youth applications for business funding and to improve approvals through ensuring user-friendly systems while maintaining appropriate controls in granting loans for youth-owned businesses.

    Minister Patel said the sharing of operational data between the three agencies will help avoid duplication of processes to consider applications, increase the footprint of youth interventions and improve the impact of the youth entrepreneurship funding in South Africa. He said joint efforts to strengthen pre- and post funding Business Support Services will help reduce the small business failure rate.

    “It is critical that business, labour and other social partners place employment and empowerment of young people at the centre of efforts to build a sustainable future for all South Africans”, said Minister Patel. He said young people must be brought into the economic mainstream and young black industrialists must be nurtured and supported.

    Issued by the Ministry of Economic Development
    Enquiries: Manelisi Wolela - 0713134192 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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    220 buses and 9 000 taxis assembled locally by year-end

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    MEDIA RELEASE 14 October 2013

    Minister Ebrahim Patel announces 220 buses and 9 000 taxis assembled locally by year-end as a result of new industrialisation efforts by government and private sector.

    The new locally-assembeld buses for use by Joburg's Rea Vaya public transport system was launched today when Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, and Gauteng Premier Mokonyane visited the factory in Germiston and took a bus ride to Millpark station.

    Minister Patel said that the ReaVaya system is the country's first and currently the most advanced integrated public transport system. The system to date cost R3,8 billion, of which about half, or R1,7 bn is for the current, phase 1B.

    "At its core, it seeks to bring many of the benefits of car ownership to the public transport system: namely flexibility, speed and wide access. As the system develops, it is likely to attract a wider base of users, both working and middle class users, as we see is the case across the world. To date, the Rea Vaya system has created 21 925 jobs in the construction phase," he said.

    Welcoming the launch of the new phase of the Rea Vaya system, Minister Patel pointed to government's success with localising bus, train and taxi manufacturing in South Africa.

    "Last year, national government made changes to the procurement regulations to designate the bus industry for local procurement. What that means is that all public entities across all three spheres of government will procure only locally-assembled buses. Following that decision, the City of Joburg as well as the Cape Town metro put this requirement into their conditions of tender. Marco Polo will now assemble the buses for the country's largest city and Busmark will assemble Cape Town's buses in the Western Cape," he said.

    "As we roll out the integrated public transport system in the other ten cities, they too will specify locally-manufactured buses for public entities to purchase, creating we hope the economies of scale and market size that will see a dynamic, competitive local bus assembly industry. Our national infrastructure plan is not simply the development of infrastructure. It is also a major effort to support broad-based industrialisation and skills development," Minister Patel said.

    "Within this 12 months, 220 buses would have been made locally in the two largest metros with tender value of R 624 m. Just two years ago, Joburg was importing all of its buses. We are now also producing 9000 minibus taxis locally, in new production centres in eThekwini and Springs and are ramping up production of trains in South Africa. These build on the success of the yellow metals production of earth-moving equipment in Richards Bay and the large car assembly industry," he said.

    "Rea Vaya is part of a wider, R4,3 trillion infrastructure programme that is fundamentally reshaping the economy and the society," Minister Patel said.

    "The National Infrastructure Plan announced in 2012 is the biggest intervention by government to lay the physical platform for inclusive growth and social development, in more than 40 years. It consists of 18 Strategic Integrated Projects, or what we call SIPs, that is turning the country into a construction site," he said.

    The projects include rail-lines to the untapped manganese, coal, chromium, platinum and paladium mineral reserves of the country. It contains the plans to build new dams such as in the E Cape, new hospitals across the country, two new universities and additional energy generating power stations using solar and coal energy and large new windfarms. It recognises the importance of broadband rollout to provide the communication backbone for a modern economy.

    A large part of the plan is devoted to improving the logistics systems of South Africa, through new railway lines, a new seaport as well as new inland ports and an upgrade of the road systems.

    "All these programmes are intended to make the life of citizens better through creating new economic opportunities and creating jobs, and by making our cities and rural areas better places to live," Minister Patel said.

    "The spatial geography of apartheid separated out the economic hubs and the residentail areas. It did so most dramatically through the old bantustan system that kept labour reserves in impoverished parts of the country, to service the affluent urban areas. But that same pattern was reproduced in the cities themselves, with the growth of large townships such as Soweto, that were dormitory settlements from which workers were transported daily to the industrial and commercial areas and affluent suburbs," he said.

    The infrastructure programme seeks to address this legacy through improved spatial planning system to connect work and residence in a more integrated way.

    "The other intervention is to improve the ability, through smarter and more integrated transport systems, for workers to travel to and from work. Modern cities work on a combination of transport modes: our challenge has been to connect these seamlessly so that workers can use these in combination to reach their destinations," he said.

    The Rea Vaya system is part of a thirteen city new integrated public transport system. These systems are currently being constructed in six cities, namely Johannesburg, Tshwane, Rustenburg, Cape Town, eThekwini and Nelson Mandela Bay

    Over the next five years, government plans to roll these out to an additional seven cities, with integrated systems planned for Mbombela, Mangaung, Buffalo City, Polokwane, Msunduzi, Ekurhuleni and George.

    Minister Ebrahim Patel announces 220 buses and 9 000 taxis assembled locally by year-end as a result of new industrialisation efforts by government and private sector.

    Issued by the Ministry of Economic Development
    Enquiries: Manelisi Wolela - 0713134192 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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    Minister Patel urges student leaders to be economic development activists

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    MEDIA RELEASE 10 July 2013

    Audio Clips for Radio Stations and online publications

    Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has urged the student leadership in universities and other institutions of higher learning to embrace government’s New Growth Path that is aimed at building a transformed, industrialised and jobs rich economy.

    Addressing over 200 student leaders from across the country who attended a Student Leadership Summit held at the University of Johannesburg in Gauteng today, Minister Patel welcomed the initiative by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

    He went on to urge the students to be activists for economic transformation.

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    In words: The tradition .........
    out-words: .......help shape the economy
    Duration: 1 min 8 seconds)

    The success of government’s efforts to transform the economy and change society is largely dependent on, among others, the ability of higher educational institutions to produce graduates with critical skills required to boost industrialisation and manufacturing in South Africa, Minister Patel said.

    He said although South Africa had created over 640 000 jobs since the adoption of the New Growth Path in 2010, a lot more needed to be done to increase the rate of job creation and for the economy to absorb thousands of young people that leave schools and universities looking for jobs each year.

    This was the first ever Summit of its kind by the DHET.

    Issued by the Ministry of Economic Development
    Enquiries: Manelisi Wolela - 071 3134192

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    DM to visit Mkhanyakude District Municipality to facilitate interface between government and emerging entrepreneurs

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    The Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Prof H. Mkhize invites members of the media to a briefing which will take place as follows:
    Date: 12 June 2013
    Time: 14h00PM – 14h30PM
    Venue: Umlingo Hall Umkuze

    Deputy Minister of the Department of Economic Development Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, will on Friday (12 July, 2013) visit Mkhanyakude District Municipality to facilitate interface between government departments, agencies, cooperatives and other emerging entrepreneurs.

    Prof Mkhize will avail information and raise awareness among cooperatives and other emerging entrepreneurs regarding: o Access to finance;
    o Access to markets;
    o Product development;
    o And other related services

    The visit of the Deputy Minister is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, instil the spirit of self-reliance among cooperatives; promote economic inclusion of the vulnerable (women, youth and people living with disabilities), share government’s policies and work around the social economy.

    These are some of the initiatives by the government to ensure that there is economic inclusion in the rural areas.

    Prof Mkhize will be accompanied by senior government officials, across the economic cluster and officials from financial and enterprise development agencies.

    Members of the media are invited to attend this program as we intend to facilitate economic inclusion by assisting the participants to understand opportunities which are created by the state, draw their attention to the importance of acquiring skills required to succeed within their economic sectors of interest, to promote linkages between entrepreneurs and established industries, so as to ensure that they scale up and become sustainable.

    Issued by the Office of the Deputy Minister of Economic Development
    For more information contact Issued Ms Sakina Mohamed,
    Media Liaison officer In the Deputy Minister’s Office,
    Cell: 071 472 6978 or
    Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    The contact person at the event site is Ms Hlengiwe Mavimbela 082 698 7165

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    DM to visit Zululand District Municipality to facilitate interface between government and emerging entrepreneurs.

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    The Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Prof H. Mkhize invites members of the media to a briefing which will take place as follows:

    Date: 12 June 2013
    Time: 8h30 AM – 9h00 AM
    Venue: Old Assembly Chambers

    Deputy Minister of the Department of Economic Development Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, will on Friday (12 July, 2013) visit Zululand District Municipality to facilitate interface between government departments, agencies, cooperatives and other emerging entrepreneurs.

    Prof Mkhize will avail information
    o And other related services

    The visit of the Deputy Minister is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, instil the spirit of self-reliance among cooperatives; promote economic inclusion of the vulnerable (women, youth and people living with disabilities), share government’s policies and work around the social economy.

    These are some of the initiatives by the government to ensure that there is economic inclusion in the rural areas.

    Prof Mkhize will be accompanied by senior government officials, across the economic cluster and officials from financial and enterprise development agencies.

    Members of the media are invited to attend this program as we intend to facilitate economic inclusion by assisting the participants to understand opportunities which are created by the state, draw their attention to the importance of acquiring skills required to succeed within their economic sectors of interest, to promote linkages between entrepreneurs and established industries, so as to ensure that they scale up and become sustainable.

    Issued by the Office of the Deputy Minister of Economic Development
    For more information contact Issued Ms Sakina Mohamed,
    Media Liaison officer In the Deputy Minister’s Office,
    Cell: 071 472 6978 or
    Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    The contact person at the event site is Ms Nqobile Dlamini 0834247075

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    Minister Patel Calls On Company Boards To Fight Cartels

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    MEDIA RELEASE 26 June 2013

    Audio Clips for Radio Stations and online publications

    Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has called on company boards to play their role in combating cartels and promoting good corporate culture in South African businesses.

    Minister Patel says “cartels have been dismantled in the construction industry” sending a “clear signal that government is determined to stamp out collusion and price fixing in the industry.” Minister was interviewed by a local radio station Radio 702, after the announcement of R1.46 billion penalties metered out by the Competition Commission against 15 construction companies agreed to settle with the competition authorities.

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    Out-words: “..... claims against them
    Duration: 53 seconds

    That is Minister Ebrahim Patel of Economic Development on a Radio 702 interview about the announcement of the largest quantum of penalties against companies involved in collusion and price fixing. He said over and above the penalties, companies involved are expected to institute programmes to promote compliance with the competition law, empower their staff to ensure no one claims ignorance and cooperation in providing evidence against other participants in the cartel who have not admitted guilt and settled.

    Minister Patel addressing a media conference after the announcement of fines against 15 companies that accepted the construction fast-track settlement process by the Competition Commission in Pretoria on 24 June 1013. With the Minister is Deputy Commissioner Oliver Josie.  The fifteen companies were fined a collective R1.46 billion,  the biggest collective fine since the the establishment of the competition authorities in 1999

    Issued by the Economic Development Department
    Enquiries: Manelisi Wolela – 071 313419
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Scam Alert
All Service Providers and Businesses

The Economic Development Department wishes to advise members of the public, particularly those in business, to be alert to a scam utilizing the logo of the Economic Development Department. The fraudsters involved send unsuspecting business operators a Request for Quotations for the provision of Solar Panels.

As the Economic Development Department, we wish to state that we do not have such a project, and therefore beware that the Request for Quotation is not from the Economic Development Department.

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