What support is on offer from DTI?

3 September 2010

Dectra receives many enquiries about grant support. Very often callers remark that most business people are not aware of the grants. Is this true?

We would agree, but our perception is slightly different. Most business people do probably know about the existence of support programs offered by the South African Department of Trade and Industry, but that is about all they know. It is not a shame, as it is not easy to find out what is available.

There are also people who are under the impression that support is only available to persons from previously disadvantaged communities. That certainly is not correct.

If one has to categorise in broad terms, the support programs on offer from DTI, it would be as follows: Support was traditionally aimed at production type activities, with very little support for commercial services. Typically, these support programs were aimed at industries such as product development and manufacturing operations. However, these days it would be more correct to say that support is aimed at industries and commercial activities that are recognised as holding strategic value for the economy, for example, tourism businesses, call centres, the film industry and specific manufacturing industries.

The DTI nowadays takes its lead from the National Industrial Policy Framework (NIPF), a strategy document approved by cabinet and which identifies strategic direction and priorities. An action plan, called the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) is developed from time to time to align the DTI's programs with the NIPF. A revised IPAP, called IPAP2, was released early in 2010. One of the highlights of that document is the focus on agriculture and related value adding industries. We will hopefully see some action on DTI's side to align their support programs with this priority.

Naturally, export promotion is high on the DTI's list of priorities, or rather, it is a standing item and the Export Marketing and the Investment Assistance program (EMIA) has been around for many years. The program is available to any exporter of goods, be it a manufacturer, a trading house or an agent.

Finally, there is a category of programs that specifically offer support to people from previously disadvantaged communities. The Black Business Supplier Development Program (BBSDP) is one such program and it was recently revised. Also, the Cooperative incentive scheme (CIF) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), as Khula, ELRAD (not from DTI) and CASP (not from DTI).

If you are interested to know more, have a look at the details here on our website, or contact us for more information.

Theo Meintjes
Managing Director.

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