Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies on Monday said corruption undermines industrial policy capabilities.
He was speaking during an interactive business breakfast dialogue on the rural township industrial economy that was hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, as well as the eThekwini municipality and Ithala Development Finance Corporation.
“If we have corruption in the awarding of government money to support the programmes, it means somebody who is getting it is not supposed to get it and means the programme itself is weakened.
“Further, if entrepreneurs fail to abide by the law, those that don’t abide by the law unfairly outcompete those that do and this includes collusion; in fact, collusion is the polite name for corruption," said Davies.
The Minister pointed out that over the years, the department has seen a number of dodgy tenders, many of which do not support locally produced products but support imports.
These tenders were some of the actions that undermine the country’s industrial policy capabilities.
He added that these actions weaken one of the most important policy tools – localisation.
“It is important that we don’t allow corruption to take place. A capable State means we want officials who know and implement the policies for the good of the country. The DTI has zero tolerance to corruption. We allow the full might of the law to deal with those who engage in corrupt acts,” Davies asserted.
While sharing views on the importance of the township and rural economy, he highlighted the importance of the Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme which was initiated in 2016 with a focus on revitalising industrial parks.
Many of these are in the townships and rural areas and serve as a key intervention for industrialising the rural and township economy.