Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has called on the South African private sector to take advantage of the abundant investment opportunities that exist in various African countries.
Thabethe was on a visit to Megratron Federal Company in Chloorkop, near Tembisa, in Ekurhuleni. Megratron is a power generation, transmission and distribution company.
The company is involved in a $150-million project in Burundi to establish two hydroelectric plants.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has provided the company with R10-million through its Capital Projects Feasibility Programme for the purpose of conducting feasibility studies required before the plants are set up.
Thabethe said the Burundi project was a result of the State visit led by President Jacob Zuma to that country in August last year.
"It is really encouraging to note that a private company has taken advantage of the opportunity that government has created by levelling the economic playing field through the engagement between the two countries' governments.
"We need more companies to take a leaf from Megatron's book and pursue the opportunities that are so abundant in Africa. The private sector has a critical role to play in the development of Africa's infrastructure, which the South African government has also prioritised in its Africa strategy," she said.
Thabethe said government was convinced that companies such as Megatron would play an important role in growing the country's economy and creating employment.
"We will never reach the five-million jobs we are planning to create by 2020 if the private sector is not on board. Government is prepared to support companies like Megatron in order to boost the economy and enhance entrepreneurship in the country."
Government was also giving special attention to the manufacturing sector through the Industrial Policy Action Plan, due to the critical role the sector plays in the economy.
Megatron CEO Ryan Otto said his company was involved in various other projects in countries such as Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola and Ghana.
The company, which was established in 1999 with 20 employees, currently employs 400 people.
Edited by: SANews, SA government news service
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