Gigaba called on South Africa and other African countries to drive domestic capabilities.
In particular, he called for a shift away from transactional relationships in favour of more long-term and collaborative working between buyer and supplier, with state-owned enterprises (SOEs) leading the way.
“We cannot achieve our industrial ambitions if we enter into short-term transactional relationships with our suppliers,” he said. “The time has come for SOEs to move towards long-term strategic partnerships with key suppliers who can become industrial champions focused on building complex, technologically-advanced capabilities.”
He called for greater responsibility to move down the supply chain to improve capabilities lower down. In particular, he called for companies currently supplying original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to take on greater roles: “A key element of this process is moving the status of South African suppliers from a sub-contractor relationship with the OEMs to that of a prime contractor, taking full responsibility for the delivery of a complex value chain.”
Gigaba also called for greater action to increase trade between African countries, highlighting the importance of trust. He said: “[A] most urgent challenge for Africa is to learn to trust ourselves and each other as business partners, increasingly to do business with one another, to prefer each others’ products instead of always giving business preference to foreign companies.”