China pledges R660bn for SA industrialisation

Cape Town – China pledged $50bn (R660bn) towards industrialisation projects in South Africa on Tuesday, ahead of its upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

The pledge was announced during a courtesy visit by Zhang Xiangchen, vice minister of commerce of China, and Lionel October, director-general of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), in Pretoria.

China will also provide 50 technical experts in building and upgrading of industrial parks, building of new power plants, 40 000 training opportunities in different sectors and 200 000 industrial managers to train and develop local industrial managers, according to a dti statement.

Xiangchen said there were several new measures that the Chinese government is finalising to further promote industrialisation and development of the African continent as a whole.

“China-Africa industrialisation partnerships will be at the forefront of any development in the continent followed by agricultural activities,” Xiangchen said in the dti statement.

“China will also increase investments in Africa especially in the Special Economic Zones and provide training in those sectors.”

The courtesy visit also focused on the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be hosted in Johannesburg from 4 to 5 December 2015.

In 2014, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane announced that China would increase training opportunities and provide training for 2 000 South Africans from 2015 to 2020.

"China committed to support South Africa’s industrialisation agenda by agreeing to assist in the development of science and technology and industrial parks, as well as in key areas such as the ocean economy," she said.

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