The South African Premier Business Awards that took place in Sandton this week saw Ms Nana Sabelo being crowned the inaugural winner of the Black Industrialist Award in recognition of her business’ efforts to contribute in the country’s economic growth and job creation through manufacturing and economic transformation.
In a keynote speech that he delivered before the crowning of the winners, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies said the Black Industrialist Award recognised black-empowered enterprises with a high employment creation rate. The award, he added, was aimed at promoting transformation, broad-based participation and industrialisation amongst the historically disadvantaged individuals and communities.
Minister Davies said the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) had financially supported 24 black-owned companies since the inception of its Black Industrialists Programme last year. That Sabelo’s company, Thata uBeke (TUB) Manufacturing is not among the beneficiaries bears testimony to her determination to toil long and hard in order to earn her stripes in the cut-throat world of business in general and the manufacturing sector in particular.
TUB is 100% black, woman-owned company which started trading in 2008. It comprises of four divisions, namely electronics, electro-mechanical, design and quality assurance. The company, which is based in Ekurhuleni and has a staff complement of 190 people, including 50 interns from Denel, operates in the military, automotive, mining, agriculture, renewable energy and security industries across South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, North America and Europe.
“The award brings hope to black women in particular, and black manufacturers in general because we are always told that we cannot make it in the manufacturing sector. The fact that it is an augural award means that we are part of this pioneering process of getting black people to participate and contribute meaningfully in the economy of this country. We are proud of this achievement. I hope all black manufacturers will be inspired knowing that their hard work will be recognised and rewarded,” said Sabelo.
Sabelo expressed her support for the Black Industrialists Programme saying the financial assistance that government will be providing to black manufacturers will go a long way in speeding economic transformation.Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.