Ac­cel­er­at­ing trans­for­ma­tion and so­cial co­he­sion

CityPress - - Voices -

As the premier of this prov­ince, I have pub­licly stated my deep re­gret and pro­fuse apol­ogy for the tragic death of so many of our vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens who were un­der the care of the Gaut­eng de­part­ment of health.

As we im­ple­ment the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Health Om­bud’s re­port, ev­ery step we take will be guided by the wishes of the fam­i­lies and the ad­vice of the panel of 60 ex­perts ap­pointed by Health Min­is­ter Aaron Mot­soaledi.

This midterm state of the prov­ince ad­dress is about dis­cern­ing the main trends and tra­jec­tory of the suc­cesses and short­com­ings of the ANC-led fifth ad­min­is­tra­tion in Gaut­eng. It is fit­ting and proper to re­flect on the work we are do­ing to re­vi­talise the econ­omy of this re­gion and ac­cel­er­ate so­cial trans­for­ma­tion and so­cial co­he­sion.

The mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and peo­ple of this re­gion refuse to be left be­hind or left out of ev­ery de­vel­op­ment plan and progress in the trans­for­ma­tion, mod­erni­sa­tion and rein­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of Gaut­eng. They are proudly part and par­cel of the Gaut­eng City-Re­gion.

I am pleased to re­port that a lot of progress is be­ing made in this re­gion through part­ner­ships be­tween the pro­vin­cial govern­ment, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and the pri­vate sec­tor. Some of the spe­cific projects in­clude the fol­low­ing: . Hu­man set­tle­ments: 6 500 houses are un­der con­struc­tion in We­stonaria Borwa, 9 000 houses in Kokosi ex­ten­sion 6 and 7, and 1 000 houses in Mohlak­eng ex­ten­sion 11. The Syfer­fontein megapro­ject that will pro­vide up to 40 000 units is fi­nally be­ing launched by MEC Paul Mashatile and me in June, un­der the aus­pices of the West Rand. In ad­di­tion, five pri­vate sec­tor-led mega hu­man set­tle­ments projects will start in April.

. Roads and lo­gis­tics: Up­grad­ing of the N14 highway that links the western cor­ri­dor and the north­ern cor­ri­dor has been com­pleted.

. Tourism: Ex­pan­sion of in­fra­struc­ture at the Maropeng Cra­dle of Hu­mankind World Her­itage Site was com­pleted to ac­com­mo­date the in­crease in tourism num­bers af­ter the dis­cov­ery of Homo naledi.

. The fea­si­bil­ity of a lo­gis­tics hub on the N12 be­tween Rand West and Mer­a­fong has been com­pleted and work will be­gin in 2017.

. Agri­cul­ture and agro­pro­cess­ing: We are sup­port­ing 178 small­holder farm­ers through our farmer sup­port and de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives.

. Es­tab­lish­ment of the We­stonaria hy­dro­ponic Agri-park (with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy in farm­ing); the com­ple­tion of the Mer­a­fong Flora Agri-park, which is now pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity prod­ucts, in­clud­ing toma­toes, cucumbers and green pep­pers; and in­vest­ment in the Isi­gayo milling plant in Rand­fontein.

. In­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and rein­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion: Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of in­dus­trial parks in Khut­song, Mohlak­eng (with Ekasi Labs for youth startup com­pa­nies) and Cham­dor.

. Es­tab­lish­ment of a bi­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing/as­sem­bling fac­tory in Mohlak­eng; and the Bus­mark plant in Rand­fontein, which man­u­fac­tures and as­sem­bles buses for the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Tran­sit sys­tems in met­ros, em­ploy­ing more than 2 000 peo­ple.

Gaut­eng has recorded the largest net gain in new jobs cre­ated since the 2008 global fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Be­tween 2010 and end of 2016, our pro­vin­cial econ­omy cre­ated more than 700 000 new jobs. Since the start of the fifth ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2014, bian­nual em­ploy­ment has reached 317 000, thus break­ing the ceil­ing of 300 000.

In ad­di­tion, we are do­ing work to en­hance the con­tri­bu­tion of in­no­va­tion, re­search and de­vel­op­ment in part­ner­ship with the Coun­cil for Sci­en­tific and In­dus­trial Re­search, the Univer­sity of the Wit­wa­ter­srand and the Vaal Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy through the Gaut­eng In­no­va­tion Hub.

With re­gard to the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion and main­stream­ing of the town­ship econ­omy, the Gaut­eng pro­vin­cial govern­ment has in­creased its spend­ing on the town­ship econ­omy from R600 mil­lion in 2014 to R6 bil­lion in 2016.

This rep­re­sents 22% of the 30% tar­get we have set for 2019. The num­ber of town­ship en­ter­prises ben­e­fit­ing from pub­lic pro­cure­ment pol­icy has in­creased three­fold from 800 in 2014 to more than 2 800 by Jan­uary this year.

Some of the rad­i­cal mea­sures we are un­der­tak­ing in part­ner­ship with key in­dus­try lead­ers in­clude:

. As­sist­ing and en­cour­ag­ing black firms and town­ship en­ter­prises to get in­volved in lo­cal­i­sa­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing ini­tia­tives.

. Set­ting con­di­tions for big com­pa­nies do­ing busi­ness with govern­ment to sub­con­tract at least 30% of the main con­tract to qual­i­fy­ing black firms and town­ship en­ter­prises.

. Strength­en­ing our sup­plier de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme to en­sure that new and emerg­ing black firms ben­e­fit from ma­jor con­tracts in the pri­vate sec­tor in terms of skills and tech­nol­ogy trans­fer.

. Sup­port­ing new al­ter­na­tive stock ex­change ini­tia­tives to ex­pand ac­cess to cap­i­tal by his­tor­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged groups.

. Work­ing with in­dus­try lead­ers in ev­ery ma­jor sec­tor of our econ­omy to un­lock em­ploy­ment and em­pow­er­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for all the cit­i­zens.

Ev­i­dence re­gard­ing pub­lic in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment has found that:

. At least 92 000 di­rect jobs were added into the Gaut­eng econ­omy through in­fra­struc­ture spend.

. In­fra­struc­ture spend raised R15 bil­lion to sup­port house­hold in­comes.

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