Build­ing a Gaut­eng of dreams |

By the year 2030, the prov­ince will have the big­gest in­land lo­gis­tics hub and dry port on the con­ti­nent

Pretoria News - - BUSINESSRE­PORT - Kiz­ito Okechukwu is the co-chair­per­son of the Global En­trepreneur­ship Net­work (GEN) Africa; 22 on Sloane is Africa’s largest start-up cam­pus.

LAST WEEK I at­tended Gaut­eng Pre­mier David Makhura’s State of the Prov­ince ad­dress at the Se­fako Mak­gatho Health Sciences Uni­ver­sity in Ga-Rankuwa.

The speech was one of the best I had heard and the ob­vi­ous pas­sion in his tone made it ev­i­dent that he would de­liver on his plans.

He un­veiled a plan of ac­tion to gal­vanise the en­ergy and cre­ativ­i­ties of all sec­tors of the pop­u­la­tion to take spe­cific ac­tions to­wards the Gaut­eng of our dreams.

He also made it clear that the most im­por­tant goal is to grow the econ­omy in or­der to mas­sively in­crease the num­ber of new jobs, while sus­tain­ing ex­ist­ing jobs in Gaut­eng.

He iden­ti­fied seven pri­or­i­ties and spe­cific in­ter­ven­tions in strate­gic sec­tors and cor­ri­dors to achieve op­ti­mal out­comes dur­ing the decade, which are: econ­omy, jobs and in­fra­struc­ture; ed­u­ca­tion, skills and health­care; sus­tain­able hu­man set­tle­ments, new cities and land re­lease; safety, so­cial co­he­sion and food se­cu­rity; a sus­tain­able fu­ture for all; build­ing a ca­pa­ble, eth­i­cal and de­vel­op­men­tal state; build­ing a bet­ter Africa and bet­ter world.

I will fo­cus on the econ­omy, jobs and in­fra­struc­ture.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pre­mier, Gaut­eng will achieve its jobs tar­get by fo­cus­ing on th­ese high-growth sec­tors: en­ergy, with a fo­cus on new tech­nolo­gies and a di­verse en­ergy mix; trans­porta­tion and lo­gis­tics; ICT, me­dia and dig­i­tal ser­vices (the dig­i­tal econ­omy); tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity; food, bev­er­ages, agro-pro­cess­ing and agribusi­ness; con­struc­tion and in­fra­struc­ture; au­to­mo­tive, aero­space and de­fence; fi­nan­cial ser­vices; cul­tural and cre­ative in­dus­tries and the in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of cannabis.

The prov­ince will im­prove the ease of do­ing busi­ness in each sec­tor, de­velop a skilled work­force for each in­dus­try and build an en­abling in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing spe­cial eco­nomic zones (SEZ’s) and in­dus­trial parks.

By 2025, the Gaut­eng City re­gion will have three fully op­er­at­ing SEZ’s in Ekurhu­leni, Tsh­wane and Sed­ibeng and a spe­cial agro-pro­cess­ing zone on the West Rand.

In ad­di­tion, there will be 15 re­vi­talised in­dus­trial parks, 12 agri-parks and five agro-pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties across the five cor­ri­dors. This will be a sin­gle in­dus­trial ecosys­tem that sup­ports the 10 high-growth sec­tors and town­ship small, mi­cro and medium en­ter­prises (SMME’s).

By 2030, Gaut­eng will have the big­gest in­land lo­gis­tics hub and dry port in Africa – the Transnet Tambo-Springs Lo­gis­tics Gate­way. This will give the prov­ince a ma­jor com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage on the con­ti­nent.

Glob­ally com­pet­i­tive in­fra­struc­ture and lo­gis­tics ca­pa­bil­i­ties will also un­leash the po­ten­tial of the 10 high growth sec­tors, cre­ate mas­sive job op­por­tu­ni­ties and fa­cil­i­tate the en­try of new SMMEs, town­ship busi­nesses and black in­dus­tri­al­ists into the main­stream of our econ­omy.

In the next five years, the Gaut­eng pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment will spend R60 bil­lion on build­ing and main­tain­ing in­fra­struc­ture, which will con­trib­ute to the cre­ation of an ad­di­tional 100 000 jobs and fa­cil­i­tate the de­vel­op­ment of 50 black in­dus­tri­al­ists.

The prov­ince will up-scale its wel­fare to work pro­grammes that will en­able 100 000 un­em­ployed women (who cur­rently de­pend on state grants), to ad­vance to self-em­ploy­ment in the town­ship econ­omy.

Us­ing the lever of the pub­lic pro­cure­ment pol­icy de­ci­sively to pro­mote youth em­ploy­ment, women em­pow­er­ment and the growth of black busi­ness and town­ship based en­ter­prises, the prov­ince will set up its em­pow­er­ment pro­grammes by:

◆ Spend­ing R4bn per an­num on buy­ing goods and ser­vices from 2 000 town­ship en­ter­prises.

◆ Us­ing its in­fra­struc­ture pro­gramme to sup­port 50 black com­pa­nies, en­abling them to grow into sig­nif­i­cant play­ers in the 10 high-growth sec­tors of the Gaut­eng econ­omy.

◆ Sup­port­ing 50 emerg­ing black farm­ers and 20 black agro-pro­ces­sors to turn their busi­nesses into full-scale com­mer­cial en­ter­prises.

◆ Sup­port­ing 500 co-op­er­a­tives in the care econ­omy through an en­abling pol­icy frame­work that will en­able gov­ern­ment to buy uni­forms, dig­nity packs and food packs for vul­ner­a­ble house­holds di­rectly from co-op­er­a­tives, in­stead of go­ing through es­tab­lished busi­nesses.

The Pre­mier also stated that ma­te­ri­als for build­ing houses, schools, hos­pi­tals, clin­ics, roads and gov­ern­ment build­ings must be sourced from lo­cal com­pa­nies. In­stal­la­tions, re­pairs and main­te­nance on pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties will be done by ar­ti­sans from town­ships.

This year, the prov­ince will in­tro­duce the Town­ship Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Bill, which will nul­lify all by-laws that in­hibit, frus­trate and sup­press the op­er­a­tions of SMMEs and in­for­mal busi­nesses in the prov­ince. The new law will cre­ate con­di­tions for SMMEs and town­ship busi­nesses to cre­ate wealth and em­ploy­ment as they grow and pros­per.

An­other im­por­tant goal in the Pre­mier’s plan to grow the econ­omy is to in­crease Gaut­eng’s ex­ports and trade within the con­ti­nent.

The 10 iden­ti­fied high-growth sec­tors will pro­duce man­u­fac­tured goods and ser­vices that must be des­tined for the en­tire Africa Con­ti­nen­tal Free Trade Area.

Through the Gaut­eng Growth and De­vel­op­ment Agency, the prov­ince will in­crease its ex­ports to the con­ti­nent by 15 per­cent by 2025.

In 2030, in­tra-Africa trade should con­trib­ute to the cre­ation and main­te­nance of 150 000 jobs, up from the cur­rent 50 000 jobs. It also in­tends to in­crease ex­ports to ma­jor re­gions of the world by 10 per­cent by 2025.

Fi­nally, the prov­ince will con­tinue to drive ag­gres­sive in­vest­ment agen­das to un­lock ma­jor cor­ri­dors and eco­nomic nodes across the five de­vel­op­ment cor­ri­dors of the Gaut­eng City re­gion.

In the North­ern Cor­ri­dor, its goal is to po­si­tion Tsh­wane’s econ­omy as the hub of the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try in Gaut­eng. Other sec­tors in­clude agri­cul­ture, agro-pro­cess­ing, de­fence, aero­space and aviation, as well as in­no­va­tion, re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

In the Eastern Cor­ri­dor, its goal is to con­sol­i­date Ekurhu­leni as Africa’s largest aerotropo­lis and a ma­jor hub for man­u­fac­tur­ing, trans­port and lo­gis­tics in the SADC re­gion. Other sec­tors in­clude rail and bus man­u­fac­tur­ing, de­fence and aero­space; food and bev­er­ages and agro-pro­cess­ing.

In the South­ern Cor­ri­dor, its goal is to build a new econ­omy based on man­u­fac­tur­ing, lo­gis­tics, agri­cul­ture and agro-pro­cess­ing.

In the West­ern Cor­ri­dor, its goal is min­ing, bus man­u­fac­tur­ing, agri-busi­ness and agro-pro­cess­ing, re­new­able en­ergy and tourism.

In the Cen­tral Cor­ri­dor, its aim is to con­sol­i­date Jo­han­nes­burg’s po­si­tion as Africa’s fi­nan­cial and tech­no­log­i­cal nerve cen­tre with global com­pet­i­tive ca­pa­bil­i­ties in busi­ness ser­vices, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, in­no­va­tion, re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

Af­ter the Pre­mier’s ad­dress, I truly felt re-en­er­gised, reignited, hope­ful and ready to go, es­pe­cially, un­der the cur­rent eco­nomic clouds of un­cer­tainty.

I be­lieve that the Pre­mier and his com­mit­ted team will walk the talk to­wards achiev­ing the am­bi­tious goal of Grow­ing Gaut­eng To­gether. I wish them all the best and I am ex­cited to note the sig­nif­i­cant in­clu­sion of start-ups and SMME’s in the Pre­mier’s master plan, may they too ben­e­fit from th­ese prospects.

JAC­QUES NAUDE African News Agency (ANA)

GAUT­ENG Pre­mier David Makhura de­liv­ers his State of the Prov­ince ad­dress at the Se­fako Mak­gatho Health Sciences Uni­ver­sity in Ga-Rankuwa last week. This writer says that af­ter the ad­dress he felt re-en­er­gised, reignited, hope­ful and ready to go, es­pe­cially un­der the cur­rent eco­nomic clouds of un­cer­tainty. I

KIZ­ITO OKECHUKWU

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