Msi­manga told of busi­ness

Sunday Observer - - NEWS -

PRE­TO­RIA

- A group of in­dus­tri­al­ists in Bronkhorstspruit on Fri­day vented their frus­tra­tions about the dif­fi­cul­ties they faced do­ing busi­ness at the Ekan­dus­tria In­dus­trial Park near the town.

This was dur­ing a meet­ing they held at the Bronkhorstspruit Bowl­ing Club with Tsh­wane Mayor Solly Msi­manga. Mike Ham­mond be­moaned the fact that eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties at the in­dus­trial park con­tin­ued to de­te­ri­o­rate. He said lo­cal fac­to­ries pre­vi­ously em­ployed at least 25 000, but that num­ber had de­creased dra­mat­i­cally to a only few thou­sand.

“The sit­u­a­tion is dire as fac­to­ries will soon em­ploy fewer than 1 000 peo­ple af­ter one of the play­ers threat­ened to move out,” he said.

Ham­mond t ook a s wipe at t he Mpumalanga Eco­nomic Growth Agency (MEGA) - the en­tity which man­aged the in­dus­trial park - say­ing it was “ab­so­lutely use­less”.

For years t he e nt i t y bel onged to Mpumalanga Prov­ince, but it was re­cently trans­ferred to the Gaut­eng Prov­ince, ac­cord­ing to Msi­manga.

“The pre­mier (David Makhura) was in the area re­cently and he an­nounced that the trans­fer has al­ready taken place. What we need is for the trans­fer to take place from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to the City of Tsh­wane so that the city can in­vest in the in­dus­trial area,” he said.

There were com­plaints that the in­dus­trial park had be­come di­lap­i­dated due to lack of main­te­nance by MEGA.

In re­sponse, Msi­manga said MEGA wanted to hold on to Ekan­dus­tria be­cause it used to re­ceive grants.

Ham­mond said: “Peo­ple are un­happy, de­jected, tired and gatvol. Ev­ery sin­gle in­dus­tri­al­ist has a prob­lem with MEGA. MEGA has to go and it should have gone 20 years ago.”

He said the in­dus­trial park has po­ten­tial for busi­ness to flour­ish and to cre­ate more jobs. “It has in­fra­struc­ture in place. It can em­ploy at least 50 000 peo­ple,” he said. Ham­mond pro­posed that the city and lo­cal busi­ness­peo­ple form a fo­rum where they could voice their con­cerns.

Msi­manga bought into the pro­posal, sug­gest­ing that the MMC for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Spa­tial Plan­ning, Ran­dall Wil­liams, should head the fo­rum.

eNCA

Tsh­wane Mayor Solly Msi­manga.

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