Makhura prioritises growth of small, township businesses to fight unemployment

Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

Public facilities will now be maintained by artisans from the townships with the aim of creating jobs and fighting unemployment.

This was announced by Gauteng premier David Makhura in his state of the province address presented at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Ga-Rankuwa, Tshwane, on Tuesday morning.

Makhura said the provincial government would prioritise the growth of small enterprises in townships and improving the ease of doing business.

"From May this year, the installations, repairs and maintenance on our public facilities will be done by artisans from townships. We are extending this programme to willing private sector partners. I am happy to report that the German Chamber of Business is very keen to bring German companies to support this initiative,” he said.

Maintenance of infrastructure has been a serious struggle for the provincial government over the years. Sowetan has many times reported on how Gauteng department of education, for example, struggles to maintain public schools while introducing new state of the art digital schools.

Makhura announced that the provincial government would spend R4bn in sourcing goods and services from 2 000 township businesses. The provincial government will also support 50 black industrialists to enable them to participate in the 10 high-growth sectors of the province. A framework will be developed to support 500 cooperatives in the care economy for them to supply government with uniforms, dignity packs and food packs for vulnerable household, instead of sourcing these from established businesses.

A Township Economic Development Bill will be tabled before the provincial legislature in June to address hurdles faced by small businesses in Gauteng.

“This new law will nullify all by-laws that inhibit, frustrate and suppress the operation of small businesses and informal businesses in our province. This new law will create new conditions for small and township businesses to create wealth and employment as they grow and prosper,” Makhura said.

The provincial government will also work to transform taxi ranks into retail and commercial hubs for local mechanics, panel-beaters, retailers, food sellers and manufacturers.

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