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Ambitious plans to grow Gauteng’s economy

Provincial war room to help drive economic recovery

Gauteng Premier David Makhura delivers his state of the province address at the Brixton multipurpose centre in Johannesburg.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura delivers his state of the province address at the Brixton multipurpose centre in Johannesburg.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The Gauteng provincial government has an ambitious plan to transform, modernise and reindustrialise the province’s economy. In 2020, it launched the Growing Gauteng Together plan to double the size of the province’s economy, double the number of people employed, grow exports, reduce poverty and promote economic empowerment by 2030.

Bringing together government and industry leaders, the Gauteng government has established a provincial war room to help drive the province’s economic recovery, unlock growth, create employment and support SMME development.

Speaking at the annual State of the Province Address recently, Gauteng premier David Makhura explained that the war room aims to open up value chains, build competitive local content production, promote commercially meaningful enterprises and support supplier development, SMMEs and township enterprises.

The war room has been responsible for establishing sector-specific action labs to focus on problem-solving and social compacting platforms.Working with the Public-Private Growth Initiative, the province plans to work with business, organised labour, SOEs and relevant national government departments to re-invigorate the Gauteng economy.

A number of initiatives are already in place to help grow Gauteng’s economy, reported Makhura. Working together with stakeholders from across the digital economy landscape, for example, the provincial government is ensuring work progresses on the digital services sector and that Gauteng’s 4IR strategy is supported.

It has also partnered with the University of Johannesburg to turn the province’s growing e-waste (primarily electrical appliances and electrical devices) problem into an economic opportunity while at the same time protecting the environment. The partnership will see the youth trained to recycle and create something meaningful from discarded devices and appliances.

To support the aviation and tourism and hospitality sectors – both of which were hard-hit by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – the province is building a Gauteng Air Access partnership in order to attract more passenger and cargo airlines to operate from OR Tambo International and Lanseria airports.

To ensure food security and promote urban agriculture, Gauteng in partnership with the Agricultural Development Agency, is working with stakeholders in the food, beverage, agro-processing and agribusiness sectors.

Together with industry role-players, it is also investigating the economic opportunities offered by the cannabis industry. Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised to fast-track regulations for the cannabis industry and review regulations around the production of industrial hemp and cannabis.

Gauteng agrees with the president that the cannabis sector has enormous medicinal and industrial potential as well as the potential to create jobs.

• Brought to you by Gauteng Provincial Government

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