Government, private sector partner to grow economy

Randfontein – The Gauteng Provincial Government is working with the private sector in an effort to inclusively grow the economy and create jobs, says Premier David Makhura.

As government embarks on the sixth National Imbizo Focus Week of the current administration, Premier Makhura on Thursday visited the manufacturing and beverage industries in the West Rand.

Premier Makhura said the mining sector in the area is not growing, which meant that the West Rand needed to diversify in order to get other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing and tourism to stimulate growth in the local economy.

Government has committed to developing a new city, improving the road infrastructure as well as investing in bulk infrastructure which include sewer, water and energy in the West Rand.

“We are also making available land that government controls for industrial development to get the West Rand economy out of over reliance on the mining sector, which has been seeing a decline. Mining is not growing - we have to diversify this West Rand economy,” Premier Makhura said.

Earlier this year, mining houses agreed to make land available for the development of West Rand.

“What we are doing in the West Rand we are also doing this in Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and in the Vaal but each area has its uniqueness and we are capitalising on those different sectors of the economy.

“As we address black economic empowerment, we must give opportunities to women and the youth. This is part of our policies to drive the National Development Plan in action,” Premier Makhura said.

He was speaking at Busmark in Randfontein, where he was accompanied by Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi and Finance MEC Barbara Creecy on a tour of the manufacturing plant.

Busmark is a South African company which manufactures buses, steel components and fibre glass.

At the West Rand manufacturing plant, Busmark employs about 1400 people.

Busmark Chief Executive Officer Patuxolo Nodada said his company wants to build the West City Commercial Hub. A feasibility study in this regard has been done in partnership with the provincial government and the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).

The proposals of the West City Commercial Hub include an industrial park, an airport and a logistics hub.

“If we work together we can develop a new city in this region, which we will call West City. This is one of the key things that we want to drive and then we will grow the economy of this region,” Nodada said.

The industrial park will create a demand for building houses as well as other industries such as retail sectors.

Nodada has been advised by the Department of Trade and Industry to get the area to be declared as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The department further committed to contribute 50% towards the infrastructure.

Premier Makhura has instructed government officials who were at present at the event to assist Busmark with applying for an SEZ.

As part of his visit on Thursday, the Premier also conducted a site visit to a Shoe Factory Cooperative, Chemical Incubator Training Centre as well as the SAB Brewery and Depot Tour.

The event formed part of Imbizo Focus Week, which is themed ‘Together we move South Africa forward: Our future – make it work’. It seeks to promote public participation and ensures that voices and perspectives of communities are heard.

Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said: “Government remains committed to have constructive dialogues with citizens. Community members are encouraged to take part in these izimbizo and participate in dialogues and engagements”. – SAnews.gov.za