Indaba to look into NW's economy

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pretoria - North West province will convene an indaba to determine whether the provincial economy is officially out of recession, said Premier Maureen Modiselle on Thursday.

Modiselle said although statistically the national recession period was over, an Integrated Economy Recovery Plan would be developed at the Indaba which would be informed by the answers to the question of whether the province was out of a recession or not.

"Our economic growth remains challenged by infrastructure and investment backlogs, inappropriate growth skills, shifting investor patterns, SMME unfriendly regulatory framework as well as the cost and competitiveness of business," said Modiselle.

She said the province was pursuing a development zone-based strategy for the manufacturing sector, which would reduce the dependency on the primary sectors of agriculture and mining.

"Our success in the development of the manufacturing sector depends on us ensuring that the mandates of development finance institutions are clear and truly developmental," she said.

Modiselle also reiterated her government's commitment to rural development by developing a comprehensive and clear rural development strategy to sustain decent livelihoods and promote the role of agriculture.

She said the strategy would in the main be focused on food security and decent job creation and to this effect a pilot project had been launched at Mokgalwaneng Village in Moses Kotane.

"Together with social and private sector partners in this field, a stakeholder driven intervention process has been created and this recognises the interests of both small and commercial farmer."

Modiselle says since the province is rural and also mainly an agricultural economy, they will only realize growth if they focus on creating rural and agriculture based industries.

The province has also developed an Agricultural Master Plan that will provide the vegetation demographics of the province.

The plan will direct provincial planning in terms of infrastructure deployment in support of agricultural industry creation, said Modiselle.