Boost for township economy as Gauteng plans to spend more

Monday, February 20, 2017

Johannesburg – The township economy will get a further boost as the Gauteng Provincial Government intends to increase its spending on township based enterprises.

Speaking during his State of the Province Address in Randfontein, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said his administration will continue to invest in economic infrastructure in the townships, including the refurbishment of industrial parks.

“With regard to the revitalisation and mainstreaming of the township economy, the Gauteng Provincial Government has increased its spending on the township economy from R600 million in 2014 to R6 billion in 2016,” Premier Makhura said.

The Premier said public procurement policy is one of the instruments that government has at its disposal to deracialise the economy and help bring historically disadvantaged groups into the mainstream of the economy.

He said the Gauteng Provincial Government has reached a critical point wherein 91% of the procurement budget of R46 billion is directed to empower black people, women, youth and people with disabilities.

“Of the 12 000 companies that conduct business with our provincial administration, 10 000 of them are HDIs (historically disadvantaged individuals), including township enterprises.”

Premier Makhura said some of the radical measures his administration is undertaking, in partnership with key industry leaders, include:

  • Assisting and encouraging black firms and township enterprises to get involved in localisation and manufacturing initiatives so that they can produce goods locally and sell them to domestic and foreign markets.
  • Setting conditions for big companies doing business with government to sub-contract at least 30% of the main contract to qualifying black firms and township enterprises in a manner that ensures their meaningful participation.

He said there are promising projects underway with regard to township industrial hubs, agri-parks, human settlements, roads, renewable energy and social infrastructure.

On infrastructure investment, Premier Makhura said his administration has spent close to R30 billion between 2013 and 2016 on infrastructure, translating into an average annual growth rate of 20.7% – the fastest growth rate in the country.

He said evidence emerging from a commissioned study conducted by auditing firm KPMG regarding public infrastructure investment has found that:

  • 92 000 direct jobs were added to the Gauteng economy through infrastructure spend.
  • Infrastructure spend raised R 15 billion to support household incomes.
  • On average every R1 spent on infrastructure, adds 92 cents to the Gauteng economy.
  • Infrastructure spend increased government revenue by R 6 billion.
  • Infrastructure spend resulted in additional economic activity worth R26 billion.

Premier Makhura said Gauteng was on track to change the face of the economy and continue to empower more young people. – TLM

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