Categorized | Enterprise Development, SMMEs

Premier David Makhura outlines economic transformation plan for province in SOPA

MakhuraGauteng Premier David Makhura delivered his fourth State of the Province Address at the Greenhills Stadium in Randfontein on Monday. The province’s number one citizen unpacked his programme of action which is linked to transformation in the economic sector. The premier said stakeholders have embraced the rapid implementation of the new Provincial Economic Development Plan which will be the priority focus of Team Gauteng in partnership with municipalities and social partners. “We are engaging in an amazing work of direct interaction with business leaders at firm-level and through what we call industry action labs to unlock the employment and empowerment potential of key sectors in our province,” said Makhura.

The premier mentioned that together with industry leaders and municipalities they are identifying leaders and addressing local impediments that hinder the growth in employment, empowerment and exports. “We are doing this work in partnership with the economists from the University of Johannesburg and the Gordon Institute of Business Sciences (GIBS), which is part of the University of Pretoria,” he explained.

Makhura said one of the instruments that government has to use to deracilialize the economy and bring historically disadvantaged groups into the mainstream of the economy is the public procurement policy. “The Gauteng Provincial Government has reached a critical point wherein 91% of our procurement budget of R 46 billion over the MTEF 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, including township enterprises,” he explained.

The premier encouraged all big businesses to support township enterprises which will ensure black-owned companies are sustainable outside of government tenders. Makhura also outlined some of the radical measures his government is undertaking in partnership with key industry leaders and these include the following.

  • 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.
  • Strengthening the supplier development programme to ensure that new and emerging black firms benefit from major contacts in the private sector in terms of skills and technology transfer. 10
  • Supporting new alternative stock exchange initiatives to expand access to capital by historically disadvantaged groups. These include the newly licenced Stock Exchange initiatives and cooperative banking institutions.
  • Working with industry leaders in every major sector of our economy to unlock employment and empowerment opportunities for all the citizens, so that no one is left out.

After the SOPA, Premier Makhura opened the Mohlakeng eKasi Lab for youth tech-preneurs which is located within a stone’s throw from the State of the Province Address venue. Makhura said this was one of the new initiatives the provincial government was setting up for Gauteng youth in every corridor. The premier was accompanied by Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy and Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile. West Rand City executive mayor Mzi Khumalo and Innovation Hub executive director McLean Sibanda were also in attendance at the opening.

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