In a move aimed at increasing economic prosperity and combatting the country’s ever-growing unemployment rate, the Gauteng Provincial Government has pledged to spend R60bn in the next five years on developing infrastructure that will facilitate the creation of 100 000 jobs.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura, who was delivering State of the Province Address (Sopa) at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria on Tuesday, said the government was actively trying to turn the country’s economic fortunes around by upgrading programmes such as Welfare-to-Work.
“Every company in every sector that requires our support must create opportunities for the youth. We are using the lever of public procurement policy decisively to promote youth employment, women empowerment, and the growth of black businesses and township-based enterprises,” Makhura said.
As part of this initiative, Makhura said they would spend R4bn a year on buying goods and services from approximately 2 000 township undertakings as well as support 50 black industrialists to oversee construction of the infrastructure that would facilitate the planned job creation.
The province will also focus on exporting goods and services throughout the continent, particularly with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area in place.
“Through the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, we intend to increase exports to the continent by 15% by 2025. In 2030, intra-Africa trade should contribute to the creation and maintenance of 150 000 jobs, up from the current 50 000 jobs. We also want to increase exports to major regions of the world by 10% by 2025,” he said. – Bjorn Vorster