Gauteng premier to tackle unemploymentComment on this story
Johannesburg -In six months’ time, the newly elected Gauteng Premier David Makhura will outline his plans to secure more than 300 000 jobs in the next five years.
Makhura made the promise on Friday morning when he delivered his maiden State of the Province address in the Gauteng provincial legislature in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni.
He was quick to point out that Gauteng was a major contributor to the country’s gross domestic product and the southern African region but said Gauteng was hit hard by unemployment, the casualisation of labour and high income inequalities.
He said a large number of black people were excluded in the mainstream economy.
“We are trailing behind other city regions in the world with regard to investing in skills, research, innovation and economic infrastructure that enables us to build a smart and green economy. All these structural problems have to be addressed.”
Makhura said: “We are determined to revitalise and mainstream the economy by supporting township enterprises, co-operatives and SMMEs that will produce goods and services that meet the needs of township residents.”
He said township entrepreneurs were capable of producing food (bread for schools and hospitals), clothes (school and police uniforms) and furniture (for government offices). “This will bring millions of township residents into the mainstream of the economy,” he said.
The premier said a summit to flesh out the plans would be held in the next 200 days.
He said his second priority would be to invest in the ICT (information and communications technology), manufacturing and construction and other key sectors of the economy.
His government would involve research institutions and undertake massive industrialisation of the Gauteng economy, including a roll-out of infrastructure development in places like Krugersdorp, Germiston and Springs.
“To boost employment and economic inclusion, the provincial government and municipalities will procure 75 percent of all goods and services from South African producers, especially SMMEs, township enterprises and black-owned, woman and youth enterprises.
“We are working closely with state-owned enterprises, Prasa and Transnet, to re-industrialise our province and build economic infrastructure that will boost employment creation and economic inclusion through investing more than R300 billion in post, freight, rail and pipeline capacity,” Makhura said.
Makhura also said youth hubs would be established in places like Diepsloot, Bekkersdal, Thokoza, Sharpeville, Mamelodi and Kliptown – the first being in Diepsloot.
The other commitment he made was that any new housing development in Gauteng in future should be located in areas closer to places of work.
“We shall work with municipalities and national government to ensure all township roads are tarred, eradicate the bucket system, turn hostels into family units and prevent illegal land invasion and the growth of informal settlements.
“Better and integrated urban planning and development is the best way to manage rapid urbanisation,” he said.