Pretoria - Mayor Solly Msimanga has called on businesspeople to partner with the City of Tshwane to grow its economy and create employment.
He addressed a group of businesspeople, government senior officials and community members at an Interactive Workshop Session hosted at Lynnwood Bridge on Wednesday.
Different stakeholders engaged each other on how they could develop an effective strategy aimed at promoting sustainable economic growth and development within the city.
Msimanga said Tshwane continued to boast the fastest growing economy in the country, adding that he wanted his administration to build on the positive economic trajectory by forging partnership with the business community.
"It is not our intention to hinder the progress of business but ours is to ensure that we are unlocking the doors that are locked right now by forming those partnerships with yourselves so that we can fast-track the growth of our city," he said.
He said the city grappled with the challenge of unemployment due to at least 60% of its 3.6 million population, which was not economically active.
Msimanga called on businesspeople to come on board by developing young people through internships in their companies.
Young people were naturally attracted to the big cities because of the vibrant economic activities there, he said.
"You have a lot of economic activities that are happening around here such as the ones in the industrial sites have in the city. Those activities become an automatic attraction for people to come to our shores. Young people who come to our city are looking for opportunities," he said.
He highlighted that the city was faced with challenges of providing houses and other amenities to those who chose to flock to the city.
"What happened when they come into big cities is that there is a number of demands such as housing and other amenities they need. But most importantly their need is to be able to survive. This is why it is important that whenever we do planning in our Integrated Development Planning, when we do our budgets - we need to take into consideration what business is saying," Msimanga said.