According to SAnews As the manufacturing hub of the country, Gauteng carries the future of South Africa on its shoulders, says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“There are great opportunities for upgrading the contribution of manufacturing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Gauteng [above] the 16% to 25% and beyond,” he said at the Gauteng Economic Indaba in Johannesburg.
During deliberations between government leaders and business at the two-day Indaba, manufacturing was placed at the helm of the inclusive growth sought by the provincial government.
Deputy President Ramaphosa said he is pleased that the Gauteng government is determined to not only support business, but to have a close partnership to promote economic growth and create jobs, especially for young people.
He reiterated government’s commitment to support domestic manufacturing and develop the country’s supplier base.
Building on successes in areas like the automotive sector, government is looking at establishing manufacturing hubs and incentive programmes in other sectors.
The Black Industrialist Programme, Deputy President Ramaphosa said, is being introduced to unlock the potential of black entrepreneurs and contribute to the reindustrialisation of South Africa’s economy.
“We have significantly expanded our focus on small business development. We are working to improve financial and other support, broaden access to market opportunities and remove regulatory obstacles to their growth and sustainability.”
He said manufacturing is practically the only sector with the capacity to coherently lead a sustainable economic recovery that can result in the creation of jobs on a meaningful scale. But to achieve this, strong support is required from government.
“It is through supporting the manufacturing sector that we will be able to crowd in the private sector to invest and to create mutually beneficial opportunities for small and medium enterprises.
“I have no doubt that the deliberations at this indaba and the actions that will flow from here will once again confirm that Gauteng is not only the economic hub of the country but it is indeed the centre of everything that happens in South Africa,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa.
Plan to grow Gauteng economy
Gauteng Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile presented the Draft Gauteng Economic Development Plan.
He said government will put much focus on manufacturing and the services sectors to realise inclusive growth.
In the plan, manufacturing includes the automotive and components sectors, food and beverages, furniture and timber, machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals, plastic and chemicals, mining and mineral beneficiation, and construction.
The services sector comprises six elements, including the creative industries, business process outsourcing, finance and retail, information and communication technology, transport and logistics, and tourism and hospitality.