Statement by Gauteng MEC of Economic Development Qedani Mahlangu elaborating on key government programmes announced by the Premier in her speech

27 Feb 2012

I wish to take this opportunity to share with you some of the programmes and plans that will ensure accelerated job creation in the province. Needless to say, these programmes and plans build on some of the themes in last week’s State of the Province Address (SoPA).

Automotive sector

We house more than 50% of the motor manufacturing capacity of the country in Gauteng. One of the bold decisions to provide infrastructure and business support to Ford Motor Company in the Ford T6 Investment led to the establishment of a world class Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) supplier facility in Silverton, Pretoria. Through this programme, 150 retrenched workers were up-skilled and redeployed into the formal economy. The number of employed workers is set to increase to 250 in the second quarter of 2012.

In 2012 the Nissan Investment Support project will commence with technical and business skills to more than 40 informal auto body repairs businesses thereby bringing them in the formal economy, and 20 small medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) will receive productivity improvement support.

The motor sector will also train 2 500 young people and this will create 700 direct jobs, benefiting mainly the youth. A further 100 young people will receive a technical training within the auto sector in Dubai. The programme will run for three years.

We are proud to have a vibrant and dynamic partnership with the motor industry. It is these efforts that will take us through this crisis we face in the global economy to implement a strategy for faster and more inclusive economic growth.

Youth Employment

1.1 Youth placement programme

One of the pillars of our Gauteng Youth Employment Strategy is the youth placement programme. This programme is targeting the unemployed youth age cohort of 18-24. This group, which comprises of both graduates and matriculants, forms the single biggest chunk of the unemployed in the province.

The programme is structured as a partnership between the government and the private sector in which government provides incentives to private sector placement firms to recruit prepare and place entrants into jobs in the private sector.

Funding for the implementation of this project has already been committed by both the Gauteng and national government is in the region of R100 million from now to 2014.

1.2 Township Enterprise Hubs

We have finalised a model Township Enterprise Hubs for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship. Enterprise hubs will be constructed in the following sites:

  • Sebokeng
  • Sharpville
  • Kagiso
  • Katlehong
  • Winterveld, and
  • Tembisa

Each of the hubs will host three clusters of work. These are:

  • Automotive cluster focusing on body repairs and spraying, wheel and tyre, audio and sound fitment and repairs, auto spares and general motor mechanic.
  • Services cluster which will focus on providing general services, ranging from car wash, hair salons, laundry, internet cafés and other services depending on the market factors in each area.
  • Light manufacturing cluster will focus initially in furniture, cleaning chemicals, clothing and textile, and depending on the market factors in each area, may include fast moving goods.

In addition, MTN has committed to put mini wholesale with all their GSM for distribution in the hubs. In addition MTN will employ 1000 zoners for the whole province who are paid basic stipend of R1 500, plus commission on the amount of airtime sold by the entrepreneurs.

1.3 Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (Y-Age)

This programme was launched in October last year, and its objective is to reach a total of 100 000 current youth entrepreneurs and those with potential to become entrepreneurs. The Y-AGE programme essentially seeks to recruit, select, train and fund new ventures in the economy to be supported to create between two and fifteen jobs to make up one million jobs in three years.

The programme has reached out to 139 125 people who registered interest, of this number, 20 328 have applied to be considered for selection into the programme.

The first intake of training is scheduled for March 2012 in 90 training sites throughout the province. Eight thousand six hundred  (8 600) people per 6 week cycle will be trained, this translates to 40 000 per year.

The young people who are not entrepreneurs will be automatically directed to the placement programme, and/or training. We have already employed 400 training facilitators and inspectors to ensure quality training in the identified sites.

We have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa. This will facilitate product placement to a network of retailers and wholesalers for Y-AGE participants. We view the opening up of markets for these entrepreneurs as an important milestone in our effort to build sustainable youth entrepreneurship.

Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) and Jewellery Manufacturing Precinct

In March 2012, we will complete the business case for the Jewellery Manufacturing Precinct, which will be located in the OR Tambo IDZ. We will also complete the technical design and the model in the first week of April 2012. This process will be followed by an investor conference, also in April. At this conference full plans of the technical design will be unveiled. We expect construction to commence in the 3rd quarter of the new financial year, and this should take six to eight months.

Concurrently with the construction, we will be sending 20 students by September to different jewellery schools in Italy and India to study jewellery design, and specialise in different aspects of jewellery manufacturing (polishing, stone setting, and cladding). Training will also be offered in South Africa, in partnership with international experts.

Liquor

In an effort to deal with the challenges facing the liquor industry, we introduced in August 2011 a moratorium on all license applications. We have made strong progress in addressing the challenges. We appointed an interim board and to date they have adjudicated close to 90% of applications that were in backlog.

We initiated the Enterprise Liquor Licensing Business Re-engineering Project. The installation of an automated system to facilitate the lodging of applications, tracking of progress for each application, the issuing of licenses, and quality management of the data of license holders has been one of the major deliverables of the project.

Phase one of the project prioritised the development of an interim solution that would cater for Occasional and Catering Permits, which enabled us to implement a partial lifting of the moratorium for these permits.Phase two entails the development of a comprehensive solution that would cater for 15 types of liquor licenses in terms of the Liquor Act of 2003.

We also embarked on a process to review the Gauteng Liquor Act. This process culminated in the drafting of the Gauteng Liquor Bill, which was gazetted on the 24 January 2012 for public comment.

Tourism

Guided by the recently approved Provincial Tourism Promotion Strategy, we have concluded one of the last strategic tourism infrastructure projects the Dinokeng Game Reserve. This further strengthens our drive to position the province as a major leisure tourism destination, leveraging on our pole position as South Africa’s no 1 business tourism destination. Lions, elephants, rhinos and leopards, as part of our GeePee Big 5 expansion, are roaming freely in Dinokeng. This unique game reserve, situated in the north east portion of our province, has had increased visitation since its opening on 22 September 2011.

Gauteng accounts for over 50% of all international visitor arrivals to this country and a significant number of these are business tourists hence our campaign to “stay another day” and explore the many different offerings by our province.

We will as part of this campaign this year launch new tourism routes that will, among others, include the struggle route, an important route tracing the historic liberation struggle footsteps and sites like the recently opened Pretoria Central Prison Gallows Museum, the World Cup venues and activities route, and other international big events that will further cement our standing as an all-round 24/7 entertaining competitive city region with world-class events and offerings.

Our iconic visitor centers of Maropeng and Sterkfontein in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (COH WHS) are currently being upgraded after extensive research of best practice in museums of this nature throughout the world.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

In partnership with the national government, we will launch the Nasrec Smart City as part of the 2010 legacy project. The Smart City will be a hive of activity anchored by the ICT.

We have secured investors for the following:

  • Manufacturing of different ICT products
  • The Film and Animation Studio
  • Multi-media Centre
  • Data Centre
  • Business Process Outsourcing and Offshoring (BPO&O)
  • Training Centre, and
  • Knowledge Centre consisting of R&D, Knowledge Village, and Green ICT Centre.

Also an ICT pilot project is underway in Alexandra, and will be launched in March 2012.

Greening the economy

I am pleased to report that the implementation of our Gauteng Greening Strategic Programme is progressing well.

Achievements in this regard include:

  • The finalisation of the Climate Change Response Strategy.
  • Identification of sites for the development of solar farms.
  • LPG Gas Pilot to convert taxis to use liquid petroleum gas.
  • Addressing the potential problem of Acid Mine Drainage through the appointment of the Government Task Team by the Cabinet.
  • Implementation of a number of food security initiatives.
  • Moringa Oliviera trees harvestation project.

Having said that, there are key priorities for us going forward, and these include:

  • Establishment of Climate Innovation Centre (CIC): The CIC is aimed at explicitly addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups by developing solutions to address climate change needs and helping entrepreneurs in the affected communities to profit from the latest climate technology developments.
  • Waste Beneficiation: Gauteng produces an excess of 6 million tons of waste per annum, at the same time our landfill spaces are running out. This presents a unique opportunity for the economy. In partnership with municipalities we will be looking at waste-to-energy plants to accommodate the waste being generated within the province.
  • Clean Technology Medical Waste Treatment Facility: Gauteng generates between 10 000 – 20 000 tons of health care waste from both public and private facilities. Not enough capacity exists to handle and process this waste. We are looking at developing clean technology-based health care waste processing facility.
  • Diversifying our energy sources through clean energy and energy efficiency products: In attempting to ensure the exploitation of various energy sources especially renewable forms of energy and the planned new pipeline presents new opportunities to ensure uniform distribution across the province as well as the industrial manufacturing of components and services needed for this new turn in the economy.

Thank you.

Enquiries:
Mandla Sidu
Cell: 082 773 9013

Province: