Government’s vision for the Gauteng province has not changed, despite the change of leadership from the African National Congress to a Democratic Alliance-led coalition in major metropolitan regions, including Johannesburg and Tshwane, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said on Friday.
Speaking at an event hosted by the South African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Makhura noted that Tshwane had been identified as the automotive hub of the province and the new Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga would effectively implement Tshwane’s growth plan.
“Our vision for Tshwane will not change. The automotive sector is the key driver of the province’s economy and we want to create the infrastructure ecosystem that the automotive sector needs to thrive,” he said.
He noted that Johannesburg was the financial hub of South Africa’s economy and said that he would meet with the new mayor to discuss how to work together going forward.
“We have a plan – the [new administration] doesn’t need to start fresh. Our plans to grow Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni’s economy are sound,” he noted.
Makhura further pointed out that training and education was the basis for economic growth, which was needed to develop the province.
He highlighted that Germany was South Africa’s most important trading partner, especially in the Brexit aftermath.
He also pointed out that German exports accounted for 20% of South Africa’s total exports and had been the dominant supplier of imports for over three decades, contributing R786-billion of foreign direct investment into the country to date.
“German companies have invested R22-billion of capital into South Africa’s economy and in 2014 exports from Gauteng to Germany were more than R29-billion.”
Makhura added that exports from Germany into South Africa accounted for more than R78-billion a year.
“Gauteng’s major exports to Germany include cars, minerals and chemicals while South Africa imports machinery, plastic and rubber from Germany,” he said, further noting that the Gauteng province saw the German Chamber as a very important growth partner, highlighting that it made the province’s economy tick.
“Business is not our enemy and we need the German Chamber’s partnership to grow our economy in an inclusive way so that we can employ more black people, women and young people.
“Gauteng is open for business,” he said.