The Gauteng Provincial Government is preparing to unveil a new Provincial Economic Plan for South Africa’s economic powerhouse to better cope with rapid urbanisation, persistent unemployment, poverty and inequality.
The new plan, set to be publicly launched in May, aligned itself to government’s nine-point plan, adjusted for the “unique features” of Gauteng’s economy, Premier David Makhura said on Monday.
“We have to work doubly hard and do things differently in Gauteng with regard to the economy, infrastructure development and service delivery,” he said during his yearly State of the Province Address.
The new Provincial Economic Plan would be finalised following final public consultations with business, labour and civil society at an Economic Indaba in April.
The plan identified key drivers of employment, transformation, modernisation and reindustrialisation, including the services sector, which was flagged as holding a “huge” employment and empowerment opportunity.
“Most of the jobs in our provincial economy are being generated from the services industries,” Makhura pointed out, adding that focus would narrow to finance, trade and retail, business and professional services, tourism and hospitality, transport and communication, construction, real estate and business process outsourcing services.
Manufacturing and its subsectors also emerged as a priority as part of the province’s ongoing reindustrialisation efforts.
In line with Gauteng’s ambitions of opening up employment, empowerment and export potential, focus would be maintained on the automotive industry, mining capital equipment manufacturing, petrochemical products, rubber and plastic products, electronics, information and communications technology components, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals and furniture manufacturing.
Further, with Gauteng a “locomotive” of mining services and the manufacturing of mining equipment, investment would be injected into industrial infrastructure for mineral beneficiation to upscale and increase capacity for the processing of minerals already taking place in the local economy.
Agroprocessing was also a key area for the province, with small-scale farming and urban food production set to be promoted in corridors such as Sedibeng and the West Rand.
In addition, the plan highlighted the potential promotion and growth opportunities of nontraditional sectors, such as creative and cultural industries, the green economy and smart industries.