We have to understand urbanisation: Gauteng premier - CNBC Africa

We have to understand urbanisation: Gauteng premier

Southern Africa

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Newly appointed Gauteng Premier, David Makhura. PHOTO: City Press

With 97 per cent of its population living in urban centres, Gauteng – South Africa’s smallest province – also has the largest population and the highest population density.

“This province is unique. It’s a rapidly urbanising province – urbanisation is a critical driver of everything that happens in Gauteng. The number of people who moved into Gauteng, just over the past five years, has been over a million. What we have to do is understand this force of urbanisation. It puts pressure on our capacity to deliver,” he told CNBC Africa.

The premier pointed out that urbanisation placed a great deal of pressure on infrastructure and services within the province.  

“I’ve spent a lot of time on the ground, in communities, trying to resolves issues [and] blockages in government. One of the things I understand very well is that the resources are there but the will of government has been too slow.”

(WATCH VIDEO: Taking on the role as Gauteng premier)

Makhura, who was officially elected as Gauteng premier last week, announced an executive council which included the likes of Barbara Creecy as finance MEC, Panyaza Lesufi as education MEC, Qedani Mahlangu as health MEC and Lebogang Maile as the MEC of economic development.

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Amongst the changes to the executive council, Makhura also vowed to tackle the issue of corruption in the province as well as improve the integrity of Gauteng’s public institutions.

(WATCH VIDEO: Tackling the issue of corruption in Gauteng

He also revealed some of the long-term plans that his administration has for the province and stressed the importance of having the capacity to deal with the needs of the different communities.

“Gauteng province is blessed with being the biggest economy in our country and the fourth biggest economy in our continent. There are a few game changers that we are looking at. One of those is, in the next few years, we want to change human settlement patterns in this province,” Makhura said.

(WATCH VIDEO: Game changers in Gauteng's economic future)

“We want to build new post-apartheid cities, new economic hubs. We can’t just have the cities we have inherited. One of the things about building new cities is to create new economic opportunities. We also want to integrate the communities here in Gauteng.”

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