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#SOPA2018: Gauteng to launch provincial state bank

PUBLISHED: Mon, 26 Feb 2018 15:39:43 GMT

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Africa’s richest province – Gauteng plans to launch a provincial state bank to fund Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs), infrastructure development, township enterprises, women and youth businesses. This was revealed by Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Monday in his State of the Province Address (SOPA), which Makhura described as a speech that aims to create a “new dawn of hope, renewal and change for South Africa”.

The bank forms part of the province’s plan to turn townships into spaces “where there is a vibrant culture and dynamic local economies underpinned by state-of-the-art infrastructure”.

Other initiatives put on the table for this vision include:

  • The imminent launch of a township stock exchange in partnership with the private sector.
  • Addressing unregulated businesses owned by foreign nationals.
  • Investing in the development of cooperatives to become future financial providers to township enterprises. To date, Gauteng has 14 registered co-operative banking institutions serving over 16 000 member-owners, with over R100 million in savings and R150 million in assets.
  • A partnership with the Italian co-operative movement facilitating the formation of consumer co-operatives in the wholesale and retail sector. These cooperatives will mobilise the collective buying power of 250 000 township households to purchase affordable goods at stores they own and control.

Other highlights in Makhura’s SOPA include:

  • The use of public procurement budgets to stimulate local production. For example, the billions spent on designated sectors like furniture must be used to procure goods sourced from local productive enterprises.
  • Agreeing with the business process outsourcing sector to create 30 000 jobs in the call-centres and business support services by 2019.
  • Setting up joint Action Labs focusing on industries such as capital equipment and machinery, ICT, automotives, mining, food and beverages, agriculture and agro-processing.
  • VAT zero-rating of more foodstuffs and basic necessities.
  • Strengthening accountability and the integrity of public officials and public servants so that fatal disasters such as the Life Esidimeni tragedy are avoided.
  • Upgrading Tshepo 500 000 flagship programme into Tshepo 1 Million to change the lives of young people.
  • Training large numbers of young people in partnership with technology companies in digital skills so that they can take advantage of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the digital economy.
  • Investing public money in the creation of broadband infrastructure towards the goal of 100% broadband connectivity in Gauteng by 2020. To date, over 1 500 kilometres of network fibre have been connected, with 1 066 access sites, connecting schools, health facilities, libraries and community centres.
  • Enlisting the support of the Ghanaian-born African American, Dr Thomas Mensah – who is a world–acclaimed inventor who pioneered the deployment of fibre optics technology in information and communication systems, giving rise to the current digital revolution. Dr Mensah will help take The Gauteng Innovation Hub to the next level.
  • Mentoring young innovators and incubating technology start-up companies at Silicon Valley,
  • Establishing joint Action Labs focusing on industries such as capital equipment and machinery, ICT, automotives, mining, food and beverages, agriculture and agro-processing.
  • The prosecution of those criminally liable for the Life Esidimeni Tragedy, as determined by the relevant law enforcement agencies.
  • The speedy implementation of the outcomes of the Alternative Dispute Resolution process on the Life Esidimeni Tragedy in order to ensure redress, justice and closure for the affected families and the appointment of an independent Curator who will ensure that all the decisions of Retired Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke are implemented.
  • Urgent steps being taken to turn around the performance of the Gauteng Department of Health.
  • Convening of the cultural and creative industries Indaba in June this year to develop a roadmap on taking this sector to the next level.
  • Prudent management of public resources and ethical leadership.
  • Greater attention on reducing wasteful and irregular expenditure as well as dealing with delays in disciplinary processes and criminal prosecution of those suspected of involvement in corruption.
  • The appointment of a civil society-led Ethics and Anti-corruption Advisory Council as a watchdog on clean governance.
  • Meeting all senior-managers across the Gauteng Provincial Government – from director level to Head of Department on 28th This meeting will mainly discuss the renewal of the public service in the aftermath of the Life Esidimeni tragedy, including signing a pledge to recommit to Batho Pele principles and values.
  • Lifestyle audit for members of the Executive Council and Heads of Departments.
  • Setting targets for station, cluster and provincial commanders to reduce crime by 50% in the 40 high priority police stations and 12 clusters.
  • A campaign that draws attention to the plight of young women and girl children.
  • A programme which focuses on equipping young mothers with the necessary skills that will transition them from depending on child support grants to sustainable economic opportunities.
  • Spending 30% of the Gauteng Budget on goods and services for women owned businesses by 2019.
  • Approval of 31 new mega settlements projects for the five development corridors of City Region. These projects will yield more than 700 000 housing opportunities over a five year period.
  • Establishing new mega human settlement projects in the Vaal River City and Lanseria City development projects whose planning is quite advanced.
  • Completing legacy projects that are spread throughout the province.
  • Working with municipalities, national government departments, state owned enterprises to release land in state hands for productive use. Significant land that is lying fallow, underutilised or abandoned by absentee landlords, will be expropriated and allocated to people for their own advancement.
  • Expropriating land in well located areas such as key economic centres, in order to build new integrated human settlements and post-apartheid cities.
  • Rolling out the BRT system, expanding the Gautrain, and integrating the taxi industry into the mainstream of a modernised transport system which will be operated under a single transport authority.
  • Finding a solution to e-tolls.
  • Engaging South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to find a new and more equitable funding model to support the continued expansion of Gauteng’s road network and public transport system.
  • Meeting with all the Mayors and water experts next month to discuss a comprehensive water plan for Gauteng.
  • Implementing jointly agreed energy projects for Gauteng.
  • Hosting a meeting of the Board of the Metropolis which will be attended by more than 130 governors and mayors from major cities, metropolitan areas and city regions across the world in August.

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