Pushing investment and inclusive economic growth will be high on the agenda as the Gauteng Province welcomes powerful heads of state from the BRICS alliance of nations, leaders in business and technology futurists for the 10th BRICS Summit on July 25 – 27, 2018.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura and his team have put in place a carefully coordinated logistics package to ensure that the historic BRICS Summit delivers on the set pillars of a more broad-based and socially inclusive growth trajectory for South Africa and the greater continent.
To be held in the City of Johannesburg, the Summit will also be used as the pedestal to showcase Africa as a continent with vast opportunities for investment, trade and tourism.
South Africa will take over the presidency of BRICS from China.
This is also an opportunity to push the wider African development agenda, and strengthen its voice in global affairs.
“The municipalities and people of this region refuse to be left behind or left out of every development plan and progress in the transformation, modernisation and re-industrialisation of Gauteng. They are proudly part and parcel of the Gauteng City Region,” said Premier Makhura when delivering the State of the Province, last year.
The province supports the development of priority sectors within the Gauteng economy. It is focused on building local and regional economies for sustainable livelihoods, and to fight poverty and lack. Indications are, the team has hit the ground running with efforts to enhance the economic competitiveness of Special Economic Zones (SEZ), accelerate sector support and development, whilst creating an enabling environment and promoting a green economy.
The Summit will also go a long way in inching the province closer to its target for job creation.
“In order to significantly decrease unemployment, we need to double this number and reach at least 600 000 new jobs over a two-year period from 2017 till 2019.The rapid implementation of the new Provincial Economic Development Plan which has been embraced by all stakeholders will be the priority focus of Team Gauteng in partnership with municipalities and social partners.”
According to the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) the province covers just 1.4% of South Africa’s land area but it produces about a third of South Africa’s gross domestic products (GDP). It is highly urbanised with more than 12.2 million people living within the province’s borders, accounting for almost one quarter (23.7 percent) of the total South African population. Gauteng province is home to a vibrant and diverse population, reflected in a multitude of races, religions, cultures and ethnicities
Premier Makhura notes in various investment attraction events that the province has become known as the “Gateway to Africa,” an attractive place for investments on the continent.
The province offers:
- Access to the wider African markets
- Functional national and provincial institutions to serve investors and protect their rights
- Clear and consistent economic policies in line with national policies
- World-class infrastructure and facilities
- World-class and interconnected air, freight and road networks
- An investor friendly environment
- A reliable pool of young, highly skilled personnel, whose skill sets match the needs of modern manufacturing, finance and engineering industries; as well as a large pool of semi-skilled people for the manufacturing, trade and transport sectors
- Low land and commercial building costs
- Reliable supply of energy and electricity which is among the cheapest in the world.
Concerted efforts are made by the province to diversify and consistently strengthen the economy. Whereas mining used to account for Gauteng’s dominance of the regional economy, the province is now a leader in a wide range of other sectors: finance, Agriculture and agro-processing; manufacturing, commerce, ICT and media among them.
Moreover, the province is working in close collaboration with Gauteng-based universities and research institutes to ensure that they contribute to the drive to strengthen Gauteng’s pole position continentally as the leader in innovation, research, development and knowledge-based economy. That adds currency to the promise of a new future-oriented economy that is fast gaining ground.
“We will be significant participants in the fourth industrial revolution,”asserts Premier Makhura.
- Gauteng’s ability to attract FDI is unparalleled. Between 2014 and 2016, our provincial economy attracted R66 billion worth of FDI inflows.
- The Gauteng Investment Centre, the province’s “one-stop shop”, and the team at the GGDA are doing well in making the province a preferred investment destination.
- Gauteng receives the largest number of foreign tourists (41.4%) of the total.
- The Gauteng Provincial Government has reached a critical point wherein 91% of its procurement budget of R46 billion over is directed to empower black people, women, youth and people with disabilities.
- Of the 12 000 companies that conduct business with the provincial administration, 10 000 of them belong to historically disadvantaged individuals (HDIs), including township enterprises.
This is in resonance with the new wave of optimism in the ANC and country’s leadership. In the January 8 Statement, Ramaphosa said: “Our membership of BRICS is an important tool to enhance multilateralism and we must leverage our 2018 chairpersonship of BRICS for the advancement of South Africa’s national interests and the promotion of a more equitable world order.”
The response of the Gauteng province is to express gratitude and express a sense that they are encouraged to note that the leadership of the governing party embraces the membership to BRICS.
With growing global challenges which are getting more and more complicated by the day, threatening to disrupt global peace and goodwill cooperation among BRICS countries has never been more crucial. South Africa’s presence in BRICS is not just for the country, but for the benefit of the whole continent of Africa.
A Soweto based entrepreneur Sokhelo Zwane urged all South Africans and people of greater Africa to embrace the opportunities as presented by BRICS.
Äs a nation we are known to close ranks and show our best side when it comes to such big international events.
“We should all work together as South Africans, from government, the private sector, public institutions, civil society and communities to ensure the success of the BRICS Summit that will be hosted in Johannesburg this year.
We have the power, the mindset and the correct attitude as South Africans, and indeed the greater continent to deliver a successful Summit filled with warmth, inspiration and pride. We delivered the most successful event in 2010 in the history of the World Cup Tournament.
We can do so even this time around,” Zwane said.