The Gauteng government has announced interventions to change the space and structure of the province’s economy to help address unemployment, poverty and inequality. Speaking during the State of the Province Address on Monday, Premier David Makhura said these interventions were spatial reconfiguration; township economy revitalisation; and investment in infrastructure that the provincial government would undertake in partnership with municipalities and the private sector. Gauteng City Region’s space and economy would be configured into five development corridors that would have distinct industries and different comparative advantages, Makhura said.These are:
- Central Development Corridor, which will anchored around the City of Johannesburg as the hub of finance, services, ICT and pharmaceutical industries;
- Eastern Development Corridor, which will be anchored around the economy of the Ekurhuleni Metro as the hub of manufacturing, logistics and transport industries;
- Northern Development Corridor, which will anchored around Tshwane as South Africa’s administrative capital city and the hub of the automotive sector, research, development, innovation and the knowledge-based economy;
- Western Corridor, which encompasses the economy of the West Rand district and the creation of new industries, new economic nodes and new cities; and
- Southern Corridor, which encompasses the economy of the Sedibeng district and the creation of new industries, new economic nodes and new cities.
Makhura said the provincial government would “mobilise” more than R10-billion in public and private investments in the regeneration of the Joburg CBD as the seat of the provincial government.The Premier said Gauteng would work with national government and the City of Joburg to ensure that the Central Corridor became the home of the proposed Brics regional development bank.A plan to revitalise the townships of Kliptown and Alexandra was also under discussion with government and the City as “the two townships are in a terrible and sorry state of disrepair”, Makhura said.
Makhura also announced that 140 000 housing units would be built in the next five years in the area to help change human settlement patterns.Together with the private sector and the City of Johannesburg, there were plans to transform the spatial landscape of the Central Corridor, which include:
- Masingita City, an integrated commercial and industrial hub, is a R3- billion private investment that is expected to create 15 500 jobs during its construction, which will begin in March.
- Rietfontein. With an investment of R20-billion, this will be a complete mixed-use node with more than 8 000 proposed residential units, including commercial property, distribution and warehousing, retail and education facilities.
- Waterfall City, the largest city to be built in post-apartheid South Africa. The estimated investment during construction is R71-billion, with an estimated 100 000 jobs to be created by the project.
- The Modderfontein development will inject R84-billion into the economy of the Gauteng City Region and is expected to create 150 000 jobs over the next 20 years.
Turning to the Eastern Development Corridor, Makhura said 29 industrial initiatives under the banner of the Aerotropolis would be undertaken to revitalise manufacturing, aviation, transport and logistics industries linked to OR Tambo International Airport.”This will dramatically transform the current industrial structure of the economy of Ekurhuleni,” Makhura told the legislature.Other projects in the corridor will be the Tambo Springs Inland Port Development, with an estimated R7.5-billion investment over five years.The first phase of the Bus Rapid Transit System in Ekurhuleni would be operational by March next year, Makhura said, and more than 100 000 housing units would be built in the area over the next five years.
SA’s biggest convention centre
Makhura said Gauteng would be working with Tshwane to develop the West Capital development project in the Northern Corridor. This will include a student village, sport incubatory centre, retail and commercial components, inner city housing and health facilities.The African Gateway in the heart of Centurion would be a partnership with the private sector and will comprise South Africa’s largest convention centre, an hotel, residential, commercial and additional office space.
The City of Tshwane would be investing R525-million to establish a business process outsourcing park in Hammanskraal, Makhura said. “The park will offer on-site training, technical support and incubators for SMMEs. The project is expected to create more than 1 000 jobs during construction and more than 1 000 indirect jobs.”Working with the private sector, Tshwane would also continue to rolling out free wi-fi within the City. To date, R150-million had already been invested in this initiative.Makhura said more than 160 000 houses would be built in the area.Green economyThe economy of the Western Corridor would focus on green and blue economy initiatives, tourism, agro-processing and logistics, said Makhura.”Lanseria Airport and Maropeng World Heritage Site will be the main anchors of the new city and new economy of the West Rand,” he said.The corridor would be positioned as a hub of agriculture and agroprocessing, and a public-private partnership would see the development of aquaculture projects, such as the prawn farming facility, the premier said.He said more than 160 000 houses are to be built in the area.
Makhura said the economy of the Southern Corridor needed to move from an “over- reliance on the steel industry” to one that included tourism and entertainment, agro- processing and logistics management.Among the projects would be the development of the new Vaal River City (hydropolis), with a private sector investment of more than R4-billion.Over the next five years, more than 120 000 houses in Sedibeng will be built.”Also in this corridor, we will continue to support the Gauteng Highlands development, a mixed-use development comprising industrial and residential space. This is a R40-billion investment aimed at creating 25 000 direct and indirect jobs,” said Makhura.
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