Crime in Gauteng among impediments for investors: Mamabolo

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A top issue worrying investors in Gauteng is crime. That’s the word from Gauteng MEC for Finance Jacob Mamabolo. He was speaking at the Chief Financial Officer’s Roundtable convened to leverage public private partnerships to grow the Gauteng economy.

Mamabolo says the conversations with CFOs helps government to solve impediments to investment to grow the economy and create jobs. The Gauteng province is a key player in the economy of the continent and contributes over 30% to the country’s GDP.

Mamabolo says the aim of the roundtable is to deal with the challenges worrying businesses wanting to invest in the province. He says some of the challenges worrying investors are crime, the energy issues and logistics.

Mamabolo says the province is prioritizing dealing with red tape at municipalities and a study has been commissioned to understand what issues to deal with, to make doing business easy.

“The issue of capacity to fight crime was raised sharply by them, let me also say to you, when we engage with them, one of the issues they raise was that the energy problem because of the discussions with them we immediately said as GP, although it is not our mandate to deal with energy, we immediately put R1.25 billion to invest in the energy space. As I’m speaking now, we have a partnership with City Power. Just this month end we’ll be unveiling 100mw into the grid through City Power which is part of that R1.2 billion,” says Mamabolo.

Delegates heard that, to some extent, legislation also becomes an impediment.

“Instead of focusing on business strategy, they are paying too much attention on two pieces of legislation, which is onerous of you. Read the annual reports of Transnet or Eskom at the opening of the financial statements. It will show you, in compliance with the PFMA and companies act you can imagine, if you are an accounting officer you must comply with those two pieces of legislation. You are not focused on business solutions; you are always watching your back. Am I complying, that is a challenge and I think from a legislative point of view, we are making a call to say our legislatures must investigate this issue. It may be an academic exercise, but it would unlock a lot of value,” says Former Inseta CFO Thabo Maake.

Economist Isaac Matshego says the Gauteng economy is interlinked with the global economy and vulnerable to disruptions in global supply chains. He says if the conflict in the Middle East intensifies, it will have an impact on the Gauteng economy.

“It will primarily be through supply chains, I mean we have already seen the attacks in the Red Sea disrupting global trade, that is shipping and that has impacted the supply of some goods as in like the lead times or delivery times are longer. If we see a full-blown conflict in the very important area when it comes to global trade, we could see our economy being impacted by those negative factors,” says Matshego.

The CFOs signed a pledge to, among others, strive for inclusive economic growth, transparent financial governance, promoting financial literacy and empowerment initiatives to uplift communities in Gauteng.