Government commits to revitalising economy in Sedibeng District Municipality

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The government has committed to revitalising the economy in the Sedibeng District Municipality through the establishment of the Special Economic Zone. It wants to position the district to become the leading market for business and investments in the Gauteng Province.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, alongside his cabinet ministers, and leaders of provincial and local government engaged with the communities of the District Municipality in south Gauteng on Friday. This is the fourth Imbizo government has embarked on throughout the country.

To address the needs of the people of the Sedibeng District Municipalities through the Presidential Imbizo, the government’s top priority will be to return the district to its former glory of being the industrial and steel hub of South Africa.

This will in turn create a number of job opportunities in the region that has an unemployment rate of 64%. This is what President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his address to hundreds of residents who attended the Imbizo to engage state officials.

“The Gauteng government has ambitious plans to revitalise Sedibeng by developing agriculture and you heard from Minister Didiza by developing logistics, tourism, and building industries as well and these plans are pivoted around the Vaal Special Economic Zone, which we have heard has the potential of creating 170 000 jobs over the next few years.”

Various projects through the Growing Gauteng Together 2030 project have been launched to deal with issues of service delivery such as the Savannah City housing project and investment projects to name a few. The area has been declared a Special Economic Zone in order to fast-track its industrial development.

“We want to focus on this area for re-industrialisation and the initiatives government is doing in this area, also to hold investment conferences. Recently, they held the Sedibeng investment conference where, as the premier said they received pledges of up to R45 billion and that two industrial parks in Sebokeng will also be upgraded.”

The largest municipality in the Sedibeng District, Emfuleni has been dysfunctional for many years. It has aging infrastructure, problems with water pumps, waste management, erratic electricity supply, and potholed roads.

Presidential Imbizo in Sharpville: 

Ramaphosa says that discussions at this Imbizo and actions implemented after, should pave the way towards a better life for residents.

“I am rather pleased that we have been able to deal with a number of issues and also the issues that have to do with some of the key challenges including electricity which is why the CEO of Eskom was here to hear for himself,  the Minister of Public Enterprises, so he can hear for himself, Minister of Water and Sanitation, some of the key areas where our people are having problems. I am also glad, Premier, that there has been an agreement about the payment of electricity.”

The government is expected to return soon to assess the progress of the commitments and promises made to the communities in the district municipality.

Meanwhile, the next Presidential Imbizo is expected to take place in the Northern Cape, next month.