Gauteng Premier looks to cannabis and new business laws to boost jobs and economic growth in GautengPosted by On

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says that the provincial government’s priority over the next five years is job creation – with plans to focus on 10 “high growth” sectors to achieve this.

“First and foremost economic goal is to grow the economy in order to massively increase the number of new jobs, while sustaining existing jobs in Gauteng,” the premier said, delivering his State of the Province Address for 2020.

“Our number one goal is to create jobs.”

Makhura said government will spend R60 billion on building and maintaining infrastructure, contributing to the creation of an additional 100,000 jobs.

By the end of 2025, the province will also have three fully operating special economic zones in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Sedibeng, he said.

Makhura said that the province will focus on ten “high growth” sectors, which he said will drive the provincial economy over the next five years.

This includes a focus on:

  • The energy sector
  • Transport and logistics
  • ICT, media and digital services
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Agrifood and business
  • Construction and Infrastructure
  • Automotive, aerospace and defence
  • Financial services
  • Cultural and creative industries
  • A new cannabis industry

Makhura said the cannabis sector has been identified as one of the biggest new potential growth areas, and the province will focus on the industrial and agricultural side of the sector – particularly looking at cannabis for use in medicinal purposes, healthcare and skincare.

He said that the provincial government will work with businesses and SOEs to unlock the potential of each sector – improving the ease of doing business, with the aim of doubling jobs.

New business laws

The premier said that government will step up economic empowerment programmes in Gauteng by spending R4 billion per annum in buying goods and services from 2,000 township enterprises, while sourcing the materials for infrastructure projects through local companies.

“From May this year, the installations, repairs and maintenance on our public facilities will be done by artisans from townships. We are extending this programme to willing private sector partners,” he said.

To accomplish this, government will will introduce a new law to the Provincial Legislature in June, called the Township Economic Development Bill.

“This new law will nullify all bylaws that inhibit, frustrate and suppress the operations of SMMEs and informal businesses in our province,” Makhura said. “This new law will create new conditions for SMMEs and township businesses to create wealth and employment as they grow and prosper.”

Read: Massive Gauteng shutdown over unpaid electricity

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