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City's strategy to boost economic growth


The City of Johannesburg has reworked its Economic Development Strategy to “accelerate growth traction and build a transformative momentum” to anchor the City’s goals of sustainable economic and business development.

This was announced by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development Councillor Ruby Mathang in a keynote address at the South African Industry and Technology Fair (INDUCTEC). The fair was held over three days at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand featuring 12 sector-dedicated themes targeting small business, manufacturing, engineering, water, petrochemical, plastics, energy efficiency, waste and recycling sectors.

MMC Mathang said the City had developed a set of intuitive multidimensional economic strategy interventions harnessing synergies and dependencies.

The first intervention, he said, was service delivery for business, a benchmarking system aimed at improving and sustaining service standards on the critical basic service needs of businesses.

“In other words, it’s about getting the basics right. This we aim to do so we are able to meet the diverse needs of different firms operating in the City. These largely relate to a functional urban infrastructure such as traffic lights, water services, public safety, repaired potholes and access to commercially zoned land and transport networks, among others,” said MMC Mathang.

He said the second intervention was the creation of priority economic zones, business hot spots or zones of high potential and existing economic activity. MMC Mathang said this was aimed at enhancing service levels to respond appropriately to the viability of businesses.

“I am sure most of you have heard of the City’s Corridors of Freedom project, embarked on as the anchor in re-stitching the old apartheid city to form an urban metropolis that works for all of us. These Corridors of Freedom, together with latent economic zones, have been identified as the locales for the priority zones,” he said.

The third strategic intervention relates to the creation of business clusters in priority sectors by increasing opportunities to enable key role players from interconnected industries to come together to share ideas and make business connections.

“Today marks a start in this direction and we certainly must expand dialogue beyond this event so we can build stronger relations,” said the MMC.

The fourth strategic intervention is aimed at creating a decision-making platform to position Johannesburg businesses on the global agenda. This platform will allow the City to prioritise and expedite decisions for certain projects in accordance with the value of investment intended.

“The range of offerings will include access to land, business licensing, clearance certificates, assistance with available national investment incentives and support services,” MMC Mathang said.

The fourth and last intervention, the MMC added, involved the establishment of additional and accessible small and medium-sized enterprise hubs.

“The hubs will identify and support local entrepreneurs and encourage innovation, learning and collaboration among small and medium enterprises. The hubs will also be sector-specific to ensure we support emerging young players in the green technology space, IT and, of course, manufacturing,” he said.

MMC Mathang said throughout all these strategic interventions ran the central theme of transformation.