Alameen Templeton
3 minute read
4 Mar 2015
12:00 pm

MEC tables R95.3 billion for economic growth

Alameen Templeton

Gauteng MEC for Finance Barbara Creecy has tabled a R95.3 billion Budget for 2015/16 that seeks to expand economic growth through industrialisation and economic empowerment of township entrepreneurs.

FILE PICTURE: MEC for Finance in Gauteng Barbara Creecy. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

The budget is expected to increase to R109 billion later in the financial year, with 5% generated inside the province. She said over the next three years, Gauteng’s Provincial and Local governments would spend just over R100 billion on physical assets and capital transfers around Johannesburg.

Creecy also announced a new focus on infrastructure capacity, saying engineers and quantity surveyors had been recruited for working with departments on the infrastructure programme.

She also said the Gauteng government would spend R1billion over the next four years to connect all government buildings, hospitals, schools, clinics and Thusong centres and economic hubs to high speed broad band.

Another R137 million would be spent on township development and a concerted effort would be made to increase township businesses’ share of the province’s R10 billion procurement budget from 5% to over 30% in four years.

“We are also looking at localising procurement and supplier rotation for purchases below R500 000,” she said, adding the provincial supplier data base would be migrated to the national one.

Creecy said the provincial economy would be divided into five developmental corridors reflecting specific, geographical idiosyncrasies:

  • The Central Development Corridor with a focus on the financial sector, ICT and pharmaceutical industries;
  • The Eastern Development Corridor with a focus on manufacturing, logistics and transport industries;
  • The Northern Development Corridor anchored around Johannesburg, the automotive sector and the knowledge-based economy;
  • The Western Corridor focusing on new blue and green economic initiatives, tourism, agro-processing and logistics; and
  • The Southern Corridor anchored around river tourism and agro processing.

She said R3.1 billion has been allocated for infrastructure funding in the Central Development corridor. Another R979.9 million was set aside for Human Settlement, including housing in Diepsloot, Fleurhof, Lion Park, Malibongwe Drive, Goud Rand and Luhereng; hostel upgrades in Alexandra, Meadowlands, Orlando West, Rethabile and Sephiwe; as well as the rectification of houses in Kliptown.

R789.9 million has been allocated for new schools and refurbishment of existing classrooms. R453.4 million has been allocated for rehabilitating and building new roads and R263.4 million for renovating and constructing new health facilities.

Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation is allocated R195.7 million for the construction of the Gauteng Provincial Archives and completion of the construction work for Drieziek and Naturena community libraries and R2 million to commence the Operation Mabaleng facility in Westbury.

She said R10 million would be spent on the development of the Eikenhof Agri-Park whereby 35 co-operatives would focus on commercial agriculture. In the Eastern Corridor, R2billion would be spent on housing and the redevelopment of hostels in Springs and Tembisa.

Creecy said R563 million would be spent building new primary and secondary schools and R112.9 on new roads in the region. At the Wattville Agri-Park, R28 million would be spend on bulk infrastructure for the realisation of the Jewellery Manufacturing Precinct.

The province’s R2 billion spend in the Northern Development Corridor would see R964.2 million going to building human settlements, which would prioritise the inner city regeneration projects in Winterveldt and Vermuelen.

She said R464.2 million would be spent on building schools and provision of Grade R classrooms and R330.5 million would be spent on health facilities for the National Health Insurance pilot project.

Twenty six companies would be recruited for pre-incubation through the Maxum programme at The Innovation Hub (TIH), while 16 would be enrolled for incubation. A further 100 individuals would be trained through the CoachLab programme and R22.7m was allocated for the Nissan Incubator and Simulation project.

Creecy said R1.4 billion had been allocated to the Western Development corridor, with R956.3 million going to housing.

She said R164.1 million would be spent on clinics and hospitals and R197.6million on roads. Just over R1.5 billion was set aside for the Southern corridor, with R892 million focused on housing.