The month of July 2021 saw South Africans and the rest of the world witness mass protest actions in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal (KZN). The unrest resulted in infrastructure destruction and a looting frenzy of businesses and delivery trucks.

In Gauteng alone, 30 out of 500 shopping malls in Gauteng were affected. Consequently, the social and economic damage caused by the civil unrest is estimated at R3.5 billion notwithstanding the 14,500 jobs that were affected and SMME owners who lost everything.

This economic setback created an urgency for the Gauteng Province to rebuild its image and reignite investor and business confidence in the province. Through interventions by the GGDA and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED), the Gauteng province has in lightening time, embarked on an economic reconstruction and recovery plan that has resulted in various business confidence-boosting measures being achieved.

The GGDA and the GDED are driving partnerships to support fast-moving consumer goods and logistics supply chains displaced from KwaZulu Natal. Gauteng Businesses and investors have seen real-time, tangible support provided to them.

The two entities have been driving partnerships to support fast-moving consumer goods and logistics supply chains that were displaced from KZN. The GDED is currently mobilizing Gauteng local companies to close the gap in supply shortfalls from disrupted KZN companies in the FMCG value chain. This initiative uses data provided by:

  • Proudly SA on all local suppliers in the FMCG and consumer goods value
  • DTIC Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices sector
  • DTIC Retail Clothing and Textile sector

There has also been various trade and investment initiatives that have taken place since the unrest powered by InvestSA Gauteng to support investor attraction and confidence building as well as business retention.

Furthermore, there are plans for economic infrastructure programs such as a multi-tier Special Economic Zones (SEZ) implementation strategy. This will create local employment and skills development opportunities. Another upside is that the Gauteng City-Region (GRC) remains an attractive investment destination for international investors and the GGDA continues to help unlock opportunities and the ease of doing business in Gauteng.

As a further economic stimulation act, the GGDA is expanding procurement from Gauteng SMMEs and providing others with business development support. The GDED is also assessing the existing Gauteng warehousing capacity to close the gap related to warehousing challenges in KZN. The securing of Gauteng distribution facilities will help avoid the importation of goods normally produced and processed in KZN for use in Gauteng.

There has also been a strong emphasis on capacity building through the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) SMME capacity building programme focusing on the automotive industry. In the Chamdor Hub which is based in Krugersdorp, nine SMMEs have been recruited; where one is youth-owned and two are women-owned. Their training programme is also being finalized. The plan is to have 100 individuals trained in panel beating and spray painting at the Chamdor Automotive Hub before the end of 2021.

Capacity building initiatives are also being implemented in the Winterveldt Enterprise Hub (WEH). Six SMMEs are currently being supported and there is active recruitment underway for an additional four SMMEs. The requirement is that two of the SMMEs to be recruited must be youth-owned and the other two, women-owned.

The GGDA and GDED are confident that all the above active and future interventions post the July unrests have significantly contributed to regaining business and investor confidence in Gauteng.

Gauteng is therefore still open for business.

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