Yesterday, accompanied by Mayor Bongani Baloyi and DA Team One South Africa Spokesperson on Corruption, Makashule Gana, I visited Paramount Trailers and Revive Electrical Transformers – two key business investments in Midvaal, in the Kliprivier Business Park. This visit has given me hope, and a glimpse of what Gauteng could be, under a DA-led administration.
Please click here for a video
Despite its size, Midvaal has consistently punched above its weight in attracting significant investment, for example Heineken, Ferrero Rocher, Paramount Trailers, New Hope, BSI Steel and Twin Boats which have chosen to establish and grow their businesses within the Midvaal municipality.
Sedibeng Brewery alone has made a R3.5 billion investment, creating 3500 construction jobs, and is currently looking to expand its supply chain locally, through purchasing barley from 32 local farmers.
In analysing how they got this right, it is clear that Mayor Baloyi and his team follow a recipe of simplifying procedures and by-laws, making it easier for new businesses to establish themselves as well as ensuring that turn-around times for land-use applications are shortened. Heineken, for example, which had initially chosen Ekurhuleni as the site for its factory, chose instead to set-up its base in Midvaal.
Midvaal has also focused on creating an environment conducive to investment, which includes establishing the required infrastructure platforms and maintaining a zero tolerance approach to corruption. The municipality’s infrastructure development plan is an integral part of the municipality’s bigger investment promotion strategy and entails repositioning Midvaal as a hub of economic activity and innovation in the Vaal.
Part of Midvaal’s key infrastructure investments include upgrades to the bulk electricity supply, a new reservoir, resurfacing and rebuilding of roads, bulk water pipe replacement and upgrades to the sewer pipeline. The strategy has paid off ten-fold for the people of Midvaal. This is what is possible when a government uses the people’s money to benefit the people, and not to benefit a corrupt patronage network. This is what I want for Gauteng.
The lessons learnt from Midvaal, which has thrived under 18 years of DA governance, can be rolled-out across the province. Look at what has been accomplished in the Cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane after just two years! Imagine what can still be accomplished.
Under the DA, Gauteng has the potential to become an economic powerhouse for the country, and the continent as a whole. This is the type of economic Change which only the DA can bring, Change which brings hope, and a better future for all.