Gauteng townships have endured great hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has been worsened by the July unrest. As a result, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has thrown its weight behind the Gauteng Township Economic Development Bill in the interest of our residents and township enterprise development.
The passing of this bill is a step in the right direction and will greatly assist in helping to revitalise the township economy in our province.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused great disruption in our already stressed township economy and the passing of this bill by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) is in the best interest of our residents and township enterprises.
The DA firmly believes that the bill will help transform the currently neglected areas in our township to bustling economic hubs, which will contribute to job creation and economic development in the entire province.
We have supported the bill because the Portfolio Committee of Economic Development agreed to the DA’s proposal not to create another agency.
The DA believed that the creation of another agency would have led to funds being looted and the enterprises which were the intended beneficiaries would not have been given any monetary assistance.
Furthermore, through our intervention we have also expanded the definition of what a township is to include areas that are currently economically deprived. This means that job opportunities for our unemployed residents will be created in a wider economic space, which will greatly reduce the current unemployment rate in the province.
The changes that were adopted by the Portfolio Committee were put forward by the DA.
This is once again a testament to the fact that we will always put the needs of our residents first and we will ensure that all our residents are given a fair opportunity to be active participants in the Gauteng economy.
The DA will be closely monitoring the implementation of this bill so that only businesses which meet the criteria set out in the Township Economic Development Bill are assisted.
We will also make sure that the checks and balances put in place to ensure that the growth of the township economy are strictly adhered to, so that our province can become the leader in reducing the unemployment rate particularly for our youth.
In order for our township economy to flourish and to contribute to GDP of our country there is a great need for such legislation to enable economic growth and investment to take place.