Gauteng Department of Economic Development once again drops the ball in creating employment opportunities

Gauteng residents who are in desperate need of employment opportunities are once again failed by the Department of Economic Development. According to the third quarter report for the 2022/2023 financial year, the department was meant to create 40 000 jobs in the Global Business Services (GBS) sector, however only 245 new jobs have been created.

It is disappointing that this target was not met considering that this sector could be a game changer in job creation in this province. This sector includes services such as call centre operations, customer services, shared services and labelling data for machine learning.

According to the quarterly report this target was not met as the department has not yet secured sufficient sites for operation and they have not attracted private sector partners. Gauteng has a high unemployment rate and the GBS sector can play a crucial role in bringing down the unemployment numbers.

The DA has already tabled questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to determine when the sites for this target will be identified and how or if any funds have been secured to refurbish these sites so that they are full functional and operational.

This department has a responsibility to ensure that the correct environment is created for the private sector to invest in the Gauteng economy. However, the fact that the GBS target is not even close to being met is worrying.

We will continue to put pressure on the department to ensure that these targets which are critical to growing the economy are met.


GEP offices should be converted into one-stop shops during the Covid-19 pandemic

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Department of Economic Development to convert all Gauteng Enterprise Propeller Offices into one-stop shops. This will allow businesses that need to apply for Covid-19 business relief to do so.

If the department does this then these one-stop shops have the potential to bring under one roof, municipalities, SARS, CIPC and lending institutions.

By doing this the department will be focusing on saving jobs as well as job creation which is needed to stimulate the economy during this time.

Furthermore, loan holidays on payments should be extended until the end of the year for small businesses which owe money to GEP. While the rent payment holiday for businesses operating in industrial hubs of Gauteng should also be extended until next year.

The department should assist small businesses and informal traders with a Business Safety Kit that will include sanitizers, reusable cloth masks and information pamphlets to enable businesses to operate safely as we approach the Covid peak in Gauteng.

In addition, the department should also ask municipalities to stop confiscating the goods of informal traders who are trying to make a living.

It is our mothers, sisters, uncles and brothers who are bracing the cold Gauteng winter to try make a living and provide for their families.

R17.4 million wasted on blowing MEC Maile’s trumpet

by Janet Semple MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development

Gauteng Department of Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile’s vanity has seen his department blow an additional R13.4 million on deviations in the 2017/18 financial year, all of which has been spent on advertising.

According to the department’s fourth quarterly report, an additional R4 million was spent on advertising – over and above this item’s R14 million budget.

Total over-expenditure on advertising for the 2017/18 financial year amounted to R17.4 million.

Despite austerity measures and directives from both National and Provincial Treasuries to curb unnecessary expenditure, MEC Maile’s narcissism has gobbled up funds that could have been better spent on job creation and youth empowerment programmes.

When questioned in the Gauteng Legislature by the DA, MEC Maile denied that the department had over spent on advertising, yet the fourth quarterly report and written replies to DA questions tell a different story.

Millions have been spent to “promote” the department, yet the MEC could not substantiate what return on investment this excessive spend has brought the department.

While thousands of Gauteng residents remain unemployed and economically inactive, MEC Maile has seen fit to waste public money on what can only be described as a narcissistic campaign.

It is highly probable that this excessive advertising spend was to boost MEC Maile’s profile ahead of the Gauteng ANC’s elective congress.

Despite this, Maile’s attempt to ascend to the second highest position in the party failed.

This is not the only thing Maile has failed at. Prudent financial controls in the department have failed.

Given the high rate of unemployment across Gauteng, a DA provincial government in 2019 will get to work to create an environment conducive to job creation and economic growth.

Under a DA government, vanity projects will be the first thing scrapped and the funds re-directed to citizen-based economic inclusion initiatives.

Co-operatives suffering under the leadership of MEC Maile

Despite the high rate of unemployment in Gauteng, the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) has failed to provide 55 co-operatives with much needed financial support.

The department spent a whopping R17.1 million on Business Advisory Services and Consultants, instead of financially supporting co-operatives and giving people the ability to become self-reliant.

The 2017/2018 third quarter report indicates that out of a targeted 70 co-operatives in the Enterprise Development programme, the department only managed to provide financial support to 15 co-operatives.

This shows poor planning by the GDED as co-operatives play an important role in job creation and alleviating poverty amongst women, youth and people with disabilities.

Continuous enterprise development is critical to ensuring that the economy of Gauteng grows. A growing economy has more jobs to offer than the stagnation that has occurred under the ANC.

Once again, the ANC-led government in Gauteng is failing to fulfil its mandate to provide micro-financing to co-operatives, that have the potential to contribute to the broader economic objective of job creation and poverty alleviation. This shows that the ANC does not really care about the people of Gauteng.

The MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, needs to ensure that the remaining 55 co-operatives receive the financial support they so desperately need.

In addition, I will be writing to the MEC for Economic Development and will ask him to

  • List the 70 identified co-operatives;
    • Indicate which of these co-operatives received financial support from the department; and
    • Provide us with a list of Business Advisory Services and Consultants which were used by the department.

The DA believes that the only way to ensure a thriving economy is to create an enabling environment in which small business and entrepreneurship can flourish. Red tape also needs to be eliminated to ensure that entrepreneurs are able to access much needed government funding.

We will continue to hold the MEC accountable and will be closely monitoring the work of this department.

Gauteng Department of Economic Development’s R327 000 advertising flop

In an attempt to paint a glowing picture of Gauteng’s economy as a one-stop shop for investment, the Gauteng Department of Economic Development paid R327 084.58 for the placement of a sweetheart advert in the London Financial Times.

However, this effort went pear-shaped when the publication went beyond what the department had attempted to spoon feed them and investigated the true state of the provinces economic investment climate.

A subsequent article highlighted government corruption, poor labour relations, frequent protest action and the high cost of doing business with government.

In its hit-and-hope approach, the department has admitted that it has not as yet completed a feasibility study to assess what impact this article has had on stimulating investment in the province.

In a written reply to the DA, the department has explained that it plans to place at least another three of these adverts in other publications in the 2017/18 financial year.

Click here to view the response.

If the department was serious about stimulating the economy of Gauteng, this money could be put to better use by investing in township economies and supporting emerging entrepreneurs.

The DA will submit questions to Gauteng Economic Development MEC, Lebogang Maile, to assess the cost of future advertising plans the department has and how else this money could be put to use.

Cradle Of Humankind’s Heritage Status May Go Extinct

Land Fragmentation and Land Development

The Gauteng Department of Economic Development must take swift action to prevent the Cradle of Humankind from losing its world heritage status.

Reports by the Cradle of Humankind Director, Mags Pillay to the Economic Development Oversight Committee that the heritage site is under threat due to land fragmentation and land development raises serious concerns about the department’s role in executing its functions as an environmental agency.

MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile must liaise with Gauteng Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Housing MEC, Paul Mashatile to iron out spatial development and new housing projects ear-marked for the area.

While the need for housing and access to land is a pertinent issue, the Cradle’s scientific and tourism value should not be compromised.

The DA will actively work with all interested parties to ensure that the Cradle does not lose its world heritage status, nor that its tourism numbers decline.




Media enquiries:

Janet Semple MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development

082 462 8239


Warren Gwilt

Economic Cluster Manager

073 601 6144

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Has Gauteng’s Economic Department Something To Hide About Mega-Dump?

Environmental Impact Assessment

The Democratic Alliance will request the Gauteng Legislature’s Economic Development Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Errol Mangerman, summon Economic Development MEC, Lebogang Maile, to appear before the committee and provide feedback on the departments Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) comments made to the Department of Minerals Resources regarding the proposed mega-dump at Kalbasfontein on the West Rand. 

The Farmers Management Group, consisting of farmers from communities in and around Fochville on the West Rand approached the DA with regards to concerns they had about the impact this mega dump would have on the environment, and the negative impact it would potentially have on the agricultural sector in the region.

The farmers feel that the process has been less than transparent and that they have been largely excluded as stakeholders from this project. 

Department of Economic Development

When I approached the Department of Economic Development to assist by obtaining a copy of the department’s EIA, I was informed that the department’s EIA comments on the mega dump project were not available as the competent authority for the project is the Department of Minerals and Resources.

However, as the project is taking place within the borders of Gauteng, the department has commented on the project as an interested party. It makes no sense why it will not make its findings available to public scrutiny, as an EIA is a public document.

To this end, the DA will be submitting a PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act) request to the department to obtain copies of the EIA. 

The secrecy around this project raises concern and the DA will continue to monitor this project to ensure that it is not simply rubber stamped.


Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Economic Development

060 556 4344

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Ekurhuleni’s Environment Decays As MEC Idles

Swartspruit – Ekurhuleni

The massive diesel spillage into the Swartspruit, Ekurhuleni has highlighted the Gauteng Department of Economic Development’s limp-wristed approach to ensuring that environmental damage it mitigated throughout the province.

Information obtained by the DA indicates that while the Department has ensured that all boxes have been ticked in terms of statutory compliance according to the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), agreements to increase and capacitate the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipalities’ environmental enforcement unit have not been fulfilled.

In 2011 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Municipality and the Gauteng MEC for Economic Development to provide the municipality with Environmental Management Inspectors (EMI) whose responsibility it is to ensure businesses and industries throughout the Metro comply with environmental legislation.

Massive in-migration

According to the 2011 MOU, 25 EMI positions were to be established. To date Ekurhuleni only has two EMIs who are expected to inspect more than 5000 businesses.

Given that Gauteng experiences massive in-migration and with it, an increase for goods and services, it is likely that this municipality will need more than 25 EMIs.

I will pose questions to the MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, as to why these post have never been filled, and why the Department, through the inter-governmental relations framework has not done more to monitor and track environmental compliance in Ekurhuleni.


Media enquiries:

Janet Semple MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development

082 462 8239

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Gauteng Premier’s Open Tender System Loaded With Empty Promises

Open Tender Seminar

Gauteng Premier David Makhura must put his money where his mouth is and take definitive action against a host of government officials and Members of his Executive if he wants to retain any credibility for the remainder of his term in office.

At today’s Gauteng Provincial Government’s Open Tender Seminar in Midrand, the Premier remarked that those who are involved in corrupt dealings would be exposed in public, blacklisted and prosecuted.

While this is a welcome announcement, the fact is that the Premier has been making the same promise since he took office in 2014.

To date little action has been taken against errant officials, a fact which was echoed by the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) report late last year that only 3% of all provincial government officials involved in 122 cases of financial misconduct amounting to R67 million faced criminal charges.

Dark and Murky Process and Provincial Governments

Furthermore, the Premier has yet to take action taken against ANC Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa and Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile, who are both under clouds of allegations of fraud and corruption.

Since taking office in 2014, the provincial government has been moving at a snail’s pace to open government’s tender processes – and in instances where tenders have been “open” to public scrutiny, the documentation was either published after the fact, or hidden so deeply in government websites that it would only be found after hours of dogged research.

The fact is that Premier Makhura talks the talk of an open and transparent government, but in reality it remains as dark and murky as all other provincial governments led by the ANC.

If Premier Makhura is as serious as he sounds, he should implement the DA-led Western Cape open tender system without delay.


Media enquiries:

Adriana Randal MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

060 556 4342

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DA Debates 2016/17 Gauteng Department Of Economic Development Budget

Speech by: Ina Cilliers MPL

“Economic budget out of sync with economic crisis”

  • The Department of Economic Development’s budget of R1.3 billion is not leveraged in such a way to create a meaningful, large scale economic difference in Gauteng – especially not in township economies.
  • An amount of only R245 million is budgeted for economic infrastructure- this is a very small amount given demands in Gauteng, and only R50 million of this will be spent in townships.
  • The department should re-evaluate their planned spend to focus on modernising the informal economy in the townships because this is where potential is and entrepreneurs there have different needs.
  • The department can use their money to make it easier to do business in Gauteng by cutting red tape, relaxing the regulatory environment and by looking for best practice to emulate.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by: Ashor Sarupen MPL

“Cadre deployment holding back real job creation”

  • The AIDC is now paralysed by infighting. Documentation is presently sitting with the Public Protector and the Public Service Commission that shows that staff have been appointed by this CEO even though they did not even score highest in the interviews, in contravention of policy.
  • The reality is that the ANC created agencies in Gauteng not for the purposes of economic growth, but to give high paying jobs to its members, regardless of their position.
  • Honourable Premier – you called for more cadre deployment… The ANC must stop misleading people – what it says in its manifesto are not its real policies.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by: Janho Engelbrecht MPL

 “Policy uncertainty cannot weather Gauteng’s economic storm”

  • This government must provide certainty on its vision for the economy, the policy it intends to implement to realize that vision, and its commitment to ensuring that the economy serves ordinary people.
  • The government should recognize the need to broaden participation in the economy and help to make it easier for outsiders, not just the politically connected, to become owners, access capital and actively participate in the economy.
  • Government must work to give more people the education and skills they need to get a job and to support the kinds of research and development that can make South Africa a winning nation in a globalized knowledge economy.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Media enquires:

Ina Cilliers

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Economic Development

060 556 4344


Ashor Sarupen

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Economic Development

060 558 8303


Janho Engelbrecht

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Economic Development

060 556 4343

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