The Gauteng Provincial Government has committed to spend 60% of its R34 billion goods and services budget to support township initiatives.
Delivering the State of the Province Address (SOPA) in the Legislature in Johannesburg on Monday, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said townships are the province’s “new gold” and with new malls and filling stations being rapidly set up there, government must ensure these investments benefit the people.
“This house unanimously adopted the Township Economic Development Act, a blueprint on how we will support township businesses and fund them. We want this act… to migrate from paper to practice.
“As the Gauteng Provincial Government, we commit, as we do now, that as of 1 April, we will use 60% of the R34 billion goods and services budget [about R20.4 billion] to support township initiatives.
“We are establishing a digital database of all businesses in townships,” he said.
The Premier also mentioned that a financing model is currently being finalized to allow township businesses to have their own bulk buying mechanism through the establishment of township-based warehouses and distribution centres, like the ones already launched in Katlehong and Mamelodi.
He said the province has adopted a prototype for local retail shops, commonly known as spaza shops, so that they can differentiate them from shops owned by foreign nationals.