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Gauteng economy to get private sector boost


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Gauteng economy to get private sector boost

Gauteng MEC of Economic Development Jacob Mamabolo discussing the new 35% Plus Roundtable initiative between provincial government and private sector CFOs

11th September 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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A major private-sector-led initiative, in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Treasury, has been launched to unlock significant private sector resources for investment into South Africa’s largest economy and bridge the gap between government vision and corporate action.

The Project 35% Plus Roundtable, unveiled at Standard Bank’s Johannesburg headquarters on Monday, aims to strategically influence the province’s economic growth, which is working to increase its contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) to more than 35%, with an economic output of R2-trillion.


Headed by Chartered Institute of Business Accountants (CIBA) CEO Nicolaas van Wyk, the initiative is being driven by some of the country’s leading corporate CEOs and CFOs.

In addition to the Gauteng Provincial Treasury, partners include the CIBA, Standard Bank and the Chartered Institute of Government Finance Audit and Risk Officers, with SAGE and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry pledging their support to the initiative.


Gauteng Finance MEC Jacob Mamabolo said the initiative would enable the harmonisation of public and private finances, in effect, bringing together the private and public purse, while providing a voice to private sector CFOs in the preparation of the provincial budget.

Gauteng Provincial Treasury holds the budget of the province, while CFOs hold the resources and finances of the private sector, he said, noting that harmonising, coordinating and complementing the collective resources through investing will enable Gauteng’s economy to turn the corner.

With the little that is available to be spent in the public and private sectors, there is a need for the integration of investments and spending of money in a manner that complements each other, optimising the impact and obtaining value for money.

“We want to ensure that this engagement creates a common platform for us on how to align our priorities and it provides a meeting point for the two sides on how to coordinate investments to bring about sustainable development in our province,” he said, officially launching the partnership.

The initiative starts a conversation and dialogue on how to work together and rebuild South Africa’s most populous province “one brick at a time”, with public money complementing and supporting private sector investments, he said, referencing Gauteng’s R493-billion medium-term expenditure framework budget tabled earlier this year.

Mamabolo said that he wanted the voices of the private sector CFOs heard when Gauteng presented its upcoming budget in November.

“The private sector is spending its money on priorities that are important to them, but we also spend money on priorities that we believe are critical to the work that we do,” he explained.

There is a need to work differently and ensure that efforts do not continue in an uncoordinated manner.

“We are excited about this initiative, because it will enable us to work with our counterparts, the private sector CFOs, in what is really a pioneering effort to bridge the government vision and the corporate action.

“This partnership is a very important initiative to us, which we believe is going to help us not only to grow the economy but create jobs and improve the quality of life,” he told delegates at the launch in Johannesburg’s central business district.

By contributing 35% to GDP, the province is strategically positioned to lead the growth conversation as the economic hub of South Africa, added Standard Bank South Africa Corporate and Investment Banking CEO Zaid Moola.

“Growth and infrastructure development and investment will no doubt serve as a catalyst for job creation and enhance the overall quality of lives of all South Africans but to do this we need strong public and private sector institutions who engage, collaborate and commit.”

He noted that Standard Bank had partnered on many deals where the private and public sectors had come together to solve problems and had witnessed the benefits first-hand of collaboration.

“Today's roundtable launch is instrumental to the role of government as an enabler for economic development.”

Citing initiatives in the transportation, energy, roads and affordable housing sectors that demonstrated the banking firms’ willingness and appetite to partner with the public sector, Moola said that the various projects had had a positive impact on growing the economy and improving infrastructure, as well as the overall quality of the lives of all South Africans.

As the financial, technological and industrial hub of Africa, growing Gauteng together is crucial and critical for the progression of South Africa.

“I encourage each of us to leverage this platform today through constructive dialogue and sharing of innovative ideas which could both drive Gauteng’s, as well as South Africa’s, growth.”

Gauteng Economic Development MEC Tasneem Motara commented that the work that would emerge from collaborations such as this one would place Gauteng head and shoulders above the rest of the country and continent.

Economic growth could only come about because of an agile and evolving environment provincially, and Gauteng was more serious than ever about doing things innovatively to ensure that the common goals for economic growth were realized, starting now.

However, it would take a lot of effort, and many hours of hard work and collaboration before real results were seen, she said.


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