2017/03/15 Nozipho Dlamini
The Gauteng Provincial Government is working closely with the national government in promoting the growth of a more innovation-driven and entrepreneurial economy, says Premier David Makhura.
Speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday, Premier Makhura said the provincial government did this in the context of its policy for radical economic transformation to ensure that black people, women and youth are at the centre of economic development.
Makhura said Africa's youth and women were among the most entrepreneurial people in the world.
“From North to South, East to West, Africa is buzzing with dynamic small, micro and medium enterprises that are providing income and livelihoods to hundreds of millions of people.
“However, more needs to be done to create ecosystems that ensures growth and sustainability of the SMME sector and its integration with Africa's corporate giants,” he said.
It is estimated that more than 90% of enterprises across the world are SMMEs, accounting for approximately 60% of private sector employment.
Makhura said Gauteng government has adopted inter-related policy interventions to ensure entrepreneurship thrives in the province.
Gauteng is investing significantly in the rollout of industrial infrastructure such as Innovation Hubs and Industrial Parks that provide a supportive ecosystem for SMMEs, cooperatives and township enterprises to thrive.
This includes creating Technology Labs in the townships for young tech-preneurs.
The Gauteng Innovation Hub in Tshwane, the Tshimologong Precinct in Johannesburg, Township Industrial Parks and the eKasi Labs are some of the important infrastructure to support entrepreneurs by providing office space and business training as well as skills development.
Another policy intervention which is part of radical economic transformation is using public procurement to ensure that SMMEs, cooperatives and township or village enterprise get a significant share of the government's buying power, especially the enterprises that are owned by black people, women and youth.
Gauteng has been successful in this regard, 91% of its public procurement budget goes to black owned, women owned and youth owned enterprises.
In addition, Makhura recommended the initiative of moving towards the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa, saying it will go a long to provide the necessary platform for African entrepreneurs and policy makers to work together in building the appropriate and supportive ecosystems across the continent.