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R40 billion committed to reignite Vaal economy

by centra

At least R40 billion in investments has been committed by foreign and local investors towards the transformation and reigniting of the Sedibeng (Vaal) District economy in Gauteng.

The commitments were made during the inaugural Sedibeng Investment Conference and could spell the creation of at least 170 000 jobs.

Addressing the conference on Friday, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the gathering had the potential to be a “game changer” if the commitments made are followed through and the investments are brought to fruition.

“We must warn ourselves…that history may be very harsh on us if this becomes a talk shop. Future generations may look at this and say, ‘Like many conferences, they met, they made speeches, they made pledges and nothing came of it’. So we come together not because we want speeches but because we want change. We want to drive real change,” Makhura said.

Makhura said the area – which includes the Emfuleni, Lesedi and Midvaal Local Municipalities – has “huge, hidden” economic potential, which all three spheres of government want to unlock.

One of the areas that he said his government is looking forward to unlocking lies in green energy.

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“This should be the hub of the development of the hydrogen economy in Gauteng and as it’s the birthplace of [the province’s] industrialisation that is called ‘dirty industry’, [then] this must be the birthplace of green industrialisation,” he said.

Makhura said cannabis farming is also an industry that they will be targeting for growth in the area.

“…There is potential… to bring in new emerging farmers into the cannabis economy, principally for export, including processing.”

Other industries and sectors that are part of the reigniting of the Vaal economy include agro-processing, agribusiness, food and beverage, transport and logistics, and tourism and hospitality. – SAnews

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