News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
30 Jul 2021
10:40 pm

Here is how Gauteng plans to turn its economy around after violent unrests

News24 Wire

Government says unrests happened at a time when the province was beginning to accelerate the reconstruction of economy.

An ATM pharmacy was destroyed in Alexandra by protesters. Photo: Twitter/@SkyeGrove

While the impact of the recent riots in Gauteng is estimated to be at just over R3 billion, the province has several interventions which including funding instruments as a part of its reconstruction and recovery plan.

MEC for Economic Development Park Tau said that the unrests happened at a time when the province was beginning to accelerate the reconstruction of it economy.

“A survey is currently under way interfacing with actual enterprises on the ground about the impact of the riots,”  said Tau.

According to the presentation made on Friday during virtual briefing, these interventions include a R250 million allocation from the provincial government.

The briefing discussed the province’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan following the recent violent protests, which led to the destruction and looting of businesses in some parts of the province.

News24 earlier reported that Gauteng was one of the two main provinces that experienced looting and violence during the unrest.

Premier David Makhura revealed earlier that 30 out of 500 malls/shopping centres in the province were affected by the violence, this is in the townships of Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg, three areas in Tshwane, one area in the west rand, and two areas in Sedibeng.

In addition, the provincial government gave a preliminary estimate of the cost damage which sits at R3.5 billion with 14 500 jobs also affected.

ALSO READ: Makhura reveals R3.5 billion riots bill, says Gauteng damages not as bad as KZN’s

In his presentation, Tau stated that the rebuild is at different stages. Still, the provincial government anticipates that many of the facilities will open from August and September and that most of the impact is in the retail sector.

“In developing our response package, we have undertaken international benchmarks as to what other countries have done in instances where they have experienced similar riots,” Tau said.

The intervention strategy to be coordinated/led by the provincial government includes, but is not limited to

  • Establishment of economic rebuilding and [the] acceleration [of the] war-room to accelerate key economic initiatives. 
  • Partnership to support fast-moving consumer goods and logistics supply chains displaces from KZN
  • Food security and income support.
  • Incentivising and supporting rebuilding with a focus on retail and associated logistics through a combination of financial legislative and administrative support and,
  • Focus on rapid deployment rebuilding funding and township industrialisation funding using the Gauteng Township Economy Partnership Fund as a platform.Makhura earlier mentioned that the preliminary R3.5 billion figure did not include many uninsured township based businesses.

In his presentation, Tau explained that R100 million of the fund has been allocated to a rapid deployment township rebuilding effort, which will be matched by private sector contribution.

“The intent is to provide funding that will be 50% grant/50% loans, with a cap of R1 million for smaller formal businesses in distress, and up to 50k for informal businesses,” Tau said.

Makhura said the province has sufficient instruments in its hands and that Gauteng does not need to declare a state of disaster.