Press release

Commentary on Gauteng SOPA

Executives provide comments and snippets

Gauteng State of the Province Address (SOPA)

Terry Ramabulana, Director: Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Grant Thornton provides commentary following Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s State of the Province Address this morning on 22 February 2016:

On the SPEECH overall:

“Premier Makhura’s address was a refreshing take on what has become a platform for political rhetoric. Mr Makhura’s address centred on the idea of a smart province which is moving into the 21st century.  His address focused on technological advancement and ingenuity in order to solve the obvious challenges facing the region. We applaud Mr Makhura for addressing the real issues that affect the ordinary person and also for his concrete plans for development.”

Terry Ramabulana, Director: Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Grant Thornton

On INNOVATION and TECHNOLOGY

“We welcome Mr Makhura’s focus on using innovation and technology to drive growth and development, particularly the news that the province will have 100% internet connectivity by 2019. His pronouncement of developing innovative ways of dealing with bread and butter issues such as creating jobs and to assist municipalities and local government in the province to provide better services to its constituents, was laudable.

“Mr Makhura seems to have concrete plans in place to use innovation citing the creation of the ‘Automotive City’ utilising the expertise of companies such as BMW and Nissan to assist in the building the technological capacity of the province. His plan for the digitisation of schools and government by transforming manual systems to digital systems will create opportunities to streamline and improve efficiencies in health and education.

“Mr Makhura’s view that technology will take the province to where it needs to be should be applauded and we will watch closely how it unfolds. It is a breath of fresh air to see government embrace the internet of things and show a progressive stance on development. ”

Terry Ramabulana, Director: Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Grant Thornton

On EDUCATION

“Mr Makhura raised two important points on improving education in the province citing the continuing rollout of e-learning and the creation of ‘Schools of Specialisation’. His plan to continue to rollout e-learning and the associated emphasis on information technology and digital equipment at schools is welcome and we hope it will help breach the technological divide between public and private schooling.

“The development of specialised schools in commerce and entrepreneurship; maths and technology is a progressive step to improve education and this solution offers the province a chance to reinvigorate the education system to produce learners that are skilled in areas where jobs will be created.”

Terry Ramabulana, Director: Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Grant Thornton

On SMMEs and ENTREPRENEURSHIP

“Mr Makhura noted that the development of township entrepreneurs is vital in order to create jobs and wealth and we particularly welcome his announcement that 30% of all government procurement will go towards township entrepreneurs by 2019. This represents a substantial increase from the 12% that currently goes to the more than 5300 SMMEs that are currently listed on government’s procurement database.”

Terry Ramabulana, Director: Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Grant Thornton

On URBAN DEVELOPMENT
“We are pleased to hear about the Premier’s commitment to address the housing challenges through an integrated plan for mega-developments situated closer to places of work. We believe this will alleviate many of the transport and financial challenges that the vast majority of Gauteng’s population currently experiences.

“In addition, the extension of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to other areas will go a long way to alleviate transportation challenges.”

Terry Ramabulana, Director: Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Grant Thornton

 

Notes to editors

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