Limpopo has great potential to become an industrial hub. But to do so we need to build partnerships with the private sector.
We need to become an attractive destination for local and foreign investment. Good governance must be our creed. We must cut red tape and lower the cost of doing business.
We must inculcate a culture of hard work, attract the best talent and continually develop the capabilities of our people.
We must value the practice of openness and transparency.
We must ensure that the state uses its spending muscle to empower small businesses and not a small collection of cronies.
We want a provincial administration that is efficient, clean and places a premium on excellent service.
Government must continue to focus on the social needs of the people, ensuring they are healthy, secure, skilled and housed.
Just as technological progress drives growth and development, social progress provides a conducive environment for investment.
We must all work diligently to promote peace, dialogue, social cohesion and the rule of law.
It is only in such an environment that we can increase the confidence for others to participate in mutually beneficial public private partnerships.
Partnerships for growth and development require trust and confidence.
To promote such collaboration, the national Cabinet earlier this week endorsed a framework for the participation of the private sector in infrastructure delivery.
This framework recognises that state owned companies charged with the provision of economic infrastructure are often constrained in their ability to finance projects.
It is necessary therefore to mobilise the private sector as an additional source of infrastructure funding to accelerate and expand infrastructure investment.
To grow our economy and develop our people, we need new roads, rail lines, broadband networks, port facilities, dams, power stations, colleges and clinics.
We need them on a significant scale and we need them without delay.
This framework sets out the key principles to ensure that private sector participation in infrastructure projects yield socio-economic benefits, deliver value for money and allocate risk appropriately.
This represents significant progress in our efforts to more effectively harness the country’s resources to meet our economic and development needs.
This approach to private sector participation is part of a broader overhaul of the landscape in which state owned enterprises operate.
Cabinet approved a range of measures to ensure SOEs are more effectively governed, use their resources more prudently and are better able to fulfil their economic and developmental mandates.
At the centre of these reforms is a new government shareholder policy that will make for better coordination, accountability and strategic purpose.
In the coming months, government will be leading consultation on this policy with a view to developing an overarching law for SOEs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As indicated in the National Development Plan, we need to change the structure of our economy.
We must focus on beneficiating our minerals resources.
We must invest in manufacturing, improve technology and leverage opportunities in processed agricultural goods.
There are major investment opportunities in automotive and electronics products that are easily exportable by road into the rest of the continent.
Risks associated with manufacturing can be lessened by creating and sustaining our special economic zones.
It is important that business and the private sector collaborate with the provincial government to develop new special economic zones and attract new inward investment.
The opportunities that could arise for Limpopo are many and multi-dimensional but require substantial investment in economic infrastructure.
It is incumbent on all of us – as business, civil society and labour – to improve coordination and economic planning.
The provincial government must continue to do its part to strengthen integration and implementation.
We also need to examine how the province’s growth drivers, such as mineral resources and energy, can be positioned to attain inclusive, sustainable economic development.
Implementation of our industrial policy is paramount as it promotes labour absorbing sectors.
We must diversify our industrial and services base. We must build sustainable export industries, and we must expand production in rural and agrarian communities.
The developmental state has a crucial role in deracialising patterns of ownership and management of the economy.
A capable developmental state is entrusted to drive socio-economic transformation and to stimulate domestic investment.
The building of local industrial capacity within Limpopo is critical if the province is to play a strategic role in the region.
We call on all South African business leaders to renew their commitment to our people by investing their talents and resources to eradicate the scourges of poverty, unemployment and inequality from our land.