Home News NC infrastructure summit to focus on job creation, development and SMME support

NC infrastructure summit to focus on job creation, development and SMME support

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“This summit aims to engage all relevant stakeholders to develop a credible and inclusive provincial integrated plan through the unlocking of economic potential, job opportunities and partnerships.”

File image. Picture: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

THE PROVINCIAL Infrastructure Summit will be held from December 2 to 4, with up to 500 delegates from the public and private sector expected to attend the event.

The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Office of the Premier, Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, said the main proceedings will take place at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley, while virtual meetings will be held in the provincial districts.

“This summit aims to engage all relevant stakeholders to develop a credible and inclusive provincial integrated plan through the unlocking of economic potential, job opportunities and partnerships. We aim to explore how innovation, science and technology can best be deployed in ways that will contribute to inclusive growth at all levels,” said Thomas-Abrahams.

She added that the summit would focus on job creation, development and support of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs), in order to deal with the impact of the current economic decline as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thomas-Abrahams said that the Northern Cape would concentrate on the infrastructure and mining sectors to drive job creation.

“The National Development Plan (NDP) indicates that the South African economy should grow by 5.4 percent per annum in order to create additional jobs for many unemployed South Africans, reduce unemployment by six percent by 2030 and reduce income inequality. The Province has targeted mining beneficiation, infrastructure development, service industries, manufacturing and the green economy to drive these expectations.”

Thomas-Abrahams pointed out that infrastructure development would speed up the economic recovery.

“It is not just essential for higher employment but it also promotes inclusive growth, providing citizens with the means to improve their own lives and boost their incomes. Infrastructure is essential to development. This requires a concerted effort by all role-players in order to meet this objective.”

She added that state-owned construction and mining companies, as announced by the premier during his State of the Province address in 2019, would serve as incubators for SMME development as well as skills development for the youth and unemployed.

“This will be used as a platform that will encourage meaningful participation of SMMEs to partner with the government in the fight against the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” concluded Thomas-Abrahams.