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'Tshwane is top growing municipality'

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By Baldwin Ndaba.

The City of Tshwane – one of three metropolitan councils in Gauteng – was economically the fastest-growing municipality in the whole country, while the West Rand was the most sluggish region in the province.

This was revealed yesterday by Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe in the Gauteng legislature during his tabling of the province’s economic review and outlook for 2012.

Nkomfe also commended Gauteng for its continuous contribution to the gross domestic product of not only the country, but the rest of the continent too.

He said the province’s 7.7 percent contribution to Africa’s GDP was a strong indication of the province’s importance as one of the economic hubs of the continent.

Nkomfe said the province had generated 35.6 percent last year, or an estimated R675 billion, to the GDP even though it had the smallest land area in the country.

Its economy was more than twice that of KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

The MEC told the sitting that the provincial government hoped to contribute about R781.6bn to the country’s GDP by 2015.

“The City of Johannesburg generated R313bn in 2011, and this was the largest contribution to the province’s GDP. It was followed by the City of Tshwane with R184bn. Ekurhuleni had the third-biggest economy at R128bn.”

“The City of Tshwane is the fastest-growing municipality in the whole country. Its economy grew at an average annual growth rate of 4.4 percent between 1997 and 2011.”

“The City of Joburg grew by an average of 4 percent and Ekurhuleni by 3 percent during the same period. The economy of the West Rand is the most sluggish in the province, with an average annual growth rate of 0.1 percent, while Sedibeng’s average annual growth during the same period was 1.4 percent,” Nkomfe said.

He detailed efforts by which these Gauteng municipalities can derive economic opportunities by ensuring that they lay proper infrastructures and improve their roads to attract investments.

He said the City of Joburg would realise opportunities by generating power through renewable energies.

Nkomfe also said the municipality must develop new natural systems to minimise the impact of urban flooding.

He urged the municipality to improve rail freight into the city and strengthen its emerging information communication technology sector.

Nkomfe said Tshwane must improve its:

- Automotive and components industry;

- Aerospace village for manufacturing components;

- Research and development in the areas of biotechnology laboratories;

- Broadband network opportunities.

Nkomfe said the total nominal value of contracts awarded to South Africa between April last year and March this year amounted to R77.7bn.

Gauteng received the largest share of these contracts – 22 percent, or R17.3bn. - The Star.

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