Weak foreign direct investment plan threatens Gauteng economy

Lebogang More MPL

DA Gauteng Public Petitions Spokesperson

The weak approach by MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) is indicative of a government that is not serious about boosting the economy of Gauteng.

In response to my question regarding FDI in the province, the MEC made a very ambiguous claim that department has established a Gauteng Investment Centre to create awareness regarding FDI, and to fast track the needs of potential investors.

Little is known about the role of this centre, its mandate and what measures it will take to “fast track” the needs of foreign investors.

The global economic slowdown has seen the reluctance of foreign capital willing to invest in regions that are not innovative, cooperative and amenable to market requirements.

Gauteng is fast becoming one of these non-viable regions. With many of its towns, Westonaria a case in point, collapsing due to little economic activity – more detailed and viable plans need to be presented by the MEC and his department.

As the fourth largest economy in Africa, Gauteng cannot be left to the mercy of poor political planning. I urge MEC Maile to steer his department towards more transformative models of attracting direct investments such as tax free zones and a reduction in bureaucratic red tape.