The MMC for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture – Andrew Whitfield says:
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality aims to create 17 289 work opportunities in the 2017/18 financial year.
There is hope for many unemployed residents, even the GMSA workers whose jobs hang in the balance. Big business is groaning under the weight of national governance concerns and a sluggish economy.
While others focus on purchasing nuclear reactors at the expense of coherent national policy implementation, it is our residents who suffer most.
As your local government we will do what we can within our mandate.
In the 2017/18 financial year, through EPWP and full time equivalent posts, many more thousands of residents will be able to put food on the table, while contributing to our City’s development.
This cash-backed target of 17 289 has been set based on a number of key capital projects and identified service delivery gaps. A key performance indicator to this effect has been included in our Integrated Development Plan for adoption, which will hold this goverment and all its officials to account.
The focus EPWP areas are likely to be waste management, water, storm water, drainage, roads and lighting.
While EPWP is a temporary solution, it provides our residents with a stepping stone. Importantly, Our local economy must rapidly grow so that permanent work is created in the market.
While the automotive sector is important for Nelson Mandela Bay, we are also developing ties with other sectors to give our economy greater width and reach.
Agro-processing, Tourism, Sports Tourism, IT, Services and Food Beverage are sectors that will flourish given the right environment.
Diversifying the economy and facilitating a process of trans-skilling between sectors will take us a long way towards building a sustainable economic environment.
The Municipality will reduce the turnaround time to get a business connected to electricity and the number of days taken to have building plans approved, amongst many others.
Recent investment into our City such as the Toyota Forklift expansion, Dry Ice production facility and PWC call centre indicate that we are starting to move in the right direction.
By creating an enabling, supportive environment, backed up by reliable infrastructure, business will thrive. Jobs will be created.
And that is how cities move forward.
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