Sedibeng District mayor outlines plans to grow local economyOn 24 Jun 2022 by Mapepeza
The Executive Mayor of Sedibeng District Municipality, Councilor Lerato Maloka, has announced new plans that will see a new lease on the economy of the area.
The Sedibeng District, popularly known as the Vaal Triangle, is made up of three local municipalities: Emfuleni, Lesedi and Midvaal.
The mayor was delivering the 2022/23 State Of the District Address (SODA) at the Vereeniging Civic Hall, addressing the residents and stakeholders on Wednesday, June 15.
In her speech, Mayor Maloka spoke of the District Development Model (DDM) “One Plan for Sedibeng”, which is an implementation tool for the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) to speed up development priorities and unlock economic growth opportunities for the region.
She also announced that the Vaal Special Economic Zone (VSEZ) is on track, and its master plan is to be completed in June 2022 and VSEZ designation application to be at the end of July 2022.
The new five Pillar Sedibeng Economic Revitalisation Strategic Plan, supported by the the Vaal Special Economic Zone, focuses on high-growth sectors in the area such as agro-processing, agribusiness, food and beverage, cannabis farming, renewable energy, transport and logistics, and tourism and hospitality.
To date, the Vaal Special Economic Zone has secured approximately 3000 hectares of land throughout the district.
“As a coalition government, we share a longing for and to make climate conducive to create job opportunities that will reduce level of unemployment in the district,” said Councilor Maloka in her address.
Restoring good governance also part of the plan
Mayor Maloka, through the coalition, has committed that Sedibeng District will:
• Graduate to Clean Audit Outcomes in the next two (2) years,
• support Emfuleni Local Municipality to regain its full control of its own affairs and to fulfil its service delivery functions to its residents.
The district has made strides in bringing some stability to the Emfuleni council, working with the provincial government after it was put under administration.
Furthermore, she welcomed the newly appointed Accounting Officer, Motsumi Mathe, bought in to establish institutional stability and build efficient administrative and financial management system.
Plan to ‘reclaim the Vaal’
This year’s address was delivered under the theme “Reclaiming the Vaal”.
With the theme in mind, the Mayor emphasized that “to reclaim the Vaal means to put an end to food insecurity and anxiety in our homes as to what children are going to it.”
The five Pillar plan has the following priorities for Sedibeng District Municipality within the next five years:
1. Maintain existing infrastructure – reviving and upgrading roads, water, energy and industrial infrastructure. A funding model will be made to provide maintenance.
2. Water resource management – decentralize water provision to the Local municipalities or build a capacity within the Sedibeng District Municipality to provide water services across the region. A plan for the Sedibeng Regional Sewer Scheme has been made.
Sedibeng District is the home of the Vaal Dam and is central to the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) that provides water to Gauteng.
3. Diversify the economy – leasing of land to investors in agriculture, introduce incentives to bring investors in key economic sectors.
Other plans include supporting Emfuleni with Rietkuil Precinct Development Plan – an “Agri-related land uses to support local farmers and supporting businesses”.
• Establish the Heidelberg Aerodrome (Airport) and Transit Hub (Logistics/warehousing) as anchor of Vaal Special Economic Zone
• Support Emfuleni Local Municipality to establish an international airport (Vaal Aerotropolis) linked Vaal Logistics Hub – gateway logistics (air, road, rail, river)
• Launch tourism investment framework to preserve and promote the Liberation Heritage Routes within the district, plus renovating heritage sites and museums
• Support the Sebokeng 1&2 Industrial Park Revitalisation Programme
4. Innovation – Strengthen Partnerships with local institutions of higher learning on research and radical skills revolution. Sedibeng has plans to set up incubation hubs for business development and support small business development, working with private sector and other stakeholders.
5. Hydrogen Economy – Sedibeng plans to support Emfuleni Local Municipality in the Hydrogen Valley (Hydro-energy) to manufacture hydrogen fuel cells. A hub for low-carbon manufacturing and renewable energy production is also in plan, as the district intends to exploit opportunities of a green energy-fueled re-industry within the area.
The Sedibeng SODA is an event whereby the district municipality outlines a Programme of Action for the next 5 five years as contained in the 2022-2026 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and budget.
The address was the first since the 2021 Local Government Elections and the constitution of the new Council.
The event was attended by Emfuleni and Midvaal Local Municipality, Executive Mayors Cllr Sipho Radebe and Cllr Peter Teixeira respectively, Members of the Mayoral Committees, Municipal Manager and various stakeholders.
Mayor Maloka stated that this term of office (2022-2026) is towards building the district municipality as a ‘district-wide government ecosystem’ that brings together the efforts of all three local municipalities under the district.
“Our campaign to reclaim Sedibeng also includes reclaiming public and private spaces to be safe for women and children. We must campaign against gender-based violence, campaign against all violence and campaign for the participation of women as equal economic agents in development programmes,” emphasized the Executive Mayor.
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