The 24th of March will remain as one of the highlights of the ANC led Gauteng Provincial Government, this is when the Township Economy Development Bill passed at the Gauteng Legislature. The Township Bill, which will become an Act upon signing by the Premier, is welcomed since it is a legislative and programmatic policy mechanism to create an economic geography for mushrooming of the township enterprise zones. In these zones, there is space to implement “benefit stacking” which simply means stack in these zones all the benefits for people and businesses to access such as funding, procurement, better by-laws, tax breaks, and dedicated programmes.

The Township Economic Development Bill which received unanimous vote by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, will over and above encompass Township Enterprise Zones. We are targeting everything government can do at these zones – funding, procurement, better bylaws, tax breaks, dedicated programmes – and in this way we will “stack” the benefits to the people who live and work in these zones, to the businesses who operate there. 

Growing Gauteng Together 2030 has made this commitment even more specific. It has committed this government to regulatory and policy interventions which deliberately target the areas – and the people – who experience the highest structural disadvantage. 

Transforming the economic destiny of these areas is the core aim of the new deal for the township economies in the Gauteng City Region.

For the small township business in these zones, whether formal or informal, this means it will be much easier, faster and cheaper to be fully licensed to operate, and to connect with all the benefits of the formal economy. 

Zoning rules and other laws that have been a barrier to you as a business, have been a problem for you will now be on your side as a business owner. And our ambition is that you will grow as a business and hire people from the township area around you.

In preparation for the deployment of township enterprise zones, we have made solid progress supporting partners who are already running scale backyard shack upgrade initiatives in areas such as Tembisa and Mamelodi.

In the last 9 months alone, 300 township-based landlords upgraded what were informal backyard shacks to mixed-use, multi-story buildings that now house flats and small businesses.

In addition to the regulatory support we will be providing through the township enterprise zones we will be scaling this through the wholesale financing to such systems we are now enabling through the township economy partnership fund.

Also, as we prepare for the new kinds of support the township enterprise zones will offer to taxi economy nodes, we can confirm we have already initiated work on new commercial nodes anchored by taxi ranks in Shoshanguve, Hammanskraal, Nigel and Ivory Park with the relevant local taxi associations as equity partners.

This includes both commercial operations and after-market (service and repair facilities) owned by the taxi associations developed in partnership with Toyota.

Wholesale funding support to rank development companies that can support SMMES working in these nodes.


The Agro-processing and green energy corridor along the N12, to be anchored by our new Western SEZ is becoming a reality.

Sibanye-Stillwater is seeding the Western SEZ with a land donation of over 5000 hectares, including dedicated areas for new agro-processing hubs, the new Busmark manufacturing plant for green buses, solar farms to power new Green Hydrogen electrolysers and 1000 hectares for hemp plantations and processing

We are seeing the hemp investment as the start of a vast re-planting and redeveloping of mining land across the historic gold reef – an initiative we have provisionally codenamed “Operation Green Gold”.

Furthermore, the desired impact of the department is to secure a transformed agri-food value-chains and sustainable environment for healthy, food secure and developed urban and rural communities within the Gauteng City Region.

GDARD will strategically focus on the following interventions:

  • Promoting urban farming, smart agriculture and sustainable food system as part of the GCR inclusive food security agenda through the implementation of targeted interventions in partnership with key sector departments and the private sector.
  • Vigorously promoting and implementing strategic interventions that position Gauteng as an agro-processing mecca in Southern Africa thereby ensuring that agro-processing and agro-logistics emerge as lead sectors for growth and job creation.
  • Through the farmer commercialisation programme, the department will systematically lead the transformation of the agri-food value chains so that the sector is more inclusive and sustainable.
  • Significantly reduce food security by 10% from the current baseline of 16% through the implementation of community-based food gardens, smallholder farmers and agricultural cooperatives through a District Deliver Model.
  • Lead the development of Gauteng as a Cannabis Mecca within the African Continent through the implementation of an accelerated Industrialisation programme that leverages on the convening power of Government to bring all key role players together.

In the Northern West of Gauteng we have the Lanseria Smart City Development…


The Lanseria Regional node represents one of the most significant regional development opportunities in both Gauteng and North West, and the opportunity to evolve the first genuine scale post-apartheid smart urban node in the Republic. This is an effort that will require the collective energies of all three spheres of government, a range of relevant parastatals and various layers of private sector actors to realise.

This must be done in defiance of a recent history of coordination failures driven – in no small part – by Lanseria’s position at the urban edge of 4 different municipal governments, none of which are in a position to fund the necessary bulk and framework infrastructure within the timeframes required to fully unlock the various development applications which collectively represent a new city node, grounded in range of commercial and industrial uses and home to over 3,5 million people.

The process to develop the new Lanseria City node requires a range of coordination processes Including:

Innovative financing matches future flows of funds that can be responsibly encumbered to collateralise the upfront cost of bulk sewerage, electricity, water, road and fibre networks.

An infrastructure master-planning process that can consolidate all the detailed technical planning work towards Lanseria as a city node done by various parties to date – including the various property developers with applications pending within the area defined for the new urban node, the 4 municipal governments within which the area of the proposed node falls, Gauteng Provincial Government and NW Provincial Government as the regional planning authority and provincial and national agencies with transport infrastructure mandates.

An economic master-planning process which will integrate all the potential economic development activities that will underpin the sustainability of the new City node.

A coordination mechanism that can phase the work required into a coordinating structure for the new city node, analogous to a city improvement district but at a larger scale.

The Gauteng Provincial Government continues to facilitate and promote economic growth and development in the province, with a targeted commitment to focus on enhancing the inclusivity of the economy, whilst improving its competitiveness.

Worth noting is the Growing Gauteng Together 2030 strategic goals which among others include, driving spatial and economic transformation, particularly with respect to townships, creating employment for the unemployed and facilitating employment for all classes of disadvantaged citizens, and the coordination of industrialisation initiatives so that they are geared towards products and services required by the 10 high-growth sectors.

The Township Economy Development bill is part of the instruments that the Provincial government plans to use to drive a deliberate programme of spatial and economic transformation of our townships. To further this noble transformative approach, we have established the Township Economy Partnership Fund in partnership with the private sector to create a basket of R800 million which is now active. This fund will be allocated to organisations that can run portfolios of loans to small township-based businesses in all 10 of our high growth sectors

These are intermediaries who provide working capital, financing for purchase orders, stock credit finance, specialist financing for upgrading backyard shacks into flats and businesses, specialist financing for upgrading taxi nodes and range of other priorities we have laid out as part of the township economic development policy.

The decision-making, the interface with small businesses, everything will be better, faster, and much more agile than a government agency could manage. We are sharing risk with the private sector and harnessing their operational efficiency to fast-track transformation and rapid business growth in the very communities where the vast majority of our workforce live.

The money we are putting in as government makes sure interest rates are low, and that risks are taken on SMMEs that cannot access banks.

The Gauteng Township Economic Development Act brings both Private & Public sector business and procurement benefits closer to the Local SMMEs and provides a stepping ladder for the smallest township enterprise to gain access to the market. This Bill reiterates the need to Transform, Modernise and Reindustrialise our townships.