Gauteng premier David Makhura says his province plans to build a new smart city in the Vaal triangle, which he wants to become Africa’s “cannabis capital”.
Makhura stated at a press conference on Tuesday, 26 October 2021, that the project, which also spans parts of the Free State and Mpumalanga, will serve as the foundation for a new special economic zone (SEZ).
“The department of trade, industry and competition and Gauteng provincial government, in collaboration with the Sedibeng District Municipality, have already established the Vaal River SEZ Company and the programme management unit, in line with applicable legislation, to help coordinate and fast-track all the planning and rollout of specific shovel-ready projects that will catalyse the entire smart city and SEZ,” Makhura said.
According to the premier, the Vaal smart city will not be like other proposed models, as it will focus on emerging technologies, including:
- a new logistics sector;
- a hub of the cannabis industry; and
- a hydrogen economy hub for Gauteng.
Western Cape agri exports for 2020 reach R78 billion
According to his latest report on jobs and exports in the Western Cape, the province’s department of agriculture’s agricultural economist, Tshepo Morokong, noted that the Western Cape exported R78.68 billion worth of combined agricultural and agri-processing products in 2020.
This is good news, says the MEC of agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer.
“I want to thank farmers and agri-workers for their commitment to growing our agricultural products in the Western Cape.
“The 24% increase (R63.23 billion in 2019 vs R78.68 billion in 2020) confirms the critical role agriculture is playing in the economic recovery of the Western Cape. Agricultural export is one of my ministerial priorities, and we will do everything possible to grow our exports and create job opportunities,” he said.
According to Morokong, the Western Cape agricultural sector is export-orientated and contributes 44% to national agricultural exports.
“In 2020, the province’s primary agricultural exports accounted for 53% of national exports, beverages for 70%, processed meat, fish and fruit products for 44%, leather and related products for 31% and dairy for 22%,” Morokong added.
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