The meeting to celebrate the birth of the collaboration, bringing together the local stakeholders for the development of the economy in the region, was hosted at the Desmond Tutu Great Hall, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) on March 7.
The Economic Research Unit analyses economic variables like water, electricity, refuse removal, sanitation, communication, technology, housing and health and their link to the level of poverty, ascertain progress the government has made toward improving the lives of communities.
In his keynote address, Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe says the government is upgrading sanitation infrastructure to unlock the development investment in the region.
“The government encourage the involvement of the business in the implementation of key projects that will have an impact on the delivery of public services,” says Nkomfe.
VUT acknowledges its role as a partner in the development of the South African society. Vice chancellor Professor Irene Moutlana adds that, as part of the engagement, VUT seeks continuous alignment with government, business, communities and other identified target groups in order to respond to different needs pertaining to various sectors.
The chairperson of the Sedibeng Business Forum, Mr Ian van Ravesteyn, says not all is doom and gloom in the SMMEs.
There is a high possibility that one can still make improvements in business.
The aim of the forum is to work closely with growing businesses, especially those that have not registered.
He says people are not aware that there is potential in the business.
Among the stakeholders from the government department was Councillor Chaka Radebe, Emfuleni MMC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture, and Councillor Maipato Tsokodibane, Sedibeng MMC for Local Development and Planning.