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Gauteng Business 2022/23

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The 2022/23 edition of Gauteng Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Gauteng Province. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, a special feature on the growth and significance of the green economy is included in this edition. Every sector from agriculture to transport and logistics is referenced, with several Gauteng companies taking the lead in the field of creating a more sustainable future for themselves and for their clients. The fact that mining companies and others are starting to build facilities to generate power is significant for the country as a whole. Gold Fields’ 40MW solar project at its South Deep mine is one of the first of its kind and it is certainly a precursor of what we can expect to see a lot more of in the future. The unexpected fall from power in the province’s three big metropolitan municipalities in 2021 of the political party that is in charge at provincial and national level, the African National Congress, is noted in the Regional Overview. Whether this presages a change beyond the borders of Gauteng in elections to come remains to be seen, but the huge budgets which now fall under the control of coalition governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni will certainly serve to sharpen the focus of ANC election planners for national elections in 2024.


SPECIAL FEATURE especially with regard to tourism and hospitality which has suffered major setbacks during the local and international lockdowns. Overview of the province Gauteng is South Africa’s smallest province in terms of landmass but in every other respect it is a giant. The province is the nation’s key economic growth engine. At 18 176km², the province makes up just 1.5% of South Africa’s territory. The 14.3-million people living in Gauteng in 2017 generated a gross domestic product of R1.59-trillion, about a third of South Africa’s GDP. Gauteng recorded the highest provincial growth rate in 2019. The 0.6% rise was mainly driven by finance, real estate and business services, which is the dominant industry (StatsSA). Gauteng shares borders with four provinces, the Free State, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The southern border of the province is the Vaal River and most of the province is located on the Highveld. The Witwatersrand, which runs through Johannesburg, marks the continental divide: rivers running to the north drain into the Indian Ocean, rivers running south drain into the Atlantic Ocean via the Vaal into the Orange River. Gauteng draws its water from a series of interconnected river transfer systems. A major source of water is the Lesotho Water Highlands Project. The Witwatersrand was the source of the gold that drew so many thousands of people to the area in the late 19th century and was the origin of the word for South Africa’s currency, the “rand”. Gauteng is a leader in a wide range of economic sectors: finance, manufacturing, commerce, IT and media among them. The Bureau of Market Research (BMR) has shown that Gauteng accounts for 35% of total household consumption in South Africa. The leading economic sectors are finance, real estate and business, manufacturing, government services and wholesale, retail, motor trade and accommodation. The creative industries (including advertising and the film sector) contribute significantly to the provincial economy. In Johannesburg, financial services and commerce predominate. The JSE, Africa’s largest stock exchange, is in Sandton and several new stock exchanges have recently received licences. Gauteng Premier David Makhura visited the Rosslyn plant of the Nissan Group of Africa to inspect the protocols that had been put in place to ensure the safety of works during the Covid-19 epidemic. Credit: Nissan Tshwane (which includes Pretoria) is home to many government services and is the base of the automotive industry and many research institutions. The Ekurhuleni metropole has the largest concentration of manufacturing concerns, ranging from heavy to light industry, in the country. The western part of the province is concerned mainly with mining and agriculture, while the south has a combination of maize farming, tobacco production and the heavy industrial work associated with steel and iron-ore workings. Individually, the biggest Gauteng cities contribute to the national GDP as follows: Johannesburg (15%), Tshwane (9%) and Ekurhuleni (7%). Gauteng is not just an important centre of economic activity, it is also an important launching pad for local and international businesses to enter the African market. The country’s biggest airport, OR Tambo International Airport, is at the core of the province’s logistical network. Other airports include Rand Airport (Germiston), Wonderboom (Pretoria), Lanseria and Grand Central (Midrand). The Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa (which has seats in Pretoria and Johannesburg) is a superior court with general jurisdiction over the province. Johannesburg is also home to the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest court, and to a branch of the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court. The province has several outstanding universities, and the majority of South Africa’s research takes place at well-regarded institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), Mintek, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA), the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and several sites where the work of the Agricultural Research Council is done. ■ GAUTENG BUSINESS 2022

Going green Dozens of Gauteng companies in multiple sectors are exploring ways to make their buildings more efficient, their processes less wasteful and their impact less harmful to the environment. A new source of power. Gold Fields is building a 40MW solar plant at its South Deep mine. Credit: Gold Fields Every sector has potential for growth and innovation towards a more sustainable future and companies in Gauteng are showing the way. The announcement in 2021 by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the threshold for companies to produce their own electricity without a licence would be increased from 1MW to 100MW was widely welcomed. To protect the grid, generation projects are still required to obtain a grid connection permit. Large companies had been lobbying for this change to the power landscape for a long time. Not only will the policy relieve pressure on national utility Eskom but it will serve as a catalyst for massive new investment. Most of this new capacity will be in the form of renewable energy. One example in Gauteng is Gold Fields, which is building a 40MW solar power station at its South Deep mine at a cost of R660-million. Daily Maverick reports that Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council, has said that South Africa’s mining industry is ready to build 2GW of renewable energy, valued at more than R30-billion. South African mining companies are also looking at green hydrogen and taking advantage of the fact that many of the minerals needed to fire the new, lowcarbon economy are found in South Africa. Mines and smelters are among the most obvious big consumers of electricity, but modern technology means that data centres and even shopping malls can now produce their own energy. One of the biggest examples of this is the Mall of Africa in Waterfall City, where most of the huge roof is covered by what is believed to be the world’s largest integrated rooftop PV/diesel hybrid project. Attacq Property Group has undertaken to build sustainably across its portfolio. The installation will save 8 034 tons of CO2 annually and will result in 157 fewer coal trucks on the road per year. The PV plant was installed by Solareff, which owns a majority stake in GridCars. Vukile Property Fund has decided to equip all of the malls in its portfolio with rooftop solar panels. Among its properties are malls in Boksburg and Soweto. The company says that installations across the group have the capacity to generate 2 089MWh annually. Retrofitting of light fittings has also taken place to improve energy efficiency. Absa Bank has followed up on its decision to take its central Johannesburg campus off the national electricity grid. Investments in a 6 000-panel rooftop solar system (which cost R10-million), the synchronisation of gas and diesel generators and GAUTENG BUSINESS 2022

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