Story by: Motsieng Mooketsi
Planery 1: Infrastructure & Property Development
Moderator: Chris Marshall Goodridge
“Leveraging Public-Private Partnership for Long-term Infrastructure Financing and Investment”
Matlosana”Klerksdorp”: Every topic that was covered had a panel of discussion from various captains of industry around the country and the world to give an outlook of every topic related to a certain industry, the panelists made presentations and the audience was given an opportunity to ask quetions and submit comments.
The first discussions took place on the topic of “Infrastructure & Property Development” The moderator Mr Chris Marshall Goodridge of the Wesvaal spoke of infrastructure being the main attraction of investment in every city around the world.
The panel which had four panelists with the absence of Ntombi Koloti the chief whip of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality and the Deputy Chairperson of SALGA in the North West. The Australian dignitary Mr Melvin Hachuma CEO of Bremsons Investments & Business Advisory said! For things to work we need to ensure that the community receives basic services, the municipality’s debt has to be reduced. Hachuma said! Infrastructure is critical to modern life and it is key to attracting business. He reminded everyone that “The voice of the present is higher than the voice of the future” making reference to who is going to pay for that infrastructure.
Mr Nhanhla Nkala of MXN Development, N12 West Development made it clear that if infrastructure is not improved in the community or city business and investment won’t be attracted. “We must also put into cognizance that infrastructure should not only be improved it should also be maintained otherwise if its not maintained you end up paying more on repairing and fixing that infrastructure” said! Nkala
MXN’s Developments have already started just next to overland store, a total of 2000 affordable houses will be built according to Mr Nhlanhla Nkala this is going to be a 7 year period project worth 9 billion the project comprises of various developments and a total of 10 000 houses are expected to be built on the N12 in close proximity to Rio Casino, Jouberton and Alabama. There’s a 345 million NDGP (Neighborhood Development Grant Program) on the N12, There’s a 96 Million substation being built on the west of Jouberton.
The Wesvaal President Mr Kgotso Mmadi who was celebrating his birthday called on business to do a self-introspective outlook on itself Mmadi says! “It is business that builds the roads we use and then business turs around again and blame government for unworthy roads”
Mr Mmadi applauded the Mayor for the current supply of electricity in the city and reiterated to investors that Matlosana is an investment destination of choice making mention of the medical facilities, education facilities that exist in the city and their track record.
Mmadi said! “We have to innovate ideas and Matlosana must be part of the plan, and a plan without action is useless, a plan without leaders is not a plan, we buy the leadership and the we buy Matlosana”
Transnet made a presentation on the the opportunity that lies between the network connections of rail which connect Matlosana to different cities and regions with special emphasis on the railway connection which has to be constructed that will link Matlosana and Kroonstad.
Planery 2: Energy Infrastructure
“Sustainable Renewable Energy and Transport Infrastructure Public and Private Sector Investments”
Moderated by: Emang Mochwanaesi – Member of Wesvaal Chamber of Business
Mochwanaesi began by asking Mr Allison Khuzwayo of the Local Economic Development as to why projects and IDP programs are not implemented.
Khuzwayo said! The challenge lies with the fact that Matlosana doesn’t market itself enough and further the attraction of investors is heavily reliable on the National government and it is very difficult to raise funds to implement projects. Khuzwayo appealed on the Investors to take the opportunities that are available in the city.
Mr Hechmat Currimjee, Executive Director of Currimjee Group from Mauritius gave a brief history of the group, the 125 year company has links in Africa, India, in the Far East, Europe and others.
Currimjee says when he came to South Africa in 1995 to study he knew Africa is the future. With the SA context of energy “You are reliant on Eskom, and Coal, a mistake which i see being done in this country is that people mistake waste management and waste to energy as one thing, with all the waste being collected you are not reducing landfill.
He posed a question of what is different in Matlosana that can bring investors to this city, alluding to the fact that too many talk shows have been held and when will everything that is agreed on be implemented because it’s already October and come November companies are closing. Currimjee advised to change the culture of delay in implementation and start thinking out of the box.
According to Currimjee Mauritius is smaller than the size of Matlosana but it’s economy has been recognized as the best to invest in, in the continent of Africa.
Stephen Kimingi of Tajir Capital in Kenya gave a word or two about the investment opportunities that are in store for African cities, Kimingi said! there’s a need for demystifying energy and the municipality is not doing enough research on itself, and many investors are falling short on funding because no one is approaching. “All that is needed is a project that is bankable, and credible information is needed in terms of research for the potential project.
When speaking of energy Mr Allison Khuzwayo mentioned various transportations for Matlosana, The Airport which needs an investment that could make it a passanger or cargo airline, an express train which will travel between Matlosana, Tlokwe and Johannesburg, warehouses and a meat processing plant within the vicinity of the airport are on the pipeline for the city, Agro-processing plant is also on the cards, “We are in need of a truck inn, our people need to rest, truck drivers travel long distances across the country, lets make a place for them to take a break” said Khuzwayo. The city’s IDP is unfunded by a total of over 3 billion.
Conference Opening Cocktail Reception
As guests, entrepreneurs, investors and sponsors sipped on cocktails networking for possible deals and business opportunities, The Mayor who was evidently overwhelmed by the success of the first day of the conference welcomed everyone and thanked all the stakeholders who took part in ensuring the conference takes place, the mayor said she never thought the conference would take place after being postponed. Johan Van Der Merwe gave a brief speech about the bank’s role in the conference and said they are privileged to be part of such a landmark event which has given a new path for a partnership with the municipality for future projects in the city.