President Jacob Zuma will on Tuesday, February 28, pay a special visit to Soshanguve in order to fast-track his fight against crime in the town which is situated about 25 km north of Pretoria, Gauteng.
According to reports from the presidency, the president’s visit to Soshanguve is part of his 2017 radical socio-economic transformation programme in line with his plans to deal with poverty, inequality and unemployment in the country.
The area, which the President mentioned in his State of the Nation Address, requires special attention given the number of crime incidents, including hijackings and robberies which are making life unbearable for residents, including students at Tshwane University of Technology.
The Presidency said during his visit, Zuma will speak to the residents and also visit the police station to receive a briefing on challenges and support needed in the fight crime in Soshanguve.
“He will specially focus on drug trafficking and substance abuse and the impact that drugs such as nyaope have on crime.
“The President wants to see visible action on arresting the spread of the abuse of nyaope among young people in Soshanguve, which is destroying the lives of many young people and causing untold trauma to parents, in addition to perpetuating crime and mayhem,” said the presidency.
This is the second of such visit that the President is undertaking. Earlier this month, he visited Nyanga in Cape Town where residents live in daily fear of being attacked by criminals.
He met with the Nyanga Police Station commander and other employees to establish the issues they face.
Some of the key problem areas highlighted include the need for another police station in the area and ongoing battles to rid the township of drug lords and illegal taverns.
Alongside his promise for a radical economic change starting with Soshanguve, Zuma promised to fast-track the creation of black industrialists with an aim of creating 100 black industrialists by the end of 2018 financial year.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies confirmed this during a media briefing with the Economic Sectors, Employment and Economic Infrastructure Development Cluster briefed the media, on Tuesday.
He said that the first phase of the Black Industrialists Programme envisaged the government supporting 100 black industrialists over three years.
“We have done 25 so far and the financial year is not yet over … and I am sure we will do three [by end of March]. So we’d hit the 30 that we were supposed to hit in the current financial year.
“But we actually said that instead of 70 more over two years, we will now do 70 more over one year,” Minister Davies said.
Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti also said several milestones had been achieved in driving the country’s industrialization programme. These include:
- For the first time, the automotive sector exported R150 billion in 2016 and received the country’s largest investment of R11 billion from the Beijing Automobile International Corporation. Construction on this project is underway and production is expected to commence in 2018;
- More than R20 billion in industrial finance was approved last year, creating 27 000 direct new jobs and approximately 108 indirect new jobs;
- More than R180 million was committed to upgrade six industrial parks across five provinces. In 2017, the first phase of the revitalisation of Babelegi (Hammanskraal) and Vulindlela (Mthatha) industrial parks will be launched;
- About 21 products have been designated for local production, including rail rolling stock, bus bodies, electrical transformers and transmission lines, fire trucks, boats, solar photovoltaic components and electricity meters.