The commitment made by Executive Mayor Muzi Chirwa during his State of the District Address in May 2018 was realised on 26 – 27 September 2018 when Gert Sibande District Municipality (GSDM) hosted the economic development summit.
In collaboration with all its seven (7) local municipalities, the Regional Economic Development Summit was held in the context of the Local Economic Development (LED) support role of the Gert Sibande District Municipality for successful implementation of LED Programmes and Projects at local municipal level. Implementation of various LED initiatives will ensure creation of decent jobs, poverty elimination and reduction of the inequality gap.
The summit took place at a time when we are facing technical recession, unprecedented levels of labour unrests; and this reality poses serious challenges for all in the region, province and the whole country. The theme for the 2018 Gert Sibande Economic Development Summit was “District Economic development through targeted economic sector development and support through clustering, value chain linkages and beneficiation”.
Four commissions were identified in order to create a platform for delegates to deliberate pertinent issues regarding regional economic growth and development. Focus areas for the commissions were Agriculture, Tourism, Mining, Manufacturing as the main economic sectors in the District.
Arising from the summit and its resolutions, an implementation action plan was developed with special focus on capacity building in leading sectors of the economy, strengthening of relationships and engagements with stakeholders and role players, exploring new opportunities in the leading economic sectors and strengthening linkages. This will be a working document which will assist address the economic challenges in the District. Some are short term goals whilst others are to be implemented in the long term.