Business Pledge new Jobs
Mr Moeketsi Mpotu, President of the Middelburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), and Steve Tshwete, Mayor of the Municipality, Cllr Masilela, met on Friday 22 September 2023 with a strong delegation from the mining, manufacturing, ICT, higher education, medical, and retail sectors strongly supporting the Steve Tshwete Municipality (STLM) delegation and delivering their message. This meeting was many years overdue and initiated the debate on the future of Steve Tshwete Municipality.
Mpotu introduced the debate by saying, “If we do nothing, we will end up remembering the golden days instead of embracing the future with focus and optimism.” He challenged business representatives to talk about what they need from STLM to create the thousand new jobs we need to boost our town’s economy.
Mr Chris Swartz of Twizza opened the debate, saying that if the town can bring the water quality back to what it used to be, they could create several hundred new jobs. He said that 60% of the country’s economic activity is within a 300 km radius and the city offers many opportunities for businesses and our economy to grow. The future water security not only for industry but also for our community is vital, and he urges STLM to secure the water from the mining sector.
Mr Sizwe Siyila of Samancor said that Middelburg Ferrochrome will be 60 years in Middelburg next year and plans to stay in the town for many more years. He assured the community of Samancor’ s support, but for our town to grow, we need a reliable electricity.
Mr Junior van Niekerk of Nashua said that the favourable environment in Middelburg has helped the company to expand to Ermelo and the Lowveld. He also said that they want to invest in a battery factory in town. An easy accessible investment support package will attract even more business to the area.
Mr Mike Tammadge of Middelburg Mall said that Middelburg Mall is one of the best malls in the company’s portfolio. However, he urged the municipality to work with other stakeholders to reduce crime in our town.
Mr Mondli Kl Kgalema, the chairperson of STLM LED, said the LED Forum is aware of community structures that threaten established businesses and the mining sector in particular. He urged all parties to use the STLM portal so that the community can access opportunities without the interference of vested interests.
Cllr Masilela, the Mayor of STLM, replied that he was encouraged by the commitment of the companies to create jobs. He summarized the SCADA system and said that the faster the system is up and running, the faster Middelburg will have less load shedding. The municipality acknowledged the comments on bureaucratic hurdles and delays in approving building plans. STLM will collaborate with MCCI and the business community to eliminate these obstacles.
Other members expressed their support for the town and the community they work and live in by contributing their input and pledging their support. The conclusion of the debate was that a fully functional municipality is necessary for the business community to ensure timely delivery of services and maintenance of infrastructure. Businesses will prosper and flourish with such a municipality. The breakfast was the first of many and members interested in attending the next event should contact Anna-Marth Ott at email@example.com.