The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has learnt that there are no pharmaceutical companies permanently operating from the Northern Corridor of the province, despite an undertaking by Gauteng Premier, David Makhura to do so in 2014.
In response to questions the DA tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, the MEC for Economic Development, Parks Tau, indicated that the Northern Corridor, is considered the hub of research, development and innovation.
But since 2014, when this was first mooted by Premier Makhura, nothing has been done by government to ensure that this corridor becomes fully operational.
The MEC claims that several companies have been assisted through incubation, but only lists four names, and does not adequately explain what assistance was received through the establishment of this corridor.
It is deeply concerning that to date no tangible effort has been made to develop and establish the pharmaceutical industry in this region.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a world class pharmaceutical company located in the northern corridor would have been a game-changer for vaccine manufacturing, ultimately saving thousands of lives lost to the coronavirus.
The lengthy delays we currently face in the procurement of a vaccine could have been avoided had this ANC-led government lived up to the promises it made over seven years ago.
This pharmaceutical corridor is yet another example of the myriad of failed projects, ranging from aqua cities to Special Economic Zones, that have been dreamed up – but not implemented by Makhura’s failed administration.