Working on a solution to turn around South Africa’s rust belt

Project name:
Vaal Region Rejuvenation Project

Shared value and corporate impact


Area of Expertise:
Shared value, transformation and inclusive business
Public policy

Standard Bank


South Africa

Like many steel and manufacturing hubs around the world, the Vaal region south of Johannesburg had faced years of company closures, ageing infrastructure and rising unemployment. The Vaal was rapidly turning into a rust belt.

The CEOs’ Initiative, a grouping of 60 top CEOs, asked Genesis Analytics to diagnose the challenges in the region and come up with a solution. Our team worked with the government and big businesses in the region to design a rejuvenation plan.

Funded by Standard Bank and chaired by Nampak, the work was unique in several ways. First, it used a technique to diagnose challenges that included demographic profiling, economic case studies of firms that had closed down, an audit of infrastructure stock, and a survey of the largest companies in the area. Second, the problems were approached by businesses and the government working together in a developmental partnership. Third, the action plan walked the line between the two extremes of doing nothing and unhealthy protection for uncompetitive industries, neither of which were sustainable in the long term.

The CEOs’ Initiative delivered the regeneration action plan to the President and Minister of Finance.

Vaal Region Rejuvenation Action Plan

Vaal Region Rejuvenation Action Plan (Information pack)


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