Government has reiterated its commitment to support township and rural businesses in order to revive the economy and create local jobs. This commitment was made during a Ministerial Business Seminar hosted in Phuthaditjhaba, Free State.

The seminar was hosted by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), in partnership with Department of Small Business Development, Free State provincial government, Thabo Mofutsanyana District and Maluti-A-Phofung Local municipalities.

Addressing businesspeople at the event, the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola said the South African Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) must work hand in hand with local economic development officers to facilitate the necessary tools for township and rural businesses to access funding.

“I understand it is really frustrating for businesses to feel that government is not doing enough to support their needs, especially the ones based in the townships and rural areas. It is equally frustrating to be told that some of the businesses that are attending this seminar have been turned down for financial support due to the rigorous financial requirement to access the same funding. We are here today to attend to some of the frustrations through our agencies and DFIs,”.

Majola further said the township and rural economy should be in the forefront of government priority. He emphasised the need for local businesses to work together in order to localise the value chains.

Speaking at the same event, Deputy Minister, Ms Nomalungelo Gina said it was essential that business seminars were brought to township and rural communities due to government’s commitment to supporting previously marginalised communities.

“Our aim as government is to create more the Small, Medium and Micro. Enterprises
(SMMEs) in townships and rural areas as part of the localisation of the economy. We do so because most of the employment in this country is created by the SMMEs. If we can ensure that more small businesses and start-ups are getting off the ground and growing, it will mean more people will get employed to work in those enterprises,” said Gina.

She added that the dtic, has taken a strategic approach to deploy all senior managers to all of the country’s 44 districts and metros to become champions of economic development, ensuring that the provinces and districts are working with the department to coordinate economic development. .

from left, the Deputy Ministers of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, and Mr Fikile Majola with the Free State MEC for Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Thabo Meeko.

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
WhatsApp: 074 2998 512
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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