The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina says government needs all key players, including ordinary South Africans to deal with challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

She was addressing small business operators who attended the business imbizo at the Sisizakele Special School at Bhambanana in Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal.

Gina hosted the imbizo in partnership with the Department of Small Business Development and the provincial Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. This imbizo was attended by more than 200 SMMEs and start-ups representing a range of sectors. The main aim was to empower local business and aspirant entrepreneurs with access to information on various incentives and business support services offered by different agencies of the government. Agencies of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), and of the Small Business Development and provincial departments were represented and shared information with participants.

“As much as government and big business industry players have a role to play in contributing to the creation of jobs and growth of the economy, ordinary South Africans can make a serious mark if they utilise their drive and skills to grow successful businesses.  The government is interested in seeing not only the emergence of more business operators, but ensuring that they grow in leaps and bounds to greater heights. Job creation can only be realised through the growth of SMMEs, as government we are duty bound to pay particular attention in providing necessary support, both financial and non-financial,” pledged Gina.

She added that one of the most important opportunities comes from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which has the potential to open doors for local businesses beyond South African borders and lift citizens of the continent out of poverty.

“As government, we have set a challenge to all 52 districts in the country to find their niche of products and services they can take to the rest of the African continent. We are therefore posing this challenge to this district to explore what treasures they have that they can trade in, in the continent. As the dtic, we also have many incentives aimed at marketing South African businesses and opening export opportunities not only to the continent but to the rest of the world. So, we need our small business operators to be able to see the bigger picture as they undertake their different ventures,” she concluded.

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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