The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina says the rural and township economies are a key component of government’s economic recovery programme and no effort will be spared in ensuring their success.

She was addressing small black business operators at the Amandla Omnotho Conference at the Charisma Outreach Centre in Durban. The conference is an annual event aimed at empowering small business operators with information and skills so that they can thrive and grow.

The theme for this year’s conference is; ‘Promoting Entrepreneurship Through Partnership, Collaboration and Cooperation with Government, the Private Sector and Emerging Entrepreneurs.’

Deputy Minister Gina says unless concerted efforts are made to incubate small farmer businesseses, agro-processors and township enterprises of all shapes, the glass ceiling of the economic legacies of apartheid will never be broken.

“The recent economic occurrences have shown there is an urgent need to build township and rural economy. The Gauteng government has led the way in terms of township economy policy development, the KwaZulu Natal has followed suit. As the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, we have put up a technical team that is working on the policy levers of a national policy on township and rural economy.”

She said research that has been conducted by a government team in many townships across the country confirmed that townships and rural villages are not part of bigger investment conversations but are treated as charity cases by big corporate investors, only enough for Corporate Social Investments (CSI).

She added that some of the key interventions are to provide critical infrastructure support for manufacturing and value add opportunities and investments in state owned industrial parks that are township based.

“We are working on a mapping exercise to assist us in profiling the township economy and critical challenges affecting economic development. This will  assist us in identifying current support mechanisms for the township and rural economy so that among other things, we can come up with correct policy instruments for funding  incentive packages, sector and governance support structures,” she said.

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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