Engagements and partnerships between government and the business fraternity are key to addressing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment which will lead inclusive economic growth. This was said by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Sfiso Buthelezi. Buthelezi was speaking at a business engagement session hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with the departments of Small Business Development, Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal and Umuziwabantu Local Municipality.
The session was the third event in a two-day programme of the national, provincial and local government leadership visiting the KZN south coast town. The session was preceded by a handover of school uniform to children of Salem Primary School by national and provincial leadership and the dti-funded Black Industrialist and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Blaze Apparel Mr Sizwe Mbanjwa who donated the school uniform.
The opening of the Harding central business district market stalls built by the Department of Small Business Development as part of its Shared Economic Infrastructure Facility programme was the second activity of the day. About stalls and sets of equipment were handed over to qualifying traders.
While addressing the business engagement, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Sfiso Buthelezi stated that government and business must work together to address the triple challenges South Africa is facing. He further said collaboration between business and government, as well as government’s support for business, can positively contribute to economic growth.
It is important to support entrepreneurs and create market access for them. This would help them grow their businesses and employ more people. Engagements between government and the business fraternity are key to reducing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment which has translated into non-inclusive economic growth, said Buthelezi.
The Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Mr Cassel Mathale said he was excited about the government’s decision to introduce entrepreneurial education from entry level to Grade 12, which is a boost to the business fraternity.
Mathale pleaded with government officials to have more engagements with the community, train and be tolerant with them. He said they must upscale their level of service when assisting entrepreneurs.
The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala urged the Harding businesspeople to stand up and access the programmes that are in place for them. He made mention of the Black Industrialists Programme administered by the dti which he said KZN has already seen positive results in a form of 25 KZN-based industrialists who benefited from the programme.
Entrepreneurs attending the session also received information on the financial and non-financial support available for businesses from government and its agencies with an intention to empower them in order to change their lives for the better.
Source: Department of Trade and Industry