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Lebogang Maile: Encouraging township entrepreneurship is important for communities

INDISDE EDUCATION / 01 FEBRUARY 2018 - 11.00 / IDO LEKOTA

Providing skills to township entrepreneurs will go a long way in nurturing the much-needed culture of small businesses in these communities. This is what the Gauteng MEC of Economic Development, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development Lebogang Maile believes.

On Wednesday Maile launched the applications for this year’s Township Entrepreneurship Award – a R500 million winning prize competition aimed at honouring and encouraging entrepreneurs who are running successful businesses in the various Gauteng Townships.

MEC Lebogang Maile. Source: Twitter

Speaking to Inside Education on Wednesday, Maile decried the fact that there are economic activities in the township worth approximately R100 billion – “but the money generated through these activities does not go into the pockets of our people.”

This, Maile says, is because instead of being centres of production, townships are mainly centres of consumption. He blamed this on the low entrepreneurial activity in the areas.

He says it is through entrepreneurial training and support from the government and big business that the townships can be transformed into sites of production producing what residents consume.

To achieve this, the government has support programmes for township entrepreneurs which include the development of economic infrastructures – such as industrial parks; providing access to the internet; funding and enhancing access to the markets as well as support for innovation.

“Our commitment is definitely to encourage the culture of entrepreneurship and teaching young people while they are still in school about becoming entrepreneurs through subjects such as life skills.”

The MEC says programmes such as Tshepo One Million are aimed at tackling youth unemployment by providing skills to the youth and encouraging them to become innovative.

Launched by the Gauteng Provincial government in partnership with the big business, the programme is aimed at giving the youth work opportunities and offering those involved in small business ventures some business development opportunities.

The programme is also about youth skills development focusing on sectors such as manufacturing, creative industries, ICT and construction to enhance youth economic development.

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LINK : https://www.insideeducation.org/news/encouraging-township-entrepreneurship-important-communities/

Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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