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Deputy Minister says government must establish markets for SMEs


Mogale City’s Executive Mayor, Naga Patrick Lipudi, added his voice and said young people need to familiarise themselves with evolving economic.

Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola, has urged government to explore the idea of establishing markets for small business operators to trade their goods and products in South African townships, in a bid to revive the failing economy.

Deputy Minister Fikile Majola fielding questions from young people during an interactive

session hosted by Mogale City. Photo: Sipho None.

Majola was addressing a youthful Entrepreneurial Seminar and Expo at the Centenary Hall in Mogale City, when he said the South African government needed to create an enabling economic environment for small, medium and micro enterprises in order to boost the ailing economy.

“We need to use the model of Soweto’s Vilakazi Street and replicate it across many townships,” Majola said.

“Government needs to seriously consider providing infrastructure for such trading markets so that people who have business ideas can have space from which to promote and sell their products. This will contribute positively in the task of rebuilding the township economy.”

Majola was speaking to young entrepreneurs on Monday at a seminar and expo under the theme ‘I can make it in the digital revolution – you can too’. The seminar brought young people together in conversation with government and support agency officials and other critical specialists, to engage on a range of issues and challenges affecting their ventures in Mogale City.

The purpose of the event was to create a platform to sharpen entrepreneurial skills among the youth, and to unpack opportunities and the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) on industries, business, government and communities.

Majola said the growth of big supermarkets had contributed a great deal to the demise of the township economy, and government needs to consider providing infrastructure for African style markets, that will enable businesses in townships to thrive once more.

Mogale City’s Executive Mayor, Naga Patrick Lipudi, added his voice and said young people need to familiarise themselves with evolving economic circumstances. He said young people should be job creators not job seekers.

“We are very keen to see young people taking the bull by its horns and engaging government on issues affecting them. We want to create opportunities for young people across various economic sectors; however, the biggest challenge is access to digital knowledge and information. Young people are the future and we need to invest in them,” Lipudi said.

Other key partners who participated in the seminar included business and 4IR experts, the Mogale City Municipality, the National Youth Development Agency, the Gauteng government, and Development Finance Institutions such as the Industrial Development Corporation and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency.



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

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