The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe urged residents of Mandeni in KwaZulu-Natal to establish enterprises, particularly cooperatives in order to create employment for themselves and eradicate poverty.
Thabethe was speaking at an enterprise development and empowerment event that was hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the Mandeni Local Municipality at the Ngcedomhlophe Stadium in Sundumbili Township on Saturday, 17 August 2013.
"Our department has set aside sums of money in the form of incentives and grants for entrepreneurs to assist them grow their businesses because we want them to contribute in creating employment and eradicating poverty. But it is important that more businesses are established and more people are coming forward to take advantage of the financial and non-financial support that we are providing to businesses," said Thabethe.
She added that the event was part of taking the dti to the people campaign that the department undertook around the country in order to inform businesspeople and aspirant entrepreneurs about the DTI's products and services.
"We decided to take the department to the people instead of waiting for them to come to our offices. This was after realising that unscrupulous people masquerading as consultants exploit people who want to register businesses by charging them incredibly high amounts of money.
They are taking advantage of people who do not know where to go and what to do when they want to register their business or to access the numerous other services that we offer," said Thabethe.
The Mayor of Mandeni, councillor Siphesihle Zulu said entrepreneurship would go a long way in overcoming the triple challenges facing South Africa, namely poverty, unemployment and inequality.
"But there is a need for people of South Africa to change the mentality of looking for employment instead of creating employment. We need more employers than people looking for a job. We must put a lot of focus on manufacturing and assist people set up businesses, particularly cooperatives which can then access financial assistance from government," said Zulu.
Mandeni added that his municipality was working with the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union in an attempt to revive the clothing and textile factories in the Mandeni industrial area. Deputy Thabethe speaking at an enterprise development and empowerment event.
Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry