NEWS FLASH
 
16 May 2016
 
For immediate release
 
Accolades for South Regional Business Fair
 
EThekwini Municipality has been applauded for providing a platform that helps advance and promote small businesses, following the great success of the South Regional Business Fair held in Umlazi over the weekend.
 
More than 17 000 visitors flocked to KwaMnyandu Shopping Centre, where the Business Fair was held, to see products from local businesses.
Mayor James Nxumalo said he is thrilled with the outcome. “This shows that the Municipality is doing a great job in supporting the development of small businesses in remote areas and is encouraging their involvement in fast growing economies,” he said.
 
Nxumalo said small businesses play a vital role in growing the economy of the City. He added that he is pleased that the City introduced such platforms where support mechanisms for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) are implemented. “It is through these supports mechanism that businesses learn various strategies that assist them to develop their business skills,” said Nxumalo.
 
He encouraged businesses to take advantage of such platforms as they promote networking opportunities with big businesses and are key in confronting economic challenges.
 
The South Regional Business exhibition had new features that ran concurrently with business seminars aimed at assisting business people transform their businesses.
 
Seminars were facilitated by experts in the business sector who provided knowledge on how to access markets and assist SMMEs grow their enterprises. Businesses were also advised on how to use technology to compete with bigger companies.
 
Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, said: “Digital economy is huge nowadays and most countries have taken that route in order to drive innovation and establishment of new businesses.”
 
She said in pledging support to the drive of smarter cities, her Department has funded a number of municipalities to create WIFI hotspots and roll out broadband for businesses.
 
Mkhize applauded eThekwini for taking a lead in providing such platforms.
 
A renowned Durban entrepreneur and champion of Black Economic Empowerment, Don Mkhwanazi, spoke about the significant role manufacturing can play in radically transforming the City’s economy.
 
“China is now leading in manufacturing with 42 percent whereas not so long ago it was sitting at 2 percent. They have become trendsetters in producing technology related brands,” added Mkhwanazi.
 
He told local entrepreneurs that it is possible for them to emulate China by refusing to be consumers and rather create their own products. This, said Mkhwanazi, will create employment opportunities and boost the economy.
 
The South Regional Fair concluded with the announcement of the three winners of the best stand competition. They were judged for their innovation and approach in marketing their products and dealing with clients.
 
Mshazi Events won the best stand while Zumaan Group came in second. MN Video production took third place.
ENDS
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality Head of Communications Unit, Tozi Mthethwa.
For more information contact Municipal Spokesperson Thulani Mbatha on 031 311 4820 or email: thulani.mbatha1@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or email: princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za
 
 
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