20 AUGUST 2018
City Empowers Emerging Cooperatives at the North Regional Business Fair
EThekwini Municipality reaffirmed its commitment to uplift and empower both the youth and the small business sector which is one of the pillars essential to growing the economy of the City.
This was confirmed at the recent North Regional Business Fair held from 17- 19 August at Bridge City Mall where eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede handed over brand new industrial bakery equipment to Vukuyibambe co-operative which is owned by five young females.
Mayor Gumede was moved by the dedication of the young owners who currently use one of their family’s kitchen to prepare their orders.
“This is the kind of calibre of youth we want to see, youth with a vision. As the Municipality, we are committed to uplifting young people but that can only happen if they meet us halfway,” said Mayor Gumede.
To fulfil her promise of assisting them, Mayor Gumede requested the ward councillor to work around the clock to find a suitable and safe place with security where the Municipality can install a container for the young business owners to begin work immediately.
She said the mandate of the Municipality is to capacitate businesses so that they assist in stimulating economic growth. “Furthermore, the City will assist the Vukuyibambe co-operative to follow the necessary processes to become compliant and be one of the Municipality’s soup kitchen bread suppliers.”
As part of the package from service providers who supplied the City with the donated equipment, the group will receive a year of baking training as well as ongoing mentorship.
The donated bakery set includes two measure scales, a mixer, a proofer which is used to warm dough, an oven, bread slicer and a stand. The machine is able to produce wedding cakes, pizza and between 800 to 1 000 loaves of bread.
“We will never forget this and we will forever be grateful to the City as this will open many opportunities for us as we will be able to cater to meet any demand,” said an overwhelmed Ntombifikile Sibiya from the Vukuyibambe co-operative.
An excited Sibiya said they envision themselves as bread suppliers to supermarkets in Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu. She said they are determined to make this co-operative a success in order to create job opportunities for other youth in the area.
This is not the first time the Municipality has stepped in to assist the young business woman. Sibiya said they advanced their baking knowledge as they all individually participated in the six month eThekwini’s Master Chef Challenge in 2016 which provided practical and theory lessons. “After the training, we never looked back and formed this co-operative,” she said.
The North Regional Business Fair attracted over 11 000 visitors who came to support the 144 exhibitors. Other highlights of the Fair include women empowerment networking sessions where women discussed issues affecting them in the economic space.
Also, local highschool learners participated in the eKasi Innovation Challenge where they were tasked with coming up with solutions to socio-economic challenges. Winners walked away with Samsung tablets.
Aspiring entrepreneurs were also exposed to various opportunities over the three-day event which included fashion, film making, flavours of Durban, pottery and much more.
Registration for the main Durban Business Fair, which takes place from 18 to 24 September at the Durban Exhibition Centre and Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre is now open. Businesses who wish to register have until 31 August to do so.
Registration forms can be collected from the 7th Floor, Embassy Building on Anton Lembede (formerly Smith) Street, at local Sizakala Centres, ward councillors’ offices or on the City’s website: or Durban Business Fair website:
Alternatively you can visit the Fair’s social media accounts including the Facebook page: @Durban Business Fair; Twitter: @ DBNBusinessFair or Instagram: Durban_Business_Fair
For more information contact Sane Shandu on 031 311 4806 or 072 572 8658 or email:
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications, Mandla Nsele on 031 311 4825 / 083 308 2639 or email:
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