01 MARCH 2018
EThekwini Pledged to Drive Economic Transformation
EThekwini Municipality has assured scores of various business associations that they would accelerate interventions to achieve economic emancipation and equality of previously marginalised businesses. This commitment was made at the Radical Economic Transformation Conference and Expo which took place at the Durban Exhibition Centre on 27-28 February.
The Radical Economic Transformation Conference and Expo, a partnership between the Municipality and Federation for Radical Economic Transformation (FRET), was the first of its kind in eThekwini and has attracted a number of black businesses and associations across the country.
The two-day summit was delivering on the Municipality’s promise to engage on various platforms that will practically unpack the Radical Economic Transformation Framework launched by Mayor Zandile Gumede last year.
This prestigious event attracted massive turnout of key dignitaries from the private and government sector, to outline available opportunities and projects in the pipeline to ensure that radical economic transformation is achieved.
Speaking on behalf of the Mayor, the Chief Whip of Economic Development and Planning Committee, Cllr Busi Ndlovu said radical economic transformation is an urgent issue that requires serious attention and the involvement of all sectors.
“It is exciting to mention that eThekwini Municipality is the first Municipality in the country to develop Radical Economic Transformation Framework, which is a guideline for us to enhance economic empowerment of communities through various developmental initiatives that will ensure inclusive economy,” said Ndlovu.
She added that the Municipality is aware of the challenges faced by the small business sector. “This has resulted to the increase of poverty, high rate of service delivery protests leading to disruption of projects in communities,” she said.
In responding to these challenges the Municipality has come up with strategic interventions that will accelerate economic growth and address a number of challenges and unhappiness on the ground.
“As part of our initiatives, we have developed the Radical Economic Transformation Strategy currently in its final stage; we are also reviewing the procurement system; we have introduced an incubation programme which will focus on skills development for both, soft and hard skills. This will ensure RET related challenges are addressed,” said Ndlovu.
Bongani Gumede from Tongaat Hullets said their company is currently busy with a number of initiatives aimed at equipping emerging entrepreneurs.
“Our key strategic objective is localization hence the organisation recently launched the skills development section to equip and prepare emerging entrepreneurs to undertake any of the company’s specially designed projects,” said Gumede.
He added that they have introduced newly business dialogue which will be rolled out across various wards in eThekwini, to assist businesses to acquire relevant skills for them to access opportunities that the organization offers.
The Chairperson of the Federation, Bonga Shongwe, thanked the Municipality for working with the business forum. “As the Federation we thank the Municipality for the support and for willingness to work with us in addressing socio-economic challenges that remains a challenge in our black communities,” said Shongwe.
He added that the Federation is proud to work with the Municipality that is determined to see progress and improvement of economy and social well-being of the poor communities. “We cannot be experiencing economic growth opportunities that exclude our people, we will continue fight for economic freedom of our people and ensure that the equal economic transformation is achieved,” said Shongwe.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa
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