NEWSFLASH
 
13 FEBRUARY 2018
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Radical Economic Transformation Agenda Unveiled Ahead of Much Anticipated Conference
 
A number of black business associations and businessmen and women from across the province came to witness the launch of the Radical Economic Transformation Conference and Expo which took place at Artizan Lounge in KwaMashu today, 13 February.
 
The launch was hosted by the Federation for Radical Economic Transformation (FFRET), which is a federation of business associations, in partnership with eThekwini Municipality. The launch saw the unveiling of details of the highly anticipated Radical Economic Transformation (RET) Conference and Expo taking place this month from 27 – 28 February.
 
The launch, which was attended by key dignitaries from the federation, eThekwini Municipality officials and members of the private sector, detailed challenges faced by the small business sector as well as outlining the agenda of the Conference.
 
Delivering the welcome address, FFRET Secretary Malusi Zondi said the intention of the federation was to ensure that black businesses are recognised and included in the mainstream economy which they were excluded from for a very long time.
 
“In many industries and aspects, black businesses have been excluded and undermined. As a forum, we are here to ensure that our local businesses benefits from all sectors,” he said.
 
The partnership between the City and FRET is the result of the Municipality’s mandate to drive the economic transformation agenda through empowering and assisting small and emerging entrepreneurs to ensure that they participate in the mainstream economy.
 
The Radical Economic Transformation Conference and Expo intends to create a platform that will inspire a harmonious engagement between business forums, government and the private sector to deepen the agenda of radical economic transformation. The summit will touch on relatable issues of business and outline a wide range of business opportunities that are available in different sectors which could benefit emerging businesses.
 
Acting Head of the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit Thulani Nzama said the Municipality has a number of programmes and empowerment business seminars in place to accommodate and ensure the participation of small businesses in the broader scale of the City’s economy.
 
“The Municipality has endorsed RET as a way of redressing imbalances of the past and to ensure active participation of small and emerging businesses in the economy through various key projects of the Municipality,” said Nzama.
 
He said the Municipality is concerned that young, black-owned businesses are not part of development taking place. “It is because of reasons such as this that the Municipality has taken a decision of reviewing the procurement system that will ensure RET related challenges are addressed,” he said.
 
Nzama added that the Municipality will continue to interrogate policies that seek to unlock possibilities for black businesses within the City’s development infrastructure. “The Business Support, Tourism and Markets and Supply Chain Management units are working with various sectors to provide skills that will ensure necessary statutory compliance so that they can actively participate in the economy,” he added.
 
Chairperson of FRET Bonga Shongwe said they are prepared to work with anyone to speed up the participation of young, black people in the economy.
 
“We will do our best to work with various sectors including government, the private sector and civil society to ensure that the transformation of the economy is achieved. Democracy wasn't achieved by wishful thinking and endless talks but through action. We are prepared to do the same and more for the economic freedom of our people,” he said.
 
For more information and enquiries contact Sane Shandu on 031 311 4806 or email: sanelisiwe.shandu@durban.gov.za OR Zazi Nxele uMfokamahlomeka (FFRET Media Liaison Officer) on 060 387 2576 or email zazi.nxele@gmail.com
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa
 
 
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