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Department uplifts informal businesses

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Promising entrepreneurs are being given a leg up by government so that they can reach their full potential and contribute to the economy.

A rural Eastern Cape business is growing, thanks to support from the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD).Pumelele Ndamase from the NND Group.

Pumelele Ndamase (23) was able to open an ice supply company, NND Group, in May, after the DSBD gave him two chest freezers as part of its National Informal Business Upliftment Strategy (NIBUS). NIBUS aims to help informal traders and businesses.

The NND Group already supplies 200 two kilogram bags of ice a month, to five Flagstaff-based businesses and employs three youth.

“The freezers were given under my name, as an individual, as I had not yet registered the business when I applied for funding,” said Ndamase.

“The department’s upliftment strategy will help a lot of informal traders.” he added.

According to information on the department’s website, the NIBUS also aims to help local chambers, business associations and local economic development offices to deliver upliftment programmes for informal traders.

The focus is mainly on designated groups, such as women, youth and people with disabilities, in township and rural areas. More than two million South Africans are making a living in the informal economy, mostly as survivalist enterprises. There are also vibrant economic business activities that need support to grow.

The DSBD has prioritised five sectors for the programme, but provinces and municipalities identify their own priorities beyond these, depending on their economic conditions. The five  sectors are retail, manufacturing, services, agriculture and construction and maintenance.

The Informal Traders Upliftment Project, a partnership between the DSBD and the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority, is an instrument within the NIBUS that aims to develop informal traders’ capacity to increase competitiveness and develop decent jobs within the sector. 

For more information about programmes offered by DSBD call 086 184 3384 or logon to  http://www.dsbd.gov.za/