Work is underway in KZN to transform townships into hubs of sustainable socio-economic development and empowerment.
The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs is running a campaign that aims to revitalise the economy in townships around the province.
The department recently launched its Business Revitalisation Programme, which is packed with workshops, training and support for local business people.
According to the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs spokesperson Nathi Olifant, women and youth-owned businesses will be prioritised for this programme. “We have over 10 townships in KZN whose economies have gone down due to a number of factors. To address this challenge, each township will have its own revitalisation campaign led by the department,” said Olifant.
He said revived and re-ignited township economies will enable residents to create jobs for themselves and uplift their communities.
To get the programme off the ground, the department hosted various local entrepreneurs in KwaMashu G Hall for the KwaMashu Business Revitalisation Programme.
“Like many other townships around the province, KwaMashu is occupying abandoned business spaces, buildings and facilities that could be better used to maximise new businesses in order to strengthen the local economy,” said Olifant.
He said the holistic programme will eventually benefit the entire province by allowing business people to better access and share information. It will be driven by the department and its 13 public entities.
“The plan is also to showcase available opportunities within the state and its organs and how businesses from the township can be assisted with skills and financial resources,” he explained.
How to participate in the programme
Olifant encouraged entrepreneurs who live in townships around KZN and who have registered their businesses, co-operatives or companies, to liaise with the department for funding and upskilling assistance.
According to Olifant, there are a number of state entities that offer funding and loans, but the department itself does not offer an over-the-counter funding service.