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Township economies get a boost

Written by Lutando Ndamase
Government has ple-dged more support for township economies.

Minister Jeff Radebe seen here with Maymarie Du Plessis (left), Makagisho Mtulu, Lwazi Kanta and Justice Maphala during the launch of EZASE-KASE Business Fridays.Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, recently launched EZASE-KASI Business Fridays. It is a campaign aimed at supporting township economies.

EZASE-KASI, meaning ‘from the township’, aims to boost township economies nationwide.

Speaking at the launch in Cape Town, the Minister said the new programme, which is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Siyanda Mtulu, is an initiative aimed at driving the city’s economic activity towards townships every Friday.

“When we talk about Vision 2030, it does not depend only on government and the private sector.

“What I like about this initiative is that it brings big business and links it to our business people in our townships so that it can be able to boost those economies.

“I’m looking forward to seeing this initiative every Friday, not only here in Cape Town but throughout the Republic of South Africa,” the Minister said.

The Minister said EZASE-KASI Business Fridays will be co-branded with the recently launched National Development Plan (NDP) Brand Identity to mobilise and actively engage citizens in the NDP and township economies.

Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa, who also attended the launch, said this was one of the best initiatives to boost economic growth in townships.

She said there is also potential for infrastructure development, skills development and nurturing the kind of support that is needed to help township businesses flourish.

“There are lot of … indigenous skills around crafting. There’s everything that tourists are looking for when they come to South Africa,” she said.

The programme is expected to be rolled out across the country to support township businesses.

Mtulu urged South Africans to wear items produced by townships, eat lunch in the townships as well as participate in corporate township tours and buy goods from township businesses.

“This would benefit ordinary South Africans by creating jobs and it is also a chance for big companies to support and do business with Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment companies,” he said.

Short-term insurance firm Santam is backing the initiative.

Santam’s John Lomberg said the firm would train people, targeting 600 to 800 entrepreneurs across the country.