Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Fikile Majola insited that government should vigorously explore the idea of establishing markets for small business operators to trade their products in South African townships, as a key reviver of out ailing economy.

Majola was addressing existing and budding entrepreneurs at an Entrepreneurial Seminar and Expo held at Mogale City municipal premises earlier this week. This event was held under the theme ‘I can make it in the digital revolution – you can too’.

The seminar brought young people, government, support agencies and critical specialists together in conversation to discuss a range of challenges affecting small business ventures in Mogale City, unpack small business opportunities and the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) on industries, business, government and communities, and to create a platform to sharpen entrepreneurial skills.

“We need to take Soweto’s Vilakazi Street as a model and appositely replicate it across many of our townships. We as government also needs to consider providing infrastructure for such trading markets so that people who have business ideas can have space from which to promote and sell their products. This will contribute positively in the task of rebuilding the township economy which remains a priority across our different spheres of government” Majola said.

Majola said the growth of big supermarkets had contributed a great deal to the demise of the township economy and government needs to consider providing infrastructure for African style markets in order for township businesses to thrive.

Mogale City Executive Mayor Councillor Patrick Lipudi said young people need to familiarise themselves with evolving economic circumstances. “We are very enthusiastic to see young people taking the bull by its horn and engaging government on issues affecting them. We want to create opportunities for young people across various economic sectors but our biggest challenge is access to digital knowledge and information. Young people are the future and we need to invest in them,” Councillor Lipudi concluded.