Keynote address by Jeff Radebe, Minister in The Presidency for Planning,
Monitoring and Evaluation; at the occasion of the Township Business Innovation Seminar;at Rabasotho Hall,Tembisa,
18 November 2017
Thank you, Programme
Bulelani Balabala, from
the Township Entrepreneurs Alliance
Charmaine Houvet, from
Delegates from the
representatives present here
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great
pleasure to be part of the Third Annual Township Business Innovation Seminar
organized by the Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA). I believe that the TEA
has got a great potential to play a catalytic role in augmenting the
development of entrepreneurs in the townships and open up new market
opportunities. This is one way in which we can develop businesses in the
townships and contribute significantly to economic growth.
I am encouraged by the
entrepreneurial spirit of young people like Bulelani Balabala and his partners,
who do not wait for handouts. Having had the privilege of interacting with
Bulelani over the past couple of months, I can confidently say he is a
combination of innovation and perseverance personified. A great visionary.
Bulelani is an entrepreneur with great passion and impeccable business acumen.
I am glad that he is part of such an inspired collective in the township.
Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA) is made up individuals who collectively took it
upon themselves to create spaces for entrepreneurship and economic growth in
their own areas. They have created a platform for township entrepreneurs and
aspiring entrepreneurs to engage, learn, access mentorship, and skills
necessary to start and operate a business. This initiative affirms
township economy. It demonstrates that there is a niche market that can make
immense contribution in the development of township economies.
South Africa needs such
innovative ideas in order to boost economic growth. Future projections indicate
that an estimated 65% of Children entering primaryschool today will most likey work in roles that do not yet exist.New inventions bring about both challenges and opportunities.
This compels us to seek innovative ways of conducting business and discovering
new market opportunities. Young people must be actively involved in
establishing new mechanisms of conducting viable businesses that are in sync
with the inventions of the 21st century.
As government, we have
adopted clearly defined policies and procedures to ensure that we support
SMME’s and give first preference to black-owned business enterprises. The more
successful local businesses we have, the better the economic standing of South
Africa in the world.
We are guided by the
prescripts of the National Development Plan (NDP), our lodestar in our collective
journey towards the year 2030. The NDP recognises the importance of improving
our country’s global competitiveness and that the system of innovation has a
vital role to play in that process.
Entrepreneurship is one
of the most vital undertakings to change the socio-economic landscape.
The NDP anticipates that 90% of the new 11 million jobs to be created by 2030
will come from SMME development.
It is imperative that
both government and business work together in order to stimulate significant
economic growth in our country. We must change the socio-economic condition of
the masses of our people. A number of countries worldwide stimulate industrial
development through local procurement, and South Africa is no different in this
We are acutely aware
that starting a business in a township is not easy. You have to overcome a
number of obstacles imposed by the unfavorable economic conditions.
Perseverance and business acumen are fundamental elements if you are an SMME
who aspires to run a lucrative business successfully in the township.
It was in view of the
slow pace of transformation and lack of inclusivity in the economy that
government introduced the Radical Socio-Economic Transformation programme. This
programme is the driving force behind our approach to expedite socio-economic
transformation. This radical shift in our transformation agenda requires that
we follow the guidance of the NDP Vision 2030 in exploiting optimally the
strategic levers that are available at our disposal.
We need to build a
country with an economy that can sustainably meet the material needs of all its
citizens. People residing in townships and peri-urban areas, who for a long
time have been excluded from full participation in the economy will have access
to support and development services and be fully integrated into the core of
our economic landscape
We must revitalize
township and rural economies by supporting the development of black-owned
enterprises, cooperatives and Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs).
Entrepreneurs in these areas can produce goods and services to satisfy the
demand of residents in the townships. They know the market demands in their
communities better than anyone else.
We understand the
devastating effects that delays in payment of service providers have especially
to the SMMEs. There is a mandatory thirty days period within which suppliers
doing business with government must be paid.
I encourage businesses
not to suffer in silence and report whenever government departments take longer
to pay them. Our door as government is always open. Please make use of
instruments like the Presidential Hotline, and report incidents of corruption
or undue delays in payment.
It is against this
backdrop that our Department established the NDP Youth Brand Ambassador
programme. We want to mobilise young South Africans to be active role-players
in economic growth. As government, our mission is to transform the economic
landscape and make it more inclusive and address the challenges of poverty,
unemployment and inequality.
The NDP Youth Brand
Ambassador Programme was conceived as an intervention aimed at promoting youth
entrepreneurship to boost economic growth, create employment, and address the
scourge of poverty and gross inequalities. We envisioned the programme as a
significant contributor towards the attainment of the national imperatives of
creating an inclusive and more dynamic economic landscape.
Bulelani is one of 37
NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors who have been selected from across the nine
provinces of South Africa. The young people who are part of this programme are
some of the most outstanding innovators, entrepreneurs and career trailblazers
in our country. They are remarkable achievers in their respective fields and
will help us champion the ideals espoused by the NDP – our Vision 2030.
The NDP Ambassador
Programme is premised on promoting youth entrepreneurship to boost economic
growth, increase employment, and reduce poverty and inequality. Yesterday, we
had the pleasure of announcing businesses that have joined hands with us in
this initiative. We are confident that together we will develop a generation of
youth who are not perpetual job seekers, but employment creators.
This initiative is in
line with the government strategy of promoting businesses in the townships and
rural areas. The NDP pays particular attention to entrepreneurship as one of
the most vital interventions to create jobs and grow an inclusive and
diversified economy. More than 75% of our economy is in the hands of the
private sector. Our estimation is that the rate of investment to the GDP will
rise from 17% to 30% by 2030. This emphasizes the importance of the business
sector in our economic growth.
The success of the NDP
and other government interventions is dependent largely on active citizenry and
direct involvement of people from all sectors of society. We believe that
active citizenry and building a capable developmental state are key to ensuring
that we deliver satisfactorily on the mandate given to us by the electorate.
In conclusion, I would
like to congratulate Bulelani and his partners for embarking on this endeavour.
The TEA presents a unique opportunity for the empowerment of township
entrepreneurs with skills, knowledge, enterprise development and access to
markets. This initiative will indeed rivatilise township economies and make a
difference in the lives of ordinary people. We must develop township businesses
to become part of the mainstream economy in South Africa.
I encourage everyone to
support the Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA). It should inspire township
entrepreneurs especially young people to come up with innovative business
concepts. This is an initiative that should be replicated in townships and
rural communities across the country. Let every young people come up with an
innovative idea to contribute to the economic development in the townships.
As young people, this
is your opportunity to lead the way, thread the unbeaten paths, and discover
gold underneath your feet. It takes an idea, initiative, vision and dedication.
May this initiative bring us more township entrepreneurs.
I thank you.
Enquiries: Tshegofatso.Modubu@dpme.gov.za / 083 276 0786 or Mmabatho Ramompi
on 076 4803513 or Mmabatho.Ramompi@dpme.gov.za
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Issued by the
Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME)
19 November 2017