South Africa needs to jack up entrepreneurship culture to win fight against unemployment

In a campaign called “Taking the DTI to the People” the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is out to encourage entrepreneurship across the country and says this is critical in the fight against joblessness.

The campaign was taken to Kimberly, Northern Cape, this week by the deputy trade and industry minister, Elizabeth Thabethe. She told more than 300 small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs that entrepreneurship was the key pillar for government to reach its target of facilitiating the creation of five million jobs by 2020.

South Africa is suffering from a stubbornly high unemployment rate estimated to be 25%. The development of the small to medium business sector has been identified as the pillar in the country’s fight against unemployment. As is the case in comparable countries it is thought that a robust SMME sector can absorb a significant portion of the unemployed. This requires many more South Africans to pursue the entrepreneurship path.

The DTI’s campaign seeks to reinforce government’s commitment to empower rural and peri-urban communities to accelerate job creation and sustainable economic development in the country.
Thabethe said that for government to reach the commitment of empowering rural and peri-urban communities to accelerate job creation, it is important for small businesses to be registered.

“Registering and formalising of businesses is the only channel to receive assistance from government and as much as registering of businesses is important, I also need to stress that you need to guard against fraudsters masquerading as the DTI agents. For you to register your company you don’t need a middle man and it does not amount to the exorbitant fees that you are being charged by unscrupulous people posing as agents of the dti,” she said.

Deputy Minister said that government cannot afford just giving out money without educating small business owners and aspirant entrepreneurs about business opportunities, products and their responsibilities.

‘Our job here today is not only to make sure we assist you so that you rid yourself of poverty and underdevelopment, but to also make sure that we empower you. Today we are not bringing with us bags full of money, but bring you the knowledge to teach you how to get to those millions,” added Thabethe.

Small business owners and aspirant entrepreneurs who attended the event were workshopped on how to start , grow and sustain their businesses. Exhibition stalls were also set up by different agencies for a more comprehensive discussion. The agencies included the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) Company and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), South African Micro-finance Apex Fund (Samaf), Khula, South African Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (SAWEN), National Empowerment (NEF) and Productivity South Africa (PSA).

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