Small businesses can help country grow
They lessen the impact of the shortage of jobs, writes Mohamed Saeed from Pietermaritzburg.
The informal sector enterprises are a useful and self-motivated sector which can contribute or help to lessen the impact of the severe shortage of new job opportunities in SA.
Empowered, well-supported and dynamic small businesses can be a powerful mechanism for creating more wide-ranging growth, redistribution of wealth and nation-building.
I recall how my father, in the early ’70s opened a small shop in a farm town with little cash.
Together with my mother, they both put in long hours of hard physical labour, selling almost anything they could lay their hands on, and built themselves up from there. My father used to tell us “save the pennies and buy a farm”.
Apartheid’s repressive laws were about more than just separate amenities.
We were very blinkered and due to the lack of recreational facilities, my father, in order to keep me away from mischief and off the streets, made me work in the shop during the weekends, packing the shelves or the fridge, operating the till. Or he sent me to the bus rank to sell small items to commuters.
Similarly, many children and grandchildren will be able to tell parallel stories of how, from difficult and humble beginnings, they climbed the ladder.
It was through these small enterprises that parents sent their kids to school, university, and bought basic necessities such as clothes, food, electricity, water, and even homes.