Mlungisi gets R5m busi­ness cen­tre

Boost for entrepreneurs to, in turn, cre­ate em­ploy­ment

The Rep - - NEWS - ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

THE Enoch Mgi­jima Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity (EMLM) has handed a small busi­ness cen­tre, val­ued at R5-mil­lion, over to Mlungisi entrepreneurs.

The cen­tre build­ing was gut­ted in 2015 and has un­der­gone a re­mark­able trans­for­ma­tion into a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity which in­cludes a guard house, water tanks, fire hy­drants, toi­lets and a ramp to al­low ac­cess for dis­abled per­sons.

A fur­ther two shops have been added to the for­mer 14, bring­ing the to­tal to 16.

EMLM ex­ec­u­tive mayor Lindiwe Gunuza Nk­wentsha said small busi­nesses needed to form the back­bone of a town­ship econ­omy.

“Busi­ness peo­ple must grow with the as­sis­tance of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to an in­dus­trial level. When we say we are an eco­nomic hub, we must fol­low suit.”

She said if the act­ing mu­nic­i­pal man­ager, Mzox­olo Din­gani, ap­proved, the busi­ness peo­ple would not be charged for the space for the first three months in or­der for them to gain sta­bil­ity.

“Look af­ter the prop­erty be­cause it will not be easy to main­tain it. An of­fi­cial open­ing will be done in the pres­ence of the com­mu­nity for them to be able to take re­spon­si­bil­ity in car­ing for the fa­cil­i­ties.”

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Gcobani Msind­wana said the cen­tre had pre­vi­ously been in an open space with­out any fenc­ing.

The present oc­cu­pants in­cluded welders, me­chan­ics, up­hol­ster­ers and glass fit­ters.

He said the cen­tre would give the entrepreneurs the per­fect chance to ex­tend the ben­e­fit to the com­mu­nity by cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Hu­man set­tle­ment port­fo­lio head Luleka Gubula com­mended the MMM con­struc­tion com­pany that was awarded the ten­der, for pro­duc­ing qual­ity work.

Gubula said the entrepreneurs would pay rent and rates and if this was not done, ac­tion would be taken.

“The build­ing be­longs to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and if peo­ple are not able to cope they can­not lease it to another per­son. They must in­form the mu­nic­i­pal­ity if their busi­nesses fail.”

In­te­grated Plan­ning and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment port­fo­lio head Pamela Xelo said five units were va­cant, with 11 peo­ple cur­rently on the wait­ing list.

Women would be pri­ori­tised in the up­com­ing se­lec­tion process, she said.

The cen­tre, which is as yet un­named, would be given its new name dur­ing the of­fi­cial open­ing.

En­tre­pre­neur Xo­lile Mand­aba said they were ex­cited about the new cen­tre.

“We have great hopes that we will not dis­ap­point you.”

Pic­ture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

TOWN­SHIP ECON­OMY: Enoch Mgi­jima mayor Lindiwe Gunuza Nk­wentsha, left, opens a small busi­ness cen­tre in Mlungisi along­side Lo­cal Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment (LED) port­fo­lio head Pamela Xelo. At the back is mu­nic­i­pal com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Gcobani Msind­wana

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