Mlungisi gets R5m business centre
Boost for entrepreneurs to, in turn, create employment
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.”
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