‘This ob­ses­sion with big busi­nesses is an ob­ses­sion that the ANC has cre­ated’ - Maimane

Sunday Observer - - FEATURES -

Lead­ing up to the 2019 na­tional elec­tions, the Demo­cratic Al­liance (DA) seeks to dis­rupt the ANC‘s ob­ses­sion with big busi­ness and poli­cies that favour them, through util­is­ing a cam­paign which en­cour­ages en­trepreneur­ship as well as Small, Medium and Mi­cro­sized En­ter­prises (SMMEs).

This was re­vealed by DA party leader Mmusi Maimane, Jo­han­nes­burg Ex­ec­u­tive Mayor Her­man Mashaba and Gaut­eng pre­miere can­di­date Solly Msi­manga as they went on a cam­paign trail which saw them en­gage with mem­bers of the Diep­sloot com­mu­nity on Fri­day.

In an ef­fort to demon­strate progress made re­gard­ing one of the city’s re­cent ini­tia­tives – the roll out of op­por­tu­nity cen­tres - Mashaba hosted Maimane and Solly to­gether with com­mu­nity mem­bers at com­mu­nity cen­tre Tl­habol­ogo.

With the fo­cus on the youth, pro­mot­ing en­trepreneur­ship as well as SMMEs, Maimane said eco­nomic growth was im­por­tant and that more needed to be done to en­sure it hap­pened.

“This ob­ses­sion with big busi­nesses is an ob­ses­sion the ANC has cre­ated. We [DA] are ob­sessed with mak­ing sure that the mi­cro-en­ter­prises take off.” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Maimane, un­der the cur­rent gov­ern­ment, the econ­omy has only been grow­ing at a rate of about 0.7 per cent.

“Our aim is to bring growth and to help small busi­nesses through ini­tia­tives such as this op­por­tu­nity cen­tre. We must al­low eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to take place. We can achieve this through en­trepreneurs and mi­cro en­ter­prise, and this cen­tre is a place peo­ple can come to, use its ser­vices and find work or make work,” Maimane said.

Echo­ing these sen­ti­ments, Mashaba said eco­nomic growth was the party’s first pri­or­ity and more ways needed to be ex­plored to achieve this suc­cess­fully

“We need a di­verse econ­omy that es­sen­tially cre­ates jobs. And we have iden­ti­fied small busi­nesses as a way of do­ing this. To­day, we see shops be­ing owned by ev­ery­one else ex­cept South Africans so we have got to get our peo­ple [South Africans] back into the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Mashaba, the cen­tres are based on a model set to up­lift the pro­file of emerg­ing en­trepreneurs, al­low­ing them to ben­e­fit ex­ten­sively from the ser­vices of­fered.

The cen­tres also as­sist in­di­vid­u­als with a num­ber of busi­ness-re­lated queries in­clud­ing es­tab­lish­ing a busi­ness and how to ef­fi­ciently run it, in­ter­net ac­cess and ten­der ap­pli­ca­tions.

Maimane added that the DA ini­tia­tive had done a lot for the peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.

“As the DA in this elec­tion we have shown that where we gov­ern, jobs are cre­ated, we have a plan to cre­ate work, we want to cre­ate small busi­nesses and that is why we have these op­por­tu­nity cen­tres. Elec­tion year is about em­ploy­ment and ac­cess to jobs for all South Africans,” he said.

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