Min­is­ter pledges M10m for ven­dors

Lesotho Times - - Business - Nthatuoa Koeshe

IN­FOR­MAL traders are set to ben­e­fit from a M10 mil­lion bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion from gov­ern­ment to as­sist the growth of their small busi­nesses, a cabi­net min­is­ter has re­vealed.

Small Busi­nesses, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing Min­is­ter, Cha­lane Phori made the rev­e­la­tions while of­fi­ci­at­ing at a re­cent cer­e­mony to hand over new stalls to ven­dors at Se­fika Bus Stop area in Maseru.

Six stalls were gut­ted by fire in a de­vel­op­ment that de­stroyed goods and left the own­ers stranded last month.

Afro Asia En­gi­neer­ing, a com­pany re­sponded to Mr Phori’s appeal for as­sis­tance and built new stalls which re­port­edly cost M100 000.

Speak­ing at the han­dover cer­e­mony, Mr Phori said the ges­ture was part of the min­istry’s ef­forts to as­sist small busi­nesses to de­velop into big­ger con­cerns.

“When I heard about what had hap­pened, I felt I needed to help so I spoke to other busi­nesses to of­fer a help­ing hand to those that were af­fected by the fire,” Mr Phori said.

He said his min­istry was aware of the fact that many Basotho lacked ac­cess to fi­nance to start busi­nesses, space to op­er­ate from as well as en­trepreneurial skills. “It is the min­istry’s duty to see to it that Basotho over­come such chal­lenges hence we will make a req­ui­si­tion for M10 mil­lion to help small busi­nesses across the coun­try.

“This req­ui­si­tion will be made yearly so that the whole coun­try is as­sisted,” he said.

For his part, Afro Asia En­gi­neer­ing a rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Wil­son Lee said it took them a week to man­u­fac­ture and in­stall the shel­ters which cost a to­tal of M100 000.

“As long as the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China works hand in hand with Le­sotho, we will de­velop a bet­ter coun­try,” Mr Lee said.

Mean­while, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the in­for­mal traders, Tšolo Lebitsa ex­pressed grat­i­tude for the in­ter­ven­tion to pro­vide new stalls af­ter the fire out­break.

Mr Lebitsa said while it was not the first time in­for­mal traders have ex­pe­ri­enced fire which de­stroyed their prop­erty, it was re­fresh­ing to see gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­ing in their plight.

“We are grate­ful for the shel­ters but at the same time we plead with gov­ern­ment to go fur­ther and help us en­sure our mar­kets meet hy­gienic stan­dards so that peo­ple feel safe to eat the food we sell to them,” Mr Lebitsa said.

Small Busi­nesses, Co­op­er­a­tives and mak­ert­ing min­is­ter Cha­lane Phori (cen­tre left) and afro asia En­gi­neer­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the han­dover cer­e­mony.

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