itel donates containers to Gauteng townships to help alleviate unemployment
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In an effort to uplift South African communities, global mobile brand itel has donated mobile containers to unemployed individuals in various Gauteng townships, including Tembisa, Soweto, and Cosmos City.
In a statement, the company said it was aware of South Africa’s record unemployment rate of 34.4%, with joblessness in Gauteng sitting even higher at 35.4%. It identified that to empower small businesses like spaza shops, shoe-cleaning enterprises, and catering businesses as key to boosting the township economy.
According to Stats SA, while the township economy generally does not contribute directly to the economy through taxes, it provides livelihoods, employment, and income for approximately 2.5 million workers (excluding agriculture).
"The donation captures the true spirit of "ubuntu", and represents the first of many such projects to be rolled out by itel across South Africa," the company said.
itel said each container was customised and converted to suit the respective businesses and was equipped with electricity, a steady water supply, and plumbing.
The containers were tailor-made based on the needs of the respective business requirements and necessary security features.
itel general manager Wavelet Wu said: "We aim to use technology as a democratising tool and find ways to contribute to bridging the socio-economic disparities in communities".
“Through this investment, we want to boost entrepreneurial skills and help to create a sustainable business ecosystem in townships that will ensure that the rand recirculates in the township," Wu said.
The company donated containers to beneficiaries identified by community groups, clubs, and religious structures in Tembisa, including Cosmos City, Rabie Ridge, Hospital View, Ivory Park, Etafeni, eSangweni, Winnie Mandela, and Bram Fischer.
The containers were handed over in September in time for Heritage Day. They are located at beneficiaries’ properties or in communal areas such as church yards, making them easy to locate and access by the local community.
Wu said many social ills resulted from unemployment, and the company's mission was to create business opportunities.
"In a society with high unemployment, entrepreneurship becomes paramount, and we want to play our part in fostering a culture of self-sustainability,” Wu said.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE