ANC General Secretary Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya.

Johannesburg - Business should not seek incentives for investing in rural areas but rather take the initiative to transform villages into economic hubs, African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.

“We have not exploited our potential in the rural areas,” he told delegates at a breakfast meeting of the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“The Eastern Cape has one of the biggest cattle farming (communities) but it comes behind Gauteng in beef production.”

Mantashe said the more business could see the opportunities in rural areas and invest, the communities would be uplifted and economic hubs created.

“Business must see the opportunities and exploit them. Let's not regard rural areas as a curse. You must go there and turn them around into economic hubs,” Mantashe said. - Sapa