The Radical Economic Transformation Conference and Ex will take place between the 27 and 28 February. Photo: File
DURBAN - The eThekwini Municipality has unveiled its agenda ahead of the Radical Economic Transformation Conference and Expo, which will take place 27 - 28 February 2018, at a launch on KwaMashu on Tuesday.

The host for the launch was the Federation for Radical Economic Transformation (FFRET), a federation of business associations in partnership with the Municipality.

In attendance at the launch were dignitaries from the federation, officials from the eThekwini Municipality and individuals from the private sector. The function detailed the challenges faced by the small business sector and also outlined the agenda for the conference.

Delivering the welcome address, FFRET Secretary Malusi Zondi, said that the intention of the federation was to ensure that black businesses are acknowledged and included in the mainstream economy.

Zondi said, "In many industries and aspects, black businesses have been excluded and undermined.

As a forum, we are here to ensure that our local businesses benefit from all sectors".

The City and the FFRET partnership is the result of the Municipality's mandate to drive the economic transformation agenda through empowering and helping small and emerging entrepreneurs to ensure that they are participants of the mainstream economy.

The conference aims to create a platform which inspires engagement between business forums, the government and the private sector, as well as strenghening the plan of radical engagement transformation.

The summit will touch on relatable issues with the business community and outline a wide range of business opportunities available in various sectors which could beneficial for emerging businesses.

Thulani Nzama, Acting Head of the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit said that the Municipality had many programmes and empowerment business seminars to accommodate, and ensure that small businesses participate in the broader scale of the City's economy.

Nzama said: "The Municipality has endorsed RET as a way of redressing imbalances of the past and to ensure active participation of small and emerging businesses in the economy through various key projects of the Municipality".

"It is because of reasons such as this that the Municipality has taken a decision of reviewing the procurement system that will ensure RET related challenges are addressed," he said.

FFRET chairperson Bonga Shongwe said that they are ready to work with anyone to hasten the participation of young, black people in the economy.

Shongwe said "We will do our best to work with various sectors including government, the private sector and civil society to ensure that the transformation of the economy is achieved. Democracy wasn't achieved by wishful thinking and endless talks but through action. We are prepared to do the same and more for the economic freedom of our people".