Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

JOHANNESBURG - The council in South Africa's commercial hub of Johannesburg is set to launch the first of 14 centres it says will be aimed at helping self-employed people in the city.

The council says the so-called "opportunity centres" will be open to the public, allowing everyone access to the support they need to advance an entrepreneurial culture in an country grappling with unemployment of more than 26 percent of the labour force.

"With unemployment sitting high, and with the youth being the hardest hit, the city is determined to support and empower the youth through the new OPC model," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The city of Joburg firmly believes that the development and support of SMMEs ( small, medium-sized and microenterprises) will assist the city in achieving the five percent economic growth by year 2021."

- African News Agency (ANA)