Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, fields questions from businesspeople during an interactive session hosted by Business Leadership South Africa in Sandton today. He is flanked by his deputy ministers Nomalungelo Gina and Fikile Majola. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy minister of trade and industry, Fikile Majola, has urged government to explore the idea of establishing markets for small business operators to trade their goods and products in South African townships, in a bid to revive the failing economy. 

"We need to use the model of Soweto's Vilakazi Street and replicate it across many townships," Majola said. 

"Government needs to consider seriously providing infrastructure for such trading markets so that people who have business ideas can have space from which to promote and sell their products. This will contribute positively in the task of rebuilding the township economy."  

Majola was speaking to young entrepreneurs on Monday at a seminar that brought them together in conversation with government and support agency officials, and other critical specialists, to engage on a range of issues and challenges affecting their ventures in Krugersdorp. 

The purpose of the event was to create a platform to sharpen entrepreneurial skills among the youth, and to unpack opportunities and the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) on industries, business, government and communities. 

Majola said the growth of big supermarkets had contributed a great deal to the demise of the township economy, and government needs to consider providing infrastructure for African style markets, that will enable businesses in townships to thrive once more. 

Other key partners who participated in the seminar included business and 4IR experts, Mogale City Municipality, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Gauteng government and Development Finance Institutions such as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa).

- African News Agency (ANA)