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JOHANNESBURG  - The Thusanang opportunity centre in Klipfontein View is already a hive of activity less than a mere two months since opening its doors, with young entrepreneurs taking full advantage of services including meeting rooms, internet access and job search facilities, the city of Johannesburg said on Wednesday.

"It is encouraging that small businesses are using these facilities. This is exactly why we opened these centres," member of the mayoral committee for economic development Leah Knott said in a statement after touring the centre.

"This is evidence of government’s responsibility to provide a conducive environment for small businesses to thrive and to ultimately create jobs."

One success story involves small business owner Prichard Mkwebu, who recently hired three young people from Klipfontein View sourced from the job seekers’ database in the centre. 

Mkwebu uses free meeting rooms at the centre to conduct his training sessions.

"It is a central place, most young people could not afford transport costs to commute to our offices for training," Mkwebu said.

The city has opened six other centres across Johannesburg, specifically in the inner city, Alexandra, Roodepoort, Soweto, Montclare and Diepsloot. It also has a business centre in Orange Farm in partnership with Discovery.

Knott said mentoring workshops for entrepreneurs were also on offer across the eight centres to help up and coming business people. Professionals were on hand to offer valuable information and link businesses to opportunities.

Knott said young people had come forward to testify how the services changed their lives, including Deborah Malambe, a marketing student who said the free access to internet helped her conduct research for assignments.

- African News Agency (ANA)