DURBAN - Communities and businesses need to work hand in hand to protect the economy.
This is according to Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Nomalungelo Gina, who was speaking at the uMkhanyakude Community Centre in northern KwaZulu-Natal this week.
Gina handed over computers to a business that suffered losses during the looting of the Ingwavuma shopping centre in uMkhanyakude during the unrest in KZN in July.
She said communities are at the core of the country’s economy and should play a key role in working together with businesses operating within the areas in which they live.
She said, as government, they have been given a mandate to restore and rebuild the economy for all the communities that were affected by the recent looting and anarchy.
“We have a huge task to make sure the future of these local and township economies are protected and restored,” said Gina.
Gina pleaded with the community of uMkhanyakude to protect what she called the livelihoods of future generations and entrepreneurs.
She said without co-operation between the government, the private sector and communities, the future of the country might be compromised.
“Our immediate objective would be to ensure urgent restoration and functionality of destroyed businesses so that the capacity for re-employment of workers, the supply of basic food necessities to communities, and the kick-start of the local economy can occur,” added Gina.
Local business people who attended the meeting also highlighted some of their frustrations since the unrest took place.
They indicated that some of their planned projects had taken a back seat, and funds had dried up.