Cape Town - The South African government has identified rural and township economies as vehicles for achieving Radical Economic Transformation, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe said on Monday.
Magwanishe was speaking at the industrial dialogue breakfast session and provincial seminar on the rural and township industrial economy that was hosted by the department of Trade and Industry (the dti), in partnership with the provincial department of finance, economic development and tourism in Kabokweni, Mpumalanga.
The purpose of the event was to provide an opportunity for constructive engagement between government and key stakeholders on interventions that are required to grow and sustain township and rural economies. Participants included business and industry leaders, relevant experts, government officials and other stakeholders from the community.
The government has identified rural and township economies as vehicles for achieving Radical Economic Transformation. The face of this transformation is the creation of employment for the youth, empowerment of local businesses and inclusive growth, said Magwanishe.
He said that the dti had prioritised its rural and township industrial economic programme, in order to boost enterprise development in various regions of the country.
The programme is part of the implementation of the department's Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme.
“One of the objectives of our Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme is to support socio-economic and industrial development in township economies. It also ensures effective collaboration between small and medium enterprises and multinationals in the region,” said Magwanishe
He also announced that the dti was working with the Mpumalanga economic development agency and the development bank of Southern Africa in a scoping exercise to determine the urgent needs of the Kabokweni Industrial Park as part of the department's plan to revitalise it.
The first phase of the revitalisation will involve the upgrading of the park's security features. These include high-security lights and gates, construction and erection guard houses, he added.
The MEC for finance, economic development, and tourism in Mpumalanga, Sikhumbuzo Kholwane said the seminar would give concrete meaning to the concept of rural and township economy as the base of radical socio-economic transformation agenda.
“The idea of the township economy has once again gained so much traction in the country and our province. While there is recognition that spatial location determines the types of business activity for one area or another, there is no denying that we must revive the townships from the economic margins of despondency,” said Kholwane.
African News Agency/ANA