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Kenyan boost for informal traders in SA

Informal traders in Kerk Street, Pretoria. File photo: Nonhlanhla Kambule-Makgati

Informal traders in Kerk Street, Pretoria. File photo: Nonhlanhla Kambule-Makgati

Published Sep 27, 2023


Johannesburg - In a ground-breaking move, the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority has partnered with Zetech University to deliver a first-of-its-kind programme to expose South African informal traders to small business best practices in Nairobi, Kenya. The programme includes business skills training as well as mentorship and coaching.

The programme commenced on August 7 at the University of Witwatersrand, the South African delivery partner. Through this programme, the authority aims to contribute to the broader economic sustainability of South Africa by growing small businesses to create much-needed jobs and strengthen rural and township economies.

The programme was officially launched at Zetech University in Nairobi on August 21. The informal traders completed their one-week training, which included immersion into Nairobi’s informal trade, to learn how they can improve and grow their businesses and contribute to growing the South African economy.

During the launch, the South African high commissioner in Kenya, Mninwa Mahlangu, emphasised the importance of informal traders in developing countries and the critical role they play in the economy in terms of job creation, poverty alleviation, and attaining food security. He said: “Make every home, every shack, or rickety structure a centre of learning.

“You have chosen the correct path to become an entrepreneur. The government, through the authority, wants to see all informal traders grow their businesses.

Zukile Mvalo, deputy director-general in the Department of Higher Education and Training, said: “You are the generation of ‘Thuma Mina’, and you are now ambassadors of South Africa.”

The authority’s CEO, Tom Mkhwanazi, said: “The authority is breaking new ground in SMME development with this partnership, the first of its kind in South Africa. It is also the first formal partnership with an African institution on small business development.”

Professor Alice Njuguna, deputy vice-chancellor, Zetech University, added: “This programme will provide opportunities for the authority, Zetech and Wits universities, to collaborate and come up with innovative ways of driving entrepreneurship education.”

The Star

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