The South Regional Business Fair ended on a high note with positive comments received from participants on the City’s initiatives to include townships entrepreneurs into the mainstream economy.
The Business Fair, held at the KwaMnyandu Shopping Centre over the past weekend, attracted more than 15 000 visitors who were treated to the talent and innovation displayed by exhibitors.
This year’s South Regional Business Fair was visited by prominent dignitaries from both the private business sector as well as government and members of the public.
Among the high-profile guests in attendance were national cabinet ministers including Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba and Public Works Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko who both emphasised the role of small businesses in promoting township economies.
Minister Gigaba commended eThekwini Municipality for programmes such as the Fair, which promotes economic development in remote areas.
“I wish to commend eThekwini for such an initiative. This is essential for the City and the country’s development, but most importantly to ensure that people in the townships and rural areas experience an improved quality of life and business opportunities,” he said.
He further encouraged young entrepreneurs in townships and rural areas to focus more on growing their businesses within their own communities. “This will allow people living within these areas to profit from economic development activities and ensure that employment opportunities are created,” Minister Gigaba said.
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede was ecstatic by the interest shown by entrepreneurs and members of the public at large at the Business Fair.
“The success of the Fair is an indication that the Municipality is serious about transformation of the economy especially in marginalised areas. Platforms such as the regional business fairs are key in addressing socio-economic challenges particularly in townships and rural areas,” she said.
Director-General Phumla Williams, who spoke on behalf of Minister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo said the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector plays a significant role in business development and encouraged business owners to use technology to advance their businesses.
“ICT plays a pivotal role in economic growth especially in our modern society. This is important because communication is the foundation and an essential link for an inclusive market economy,” she said.
The South Regional Business Fair ended with the announcement of the three winners of the best stand competition. They were selected for their innovative skills, customer service and their approach in marketing their products.
Winners of the best stand received prizes including equipment that will assist them in their businesses. The prizes include printers with scanners, a complimentary stand at the main Business Fair worth R1 300, free website design, branding material and a 12 month membership with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Registration for the main Business Fair, taking place from 26 September to 1 October, is now open. The Fair will run parallel to the Essence Festival.
For more information about the main Durban Business Fair, contact Ikhono Communications on 031 266 9937/8 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org