Foreign-owned businesses hampering rural growth – dti

2013-10-10 13:00

Foreigners are hurting entrepreneurship in rural areas and townships, Deputy Trade and Industry (dti) Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has said.

“The scourge of South Africans in townships selling and renting their businesses to foreigners unfortunately does not assist us as government in our efforts to support and grow these informal businesses,” she said today at the national small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) summit in White River, Mpumalanga.

“You still find many spaza shops with African names, but when you go in to buy you find your Mohammeds and most of them are not even registered,” she said.

Many foreigners had been renting back rooms to run their businesses for at least 10 years.

“To step in, the dti has proposed the development of the informal business strategy which is envisaged to go a long way in advancing possible intervention programmes to assist these businesses. We call on individuals to come to us so we can assist them,” Thabethe said.

Mpumalanga Economic Development, Environment and Tourism MEC Pinky Phosa encouraged media to report on problems hampering the growth of SMMEs, so that they could be addressed.

Phosa said the dti, in conjunction with other departments, was working on delivering high-impact programmes to enhance the growth of the SMME sector.

“There is also a need to relook and resuscitate the old industrial parks and business hives to provide for suitable business infrastructure for small businesses,” she said.

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