‘Existing firms create most jobs’

2009-09-25 00:00

LOCAL authorities need to focus intensively on supporting existing Pietermaritzburg-based businesses as they are most likely to create the most new jobs in the city.

This is the view of a local economic development expert Gerry Delany, who was speaking at a major city seminar on the economic prospects for the City of Choice held on Wednesday.

The seminar, hosted by the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, was held in preparation for next month’s “strategic city summit”.

The director of the Msunduzi Innovation and Development Institute, Francois du Toit, said the summit will help to identify tangible projects aimed at stimulating growth in the city.

Pietermaritzburg’s strategic summit is to be held on October 20 and 21.

Delany noted that although offering incentives to potential investors remains a vital element of growing the economy, research has shown that existing businesses usually create more jobs than new businesses.

“We must create an environment in which existing businesses survive and thrive,” he added.

Delany urged local authorities to listen to the needs of city businesses on a regular basis.

Msunduzi Municipality’s manager of investment promotion, David Gengan, stressed the importance of offering incentives to potential investors.

Skills development in the city also came under the spotlight at the seminar.

Although much attention has been given to South Africa’s skills crisis, Pietermaritzburg-based skills development consultant Di Randall told delegates that the city is facing a “competence crisis”.

She noted that many local businesses find that apprentices are too costly to train.



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