District forum calls for further economic benefits

2018-09-28 06:00

THE Harry Gwala District Chamber of Business has called for the sharing of economy in the country. A business forum was launched in the district in June to champion local economic development in the district and to help local businesses benefit from jobs in government and municipalities.

Leading the forum was Andile Mbalo, who was elected as chairperson to work with executive committee members.

Speaking about the forum’s progress, executive committee member Bheki Jali said the forum has achieved positive results in the district after engaging municipal managers.

He said many local businesses and contractors have benefited from government and municipal projects since June, adding that they will be convincing other district municipalities to provide work opportunities for local contractors without considering foreign contractors only.

“Previously, local contractors were being sidelined at municipal projects, until we established a district forum to encourage the sharing of economy to benefit local businesses and contractors. We have visited local municipalities in the region, including Harry Gwala District Municipality, and agreements have been made,” he said.

“When we send business proposals to other municipalities in order to get work, we are turned away and become victims of poverty. Now that we have a forum, we hope there will be change,” Jali said.

According to a Fever publication on June 23, 2017, local contractors from Bulwer Business Forum had demanded work on the construction of a special school, saying they had to make up 30% of the workforce on construction projects.

The forum also complained about foreign contractors from Mpumalanga and Gauteng who benefited from local projects.

Jali said they will not chase away foreign contractors from the district, instead they will work towards building partnerships.

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