Economic summit intends to improve growth

2018-05-25 06:01
PHOTOS: KHAYA MAGENUUmzimkhulu municipal manager, Zweliphansi Sikhosana, Greater Kokstad municipal manager Lulamile Mapholoba and Harry Gwala Development Agency CEO Mbongeni Mdletye at the growth and development summit.

PHOTOS: KHAYA MAGENUUmzimkhulu municipal manager, Zweliphansi Sikhosana, Greater Kokstad municipal manager Lulamile Mapholoba and Harry Gwala Development Agency CEO Mbongeni Mdletye at the growth and development summit.

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HARRY Gwala District Municipality hosted a two-day Growth and Development Summit at the Sani Pass Hotel in Underberg on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Potential investors, stakeholders in public and private sector, different Government departments, mayors and municipal managers from all four local municipalities under Harry Gwalas district municipality, traditional leaders and many more people were able to sit down, discuss and outlook for the future.

Topics on the agenda for discussions included capitalising on the radical economic transformation, economic development, sustainable economic growth, and reducing inequality, poverty and unemployment. Guest speakers included Human Settlement and Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay.

Harry Gwala District Municipality mayor Mluleki Ndobe said that the municipality wanted to get started with their growth and development in infrastructure and invest more in skills development and education.

“Our main economic drivers in the district are agri-business and tourism, we are very strong in livestock farming and dairy farming” said Ndobe.

Ndobe said that the area has natural resources and has a tremendous potential to fortify its tourism sector.

“Harry Gwala is well endowed with natural resources and has vast potential for the development of its foremost economic sectors in agriculture and tourism and a portion of 30% of dairy farming consumed in KwaZulu-Natal is produced within the district,” said Ndobe.

Ndobe said that a commercial plantation is playing a significant role in the economy of the region and that they want to attract more young people to improving the economy of the district.

Umzimkhulu Chamber of Business Chairperson and owner of a number of businesses in South Africa Siyabonga Cyril Malanda, said that they will make sure resolutions of the summit are being implemented and their priority is to open more job opportunities for local youth.

“We hope that the summit will also open more business opportunities in our district,” said Malanda.

The summit resolves to address the issue of developing small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) by creating a database for them and monitoring it.

They resolved to strengthen the role of local traditional leaders in economic development and also support co-operative and informal businesses particularly in education.

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