Empowerment projects launched

2016-06-22 06:00
DR ROB DAVIES (minister of the National Department of Trade and Industry, third from the left), cuts the ribbon at the official launch of the Botshabelo Industrial Park revival project on Tuesday, 14 June, at Factory 44, Botshabelo. With him are from the left Lionel October (director general of the Department of Trade and Industry), Sam Mashinini (Free State MEC for the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs) and Papi Moeng (member of the Mangaung Metro’s mayoral committee).   Photo: Conrad Bornman

DR ROB DAVIES (minister of the National Department of Trade and Industry, third from the left), cuts the ribbon at the official launch of the Botshabelo Industrial Park revival project on Tuesday, 14 June, at Factory 44, Botshabelo. With him are from the left Lionel October (director general of the Department of Trade and Industry), Sam Mashinini (Free State MEC for the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs) and Papi Moeng (member of the Mangaung Metro’s mayoral committee). Photo: Conrad Bornman

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FACED with huge socio-economic challenges, Botshabelo has seen two economic revival projects worth millions unveiled recently.

On Tuesday, 14 June, the Free State government launched the first phase of the Botshabelo Industrial Park Revival Project. A total of R24 million will cover costs ranging from the security infrastructure upgrade to fencing, street lighting and critical electricity.

A second economic revival project launched recently at Botshabelo’s Industrial Park is by private consortium entity Thabo Community Action Trust (TCAT).

The entity unveiled four projects to the tune of R10 million aimed at addressing socio-economic challenges in the town, of which the majority of inhabitants work in Bloemfontein.

Envisaged to create employment opportunities, both government and private sector projects come in the wake of a number of factories being closed down, leaving hundreds of local residents unemployed.

The programme to revive Botshabelo’s Industrial Park is part of the Free State government’s Black Industrialisation Programme, aimed at empowering black people directly involved in the ownership and management, as well as the operation, of industrial enterprises.

Government-driven initiatives will focus on the manufacturing of goods and services on a large scale. The Botshabelo Industrial Park Economic Revival Project is a partnership involving the Free State government, the National Department of Trade and Industry and the Free State Development Corporation (FDC).

One of the latest projects launched by the TCAT is the Apexeon Technology Centre, established with the vision of being an electronic devices manufacturing plant. Among the devices to be manu­factured are proudly local tablets that come with Android software and keypads, as well as smart phones that will be sold globally.

The consortium opened a tyre manufacturing plant, Botshabelo Retreaders, in January. The business employs 16 staff members. The plant retreads tyres for trucks, trailers and buses.

Additional projects include the Moola for Waste Recycling Centre. Mariette Bernard, general manager of the TCAT, said the community members brought their waste to be weighed at the plant, after which they were awarded a voucher, which they could use to buy staple foods.

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