Support for KZN spaza shops

2019-03-06 17:03
A Spaza Shop in Phomolong section, Tembisa in Ekurhuleni.

A Spaza Shop in Phomolong section, Tembisa in Ekurhuleni. (Stephens Molobi/Daily Sun)

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Economic Development MEC Sihle Zikalala has hailed the department’s new programme aimed at supporting township spaza shops as a “pioneering intervention” by the provincial government.

Addressing Mkhambathini residents at the Nembula Sportsground, Zikalala said the initiative, called Bulk Buying and Warehousing Programme, will turn tuck shop businesses into more profitable ventures for small business owners.

“The programme is aimed at lowering the cost of sales for our small and emerging retailers in order for them to be competitive and to be able to expand their market share and participate in the whole retail value chain.

“Its intention is to finally cut the middleman thereby ensuring that our retailers enjoy economies of scale,” he said.

The programme will see the department establishing a distribution centre, where small businesses can order stock at discounted prices.

“We are implementing the programme in partnership with our entity, the Ithala Development Finance Corporation, which acts as [the department’s] implementing agent. Our overall agenda is to transform and revitalise township and rural economies in order to foster inclusive growth.”

Most local tuck shop owners who have been operating in townships and rural areas were forced to either sell or rent out their businesses to foreign national due to fierce competition within the sector.

Zikalala said the programme will ensure that township small businesses were sustainable. “Through it, rural and township SMMEs and co-operatives can collectively buy directly from manufacturers or their representative suppliers or distributors in order to get better pricing, quality goods and be in stock at all times to compete fairly and grow their businesses,” he said.

While government would be giving local small businesses the support they needed to run thriving businesses, the programme could only work if business owners were committed to the initiative’s success.

“According to research which was released last week, while government can do so much to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship, the person who runs the business is the most important success variable,” Zikalala said.

The department under Zikalala had in recent months been playing a hands-on role in supporting private businesses in the province.

Last year it facilitated the rescue of Glodina — one of South Africa’s largest towel manufacturing companies, based in Hammarsdale. The department’s efforts saw the Investment Development Corporation (IDC) pumping millions of rands into the company to revive operations and save jobs.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  spaza shops

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