“If we are to succeed in accelerating economic growth in our province, we have to put sharp focus on the development of small business and cooperatives as this is our real answer to job creation.” These were the words of Benny Malakoane, MEC for Economic and Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.
Malakoane was speaking during a visit to the Botshabelo Industrial Park for Black Industrialists on 1 November 2017. Malakoane said that small, medium and micro sized enterprises (SMMEs) play a pivotal role in the development of the country’s economy.
He emphasised that as government they need to empower black industrialists in order for them to accelerate their growth. “We have taken a bold decision to change the genetic makeup of township enterprise in the province. We are continuing to look for township enterprises that show extraordinary entrepreneurial desire to succeed and we will unashamedly support them,” he said.
He added that they lobby for prospective investors and strengthen their relations with various stakeholders. To date the department has invested an estimated amount of R674 million in the park.
One of the black industrialists, Muso Makae from Soutcast Manufacturing Light Steel Frames, told Voice that he has been operating at the park for two and a half years. “There has been huge progress in terms of manufacturing. The only challenge we are facing is that as a small enterprise we don’t have many companies that we can supply. They say that pricing is too high. This is because we cannot buy our material in bulk, which leads to our prices being higher,” Makae explained.
He added that perhaps in the future they could become the main supplier for the Free State government, which would mean growth for their manufacturing company.