I am pleased to announce that one of the City of Johannesburg opportunity centres, the Thusanang Opportunity Centre in Klipfontein View, is already a hive of activity less than a mere two months since opening its doors to the public.
This was discovered after a recent oversight visit conducted at the Centre and by interacting with staff and community members in a bid to gather feedback on their experiences.
The Centre Manager, Harold Mbowana, revealed that small businesses across the Region are already taking full advantage of the services offered at the Centre.
One success story involves small business owner, Prichard Mkwebu, who recently hired three young people from Klipfontein View who were sourced from the Job seekers’ database in the Centre. They will start work at the beginning of next month, after completing training.
In addition, Mkwebu is using free meeting rooms at the Centre to conduct his training sessions. He said, ‘‘It is a central place, most young people could not afford transport costs to commute to our offices for training”.
It is encouraging that small businesses are using these facilities. This is exactly why we opened these Centres. This is evident of government’s responsibility to provide a conducive environment for small businesses to thrive and to ultimately create jobs.
We congratulate Prichard Mkwebu for contributing positively to the economy of Johannesburg. The goal of a five percent economic growth is attainable if we work in collaboration with small businesses.
Mentoring workshops for entrepreneurs are also on offer across the eight centres to help up and coming entrepreneurs. Various professionals are on hand to offer valuable information to entrepreneurs including linking businesses to opportunities.
Young people have come forward, saying the services offered at the Centre changed their lives. Deborah Malambe, a marketing student who frequents the Centre to use free internet to conduct research for her assignments, says the internet connection is excellent and that this is making it far easier for her to complete her studies.
Records have shown that community members are visiting the Centre to enquire about a range of services. These include requests to use meeting rooms by local entrepreneurs, internet usage by young people looking to conduct research, and for searching employment opportunities.
The City has opened six other centres across Joburg, specifically in the Inner-city, Alexandra, Roodepoort, Soweto, Montclare and Diepsloot. The City also has a business centre in Orange Farm in partnership with Discovery.