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City sets aside millions to train informal traders Print E-mail
02 May 2017
informaltraderswebsite

The City of Johannesburg will spend more than R9-million in the 2017-2018 financial year to provide training for informal traders doing business in the city.

This was revealed by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development Cllr Sharon Peetz during a monthly council meeting on Wednesday April 26. She was responding to a question by Economic Freedom Fighters Councillor L Maleka on the department’s plans to empower Johannesburg’s informal traders so they could reach their full potential.

In her response, MMC Peetz said selected informal traders would be trained in a range of basic management, business, marketing and financial skills to enable them to grow their businesses and graduate into the mainstream of the economy.

This new move is in line with one of Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba’s nine key priorities for the city – growing Johannesburg’s economy by 5% and reducing unemployment by 6% over the next four years.

Cllr Peetz told the house that the current offering of the Jozi SME Hub did not provide enough outreach programmes for targeted groups such as informal traders. “As we reshape our SMME ecosystem in the new financial year, we will develop more structured interventions for informal traders,” she said.

At present, the City’s Emergency Management Services (EMS), Department of Environmental Health and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) provide informal traders with by-law education.

MMC Peetz said her department intended to use the next financial year cycle to bolster its partnerships with development organisations across all spheres of government such as the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), which has empowerment programmes aimed at SMMEs, including informal traders. She said in the past GEP recruited beneficiaries directly without the participation of municipalities.

“We will streamline these activities so they meet our objectives in relation to informal trade,” she said.

MMC Peetz also told the house her department planned to resuscitate programmes tailored to meet the needs of informal traders through partnerships with higher educational institutions. The programmes will be modelled around abandoned initiatives such as the “Grow Your Business” programme, which was previously run in conjunction with Wits University.

Informal trading has been part of the history of Johannesburg and contributes to Gauteng’s economy, thus helping to ease unemployment.

In 2013, Statistics South Africa estimated that there were 1 517 000 informal traders in the country. The South African Local Government Association recently said informal trading should form an important part of government strategies.

A recent internal City report has revealed that owners of informal business in Johannesburg hold the key to the City’s drive to achieve sustained economic growth as they provide much-needed jobs for low-skilled people, sell affordable food to food-insecure residents and keep the wheels of the local economy turning by sourcing goods from formal businesses, while contributing to Value Added Tax.

 

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Last Updated on 02 May 2017