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Joburg inculcating an export culture among Jozi’s SMMEs Print E-mail
20 July 2017
SouthAfricanExport

In its quest to expand Johannesburg’s exporter base and help meet Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba’s 5% economic growth target by 2021, the City’s Economic Development Department has partnered with the national Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to train emerging exporters.

At least 120 prospective exporters are to be trained at the headquarters of the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) over the next five months. The training programme kicked off on Tuesday, July 18, with a four-day session introducing small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) from throughout Johannesburg to exporting.

The training will be complemented by a product development course, to be conducted by the Small Business Development Agency (SEDA), to enhance the SMMEs’ ability to penetrate the lucrative but highly competitive export market.

The export development training, according to Reginald Pholo, Director of Trade and Investment Promotion in the City’s Economic Development Department, “will ensure that would-be exporters have exportable products”. The training covers topics such as trade regulations, understanding the logistics of exporting, the terminology and the documentary procedure.

The DTI has pumped more than R4-million into the programme. Other partners include SEDA and the Gauteng Development Agency (GDDA).

“Previously, exporting was the domain of big white companies. At some point they were called sanction-busters during the apartheid era. This is because they were exporting by force. Black people were left out of the export business. So we are now inculcating the culture of export among previously marginalised groups,” Pholo said on the first day of the training.

He admitted, however, that the number of participants was too small. “Johannesburg is the biggest economic hub in Africa. We need to train between 5 000 and 10 000 people over the next three years,” he said.

Exporters were encouraged to venture into markets abroad as this would contribute to their own growth. Compliance with legislation was also highlighted as critical.

Facilitator Themba Manzini said he was hopeful the participants would have gained invaluable knowledge by the time they completed the course.

Topics to be covered over the few months of training will include product marketing and planning for local and global exports.

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Last Updated on 21 July 2017