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Iskhathi sama popaye siphelile (The time for playing games is over). Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and make Johannesburg one of the greatest cities to live in, said Jozi@Work presenter Bongani Mabuse on Monday. 
Mabuse, who works with priority projects in Johannesburg Mayor Councillor Parks Tau's office, was addressing dozens of residents in Diepsloot on Jozi@Work, the City's ambitious programme that aims to create a culture of economic development, infrastructure development and community empowerment.

The train is moving: if you don't get on board, you are going to miss out, he said.

Monday's information-sharing session, held at the Diepsloot Community Hall in Extension Two, was another step aimed sensitising residents about job creation and business opportunities available to them through the programme.

The residents also had the opportunity to interact with City officials before deciding to register their entities either as cooperatives or companies.

Jozi@Work, a R1 billion programme that seeks to turn job seekers into job makers, is aimed at creating 12 500 permanent jobs in the first year and 40 000 new jobs across the city's nine sectors by the end of the current mayoral term.

Mabuse, accompanied by employees of The Business Place, a business incubation consultancy, took the residents through the steps of starting and sustaining a business, and registering with the SA Revenue Service.

Residents were also told about business plans, forms of ownership, getting family and community support for your business and identifying a niche.

Once capability supporting agencies have been selected, which will happen shortly, they will help you with enterprise development, payments, material and tools sourcing. You are not supposed to pay them any money except if you are renting a tool or space, Mabuse said.

The aim is to ensure that R1 billion of the City's contracting services is channelled towards 1 750 new and existing community-based small and medium enterprises and cooperatives.

Services sought by the city range from waste and energy management to infrastructure development and rehabilitation.

To ensure transparency and fairness, it's a case of one identity document, one company name. We don't want to find ourselves in a situation in which one person has registered seven companies doing business with the City, Mabuse cautioned residents.
Father of one Daniel Mathebula, who is a construction labourer, said Monday's registration process was a blessing.

We've always wanted to go to Pretoria to register my business so that I could take care of my destiny. Now Jozi@Work has brought the process to my doorstep and the future is in my hands. I'm tired of making other people rich, Mathebula said.

The next step will involve holding regional forums where work packages will be discussed. Registered local companies and cooperatives will be invited to submit expressions of interest.