MEC MAILE MEETING WITH YOUNG WOMEN IN BUSINESS
10 October 2016
Gauteng Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Lebogang Maile has lauded the success of a meeting between himself and hundreds of young women in business today in Newtown, Johannesburg.
More than 600 young women in business met with MEC Maile at the Turbine Hall as part of the Gauteng Provincial Government’s efforts to inspire entrepreneurs on how to sustain their own business in order to add value towards economic growth within the community and ultimately towards the mainstream economy.
Speaking at the event, MEC Maile said as part of Gauteng Provincial Government’s plan of advancing radical economic transformation, the provincial government has awarded linen contracts in Gauteng health facilities to women owned companies.
MEC Maile said in the last quarter of 2014/15 financial year, more than 47 000 women benefitted from Gauteng public employment programmes, and there are 51 women beneficiaries in the agricultural sector.
The government’s procurement spend on women exceeded the 30% target and the province is well on course to reach 50% by 2020. Currently 400 enterprises owned and run by women benefit from government’s procurement spend. The provincial government has embarked on an economic empowerment roadshow with the women infrastructure sector to enable them to gain access to government programmes.
“This meeting is critical as a networking and learning platform designed for female leaders, managers and entrepreneurs, who aspire to advance their careers or grow their businesses by taking charge of their own professional and personal development,” MEC Maile said.
In line with the Township Economic Revitalisation Strategy, MEC Maile used the meeting with young women in business to address the challenges and obstacles faced by every female entrepreneur in their business.
“Young female entrepreneurs who are persistent and triumphant over circumstances and serve as an inspiration to many young people should be recognised and commended for their contribution to the economy as well as for their effort of empowering other women in the province,” MEC Maile said.
MEC Maile said the Department of Economic Development will continue to create a conducive and enabling environment for the empowerment of women in the Gauteng province through structures and innovative programmes.
As part of the process of creating a conducive economic environment, the Department of Economic Development through the Township Economic Revitalisation (TER) Programme has assisted many women to start their own business and access the market both in the public and private sectors. The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), which was formed in 2005 gives financial and business development support to SMME’s, GEP has assisted over 400 women owned companies in the province.
The first full year in the implementation of the TER Strategy, has seen the provincial government spend R1.8 billion procuring goods and services from township enterprises. Women have benefited from the R1.6 billion Gauteng municipalities spent on township enterprises.
The provincial government has successfully provided 20 informal car washers innovative equipment through the Eco Car Wash initiative. It should be noted that some of the beneficiaries of the Eco Car Wash initiative are women. This is a positive step in the empowerment of women in sectors that are predominantly occupied by man.
In Tshwane, the government and private sector collaboration saw the support of a township economic revitalisation project which resulted in the recent launch of a refuse plastic bag manufacturing facility in Refilwe, Cullinan. The manufacturing facility is ran by Mesarasarane Trading and Projects Cooperative Limited made up of the local unemployed youth and women who are effectively equipping the local community with the skills that enable them to manufacture refuse plastic bags.
The Township Enterprise Hubs, a business incubator programme, are empowering Gauteng women as many have been enrolled in various skills development programmes being offered at these centres. The Township Enterprise Hubs are an important mechanism for creating viable businesses in communities. These hubs are currently operating in Winterveldt, Diepsloot, Tembisa, Katlehong, Kagiso, Sharpeville and Sebokeng.
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Issued by the Department of Economic Development www.ecodev.gpg.gov.za