ETHEKWINI NEWSFLASH FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 28 AUGUST 2023
The City has set aside R120 million in the next three financial years to build and upgrade infrastructure for the informal economy. This was revealed by Chairperson of the Economic Development and Planning Committee Chairperson Councillor Thembo Ntuli. He was speaking during the two-day Informal Economy Summit that took place on 22 and 23 August at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
The summit aimed to provide dialogue between traders, informal economy structures and the Municipality to strengthen relations. The summit also served as a platform for the Municipality to present programmes and plans aimed at developing the sector.
These developments will take the form of business hives, retail markets, traditional herbs and medicine market, a mealie cooker facility, buyback centres (for cardboard recycling), food court markets, shelters, kiosks, container parks and storage facilities for traders’ goods, as well as demarcated sites along the street pavements to name a few.
“Several ddevelopments are underway across the City, with some anticipated to be completed soon. This sector is recognised as one of the main contributors to employment creation in the country which is why we continue to invest in this sector,” said Councillor Ntuli.
He said the informal economy sector contributes R15 billion to the City’s economy annually, which translates to more than 10 percent of the City’s Gross Domestic Product. “This sector has been a major provider of employment, goods and services for lower income groups.”
Councillor Ntuli said the Municipality will issue up to 4 000 street trading permits by 2024 to create job opportunities. “This process is underway as we advertised vacant trading sites recently and received overwhelming feedback. We are also upgrading a building at 126 Johannes Nkosi Road to accommodate local entrepreneurs and informal traders conducting various business activities.”
Councillor Ntuli was accompanied by Deputy Chairperson of the Committee Councillor Phili Ndlovu and the Committee’s Whip Councillor Nomvula Puleng Hlomuka. Hlomuka encouraged traders to meet the Municipality halfway by operating with valid trading permit, to comply with Council approved policies, and to clean-up their working spaces and participate in clean-up campaigns organised by City officials.