Gauteng Department of Economic Development, Mogale City and Lepharo turn the key to unlock the economic potential of Munsiville.
In recognition of the potential of Gauteng’s informal economy and the SMME sector’s ability to drive economic growth, the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED), Mogale City and Lepharo have unveiled the Mogale City Incubation Hub. Valued at R13 million, the facility is strategically located to reignite the potential of the heart of the Munsiville community, while providing access to skills and training that could quadruple the size of the local economy within three (03) years.
With projected infrastructure projects that are valued at R60 billion in the West Rand region in the next decade, the Hub creates an industrial corridor for innovation, partnership, and entrepreneurship. Servicing the construction and mining value chains, the infrastructure is earmarked as an enabler for cutting down youth unemployment and the capacitation of SMMEs.
“The Mogale City Incubation Hub comprises the core objectives of ‘Growing Gauteng Together 2030’ (GGT2030). This serves as an investment into the township and informal settlements that harbour the future industrialists we are working to empower and enable for the realisation of a higher economic growth for the residents of Munsiville and Mogale City,” explains Francinah Ntsimane, the Deputy Director for Sector and Industry Development at the Gauteng Department of Economic Development.
The three-year program which is being implemented by Lepharo, an incubation centre for manufacturing, will take place with the support of PPC, SEDA and Tshepo1million. Each partner works with the candidates to educate and empower them through skills development, value creation and entrepreneurship mentorship. Forming part of Lepharo’s national incubation efforts, the qualifying and aspiring small and medium enterprises were invited to apply to be part of the incubation program.
“Our journey empowering entrepreneurs has given us improved confidence in the socio-economic development of the country. In line with the National Development Plan and the Growing Gauteng Together 2030 plan, we have seen 500 businesses complete the three-year program, enabling us to realise our vision and purpose for sustainable economic development. Our efforts to get the next 15 businesses from and around Mogale City have been fruitful. These first steps to enable small township businesses from Munsiville have explicit linkage to the new value chains that are set to take place across Mogale City,” explains Mr Zenzo Nkomo, CEO at Lepharo. “While the first set of participants are being shortlisted, we are confident in our mission to ensure they remain a key component of Gauteng’s economic development as this will play its part in the creation and realisation of Gauteng’s high-growth sectors”.
Serving as a key to a more integrated and inclusive value chain, the game-changing intervention of the Hub is building internal networks of SMMEs owned by black industrialists that will better service all levels of business in the townships. The three projects which are Mining Incubation, Brick Manufacturing and the Construction Inputs and services hubs are developmental nodes that are ready for the inclusion of the SMMEs into their creation. With many in and around Mogale City actively seeking out economic opportunities, the multidisciplinary approach to creating a new area of black industrialists creates an ecosystem that is indispensable for sustainable shared growth and social cohesion.
Speaking at the event, PPC’s Inland Business Unit Head Bheki Mthembu articulated the role of the private sector in this initiative: “PPC is happy to be part of this impactful partnership that has definitely had a positive ripple effect on our catchment communities, particularly in the South Africa and Gauteng context where we know that many businesses and a lot of people still depend on the efficacy of the PPPs for their economic sustenance. On behalf of PPC, it gives me immense pride to put our badge behind this project and to play our role in helping to advance one of South Africa’s most important areas in the rebuilding our economy. PPC is a proud 100% South African enterprise, and our intention is always to ensure that we put our money where our mouth is, by investing in the areas where government requires our support in order to drive the national economic agenda and to impact economic empowerment. We are delighted that our support as technical partner in the project has equipped these young businesses and these young people with the requisite skills to succeed in this very complex industry and in this complex economy of ours. We trust that this project will help to add the necessary confidence in them, knowing that they are supported by South Africa’s number 1 cement producer, particularly at this crucial time of our efforts to assist in the reconfiguration of our economy”.
The matter of long-term security as a catalyst for shared prosperity remains a key component in this process. With spending on the projects aimed at directly building the economic capacity and linked employment, Tshepo 1Million, in partnership with Harambee Youth Empowerment Accelerator’s role in the identification and inclusion of the youth into the Incubation process is integral.
“Our approach is to grow and nurture partnerships to increase opportunities for youth in 3 main ways – by growing the Private Sector and increasing youth access to Public sector opportunities, by investing in micro-enterprises and supporting entrepreneurs in creating access for them to markets that can take their businesses to greater heights and by growing solutions with the community networks and with organisations that provide support to young people. Small business is the future of this economy, because if your brick making company can hire 1 or 2 or 10 young people to work for you, this will, without a doubt, remedy joblessness and build a thriving economy,” says Mosuoe Sekonyela, COO of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator.