By Masilo Malakwane
QWAQWA – Traditional leaders, interfaith organisations and the business community in Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality have thrown their weight behind the executive mayor’s action plan to revive economic growth in the district.
This follows last Wednesday’s consultations where Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality executive mayor Conny Msibi outlined the municipality’s plans to support local businesses and to shore up the capacity of local areas to improve the economy and the people’s quality of life.
Underlined the importance of formulating and adopting policies that boost revenue and bring about change in the local economy.
“The newly established district development model policy should address challenges of closed Free State Development Corporation factories. Blame has been placed on the Free State Development Corporation’s stiff rental fees which make it difficult for black entrepreneurs to make profits.
“Although the focus is local, it is equally important to identify and seize business opportunities, support entrepreneurial initiatives, facilitate market access and create a climate conducive to investment and business activity.”
The performance of district environmental health inspectors also came under the spotlight; they are expected to protect natives against questionable business practices of foreign nationals spaza shops who allegedly sell expired goods., in breach of the healthy business environment.
To this effect, Msibi vowed to ensure that the department provides a detailed report on health hazards that consumers are supposedly exposed to local spaza shops.
Meanwhile, the District Development Business Forum representative, Morgan Vanqa lamented that the MAP-Special Economic Zone in Tshiame is a non-functional entity which does not comply with the requirements of Black Economic Empowerment.
“It was designed to exclude black business. The reason why that SEZ seems to failing is that black entrepreneurs were excluded from it, hence it neglected the agriculture sector,” said Vanqa.
In another development, similar deliberations took place at a meeting between the Maluti-A- Phofung local municipality and the business fraternity held on Tuesday last week.
One issue that took centre stage was how the municipality could strengthen revenue collection, which the meeting felt could be achieved if everybody ‘comes to the party’ by pay their services.
Business association spokesperson Nelson Moekoa promised to support the municipality in stabilising the supply of basic services such as water and electricity to all MAP business sectors.
He said they have appointed a team that will ensure that service delivery is achieved effectively.
“Investors would also support our efforts to improve economic growth in the municipality and bolster job creation,” Moekoa lamented .
In an interview with The Guard, Maluti-A-Phofung executive mayor Gilbert Mokotso said: “We appreciate the efforts of the business community who saw the need to forge links with the municipality in remedying the service delivery crisis.”