By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA – IN a bid to reduce both poverty and unemployment, the executive mayor of Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality has handed over trading equipment to small businesses, a move intended to help keep them operational.
The 25 recipients of various tools ranging from hair saloon equipment, catering, panel beating and printing, have been drawn from various local municipalities in Thabo Mofuntsanyana district, namely Mantsopa, Setsoto, Dihlabeng, Nketoana, Phumelela and Maluti-A-Phofung.
Handing over the equipment on Friday last week, executive mayor Malefu Vilakazi congratulated the young women who were among the beneficiaries.
“When you empower a woman, you empower a nation. The beneficiaries are very diverse as they include both young and old. This is our way of ensuring unemployment is reduced across the board. These people will be able to run their business and even employ others.”
Explaining the process of identifying eligible recipients, Vilakazi said an invitation for applications was made through local newspapers.
“The interested SMMES applied through their local municipalities and those that made the cut well relayed to the district municipality for potential funding. I encourage the recipients to take good care of their equipment, and I am especially gratified that the beneficiaries include young women.
“I hope you master a spirit of entrepreneurship not tenderpreneurship, and develop your own areas by create more jobs for your people. Please do not sell or destroy this equipment. We will be visiting your working stations from time to time to confirm that the equipment you received is taken good care of.”
At the same occasion, the manager of Investment Promotion, Industrialisation and Manufacturing Bongani Ngwenya said the purpose of the day was to honour a commitment made the district municipality, to empower the people.
“We are not donating but investing in our people. These 25 families provide means of livelihood to at least one person each, including their employees, so we have no doubt that our investment is set to touch many lives.”
One of the beneficiaries, Tsitso Hlasa from Maluti-a-Phofung said: “we humbly appreciate what our government has done for us. We will make sure we also work hard to contribute to the eradication of poverty and unemployment which are our major foes.”
Another recipient, Makgauta Solo of Marquard in the Setsoto local municipality, enthused that the equipment will enable her to expand her business.
“I operate a hair salon alone but this equipment means I am going to need an extra pair of hands.”