By Libuseng Nyaka
KESTELL – The department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea) has conducted a series of engagements which culminated in the development of the MAP 38 Point Service Delivery Plan, in a bid to address unemployment and reduce poverty.
This after Deputy President David Mabuza’s visit to the Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality which was identified as one of the lack of service delivery hotspots in the country, and ordered provincial and national consolidated efforts towards accelerating service delivery in the area.
Destea spokesperson Kgotso Tau says subsequent to that, a delegation made up of Destea, Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality (MAP), the national Department of Small Business Development (DSBD), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), MAP Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Free State Development Corporation (FDC) and the Office of the Premier, held a meeting with representatives from business and civil society formations.
During the meeting that was held at Tlholong Multi-Purpose Centre in Kestel, it was agreed that a committee be established.
Acting Destea director general, Dr Mafole Mokalobe presented the terms of reference of the envisaged committee and stakeholders.
For his part, the HOD of Destea Dr Mbulelo Nokwequ invited delegates to make proposals on the most representative business formation that would add value to the work that needs to be done in MAP, in the best interests of businesses.
“Everybody agreed that even though the formation of these structures is very important, caution should be exercised to ensure credibility of the process and the structures themselves. To this end, delegates proposed that more time for further consultation among and within existing structures and sectors, be given,” Tau disclosed.
Dr Nokwequ also emphasised the importance of collaboration and working together.
“The problems of Maluti-a-Phofung are well-known; what we owe to each other and the area is to commit to work together in order to provide hope, to build our area,” said Nokwequ.
The work underway in MAP, Dr Nokwequ said, should serve as an encouragement to other areas as efforts are made to rebuild the economy of the Free State.
Tau promised that the government will provide the stakeholders with further documentation to allow for in-depth and pointed discussion.
Another round of discussion will be held under the stewardship of the Provincial Government.
Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic in the 2020/21 financial year, 750 businesses were provided with support to the tune of R71million to assist them to keep their doors open.