“Investing in Khayelitsha a wise move”

Fears were allayed, concerns were addressed and hope for a bright future was reinforced when the annual Jobs and Careers summit was held in Khayelitsha recently.

Hosted at Sizimisele Technical High School by Laphumilanga Youth Development Association in partnership with the Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme and Khayelitsha Community Trust, the event saw local authorities and business leaders sharing a stage with high school pupils and young people.

Among others, they tackled economic development of the townships. The action-packed event saw topics such an entrepreneurship model growing township economy, incubation model taking entrepreneurs to the next level. New career paths were also discussed.

Mthobeli January, director of Laphumilanga, said despite social ills such as crime, poverty and teenage pregnancy, townships were “great diamond mines”.

He added that more than 3 000 cars entered Khayelitsha daily and more than 1 500 companies, except retailers, operated in the area.

He said more than R10 million is generated in a day.

“That shows the wealth of Khayelitsha. And it is important for us to know how we can we part of this cake and how can we slice it,” he said.

January, who is also the deputy chairperson of the Economic and Finance Portfolio of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that there was no company dedicated to conducting the economic barometer to check employment figures, sectors that work and not work.

“That is a gap we have identified to follow. We are blessed with internationally renowned leaders that, if we have a strategy, can assist our townships going forward.

However there has been no greater emphasis in digging down at growing our townships. Yes there are social ills but those can be defeated if can combine our thinking,” said January.

January revealed that they had embarked on an initiative to raise R5 million by November, to assist new businesses that are aimed at growing township economy in townships across the Cape Metropolitan area.

“We need to think each of us what development can do to change the perception of people from outside.”

““We have found that since 2009 investors are willing to bring developments in our townships,” said January. But he called for “independent thought leaders” to come on board the 2019-2030 vision which aims to drive the success of areas such as Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain, Athlone and Manenberg.

Residents were also given an opportunity to raise their issues concerning support for small businesses and job seekers.

Mayoral committee member for the Areas East Anda Ntsodo the spoke of many initiatives and opportunities the municipality offered to support entrepreneurs and create jobs.

A number of small and medium businesses also showcased their products and encouraged young people to get into business.