Back to business for informal traders

Beneficiaries of the business toys in full song.

There was some light at the end of the tunnel for informal traders whose businesses were decimated by the pandemic and resultant lockdowns when tools and other equipment to them last week.

Last Thursday, Small Business Development minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, and representatives of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) visited United Khayelitsha Informal Traders Association (UKITA) members to hand over the equipment at the Solomon Mahlangu Sports and Recreation Centre in Khayelitsha. The value of the donation of operational support equipment to each of the 39 beneficiaries was R10 000.

Ms Ndabeni said the handover of business tools had been done through the Informal Micro-Enterprise Development Programme which is part of the National Informal Business Upliftment Strategy.

This also gave informal traders access to training through the SEDA in an effort to accelerate the growth of informal and micro enterprises.

Traders had the handover expressed their gratitude to the minister for the “shot in the arm”.

Chairperson of Ukita, Thozama Gwente said traders would start a new life after a hard two years of the pandemic. “We are ecstatic with this development. We aim to train more informal traders for them to grow their businesses. I have no words to express my happiness,” she said.

Trader Mzukisi Mahlakahlakan said as much as he welcomed the assistance, he urged government to urgently facilitate additional support and funding for self-employed individuals and informal traders. Speaking on behalf of the traders, he added: “This is a big day that should be celebrated. But we still have more challenges. We still need mentoring and training so that we can grow our businesses to the next level. We want training workshops but I am positive that they will soon be organised.”

He said informal traders should also be proactive in upgrading their skills and accessing training.

Business tools will open the way for small businesses in Khayelitsha.
Ukita founder David Moyake, Thozama Gwente, Ukita chairperson and beneficiary Nomveliso Matiwane in a happy mood.