Premier praises township business owners

Khayelitsha business owners speak to Premier Alan Winde about some of the challenges they face.

Premier Alan Winde met with some of Khayelitsha’s business owners last week to thank them for doing their bit over the festive season to keep Cape Town and the province a choice destination for tourists.

About ten business people – mostly young entrepreneurs – met with Mr Winde at Siki’s Coffee Shop, and they took the opportunity to tell him about some of the hurdles they face.

Mr Winde encouraged them to network and learn from each other, and he praised them for growing tourism in the township, boosting the economy and creating jobs.

“I thought I needed to thank you,” he told them, stressing the importance of having a sound business plan.

“Never stop innovating and never give up when faced with challenges. Entrepreneurs like you are the ‘engine rooms’ of our economy. You are all making huge differences in your communities, where it counts the most, by creating jobs,” he said.

Tourism was a key growth sector in the province and created many employment opportunities, he said.

But the entrepreneurs also complained to the premier that a lack of land, funding, basic services and support programmes for township enterprises made it hard to do business in the area.

Mr Winde, in turn, advised them to tap the provincial government’s SMME Booster Fund, which provides financial support to small, medium and micro enterprises.

Interior designer Sisipho Krewu told the premier that Khayelitsha was filled with eager and talented people who could make a difference in their community and the economy.

Dumisani Wambi, who runs Khayelitsha Basketball and Imbovane Solutions, complained about the available land in Khayelitsha but said he was glad the premier was tackling other challenges business people in the area had.

Sibusiso Dlule said the outside gym he started was now full and doing well with three full-time workers, but he was having a hard time finding space to expand.

“I started training people in the parks during Covid. We are growing in terms of clients, but the only issue is the space.”

Sikelela Dibela, who owns Siki’s Coffee, said he had had a bumper festive season and his business had attracted locals and international visitors alike. He is planning a relaunch of his second outlet, at Cavendish Square in Claremont, in March.

Premier Alan Winde, middle, chats to Lungelo Masiza, left, and Sikelela Dibela.