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Helping informal sector grow

Date: 2022-06-28 12:53:27

Helping informal sector grow

Fifteen informal traders recently completed a six-month training programme where they received knowledge on how to grow their businesses and were helped to become formal traders. 

Their completion of the programme was recognised at an event at the Lotus Park Community Hall in Isiphingo on 21 June. It was hosted by the Rebuilding for Hope and Prosperity (REHOPE) Initiative in partnership with eThekwini Municipality.

The July unrest last year left informal traders in Isiphingo destitute as the main storage space that housed all their products was burnt down. 

Following the unrest, non-governmental organisations, concerned residents, and corporate representatives formed a coalition and REHOP was born. 

REHOP developed the Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDP) which aims to train and equip informal traders to redevelop their business and become formal traders.

Initially 38 informal traders were assisted with R1 000 worth of fruit and vegetables after they lost their stock. This would allow them to begin trading again. Following a rigorous selection process, 15 traders were selected to participate in the MEDP programme.

Showcasing what they had learnt during the programme, trader Nozuko Balipepa said: “I sell aprons, towels, scarves and other clothing items. I have learned about business structures and production and I hope to grow my business and expand my customer base.”

The City’s Business Support Unit has identified the informal economy as a vital tool for employment. After witnessing the destruction of Isiphingo SMME units, they enlisted the assistance of REHOP to facilitate a rehabilitation programme and the partnership was formed.

MEDP Coordinator Professor Shahida Cassim said this was a transformative pathway programme, developing enterprise owners and their enterprises for them to contribute to community wealth.