First container park opens to boost township economy

Free State MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Limakatso Mahasa.

The first of five container parks, earmarked to boost township enterprises, was officially opened over the weekend by Free State MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Limakatso Mahasa.

Speaking at the launch of the Mangaung Container Park, she said an amount of R13m had been allocated for this programme in the 2018/19 financial year, with a further R9 million allocated for the next financial year.

The container parks were created as a solution to what Mahasa pinpointed as some of the biggest challenges for township entrepreneurs – including manufacturers – during a series of road shows.

These include a shortage of suitable space, lack of appropriate working tools or equipment, and the inability to secure finance.

“Left unchecked, this situation will strangle the township economy,” said Mahasa, highlighting that the process of creating these container parks started with municipalities identifying land and ensuring electricity and water connection.

Then the Free State Development Corporation (FDC) provides the required infrastructure and associations identify and select qualifying enterprises.

The Small Enterprise, Development Agency (SEDA), as well as the banks, provide these entrepreneurs with entrepreneurial development training ranging from marketing and bookkeeping to pricing and procurement.

The Parys, Clarens, Brandfort and Ficksburg container parks are at different stages of completion and operation.

 


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