June 24, 2017

News:

Vendors get shot in the arm

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Coming in handy . . . From left; Street vendor Makhauta Mofokeng, Maluti A-Phofung Member of Mayoral Committee for small businesses Masetjhaba Mosia-Lakaje and Coca Cola district manager Vaal Jarrod Piderit displaying one of the trollies donated by the company

Coming in handy . . . From left; Street vendor Makhauta Mofokeng, Maluti A-Phofung Member of Mayoral Committee for small businesses Masetjhaba Mosia-Lakaje and Coca Cola district manager Vaal Jarrod Piderit displaying one of the trollies donated by the company

The Coca Cola Beverages Company, in partnership with Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality, has donated 80 trolleys and umbrellas to street vendors operating in Phuthaditjhaba to help them boost their businesses.

The Eastern Free State regional manager of Coca-Cola, Habofanoe Thakaso, said the donation is part of their social responsibility programme to plough back to communities that support them.
“We do not only donate this equipment but we also assist beneficiaries with training so that the trolleys do not go to waste. We have also assigned an accountant manager who on a weekly basis will monitor progress in the businesses of the recipients of our donations,” Thakaso noted.

He added the beneficiaries would no longer have to buy ice to keep their drinks cold because the trolleys have a cooling component.

The recipients were identified by the municipality.

The director of Local Economic Development (LED) Small and Medium Business Enterprises in Maluti-A-Phofung, Tseko Mothamaha, pointed out the municipality alone could not afford to provide jobs for the residents.

Mothamaha said entrepreneurship therefore remained one way of bridging the gap of unemployment and their task was to lobby investors like Coca Cola for support.

“Our task as a municipality is to source investment from private companies because alone we cannot afford to support the residents. Partnering with the private companies, we are able to assist entrepreneurs to generate income from their small businesses,” he added.

Assisting the street vendors would also help in eradicating poverty as well as preventing crime.

“When people have something to eat and are busy there will be no reason to steal or be involved in criminal activities,” Mothamaha said.

According to research done by the World Bank Group in 2014, about half of South Africa’s urban population lives in townships and informal settlements, accounting for 38 percent of working-age citizens.

The research also revealed that to understand challenges that township entrepreneurs currently face, one would have to look at the trials faced in townships generally, as well as their history.

The World Bank believes entrepreneurship is also a key driver of job creation and economic growth, with the country’s National Development Plan stating that 90 percent of jobs would be created by small and medium businesses by the year 2030.

Ngadiseng Mbele, a street vendor who sells braai meat and pap at the long distance taxi station at Setsing said the new hawkers’ trolley had come in handy to her.

“Gone are those days when my customers would buy chesa nyama and then leave to buy a drink from the shops. My customers will now be able to get drinks as well from me. This donation is certainly going to boost to my business and enable me to create jobs for other people. I am going to need extra hands to assist me sell beverages,” Mbele, a mother of three, told The Weekly on Wednesday.

Another street hawker, Makhauta Mofokeng described the gift as God sent, saying it had come in handy.

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