ETHEKWINI Mayor Councilor Mxolisi Kaunda announced that the municipality had approved a budget of R60 million to build infrastructure for informal traders.
The announcement was made during the second Indaba on the Informal Economy held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Center (ICC Durban) yesterday 2 November. The Indaba outlined the municipality’s plans to support and recognize the important role the informal sector plays in growing the city’s economy and creating jobs.
ALSO READ: City reopens fourteen beaches ahead of holiday season
Mayor Kaunda also revealed that through a consultation process, the municipality was able to complete the review of the informal economy policy, which was adopted by the council in September. The policy will serve as a guide and support structure for the informal economy sector until 2028.
“During our inaugural Indaba last year, the sector raised several challenges that delayed its transformation and growth. As a result, the Indaba adopted specific resolutions, which resulted in the revision of the informal economy policy and the provision of adequate infrastructure for informal traders. This policy will go a long way in ensuring that the sector is not overlooked when the municipality formulates its business plans and allocates budget for various programs,” said Mayor Kaunda.
In addition, as part of the municipality’s continued efforts to support informal businesses affected by the floods earlier this year, Mayor Kaunda distributed vouchers, ranging from R2,000 to 3,000, to around 150 informal businesses for buy shares as part of the rebuilding process.
“The rebate is the first phase of eThekwini’s flood relief program benefiting around 2,000 informal businesses, ranging from fruit and vegetables, clothing and textiles, and the automotive sector. This has been made possible through our collaboration with the Small Business Finance Agency (SEFA) and the Small Business Development Agency (SEDA),” Mayor Kaunda added.
Michael Mfeka (56), who works as a fruit and vegetable vendor at Phoenix Plaza, said it was heartening to see eThekwini Municipality and other stakeholders, such as SEDA and SEFA, working together to ensure the development of the informal economy sector.
READ ALSO: Aweh! Find out what’s happening in Durban this weekend
Mfeka, who has been trading for 23 years, received a R2,000 voucher to buy shares that will help her grow her business.
“It is our livelihood, and we are able to support our families and create jobs for others through our informal businesses. Thank you, Municipality of eThekwini, for the continued support. The city has also provided us with training to ensure that we are knowledgeable and run sustainable businesses,” Mfeka said.