Herman Mashaba

By Thembelani Moyo  

Informal traders in Soweto and surrounding areas in Johannesburg are expected to heave a sigh of relief following the City of Johannesburg’s pledge to invest R90 million for their training in the 2017-2018 financial year.

The Economic Development Department MMC Sharon Peetz revealed the pledge during a monthly council meeting when she was asked what is being done to empower informal traders by EFF Councillors.

Peetz said the department will select informal traders and they would be trained in basic management, business, marketing and financial. Various programmes will be introduced and will be modelled around abandoned initiatives such as the “Grow Your Business” programme, which was previously run in conjunction with Wits University.

“We will streamline these activities so they meet our objectives in relation to informal trade,” she said.

Peetz told the house that the current offering of the Jozi SME Hub did not provide enough outreach programmes for targeted groups such as informal traders.

“As we reshape our SMME ecosystem in the new financial year, we will develop more structured interventions for informal traders,” she said.

The Economic Development Department would in the next financial year seek partners that have empowerment programmes aimed at SMMEs, including informal traders so that the needs of informal traders are met.