Property development needed in townships, KZN premier told
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Durban - The KwaMashu Business Chamber has called on the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government to partner with them, to bring about development and economic growth within the township, including the establishment of a township investment fund to aid economic development.
Sthembiso Mabanga, chairperson of the KwaMashu Business Chamber, said that they understood that it was not just the government’s job to bring about development, but called on the government to allow them to assist in the process of ushering in development because they are where the people are.
“Use us, we are here, let us partner, because we deal with business people on a daily basis. So the government is not on its own, our objectives are the same and it’s to serve our people, particularly on the small business side.
“Our plan is to establish a township investment fund that is going to focus on development, not just in KwaMashu, but to work with our brothers all over the province in townships. We want to work with the province together, to make sure that these things happen,” Mabanga said.
He said that one of the biggest issues around KwaMashu was also recognising the township had a precinct at KwaMashu Station, which they believed could be developed into a city within the township.
“There’s no reason why we do not have a hotel with conference facilities, there’s no reason why we don’t have a social housing project within that particular precinct,” Mabanga said.
He said that some of their members had an interest in property development, facility management, and auto hubs
Among some of the business opportunities that he called for was a cold storage facility in the township and to revive supermarket facilities in the township, that were ravaged during political violence, in the 1980s and 1990s.
“Those supermarket buildings were left damaged and those places can be refurbished into convenience stores, where we own them and, therefore, we are the market that takes the very same products that we produce and supply them within the township.
“If we have a similar distribution centre, it then supplies those retail shops and it also supplies spaza shops, and that ecosystem is then able to work,” Mabanga said.
He said that the purpose for their existence as a chamber was to ensure that township business people were not left in the cold and that they are compliant with the various business requirements, such as tax compliance, among other things.
“We are the first formalised structure in the country to establish a formalised township chamber, we are in an organised fashion here, we have got a plan around how we can work together with the government to make life better for our people,” Mabanga added.