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Minister Mkhize calls on Mayors to champion Local economic Development and support Informal Traders


Posted: 06 February 2019

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Zweli Mkhize has called on mayors and councils to stop unleashing municipal police on informal traders, but to rather to find the best ways to work with them because they are key to the development of local economies.

Minister Mkhize made this call at the Council of Mayors meeting in Cape Town which is being hosted by the South African Local Government, Association under the theme “Enhancing the Role of municipalities in promoting INVESTMENT and JOB CREATION”.
“There is a need to find ways of licensing informal traders and other innovative ways need to be found to mainstream the traders. Some of the efforts already underway involve the conversations with the dti and department of Small Business Development”, Dr Mkhize said.
“Small business is at the heart of creating employment and each municipality should be leading in creating employment in their spaces. Each municipality needs to find the way to do the basics to attract and retain investment. Over and above that, each mayor and council needs to find the competitive edge to attract more investment which could include the development of industrial parks,” he said.

Minister Mkhize also called on municipalities to identify land for development and not only for human settlements but industrial parks especially near townships where there is high unemployment.

In terms of supporting infrastructure in municipalities, Minister Mkhize announced that through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent, at least 150 engineers will be appointed and sent to various areas. Inclusive in those numbers will be a drive to recruit young graduates to be mentored and be part of that support given to municipalities.

He acknowledged that the issues of electricity reticulation have been a problem but indicated that Cabinet has now approved a framework to sort out this issue and COGTA and other department are now working on the implementation plan.

Minister Mkhize also indicated that COGTA and SALGA are continuing to sort out the issues around the appointment of municipal managers to ensure the smooth operation of municipalities.

The gathering provides a platform for Mayors to meet annually and address challenges they experience and also as a platform that can also be used for learning, sharing and reflecting. The gathering also allows an opportunity for focused discussions on the realities of the executive arm of municipalities.



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