Empowering Rural and Township 470 Micro-Businesses in KZN

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry launched its Siyabakhulisa Training Programme on Monday, 18 November 2019, at the Durban Chamber Conference Centre in the Lion Match Officer Park. The Durban Chamber is on a drive to help formalise the informal sector. The aim of the Siyabakhulisa Training Program is to uplifting and empowering owners of local micro-businesses in KwaZulu-Natal townships – both those of South Africans and those of foreign nationals trading in the same spaces – by providing business and governance training. Siyabakhulisais a Zulu term which means ‘we will build them’ or ‘we will grow them’.

Palesa Phili, Chief Executive Officer of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “The Durban Chamber developed the Siyabakhulisa Training Programme, which was specifically designed for the micro-business affiliated within our Group Membership portfolio, to grow local micro-businesses in our rural and township communities in KwaZulu-Natal and instil them with the business values and disciplines that they need to have in order to succeed.”

“These micro-businesses need to be upskilled with practical business insights, skills and tools which will include brand building, financial management and planning, marketing, merchandising, business governance and compliance with by-laws and being a “green business” incorporating waste management and good environmental practice. The aim is to create self-reliant business owners that are their own employers and wealth creators who are empowered to develop and uplift their local community and positively contribute to the local economy through economic activity,” added Phili.

The initial phase of the Siyabakhulisa Training Programme has been sponsored by the American Consulate in Durban and will include 470 micro-businesses from KwaZulu-Natal townships and rural communities.

In her remarks, Consul General Sherry Zalika Sykes said, “The United States government is thrilled to partner with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry to support the Siyabakhulisa Training Programme. The U.S. Consulate General has a long-standing relationship with the Durban Chamber, and together we are empowering local micro-businesses to reduce socio-economic inequalities in the province. We are eager to see this be a catalyst to spur others on to partnering with the Durban Chamber on even more ambitious projects to ultimately help create economic growth and promote human dignity in KwaZulu-Natal and beyond.”

“On behalf of the Durban Chamber, the 470 business owners, and the local townships and rural communities, who will eventually benefit from this programme, I want to convey our deep sense of appreciation and thanks to the American Consulate in Durban and the American government for sponsoring this much-needed programme. The Durban Chamber’s job is to create platforms and programmes that empower and enable business, and this funding allows us to do that as well as affect real change that will benefit and uplift local rural and township communities and positively impact our regional socio-economic growth and development goals,” concluded Phili.