In an effort to grow small business and support local entrepreneurship, the City of Cape Town has implemented programmes to formalize informal business in partnership with the private sector. Two businesses in vulnerable areas of the Cape have grown and benefited from the initiative, increasing job opportunities for locals.

Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management James Pos says that the City is committed to empowering and helping small businesses across Cape Town develop.

“Part of the City’s Enterprise and Investment Department’s work includes linking small businesses to investors and support programmes, as well as advising on market needs. We encourage informal businesses who would like advice on workable growth strategies to please reach out to the City. Seeing such success in previously marginalised areas in particular is very encouraging and we are highly motivated to play our part in similar success stories in future,” he says.

A three-phase electrical connection has been provided by the City along with new retail equipment provided by Pick n Pay as a part of the Spaza Shop Conversion Initiative. The program has aided businesses such as the Market Ndwamba in Nyanga, which has since reported revenue growth and increased its staff from six to 33 employees.

Khosi Liwani from Market Ndwamba expresses his gratitude for the initiative that helped his business grow.

“We were thinking of how to expand when Pick n Pay approached us, and this is the fulfilment of a dream. We are the only branded supermarket in Nyanga. I am very excited about the benefits that this shop brings to the people who live in Nyanga. We are also employing people from Nyanga in the shop, so it’s a win-win situation,” he said.

Another market in Guglethu, Nozinga Market was provided the same assistance – increasing staff by nine additional people with the electrical connection providing an opportunity for growth.

Mayco Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management James Vos at one of the newly-developed stores.

Small businesses seeking assistance can find all necessary contacts here. 

Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change Phindile Maxiti comments on the importance of the three-phase electricity supply for vulnerable communities.

“Electricity provision is key to unlocking economic growth, especially in vulnerable communities. The three-phase electricity supply that has been provided is sufficient to power large motor vehicles, refrigerators and other heavy loads that could not operate optimally on a normal single-phase domestic supply. A three-phase system is also usually more economical than an equivalent single-phase because it uses less conductor material to transmit a given amount of electrical power.”

The Electricity Generation and Distribution Department implemented the necessary infrastructure for providing the two businesses with electricity.

Pick n Pay’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Richard van Rensburg comments on the impact of the project: “This programme is proof that there is space for large and small retailers in the modern economy and shows that we can work together to unlock exciting new opportunities.”

Picture:City of Cape Town, supplied

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about animals, social issues, the environment and current affairs.