The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) has created a trading space for 6 rural entrepreneurs through the Lesedi Square project in Bredasdorp. The work that is being done to support local economies is absolutely critical given the fluctuation we have seen in global markets.
I visited the project yesterday with the Provincial Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism, and saw first-hand the impact made by this intervention. This project is enabling businesses to start building up their brands as well as a reliable base of customers by creating a formalised space for commerce.
Jobs and commodities are becoming increasingly scarce which is why we must continue to empower local businesses. Rural and township-based businesses have a knock-on effect of creating more jobs locally and injecting more wealth into that community. It further helps to decouple the Western Cape’s economy from our unimpressive national growth rate.
The Lesedi Square project, opened in March 2021, is one among a host of DEDAT initiatives aimed at supporting SMMEs and is further an example of best practice in enabling township and rural economies. As per the resolutions taken by the committee, we look forward to hearing how the Provincial Department aims to support further programmes.
One of the most profound aspects of this project was the involvement of the local community. By understanding the needs and challenges faced on the ground – the Provincial Department has been able to develop a space which the community felt was sufficiently safe and equipped with the necessary fencing.
It was also noted that the site has recently been equipped with WiFi, and the committee further resolved to obtain information from the Provincial Department on what measures will be put in place to assist local businesses with using online forms of payment.
The DA-led Western Cape government is extremely focused on creating a resilient local economy capable of withstanding external shocks and delivering sustainable growth, and this project shows that the DA is committed to investing in our talented local entrepreneurs.
Issued by Cayla Murray, MPP - DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism