There is 'a real need to have a new wave of black industrialists', says the Black Entrepreneurs Alliance
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DURBAN - The Black Entrepreneurs Alliance has called on the government to put measures in place to significantly reduce the obstacles preventing small businesses and entrepreneurs to enter the market.
Refilwe Monageng, CEO of the alliance, said the call comes after South Africa's unemployment rate rose to the highest on a global list of 82 countries monitored by Bloomberg.
“Unemployment is spiralling out of control, and black people - who are the majority of our citizens - are the hardest hit,” said Monageng.
He further cited unemployment figures released by Stats SA on Tuesday which stated that the unemployment rate now stands at 34.4% as of Q2 2021, up from 32.6% measured in the first quarter of this year, he said. The expanded definition of unemployment has risen to a shocking level of 44.4%. The 15-24 years age group has climbed to 64.4%, while the 25-34 years group has recorded 42.9% unemployment. The data also indicates that the formal sector shed 375,000 jobs between Q1 and Q2 this year.
“The alarming statistics recently released mean that there has never been a more urgent time in our country for the public and private sector to come together to support the previously disadvantaged participants of our economy.” Monageng said SA needs to see meaningful reforms, and purposeful investment particularly for SMMEs and black entrepreneurs who have consistently been locked out of the economy.
“We call on government to once and for all put measures in place to significantly reduce the obstacles preventing small businesses and entrepreneurs to enter the market,” he said.
Monageng said initiatives such as more funding, tax amnesty, lower taxes, less red tape, credit bureau amnesty, aggressive skills development through the Setas, and more flexibility in areas such as employment are needed. “It is critical for all of us to truly commit to genuinely transforming the economy for all, not just a select, connected few.
“As an entrepreneur myself, I see a real need to have a new wave of black industrialists to breathe new life and bring fresh ideas to our economy especially in the townships in order to create sustainable employment opportunities for everyone,” said Monageng.
The Black Entrepreneurs Alliance is a new organisation founded by mining and financial services entrepreneur Refilwe Monageng.
The objective of the organisation is to advance black entrepreneurship, skills development, access to finance, equitable financial products and reduce poverty.