South Africa needs more entrepreneurs and less employees
“Twenty years after the birth of democracy in South Africa we can no longer only look to the government to provide solutions to challenges such as socio-economic disparity, poor service delivery and economic hardship. Through value-adding initiatives such as the Vaal Small Business Development Workshop the Vaal Triangle community is taking hands and building partnerships of sustainability.”
With this opening remark by Motseki Mabuya – social entrepreneur and radio host at Hope FM, the first-ever NWU Vaal Small Business Development Workshop was set in motion. The event represented a dynamic collaboration between the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), the bHive Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), the community group Vaal LED Warriors, the Vanderbijlpark Business Chamber and NAFCOC – Sedibeng. The theme of the inaugural workshop was: “From hope to ideas and beyond.”
In her welcoming address the acting Campus Rector, Prof Linda du Plessis, shared the startling statistic that on average 650 million people in Africa have to make do with less than $2 a day. She furthermore stated that according to the World Bank’s definition of poverty, three billion people across the globe can be categorised as being desperately poor. Having said this she applauded the audience for being “true heroes” who remain loyal to the country and the continent and who share their knowledge and entrepreneurial drive with their fellow countrymen. “Emigration is not a viable or sustainable solution to economic regeneration. If each of us take up the baton of responsible citizenship then together we can make our impact felt. The solution starts with us.”
Research indicate that 21% of South Africa’s formal salary recipients are employed by the state – this is in direct conflict with the global norm of 12%. According to Prof Du Plessis the challenge South Africa face – due to its high employee-based economy, is that entrepreneurship is not viewed as a plausible solution to economic growth and sustainability. As a result only 15% of the South African population is involved in entrepreneurial activities – four times less than in other developing countries.
“Through events such as this one and the partnerships forged to proactively impact our local economy, I believe that we can make a real difference. I want to thank each and every business owner, industry representative and entrepreneur for taking the time to be part of this initiative. Together we are stronger!”
|Motseki Mabuya||Prof Linda du Plessis|