Partnering with Local Government: Umkhanyakude Municipal Roadshow
FURTHERING the endeavours to unlock local trade across the province, Trade and
Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) and the Umkhanyakude District Municipality held
a highly-successful municipal road show in June.
Held at the Ghost Mountain Inn in Mkhuze over June 18 and 19,
the event aimed to equip, energise and inspire local entrepreneurs to become
innovative thinkers in the world of business. It also aimed to build and sustain
relations with the local government spheres and create awareness of TIKZN's
services. The closed session on the first day between TIKZN and municipal
officials was a platform to engage on issues of trade, investment and projects
in the district with possible linkages to substantially boost the district's
economy.The following day began with a networking business breakfast where
interaction between TIKZN and the Umkhanyakude District Municipality ensured
government's shared goals to attract investment, develop strategic partnerships
and create jobs throughout KwaZulu-Natal could be achieved.Speaking on behalf of the Umkhanyakude mayor Jeffery Vilane, municipal
manager Elliott Mzimela extended his appreciation to TIKZN for establishing a
partnership geared towards stabilising the economy. He alluded to the need for
investors to the region and the impact it would have on the lives of communities
living in the area. He said the road show was an opportunity to share key
information on how entrepreneurs could unlock their business careers and build
the confidence of Umkhanyakude and its five local municipalities' business
innovators."Umkhanyakude is always committed to empowering the lives of its
citizens who have a vision and, together with TIKZN, this road show is a step in
the right direction of bringing the right tools to the people ... filling their
minds with the right information and training to be used in becoming
economically independent citizens," he said.
Speaking on the TIKZN board's behalf, Cedric Gina highlighted the extent to
which investment in KwaZulu-Natal continued emerging as a major contributor to
South Africa's growing economy.
The favourable business environment had also made the province "a sound
investment destination" for global investors - a platform that could efficiently
market district projects on the international stage. "Based on this, it is
essential to ensure municipalities are ready in terms of trade, investment and
research expertise," Gina said.
Jozini Business Chamber secretary Mr Chris Mafuleka commended the
partnership, but indicated the challenges for local businesses mainly centred on
funding. Launched in April this year, the chamber has indicated it would use the
partnership between TIKZN and the district municipality to the advantage of
local business as well as tap into the expertise TIZKN could offer.
Delivering the keynote address, TIKZN corporate services executive manager
Mxolisi Manyakanyaka said the organisation offered a host of services and the
engagement had the ability to create jobs within the local community.
"TIKZN continues stamping authority in the trade and investment sector,
partnering with all spheres of government to support local trade and businesses
create and sustain employment in KwaZulu-Natal," he said. In the past year,
TIZKN embarked on three municipal trade shows in a bid to unlock investment
opportunities and create jobs across the province. The aim was to boost
awareness of the organisation's services and facilitate interaction between
TIKZN and the municipalities to attract investment, develop strategic
partnerships and create employment.
The agency promotes KwaZulu-Natal as a premier investment destination and
facilitates trade by assisting local companies access international markets.
Manyakanyaka said it identified, developed and packaged KwaZulu-Natal investment
opportunities; provided a professional investment promotion; branded and
marketed KwaZulu-Natal as a destination; retained and expanded trade activities
and linked opportunities to communities' developmental needs.