’Plain a ’significant contributor’ to city’s economy

A visit from the City of Cape Town’s mobile business hub team to Mitchell’s Plain highlighted the area’s economical contribution to the Mother City.

Eddie Andrews, councillor for Ward 78 (which includes Westridge and parts of Portland); Cheryl Smidt; mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos; Di-nelle Africa; Wolfgat Sub-council chairman an councillor for Ward 79 (which includes Beacon Valley, parts of Eastridge and Town Centre) Solomon Philander; Wolfgat Sub-council manager Mcebisi Johnson Fetu; Area South economic development official Sharmiel Evans; and Danny Christians, councillor for Ward 82 (which includes Rocklands and parts of Portland).

Last week’s visit followed Mayor Dan Plato’s meeting with Plein Chamber of Commerce and Mitchell’s Plain entrepreneurs (“Plein Chamber meets Mayor”, Plainsman, April 14).

Mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset Management James Vos, the mobile team and its vehicle stood outside the Lentegeur administration building, corner of Melkbos Road and Merrydale Avenue, on Monday June 14.

Mr Vos told the Plainsman that most of Cape Town’s 1 266 109 households were in Mitchells Plain (390 727 households) and that the area accounted for 72 000 people employed in the formal sector, as recorded with Statistics South Africa (SSA) in 2018. These figures do not include 173 000 people employed in the informal sector recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“We are empowering locals to grow their enterprises in their own areas, thus helping local community economies to flourish,” he said.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, according to SSA, 173 000 employed people were not counted.

He said: “A healthy business ecosystem in communities is good for local residents and the broader Cape Town landscape.

“Mitchell’s Plain is a significant contributor to the city’s economy.”

The team fielded numerous queries from small business owners on product and supplier development, aimed at making it easier to do business and compete for big contracts.

The team is due to return to the area in the coming weeks to solidify engagements with local business leaders.

The mobile help desk is an extension of The Business Hub launched in 2019, and which first took to the road in March this year to assist small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and entrepreneurs in their communities.

Mr Vos said the hub received 2 850 service requests and resolved 98% of these within two working days last year.

“Initiatives such as The Business Hub are about building a healthy business ecosystem, empowering communities and providing opportunities for residents in their areas.

“Because thriving communities mean a thriving Cape Town,” he said.

On Friday June 4 Séan Achim, Plein Chamber chief executive officer and chairman, and several local businesses took a group of potential investors and visitors on a tour of Mitchell’s Plain.

Mr Achim said they have had phenomenal support from the Wolfgat Sub-council, Sub-council 23 councillors and Mr Plato.

“We look forward to the next time when we will have even greater participation from the government and the private sector,” he said.