“Foreign nationals pull the rug under South African’s feet”SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, believes the vast funding and economic opportunities available for locals to venture into business may be a curse in disguise arguing it was stifling their innovativeness and resilience compared to their counterparts from around the continent.
Ramaphosa, who is also a respected businessman in his own right, bemoaned the lack of commitment
among local youth, which he said were worsening unemployment.
In comparison, he singling out Somali and Ethiopians nationals in South Africa, he said they were venturing into business without financial opportunities that the locals enjoy.
“We have examples of Somalis and Ethiopians in our midst. They come here and pull the carpet under our people’s feet, ”says Ramaphosa at the Shanduka Black Umbrellas Awards dinner that was held in Sandton, Johannesburg recently.
“They come from as far as the Horn of Africa with nothing, but when they are here, through resilience and hard work, inspired by entrepreneurial spirit, they do amazing things,” adds Ramaphosa.
South Africa, formerly the biggest economy in the continent, is battling a worsening unemployment, which currently stands at more than 26 percent while the population has increased from 51,8 million in 2011 to 55,7 million.
As the population grows, the job opportunities are shrinking.
But Ramaphosa underlined the fact that there were still a lot of opportunities in South Africa.
“The is a galore of economic opportunities are but our young people always talk of funding as if that’s the only hindrance. I believe the country also needs better educational training skills that will see more job opportunities created,” he says.
He lauded African nationals for making an impact in the South African economy despite prevailing economic challenges.
“In comparison, our people are getting huge tenders but yet fail to create jobs. One wonders where that money goes to.”
In a separate interview, Hula Mineral Processing Development Co-Director and Business Development Manager, Walter Makabe, concurred with Ramaphosa.
“Usually, majority black South Africans start business without financial backing, lack proper business training skills as well as stiff competition from established businesses,” says Makabe.
“However, my message to the entrepreneurs is ‘please, don’t give up easily.’ Keep believing in your dream. The road to success is not usually easy because there are always high risks yet high retains when one keeps working so hard,” added Makabe.
The sentiments coincide with intermittent xenophobic violence in South Africa, where locals in recent years, ironically, have turned on non South African citizens arguing their presence in the country was compromising locals’ prospects of securing jobs.
Non South African citizens have also been accused of putting a strain on local resources.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa also cited other factors as poor education among most South African black people and impatience as some of the causes to why locals were quitting business when the chips are down.
However, Ramaphosa, who is also the chairman of Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) said all hope was not lost.
He urged the youths graduating from universities but finding challenes in getting jobs in themainstream industry to consider the entrepreneurial route, which proved workable in countries like Brazil, China, India and Russia.
Among such initiatives in South Africa is Shanduka Black Umbrellas.
Through the programme, black entrepreneurs have been economically empowered, with more than 4 500 job created since 2009 while a combined turnover of R779 million was realised during the same period.
SBU boasts of nine incubators nationwide spearheaded by qualified economic mentors deployed across the country Shanduka Black Umbrellas to ensure young entrepreneurs succeeded in business.
Ramaphosa said through the Department of Small Business Development headed by Minister Lindiwe Zulu as well as SBU, there was always hope for unemployed South African youths.
He said the Department was financing projects from local entrepreneurs while SBU on the other hand was providing mentorship.
Ramaphosa also revealed that the country would soon invest more than R700 billion into the ocean economy.
He said youths would benefit from such opportunities such as oil and gas exploration, fishing, tourism, transport, accommodation and maritime.
Boasting the Atlantic and Indian Oceans stretching from Durban to Cape Town, the country stands the opportunity to generate billions in revenue through the ocean economy.
– CAJ News
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=14021