Our region is poor and getting poorer because of our money flooding out of the Lowveld. Mbombela’s CBD is poor in comparison with other cities. Over 90% of spent leaves the Lowveld. Most shopping centres are vacuums of our local money. These corporates also have an exclusive supply channel (mostly not local). 30% of Government Tenders must be locally procured, this is often by-passed by bogus “locals” who has a temporary small office to have an address in Mbombela. Shopping centres’ financiers demand corporate tenants. Government offers no protection for small businesses – who are carrying the economy! Farmers are exploited by these chains. They demand prices sometimes below the cost of production, knowing the farmer has no choice – they have to sell while the product is fresh.
KLCBT wishes to create an environment in which small business can grow big, to grow the abilities of small shop keepers to grow into bigger businesses and to grow the “Spar” model of independently owned shops. Our approach will be sectorial as the value chains are not the same.
We are represented in:
- Our own fast growing “We are Local” committee. Would you like to join us? Contact Linda at 013 755 1988
- An annual conference for small businesses to promote township economy and the importance of small business
- Create a complete data base of local businesses, this is the first step in promoting local businesses – we will do this together with the other chambers
- Create a permanent farmers market, professional sales environment and facilities, online sales, deliveries, etc.
- Research the benefits of Buy Local – accumulating real statistics, also research the supply chain into the retailers
- Lobby for regulations to be imposed to force shopping centres to have a certain local content, perhaps start with a lower content and then escalate as they become more independent from financiers
- Talk to Corporates about the Corporate Social Investment spent that goes to their head offices, mostly in Gauteng. Estimated R5Bn of our money goes to Gauteng while our own charities are suffering because of a lack of funding
- Research and identify quick win products which can be locally manufactured and supplied to the corporates, i.e. toilet paper
- Establish monitoring tool to monitor recipients of tenders, and also assist them with local procurement of products and services
- Create a data base of mentors to establish a “volkskool” concept where small businesses can learn critical skills from mentors, i.e. Oupa Pilane’s Kick-Start 500.
- Create a cooperation that procure goods on a bulk scale to supply only small shops / spazas, to get a competitive advantage on purchase price
This advocacy is only 2 months old, but has gained enormous traction. Several meetings are set up and we will report as successes came from the efforts. Feel free to join one or more of these actions by contacting Linda Grimbeek at 013 755 1988.