Sarah Baartman launches Business Development Forum

JUNE 13, 2015

Economic development in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality received an additional boost on 12 June, when the district officially launched its Business Development Forum during a breakfast session at the Cape St. Francis Resort in the Kouga Local Municipality.

Intended to provide a multi-channel platform to aid collaborations and partnership with the private sector, the forum’s launching also saw the election of its Chairperson and District Leadership Group (DLG), whose roles would be to engage and build relations with this sector across the length of the District.

“The aim of this programme is to encourage dialogue, to promote initiatives that will increase regional and local economic growth and development, and create jobs at a considerable scale through mobilising the participation of local private sector,” Sarah Baartman District Municipality Portfolio Councillor for Local Economic Development, Noel O’Connel, said in his opening statement.

“The work of the Forums will be driven by one fundamental goal; local private sector driven job creation. As the District Municipality and its nine Local Municipalities have undertaken to partner with the private sector and endorse the process, we hope that this collective would achieve a positive milestone to accelerate Local Economic Growth and Employment Creation, in order to contribute to National Growth and Development Objectives”.

Speaking to Sarah Baartman News after the event, District Director for Economic Development, Pumelelo Kate, said that the forum, headed by the Municipality in partnership with the National Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, would have a substantial impact on local communities, especially the projects targeting unemployment.

“These projects, what we refer to as catalytic business ventures, are designed to make a dent in this problem we have in the country as it would involve national government and all the relevant sector departments to ensure that it gets implemented and the attention it deserves”.

Kate also stated that the partnership had resulted in the allocation of over R200-million for some projects, and that the municipality’s mandate would be to ensure that development continues in the District.

“Only by working together with our partners in business can we achieve this as they often have better knowledge about the outcomes expected. This forum therefore creates engagement where after we pursue projects together,” Kate said.

A rigorous voting session at the end of the day saw the nomination of Ernest Sukmla as the forum’s Chairperson with the remaining DLG leadership consisting out of Noluthando Kwatsha, Shelvin Grootboom, Denron Koetaan and Mzimkhulu Mabutsana.


CAPTION: The newly elected leadership of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality's Business Development Forum. Standing from left to right are Noluthando Kwatsh (Blue Crane Route Local Municipality); Shelvin Grootboom (Kou-Kamma Local Municipality); Chairperson Ernest Sukmla (Kouga Local Municipality); Denron Koetaan (Ikwezi Local Municipality) and Mzimkhulu Mabutsana (Ndlambe Local Municipality).