TRANSFORMING THE KWA-ZULU NATAL RURAL AND TOWNSHIP ECONOMY

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has launched a ground-breaking policy programme aimed at improving the participation of small businesses and small-scale farmers across the province.

President Zuma has described Operation Vula and RASET, known as the Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformationas as “critical milestones in government’s ongoing campaign to bring about meaningful and tangible economic freedom which has profound positive implications on the lives of people.”

Operation Vula seeks to localise the economy by, initially, exploiting the government buying power to buy from SMMEs and cooperatives. It will target specific societal groupings, such as blacks, women, youth and people with disabilities, in the province; align and coordinate enterprises regionally and sectorial; and assist targeted enterprises with skilling, funding and markets.

Through the RASET programme, KwaZulu-Natal seeks to improve the participation by small scale farmers from historically underprivileged communities in the lucrative food production value chain. The initiative endeavors to promote co-operation amongst various government departments with respect to the prioritization of black participants in the agribusiness with respect to access to land and markets.

Operation Vula will have many pillars and support small businesses that include furniture manufacturing, bakery, clothing and textile, as well as mining which would be launched in the near future.

The deliverables of the two programmes are coordinated within the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and led by MEC Sihle Zikalala. The initiative will be supported by by corporates and retail groups such as Massmart; the SPAR group; Tsogo Sun and as well as the Hilton Hotel Group.

Image: KZN Provincial Government

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