23 MARCH 2018


Recently, the RBIDZ hosted a Small, Micro and Medium Enterprise Engagement Seminar (SMME Seminar), aimed at fast-tracking the entry of the small businesses into the mainstream economy.

The seminar served as a festival of ideas on how best to ensure an integrated approach in skilling the small players and to provide much needed mentorship and technical support required for their survival.

All categories of staff in the RBIDZ understand that they have a responsibility to play their part in job creation and working with the private sector to drive economic growth. Since the establishment of RBIDZ there are many lessons learned but one important lesson is that government and private sector need a much closer relationship of trust as partners building the same economy.

Therefore, the participation of the private sector in this seminar was a clear demonstration of a solid relationship between RBIDZ and companies operating and set to operate in the Zone. This relationship is not only beneficial to the co-operatives and SMMEs located in the district but it is the essential for the health of the provincial economy.

Unlocking opportunities of these small players in various sectors of the economy was one of the focuses of the seminar. A 100% South African Black-owned Company which is set to open a leather and accessories manufacturing plant in the Zone became a centre of attraction. The company will process raw leather up until it is a finished product ready for the market in the SADC region and abroad.

One of the company directors, Mr. Simax Orima significantly invited members of the public to consider this business venture as the scope is wide and doable. He said the demand for leather merchandise has broadened to an extent where even the funeral parlors are in high demand for hides as it is now a trend to use leather in burials or in coffin finishing which symbolizes a particular culture and significant status of the person being buried.

He said the demand will not cease, instead the demand is getting higher every day and requires various business people to venture into it. “As the leather and accessories company, our objective is also to create a facility which will afford previously disadvantaged communities within the district.  Local SMMEs will be earmarked for procurement of material and services through the entire value chain,” he pointed out.

RBIDZ CEO – Pumi Motsoahae announced that the RBIDZ boasts over R10 billion signed investment pipeline which is set to boost the economy of the region. “It is therefore crucial for the RBIDZ to gear up the SMMEs and other businesses with this information with the aim to assert them for prospective business opportunities and development”. 

He further stressed: “The RBIDZ takes into account the importance of developing local communities. It is our long-term vision to see local communities not only being employed by companies located in the zone but we want to see small players becoming active participants in the generation of wealth that would contribute in the dealing with socio-economic challenges such as unemployment and poverty”.

‘He expressed his appreciation to the companies that participated in the seminar especially those that provided a wide range of information such as funding and skills development opportunities’.

Concluding the seminar, RBIDZ Board member, Mr. Mbatha thanked all guests in attendance; and significantly the investors and RBIDZ Supply Chain Management for presenting such much needed and eye opening information. He further articulated that “the time is now and gone are the days where people waited for government to employ them. Government is now creating an enabling environment for its citizens to be creative and have equal access economic opportunities”.