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Celebration Of Container Business Hub In Oudtshoorn: A Milestone In Broad-Based Socio-Economic Development

Oudtshoorn, 21 November 2023 – The Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality launched the Container Hub on Thursday, 16 November 2023, and officially opened the units for business. The establishment of the Container units was a joint effort between the municipality’s Department of Planning and Development, the Provincial Department of Local Government, and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Lluwellyn Coetzee, Senior Manager of Planning and Development Department, emphasized the importance of the occasion, declaring to the beneficiaries, “This is just the start for you. You are given the chance to grow your business, so grab this opportunity and make use of it.”

The Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Alderman Chris Macpherson, emphasized community ownership, stating, “Protect the Container Hub, your key to local business growth.” Mayor Macpherson outlined the long-standing efforts to bring business directly to the people, focusing on providing daily necessities to communities, especially in rural areas.

Acknowledging the contributions of Van Der Bergh Transport and Herotel, Mayor Macpherson urged businesses to take ownership of the Hub and the community to support these entrepreneurs. He emphasized affordability for startups and the municipality’s commitment to fostering success. “Businesses established here pay a modest monthly fee for the container. I hope to see these businesses grow and become integral parts of Oudtshoorn’s economy. Success will allow them to hire, impart skills, and contribute to the local economy.” The partnerships between Oudtshoorn Municipality, SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) and OUDLED (Oudtshoorn Local Economic Development Taskforce) contributed to the successful launch and will help assist with networking initiatives.

Director Morne Pretorius from Department of Local Government: Thusong Program, expressed pride in the transformation of these centres into economic hubs, urging the community to be responsible custodians. “It took a lot of people to create this platform for small businesses, so own it and take responsibility,” he emphasized, underscoring the collaborative effort behind the initiative.

Cllr Barbara Owen, Portfolio Chairperson of the Planning & Development Department, welcomed attendees, stating, “This is a historical event and the beginning of greater things for the community of Greater Oudtshoorn.” Ward Councillor of Ward 8, Cllr TyaTya, encouraged beneficiaries, saying, “You are given an opportunity to achieve greatness. Be grateful for what you have and make your business grow, grow yourself, grow your family, and grow our community and the economy of this town.”

In a momentous achievement lauded by Director Morne Pretorius of the Department of Local Government’s Thusong Program, the Container Business Hub in Oudtshoorn has officially opened its doors. Positioned as the “2nd Hub mastering broad-based socio-economic development,” this initiative marks a significant stride in realizing the Thusong Program’s vision of bringing essential government services closer to the community.

Fayruz Dharsey from the Department of Economic Development & Tourism highlighted the Growth for Jobs (G4J) focus, emphasizing employability through skills and entrepreneurship. She credited partnerships and responsible custodianship for the project’s success and expressed gratitude to the involved departments.

The Container Hub, with a total cost exceeding R2 million, also received additional funding of R1.7 million for solar panels and site upgrades. Cllr Nomsa, Ward Councillor of Ward 4, thanked guests, officials, and entities committed to the project, encouraging beneficiaries with a hopeful message: “Forward, Beneficiaries, Forward.”