Philippi entrepreneurs convened at the new Philippi business hub on Saturday, meeting under the banner “Without Entrepreneurs, there can be no Prosperity”. Conducted in English and isiXhosa, a number of participants identified as former public sector employees who had gone into business to transform the economy.
Keynote speaker and SME owner Unathi Kwaza urged entrepreneurs to engage on policy matters affecting their business, highlighting some of the previous positions Ineng has taken as a result of workshops with entrepreneurs. Local politicians, from Philippi, the City’s Finance Committee, and the Mayoral Committee were in attendance to hear views and report back on recommendations from small business on key issues around doing business.
Access to private land was a key discussion point, with many entrepreneurs looking to acquire private property for commercial use from government. Risks to property ownership by small business identified also included the recently passed Expropriation Act. A majority in attendance signed a petition calling for the bill to serve before Parliament again to allow for amendments to ensure an appeal mechanism for property owners. This was needed, according to the signers, when government identified land for expropriation and valued that land at a price disputed by the business owner.