The South African government is to expand the business incubation programme it offers to local entrepreneurs, establishing township digital hubs in the process.
This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who presented his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday (Thursday February 7)
The incubation programme run by the government provides aspiring entrepreneurs with physical space, infrastructure and shared services, as well as access to specialised knowledge, market linkages, training in the use of new technologies, and access to finance.
It currently consists of a network of 51 technology business incubators, 10 enterprise supplier development incubators, and 14 rapid youth incubators, but Ramaphosa said it will be expanded given its impact on the country’s economy.
“Given the key role that small businesses play in stimulating economic activity and employment – and in advancing broad-based empowerment – we are focusing this year on significantly expanding our small business incubation programme,” he said.
As part of the expansion, township digital hubs will be established, initially in four as yet unnamed provinces, with more to follow.
“We expect these hubs to provide most needed entrepreneurial service to small and medium enterprises in the rural areas and townships, but more especially to young people who want to start their businesses. Our greatest challenge is to create jobs for the unemployed of today, while preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Ramaphosa.