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Rebuilding the lives of Isipingos market hawkers

The Rebuilding for Hope and Prosperity Initiative (REHOP), which comprises the Minara Chamber of Commerce and six other Muslim NGOs in coalition, have worked jointly with the eThekwini Municipality to rebuild the lives of Isipingo’s market hawkers, who for decades have worked cheek-by-jowl providing an invaluable and affordable service to the local community.

A section of the iconic Isipingo market, central to the very fabric and history of the area south of Durban was destroyed in the 2021 lootings that devastated parts of the province. Spokesperson for the group, Shabir Chohan, said that micro-businesses were marginal profit enterprises that provided a basic income, and that without these enterprises, the owners and their families would face bleak prospects for the future. Chohan added that the reestablishment of a section of the vibrant Isipingo market would allow the REHOP Initiative to upskill and empower the traders as well.

Ebrahim Patel, director of the Minara Chamber of Commerce said that the traders – who had no other source of income – were not only breadwinners, but small business owners who made a vital contribution to the local economy.

REHOP has entered the third phase of rebuilding the Isipingo Fresh Produce Market, with a training and development intervention that will see a cohort of 15 selected traders move their enterprises forward to the next level. The Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDP) commenced on Tuesday, 18 January 2022.

Professor Shahida Cassim, retired professor of Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Business at the University of KwaZulu-Natal will be coordinating and leading a six-month programme for 15 traders. “We have conceptualised a developmental intervention for 15 selected informal traders and a maintenance programme for the 38 more beneficiaries,” she said, adding that they had used a diagnostic to identify those with aspiration and a readiness to learn.

“The traders, many of them women, will be empowered with skills that will enhance their entrepreneurial self-efficacy and their operational effectiveness. Expert facilitators have been identified and will work under my supervision during the six-month programme.”

We have conceptualised a comprehensive multidimensional intervention with three components over the long term:

  • The Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDP)
  • The Maintenance Programme (MP) and
  • The Micro Loan Programme.

This coordinated initiative will ensure that we rebuild and launch these microenterprises to the next level thereby contributing to a more inclusive and just economy.

By Zambezzi

As an influencer my team and I create content or co-create content to support brands, endorse product and services with the intent to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

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