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Sydney Majoko

Sydney  Majoko

Majoko is a small business owner with operations in Tembisa, one of Gauteng's largest so-called 'townships' ­

Govt moving to accelerate measures to boost township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     10th August 2018 One of the most frustrating realities of government operations is the red tape that entrepreneurs experience when they seek assistance. The slow wheels of government-led initiatives tend to drive many entrepreneurs to despair before they even embark on the first step of their economic endeavours.... 

Govt speaking with one voice on township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     1st June 2018 For a long time, successive governments in this country have struggled to characterised the township economy. It is not that they did not acknowledge the existence of the township economy; the reason is that this economy was not recognised as a standalone econopmy towards which funds could be... 

Listeriosis shows fragility of township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     6th April 2018 When the impact of the listeriosis outbreak is eventually analysed, it is quite possible that the township economy will be mentioned only as a footnote in official reports. Even though the actual cause of the deadly outbreak was discovered when children were admitted to Chris Hani Baragwanath... 

Stokvels changing the face of the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     23rd February 2018 Stokvels, defined by Oxford Dictionary as "a savings or investment society to which members regularly contribute an agreed amount and from which they receive a lump sum payment", usually at the end of the year, are one of the most common features of the township economy. They have always had a... 

World-class events benefit the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     26th January 2018 Most South African townships are built along similar physical lines. They consist of a lot of bland structures that provide for the basic need of accommodation but nothing more. Sure, some people have displayed the need to be different and embarked on changing their dwellings. But in terms of... 

The changing face of the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     24th November 2017 In the late 90s and early 2000s, whenever a township dweller spoke of his or her  family being in business, it meant one of two things: they either owned a retail shop or were in the taxi industry. That is what business in the township was all about in those days. There was the odd different... 

Unique financing needed for the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     6th October 2017 One of the township economy's most crippling challenges is the lack of access to easily obtainable finance that is available at short notice. It is generally accepted that financial institutions will do proper due diligence investigations before giving their clients funds for their business... 

Township pop-up markets one way of tackling spatial problems

By: Sydney Majoko     1st September 2017 The one thing about the township economy that is always going to be a hindrance is space. Owing to the terrible spatial planning of the apartheid era, a real concern for any aspiring township entrepreneur is the size of his or her business and any associated space required for things like... 

Competition body conducting probe into township economy 

By: Sydney Majoko     4th August 2017 Competition Commission investigation into Township Economy More than two years ago, we had the so-called xenophobic attacks directed at foreign nationals in the country, but with a specific interest on their businesses in the townships. It was not the first time this happened and certainly was... 

Competition body conducting probe into township economy
Photo by Duane Daws
Sydney Majoko

Reimagining the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     2nd June 2017 Whether one considers it as being positive or negative, the theme of radical economic transformation has been thrust onto our political discourse. That the term has not been clearly defined by its proponents does not mean it cannot be used in the exchange of ideas about our socioeconomic issues.... 

Tough times ahead for township entrepreneurs

By: Sydney Majoko     5th May 2017 Only the most ignorant entrepreneur would go into the future without trepidation. All businesses in South Africa's current economic and political climate are bound to be hugely affected by the recent economic status downgrades by international ratings agencies S&P Global Ratings and Finch.... 

State of the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     24th March 2017 During this year's chaotic State of the Nation address (Sona), in February, President Jacob Zuma promised that, in line with the radical economic development that government is embarking on, the State will use its buying power to boost and empower small business enterprises, especially rural and... 

State of the  township economy

Township businesses need protection

By: Sydney Majoko     17th February 2017 On the last Monday of January, we woke up to the news that the manager of the internationally renowned Sakhumzi restaurant, in Vilakazi street, in Soweto was murdered in an attempted robbery. In the grand scheme of things, although this sounds callous, it was just another one of all the murders... 

Township businesses need protection

Overcoming township economy spatial restrictions

By: Sydney Majoko     27th January 2017 One of the most terrible legacies of 'separate but equal development' that apartheid purported to bring about is the cramped spatial planning that was implemented when urban townships were developed. Small matchbox houses were not the only result of such planning in most townships; business... 

Overcoming  township economy  spatial restrictions

Diversity in the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     20th January 2017 In the week that the country waited with bated breath for the national executive committee of the ruling party to decide the fate of the President Jacob Zuma, the secretary-general of the party, Gwede Mantashe, said at a press conference that among the many issues the NEC had discussed was how... 

Diversity in the  township economy

Govt, business must jointly boost township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     25th November 2016 As the township economy is usually referred to as a secondary or informal economy, there is a huge risk that it could be regarded as not being important to the economy as a whole. That could prove truly detrimental to the creation of employment in the long run. There are, however, very... 

Govt, business must jointly boost township economy

Higher education can serve the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     21st October 2016 The funding crisis in higher education presents an opportunity FOR both government and the private sector to search for unique solutions to the skills problem in our economy. The mantra that 'Our country doesn't have an unemployment problem, but a skills shortage" points To the direction in which... 

Higher education  can serve the  township economy

Township businesses must strive for high standards

By: Sydney Majoko     23rd September 2016 Dorcas Mashitiso, the owner of Glamour Beauty Spa runs a very professional setup. The appointment booking system is highly professional and she insist that all staff members of her beauty salon, herself included, wear a uniforms. 

Local government central to job creation

By: Sydney Majoko     26th August 2016 Elections have the effect of turning the spotlight on issues of importance for a set period of time. However, they can also turn the spotlight away from other issues that need to be constantly highlighted. Only one party was bold enough to make jobs created at local municipality level a focus of... 

Township economy still vulnerable

By: Sydney Majoko     22nd July 2016 The #TshwaneBurning riots were a case of de ja vu for traders based in the townships surrounding the capital city. The most vulnerable group of traders were, once again, foreign nationals, who felt the first brunt of the riots that followed the nomination of Thoko Didiza as the ruling African... 

Township tourism remains untapped

By: Sydney Majoko     24th June 2016 Tourism in South Africa remains an untapped market. Yes, there are tourist destinations like Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga but, as a country, we are barely scraping the barrel when it comes to cashing in on tourism generally and township tourism, in particular. The township economy... 

By-laws can stifle township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     20th May 2016 During his State of the City address a few days ago, Johannesburg mayor Councillor Parks Tau was at pains to point out the strides the city has made in improving the lives of especially the poor who reside within the perimeters of the Johannesburg metro. As I have stated in this column over the... 

Govt spend on township economy on track

By: Sydney Majoko     1st April 2016 The Inaugural  Gauteng Township Entrepreneur Awards honoured the 'father' of township  entrepreneurship, Richard Maponya, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This is a fitting honour to the owner of Maponya Mall, in Soweto. He has done almost everything in the township economy. That such awards... 

Private sector must pull its weight in the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     19th February 2016 The news that Gauteng Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development Lebogang Maile has extended the Qondis' IShishini Lakho campaign deadline from March to June just goes to show how seriously government is taking the registration of small businesses on a single database.... 

Small steps towards total transformation

By: Sydney Majoko     22nd January 2016 The Gauteng provincial government recently announced the nominees for the recently launched Township Entrepreneur  Awards, the winners of which will be announced on February 20. It is tempting to dismiss the awards as just another excuse to hold a gala event without any real meaning, but an... 

New knowledge needed to revitalise the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     4th December 2015 About two weeks ago, I had to decide between accepting a rather pricey quote to fix a car door handle from a car dealership in town and searching for a less expensive option in the township. This column has highlighted the need for a database for township businesses, and this particular problem... 

Formalising the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     23rd October 2015 A couple of columns ago, I highlighted the need for businesses that comprise the township economy to join the online community in order to reap the benefits that come with being 'visible'. The kind of visibility allows consumers to locate these businesses with ease with the help of online tools... 

Flexibility required to sustain township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     2nd October 2015 Several years ago, I sat through a meeting of businesspeople who had come together to iron out a few issues that were holding back the development of a mini mall in the township of Tembisa, in Gauteng. All the items on the agenda were discussed with relative ease – until we got to an item... 

Broadband technology can fuel township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     28th August 2015 There has been quite a number of efforts directed at rejuvenating the township economy. Recent announcements regarding the Township Renewal Programme are just a few of those efforts. What is striking, though, is that there seems to be a lack coordination to get these efforts channelled into... 

Township revitalisation gets a boost

By: Sydney Majoko     24th July 2015 “This investigation is a direct response to the challenges highlighted by township businesses in our engagements with them. We are particularly interested in the real impact of the expansion of retail giants into township markets, barriers to entry for small businesses, such as shopping mall... 

Township property boom presents business opportunities

By: Sydney Majoko     26th June 2015 Residential property prices in the South African economy have, in general, outperformed inflation in the last couple of years. Interestingly, though, while this growth is generally levelling off in the rest of the market, township residential property prices have confounded market conditions and... 

Innovative solutions needed to sustain township economies

By: Sydney Majoko     22nd May 2015 The recent State of the City addresses by Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele and his City of Johannesburg, counterpart, Parks Tau, had strikingly similarities, demonstrating that  the economic challenges facing the township economy share a common thread. In Johannesburg,  87% of the residents do... 

Skills must be the focus in the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     24th April 2015 The focus of government's efforts to alleviate hardships has been on ‘jobs, jobs and more jobs’.  It is hard to find fault with this strategy in the face of rampant unemployment, but some township folks have proved that the adage 'give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him to fish and... 

What’s next for the township economy?

By: Sydney Majoko     13th March 2015 There is a growing realisation by government that townships have to play a bigger role in the mainstream economy than simply being 'reservoirs for cheap labour', as was intended when they were first established. That can only happen when the nature of the townships changes from that of merely... 


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