Mayor’s Foreword

 

MAYOR’S FOREWORD BY HIS WORSHIP, THE MAYOR OF ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY, COUNCILLOR MXOLISI KAUNDA

For the past 21 years, the Municipality has shown great success in developing the small
medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) sector through various programs by providing
them with exposure to greater business opportunities.

As a City, we understand that the sector not only contributes in the economic development,
social uplifting and political stability of every country, but also a significant role in creating
jobs especially in difficult economic times. It is for this reason that we remain committed in
advancing the SMME sector through various programs to promote social and economic
transformation.

It is inspiring that platforms like Business Fairs have equipped businesses with information and

skills that will help them grow and become competitive. To date, the Business Fair has
had a positive impact and supported over 33 500 businesses since its inception. The city of
Durban has contributed over R240 million with direct investment of R15.6 million by small
businesses.

We are proud that this premium exhibition continues to attract businesses from various
sectors showcasing their products and services. With great pressure to enhance factors that
drive competitiveness, it is important that we enhance the business sector to keep the pace.
Thus our theme, Journey of Innovations, is focusing on the impact the Fourth Industrial Revolution

has on small business and the opportunities it presents. This requires innovation
and strong technical capacity for small businesses to compete in the fast changing
technologically advanced business environment.

As a City, we are excited that the programs has grown and attracted foreign countries to
share platform with our local businesses to impart business skills. With technology
advancing, SMMEs should invest in new technology and become more innovative towards
identifying new businesses and customers. This will prove to be particularly useful when
they start exporting to foreign markets.

Strengthening relationships with various stakeholders and building international networks
will offer many benefits for participating businesses. This includes the exposure that allows
them to learn the new and innovative trends of trading in the dynamic global economy in
order to achieve sustainable growth for our City.

I would like to recognise the contribution and strides that are made through the Durban
Fashion Fair programs in pursuit of creating sustained jobs in the clothing and textile
sector. The success of the Durban Fashion Fair lies in the fact that it is a real celebration of
fashion and it impacts on everyone. Our vision is that Durban should be the best place in
the world to incubate and grow a fashion business with support to go from strength to
strength.