Township Economy

Various opportunities exist for communities to improve their lives and township economy through establishing enterprises and markets

Over the years enterprises and markets ranging from retail, service industries, construction and real estate, manufacturing, transport, finance, creative industry, tourism, ICT and green economy are steadily mushrooming in townships.

From the aforementioned cluster of Township businesses lies opportunities to alleviate poverty, job creation and maximising township economy. Although these are largely micro-enterprises with low capital and low skills base, they have proved to uplift the lives of the people who stood up and seized the opportunities available.

Township enterprises are operated informally and provide a range of goods and services to meet the needs of township communities and beyond. The city’s objective of becoming a smart, creative and development city is in motion, the City of Ekurhuleni now offers an online portal for the formal and informal business sector. Through this initiative, the City aims at helping business owners to have access to municipal business services in the comfort of their homes or offices.

The online portal system will bring much needed convenience when applying for trading permits and business licences.

Informal traders are urged to take advantage of this portal and obtain trading permits to be fully compliant to conduct business in the City.  

Government believes that township enterprises have a distinct and vital role to play in helping to create a vibrant socially inclusive, labour-absorbing and growing economy.

The City’s Economic Development department is in collaboration with various national and provincial structures, it facilitates job creation, skills development, poverty alleviation and enhancement of industrial competitiveness. It focuses on arresting flight of strategic investments by facilitating reduction in the cost of doing business within Ekurhuleni. In addition, this department facilitates SMME and co-operatives development; investment promotion, facilitation and retention; and EPWP and CWP development and job creation programmes in the City.

One of the Economic Development department’s strategic goals is to accelerated and shared economic growth through skills development and enterprise support and development that improves the livelihoods of diverse communities.

People with common interest in various businesses can form Cooperative Societies. The Cooperative Societies are welfare organisation where individual joined in for augmenting their income generating capacity in economic activities by joint endeavour. Once this if formed the Economic Development Department in the City of Ekurhuleni the cooperative’s development. 

Minibus taxis, in the absence of the adequate public transport system, have played and continues to play an essential role in daily commuting of millions of township working class to and from work and shopping routines at affordable rates and employing more than 70,000 people in Gauteng;

 Spaza shops are still a lucrative business in the township. In Gauteng Spaza Shops are a sector which generates R7 billion. This sector has historically played a role of a micro convenient grocery store providing basic necessities to township residents within a walking distance.

Burial societies contribute in the township economy, their aim is mainly to provide decent and dignified funeral. They operate as an informal funeral insurance cover at affordable rate.

In stokvels financial gains are in abundance. Stokevels have evolved with time from funding education of black children and providing credit to township entrepreneurs. Recently, there are stokvels ranging from property stokvels, wedding stokvels to mention a few.

In recent years townships are experiencing a rise in party décor, furniture manufacturing, clothing and textile and construction.