Witbank duo runs PRET from Govt office

They have been allocated the office space to run the non-profit organisation.

The leaders of the Practical Radical Economic Transformation (PRET) group in Mpumalanga run it from a government office.

The government office accommodates the clerk of PRET President Themba Sgudla and as well as that of its secretary-general Sunday Mathebula.

The office is situated in Klipfontein – on the corner of Rosemead and Ryan roads, Hans Strydom Avenue, the address that the organisation uses in its letterheads – a suburb in south east of the eMalahleni city.

Witbank duo runs PRET from Govt office

This is one of the satellite offices of Mpumalanga MEC Eric Kholwane’s provincial economic development department in the Nkangala district.

The four clerks – called administrators – have been there to assist Sgudla and Mathebula run the organisation since April 2017, provided with three office rooms inside the Midlands Centre building.

The clerks of the two eMalahleni activists use government internet, phones, papers and photocopy machines to have the organisation running across the province of Mpumalanga.

The organisation was formed to give young people access to economic development opportunities and was registered with CIPRO in May 2017 as a private company – controlled by Sgudla, Mathebula and Ian Ross Dunn.

Kholwane’s spokesman Letshela Jonas didn’t answer his phone on Wednesday morning but he did leave a reply message: “I’m not available at the moment, and will get back to you soon”.

Sgudla said they run PRET from government offices because this is “a government endorsed initiative”.

“You must remember that we’ve got a memorandum of agreement with the department [economic development] that we will be operating in all their offices,” he said.

Witbank duo runs PRET from Govt office

“Our mandate was given by the Premier of the province [DD Mabuza] to unite all these formations into one and implement radical economic transformation and assist the youth with employment, you see,” the businessman said to the reporter over the phone.

He said through this they have been able to open gates for young people to get employed in their thousands, by marching to big corporates and putting memorandums of demands on the table, since their launch in March 2017.

SEE ALSO: PRET was formed as DD’s EFF

“We are going to be national,” Sgudla, who was elected as its President during its launch in March, said.

“Actually we have started in Limpopo and Gauteng. There are chief generals there who will help establish the PRET provinces there,” he said.

(edited by ZK)

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‘Youth business failing despite funding’ – Kholwane

The concern over the lack of progress in funded youth businesses comes just weeks after Premier David Mabuza launched the Mpumalanga Enterprise Development Fund to assist small businesses, especially those being started and owned by young people.

Economic Development MEC Eric Kholwane says he has noticed that a majority of those young people which they find do not get anywhere with their businesses.

Kholwane was in the Standerton township of Sakhile, conducting fact-finding visits.

Kholwane raised serious concerns about young people’s businesses that do not get anywhere despite receiving funds from the government, Mpumalanga News reports

“Youths are expected to use the money to grow their business,” the MEC said.

“I have noticed that these days young people start their own business but fail to sustain them. Such things need to be addressed,” Kholwane said.

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Three weeks ago, Premier David Mabuza launched the Mpumalanga Enterprise Development Fund to setting aside R300 million for small businesses and growing young farmers.

Kholwane said it will be important that the challenges in sustaining businesses of funded youths are addressed.

“As a department we are not providing a social grant, we are funding businesses. The funds are not social grants. Youths are expected to use the money to grow their business, and it is important to start a sustainable business,” he said.

(edited by ZK)

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