The need to support local businesses is hardly disputed today. It is a well-known and accepted fact that one of the core issues concerning the disparity in South Africa has to do with the growing inequality and unemployment rate.

The complexity of this national problem calls for a holistic approach in realising a more permanent solution which will transform communities and the families which form a part of it. The incapacity of traditional markets to absorb the labour force significantly enough has become apparent as a present reality in South Africa today.

This is coupled with a controversial education system as debates continue over structural changes and errors within it. The pressure to stimulate a quality education system producing a skilled labour force able to compete in a globalised economy is felt both by public and private sector. If there is anything accepted surrounding this contention is that the nature of the solutions need to be complex enough to go beyond merely availing employment opportunities to a few, but rather empowering initiatives with the viability to sustain communities in the various industries we find ourselves in today.

(PULM - Pop Up Lifestyle Market)

The nature of goods and services produced and consumed has taken a more sophisticated and interdisciplinary form over the years. The need to be economically active with multiple streams of income has stimulated youth participation in our economy. This is through the means of mobilizing social capital in the establishment of SMME's and start-ups in many industries. The rise of the creative markets has grown to become a lucrative industry amongst the youth by shaping cultural trends cutting across music, cuisine, fashion and entertainment. The means of publicity has been made viable through the effective utilisation of the internet and all it offers ranging from social media platforms and online skills and knowledge transfer mediums. This has made the concept of self-sustainable communities viable and achievable.

The increase of internet service providers, corporate facilitation of Wi-Fi hotspots as well as government initiatives such as 'FREE WIFI in the City of Tshwane' has seen traces of hope in realising equitable solutions. There seems to be a consensus that by availing factors of production, the youth is ready to channel their energy and ideas in becoming role players in building society while maintaining a unique expression of themselves and their crafts.

(PULM - Pop Up Lifestyle Market)

(PULM - Pop Up Lifestyle Market)

(1 PULM - Pop Up Lifestyle Market) in Pietermaritzburg KwaZulu-Natal, is all about providing a business platform to young entrepreneurs with a passion for Art, Fashion, Food and Music. Source: https://www.facebook.com/PopUpLifestyleMarket)

Our youth is the most relevant in the times of experimentation that we live in today. Most look back at their backgrounds which have little or nothing to offer as a form of a safety net. With almost nothing to lose, the reality of many is that perpetual poverty awaits them should their demand for expression continue to not be catered for. This becomes a national issue solely based on the threat posed to our society should a neglected youth take the law into their own hands. The support of local business stems from the premise that through stimulating local enterprise productivity, more of our labour may be absorbed. As it stands, SMMEs contribute 30% of SA's GDP. Evidently, by supporting local business, a concession is made towards investing in the youth. The youth is coloured in crisis exacerbated by the barriers in accessing traditional markets due to either a lack of experience, lack of access to education and inadequate skills.

(Alpha Code Winners)

The youth as foot soldiers of our economy need the support in order to stimulate healthy competition necessary for growth and expansion. This is important in order to realise an improvement in the delivery of QUALITY goods and services to the consumer’s benefit. Consequently, interaction may grow to be governed more on a competitive market edge and less on a moral conviction to merely “support local businesses”.

 

By: Thato Sihlali 

Twitter: @Epignostic