In a bid to connect local producers with buyers and foster business networking, the Alfred Nzo District Municipality recently launched a trade fair at the Winnie Madikizela Mandela Local Municipality. The event, held on May 24, 2024, brought together various small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to showcase their products and services to potential buyers.

According to Sibonelo Tshonga, Manager of Local Economic Development at the Alfred Nzo Development Agency, the trade fair was established to address the long-standing issue of local producers struggling to find markets for their products. “We wanted to create a platform where producers can meet buyers and network with other businesspeople, thereby promoting local economic growth,” Tshonga explained.

The event, held near Bizana Square in Bizana Town, attracted a range of businesses, including The Wild Coast Sun, Lunganakho Country Lodge, and Boxer Super Store, among others. Participants praised the event for its focus on networking, which is crucial for small businesses to thrive.

Babalwa Madikizela, owner of La Babes Fragrances, expressed her satisfaction with the event, saying, “The trade fair was great exposure for my business. I enjoyed interacting with people and sharing my business cards with community members. Sales were also very good, with many people showing interest in my products.”

Tshonga expressed gratitude to stakeholders such as the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), and South African National Apex for Micro Enterprises (SANAMI) for their support. He also thanked producers, buyers, retailers, and community members for making the event a success.

The trade fair is a significant step towards promoting local economic development and empowering small businesses in the region. By providing a platform for producers to connect with buyers and network with other businesses, the Alfred Nzo District Municipality aims to boost economic growth and create job opportunities in the area.

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