Mashaba disheartened by derelict factories, including where he started Black Like Me

The unused Ga-Rankuwa industrial site where Herman Mashaba started his successful haircare empire.
The unused Ga-Rankuwa industrial site where Herman Mashaba started his successful haircare empire.
Image: Herman Mashaba via Twitter

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says an industrial revolution is needed to get South Africans back to work.

The entrepreneur turned opposition politician travelled on Thursday to the Ga-Rankuwa industrial site where he started his hair products company in the 1980s.

On social media, he shared images of dilapidated structures on the site.

This is a 200m2 factory that we started in ... We had other black industrialists and other black entrepreneurs, electricians, carpenters and so forth [who shared the site]. Today the very same factory I started in is unoccupied.

“It's empty, no one is occupying it. It's very unfortunate,” he said.

Mashaba's party announced its economic policies earlier this month. These entailed a reform of labour legislation, changing the education system to produce pupils with skills for the workplace and easing obstacles to doing business.

“SA now sits with 42% unemployment with 2.2 million jobs lost in 2020 so far. The labour laws of our country make it difficult to hire South Africans at a time when we need to make it easier. It is a crime that millions of people live without the dignity of work, while our labour laws discourage small businesses from employing more people,” said the party.

ActionSA argues that red tape must be cut and that the engine room of SA's future economy must lie with small businesses.

“For our economy to grow, it must be easier for new businesses to set up here, and for existing businesses to conduct their activities ... What we need is a government that ignites the potential in our country by equipping small businesses with the skills, support and experience that will allow them to flourish.”

The party proposes the establishment of business support hubs where SMMEs can receive immediate support with registration, tax compliance, and municipal electricity and water connections.

“SA’s economic potential reveals so many areas which offer the opportunity of short-term gains, like inner-city rejuvenation projects or re-industrialisation of factories in rural areas to create jobs and housing,” it states.

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