The Director of Stakeholder Management at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Mr Simphiwe Kondleka has urged residents of Soweto to ensure that they register their businesses, patents and intellectual property with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Kondleka was speaking during a national education and awareness campaign on a variety of legislation that affect the country’s citizens that was held at the Orlando East Communal Hall in Soweto, today.
“By performing this simple task, you will not only be guarding against forces that seek to exploit your creativity, but you will also be ensuring that your beneficiaries access rewards generated from your ideas for generations into the future,” said Kondleka.
He added that national campaign has taught the department that South Africans are very creative and are well endowed with ideas, and indigenous knowledge that if harnessed and nurtured properly can lead to many financial rewards.
“But unfortunately, some of the people are still vulnerable, lacking information and know-how of how to convert these ideas into financial spin-offs. It was as an attempt to bridge this divide and educate community members on their rights and responsibilities afforded to them by the dti‘s legislation that we decided to embark on this national campaign,” said Kondleka.
Ms Mary Sewela who has been an informal trader in Orlando for the past 15 years expressed gratitude at having the dti campaign visiting her community.
“It was enlightening to learn that I can formalise my business by registering it and proceed to access funding mechanisms that will help me grow it into a competitive and sustainable business that will benefit not only myself, but family and this community that I am living in,” she said.
Sewela identified the National Liquor Act and the Consumer Protection as acts that she will strive to learn more about as they have a significant relevance to the community she is living in.
“These two acts resonate with issues that I have always encountered in my community but would not know where to seek advice and recourse. For example, I have observed a lot of liquor traders in my community that I would not say are complying with the conditions of their licenses. More often they sell alcohol to minors and operate well beyond their trading hours. Another of my observation is that most of us are not aware of our rights when dealing with retailers. In fact, we are not even practising our consumer rights when at the hands of sellers,” said Sewela
Sewela further committed to sharing the newly acquired information with members of her community that could not attend the workshop.