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Black entrepreneurs must help turn dusty townships into ‘next Dubai’ says marketer

Entrepreneur and marketer Lebogang Mokubela says South Africa’s black entrepreneurs need to look at promising business opportunities in the township rather than in the suburbs.

“Dubai was a desert before it became the hub it is today,” says Mokubela (pictured above) speaking to Ventureburn today. He made the comments following the release today of the first of video in a four-part YouTube video series on growing entrepreneurship in townships.

He singles out one particular property development initiated by a white entrepreneur in one township and questions why a black entrepreneur from the townships isn’t doing something similar, rather than running the multitude of restaurants and car washes found in townships.

“Why is it that every entrepreneur that makes it and moves out of the township goes and builds somewhere else,” he says.

Mokubela, who has based his marketing business Lemok in Soshanguve, believes it’s not better infrastructure or a better quality of life that lures many black entrepreneurs out of the townships. What is needed instead, he asserts, is a change in the psyche of many that move away.

‘Why is it that every entrepreneur that makes it moves out of townships go build somewhere else’

Mokubela, whose agency mainly serves SME clients as well as a few shopping centres, says operating from townships means entrepreneurs can save on rent, while cutting commuting times for employees.

He says he will be hosting an event on 24 August at Van Tuka Lounge in Soshanguve featuring entrepreneur Levi Mnguni. Mnguni will document his journey from running food business African Burger to starting a company to assist university students with bursaries to source accommodation and things like computers.

Mokubela’s next video in his four-part series will be released next Monday. It will look at business leadership.