Pride of Manzini
The City of Manzini, otherwise known as the hub of Swaziland, is the commercial mecca of the Kingdom of Swaziland. In fact, it is where the first economic and commercial activities of the Kingdom began over 100 years ago. Read More
Although having started operating way back in 1983, the Manzini Market (situated along Mancishane street) continues to be a major tourist draw card in the city. Over the last few years it has become uncommon for tourists to pass through the beautiful city. Read More
For those who do not have their own means of transportation, the City of Manzini has a number of public transport vehicles which connect the city with neighbouring towns, cities, countries and surrounding townships. Read More
MANZINI COUNCIL, SWIFT AWARD EXCELLING SATELLITE RANK TRADERS
INFORMAL handicraft traders who ply their trade at the Satellite Bus Rank in Manzini were last Thursday awarded for stall and product excellence by the Municipal Council of Manzini and Mbabane-based Swaziland Fair Trade (SWIFT). Swaziland Fair Trade is a non-governmental organisation whose mandate is to promote fair trade as well as assist traders improve their products and access international markets.
The event formed part of the commemoration of World Fair Trade Day.
The Satellite Bus Rank came to life during the event as trader after another shook hands with dignitaries whilst collecting their awards (dummy cheques). This happened amidst music and dancing to electrifying traditional songs which were rendered by energetic Lutsango from the satellite Bus Rank. The products were grouped into categories including woodwork, beadwork, traditional attire, grass products and ceramic products and rated by independent judges on a number of factors including product creativity, colour combination, customer care and stall presentation.
In attendance was Under Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade Nkululeko Dlamini, Director of Urban Government in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Tito Simelane, outgoing Manzini Mayor Khethokuhle Dlamini, Deputy Mayor Sipho Masuku, Manzini Municipal Council Chief Executive Officer Lungile Dlamini, Swaziland Fair Trade Country Coordinator Julie Nickson, amongst others.
In an Interview with Manzini News, the Chief Executive explained that what Council strove for was for the traders to be capacitated on a number of issues such as pricing. She said a number of training sessions had been planned for the traders with the view to ensuring that the products were of competitive quality and not under-priced.
“We want to avoid a situation where the business owners find themselves having incurred huge costs buying raw material only to make losses at the end of the day due to under-pricing. It is so exciting to see buyers from outside the country descending the Satellite Bus Rank every Wednesday and Thursday but the question is; are the traders making reasonable profit? Council’s desire is for the traders not to trade at small scale forever but to grow their businesses and compete at a higher level. Due to the fact that Council does not have the expertise to capacitate the traders with such skill, we have entrusted SWIFT to do so because that is their area of speciality,” said the Chief Executive.
She expressed hope that by this time next year some of the traders would be exporting to international markets. The Mayor reiterated the Chief Executive’s words stating that Council desired nothing but only the best for the informal sector. The Under Secretary also emphasised the need for production of quality and competitive products. He added that the commerce ministry was in the process of finding ways to secure international markets for handicraft traders. The awards were divided into first and second prize and the winners received E300 and E200, respectively, which they would use to stock more material. The traders heaped praises on Manzini Council for the demonstration of love and care for them. They also thanked the Local Government for bringing SWIFT to assist them produce quality and make more money.
…THE WINNERS AND THEIR CATEGORIES
John Madasi Ngwenya