Cape business lobbies deputy trade minister over cannabis laws

Cape business lobbies deputy trade minister over cannabis laws

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Cape Town – A Cape Town based company specialising in clothing, accessories and cosmetics from hemp, used a meeting with Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina to lobby the government to support the creation of a conducive environment for the growth of the cannabis and hemp sector.

Hemporium director Tony Budden, said the company is forced to import its raw material from countries such as China and Canada because of challenges with the legal status of cannabis in the country.

“We are committed to local development and so we would rather be supporting South African farmers and businesses using material from within so that we grow a truly sustainable South African economy.”

Budden made his pitch during the first day of Gina’s visit to the Western Cape as part of the national Siyahlola Programme whose purpose is to assess progress made in the implementation of sector-specific master plans that are part of the reimagined national industrial development strategy.

During her tour Gina visited a number of businesses supported by her department to assess the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gina also visited One of Each, a luxury handbag and fashion apparel company founded by mother and daughter team, Pauline and Tamburai Chirume which achieved a three-year high in its turnover during 2020.

Tamburai Chirume said: “We adopted a strategy over the years focused mainly on building and strengthening relationships with our clients and what we saw during the hard lockdown period is that they supported us a lot to ensure that we never shut down.”

Gina said the company was testament to the government’s Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme which she said continues to develop export markets and attract new foreign direct investment.

The scheme develops export markets for South African products and services and recruits new foreign direct investment through the department’s vehicles such as the national pavilions; outward-selling trade missions; outward investment recruitment missions and inward-buying trade missions.

Gina said: “We are happy to see that the company’s operations are aligned with our goals as contained in the retail, clothing, textile, footwear and leather master plan.

“We recognise that they have a strong focus on some of the key pillars of our master plans which include transformation, skills development and job creation.”

Meanwhile, purchasing items from informal traders, vendors and crafters can continue hassle-free, as the City’s first online market, which went live in May, has now been extended to June 30.

Mayco member for urban management Grant Twigg said: “Cape Town surprised me with their willingness to take part in this pilot online market and to exceed our expectations with not only the number of vendors registered, but also the quality of the locally produced products on offer.”

Residents with general enquiries about the market, can contact the informal trading call centre on 021 400 3131, option 6. Or visit the market at www.capetownonlinemarket.co.za



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