Micro container malls attracted the attention of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at an exhibition held at Resolution Circle (RC), the technology company of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), on Tuesday 26 July. The malls built from shipping containers aim to create an innovative township business incubator, which uses containers and temporary structures to break down barriers into the city’s economy for entrepreneurs and community-based enterprises.
The malls have been designed and built by RC engineers, in partnership with the City of Johannesburg’s JoziMyBeginning Community Innovation Fund (CIF), which is an extension of Jozi@Work, designed to empower community-based enterprises.
On 12 July the first micro-mall was ceremonially launched in Ivory Park.
“Resolution Circle offers a service where it acts as an execution agent for public social development programmes, such as JoziMyBeginning, on behalf of public departments”, says Prof Willem Clarke, CEO of Resolution Circle, a commercial entity fully owned by the University of Johannesburg. Since its inception in 2012, over R350m was invested from the National Skills Fund and UJ, predominantly in equipment and facilities.
“Resolution Circle together with UJ has developed an efficient social development partnership model,” adds Prof Rensburg.
“In this model, a public department will partner with UJ as a public entity and Resolution Circle as the execution agent. UJ’s strong governance processes will be adhered to and managed by a dedicated department.”
As part of the JoziMyBeginning initiative, the City of Johannesburg is developing seven micro container malls in its seven regions. Residents from the local communities were invited to submit innovative commercial proposals to occupy space in these micro container malls.
The 80 shortlisted proposal owners attended a three-day workshop where they refined their value propositions for an evaluation exhibition where the final 60 micro container mall tenants will be identified.