Minister of Economic Development Patel signs an MoU with Flanders and the ILO on a social economy policy
On 30 January, Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Ebrahim Patel, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Flanders, represented by Dr. Geraldine Reymenants, and the International Labour Organization, represented by Dr. Joni Musabayana. The MoU formalises the partnership between the three parties for a project on the development of a social economy policy for South Africa. It will be implemented by the Economic Development Department with technical support by the ILO and a funding contribution of EUR 1 324 367 from the Government of Flanders. The specific project objective is to formulate a policy framework for South Africa that enables the development of a social economy that contributes to decent job creation, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. The project, that concludes the second Country Strategy Paper on Development Cooperation between the Governments of South Africa and Flanders, will build upon previous projects supported by the Government of Flanders in which direct support was given to social entrepreneurs, as well as support to research projects on social entrepreneurship and capacity building of service providers.
In his speech, minister Patel highlighted the importance of the social economy for the economic growth of South Africa, and thanked the Government of Flanders and the ILO for providing the seed money and the expertise needed to implement this long-awaited project.