The Soweto residents' annual retail spending power is estimated at around R4.5 billion. This makes the Soweto Festival a unique platform for developing business skills, economic opportunities as well as sustainable community activities in South Africa's largest township. Adele Lucas Promotions and Oasys Innovations teamed up to ensure a festival of note.
Adele Lucas, Festival Director and MD for Adele Lucas Promotions: “The fourth annual Soweto Festival was more successful than the previous year in terms of growth and development activities for the youth and small business. The adoption of more education-entertainment focused activities, has seen the festival register 5 000 more visitors than last year's 43 000 attendance figure.”
New activities which have been added to the festival included the launch of “Joburg Jobs City”, an initiative aimed at unemployment alleviation by the City of Johannesburg. The unique opportunity provided to the SMME owners to acquire necessary business skills in a three day seminar, was facilitated by Standard Bank and the University of Johannesburg before and after the festival. Other features included the Shoprite Chef Arena and a storytelling Boma.
The Soweto Chamber of Commerce and Department of Economic Development further identified SMME who would be assisted in developing their entrepreneurial skills to ensure sustainability and growth in the economy. Various partnerships were formed between Government departments, parastatals and private companies with the festival.
Carl Woodland, Chief Operating Officer for Oasys Exhibitions says: “We provided 6 906sqm of marquees, 6 300sqm air-conditioned exhibition marquees for the main exhibition, as well as 1 416sqm of shell scheme of 36 Crafters units for the outdoor exhibitions. In addition Oasys Hiring provided 6 486sqm of flooring, furniture, plumbing, draping as well as 6 530sqm of carpeting. Oasys Electrical and Audio Visual provided a 13m x 11m electrical stage roof and the entire electrical infrastructure for indoor and outdoor stands.”
“An average of about 60 Oasys crew members including 11 stage monitors, five sound engineers, as well as a backline crew were on site to ensure the smooth running of the activities,” concluded Woodland.