An old cement factory in Philippi has undergone a multimillion-rand metamorphosis and has now been launched as ‘The Hub’. This new building will be part of the burgeoning Philippi Village precinct that will, over the next few years, also include a four-storey hotel, a private hospital and an education zone – as well as the biggest “container” shopping mile in the country.
Operating since 2005, the building has, until recently, provided the residents of the community with much-needed business support services. Now, officially launching as The Hub, it goes further towards supporting the overall vision for the precinct. Amor Strauss the general manager of Philippi village says that it is a building that is aiming to support entrepreneurs and small business in one effort.
“We are also aiming at employment acceleration, where we take young adults and we place them into jobs furthermore. We help entrepreneurs to sustain their start-ups,” Strauss explained.
Strauss added that at the village one may partake in various literacy programmes and students can take up courses such as entrepreneurship.
The Bertha Foundation, based in Johannesburg, and the Jobs Fund, together invested R80-million for the construction of the new business hub and the launch of the new phase of development.
“So we received our funds for the project from the foundation as well as government,” Strauss continued.
At the village the community will be able to participate in social endeavours as well as outreach programmes and youth and cultural programmes. All this is being done to ensure greater social development in the area.
“Philippi village is in the heart of Philippi, we are surrounded by an impoverished community and we built this village here to give the people of the community the respect that they require and we want to address social injustice,” Strauss went further.
“It is a space where a great diversity of people can come and find their space to foster and grow”.
“We wanted to create a one-stop shop where the community can come and tell us their dreams. People do not have the funds to travel for services so we have brought some services to them.” VOC (Umarah Hartley)