Western Cape Premier Alan Winde will be hosting the first of the Western Cape Government's First Thursday events on 1 August.
First Thursday is the brainchild of Gareth Pearson, who launched the concept in Cape Town following a trip to Europe. Since then, it has been widely embraced across the city, with many of the CBD's top galleries, eateries and attractions staying open later.
Premier Winde introduced the concept of First Thursday in government during his tenure as Minister of Economic Opportunities. This concept is now being expanded across the Western Cape Government, with Ministers and representatives from each department making themselves available to engage with the public on the first Thursday of every month.
Premier Winde said: "It is my aim to make government more open and accessible to people and the First Thursday concept allows us to do that in an innovative way that also provides a platform for people to showcase their businesses and network."
"This is one of the manifesto promises I made, and we are ready to deliver. We want people to know that every first Thursday of the month between 5 and 9 pm, they can come down to the concourse at 7 Wale Street, and they will find us. The event is free, and our officials are giving freely of their time."
For the first event, we have worked with the Economic Development Partnership and Kwabo Industries to showcase the work of entrepreneurs and informal businesses on their databases.
The event will also showcase arts and crafts, and food trucks.
Premier Winde said: "In planning this event, we have had to submit a massive event application and deal with a fair amount of government red tape, so we have an understanding of what businesses go through when dealing with red tape. As such, we will have representatives from the Western Cape Liquor Authority and the Red Tape Reduction Unit available on the night, to help deal with questions, problems and blockages."
Premier Winde and his cabinet will be available at "hot desks" where members of the public are able to interact with them, in short, ten minute slots.
Future events will be themed, and these themes will be communicated in due course. Small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to showcase their products and their businesses at future First Thursday events can email First Thursdays coordinator Hayley Roodt at firstname.lastname@example.org.