smmes.jpgSouth Africa will in October open its first stock exchange devoted to assisting small-business operators. The exchanges will be set up in Gauteng’s Johannesburg and Pretoria, focusing on residential townships and serving mostly black South Africans, reported iol Business News in September.

Residents will be able to trade shares in local businesses, providing an alternative to the 129-year-old Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The “SMME share” exchanges will operate under less stringent listing rules and lower costs, under plans announced by Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

“It will be run like a proper business, which must still make business sense for the investors and those who are running the stock exchange, said Lebogang Maile, an official in Gauteng’s Economic Development department”

“The only difference is that it will relax the requirements so that it becomes easier and cheaper for township-based entrepreneurs.”

The exchanges will seek to leverage the money already circulating in the communities and promote economic development, according to Maile. South Africa’s Financial Services Board has granted a company a licence to set up the exchanges, Maile said.

This article first appeared in PretoriaNews