About Fabcos

FABCOS is one of 4 national member-based business chambers in South Africa. Its uniqueness lies in its focus on township and rural-based formal and informal businesses, its financial independence and the fact that it operates a number of companies as a means of intervening directly and practically for the benefit of its members. FABCOS is a member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA).

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The chamber was founded in 1988 by the following visionary business leaders: James Ngcoya, Dr Ellen Kuzwayo, Joas Mogale, Andrew Lukhele, Jabu Mabuza, Sam Tuntubele, Zithulele (“KK”) Combi, Knox Tsotsobe and current Chairman of the Board of Patrons Sam Buthelezi. They understood that with political liberation imminent, black business people from the informal sector would require organization and proper representation to ensure that the political transformation for them would result in tangible economic improvements.

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The Founding Vision of FABCOS at the time was, and still remains, “to ensure that informal black business becomes part of the mainstream of the South African economy”. FABCOS prides itself as an organization that has secured and continues to achieve real empowerment for its members in ensuring through economic activism that its members are not reliant on employment or hand-outs but rather that they do things for themselves, hence its current theme “Beyond Empowerment … SIYAZENZELA”.



9 Number of FABCOS Provincial Offices in South Africa
21 Number of years that FABCOS has been in existence
200 Estimated number of townships and rural villages where FABCOS members are active
216 Number of people doing work for and representing the affiliated sector associations of FABCOS nationally
59.9% Percentage of SMMEs in Metropolitan Areas of South Africa
23.0% Percentage of SMMEs in rural areas of South Africa
35% Percentage that SMMEs contributed to the GDP of South Africa in 2003
2.3 million Number of SMMEs in South Africa (STATS SA, 2003)
71% Percentage of SMMEs owned by Previously Disadvantaged Individuals in South Africa
52% Percentage of people in South African Metros living in townships (STATS SA, 2005)

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