Minister boosts informal business owners with valuable tools
IOL / NEWS / 5 FEBRUARY 2019 - 17:25 / DOMINIC ADRIAANSE
Cape Town – President Cyril Ramphosa has put a special focus on township and rural economies, which includes the Western Cape, says Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu.
Zulu was the keynote speaker at the Andile Msizi Hall in Khayelitsha on Tuesday, which hosted informal business owners from across the Western Cape.
Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu. File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
The department and the Small Enterprise Development Agency’s (Seda) Informal and Micro Enterprise Development Programme (IMEDP) handed over tools and equipment to help sustain their businesses as well as to provide mentorship and training. They include laptops, printers and cellphones to the value of R500 000 to 80 informal business owners from across the province.
She said more than 70% of spending in the townships leaks to the CBDs and it is the government's intention to reverse this.
“The National Informal Business Upliftment Strategy (NIBUS) addresses the development void at the lower base of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) Development.
"The strategy specifically targets entrepreneurs in the informal economy and the focus is mainly on designated groups, i.e. women, youth and people with disabilities, in townships and rural areas of South Africa,” she said
She said that when there is more economic activity and businesses grow, more people can be employed and Zulu’s department has since 2014 devised various strategies to address the development void at the lower base of SMMEs.
The Informal and Micro Enterprises Development Programme is a 100% grant offered to informal and micro enterprises to assist them in improving their competitiveness and sustainability.
To date, the IMEDP achieved approvals of R43 102 325, benefiting 4 690 beneficiaries processed through the departments and the Seda branches.
The target is for R50 million worth of business tools and equipment to be placed in the hands of informal micro enterprises by the end of March.
Makanda resident Nogolide Feni, 57, said she has been trading as a clothing and garment manufacturer since being retrenched in 2007.
“These tools will help take my business to a more professional level and we need the government to help us, so we can access business loans and compete in business.
"If we are successful, we can create jobs and improve the lives of not just our families and our communities,” she said.
Seda chief executive Mandisa Tshiwatamba said the programme is also implemented through Seda due to its vast network of branches and experience in similar programmes.
She said the tools provided to the informal business owners differed within regions and the business sectors, as per the owners' needs. Municipalities and chambers assist with channelling the pipeline to Seda branches or the department.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER