Budget facts for SMEs
IOL - NEWS / 4 MARCH 2019 - 08:30 / NETWORK REPORTER
DURBAN - Ben Bierman, the managing director of Business Partners Limited, outlines the five key takeouts from Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget speech that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from:
Falling data costs: Mboweni was adamant that the cost of data must fall, and committed to work relentlessly with the necessary parties to ensure this happens. As data gets cheaper, there will be more opportunities for SMEs and entrepreneurs to build their business and for new technology businesses to emerge. Making data more affordable and accessible can go a long way in driving economic and SME growth.
The R30billion allocated to build new schools and maintain school infrastructure spend: National infrastructure spend will probably be a big contributor to SME growth, and will create positive knock-on effects for job creation in the sector. Not only will SMEs be included in the supply stream, but as infrastructure projects are rolled out, economic growth will be positively impacted, having a downstream effect on small business.
Relaxed visa requirements: Relaxed visa requirements provide an enhanced opportunity for SMEs operating in the tourism industry, driving growth and the creation of new jobs. As tourism is a substantial contributor to the country’s gross domestic product, the increasing number of visitors to South Africa is beneficial to the macro environment as well as for businesses operating both directly and indirectly in the tourism sector.
Allocation of R3.2billion to operationalise the small business and innovation fund over the MTEF: The R3.2bn budget allocation for the small business and innovation fund is a definite positive development for the country’s entrepreneurial eco-system and is anticipated to contribute to the creation of more innovative businesses that can respond to the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Also noteworthy is the R481.6million allocated to the Small Enterprise Development Agency’s incubation programme expected to bolster the creation of new businesses and survival rate of existing businesses.
Industrial business incentives: The R19.8bn allocated to industrial business incentives will not only benefit the national economy as a whole, but it will yield opportunities for local industrial SMEs and create job opportunities.
The R600m assigned to the clothing and textile competitiveness programme is also a much-needed boost to revitalise this struggling sector of our economy that has historically been a driver of economic growth.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER