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Monday, 03 December 2018 14:41

Growth of small and informal business sector prioritised

GOVERNMENT’S unwavering support in the growth of the small and informal business sector will ensure that inclusivity in the mainstream economy is achieved and emerging private entities transform into major role-players in the business industry.

This is a commitment made by the Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu and eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede on 26 November at Durban’s City Hall during a handover ceremony of multimillion rand trading tools and equipment to more than 100 beneficiaries of the national Informal and Micro Enterprise Development Programme (IMEDP).

Of the R40 million that was set aside to manage the programme in all nine provinces, about R6.7 million was allocated to KwaZulu-Natal of which about R3.6 million was spent in eThekwini.

Minister Zulu said the nationwide programme aimed to support the growth of township and rural economies to overcome the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality facing the country. “As government, we support the small and informal business sector because it can be used as a mechanism to eradicate poverty, unemployment and inequality in our communities. The programme has been implemented in all nine provinces because we believe that this sector is the backbone of the economy and it presents entrepreneur opportunities for women, youth and people with disabilities,” she explained.

Beneficiaries received tools and equipment like a generator, angle grinder kit, garment steamer, printer, wheelbarrows microwaves, cooking stoves, printers, deep freezer, deep frying pans, chafing dishes and rotary hammer drills. The IMEDP provides qualifying entrepreneurs with basic business management training followed by a 100 percent grant for the acquisition of basic equipment and tools.

The basic qualifying criteria for this programme is that the entrepreneur must have been trading for at least three months, must be a South African owned informal and micro enterprise, must produce a certified South African Identity Document for both the owner and employees.

The applicants must further provide proof of banking details. The applicants must have also undergone mandatory business development training which takes place at the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) branches. Entry into the programme requires the participants undergo a rigorous adjudication process in which all required documents would be verified for validity at SEDA’S provincial offices.

Mayor Gumede congratulated the beneficiaries and said the programme was government’s way of reinforcing their commitment to the growth and development of small and emerging businesses.

“To ensure inclusivity of small businesses in the mainstream economy to drive economic growth, our government has prioritised investing in small and informal businesses because they are contributors to economic growth,” she said.

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Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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