Gigaba supports second small business dept

The Public Enterprises Minister says SMMEs have raised concern about high levels of red tape.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba says he would support the establishment of another ministry to manage small businesses if President Jacob Zuma was elected into another term at the 7 May polls.

Gigaba, who was speaking on the fringes of the Daily Maverick's 'The Gathering' conference in Johannesburg this morning, said small and medium enterprises had been complaining about what they say was too much red tape around securing funding for development.

The minister said the new ministry could be a vital component of growing the small business community.

"We do need to focus on the small-medium enterprise sector, particularly if you consider the fact that we have to comply with the 75 percent local procurement target that has been set by the president. We therefore need a ministry that can focus on that, to ensure we have policies that are aligned."

As the elections draw closer, South Africa's political heavyweights have gone head to head about the state of the country's democracy and what should happen after the polls.

Representatives of the African National Congress (ANC) and opposition parties, as well as trade union leaders and non-government organisations (NGOs) at are squaring off on issues of national importance.

Campaigning for votes started as soon as Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille began her address about the state of the country.

She said the opposition parties would attempt to form a majority to combat the dominance of the ANC.

But Gigaba, the ruling party's head of elections, accused the DA of apartheid-style campaigning.

Speakers also includes Congress of South African Trade Unions' Zwelinzima Vavi and Agang South Africa leader Mamphela Ramphele.