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Zulu urges South Africans to support SMMEs

Minister Lindiwe Zulu Zulu says radical economic transformation is designed to help struggling business owners to get their enterprises off the ground.

FILE: Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu has called on South Africans to support SMME’s (small, medium-sized and microenterprises) this festive season to ensure jobs are retained.

The minister on Tuesday announced the successes of her department over the last year.

Zulu says radical economic transformation is designed to help struggling business owners to get their small and medium enterprises off the ground.

She says the majority of black people, especially the youth and women, are not getting the financial support that they need.

“I call on all nationals do something because buying from SMMEs are creating jobs, not buying from outside. It is creating a job in South Africa.”

Zulu also highlighted some of the key challenges that her department had identified.

“In addition, the department supported 502 informal businesses with either approved business infrastructure or business skills.

“We trained 178 cooperatives in the following provinces: Western Cape (44 cooperatives), Eastern Cape (94 cooperatives) and Gauteng (40 cooperatives).”

On funding, Zulu says the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) has supported almost 37,000 SMMEs and co-operatives for the period under review, resulting in over 42,000 jobs aided and sustained.

“Compared to the performance expected for the 2017/18 financial year, Sefa has already funded 96% of the targeted SMMEs and achieved 72% of the expected job facilitation and strengthening.”

TAX CONTRIBUTIONS

According to the minister, the contribution of small and medium enterprises in South Africa is estimated to be between 42% and 47%.

“Indications are that the small business sector is beginning to take its rightful place as the engine for our economy. The tax authority has reported that more than 18,000 new SMMEs had for the first time submitted tax returns.”

Zulu says the revised 2017 Regulations of the Public Procurement Preferential Framework Act now compels the public sector to procure a minimum of 30% of their goods and services from SMMEs.

“While National Treasury is the custodian of this Act, we worked together on crafting and popularising these regulations.

“Currently we monitor progress and already between 1 April to 30 November 2017, 81 out of 184 national and provincial departments procured between 60 to 100% of their goods and services from SMMEs and only 22 departments have not yet reached the 30% target.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)