Agencies that support SMMEs detail why they failed to reach their targets

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) achieved 12 of its 23 annual performance targets, while the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) only reached five of its 17 annual targets.

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Author: Tebogo Mokwena

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Two agencies that fall under the Small Business Development Department had a lacklustre year and failed to reach their targets. The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) achieved 12 of its 23 annual performance targets, while the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) only reached five of its 17 annual targets.

The agencies support and fund SMMEs, which play a critical role in the economy. According to Seda, it was allocated R990-million and spent R773-million, which accounted for 78% of its budget. It said the COVID-19 pandemic was a reason it was unable to adapt quickly enough to service the more than 2.5 million registered SMMEs in the country.

It also blamed SMMEs that were not digitally savvy, for hampering its work to deliver services, including those in remote areas. Members of Parliament expressed concern about the performance of the agencies. And business consultant Derrick Ndzavi, agreed, saying the agencies and the government needed to do more to support SMMEs. “The most important question about this is how they can improve their digital platforms to assist the small businesses and ensure that this is done on a larger scale,” Ndzavi said.

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