Mpumalanga sets aside R10m for SMMEs, cooperatives

Mpumalanga sets aside R10m for SMMEs, cooperatives
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As part of implementing radical economic transformation, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in Mpumalanga has set aside R10 million to support small enterprises and cooperatives in the province.

Delivering the department’s R1.130 billion budget for the 2017/18 financial year on Thursday, MEC Eric Kholwane said small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) contributes a significant percentage of jobs in South Africa and added that cooperatives are a critical “vehicle for transformation revolution” in the province and the country’s economy.

“During the 2017/2018 financial year, we will review the SMMEs strategy to incorporate the revised preferential procurement regulations and critical aspects of the social enterprise development model for the built environment to guide government support programs for growth of the small businesses and cooperatives.

“The executive council has resolved that in order to bring meaning to radical economic transformation, the nutrition needs of government departments and entities should be served through a new model that will support the development of agriculture in the province. An amount of R10 million has been set aside to support SMMEs and cooperatives in the implementation of this nutrition programme,” the MEC said.

MEC Kholwane said a “dry run” testing of the nutrition programme commenced on Thursday and also pleaded with local communities to work closely with and take advantage of opportunities the program provides.

“We will continue to collect data on existing SMMEs and cooperatives to enhance our ability to plan and implement sustainable interventions that have high socio-economic impact,” he said.

He also said the department has set aside R10 million for cooperatives to build low cost houses and roads for government working with provincial departments of Human Settlements and Public Works, Roads and Transport.

The MEC further said the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) will increase borrowing for small businesses to enhance their businesses.

The department, he said, has signed an agreement with Standard Bank to disburse R1 billion over the next five years.

The MEC said the fund will be spent on enterprise development for SMMEs, cooperatives, among others.

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