The IFP calls for an urgent intervention from KZN Provincial Government and the Minister of Small Business Development Mr Khumbudzo Ntshavheni to prevent the closure of Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) in Durban.
The closure of SEDA office in Durban is imminent due to lack of funding to keep this office operational. Staff have not been paid their salaries for the past 13 months. SEDA plays a vital role in assisting small businesses, emerging entrepreneurs and promoting tourism around the city, therefore we cannot allow it to close down because this will have a negative impact on the economy of KwaZulu-Natal.
We call upon the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) to bail out SEDA because our government has a capacity to bail out failed and dysfunctional government SOEs. Therefore, a similar approach must be applied to save this important agency that has equipped and supported thousands of small businesses in this province. If government continues to fund ineffective and dysfunctional NYDA it must be also able to inject funding to save SEDA.
We are challenging the KZN Premier, Hon Sihle Zikalala, EDTEA MEC Hon Nomusa Dube-Ncube and Small Business Department Minister to prove their seriousness of reducing unemployment by supporting and funding the growth of SMMEs through ensuring that SEDA in Durban does not closed down.
Our government needs to start walking the talk and heavily commit on reducing youth unemployment especially for rural and township youth in particular through empowerment of SMMEs in order to create jobs, eradicate poverty and redress economic imbalances.
The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) promised Co-operatives and small business enterprises in KwaZulu-Natal to receive a major financial boost of R57 million that has been set aside for the sector. Why has SEDA not received some of this funding as yet?
Furthermore, SEDA CEO, Mandisa Tshikwantamba, said they had set aside more than R17 million to support small businesses from the national Department of Small Business Development intervention. Where is this money? Which SEDA offices received it?
The role that SMMEs play in our economy cannot be over-emphasised. SMMEs provide sustainable economic growth through job creation, development of entrepreneurial skills and the potential to contribute significantly to export earnings. Sadly though, our government actions and failure to look out for them underestimates the value of the SMMEs and do not give much attention to. The provision of finance to the SMMEs can be a leading conduit for transforming our economy by opening up business opportunities.
Mr OTTO B. KUNENE MPL,
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Economic Development,
076 204 7534