The Trade, Industry and Competition Department is planning on ensuring that its assistance for SMMEs and those owned by women yields positive fruits by the end of next year. In the department’s budget vote this week, Minister Ebrahim Patel tabled measures that the department has stretched into the end of 2023 in order to meet the pressing need for SMME support.
Patel said that the Industrial Development Corporation would launch the pilot Township Economy Programme by the end of this month. The porogramme is set to improve access to finance and de-risk SMMEs through business support measures. He also mentioned that under the JP Morgan Small Business Partnership, the department would have finalised at least 55 deals by the end of August. Patel noted that six black-owned poultry farms would be supported in the North West, which would create 150 jobs and produce a capacity of two million birds per month.
By November, Patel said the next phase of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area negotiations with draft protocols on competition policy, intellectual property, and investment would have commenced. Also, an award ceremony would be hosted for local production innovation to showcase the successes the country was starting to achieve. By December, the PFNonwovens new textile production line would have opened in Atlantis in the Western Cape, and the department would host a conference of black exporters to help identify new markets and opportunities.
Patel said that by January next year, a review of the sugar maser plan would have been completed. And by April, 200 black, women and youth businesses would be assisted with export training and support, and IDC-funded local technology would be used in a platinum mine in the North West to make its smelting process greener and more efficient. Trade, Industry, and Competition Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina said that through the Poultry Maser Plan, 10 black contract growers had been established leveraging an investment of R336 million, with 122 new jobs created.
“In the Sugar Master Plan, Shoprite is partnering with the SA Canegrowers to promote the sale of locally-produced sugar in its 1189 stores,” she said. “The Kerry group invested R650-million and will play a significant role in the food/ ingredients sector in the continent as a whole, creating more jobs directly and through SMME contracting.” Gina also said that a capable state must enjoy partnerships with businesses, and drive trade and industrialisation policy for growth. “Such a state should be incorruptible, with its institutions staffed with sound technical know-how and patriotism,” she also said