The public can now comment on the National Integrated Small Enterprise Development Master Plan, which was recently gazetted by the Small Business Development. The plan will address the lack of support and adequate monitoring of SMMEs by ensuring the coordinated development of better interventions. It also aims to introduce effective targeted support and services for the growth of SMMEs.
The document lays out the various interventions that will be implemented and the outcomes envisioned in four pillars. The first pillar targets a nation that is well informed about SMMEs with their continuous monitoring, evaluating and learning from the data obtained. One of the methods to be used will be conducting national surveys with SMME owners that will reflect the SMMEs’ perceptions and trends.
“Due to the size and nature of the problem in the development of SMMEs, many support measures have been applied and actors emerged over the years without regular and constant monitoring of the quantum of public spend and the impact they have had,” the department said. “This has limited the ability to track and monitor all the varied actors supported by (the) government in delivering support to SMMEs and resulted in overlapping mandates and the duplication of support with resource and monetary wastage.”
The fourth pillar aims to ensure a coordinated government with strengthened private sector partnerships for SMME growth. Its focus is to coordinate and strengthen the voice of small businesses in South Africa, and to showcase SMMEs as a prominent segment of economic activity. To get this on track, a bi-annual presidential summit will be convened.
“The purpose of the national presidential summit is to present a consolidated review of small businesses in South Africa, as well as progress on matters prioritised from previous summits, to present individual provincial reviews in alignment with the District Development Model, (and) for small business chambers, associations, sector representativity bodies (large, small and informal) and networks to engage, respond and advocate their members’ positions,” the department said.
It noted that the plan would seek to address several challenges SMMEs faced, including the structural economic bias that favoured their bigger counterparts, a fragmented ecosystem, and late invoice payments. Small Business Development Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said the document was not published as a separate strategic plan, nor as a departmental master plan, but as part of a package of strategic actions tabled by the government. At the departmental level, the plan was implemented in conjunction with the department’s strategic plan as referenced in each year’s annual performance plan, which was aligned to the medium-term strategic framework and the budget.