Government’s R1bn small business fund to target township businesses

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The R1 billion small business fund announced by Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba last week, will be targeted primarily at township businesses.

This is according to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was replying to questions in the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town yesterday.

“As was announced in the [Medium Term Budget Policy Statement] by the Minister of Finance last week, a new fund for small business and innovation will be established which will be allocated R1 billion in 2019/20. The National Informal Business Upliftment Strategy is also available to help township enterprises upgrade their business activities,” Ramaphosa said.

The fund was welcomed by some in the small business sector, which is key to the local economy.

Ramaphosa explained that government already provides financial support to youth-owned businesses through the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), the National Empowerment Fund and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

“Much is being done to empower the youth and also to develop township enterprises. However, given the legacy of apartheid planning and the dire extent of youth unemployment, there is still much that needs to be done and what also needs to be done is to improve the business skills, the entrepreneurial knowledge of young people in the townships, in the rural areas and we are embarking on a number of other initiatives of setting up incubation centres that are going to help young people to become more proficient,” he said.

Ramaphosa added that government is implementing key elements of a strategy to boost township enterprises, to increase the involvement of South Africans in the economy as well as to expand opportunities for our people through SEFA.

[Image – CC andibreit]