Government ready to assist small businesses:

Midrand – Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu says government is ready to partner with small businesses to assist South Africans to benefit from the opportunities available.

Speaking at the Black Business Council (BBC) gala dinner in Midrand, on Thursday evening, Minister Zulu said government is available to do its best in the small business sector.

“Government is here to do its best … but we believe … that South Africans (must) ask what they can do for themselves, to ensure that they contribute positively to their respective communities,” she said.

Minister Zulu said will all the government support; there is no reason for small businesses in South Africa not to prosper.

“Small business in the African continent operates under difficult circumstances. Many of them don’t have the institutions that South Africa has. Many of them, do not have the financial support that we have, but they are thriving,” she said.

Economic transformation:
Delivering his keynote address at the same event, acting President Cyril Ramaphosa said central to the task of economic transformation is the need to rebuild the industrial economy and as part of that process, to develop black industrialists.

Acting President Ramaphosa said the establishment of the ministry, headed by Minister Zulu, will enable government to focus efforts and concentrate its support where it will have the greatest impact.

“A lack of diversification and growth in the productive sectors of our economy has in the main contributed towards the de-industrialisation of our economy over the past 30 years.

“We will need to focus on marketing and supply activities to enable small scale producers to enter formal value chains and take advantage of economies of scale,” he said.

The acting President said for the ministry to succeed, it will need the support and collaboration of more stakeholders, including the BBC, which has a key role in identifying where needs exist, as well as developing proposals on how to address such needs.

“Black business must lead. It must develop strategies, working with government, labour and the rest of the business community to train tens of thousands of engineers, actuaries, accountants, teachers, doctors and project managers.

“Black business must look at how emerging entrepreneurs can be financed, supported and provided with market access. Our developmental state needs partners in the business community who supports the vision of a racially integrated industrial economy,” he said.

He said the BBC need to show leadership in engaging constructively with government and promoting the kind of values that will help South Africa prosper.