Source: Govt to increase SMEs support | The Herald August 8, 2019
Natasha Kokai and Charmaine Brown
Government will increase funding and other resources for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as they contribute significantly to the economy, Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube has said.
He was speaking after a tour of small businesses in Harare yesterday.
Minister Ncube said the SMEs sector had the potential to generate revenue through exports.
“As Government, we pledge to continue supporting these people and there is also the need for incentives as well in providing better space in supporting with marketing and capability so that they can get their products out there,” he said.
“This tour has helped me appreciate the work that these SMEs are doing. They are doing an incredible job of creating employment in the country.
“I am glad that Minister Nyoni brought me here to Cameron Street where there are sewing and shoe making factories. I see there are about 800 women who operate from this facility and there are men too although they are in the minority.
“The interesting thing is that each of them is an SME in their own right and they get their materials from everywhere and they sell their clothings locally and export some to Angola.
“The SME sector has incredible potential . . . and at the end of the day we have to focus on employment creation and the SMEs are doing that for themselves.”
Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni said she was going to engage Minister Ncube on the incentives for SMEs after what he had seen during the tour.
“Government needs to support these SMEs, so I am planning to sit down with Professor Mthuli and Local Government, Public Works and Local Government Minister July Moyo to see how we can assist SMEs like these which are making good products and that are capable of transforming the economy,” she said.
Business Reach Out International director Lloyd Bahera, who organised the tour, said there was need to assist the SMEs to access markets.
“Government needs to create a market for these SMEs since it also created markets for second-hand products since there is shortage of space in the factories,” he said.
He called on Government to intervene on the unfair practice of using a rate on EcoCash transactions, which most of the traders use as the mode of payment.