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SMEs 'offer only hope'

By Sapa | Nov 14, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 1 ]

THE South African Institute of Professional Accountants has called for the creation of a unified, strategic national policy, perhaps with its own ministry, to grow the small and medium-sized enterprise sector more vigorously.

This comes after Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said last week that finding ways of developing South Africa's SME sector was an important factor in sustainable solutions for the country's economy.

"Globally small and medium-sized enterprises are recognised as engines of economic growth and job creation. Our government has long recognised the role SMEs will have to play in driving job and economic growth - but the time has come to coordinate all its initiatives for maximum effectiveness," Shahied Daniels, the institute chief executive, said.

"Unemployment threatens our social fabric and SMEs offer our only hope of overcoming this challenge."

SMEs already play a significant role in the South African economy, according to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in an October speech to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"About 70% of private employment is in companies with fewer than 50 workers," Gordhan said.

About nine million South Africans are employed by SMEs and the sector is said to contribute 60% of the national gross domestic product.

Most telling of all, SMEs are creating a disproportionate number of the new jobs - up to 80%, again according to Gordhan.

The government is putting money and resources behind SMEs via various initiatives but Daniels said these efforts are fragmented and are consequently failing to achieve the necessary momentum.

He argues that South Africa should be following the lead of other countries around the world by taking a much more strategic approach to small business.

"Australia has a minister of small business and Europe's small businesses are playing a major role in keeping its economy going during the financial crisis."

Similarly, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi are putting various coordinated initiatives in place to grow their SME sectors, and Malaysia is planning to be a developed economy by 2020 on the back of globally competitive SMEs, Daniels added.

"We understand the challenges that SMEs face, which is why we are making this call to create an overarching SME policy environment and a powerful ministry or other senior capability for enabling SME growth - and through it, the growth of the economy as a whole," Daniels said.

COMMENTS [ 1 ]

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The pathetic anc have no intention or inclination of facilitating economic growth within South Africa. It is hard to determine whether they are absolutely clueless or just playing dumb while following the ZANU-PF economic blueprint of total economic degeneration, in order to manipulate black market foreign currency for their own short-term gain? - Either way the net result will be the same, total collapse of a once healthy economy and suffering/starvation for the majority of the population.

Honestly, what person in their right mind and with any inkling of business acumen would attempt to set up a legitimate small business in our disastrously unstable current economic climate, with a govt as corrupt, confused and incompetent as ours and a labour force so underskilled, brainwashed and militant - no chance????

Plus we all know that unless you either only deal in cash or are connected to the political inner circle, you are just pi$$ing against a gale force wind as well as being forced to stand back and watch the raging fire burn up our hard earned tax money. No thanks Tokyo, shove it up your corrupt fat @ss!!!!!!

Nov 14, 2012 1:18 | 0 replies