R45m boost for small businesses

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The Limpopo government has invested more than R45million in the province's small business sector.

This was announced yesterday by MEC for economic development, environment and tourism Collins Chabane during a media briefing in Polokwane.

He said the money, allocated through loans to small businesses in the province, was part of the department's strategy to ensure a healthy and sustainable small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) sector.

"Global trends have shown that the SMME sector is capable of creating jobs and reducing poverty," Chabane said.

He said the funds were issued out as loans to almost 400 small businesses in the province, including cooperatives. He said a direct result of the strategy had been the creation of 885 new jobs and the retention of 1688 others.

"Housing loans valued at approximately R13million were also approved, creating 255 direct jobs and maintaining 636 others," he added.

The department had also achieved an 81percent rate for developmental projects.

"We are also pleased to announce that we have approved a grant of R150 million for the development of a golf estate and a five-star hydro spa hotel in the province," he said.

Chabane said the outward missions conducted so far had a great potential of attracting over R50 million or more in investments. The province's drive to be the springboard of economic development in the region had also attracted attention from potential investors, he added.

He said several agreements, among which were the Namibian Diary and the Tshivhase Agri Dam (to supply 120 tons of bananas to Namibia to the value of R2,5million per annum), were made.

Limburg, another provincial agricultural enterprise, will supply a Namibian company, Voermeester, with animal feed. The two companies are also exploring investment opportunities in the Namibian agricultural sector.