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Shot in the arm for township entrepreneurs

Barbara Creecy
Barbara Creecy
Image: Thulani Mbele

The Gauteng provincial government will this year create the Provincial Small and Micro-Enterprise Clearing House, aimed at allowing small businesses to access all government support services for the sector through just one point.

This was announced by Gauteng finance MEC Barbara Creecy when she presented the 2019/2020 provincial budget in the legislature on Tuesday.

Creecy said the clearing house, established in partnership with the private sector and the University of Johannesburg, would link township entrepreneurs to those who want to buy their goods and services.

The institution will also help link township businesses with funders and those desiring partnerships with such enterprises.

“It is designed not only to develop SMMEs in their own right, but also to link the support of the youth employment service so that township enterprises can host interns from Tshepo One Million partnership,” Creecy said.

“The programme will be piloted in Tembisa for the first six months of this year and then be upscaled in the second half of the year.”

According to Creecy, through Tshepo One Million, over one million youth have benefited in bursaries, learnerships, internship and entrepreneurial training.

The clearing house and Tshepo One Million will be based in the premier's office - with an allocation of R124m. Any small business can now go to the clearing house and get to know what kind of support is available for them.

“Whether it is support for registration of the company or an interest in financial support or whatever. The idea is to try and have one place [to support small businesses].

"We’ve received a lot of input from stakeholders asking that we simplify the way in which we work … We are starting to pilot one point of entry so that everyone can know where to go. I am hoping very soon that it will be an online application that people can access,” Creecy said.

“We want to support township enterprises to provide internships. A big barrier to youth employment is the cost of transport. If the job is local, then it removes the barrier of the cost of transport.”

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