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Deputy minister uplifts informal traders

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The Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Dipuo Peters, handed over business equipment to 87 informal traders in Kimberley this week.

Informal traders in Kimberley received business equipment from the deputy minister of Small Business Development. Picture: Supplied

THE DEPUTY Minister of Small Business Development, Dipuo Peters, handed over business equipment to 87 informal traders in Kimberley this week.

The handover, which was specifically for informal traders in the Sol Plaatje municipal area, took place at the AFM Roepersfontein church in Pescodia.

The initiative forms part of the department’s Informal Micro Enterprises Development Programme (IMEDP).

The IMEDP is a 100% grant that seeks to grow informal and micro enterprises to their full potential by assisting in improving their competitiveness and sustainability.

The programme targets SMMEs that are owned by women, youth and people with disabilities in townships and rural areas of South Africa.

A total of 35 of the 87 informal traders that benefited from this week’s handover are from Pescodia.

They had participated in a Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) intervention course in November last year.

Peters clarified that the initiative is not part of an “election campaign” but a government programme.

She motivated the beneficiaries to take themselves and their businesses seriously by referring to themselves as “business owners”.

She also expressed her enthusiasm for the programme to be rolled out in Roodepan.

“If we had enough money, we would have had 870 beneficiaries. We are travelling throughout the country and other districts of the Province,” said Peters.

“Many councillors who host this programme in their wards see because they see it as part of their delivery.

Peters said she hoped the beneficiaries would be able to grow their businesses.

“The people who applied are people who dreamed and had an idea that God translated into a business. And I want to congratulate you for that. I want to say to you: ‘May the Good Lord help you grow and spark your businesses’.”

She urged the beneficiaries to continue to apply for the funds while they are available.

“We want to see restaurants here in Pescodia. Every time we have to travel to restaurants in town. Do you know that with Seda and Sefa (Small Enterprise Finance Agency) you can apply for those franchises?

“So, we need to use that, through these agencies. Thus they were all brought together under one roof to avoid the long processes that the people have to wait for.

“The input that you made in the National Small Enterprise Amendment Bill is also very important because it incorporated the Ombuds Office. The people can now go to the Ombuds Office to lay their complaints against Seda and Sefa instead of at the Public Protector.”

Peters urged the beneficiaries to work hard in order to grow their business and earn a regular salary, instead of eating into their business.

“If you pay yourself a salary you will know how your business is working. This department has a programme for spaza shops. If somebody has a spaza shop and is struggling with stock, the department gives stock to the value of R6 000, which can go up to R15,000.

“This department is giving resources to co-operatives. Five people can come together with the objective of working together. Government has the money, the only thing it needs is a plan.

“Sefa is a bank for small businesses, that is why you have to understand that part of the money is a loan.

“We thus urge the small businesses to apply for this money in order to avoid a situation where we have to return the money to the Treasury.

“That is why you have to be registered at CIPC and have a Sars certificate. We want the youth and disabled people.”

A spokesperson for the Pescodia Business Forum, David Kock, expressed appreciation for the support provided by the programme and the relationship they have built with the government.

He said the relationship is something to believe in, as the community had lost hope in what the government is doing for them.

“This has provided a way and a platform to have a synchronised objective together with the government to ensure that the communities see growth for themselves and generate more entrepreneurial spirit, as well as self-employment within their social economic space,” said Kock.

“This equipment plays a pivotal role for these informal traders to start trading formally and to exploit all markets out there.

“We appreciate the fact that the programme considered the community of Pescodia.”

Kock said that more informal traders hoped to benefit from the programme.

“There are more than 50 traders that will probably be assisted in the next batch.”

“We are looking forward to taking the government’s hand and walking a long distance with them on this journey.

The beneficiaries were from various sectors, such as the construction, farming, catering, decorating and beauty sectors.

One of the beneficiaries, Joshua Africa from Roodepan, has been running his gardening service and maintenance business in his community.

He received a petrol-operated lawnmower, a grass cutter, and a leaf blower.

Africa said his business gained recognition after he attended a three-day workshop hosted by the Department of Small Businesses Development.

He said he will now be able to employ two more people and do more jobs.

“I currently have 40 customers who I service regularly. I maintain up to six yards a day, from Monday to Friday.”

Seventy-year-old Jacob Olifant from Roodepan was assisted with a fence for his farming business.

Olifant said he has been farming with pigs, goats and cattle for over five years and needed the fence to protect his livestock.

“I am very happy to have received some kind of assistance from the government. I am a proud member of a farming organisation in the community.

Mpho Mona from Galeshewe was assisted with 20 Tiffany chairs and two folding tables to boost her catering business.

Mona said she started her business in 2014 but went bankrupt after her equipment was stolen.

“I started off again in 2018. It has become very challenging because there is always someone who can beat your price. When you give a customer a price, it is easy for them go to someone else, who will obviously lower the price. But if you are passionate about what you are doing and you know your clientele, you will get your customers.”

Mona said she received assistance because her business is on the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s database.

“The assistance will help me a great deal because I have employed an extra person for when I have events. I can even expand my services by hiring out equipment.”

Letlhogonolo Leshabane, the owner of Flexi’s Cafe, received a cash register and three folding tables.

“It will help improve my business because I won’t have to outsource anymore like I used to.

“I am grateful to Mme Dipuo because I have my own now and don’t have to outsource,” said Leshabane.

The Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Dipuo Peters, handed over equipment to 87 informal traders in Kimberley. Picture: Supplied

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