SMMEs get a boost from DESTEA

SMMEs get a boost from DESTEA

The township economy in South Africa is valued at R900 billion, formal markets enjoy the largest share of 60 percent while the informal market share the spoils of 40 percent. To effectively and successfully compete in this lucrative space, SMMEs need compatible equipment and financial muscle.

The Free State MEC for the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) Mr Thabo Meeko handed over productive equipment worth R3.6 million to 20 SMMEs from across the province at the Mangaung SMME Hub in Freedom Square, Bloemfontein on Tuesday, 30 April 2024.

Meeko said the initiative is to boost township economy, and in turn for the enterprises to contribute towards the province’s GDP.

The Free State province’s economy took a knock during the COVID-19 pandemic, as such; many jobs were lost further contributing to the high rate of unemployment currently sitting at 37 percent. However, the provincial economy has shown some resilience remaining stable at 4.9 percent with prospects of growing by 0, 1 percentage points to 1.1 percent in 2024, before rising to 2.1 percent in 2025.

The support by DESTEA to the small enterprises will also help in creating the much needed jobs.

MEC Thabo Meeko says the main purpose of providing support to these enterprises is to stimulate economic activities in their respective townships to revive and resuscitate the township economy to ensure its contribution to the overall economy of the province.

“Our people deserve the support and government won’t stop until things are better than the way they are right now,” said the MEC.

The equipment handed over to the enterprises ranged from delivery bikes, bakery equipment, shoe cleaning equipment, tyre shop equipment, butchery equipment, brick-making machines, and events equipment.

According to Meeko, the support is through an initiative by the department called Business Development Support in collaboration with strategic partnerships where enterprises are provided with financial and non-financial support, equipment, and working instruments necessary to ensure business sustainability. Additionally, the Business Development Support Initiative engages township businesses to find new and innovative ways to create more economic activities in the townships and rural areas.


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