R1,5bn to boost SMEs - TechCentral

R1,5bn to boost SMEs

Adrian Gore

Adrian Gore

The private sector has set aside R1,5bn to help small and medium enterprises survive the tough economic climate.

The announcement was made CEO of Discovery Adrian Gore during a briefing at the Union Buildings where government, labour and business shared the progress made by the work streams established by President Jacob Zuma to assist the country to avoid a credit downgrade.

“The fund is a private sector initiative but we are hoping that government contributes but we are focusing on what business can provide. We have injected R1,5bn into the fund but ultimately we are hoping to raise R3bn,” Gore told reporters.

“There has been a strong overwhelming intend to support this and it bodes well for the future.”

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said government wanted to see the fund increased to double digits to ensure small business can be assisted to create jobs.

“We want to see it going to R10bn so that it can support entrepreneurs who are the great job creators in the economy,” said Ramaphosa.

Zuma in February this year convened a meeting of CEOs of major companies and captains of industry to discuss ways in which they could work together to reignite economic growth and create jobs.

“I mandated the minister of finance to lead a process of engaging with the private sector in particular to map out a strategy to the goal of growing the economy. Leaders from labour and business joined the minister of finance on a roadshow abroad early this year to promote the country and prevent a possible credit ratings downgrade. The hard work is paying off, and we saw the evidence this weekend with the announcement by Moody’s.”

Zuma said Moody’s had acknowledged that the country was at a turning point following years of weak economic growth. He attributed that to the collaborative efforts of all the stakeholders involved.

He said despite the economy showing signs of recovery, the level of economic growth have been much weaker than previously anticipated.


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