Economic growth relies on favourable conditions for domestic SMMEs, at provincial and national level. A growing economy also provides more jobs for the huge number of unemployed.
“SA’s sluggish economic performance has been harsh on the small business sector, given their strong reliance on disposable cash for their survival,” said Minister for the Department of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu.
The need for economic growth also puts pressure on government, according to the minister.
“SA desperately needs jobs and strong economic development initiatives but with government coming under increasing pressure to reduce its wage bill, and the corporate sector similarly pushing for greater efficiency in a recessionary economy, the only remaining hope for job growth is the SME sector,” Zulu said.
The minister added, in order to grow SMEs significantly, the SME sector needs access to market opportunities, finance, technical support, and mentorship. Recent changes to the B-BBEE codes aim to achieve that.
Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) have been identified by the corporate sector as key pressure points, primarily as a result of ESD being recognised as one of three priority elements in the amended B-BBEE scorecard, which came into effect in 2015.
Accounting for nearly 40% of a company’s total B-BBEE score, ESD is set to become the main focus for companies to acquire a competitive B-BBEE score. Corporates are obliged to invest at least 3% of NPAT toward developing emerging suppliers in order to maintain or improve their B-BBEE rating.
The supplier development portion of the scorecard also encourages companies to assist their suppliers with support and mentoring in order to become sustainable and viable businesses.
Doing its part to address SME challenges, the City of Cape Town will be hosting South Africa’s biggest ESD show from 15 to 17 May. The event will facilitate favourable developmental conditions for domestic SMMEs, and will take place at Smart Procurement World ESD Expo, Grand West Entertainment World.
The City of Cape Town recently restructured, following the adoption of the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) with Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) as one of the key strategies to modernise government, improve service delivery and become more customer-centric.
Lance Greyling, City of Cape Town director of Enterprise and Investment, is scheduled to open the Smart Procurement World ESD Expo.