MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Seaparo Sekoati urged entrepreneurs to stop fighting for tenders and take advantage of opportunities in waste recycling, water treatment plants as well as upstream manufacturing for mining and agriculture.
Speaking during the Limpopo United Business Forum (LUBF) Breakfast Meeting at Fusion Boutique Hotel last Friday Sekoati said young people who are enterprising, are able to take initiative and who are not for tenders, are needed. “Tenders can’t be business. We need young people to venture into sustainable business so that they can help facilitate and stimulate economic growth and development,” Sekoati said.
LUBF Chairperson, Cedric Mogale said they pledge to work with government in its effort to improve the lives of the people and address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality and by creating an environment conduce for creation of sustainable jobs and sustainable businesses which are not reliant on tenders.
“We all know what happens when the tender is closed. We are all conscious of the fact that there is no building of the economy without the foundation. The building blocks in this instance are us small medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) as we account for quite a chunk of employment, particularly people with basic and minimum skills who make up the larger part of the unemployed masses,” Mogale said.
He also said that they are concerned that the department does not seem to be recognising their existence since their establishment as they would receive information about activities of the department from individual members’ organisations whereas it is supposed to the other way around.
He further urged the department to play a catalyst role in process of ensuring that the SMMEs and cooperatives play a critical role in the productive sectors to transform the economy of the province radically, that can be achieved by constant and continuous engagement with organised business as those role players can be found there.
In response Sekoati said they are aware of the challenges faced by cooperatives and they are willing to support them to reduce high levels of unemployment through the creation of jobs, eradicating poverty and social inequalities.
“In 2014/15 year alone, the department assisted 25 SMMEs from the province to access funds from the DTI to the tune of R318 million.”