The Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Honourable Cassel Mathale jointly with Lephalale Local Municipality Mayor, Cllr Moloko Jack Maeko, donated tools and equipments to informal business owners in Lephalale on Friday 19 October 2018. This is part the Department together with Small Enterprise Development Agency’s country wide initiative to support informal business owners through the Informal and Micro Enterprise Development Programme (IMEDP).
The beneficiaries received tools and equipment such as microwaves, cooking stoves, laptops, printers, deep freezers, deep frying pans, sewing machines, chafing dishes etc. These are expected to improve and grow the beneficiaries’ businesses. These traders are part of the 7848 applicants who applied to the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) throughout the country. Hon. Mathale has already donated equipments to informal traders in Mopani, Capricorn and Sekhukhune region, in Limpopo.
Over 500 members of the community and people from the surrounding areas were part of the ceremony to witness what many described as one of the most progressive programmes that will change the lives of local informal traders. One of the beneficiaries, Mme Grace Kgosana, encouraged people to venture in to business and not have an expectation that all people will be hired in government or private sector “It is high time that we accept that not everyone will be hired at the Municipality and Eskom, I am appealing to those who are struggling to get jobs to be open minded and enter in to the business world by grabbing the opportunities available in government and the private sector. I am humbled by the today’s initiative and I would like to thank the Minister and our local Municipality for the donation that will assist us as traders to kick start our businesses. The donation is also one of initiative that will contribute to addressing the challenge of women deepening on their spouses for everything, women must be able to stand on their own and avoid dependency”.
The IMEDP provides qualifying entrepreneurs with basic business management training followed by a 100% grant for the acquisition of basic equipment and tools.
The Minister appreciated the presence of stakeholders comprising of Eskom, Enel Solar Plant and Exxaro who outlined their enterprise development plans and available business opportunities. All the representatives of the above mentioned companies pledged to support local businesses and create opportunities conducive for the development of small businesses “It is very crucial that the private sector partners with government in order to create opportunities for our people .Through partnerships with the private sector, government will be able to address the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality”. The Minister also applauded Eskom for completing an agricultural master plan to look at opportunities that will empower local people and enhance the production of agricultural goods. Mathale also marvelled at the announcement by Exxaro’s Executive Head of Stakeholder Affairs Mr Mzila Mthenjane that a budget for agriculture development has been set aside to assist local farmers.
In his closing remarks, Lephalale Local Municipality Mayor, Cllr Moloko Jack Maeko, the Municipality prioritises the agenda of economic transformation and encourages partnerships with the local private sector to better the lives the local community “Working together with the progressive private sector, we can take the country forward”.