Plans to aid eco­nomic devel­op­ment

The New Age (Free State) - - NEWS - SIHLE MAVUSO news@the­

THE KZN govern­ment de­part­ments have de­vised plans to pro­mote rad­i­cal eco­nomic devel­op­ment through among oth­ers ad­vanc­ing loans to small and medium com­pa­nies to cush­ion them from late pay­ment pit­falls and by pro­vid­ing the SMMEs with funds to carry out work given to them to by the govern­ment de­part­ments and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

The prov­ince will also en­able en­trepreneurs and co­op­er­a­tives to re­ceive ba­sic busi­ness skills through the Univer­sity of KwaZulu-Natal and cut­ting the mu­nic­i­pal red tape that hin­ders small busi­nesses par­tic­i­pa­tion in the lu­cra­tive ten­der sys­tem.

Eco­nomic devel­op­ment, tourism and en­vi­ron­men­tal af­fairs MEC Sihle Zikalala un­veiled the plans at the on­go­ing re­gional lo­cal eco­nomic devel­op­ment (LED) sum­mit in Dur­ban.

Zikalala said his depart­ment had signed an in­ter-gov­ern­men­tal part­ner­ship agree­ment with KZN co­op­er­a­tive gov­er­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs and South African Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion.

“We have em­barked on var­i­ous red tape re­duc­tion ini­tia­tives which in­clude work­shops and in­ves­ti­ga­tions in var­i­ous mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the prov­ince as a way of iden­ti­fy­ing ma­jor ob­sta­cles faced by small busi­nesses and the pub­lic at large when deal­ing with the govern­ment and its en­ti­ties,” he said.

The is­sues to be dealt with in­clude com­plaints man­age­ment sys­tems, busi­ness li­cens­ing and per­mit­ting and com­pli­ance and en­force­ment of the govern­ment reg­u­la­tions (by-laws).

Zikalala said a com­bined sum of R77m for four main em­pow­er­ment pro­grammes, the Gi­jima lo­cal com­pet­i­tive­ness fund, a conditional grant to stim­u­late lo­cal eco­nomic devel­op­ment in the eco-cy­cle waste sec­tor, Sih­leza Forestry Devel­op­ment, a pro­ject that in­volves the plant­ing of trees by pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged in­di­vid­u­als for pro­cess­ing at Sappi plant, Rad­i­cal Agrar­ian So­cio-Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion (Raset) and Toy­ota Boshoku Quan­tum Lo­cal­i­sa­tion Plan.

This is a lo­cal­i­sa­tion of pro­duc­tion pro­gramme for Toy­ota Quan­tum seats which was pre­vi­ously done in Ja­pan.

“From the cited ex­am­ples it is self-ev­i­dent that LED has the propen­sity to give mean­ing to our vi­sion of rad­i­cally trans­form­ing the econ­omy but pro­vided we over­come the many chal­lenges re­lated to plan­ning and LED im­ple­men­ta­tion that pe­ri­od­i­cally arises,” he said.

He said the po­si­tion of the pro­vin­cial govern­ment is that they can over­come the lo­cal eco­nomic chal­lenges by adopt­ing a par­tic­i­pa­tive ap­proach to LED.

“In­te­grat­ing re­sources avail­able among dif­fer­ent role play­ers is also piv­otal to the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of crit­i­cal eco­nomic gains and ex­ter­nal ben­e­fits that oth­er­wise would not be forth­com­ing.”


PART­NER­SHIP: Sihle Zikalala un­veiled the plans at the LED sum­mit.

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