Zikalala: ‘Supporting small businesses part of govt’s duty’

2019-03-06 16:40
Economic Development MEC Sihle Zikalala handed over electrical appliances to small businesspeople in Mkhambathini on Tuesday.

Economic Development MEC Sihle Zikalala handed over electrical appliances to small businesspeople in Mkhambathini on Tuesday. (Clive Ndou)

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KZN MEC for Economic Development Sihle Zikalala, who handed over electrical goods to Mkhambathini residents during his visit to the area on Tuesday, shrugged off accusations that government was using state resources to campaign for the ANC.

“The fact that there is an election coming does not mean that government programmes should stop — I’m here today [on Tuesday] on government business. When it’s time for me to campaign for the ANC then I will put on ANC regalia,” he said.

Zikalala, who handed over stoves, refrigerators and other electrical goods to local tuck shop owners and other small business people, said the recipients were identified during the department’s previous visit to the area.

The recipients, Zikalala said, were small businesspeople who were struggling to grow their businesses because of a lack of resources.

“Some of them have car wash businesses while others are in the food business — as government we have a duty to support such people,” said Zikalala, who handed over the items during the department’s retailer support programme roadshow at the Nembula Sportsground in Mkhambathini.

Zikalala handed over the items, which were bought by his department in conjunction with the national Small Businesses Department, at a time when electioneering is intensifying ahead of the May 8 general elections.

Both the DA and IFP recently accused the ANC of using state resources to canvass for votes.

While Zikalala told Mkhambathini residents that he would not use government programmes to campaign for the ANC, the MEC said it was only an ANC-led government that could improve their lives.

“In the apartheid period black pensioners used to be paid their grants once in three or four months. But when the ANC-led government took over all that changed — the elderly now get paid every month.”

Zikalala, who is widely expected to become premier after the May general elections, is also the ANC chairperson in the province.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  small businesses
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