Cape Town - Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said she has not ruled out the possibility of adopting the Ithala Development Finance Corporation model in all nine provinces to promote growth and development of small business and cooperatives.
Ithala is KwaZulu-Natal's provincial development agency. It is a pioneer into the unbanked communities and has established shopping malls and industrial development in remote areas. It has also provided support for SMMEs.
In reply to RWT Chance, a DA MP, the minister said the key rationale for the department is to intervene in the economy by creating an enabling environment that would lead to the development and growth of small enterprises and cooperatives.
"This will be achieved through addressing market failures and enhancing support measures geared for their growth and development," she said.
The department is looking at various "delivery support models" to select the most efficient and appropriate model. This should achieve the maximum social and financial return on investment for the country. One of the models being studied is the Ithala one.
No model has been endorsed yet, but she pledged to make a decision soon.
HCC Kruger, a DA MP, also asked the minister how many registered small businesses and cooperatives exist in the country, and how many of these are still in business. Kruger also asked how many jobs have been created by them.
Zulu said there were 722 068 small businesses while there were 112 768 cooperatives. All these are understood to still operational in terms of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission records.
She said nearly 13 000 jobs have been created by the Technology Programme of the department of trade and industry's Small Enterprises Development Agency (Seda) and 7 544 jobs as a result of the Cooperatives Incentive Scheme.
Kruger also asked whether Zulu's department contributed financially to develop small businesses and cooperatives and what net amount small businesses and cooperatives received. "How many jobs have been created as a result of financial contribution?" Kruger asked.
Zulu said the national budget allocated just short of R500m to small business through Seda and R129m to the Seda Technology Programme. Funding has been approved to the tune of R100m through the Cooperatives Incentive Scheme.
So far R298m has been disbursed to Seda and R35m to 129 cooperatives.
The Seda Technology Programme has created 344 jobs while 852 jobs have been created by cooperatives.