Pretoria – The National Planning Commission is set to host various dialogue sessions with Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) throughout the country from March until May.
The commission on Tuesday said the dialogue sessions are part of its information gathering on the “Limited Success of Entrepreneurial Activity by Locals in Townships and Rural Areas”.
The commission said the findings of the dialogue sessions will assist it to gain deeper insights into the context and challenges faced by township and rural economies.
The information gathering will also assist in informing the process for reviewing and assessing existing strategies.
The dialogue sessions will play a role in giving direction in the formulation of new strategies to deal with the challenges faced by township and rural SMMEs.
“The South African government’s policy recognises the potential that SMMEs can play in job creation and economic growth.
“There is further recognition that sustainable SMMEs have a potential to provide multiplier effects on some social issues such as social inclusion, poverty alleviation and equitable access to opportunities in society.
“It also sets out several ambitious goals for SMMEs, including a target of 90% of new employment opportunities to be created by them by 2030,” said the commission.
The National Development Plan (NDP) states that South Africa must focus on the economic advancement of the poorest South Africans.
To eliminate poverty, South Africa has to raise employment, which the commission says can only happen if growth of the economy is faster and more inclusive so that it allows the historically disadvantaged to earn a decent living.
“There is, a great need in the short term for the economy to create jobs for the unemployed South Africans, many of whom are young and unskilled.
“This must take place at the same time as upgrading the skills base and knowledge levels for a different economy in future,” the document says.
The NDP acknowledges that a rapidly growing economy that is diversifying into new sectors will open up opportunities for black-owned firms and smaller businesses, thereby promoting inclusive growth. Small and expanding firms have, therefore, been identified as key to supporting job creation and redressing skewed ownership patterns in South Africa.
The NDP further emphasises support for small businesses by encouraging government and the private sector to procure from small firms.