By: Thandisizwe Mgudlwa – AfricanBrains
South Africa’s democratic evolution has seen a number of economic initatives coming into being since the country gained liberation in 1994.
In the Western Cape province a partnership aimed at uplifting small businesses has just turned one year old.
The Provincial Government of the Western Cape (PGWC) and Shanduka Black Umbrellas’ (SBU) on-going partnership to develop small businesses as well as funding the successful SBU programme to the tune of R500 000 during the past year is growing by the day.
The partnership has also sought to actively grow sustainable businesses that are able to provide quality products and services to both the public and private sector.
Shanduka Black Umbrellas – a non-profit SMME incubation enterprise development service provider which began operating in 2005 – provides collaboration opportunities between 100% black-owned businesses, government, the private sector and civil society.
Commenting during the one year birthday celebrations, Alan Winde, Provincial Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, reiterated the importance of the supplier development partnership and the role of the provincial government in supporting small businesses.
“Growth and jobs is a priority of this provincial government. In the Western Cape the core backbone of our economy is SMMEs and we have to help their businesses grow. However, we have to ensure that black owned companies use the procurement advantages they have but do not become to rely on them.
“They must use them to get their businesses up and running but then they must move into the main economy. It is critical that small businesses get the help and support they need but in turn they have to be competitive,” he added.
CEO of SBU Mark Frankel thanked the PGWC for its involvement in the programme and urged South African companies to get involved the supply chain.