By – SAnews.gov.za
Co-operatives and small business enterprises in KwaZulu-Natal will receive R57 million from the provincial Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA).
Economic Development MEC Sihle Zikalala said his department had set aside the monies for the implementation of the Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation (RASET) programme, which sought to improve the participation by small scale farmers in the lucrative food production value chain.
He was addressing delegates during a summit on entrepreneurship organised by the Durban University of Technology on Wednesday.
RASET is an economic transformation programme by the government of KwaZulu-Natal.
It strives to solve the socio-economic problem of rural and township communities in particular by empowering them to create their own wealth in order to provide jobs, eradicate poverty and redress economic imbalances.
“We have also forged a partnership with the SPAR supermarket group where SPAR will provide technical and back office support for rural shops which also serve as pension and social grant pay points.
“Our District Development Agencies have also been allocated a revolving facility which will enable them to pay farmers who bring them produce for the RASET programme. Details of how our emerging farmers are going to benefit from this funding will be unveiled during our budget speech,” MEC Zikalala said.
He said the department was also negotiating with all KwaZulu-Natal TVET colleges to provide to Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) and cooperatives with training in areas such as business management and cooperative governance.
“During the current financial year, the department’s target is to have 1 166 small enterprises benefiting from this partnership agreement.
“We are also negotiating with KZN Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) to provide mentorship support programme to these SMMEEs and we are optimistic that the agreements will be reached soon,” MEC Zikalala said.