DA welcomes proposal to introduce Committee Bill to amend National Small Enterprise Act

Issued by Henro Kruger MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Small Business Development
03 May 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached Afrikaans  and English soundbite by Henro Kruger MP.

The DA supports and welcomes the Committee of Small Business Development’s intention to amend the National Small Enterprise Act and urges government structures to act decisively and swiftly in this regard.

Yesterday in Parliament the Committee announced plans to introduce a Committee Bill that will seek to amend the National Small Enterprise Act (1996) to level the playing field between big businesses, government, and small businesses.

The lack of adequate legislative support for small businesses from the Department of Small Business Development has long been a concern, and this amendment seeks to address it effectively.

The proposed amendments involve establishing an independent statutory body, the Small Enterprise Commission and Tribunal, aimed at resolving issues SMMEs experience doing business. This will fill the gap in response to the insufficient dispute resolution mechanisms currently available, which often burden small businesses.

The benefits of creating a Small Business Commission and Tribunal are manifold:

  1. It offers a low-cost, accessible alternative to traditional legal systems that can be costly and time-consuming for SMMEs.
  2. It promotes fair competition between larger and smaller businesses by levelling the playing field.
  3. It fosters economic growth and job creation by providing a more supportive environment for SMMEs to prosper.

Moreover, the independent Small Enterprise Commission and Tribunal will serve as a vital buffer between small businesses, larger corporations, and government entities, providing dedicated support and resources tailored to the needs of SMMEs.

By offering a fair, unbiased platform to address the concerns of small businesses, the Commission and Tribunal ensure their interests are fairly represented, counterbalancing the resources and influence wielded by larger organizations or government entities.

Additionally, the Commission and Tribunal will streamline dispute resolution processes, making them more accessible and efficient for SMMEs, reducing the likelihood of being bogged down by lengthy legal proceedings or bureaucratic red tape.

The amendment of the National Small Enterprise Act is necessary because of the apathetic government and the Department of Small Business Development, which have been painfully slow in providing the necessary legislative support for small businesses to thrive. The lack of urgency displayed by these entities is unacceptable.

The DA will closely monitor the Bill’s development to ensure the interests of small businesses are safeguarded. The time has come for us to band together and ensure a prosperous future for SMMEs across the South African economy, and this Bill will be an essential step to realizing that objective.