Premier Alan Winde and Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister Wenger urge SMMEs to utilise the Western Cape Government’s help to grow their businesses.

29 Jun 2022 in Where We Govern

On the 29 June. Premier Alan Winde and Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister Mireille Wenger helped open the inaugural Cape Town SMME summit.

The gathering offered an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to network and share their experiences, as well as ideas, on how to build their businesses, in a post-Covid-19 environment.

As he took to the stage, Premier Winde remarked how fantastic is was to see a full conference hall, with no “Xs” on seats to ensure social-distancing.”

“It was a totally oversubscribed event,” he added at one-point last night, indicating more people wanted to attend, but there was just not enough seating available.

“Entrepreneurs look at challenges and turn them into solutions,” the Premier told the audience, adding “SMMEs are the engine rooms of job creation.”

He went on to say: “Nothing gives people dignity like a job; nothing gets you out of poverty like a job,” and urged the dozens of entrepreneurs to, “Create an ecosystem to create employment.”

The event took place amid heightened load shedding, with the country plunged into stage 6 rolling power cuts, and so the Premier lamented: “Load shedding is disastrous.”

“But I’m proud to live in Cape Town where the City can protect residents from heightened stages of load-shedding.”

Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister Mireille Wenger also vented when she addressed the summit: “I am furious! How can an economy go on if you cannot turn on the lights?”

In this regard, she outlined how the Western Cape government is working hard, through the Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) initiative, to build energy resilience in the Western Cape.

On the matter of how the Western Cape Government is further helping small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) the Minister emphasised one of her key priorities is to back entrepreneurs and small businesses, to create an enabling environment to make it much easier to do business in the province.

“SMME owners are the heroes of our economy,” she lauded.

The Minister also highlighted other key initiatives the provincial government offers business owners.

These include maintaining our clean government record in the Western Cape, cutting red tape and reducing the regulatory burden placed on small businesses.

“We are also providing positive support to businesses so that they can grow and succeed through our SMME Booster fund, the Procurement Client Centre, which  provides services to improve the ease of doing business with government, and investing in infrastructure that will stimulate growth and improve connectivity.”

She urged those attending the summit to apply for funding.

Since the first iteration of the fund in 2019, R59-million rand has so far been allocated to over 730 small businesses.

She also mentioned cutting “red tape” through the Red Tape Reduction Unit. “A key part of making it easier to do business in this province is removing barriers to growth.”