KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Ravi Pillay has applauded eThekwini for promoting economic empowerment and transformation.
This comes after eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda announced that the city had set aside R50 million within the newly established eThekwini Enterprise Supplier Development Fund. He was speaking at the fund’s unveiling at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
The programme aims to provide adequate support to small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to ensure they can compete for city projects and within the mainstream economy.
“I am glad that eThekwini has developed the Supplier Development Fund. This is in line with what we are trying to do as the provincial government. Many of these SMMEs fail to deliver on contracts due to capacity and cashflow challenges. It is in our interest to ensure that SMMEs have all the support they need including bridge finance and grant funding,” Pillay said.
Kaunda said the municipality intended to increase its contribution to the fund soon.
“This will all be done in compliance with the revised BBBEE Codes and Enterprise and Supplier Developments of the BBBEE score card which will see the City invest over R540 million annually into this fund.”
He said the fund would be privately managed to ensure fairness.
“A special purpose vehicle, specifically for this fund, has been registered. We are finalising other processes and will thereafter issue callouts to the public,” Kaunda said.
eThekwini fund to support mostly black owned SMMEs
The eThekwini Enterprise Supplier Development Fund programme has key focus areas, including the infrastructure fund where suppliers will be largely financed and supported with strategic technical partnership resources. The aim is to channel 51% or more of the funding to black owned SMMEs.
There is also the youth focus enterprise and social development across the Municipality’s rural township and township economies.
Kaunda also announced that eThekwini Municipality will host the Africa Procurement Indaba 2022, which will bring together Africa’s industry role players to share ideas on how to leverage the government and private sector spend across the continent.
Moses Tembe, Co-Chair of the KZN Growth Coalition welcomed both initiatives.