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South Africa Considers Injecting $270 Million Into Small Businesses

South Africa Considers Injecting $270 Million Into Small Businesses

By Amogelang Mbatha | From Bloomberg

South Africa will probably need to invest about 3 billion rand ($270 million) to help smaller enterprises so that they can add to growth, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said.

“We are expected to make proposals and we are looking at around 3 billion rand over the next three years,” Zulu said in an interview in Johannesburg today. The spending needs to be approved by the National Treasury “and we are also going to be looking at the budgets of provinces and local government, because each of them is doing something on enterprise development,” she said.

Two decades after the end of white minority rule in 1994, South Africa has introduced the Ministry of Small Business Development in a bid to combat a 25.5 percent jobless rate. Africa’s second-largest economy will probably grow 1.8 percent this year, the slowest pace since a 2009 recession, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said in an interview last month.

“The recognition of the importance of small and medium enterprises came at the right time, because the economy is struggling and we need to upscale on SMMEs,” Zulu said.

Zulu, 56, was an adviser on international relations to President Jacob Zuma before she was sworn in as a minister four months ago, after the ruling African National Congress won May elections. She is also a member of the ANC’s national executive committee, its top decision-making body.

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