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Small business gets own ministry

Date posted: 04.06.2014 | Author: Harry Bovensmann

South Africa’s highly-anticipated first small business development minister Lindiwe Zulu carries the hopes of millions of small business owners on her shoulders. The Minister stressed that she would draw on the experience of her deputy minister Elizabeth Thabethe as well as programmes, policies and studies conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of economic development, which were the previous custodians of small business.

According to the minister, the government recognised that small businesses play an important role in the economy and job creation.


Lindiwe Zulu, minister of small business development. (Photo: File, City Press)

A statement released by South African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) advised that it would engage a department that serves the development interests of small business and the economy. This would include simplifying the regulatory environment, reviewing and expanding incentives and championing the cause of small businesses with other government departments and the Presidency vice versa policy development.

Media reports and social media comments were full of requests from business owners and business organisations appealing to her for assistance in reducing regulatory burdens that they believe are hindering growth in the sector. However, Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) is opposing her first suggestion, to exempt small businesses from labour laws and underlines that current laws would already allow for flexibility. One should not forget that Cosatu’s members are those with jobs…

[Read interview with minister]

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