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EDTEA sets aside R57 million (2018/19) for the Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation (Raset) programme

23 MARCH 2018

In Durban recently - Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala said that Radical Economic Transformation was not organised looting.

It should be properly contextualised in that the government deliberately acts to ensure that those at the periphery are integrated into the mainstream economy, he said. 

“Through this programme we are piloting commodities - agriculture, clothing and textile, construction material and bakery. All of these will be provided by government and all its entities by small enterprises.” 

Zikalala said the department was also committed to train small, micro- and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) since the lack of training contributes to their collapse and unsuccessful operations.  

“As a department we have set aside R57 million for the coming financial year to be allocated for the Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation (Raset) programme initially launched with government procuring agricultural produce from small-scale farmers at community level. We hope entities will also follow suit.” 

The MEC was speaking at the dialogue organised by Ithala Development Finance Corporation and Business Day on Tuesday. “Ithala is working hard to augment what we are doing in Operation Vula’s Raset to ensure that bureaucratic bottlenecks that affect small businesses are addressed.  

“Ithala has set aside a revolving loan for the Raset programme because a number of small-scale farmers will supply/provide government departments and then find that they are not paid in a long time.

“We are providing a revolving loan so that they are paid on time and we become responsible and go to those departments to recoup that money.

“It is important that we link from the beginning to the end ensuring that we provide support needed by SMMEs.”

Absa KZN managing executive Faisal Mkhize said the problems that dog SMMEs were bigger than any single institution could tackle alone.

“We need to find ways to assist on practical programmes to say how to solve some of the problems.

“We are willing to engage with anyone on what is it that we can do in partnership to try to solve some specific programmes in a structured way with a proper support system to ensure we are able to give support to SMMEs for finance,” said Mkhize.

“Over and above making funds available there are other interventions required so we can help each other to unlock the gaps so that money can be disbursed and made available.”

Durban University of Technology deputy vice-chancellor for research, innovation and post-graduate support, Professor Sibusiso Moyo, said that universities should ask themselves if they are training students to become productive citizens in the province.

“We export our best skills to other provinces like Gauteng and the Western Cape. If we kept those skills in the region we would have a vibrant economy and do much better than we are doing,” said Moyo.