Honourable Chairperson, Minister and Members

The United Democratic Movement supports the budget.

• Welcome the political shift for business rescue from big business into Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME). This will help to remove the strain associated with the SMME sector so that it can be able to deliver on the expectations of the National Development Plan with regard to the creation of job opportunities.

• Whilst we intensify the creation of small business, we must move with speed in creating and liberalization of access to markets for the consumption of products and services rendered.

• The related area that will require immediate attention is the capacity of the SMME in meeting the market demands once the markets have been liberalized.

• Currently, it is difficult to map the competitive strength of the SMME sector in SA by province and or even by municipality or locality. Most of the interventions are generic rather than focusing on niche sectors from the lowest level of our communities.

• Whilst welcoming the non-financial and financial support targets and funding for small business and cooperatives, however, the department should drive an aggressive programme focusing on reaching out to communities and in particular those initiatives intended to be beneficiaries. In many instances, these policy statements and budget targets presented and adopted by parliament are not know by the would-be beneficiaries resulting to under expenditure. The personnel giving support must have business acumen.

• Access to service provided by the department is therefore critical and may need either partnership with lowest levels of government like municipalities and the creation of such service centres in all municipal areas where practically possible.

• Creation of critical sectors for purposes of building industries and funding must then be channelled in new developing industries and incentives must enhance the shift in that direction.

• In doing so it should then be able to measure the size and success of small business to medium size industry.

• The department must be able to measure the progression of designed planning.

• Linkages between private sector and small business must be defined according to value chain analysis. Set asides in government procurement must be popularized and be monitored. There should be direct linkage of small business development to the black industrialist programme that is being rolled out by the Department of Trade and Industry.

I thank you