February 8 2019

The Small Business Institute welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s focus on inclusive growth and job creation, and determination to fix Eskom and to step up the fight against corruption.

“We are pleased that the President has acknowledged the critical role of the private sector in achieving his ambition of inclusive growth and job creation. We also welcome the focus he placed on the revitalization of township and rural economies where small businesses are being stifled by dysfunctional municipalities,” says Bernard Swanepoel, SBI executive director.

In his state of the nation address (SONA) last night, the President announced the expansion of the incubation programme which provides budding entrepreneurs with physical space, infrastructure and shared services, access to specialized knowledge, market linkages, training in the use of new technologies and access to finance.

“Of course, our preference would have been a decisive focus on existing small businesses that have escaped the two-year death trap, which have better prospects of job creation,” says Swanepoel.

Whilst welcoming the announcement of special economic zones dedicated to manufacturing certain goods, such as clothing and textiles, “our call remains that each province should have a special economic zone with an enabling legislative regime for small firms,” according to Swanepoel.

In the SONA, Ramaphosa announced that Eskom is to be split into three units – for generation, transmission and distribution – under Eskom Holdings. “Fixing Eskom is too important, and we should ensure that SOEs like Eskom don’t cut off services as a result of defaulting municipalities. We look forward to hearing more details about the plan to sort out Eskom’s problems,” says Swanepoel.

SBI also commends the President on the progress made in the fight against corruption including plans to establish a new anti-corruption directorate within the National Prosecuting Authority.

“As SBI, we will continue to work together with all role players in ensuring the growth of the SMME segment in our economy,” says Swanepoel.

Note for editors:

  • The SBI’s Executive Director Bernard Swanepoel participated in the Private-Public Partnership on Growth Initiative a week ago
  • For media interviews, please call John Dludlu: 083 676 1881 or