Pretoria – The Department of Small Business Development has allocated R50 million towards rolling out the Shared Economic Infrastructure Facility (SEIF) which seeks to ensure that informal businesses are treated with dignity.
“We remain concerned that some of the trading places where municipalities are even collecting rentals for stalls, there are no toilets or if they are there they are not properly maintained,” Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu said.
She urged provinces, municipalities and corporate companies to apply for the cost sharing grant, which goes up to R5 million, so as to help these businesses.
SEIF is a sub programme of the Black Business Support Development Programme aimed at assisting black-owned small enterprises in improving their competitiveness and sustainability, in order to become integrated into the main economy.
Minister Zulu was speaking on Tuesday during a graduation ceremony of 116 informal traders in the Western Cape.
The informal traders received certificates following the completion of training on the introduction to entrepreneurship; advertising and promotion; customer care and service; basic financial management; purchasing skills as well as legal issues.
Training was done in partnership with Technical Vocational Education and Training colleges.
“I am pleased to note that the training programme responds to the real skills needs of the vast majority of informal traders. This is the ammunition you need to win in the business battlefield,” Minister Zulu said.
Through the Informal Traders Upliftment Project (ITUP), the Department of Small Business Development has 1000 traders participating in the project.
Minister Zulu said the traders who are part of this pilot project will continue to be involved with the department in its second phase which will entail mentorship and infrastructure support.
“We will ensure we train and support more and more people from the pilot sites so that we can see maximum impact,” she said.
The informal informal sector contributes more than six percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).