MEC Mvoko joins DSBD led ministerial imbizo to support MSMEs in OR Tambo District

In another effort to bolster the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Eastern Cape, the MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT), Mlungisi Mvoko, joined forces with the Minister of Small Business Development (DBSD), Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, at the Rhema Mthatha Christian Church Hall on 4 April 2024.The congregation was part of Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams’s Imbizo programme.

The DSBD Imbizo follows the OR Tambo MSME summit coordinated by DEDEAT, whose aim was to unite entrepreneurs and key stakeholders to deliberate on the hurdles, prospects, and policy mandates affecting small business advancement in the area.

In his address, MEC Mvoko highlighted the OR Tambo summit’s achievements in addressing key issues paralleled in the Minister’s Imbizo, promising to share the summit report with the Minister’s office. He also shared the provincial government’s considerable support for MSMEs, with a R76,7 billion allocated towards goods and services procurement. The R46.8 billion of this was awarded to Eastern Cape-based suppliers, benefiting local MSMEs with over R21,7 billion, said MEC Mvoko.

Meanwhile, Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams called on the business community to actively engage in policy-making processes, stressing the importance of participation in the National Small Enterprise Bill public hearings. She warned of the negative implications of non-participation for businesses, especially in rural districts like OR Tambo.

The event also celebrated the official opening of the Kwa-Ntozonke Market in Mthatha by Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams, a venture funded by the DBSD with R11,7 million. This market is a testament to the government’s commitment to revitalise the township economy, providing over 100 traders with modern facilities to thrive in their businesses. Beneficiaries include vendors of IsiXhosa traditional attire, traditional medicines, and other commodities.

The initiative showcases the government’s holistic approach to enhancing the business environment for small enterprises, emphasising the critical role of infrastructure in economic empowerment.