This morning I met with the Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, for our first meeting to discuss plans and priorities for the new department.
Minister Zulu agreed with me that an urgent performance review of the Incubator Support Programme was required, and that the legislative environment be scrutinised with a view to easing the burden on small business as quickly as possible.
This is critical if we are to increase the number of small businesses and boost job creation.
I singled out the Incubator Support Programme because of bureaucratic blockages in the process of aertising, awarding, funding, opening and operating incubators since the programme was announced in August 2012.
Though the Department of Trade and Industry claims 46 incubators have been approved, I suspect many of these are not yet operational due to overly bureaucratic procedures internal to the department.
The review needs to establish timeframes that enable new incubators to be fast-tracked through the new Department of Small Business Development.
Legislation under the purview of the Department must be brought back to Parliament so the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development can give it teeth. The guidelines on support for small business contained within the National Small Business Act need to be strengthened, making it mandatory for government entities and other interested parties to implement regulations pertaining to small business.
I am pleased Minister Zulu has committed to building a constructive relationship with the DA, and I look forward to holding her department accountable for its important mandate.
Toby Chance, Shadow Minister of Small Business Development
Source : Democratic Alliance