Cape Town: Support for small businesses must be increased, the Deputy Chairperson of the National Planning Commission Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday. Speaking to SAnews during a visit by the National Planning Commission to small businesses at The Hive, a Mitchells Plain industrial property, Ramaphosa said small and medium-sized firms are the “backbone” of the South African economy.
Ramaphosa, whose Shanduka Black Umbrellas incubators support black entrepreneurs in four cities across the country, said boosting incubation was the best way to support small firms.
“I’m a full supporter of incubation, because I have seen how it works,” he said, pointing out that incubation offers practical support on accounting, marketing, tax and other business issues for business owners starting out.
The National Development Plan makes various proposals to boost support to small businesses and calls for more business incubators to be set up to assist small firms.
“Not all of us were born running our businesses professionally, but once you go through a process (of incubation), you are then able to run your business professionally and you get better and better at it,” he said.
Ramaphosa was joined by National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, Deputy Minister of International Relations Marius Fransman, as well as National Planning Commissioners Tasneem Essop and Anton Eberhard.
Business owners, including auto-mechanics, furniture manufacturers and engineering firms, at The Hive told commissioners that they struggled with regular burglaries.
The demand for space at the property is also growing and many business owners are turned away, because of the limited available rental spots.
Currently 50 businesses occupy 72 units at the property. Earlier they toured a community food garden in Khayelitsha, where Manuel pointed out that the ethos of the National Development Plan envisaged South Africans who did things for themselves and a government which listened and assisted people where possible.