EThekwini Municipality mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda. File Picture Leon Lestrade.
EThekwini Municipality mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda. File Picture Leon Lestrade.

eThekwini Municipality sets aside R50 million to assist the city’s SMME suppliers

By Karen Singh Time of article published Oct 26, 2021

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DURBAN - EThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda announced today that the city has set aside R50 million within the newly established eThekwini Enterprise Supplier Development Fund for small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

Kaunda was speaking at the fund’s unveiling at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

The programme aims to provide adequate support to SMMEs, to ensure they can compete for city projects and play an active role in the mainstream economy.

The mayor said the city intends to increase the contribution to the fund soon.

“This will all be done in compliance with the revised BBBEE Codes and Enterprise and Supplier Developments of the BBBEE scorecard which will see the city invest over R540m annually into this fund,” he said.

Kaunda said the fund would be privately managed to ensure fairness.

“A special purpose vehicle, specifically for this fund, has been registered. We are finalising other processes and will thereafter issue call-outs to the public,” he said.

The eThekwini Enterprise Supplier Development Fund programme has key focus areas, including the infrastructure fund, where suppliers will be largely financed and supported with strategic technical partnership resources.

“Enterprise and supplier development will target to fund 51% or more of black-owned SMMEs,” said the municipality in a statement today.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Ravi Pillay applauded eThekwini for promoting economic empowerment and transformation. He hailed this move as progressive

“I am glad that eThekwini has developed the Supplier Development Fund. This is in line with what we are trying to do as the provincial government. Many of these SMMEs fail to deliver on contracts due to capacity and cash-flow challenges. It is in our interest to ensure that SMMEs have all the support they need, including bridge finance and grant funding,” said Pillay.

Mayor Kaunda also announced that eThekwini will play host to the Africa Procurement Indaba in 2022, which will bring together Africa’s industry role players to share ideas on how to leverage government and private sector spend across the continent.

Moses Tembe, co-chairperson of the KZN Growth Coalition, welcomed both initiatives.

“As business, we truly welcome the city’s strategic interventions and assure them of our support,” said Tembe.

THE MERCURY

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