Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The Department of Trade and Industry is looking to broaden access to procurement opportunities for small, medium and micro enterprises by extending its clearing house model across all nine provinces.

Such a clearing house is located in the premier’s office and controls procurement of all government departments and municipalities in a province.

Only Gauteng and the North West have so far implemented the model, department director-general Lionel October said.

October was addressing the inaugural broad-based black economic empowerment rural and township economy summit in East London.

The clearing house mechanism would address concerns raised at the summit, such as corruption, in order to close the gap between procurement opportunities and delivery on the ground, he said.

Hassle-free funding model

The department was looking to lobby the Treasury to create a hassle-free funding model for informal and very small businesses that had potential to create jobs.

These proposals come as SA battles high unemployment and low economic growth. The economy contracted more than expected in the first quarter, prompting economists to revise down their forecasts for the full year. Last week, the Reserve Bank cut its growth estimate to 1.2% from 1.7%.

Also under consideration by the department is the establishment of one-stop centres in townships and villages that will house finance houses such as the Small Enterprise Development Agency and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency.

Broadband in the country’s townships and villages will also be rolled out to help entrepreneurs keep up with the fourth industrial revolution.

October said the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo would be prioritised for the roll-out of these interventions aimed at stimulating the township and rural economy.

mahlangua@bdlive.co.za