The finance minister did not spare us harsh truths as he delivered the 2019/2020 national budget speech in Cape Town on February 20. A small-scale farmer himself, Tito Mboweni used the aloe ferox to illustrate that if we tirelessly and patiently nurture our seed, it will likely yield fruit even in the toughest of conditions, much like the hardy, drought-resistant aloe plant he held up to the audience. As he further unpacked government expenditure as projected in his fiscal framework, he announced an allocation of R481.6m to the Small Business Development Agency (Seda), an entity established to uphold the government’s small business strategy. While the minister did not break down how much of the portion is set aside for women-led businesses, he did articulate that the provision of funds is meant to “expand the small business incubation programme” headed by the government. This is, of course, a move in the right direction as the role of small business in driving economic development i...

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