By Masilo Malakwane
HARRISMITH – Deputy Minister of Small Business Development (DSBD), Sdumo Dlamini has encouraged youth to participate in Agriculture which is one of the main contributor to economic development .
Dlamini said this while addressing audience at Intabazwe during a roadshow aimed at creating a platform to engage with different stakeholders .
He was joined by Maluti-a-phofung , Thabo Mofutsanyanana and DSBD’s strategic agency such as small enterprise development agency SEDA and small enterprises finance agency (SEFA) , Free State Development Cooperation( FDC ) and labour.
Dlamini also said his department was formed based on the realization that SMMEs and Co-operatives in our country are at the centre of contributing towards economic growth and development, particularly towards addressing unemployment.
Speaking at the coordinated engagement session with small businesses as part of his national roadshow at Intabazwe multipurpose hall on Tuesday, 01 March, under the banner ‘unlocking opportunities for SMMEs and Co-operatives for economic growth and job creation’.
Dlamini also exercised the roadshow to gather various inputs and challenges faced by SMMEs in Thabo Mofutsanyana district and to enhance the support through partnerships with the private sector and agencies.
“The department is also working towards directing SMMEs to participate in the value chain of Strategic sectors such as mining” Dlamini said.
Despite the country’s economy still reeling from the recent hard lockdown regulations, and the challenge of high unemployment rate.
Mantaopa Lesia, of Makgolokweng village, expressed her concerns regarding what she described as a lack of financial support for emerging farmers like her.
She owns a small portion of land that she utilize as vegetables garden together with other two women.
“We wish the Deputy Minister could fast-track the drive towards supporting co-operatives that focus on making a living with the little that they have within the sector, ”Lesia Said.
The Deputy Minister will stretch the national roadshow to Mangaung Metro on Wednesday, 02, in continuing to engage with different stakeholders within the business sector.