The Guard

The Truth On Board

SMMEs receive tools of trade

By Emily Setona

INTABAZWE – Using their shoestring budget, the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality’s (TMDM) department of Local Economic Development (LED) and tourism managed to assist a handful of entrepreneurs from across the district with tools of trade.

Willie Khoza from Intabazwe went home feeling very grateful after receiving brand-new equipment for his breakfast magwinya bakery. He received his lot during the equipment handover ceremony that was held at the Intabazwe multipurpose hall on 25 June.

“I am very happy about this initiative from the district that is helping us small business owners to grow our businesses. This will help me to be able to employ more people to come and assist me in my business. I am truly happy about this,” Khoza said in an interview with The Guard.

During her keynote address TMDM executive mayor Conny Msibi said that there will always be new challenges for government to try to assist the community through LED initiatives because every time they extend a helping hand they realize as government that there are several gaps that exist and need to be closed.

Willie Khoza wearing green sweater as he receives equipment for his breakfast magwinya bakery.

“As a person it is in my nature to be hopeful, and I believe it is in our nature as black people to be hopeful. We should never be discouraged because I believe that our country is predominately a Christian community and people of this faith are predisposition to being hopeful and are not easily discourage. The way you chose to look at things should be through the lens of hope. The initiatives that you have taken that you want to better your lives, is because of hope and we are here to fulfil that hope. Whether we assist in a small or big way, the fact remains that we are doing something so that those of you gathered here reach your dreams.

The only thing that surprises me is that during moments when the masses shun the government and say that the government is not doing anything, I don’t hear your voices. I seldom hear the voices of those that we assist come to the forefront and say that the government has assisted them. This is sometimes very disheartening to us as government officials,” Msibi said.

Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality executive mayor Conny Msibi during the equipment handover ceremony in Intabazwe.

LED and tourism manager Thembi Mlotha said that their mandate as a department is to help develop SMMEs and the assistance comes in different ways such as workshops, financial education and assistance with tools of trade. “This fund is done every financial year, where we advertise when the applications are open, and it is up to SMMEs to apply to be able to stand a chance for us to assist them.

This is a once off funding, so people are not allowed to apply during every financial year if we have assisted you before. We vet our applicants and if you have received aid from any other government institution you will not receive any assistance through this fund because it is fraud for one person to benefit from multiple government entities because we must assist so many people.

We also do spot checks to make sure that a few months later that you are still using the equipment for the purpose that you outlined in your application,” Mlotha said while addressing the crowd.