Trade ministry will focus on entrepreneurship and SMMEs
More rationalization, access to services will be key – Trade Minister
In her very first ministerial press conference, the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Bogolo Kenewendo touched base on the survival of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs).
Minister Kenewendo shared with media and othe4 stakeholders that her ministry will be focused on three apexes, namely SMME Development, investment promotion and export development.
The youthful minister addressed the first ministerial press conference of this magnitude yesterday at the ministry offices to lay out the road map of the ministry she is newly overseeing.
Kenewendo indicated that her ministry is set to prioritise entrepreneurship and the advancement of SMMEs as catalysts to achieving economic growth and development as well as economic diversification. “The ministry will review regulatory burdens that may impact negatively on small businesses,” she affirmed.
Over the past years, small business owners lamented the unfair treatment they receive at the hands of well established businesses who bully them out of business. Addressing this concern, the MITI incumbent foreman affirmed SMME owners that her “Ministry will work closely with relevant institutions to undertake impact assessment before any law, bye-law, directive or policy is implemented to ensure that it does not create any impediments to small business’ development and growth.”
Kenewendo emphasized that the only way to sustain small businesses is for organizations to work together. “We are now using the one-ministry approach which entails sharing infrastructure and increasing our footprints across the country on a use basis as opposed to holder as is currently the case,” said Kenewendo.
On the one-ministry approach, Kenewendo hinted on possible mergers of some parastatals without giving out details. The minister could not be drawn into discussing the possibility that such mergers will result in job losses and even leave a hole in the office property market when parastatals vacate the premises they currently occupy.
The minister believes that all the eleven parastatals that are under MITI are not efficient in delivery of their various mandates in their current state but will perform better when they are merged.
Furthermore, Kenewendo mentioned that there will be a development of a supplier directory by sector and region. She elaborated that “the ministry will facilitate stakeholders, including the business community as well as Local Authorities to have access to service providers within the jurisdiction.”
Minister Kenewendo emphasized that securing the survival of SMMEs involves bringing services to people across the country hence the construction of Citizen Enterpreneurial Development Agency offices in Letlhakane which will be officially unveiled next month.