SME industry experts welcome Lindiwe Zulu’s leadership


Lindiwe Zulu, South Africa’s first small businesses minister last week presented her budget to the country’s legislative assembly.

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“It’s encouraging that we have established the ministry for small business development. Certainly the challenges that the minister has brought to the fore are common and consistent with what we have experienced so we take a lot of encouragement from that,” Craig Steven-Jennings, partner and head at marketing and pursuits KPMG told CNBC Africa. 


“Some of the challenges that small businesses face are pervasive and not limited to small businesses hence combined efforts could be required across a number of ministries to make it successful.”

Steven-Jennings also explained that a lot of positive development has been seen in the space like the 2011 Companies Reform Act.

“We need to see a fast trek action in terms of this relief to bring SMEs into the loop, I think there have been good strides but I think it is slow progress,” he noted.

Alfie Naidoo, chariperson at Raizcorp agreed with Steven-Jennings added that the positive developments seen in the industry required coordination from the new ministry.

“There is some level of coordination that is required from the new ministry factoring a lot of fragmentation in the sector,” he said.

“The desire to relook the laws and see how small businesses can be assisted is one of the positive developments.”

Naidoo noted that one of the things he found in tough times especially when dealing with entrepreneurs was the level of optimism and abundance mentality- thinking about the world differently in the sector.

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Gysbert Kappers, the chief executive of Wyzetalk said the small business ministry was definitely a move in the right direction.

“I think a lot of SMEs will be looking at how these challenges will be translated into the right direction,” he said.

“Government has always come up with great plans and wishes but the actual implementation and execution of the plans sometimes doesn’t come to the fore that easily.”