The South African government’s support for small business has been considerably dwindling, falling to 2,0 – a record low – thus marking a continued decline over the last year, Nedbank, of the country’s four major banks, said.
The Zuma administration recently created a small business ministry, which Nedbank said has been met with mixed feelings.
Despite the crucial role small businesses play in Africa’s second-largest economy, many analysts believe that the ANC-led government’s support for entrepreneurs remains insignificant, prompting Nedbank to launch a desperate plea to consumers and larger corporates to continually supporting small business.
Busi Radebe, an economist at Nedbank, said small business owners continue to voice concern over the level of support being provided by both government and the private sector.
The Johannesburg-based bank also said that other challenges facing South African small businesses include the procurement opportunities from the private sector and factors such as the reduction of red tape, financial assistance and tax rebates for small businesses from government.
Nedbank, which unconditionally supports small business, launched ‘Small Business Friday’ in 2012 in association with the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) to raise awareness of the important role small businesses play in the South African economy and in the creation of a vibrant society.
There are an estimated two million officially registered SMEs in South Africa contributing 40% to the country’s employed population.