Vhembe SMME Summit

Programme Director, Cllr M Lerule- Ramakhanya

Deputy Minister of the Department of Small Business Development, Honourable Cassel Mathale

Deputy Minister of the Department of Economic Development, Honourable Madala Masuku

MEC of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Mr Charles Sekoati

Mayor of Vhembe District Municipality, Cllr Florence Radzilani

Mayors of the Local Municipalities

HODs, DDG’s and Senior Officials

Members of the business community

Captains of industry

Members of the media

Ladies and Gentlemen

Ndi matseloni (Good morning)!


I am of the belief, that Africa’s yesterday is not ours to recover, but her tomorrow is ours to win.

In forging forward with this agenda, Government celebrates the National Imbizo Focus week; as an opportunity, to empower our communities and resolve the bottlenecks, as a collective government.

In this two weeks of activism, we also honour the centenaries of struggle icons Mama Albertina Sisulu and Tata Nelson Mandela; both of whom epitomized the value of regular interaction; and consultation with local communities.

It is for this reason, that National and Provincial governments, are strengthening efforts, to reignite economic value.

Performed through job creation and building a prosperous South Africa, that all can benefit from.

As per NDP projection, 90% of the new jobs will be from the SMME sector by 2030.
Thus, the Department of Trade and Industry, is priviledged to collaborate with sister departments and local agencies; for greater SMME support.

The Summit, is part of government’s response to pressing matters affecting our SMME sector.

Rural based economic activities must be protected and stimulated.

The impact of small business and co-operatives, should be broadened across the economy.

Procurement from youth and women owned enterprises, must continue to be prioritized.

Therefore, today’s engagement is fitting, to provide mechanisms of approach; and sustainable solutions to the aforementioned.

Often times, entrepreneurship is the very thorn, that must be watered, for the sake of the rose.

And we are here to assist in doing so.

Vhembe, as a region of Limpopo, is an economy on its own.

As a border to Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique, it serves as a lucrative corridor, for regional and continental movements of goods.

This platform should be utilized, to better promote Venda, as a viable trade and investment destination, to local and global patrons.

The province and district, play a critical role, in facilitating integrated industrialization. This in particular, speaks to enterprises in manufacturing.

As evident, in the potential that the region has, agro-processing, the services sector, freight industry and the manufacturing sector, must bare specific focus.

Through rigorous investment and support, I believe that we will create a future, where it is not multinationals, that lead the change in our economy, but the SMME’s; that provide the number of jobs required, to advance our GDP.

And so do not be afraid of going slow, be afraid of standing still.

Because it is in our movements, where success is a true guarantee.

Government has been tasked, to foster an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to thrive.

The Department of trade and industry, in partnership with other agencies, will be training the LED Officials in the municipality.

This is to ensure that the community, is well equipped with the dti offerings for financial and non-financial support.

As a result, information and opportunities will be accessed; as and when required.

Venda, has been identified as an agricultural hub, in the country.

Being a diversified sector, agriculture delivers more jobs per rand invested, than any other industry.

It is advised to leverage on the NDP estimates, which project that the sector, could potentially create 1 million jobs also by 2030.

In revitalizing the agro-processing sector, the dti has availed the Agro-processing Support Scheme.

The Scheme, promotes the participation of downstream industries, encourages the value chain approach and aims to stimulate investment in agro-beneficiation.

The targeted sectors attractive to this scheme are:

  • Food and beverage value addition and processing (including Black winemakers)
  • Furniture manufacturing
  • Fibre processing
  • Feed production and,
  • Fertilizer production

Amongst other incentives, we have the Special Economic Zones Program, the Black Industrialists Scheme and investment promotion; to facilitate growth and transformation, in sectors supporting industrial development.

Musina- Makhado SEZ, is one of the 8 Special economic zones, developed by government.

This has directly stimulated foreign investments, employment creation; as well as increased exports of value added, manufacturing goods.

We urge SMME’s in the sector of energy and metallurgicals, to apply for operational space and support with the economic zone.

Under the Exporter Development Programme, we aim to ensure that products are export ready and globally competitive.

In the same unit, we offer trade and outward buying missions in the continent, for SMME’s seeking to export their products.


the dti team and our entities are present, to elaborate further on our offertory base.

We are here to aid in the advice of issues, regarding compliance, consumer protection, diversification of economic activity; as well as funding and non-financial support.

Your success in business, is indeed a shared success in government.

Because Entrepreneurship is a promise to the consumer, who depends on the farmer for food.

It is a promise to the patient who depends on the doctor for treatment.

And a promise to a family who depends on a builder for a home.

Thus, as a word of finality to our SMME’s and business practitioners,

‘If you can dream it, you have the capacity to achieve it’.

All it takes is belief, in the value of your business.

Let us recommit ourselves, to the principles and values of building a nation, like Tata Madiba and uMa Albertina Sisulu; because together we can move South Africa forward.

Ndo livhuwa nga’maanda! (Thank you very much)

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