Small Business Committee Unhappy with Department’s Lack of Consultation with Retail Sector

Small_Business_large-22Parliament, Wednesday, 3 September 2015 – The Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development has expressed unhappiness with lack of consultation between the department and broader retail sector.

“It is unbelievable that since its inception, the department has not consulted with the sector in order to determine what was required in order for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMMEs) companies as well as cooperatives to enter the retail market in a sustainable manner,” said Ms Ruth Bhengu, Committee Chairperson.

The Committee met with the head of Ackerman Pick ‘n Pay Foundation, Ms Suzanne Ackerman-Berman and Pick ‘n Pay Buyer, Mr Paulo Peereboom, yesterday to be briefed on the opportunities that existed in the retail sector and the challenges faced by SMMEs and cooperative suppliers.

The two entities of the Department of Small Business Development – Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) and Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) – also appeared before the Committee.

Ms Ackerman-Berman reported to the Committee that Pick ‘n Pay store was a sustainable market available to SMMEs and cooperatives but was unable to do business with most of them because they lacked capacity to meet the demand. She said most SMME companies had good products that were needed in the market but lacked financial resources to increase their production volumes.

It is against this backdrop that the Committee was unimpressed with the department, Seda and Sefa for having failed to establish the crux of the retail business. “There is a need for cooperation and mutual understanding between the department, entities and retail sector so that the department could be able to come up with mechanisms tailored to address the challenges faced by SMMEs and cooperatives,” said Ms Bhengu.

The Committee gave the department time to coordinate consultation between its entities and the retail sector. The department must report back to the Committee on how it will assist the SMMEs and cooperatives going forward.

ISSUED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THECHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, MS RUTH BHENGU

For media enquiries and media interviews with the Chairperson, please contact:

Justice Molafo (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8444
Cell: 081 424 7481
Email: jmolafo@parliament.gov.za

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