Charity Ruzvidzo Business Reporter
Small and medium enterprises in Bulawayo will be registered starting tomorrow, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni told Business Chronicle last week during the launch of a restaurant by one of Bulawayo’s small-scale entrepreneurs, Nobuhle Wakatama, that registration had already started in Harare.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) I had a meeting in Harare with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and the local authority where I tasked the informal sector leadership to roll out the registration process.
“In Bulawayo, SMEs are going to be registered on December 30. We’re going to have a meeting with the local authority and the informal sector leadership to spearhead the registration process,” she said.
Nyoni said the formalisation process would promote growth and development of the SMEs’ sector.
“The process of formalising SMEs’ operations brings dignity and access to certain privileges that I can’t divulge yet,” she said.
The formalisation programme, she said, would early next year be rolled out to other cities.
“This is a countrywide programme so as government we’ve to ensure that SMEs in other parts of the country are also registered. About 3,8 million SMEs are operating in the country and we want all of them to get registered.”
She said one of her ministry’s top objectives in 2015 was to make sure that all people in the informal sector were registered.
“We also want to know how many vendors we have in the country so that we allocate them proper working space.”
While officially opening Wakatama’s restaurant, Minister Nyoni said: “Kenobu Bites Restaurant plays a significant role in economic development, something that is commendable. The opening of the restaurant has already created 12 jobs and we hope going forward as the business grows more people will be employed.”
She said SMEs were contributing 67 percent to Bulawayo’s revenue adding that this was an indication that the sector was doing well.
Zimbabwe has a vibrant SMEs sector, which has anchored the economy at a time when the formal sector was yet to emerge from the woods.
Minister Nyoni reiterated that government would continue playing a leading role in promoting growth and development of SMEs.
SMEs’ challenges among others included lack of working space and the inability to access loans as their operations were not formalised.
It is hoped that the formalisation of SMEs operations would also go a long way in enhancing their contribution to the fiscus through taxes.
At least $7 billion is estimated to be circulating outside the formal banking sector with the bulk of the money believed to be held by SMEs.
As part of efforts to support SMEs in the country, the government has adopted a linkage programme between small and medium scale enterprises and large companies to boost local trade and skills.
Zimra was also working with government through Minister Nyoni’s ministry to hasten the formalisation of SMEs.