SMALL to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should be given all the support to flourish given the crucial role they play in the growth of the economy and job creation, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister, Judith Ncube, has said.
Speaking at a community projects gathering in the Emakhandeni-Entumbane constituency on Sunday, she paid tribute SMEs operators in the city for contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We have learnt from developed countries such as China that SMEs are the fuel of any economy and that they constitute a major source of employment and generate significant domestic and export earnings,” said Minister Ncube.
“Bulawayo was known as the industrial hub of the country. While as Government we would like the city to reclaim that status by resuscitating big industries, we are awake to the reality that SMEs also play an important role in growing the economy.”
She said that it was not the role of Government to single out SMEs that have the potential to contribute to the national economy but that they must be people-driven projects and be given all the necessary support.
“The role of Government is to create a conducive environment for business to prosper. So, we will support people-driven projects and at the same time encourage our people to partake in projects that will earn the country foreign currency,” added Minister Ncube.
She said her office was working hand-in-glove with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development in strengthening existing SMEs and supporting new ones.
In Emakhandeni-Entumbane constituency, Zanu-PF losing MP, Tapfuma Zhou, launched a brick moulding project that will target unemployed and unskilled youths in the constituency. The project is part of his pre-election promises.
Machines for the project have already been purchased and will be delivered to the constituency before the end of the year.
In September, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Raj Modi, also launched a brick moulding project that will produce 8 000 bricks every eight-hour shift in his Bulawayo South constituency.