City of Ekurhuleni to boost funds for small businesses

Charles Molele

The City of Ekurhuleni has entered into a R100-million per annum partnership with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) to fund small businesses in the township.

This was announced on Wednesday by executive mayor Mzwandile Masina during his state of the city address at the council chambers in Germiston, Ekurhuleni.

Known officially as the Ekurhuleni-NEF Enterprise Development Partnership Fund, it “will provide both equity and debt finance for black-owned businesses doing business in Ekurhuleni and will also cover a number of economic sectors including manufacturing, construction and agri-processing”.

Both the City of Ekurhuleni and the NEF will each contribute R50-million each towards the fund.

“We have outlined our plan to achieve this noble goal with this state of the city address and will provide the resource plan through the budget speech in the coming period. We dare not linger in the quest to provide practical relief to the most needy and poor people of our city. It is to their plight that we should be more sensitive, for our very existence in this chamber is made possible by these masses,” said Masina.

The fund will be established in July 2019 and it is a partnership for three years with an option to renew, according to Masina.

Masina also announced the establishment of 52 agricultural farms by June 2019.

“Agricultural farms play a significant role not only in dealing with the pertinent question of land ownership that the city and the democratic government is trying to resolve, but with the equally important question of agrarian reform and food sovereignty,” he said.

The city of Ekurhuleni recently received two unqualified audit outcomes with no unauthorized, irregular and fruitless expenditure.

This has allowed the city to attract more investments into the city as result of the audit outcomes and a positive Moody’s rating.

“This means that, having assessed the state of our finances, the Auditor General’s judgement is that the City’s financial statements are fairly and appropriately presented, without any exceptions, and in compliance with accounting standards,” said Masina.

“We have received 2 unqualified audit outcomes with no unauthorised, irregular and fruitless expenditure, and a clean audit on performance information.”

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