Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) gamers in Kwekwe have advised parliamentarians that regardless of being one of many key employment sectors within the nation, the sector was not benefiting from authorities programmes to maintain their progress.
Kwekwe SMEs Growth chairperson Michael Hanyani advised the Possibly Mbowa SMEs parliamentary portfolio committee led by Possibly Mbowa that apart from lack of recognition from the federal government, the sector was additionally reeling from the results of Covid-19.
Final yr, authorities ministers Mthuli Ncube, the Finance Minister, and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima introduced the state would avail cushioning allowances to the SMEs and their staff throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Nonetheless, SME operators in Kwekwe advised the MPs this had solely remained a “pipe dream”.
“We labored with the Social Welfare Division right here in Kwekwe. We had been anticipating SMEs to learn from the cushioning fund after we had submitted our names to the division however no member was helped,” mentioned Hanyani.
Based on the Kwekwe Social Welfare Division, 431 SMEs benefitted from the cushioning fund within the district.
Nonetheless, Hanyani mentioned the SMEs within the transport sector had been additionally the toughest hit after the federal government banned non-public kombis from working.
“We heard that personal kombis had been presupposed to register with ZUPCO. The resistance, nonetheless, isn’t as a result of individuals don’t need to register their kombis, the problem is that there isn’t a correct clarification on why they have to be part of ZUPCO, and the advantages derived from becoming a member of ZUPCO,” he mentioned, including, “we’re not benefitting from these authorities’s initiated programmes.”
SMEs advisor to Kwekwe Companies Lovemore Phiri mentioned 41 years into independence, the sector was but to be empowered.
“Zimbabwe is now 41 years into independence a important query we’ve got to ask is how far have we gone as a rustic in human empowerment. Empower individuals inside communities. Our SMEs have to be empowered,” he mentioned.
Mbowa concurred that SMEs within the nation had been confronted with teething issues.
“SMEs are those who at the moment are controlling the employment base with 76% of the employees. Throughout lockdowns and the Covid-19 interval, SMEs had been confronted with teething challenges. We’re speaking to SMEs throughout the nation so that we are going to respect the challenges which they’re experiencing,” she mentioned.
The largest problem presently confronted by SMEs Mbowa mentioned was lack of capital.
“SMEs now not have the capital to restart their companies after the Covid-19 scourge. Most of them have been affected by the lockdowns and it is troublesome for them to bounce again into enterprise. Capital to restart their companies is now a problem,” she mentioned.
Nonetheless, Kwekwe Zanu PF proportional consultant MP Perseverance Zhou mentioned it was not all gloom for the SMEs.
“There’s a movement which is being moved in Parliament to show casual merchants into formal merchants in order that they may take pleasure in advantages being loved by greater corporates,” she mentioned.