Disgruntled small and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape have vowed to continue with their protests action if their grievances are not speedily addressed by the municipality.
The SMMEs are accusing the municipality of failing to implement the 30% procurement policy on all government contracts.
Over the past weeks, the local SMME owners have embarked on a number of protests across the Metro to voice their frustration.
Local Business Committee Secretary-General Masixole Mashelele says this delay will have devastating impacts on small businesses.
“It doesn’t sit well also on our side, we are business people but before we are business people we are part of the community. We want service delivery to be delivered because the people in the community have nothing to do with what we are protesting for.
We wrote emails, we sit in meetings, we agreed on an implementation plan but they haven’t come to the party. So in our case it’s some sort of attention to tell them you cannot keep working while we are not working.”
Early this month, business experts urged South African companies to use the coming economic recovery after the coronavirus lockdowns to take advantage of the opportunities that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) presents.
The economy recorded a second consecutive quarter of growth in the fourth quarter after plummeting in the second quarter of last year during the hard lockdown.
New figures released by Stats SA show the economy recorded a better than expected 6.3% annualised growth rate in the fourth quarter.
However, StatsSA says the overall Gross Domestic Product for the entire year, which includes the recovery in the fourth quarter, actually fell 7% in 2020:
Manufacturing, agriculture, and construction were the biggest drivers of growth.
Also in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed a webinar on Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and Cooperatives supported by the Department of Small Business Development.
The webinar discussion was guided by the theme, “Open Engagement with a View to Rebuild an Even Stronger Economy”.