Official Opening of the De Beers Zimele Enterprise Development Hub

Speech by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Mrs Hazel Jenkins, on the occasion of the Official opening of the De Beers Zimele Enterprise Development Hub, Kimberley, 15 February 2010

Programme Director
MEC for Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism, Mr John Block
Kimberley Mines General Manager, Mr. Christie Pisane
Kimberley Hub Manager, Mr. Peace Ntuli
Representatives from the SMME Sector
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to join you today here at the opening of the Zimele Enterprise Development Hub. I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to De Beers for the laudable efforts they are making to contribute to SMME Development.
This, indeed, is a momentous occasion as it is one of the major milestones in the continuing development of small business in our province.
I take this as a signal of your recognition that government can only provide the enabling environment but that the private sector has to be the engine for growth and development.
This is also an indication that you are already aware of the importance of your role because onerous but at the same time I am certain that it will also be rewarding.
The SMME sector has thus received considerable attention in recent years. The South African Government has acknowledged the economic potential of a strong SMME sector, and is committed to its promotion and growth. It aims not only to increase the number of new ventures, but also to create an enabling environment to ensure the survival and growth of small businesses.
The other objective is to level the playing field between large enterprise and the SMME and between rural and urban businesses. Lastly, the national strategy targets the goal of enhancing the capacity of small business to comply with the challenges of an internationally competitive economy.

We are extremely pleased with the professional approach of the Business Development Hub which reflects the facilitating and supportive role De Beers has played in meeting the demands of SMMEs.
We are confident that all the SMME’s that will be accessing your services will derive immense benefits from such a favourable partnership.
Programme Director, I am told that this development hub is intended to create a fertile ground for entrepreneurship to flourish and assist emerging businessmen and businesswomen to realise their dreams. Furthermore, it is dedicated to innovation in the support of Small and Medium Enterprises, and all efforts are directed towards developing novel solutions for its clients and their needs.
Ladies and gentlemen, today's opening of the business hub is a proud moment for the Northern Cape Province and its entire people as we recognise the importance of our SMME’s and their contribution to the provincial economy.
They create employment, enhance competitiveness, and contribute positively to socio-economic indicators such as GDP growth and the number of middle-income households in an economy.
The development of entrepreneurs is a positive step to encourage the active participation of citizens in the economic growth and survival of the province.
We are more than convinced that it will contribute in a meaningful way towards sustainable black economic empowerment and SMME’s development.
We can say without doubt that SMME’s are central to the survival and success of our Communities. In all likelihood, SMME”S plays a vital role in economic development and the creation of job opportunities and addressing the scourge of joblessness and by extension, poverty.
We need to see more and more entrepreneurs coming from disadvantaged communities to play a catalytic role in the improvement of our people's lives and our economy.
Ladies and Gentlemen, a strong SMME sector is widely acknowledged as a job creation and poverty alleviation stimulus. However, the failure rate of start-up SMME’s is also high due to a number of factors that includes amongst them, lack of core competencies, lack of finance and access to markets.
We are thus encouraged by the opening of this development hub as it is strategically poised to respond to these challenges and help transform SMME’s into successful and thriving businesses.

In achieving our country's 2014 goal of halving unemployment and poverty, it is imperative that we not only further boost economic growth but also see to it that all our people, especially those previously excluded from participation in the mainstream economy, benefit from the growth and opportunities that are opening up. The promotion of small, medium and micro-enterprises and broad-based black economic empowerment will be a key mechanism to achieve this.
Thank you for inviting me to speak here today. I know this new Development Hub will be a great success and that it is the result of a lot of hard work for many of you here today. I also look forward to being kept informed about how this project is progressing.
My very best wishes
I thank you
Baie Dankie
Re a leboga
Enkosi

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