Metro to review policy on SMMEs

National, provincial government will be invited to do presentations to council, mayor says

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality will review its policy of supporting small businesses after months of delays in implementing it, mayor Athol Trollip said yesterday.

The Enterprise Development Support Programme policy was drafted about two years ago but never implemented.

The policy aims to develop and support emerging contractors in the city by giving them 30% of the work being done on municipal projects in the metro.

At his mayoral committee meeting, the mayor said the council would call on Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s office to do presentations to his committee on how the city could support small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs).

“The policy on SMMEs is not being implemented,” he said.

“There is tremendous chaos with regard to SMMEs in this city.

“Many of them have become lobbyists who end up burning property to get attention.

“This matter was raised by the premier in his state of the province address.

“We have Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu. We will review the policy, making it current . . . informed by presentations from the national and provincial government to this mayoral committee.

“Many of the SMMES that secure subcontract work with the municipality end up redirecting [contracts] to the very people they are opposed to getting the contracts, because some of them don’t even have a wheelbarrow,” he said.

As Trollip was speaking, a group of SMME owners were picketing in front of the Noninzi Luzipho Building yesterday, demanding work on the third phase of the Nooitgedacht scheme.

The scheme’s completion will end the metro’s water woes as the supply will rise to 210Ml a day.

The metro is under punitive water restrictions, with the project due to be completed only in 2019.

SMME representative Baba Ningi said when the municipality was in charge of the Nooitgedacht project, SMMEs had been receiving work.

Now that the project had been handed over to the Amatola Water Board it was unclear whether they would have work.

The water board was appointed by the city’s ANC administration to do the third phase of the project.

Infrastructure, engineering and electricity political head Annette Lovemore said she was concerned that friction with SMMEs could delay the Nooitgedacht project.

She said a meeting between SMMEs, the municipality and the Amatola Water Board would take place tomorrow.

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