National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill; Small Enterprises Finance Agency 2018/19 annual report

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Meeting Summary

Annual Reports 2018/2019

The Committee was briefed on the National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill [B9 – 2019] and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency.

The engagement on the Amendment Bill was a response to the legal issues that were raised regarding the National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill [B9 – 2019], especially the need to correct the technical error by revising the incorrect cross-reference contained in Section 17(4) of the Principal Act. Members heard that the three areas that the Parliamentary Legal Services responded to were: * that the Bill extended the definition of “unfair labor practice” to now include the matters referred to in Section 4(8) of the Principal Act; that the legislation may be retrospective and the Pienaar judgment confirmed that; and the passing of the Principal Act with an incorrect cross-reference was due to human error. Members were clear that the responsibility of the Committee was not to focus on the general matter of the amendment of the Bill, but to correct the human error of the subject matter of the Bill. Members were pleased to note that COSATU supported the Amendment Bill. The Committee supported the amendment and adopted the National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill [B9 – 2019].

The Committee was briefed by the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) on its 2018/19 Annual Report. Members heard that the key responsibility of SEFA was to provide financial access to SMMEs and Cooperatives in a manner that is efficient and sustainable throughout South Africa. Members were pleased to hear that SEFA has had a 7 year period of a clean and unqualified audit opinion. SEFA has a total headcount of 238 people with a total asset value of R2.2 billion and total collections of 1.955 billion from April 2012 to March 2019. It also has an access footprint of reaching out to every corner of the country through a Co-location Model which is in line with the presidential business development model. Members were concerned when they heard that the key challenge was about how to improve coordination between SEFA (Small Enterprise Finance Agency) and SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) in terms of job specifications. Members were relieved to hear that the two entities were working towards introducing a seamless way of operation through the introduction of a common template that both organisations could use so that SMMEs could see harmony within the organisations.

Members were concerned about gender imbalances prevalent in the delegation from the Department and asked the Minister if when the Ministry was looking for a prospective candidate to fill the vacancy post of the CEO, they could consider a woman for the position. The Committee heard that the Department was working towards achieving the gender-balance target. The Committee asked SEFA for a list of projects and their profiles, a Provincial spread of the enterprises; and about SEFA’s interaction with various departments for supporting SMMEs. Members asked specifically about SEFA’s interface with provincial economic players and how to strengthen relations: ‘How can one strengthen and support such interactions’? ‘How about the rural or village SMMEs where there was no collateral, how can the SEFA deal with such situations’?

The Committee was concerned about loan repayments and said that it would monitor how this process of loan payment quarantine was going on just to make sure that loans are paid back. Members asked ‘Considering that SEFA’s direct lending is going down, how does SEFA guarantee that this does not operate in similar way to other commercial banks’. Of more concern to Members was what the percentage of women in business SEFA was supporting and how this support was realised. Members asked ‘Do you have discussions with the municipalities to make sure that women are provided with shelter and ablutions considering that most of the women do their businesses where there are such facilities’?.

Besides gender issues Youth and disability were also key areas of concern. Members wanted to know what was SEFA planning to do differently for its performance to meet the Youth targets and asked ‘Could SEFA elaborate on the factors affecting their business proposals especially among the disabled targets’, and how many people in their office have disabilities. The nature of the relationship between SEFA and SEDA was also questioned as Members asked when there was going to be tangible results of collaboration between SEDA and SEFA in order to expand the footprint and maximise the costs in terms of accessibility and sharing space. They asked ‘How can SEDA and SEFA collaborate to make sure that there is no double-dipping’? Members heard that as announced in the Minister’s Budget about the 100000 Youth-owned enterprises, since 2019, SEFA has been going throughout the provinces especially those with the lowest credit uptake such as the North West, Mpumalanga, and the Northern Cape. So far, they have supported 14674 Youth-owned businesses.

The Committee, out of concern for businesses in distress, rural entrepreneurs and financial rates regarding entrepreneurs asked: ‘What is your turnaround strategy for distressed businesses’? ‘What is the interest rate for entrepreneurs’? ‘How many of the distressed businesses are in a position of not being able to make the payments’? And ‘On your 82 acres points, where are they located’? ‘Are these easily accessible to rural or Township entrepreneurs’.

On the issue of joint meetings between the Select Committee and the Portfolio Committee, the Minister said that she would appreciate the joint meetings. She also said that the Ministry has adopted a district-based development model whereby the Executive and the Legislature will be going to districts to see for themselves if development progress was happening.

Meeting report

Briefing on the National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill [B 9 – 2019]
Mr Michael Prince, Senior Legal Advisor for the Western Cape Provincial Government, read the report to the Committee. He said that the three areas that will be covered in the presentation of the National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill [B9 – 2019] are:
(a) Reading of the report to the Committee;
(b) Deliberations of the metrics and responses; and
(c) Voting on the process of the Amendment Bill.

This report was a response to the legal issues that were raised regarding the National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill [B9 – 2019], especially the need to correct the technical error by correcting the incorrect cross-reference contained in Section 17(4) of the Principal Act.

Mr Prince mentioned that the three areas that the Parliamentary Legal Services responded to were:

  • The National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill extended the definition of “unfair labor practice” to now include the matters referred to in Section 4(8) of the Principal Act.
  • Legislation may be retrospective and the Pienaar judgment confirmed that. However, this Amendment Bill has nothing to do with the retrospectivity of Section 17(4) of the Principal Act. The Amendment Bill merely seeks to correct a cross-referencing error.
  • The passing of the Principal Act with an incorrect cross-reference was due to human error. 

Mr Prince said that COSATU strongly supported the Amendment Bill.

Discussion
Mr M Mmoiemang (ANC, Northern Cape) said that the responsibility of the Committee is not to focus on the general matter of the amendment of the Bill, but to correct the human error of the subject matter of the Bill.

Mr M Dangor (ANC, Gauteng) agreed with what Mr Mmoiemang said and he therefore supported the conclusion of the Bill.

Ms M Moshodi (ANC, Free State) also agreed with what Mr Mmoiemang and Mr Dangor had said and expressed her support for the Bill.

Mr J Londt (DA, Western Cape) also agreed with the comments made by the other Members of the Committee and expressed his support for the Bill.

Ms H Boshoff (DA, Mpumalanga) said that she was covered by what Mr Londt had said. 

The Committee agreed to the amendment of the Bill and the National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill [B9 – 2019] was adopted.
 
Briefing on the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) 2018/19 Annual Report
Mr Andrew Martin-Robert Mahosi, Board of Directors: SEFA, started by providing an overview of SEFA’s vision, mission, and values. He did this because it is the first Parliamentary Committee meeting in 2020.

SEFA Overview
Mr Setlakalane Molepo, Acting CEO: SEFA, said that the key responsibility of SEFA is to provide financial access to SMMEs and Cooperatives in a manner that is efficient and sustainable throughout South Africa. It also includes developing through partnerships, innovative finance products, tolls and channels to catalyze increased market participation in the provision of possible finance. This was done through direct loans, Wholesale Loans and Equity, Business Support, Rental Property, and Credit Guarantees. Under the Cooler Credit Guarantees, it is ensured that SMMEs with no collateral are able to access capital from the Commercial banks through the intervention of SEFA by making sure that they provide for what the banks require before the loans are disbursed. SEFA also provides business support for SMMEs and Cooperatives.

Targeted Ownership Groups and Sectoral Involvement

In alignment with the government's strategic target groups, SEFA also has its target groups on how they can impact targeted groups which include the women, the youth and people with disabilities but also not forgetting people in the Townships rural areas and black people in general.

SEFA plays across all sectors of the economy from primary, secondary and tertiary within the limits of funding they provide. This is in alignment with government priority sectors and which include services, manufacturing, agriculture, construction mining, and green industries and other government macroeconomic policies.

The Lending Model
SEFA has increased the lending amount from R50, 000 to R5, 000,000 either through direct lending, wholesale or credit guarantee lending. This has been done to carter to the needs of small businesses.

SEFA Profile
SEFA has a total headcount of 238 people with a total asset value of R2.2 billion and total collections of 1.955 billion from April 2012 to March 2019. It also has an access footprint of reaching out to every corner of the country through a Co-location Model which is in line with the presidential business development model. Since its establishment seven years ago, SEFA has had a 7 year period of the clean and unqualified audit opinion.

SEFA’s Differentiators
SEFA's differentiators are to address market failures. This includes a high appetite for risk in exchange for a high developmental impact. SEFA also has an interest in the moratorium of up to 12 months for term loans. It also includes financing SMMEs through the start-up of high-risk businesses as well as financing gaps which are below R500, 000. It also provides pre and post loan business support, provision of funding to small businesses with adverse credit records or those who are blacklisted so long as they are able to demonstrate how they are going to pay back their debts. Another differentiation for SEFA is that their lending is not sorely dependent on security backing. They also focus their lending on specific target groups. 

SEFA’s 2018/19 Strategic Map
SEFA’s strategic map includes the development impact and sustainable organisation. These will be achieved through Up-scaling and deepening its developmental impact, support client sustainability by intensifying leverage both financial and non- financial through ecosystem partnership and donors in a seamless way. On the turnaround under-performing portfolios by reducing leakages through the reduction of loan impairments via post loan mentorship support and other post loan support strategies from more than 60% to below 30%.

SEFA’s Performance
Presently, SEFA has approved an aggregate of R5.6 billion since its establishment seven years ago with a total disbursement of R6.8 billion. It has financed 359575 businesses and has helped in facilitation over 401112 jobs over this seven year period of its existence. In the 2018/19 year period, SEFA has disbursed a total amount of R1.219 billion to SMMEs and Cooperatives. The most notable thing is that most of the economies are driven by women and they are the most debt payer of the loans that are disbursed to them as well.

Development Impact
On the development impact, Mr Molepo said that in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, the funding activity is mostly targeted on informal and Micro-finance programs. He also said that the strategic partnerships with some of the intermediaries are important because it enables them to reach out to the majority of small businesses in remote areas. The loan spatial distribution is impacted by the economic structures of the country whereby other provinces such as Northern Cape, Free State and the North West are lagging behind.

SEFA’s 2018/19 Funding Activities 
One of the key highlights in this area is that SEFA has developed an in-house fund management capacity to deliver third-party funds. The management of third-party funds is intended to leverage existing financial and non-financial resources in order to improve access to funding for SMMEs. Another highlight is that SEFA has been allocated budget support of €30m of the “Employment Promotion through SMME Support Program” (EPSSP). €10m for ESD projects and €20m will be used for Innovation projects in the outer years. This funding affords SEFA to increase access to finance, crowd-in private sector investment and scale-up support to SMMEs. Small Business and Innovation Fund: SEFA has been appointed as the implementing agency for an R3.2 billion Small Business and Innovation Fund commencing in 2019/20 FY. For businesses that are going through challenges such as economic distress not because of historical reasons but because of the global economic challenges, the ministry has put money aside so that they can provide financial support to such businesses. Currently, the ministry is working on the eligibility criteria on how to help such businesses.

Properties
SEFA owns 47 properties which are located in the target market areas such as townships, rural areas throughout the country. This allows entrepreneurs in a particular area to come together and be able to buy such properties to run their businesses.

Mr Mahosi then talked about some of the key issues and challenges that the entity faced.

Key Issues

  • Mr Mahosi said that there is an uneven distribution of loans across the provinces especially the Northern Cape, North West, and Free State Provinces. The SEFA was working towards dealing with this challenge;
  • The SEFA has been able to meet the key development impact target except for the target of people with disabilities and Township economies. They are working towards making a change in this area so that there is progress in this situation; and
  • They are working towards the financial stability of the organisation by initiating cost-cutting measures especially by making sure that personal costs are under control. Besides this, they are also looking at other areas of how they can work creatively and collaboratively so that the situation was under control. 

Key Challenges

  • One of the key challenges facing these funding institutions is about how to improve coordination between SEFA (Small Enterprise Finance Agency) and SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) in terms of job specifications. To deal with this challenge, these two entities are working towards introducing a seamless way of operation through the introduction of a common template that both organisations can use so that SMMEs can see harmony within the organisations;
  • At board and operational levels, these two entities together with the Ministry, are having discussions on how they can look at other areas of improving this seamless way of working together. One strategic way is that they have initiated a Pitch for funding campaign whereby these two entities go into communities together encouraging potential applicants to come up with small business programs for them to get funding; and 
  • They are also working towards making sure that the uptake is evenly distributed across provinces in an equitable way particularly Township intervention economies. The other challenge is that there has been a funding limit where applicants were eligible for a loan of R5 000,000 with a funding tenure of a five year period. Now, this has been revised to R15 000000 for a 10-year tenure period of repayment.

Interventions

Mr Mahosi said that the organisation was working in partnership with other organisations to enable SEFA to achieve two things:

To increase its reach through partnerships with some of the agencies that are involved with the work of funding; and to include working in partnerships with businesses in terms of reaching out and creating more opportunities for more people stretching across the land.

The Chairperson said to the Minister that the Committee had agreed with the Portfolio Committee that they are going to have joint meetings in the future in order to review the Annual Performance Plan programs of these two Committees. This decision was adopted by the DG. This would also save the Minister and the Department from coming at two different occasions, first to present to the Select Committee, and then later to the Portfolio Committee.

He also informed her that as a Select Committee, they are also planning on having an oversite meeting in some of the SEFA’s projects in Cape Town.

The Minister’s Remarks and Responses 

The Minister said that she would appreciate the joint meetings. She also said that the Ministry has adopted a district-based development model whereby the Executive and the Legislature will be going to districts to see for themselves if development progress was happening.

Ms M Mashodi (ANC, Free State) asked the Minister if when the Ministry was looking for a prospective candidate to fill the vacancy post of the CEO, they could consider a woman for the position. She said this because there was only one woman in the entire delegation that came the meeting representing the Department which indicated that the delegation was not gender-balanced.

Ms Ntshavheni said that next time her Department comes to the Committee; it will be a well balance team of both genders. Currently, they are working towards achieving the gender-balance target.

Economic Performance

Ms Shoki Ralebepa, CFO, SEFA, started by presenting SEFA’s Financial Performance. She said that SEFA had received an unqualified clean audit opinion since it was established seven years ago. She also said that direct lending has attracted a 28% of loans disbursed in 2019. Another highlight is that SEFA’s operational expenses over the past five years have been contained to approximately R79 million. It has also incurred R7 million in costs from the previous financial year and they have raised €35m European Union facility and R3 billion SBIF facility. Other highlights including the reduction of reportable irregularities and fruitless expenditure from R4 million in 2014 to R16k in 2019.

Key Challenges

Ms Ralebepa said that one of the key challenges is the low growth due to an adverse macroeconomic environment. This has negatively impacted SEFA’s performance especially to their funded clients. This has resulted in the impairment coverage ratio of 47% and a 29% negative loan growth yearly. Another challenge is that cost to income ration remains high at 105% because they are not generating adequate income. Reduction in interest income generated by SEFA over 5 years is another key challenge the entity is facing. Another key challenge is that the Fiscal constraints and reprioritisation of government expenditure resulted in a lower MTEF allocation. Most of these challenges are due to the harsh economic environment that the entity is facing.

SEFA’s Balance Score Cards

Mr Molepo said that SEFA has a Balance Score Card system that was used to measure the organisation’s performance against their set targets which are approved by the SEFA Board objectives. With regard to the access to finance from SMMEs and Developmental Impact objectives, SEFA has over achieved from 841602 to 1,219,943. However, on the facilities disbursed to youth-owned businesses 18-35 years old, SEFA has only achieved 197681 from its set target of 221941. In general, SEFA has outperformed 11 out of 20 of its objectives and has partially achieved on five other objectives.

Way Forward

SEFA received €30 million (translated to R450 million) from the European Union and will receive R150 million from the Department, it will add its own R150 million to R300, 000,000 in total. This will be used for enterprise and supply development which will be provided as concessional funding to SMMEs at reasonable rates. The remaining R150 million from the EU plus the R150 million from SEFA will be used for innovation in areas such as green economy projects, agro-processing etcetera. This amount will be disbursed under the Cooler Credit Guarantee. This will allow SEFA to leverage almost six times the amount if they are going to use Commercial banks considering that Commercial banks use their own balance sheet to lend to SMMEs. Innovative funding is aimed at supporting the youth with their innovative ideas towards entrepreneurship.

As announced in the Minister’s Budget about the 100000 Youth-owned enterprises, since 2019, SEFA has been going throughout the provinces especially those with the lowest credit uptake such as the North West, Mpumalanga, and the Northern Cape. So far, they have supported 14674 Youth-owned businesses. This was done this by inviting young people with innovative business ideas and through mentorship and credit processes to get credit loans ranging from R100000 to R1 million.

SEFA wants to support businesses that are sustainable and not just give grants to the youth. As such, SEFA was now providing what is known as Blended-Finance where it could mix grants and loans. This is given to the youth if they fulfill the conditions that are required. These conditions include making sure that the business will create a minimum of 10 jobs and that the business is a Township or rural area based business. Other conditions also include whether the business is in the actual priority sector of the economy such as agro-processing, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical etcetera. SEFA also considers the number of years (minimum of 3-5 years) the business has been operating in other words: the younger the business, the higher chances of that business not succeeding. This instrument will help in making sure that the businesses are sustainable and performance is enhanced.

Mr Mahosi said that due to the economic stress that SMMEs are going through, the SEFA Board came up with an idea of supporting such small enterprises by providing them with funds that can see them through the tough economic times. This is not necessarily for historical reasons but because of unfavorable economic conditions. The SEFA also has properties throughout the country that are used to provide support to small businesses. These are either used as incubators for germinating SMMEs or as working spaces for small businesses.

SEFA is also looking at how it can sustainably improve the level of payment. Currently, they are using the Quarantine approach to collect loans from businesses where in the first five years; no amount of payment is expected from the SMMEs. This was done by following some guidelines lines in accounting that allows such a grace period before the payment of loans. This gives SMMEs a chance to be established before payment is required from them.

The Chairperson commented that the Committee should monitor how this process of loan payment quarantine is going on just to make sure that loans are payed back. He also raised a concern that some MPs have left the Committee meeting to attend other meetings. This undermines the processes of the Committee considering that Committees are allocated time (10:00 -13:00) and therefore, times should be honored as such.

Discussion

Mr Mmoiemang asked SEFA if it could bring a list of projects and their profiles. He also wanted to know the Provincial spread of the enterprises. He noted that part of what SEFA presented was not in the print outs that were handed to the Committee Members. Lastly, he also wanted to know SEFA’s interaction with various departments for supporting SMMEs. He asked specifically for SEFA’s interface with provincial economic players. ‘How can one strengthen and support such interactions’? ‘How about the rural or village SMMEs where there was no collateral, how can SEFA deal with such situations’?

Ms Moshodi started by thanking the SEFA team for supporting women in businesses especially those in rural areas. She asked what the percentage of women in business SEFA is supporting. She also asked what SEFA was planning to do differently for its performance to meet the Youth targets. ‘Could SEFA elaborate on the factors affecting their business proposals especially among the disabled targets’?

Mr Londt wanted to know when there were going to be tangible results of collaboration between SEDA and SEFA in order to expand the footprint and maximise the costs in terms of accessibility and sharing space. ‘How can SEDA and SEFA collaborate to make sure that there is no double-dipping’? ‘Considering that SEFA’s direct lending is going down, how does SEFA guarantee that this does not operate in a similar way to other commercial banks’?

Ms Boshof asked the SEFA Department delegation how many people in their office have disabilities. ‘Do you have discussions with the municipalities to make sure that women are provided with shelter and ablutions considering that most of the women do their businesses where there are such facilities’? ‘What is your turnaround strategy for distressed businesses’? ‘On the money that was raised from the European Union, what is the interest rate for payment or is it a gift’? And ‘what is the interest rate for entrepreneurs’? ‘How many of the distressed businesses are in a position of not being able to make the payments’? ‘On your 82 acres points, where are they located’? ‘Are these easily accessible to rural or Township entrepreneurs’? ‘If you have any information on Mpumalanga fresh produce, could you please give this information to the Committee’?

Responses

In answering the questions that were raised by Ms Moshodi, Mr Mahosi said that they may not have complete provincial details of how many women there are in business from the rural areas SEFA is supporting. He however promised to come back with the detailed information on this. On the question about what SEFA is planning to do differently for its performance to meet the Youth targets, he said that they are using a campaign known as Pitch for Funding. Initially, under SEDA, this used to be known as the Pitch for Perfection Campaign whereby SEDA and SEFA officials go to communities encouraging the youth to come up with their business ideas for them to get funding.

To make sure that support is provided regarding the viability of business proposals, SEFA makes sure that the business proposal is compliant by going through the necessary steps with the applicant. This is to make sure that the person will be able to pay back the money should they be given the loan. Due to many changes that have taken place between SEFA and SEDA, people do not really know what these two entities stand for or what services they offer to the public. Therefore, SEFA was currently on a branding campaign to make sure that people know who SEFA really was. The idea is that when SEFA goes out on a special funding whether using a district model or the Presidential drive, it attempts to make sure that there is cohesion between government institutions. Another point is that SEFA should undergo stakeholder analysis for it to change its form of communication. Therefore, SEFA will be running a number of outreach campaigns in rural areas just to make sure that people know who it is and what it does. He also said that the Committee should feel free to communicate with them either formerly or informally should there be a need for that.

Supporting the rural SMMEs does not mean that SEFA simply rejects their proposals if they are not well documented but, SEFA also helps them through the process just to make sure that their proposals are up to the required standard.

With regard to the footprint, he said that SEFA has located itself at the district level for accessibility and for them to be able to communicate with municipalities even though they were currently not everywhere as they were supposed to be.

On the SEFA/SEDA collaboration, it was meant that SEFA had engagements at a board level especially by working with a common template used by both entities. SEFA has also gone out to people to work together as SEFA/SEDA to make sure that it helps people with their funding applications.

Mr Molepo in answering Mr Mmoiemang’s question about whether SEFA will be working closely with the NYDA, said that the approach was for a seamless escalation of loans for SEFA to provide a 1000 youth owned businesses with funding.

On the question about how many women SEFA is using to support women, he said that they are using a similar model that Phakamani is using. This model is highly tested with good results. They are simply reaching out to women throughout the country and letting them know that there is funding for them to start businesses. Women are provided with loans of about R5000 and this makes it easier for them to pay back the money.

In order to mobilise women, SEFA did a pilot study on fresh produce in Mangaung. What they noticed is that business agents in that area go to farmers and amass best produce for themselves without giving an opportunity for smaller businesses to come and buy. So the intention is to re-examine that model and find a way that can be beneficial to small businesses as well.

On the question about co-location, SEDA has got more outreach with 187 finance-lending facilities than SEFA has. The main intention of the collaboration is to make sure that SEFA utilises SEDAs’ facilities in reaching out to communities.

On the question about the decline of SEFA’s direct lending, he said that they had lost a lot of money through procurement and finance mostly because they did not implement the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). This made it easier for people to disappear once they got the funding. Currently, they are making sure that they developed specific pockets of specialty areas whereby they can engage with entrepreneurs to make sure that the proceeds become one of the conditional requirements for a loan.

On the question about how SEFA differs from banks especially with regard to direct lending, he said that their main responsibility is to assist in market failures. SEFA analyses the business cash flow and in order to find out if it can service a 100% Blended Finance loan for such a business. This is something that makes a difference between SEFA and the banks.

On the question about people with disabilities, he said that he would love to be seeing more people with disabilities working for SEFA. He also mentioned that there is a concerted effort by SEFA’s Human Resources Department to go out and look for such people in Call Centers, receptions etcetera. However he indicated that he did not have statistics of how many disabled people are employed by SEFA.

On the question about the interest rate, he said that they charge entrepreneurs a concession of 5%. This is because the Small Business Innovation Fund has a grant element because when SEFA receives money from the fiscus it is given to them as a grant and they take the same approach when lending it to SMMEs.

On the question of defaults, he said that indeed this is becoming a problem as their numbers are at 47%. However he said that they aim to reduce this number to either 33% or 30%. He also indicated that they are not part of the situation in Mpumalanga.

Ms Ralebepa said that regarding the joint venture with Anglo-America, both have contributed a total amount of R120 million (60million each) and they have managed to communicate with all the regions and subsidiaries of Transnet to initiate discussions about its supply-chain data base. SEFA has increased its funding and will be coming in to do the funding of the Purchase Order (PO) at Transnet. They have also managed to raise a total amount of R200 million (R100 million each) to fund any feasibility studies in the mining sector. Currently, SEFA is in the second phase of funding the mining industry and it is doing better.

On the question concerning the construction of shades and ablution facilities for small businesses to use, she said that they are working with municipalities to make sure that this is done. For example, in Cape Town and Johannesburg, this is being done in collaboration with the municipalities. They will also refurbish the properties that are not in good conditions for entrepreneurs to use through the government funding they have received.

In his closing remarks, Mr Mahosi said that he is thankful to the Committee for the cordial manner of engagement between them. He also repeated that as a Department, they are open to any kind of communication with the Committee whether it be at an individual or a Committee level.

The Chairperson reminded Members that next week’s meeting with SEDA will not take place because there are four provinces that are having State of the Province Addresses. The following week, the Committee is going to have a Committee Strategic Planning Session. This means that the meeting with SEDA is on the 10th of March 2020.

The meeting was adjourned.

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