Cabinet on Tuesday approved the policy framework for infrastructure provision for micro, small and medium enterprise(MSMEs) that aims at increasing development and provision of affordable infrastructure to these enterprises.
Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Sithembiso Nyoni said the policy would formalise and create sustainable growth of MSMEs through infrastructure provision and strengthen the collaboration and coordination of government ministries.
“There was no policy direction. No ministry was responsible for coordinating infrastructure issues. The provision will be done by a committee of local government, public works, housing and finance,” Nyoni said.
She said the policy would ensure modern and user-friendly infrastructure with ablution and canteen facilities put in place for MSMEs. Nyoni said MSMEs have been facing challenges that include high rentals and high cost of putting up infrastructure.
“This has resulted in high cost of MSMEs. This has compromised the quality of products of MSMEs because the products are exposed to bad weather,” she said.
She said MSMEs do not use some of the designated infrastructure because its location would not be strategic for them and there were also poor municipal services.
“A cluster-based approach where MSMEs are grouped according to their lines of production for them to enjoy economies of agglomeration where forward and backward linkages can significantly reduce operating costs and increase margins (would be used),” she said.
She said for the implementation of the MSME policy, the department of physical planning is to review relevant statutory instruments’ design manual, provide a local authority master plan and development regulations so as to ensure issues of MSMEs workspace are accommodated. Local authorities should provide serviced land.
“Local authorities can also partner directly with the MSMEs beneficiaries. MSMEs can also provide financial resources, labour and other non-financial resources to develop the facilities whilst local authorities provided serviced land,” she said.