Publication: South Africa : Enhancing the Effectiveness of Government in Promoting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise

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This study focuses in particular on the question of whether incentives and support programs have: (a) been correctly targeted to address the diverse and specific needs of small, especially micro, enterprises; (b) been implemented efficiently by the responsible agencies in terms of their delivery and impact, and (c) have been effective in helping smaller firms access a wider market for their products and services. The findings of the micro-enterprise survey, the review of the various incentive programs and the value chain analyses indicate that: (a) among specific constraints faced by the small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME) sector, the skills gap and the issue of access to finance are of particular relevance; and (b) while the economic rationale that existed in 1995 for SMME support remains valid, there is a need to find cost-effective and well-targeted programs that meet that rationale. The issue of skills development, in particular, is central to the medium-term agenda as a means of raising productivity and, hence, employment in segments of industry - both in the formal and informal sectors. As regards the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) programs, there is a need to improve the effectiveness of promotion, strengthening selection criteria, and modulate the process of scaling up of individual programs. As regards other incentives, implementation of the Duty Credit Certification Scheme (DCCS) incentives has not been highly effective in ensuring the compliance of beneficiaries with the training and skills development requirements of the scheme; and this will need to be tightened up in the future.
World Bank. 2007. South Africa : Enhancing the Effectiveness of Government in Promoting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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