Date: 12 March 2021

DSBD, sefa, seda: 2020/21 Quarter 3 performance reports

In a virtual meeting (10 March 2021), the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD), the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) reported on their third quarter performance.

The DSBD had met 19 of its 20 quarterly targets, missing only its plans to achieve below 10% vacancy rates in funded posts, which was nevertheless an improvement from previous quarters. The presentation addressed the output of SEDA and reasons for deviations, as well as corrective measures and comments. The Minister had pushed the target for products to be locally manufactured or supplied locally by small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), from 200 to 1 000 by 2024. There had been 10 955 township and rural enterprises supported financially and non-financially due to the new District Development Model allowing for greater access to potential beneficiaries.

SEDA had underperformed on most its quarterly indicators. However, it had met and exceeded the target for incubations. Covid-19 had resulted in the underspending of SEDA on travel and accommodation, and had been a contributing factor for its underperformance because it had limited the number of face-to-face interactions and increased the demand for online services. SEDA acknowledged the need for technology during and post Covid-19, but access to connectivity and devices posed a challenge to its administrative workings, particularly in the rural areas.

SEFA had a similar narrative to its quarter two report, and had underperformed in most of the quarterly indicators. Total SEFA disbursements had been well below the target of R596 million for the period. The areas which were highlighted as a challenge were facilities disbursed to youth-owned enterprises (23%), people with disabilities (0.4%) and township-based enterprises (29%). Covid-19 had impacted these target areas, as there had been reduced economic activity.

Members had raised concerns about the reporting format produced by DSBS and their entities, saying that they were addressing issues which had already occurred, and oversight/intervention could not take place. The localisation policy framework, SEDAs footprint and digitisation in the face of Covid-19, were of concerns. The lack of support for the youth, the disabled, and for township and rural areas, was worrying and Members questioned how this could be improved upon. However, they agreed that Covid-19 could no longer be used an excuse for poor performance.