PIETERMARITZBURG: Mr Zikalala stated that the programme forms part of the province’s efforts to create job opportunities
During the launch, Mr Sihle Zikalala handed over various equipment and business instruments worth over R300 million to successful beneficiaries of Operation Vula Fund.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Mr Zikalala has on Tuesday launched ‘Operation Vula Fund’ where a massive rollout of R300m disbursal was awarded to beneficiaries of the fund as part of the programme.
The Premier stated that the programme forms part of the province’s efforts to create job opportunities and also grow the economy.
The various equipment that were awarded to beneficiaries included catering equipments, vehicles, computers and farming implements.
He added that the amount of R300m in the fund was distributed to over 1 000 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) who have been selected as successful applicants.
“To date, we have approved a total 1 021 applications with a value of R299 157 million. Of these successful applications, 923 were in Tier One which disbursed equipment and instruments not exceeding R200 000,” he said.
As he proceeds he added that in Tier Two, there were 11 successful applications where equipment disbursed ranges between R200 000 and R500 000. There were 87 successful applicants in Tier 3 which disbursed instruments whose value ranges from R500 000 up to R2 million.
According to Mr Zikalala, the disbursements of Operation Vula Fund equipment will serve as a major boost to the province’s job creation and economic recovery efforts. As 42% of beneficiaries are businesses owned by young people (35 and below), while 49.5% are women-owned.
Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Ravi Pillay an appointee responsible for making sure beneficiaries progress as intended.
“As a department we want to come and visit you to see how you are doing. Firstly, we will want to see that the machinery is there and is being used for the purpose for which it was requested.”
Mr Zikalala concluded by warning beneficiaries are not allowed to sell the provided equipment, noting that a business collapses, the equipment will have to be returned to the government.