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Seda annual report shows improved service provision

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) today launched its first  Annual Stakeholder Forum at which  the 2008/09 Annual Report was presented. The report highlights Seda’s achievements over the past year including the implementation of its strategic plan.

Seda was established in 2004 by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) with the mandate to implement government’s small business strategy; create and implement a standard and common national delivery network for small enterprise development; and integrate government-funded small enterprise support agencies across all tiers of government.

The Board and Executive Team

During the 2008/09 financial year, new members were added to the Seda Board.  This happened at the same time as the appointment of the Acting CEO who in turn appointed a new executive team.

Mr Mngomezulu, Seda Board Chairperson said “The new team, led by the Board, has already tackled the most pressing issues, with special attention being given to financial controls, human resource related issues and service delivery.  I am confident that the agency is well on its way to fulfil its mandate and execute the objectives as set out in its strategic plan.”

Seda’s 2008/09 performance review

In presenting an overview of Seda’s achievements, the Seda CEO, Ms Hlonela Lupuwana, said “despite the challenges facing the agency over the past year, it had assisted almost 200 000 aspiring and existing entrepreneurs and exceeded many of its service targets”.

199 830 people accessed Seda’s network points – a 7.3% increase from 2007/08. Of this, 46 695 were assessed and registered while 14 373 received Seda services.

“Areas such as business registration (5 643 clients), business planning (1 638 clients), cooperative support (2 502 clients) and access to markets (730 clients) were the services most in demand,” Lupuwana explained.

Another major achievement was the establishment of two new incubators.  The Seda Technology Programme, which includes the incubation programme, the technology transfer programme and the Quality Assurance programme supported 835 clients and assisted with the creation of 224 new SMMEs.  This support resulted in the creation of 1 318 direct jobs and 5 461 indirect jobs.

Other highlights of the year included:

  • the revival of the Community Private Public Partnership (CPPP) programme
  • the ongoing repackaging of Seda’s programmes, products and services for improved customer service
  • continued international partnerships with UNIZO (Belgium), SEBRAE and CACB (Brazil), NSIC (India), Technonet Africa (UNDP programme) and TradePoint (UNCTAD programme)
  • the implementation of a performance management system, supported by an integrated institutional change management programme
  • the implementation of robust procurement and financial systems, and a corporate governance and compliance management system
  • the finalisation of the IT master system plan, focusing on the consolidation of Seda’s IT infrastructure and integration of supporting systems

Financial management

The total actual revenue received for the 2008/09 financial year amounted to R560-million, of which R485-million (86.6%) was from parliamentary grants via the dti. The total actual expenditure equated to R482-million, 86.1% of the annual budget.

Lupuwana said the surplus was mainly due to the timing difference between the confirmation of the additional funding and the time required to implement the related programmes and projects.

Future plans

Going forward, Lupuwana said,” Seda would continue to initiate partnerships with business development organisations, the private sector and parastatals – with a focus on improved and coordinated service delivery to SMMEs.  Seda will also intensify its international linkages which will make global best practices available to local entrepreneurs.”

Additional future plans include:-

·         improved use of client feedback to enhance service offerings;

·         the development of an integrated monitoring and evaluation system;

·         increased measurement of client performance (graduation, growth and sustainability); and

·         pro-active media relations.

Seda’s newly established learning academy will focus on building the skills and capacities of Seda’s business advisors, service providers and partners to improve the quality of services delivered.

“My vision for Seda is to focus on the development of high impact, visible projects, appropriate product and service delivery as well as capacity building for frontline staff.  To this end a lot of effort will be put in reviewing our delivery model as well as products and services in line with our strategy and business plans” Lupuwana said.

Delivering against its mandate and strategic objectives

In reflecting on Seda’s mandate and objectives, the Deputy Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry, Ms Bongi Maria Ntuli, said,” Seda was well positioned to translate these future plans into solutions that could contribute to ensuring sustainable livelihoods.

“Intensifying rural development and creating decent and sustainable livelihoods are two of the priority areas identified by government. Seda as a member of the dti family has the potential to realise these goals in order for us as government to fulfil our mandate. It is my wish to have a Seda footprint in most municipal districts, if not all”. 

“I have faith in Seda’s ability to translate the plans contained in its annual report into practical solutions that can contribute to ensuring sustainable livelihoods,” Ntuli concluded.





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