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The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). It has been established in 2004 through the Small Business Amendment Act, Act 29 of 2004. Seda is mandated to implement national government’s small business strategy and its vision is to be the centre of excellence for small enterprise development in South Arica.

The Seda Technology Programme (Stp) was created as a special programme to manage different incubators, facilitate technology transfer and quality interventions.  

During the 2012/13 Financial Year the STP Quality and Standards Unit proposed that the technical support programmes provided by STP incubators be expended to provided tailored conformity assessment support to Incubatees and clients close to where they operated.  This entailed the commissioning of 4 pilot testing facilities / laboratories owned and managed by Seda Incubators, in line with international best practise.  The selected incubators were The Furniture Manufacturing Incubator (Furntech), the Essential Oil Business Incubator (SEOBI) & the Mobile Agri Skills Development & Training Incubator (MASDT).

The official launch of the first mobile Lab, manufactured at a cost of R 3 million, the MASDT lab, which will service the agricultural sector, is scheduled for 06 September 2013 at the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.

The benefits of the lab is numerous and include bringing conformity assessment support closer to emerging farmers, giving them access to a testing facility that will help them in their farm planning and crop production. The mobile laboratory will also be a first for SA and is an adoption of the SEBRAE mobile laboratory that was viewed during the Seda international study visit to Brazil in 2011.The Seda mobile laboratory has been adapted to include a mobile training facility and mechanisation service centre in support of small emerging farmers.

The development of this lab is in line with Seda’s goal to ensure that the small enterprise sector grows and increases its contribution to sustainable and equitable social and economic development, employment and wealth creation. The lab will have a direct impact on assisting farmers to provide quality products, increase their turnover, create jobs and to be more competitive in the market place.

All 4 laboratories are on track to be fully commissioned and operational by the 4th quarter of this financial year. 3 of the 4 laboratories will be launched in September 2013 and the remaining one in December 2013.

ISSUED BY: Seda - Small Enterprise Development Agency
MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO: Beverly Kgame
E-MAIL: bkgame@seda.org.za
TEL: 012 441 1187
MOBILE: 083 533 8030
Date: Wednesday, 06 September 2013