North West was expecting noticeable changes after the newly developed 2016 turn around strategy, premier Thandi Modise said on Friday.

“The strategy will mainly concentrate on leadership alignment, 1/8a 3/8 clean audit by 2014, capacity building, financial management and viability as well as stability and governance in traditional councils,” Modise said during her state-of-the-province address in Mafikeng.

She said the plan was aimed at re-energising municipalities and institutions of traditional leaders to maximise accountability, service delivery and good governance.

The government has granted loans to 96 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). The loans amounted to around R18,5 million. “Though access to funding has always been a thorny issue for emerging entrepreneurs, R22 million was made available to start the SMME fund,” said Modise.

“ 1/8A total of 3/8 396 jobs, of which 263 are permanent and 97 temporary were created in the sector, through the allocated loans granted to SMMEs.”

She said the SMME sector has been prioritised by government as it has the potential to address socio-economic challenges facing both developing and developed countries.

She said without small business development, economies would remain stagnate, unemployment levels would continue to rise and the general standard of living would deteriorate.

She also prioritised helping the youth through entrepreneurial and skills development. - Sapa