Image: Supplied- Mpumalanga premier, David Mabuza

CAPE TOWN- Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza on Thursday urged the citizens of the province to stand up and start their own business in order to fight unemployment and poverty.

The premier was speaking at the launch of the Mpumalanga Enterprise Development Fund that took place at Emzinoni township in Bethal. The fund was the initiative of the provincial government in a partnership with Standard Bank.

“This is your opportunity to go and start your own businesses,” said Mabuza while addressing a crowd of about 2000 people inside a marquee. “We went out of our way to partner with Standard Bank. We said Standard Bank, help these businesses with finance. But if you want to use that money to buy a suit, that will not happen. If you want to start a business to produce bricks, we will buy you a brick-making machine.”


Mabuza added that his government has set aside R300 million for small businesses as part of its assistance through the fund, the fund would also help farmers as a way of stimulating production on farms.


He said the government was also building an international fresh produce market to help farmers export their produce to other foreign countries. “I’m sure from today we are going to have a fresh determination from young people to start businesses. I’m calling on women to also stand up and change their environment. When you start a business, there are ups and downs but don’t quit. You must persevere and you will succeed.”


He further said that the fund would be available to businesses in all the municipalities in the province and would be offered in the form of loans and grants.

Speaking at the same event, head of retails and business banking at Standard Bank for Mpumalanga and Limpopo, Simon Whati, said the fund would contribute to the economic development in the province.

“It is very difficult to get funding and Standard Bank is here to assist,” said Whati. “We cannot always work in Joburg. We need to move our businesses to this province.”