The Sunday News
Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
THE Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprise Development has urged stakeholders to utilise facilities within the ministry which seek to empower businesses as it seeks to push towards attainment of Vision 2030.
Addressing stakeholders from Matabeleland South Province in Gwanda Town on Tuesday, Deputy Minister Mrs Jennifer Mhlanga said the Women’s Bank was allocated $100 million this year towards financing women’s projects.
“As the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprise Development we have come up with a number of activities that we want to see undertaken in the year 2020 as we want to significantly contribute towards attainment of Vision 2030. We have crafted our programmes to ensure they are in line with this vision.
“Under the aspect of community development, we want to create resilient communities. We are glad that the Women’s Bank has taken off and this year Government allocated $100 million towards this facility. This will have a huge impact on women’s projects and we urge women from all parts of the country to utilise this facility. We want to see women being economically emancipated,” she said.
Deputy Minister Mhlanga said the ministry’s aim was to see small business across the country grow into big businesses and eventually contribute towards industrialisation of various communities. She said under the Women’s Bank facility the ministry was looking forward to financing different projects which include livestock production, agriculture and mining where the fund will assist with protective clothing and implements.
Deputy Minister Mhlanga said women were also expected to venture into manufacturing as the bank will support them to produce basic commodities in both urban and rural centres.
“We want to assist women with assets such as machinery, continue resourcing bakeries and assist them in using ovens that are environmentally friendly. We also want women to take an active role when it comes to water and sanitation issues. We are also looking into supporting use of clean and renewable energy by providing solar systems. Under the education sector we will assist schools to buy furniture, buses and other assets. We want to have as many women as possible, cutting across communities utilising these opportunities,” she said.
Deputy Minister Mahlangu said other facilities under the ministry included SMEDCO which offers loans to businesses and the Women’s Development Fund which caters for projects being undertaken by women. She urged women to establish gardens so they could benefit from this facility.
Speaking during the same meeting acting Director for the Community Development Department in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprise Development, Mr Jairos Mandizadza said the ministry also had a Community Development Fund which caters for every category of citizens in the country. He said the fund catered for groups at community level which had not yet matured into co-operatives.
Acting Matabeleland South provincial development officer in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprise Development Mr Nhlanhla Magagula said the ministry also had a co-operative department responsible for training communities before they formed co-operatives and an SMEs department responsible for opportunity identification within communities.