By Lloyd Mwale in Kadoma
The business environment in Sanyati District came under the spotlight when the local businesses came together during the District’s Business Stakeholders Engagement Programme held in Kadoma recently. The objective was providing the opportunities for business entrepreneurs in Sanyati District to air their views on the state of the economy and business and the impact on operations and efficiency, identity specific challenges and successes and propose solutions to challenges that can be solved within local authorities.
The day-long interface saw business and Small-to-Medium Enterprises(SMEs) converge to air the hostile environment their businesses are being subjected to by government departments and the local authorities.
A representative from private schools, Solomon Mbaimbai, took a dig at City of Kadoma and Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for challenges the sector is facing in their operations.
“Private schools in the City of Kadoma are not being afforded the chance to have school stands despite being on the waiting list for more than a decade, and when one inquires about the stands one is told to pay a bribe during the bidding process to acquire a school stand. The high charges of business licences that schools are charged and that private schools are not invited during the council’s budget formulation meetings and this is making schools business environment not flourish,” said Solomon Mbaimbai.
Mbaimbai said that the Education Ministry is also to blame for harsh schools business environment in that registration for a school takes long, up to two years, and that registered schools are competing with unregistered schools thereby making formalised schools to lose revenue.
Sanyati district SMEs Chairperson Mavis Mercy Sigireta blamed Sanyati RDC for suffocating SMEs with the charges they are levied.
“Our challenges are caused by Sanyati Rural District Council whose business charges are very exorbitant. Their business rates are the same with those being charged by urban local authorities and also they do not notify us when formulating budget.
“We are operating our business in a harsh environment but with the coming of Hon Mary Mliswa-Chikoka to hear our concerns I hope the business environment will change as she has called for a downward review of the council’s charges,” said Mavis Sigireta.
The National Chairperson of Small-to-Medium Enterprises for Economic Development, Ruzive Ruzive said that the purpose of the Business Engagement Programme was to try and help all business sectors in Sanyati district to have access to government programmes.
‘The purpose of the meeting was to help all business sectors in Sanyati district to access government programmes and to listen to some of their concerns in the business environment. It has also been realized that 95% of the country’s economy is the hands of the SMEs and today SMEs have came out pointing fingers at various government departments and local authorities who are said to be making business not to flourish in a conducive environment by implementing harsh bye-laws and using various Act to their advantage against small businesses,” said Ruzive Ruzive.
The SMEs boss also urged business people in Sanyati district to join associations so as to speak with one voice.
“I urge those individual businessmen in Sanyati to join associations so as to speak with one voice about the problems they are facing within business operations,” said the SMEs National Chairperson.
The MashWest Provincial Affairs Minister Hon Mary Mliswa-Chikoka who attended the meeting blamed the City of Kadoma and Sanyati RDC for subjecting business to operate in an environment which is not conducive for business to flourish and took a swipe at the respective top officials who hide behind bye-laws and Acts.
TOP PIC: Sanyati district SMEs representatives