State of the Nation Address 2023



State of the Nation Address 2023

Leave No One Behind Leave No One Behind

Freeing small businesses

There are between 2.4 and 3.5 million SMMEs in the country, with the largest number in the informal and micro sectors. They offer the greatest untapped potential for growth, employment and fundamental economic transformation.

We are undertaking far-reaching measures to unleash the potential of small, micro and informal businesses. Last year, we launched the bounce-back loan scheme administered by banks and other financial institutions, and guaranteed by government, for companies that need finance to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Small businesses can now apply to banks and other lenders for bounce-back loans of R15 billion. About R150 million has been approved for 7 000 businesses since May 2022.

In addition, a further R5 billion business equity-linked loan guarantee support mechanism will be launched.

The Department of Small Business Development will work with National Treasury on how the scheme can be strengthened to assist small and medium enterprises and businesses in the informal sector.

Government is working in partnership with the SA SME Fund to establish a R10 billion fund to support SMME growth, with R2.5 billion from government and R7.5 billion from the private sector.


Informal traders in Mamelodi preparing stock after the revision of the regulation

We are supporting SMME participation in the manufacturing value chain, targeting specific products for manufacture for both the domestic and export markets. This includes providing business infrastructure support, financial assistance through loans and blended funding, facilitating routes to markets, and assistance with technical skills, product certification, testing and quality assurance.

We are reviewing the Business Act – alongside a broader review of legislation that affects SMMEs – to reduce the regulatory burden on informal businesses.

By the numbers

Between 2.4 and 3.5 million

SMMEs in South Africa

Over R900 million

Loans to SMMEs

20 000+

Small businesses supported

30 000+

Jobs created and sustained

Over R900 million

Injected into our economy by SMMEs

This benefitted an increasing number of enterprises owned by Black entrepreneurs and businesses owned by women, youth and people with disabilities.

Township and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme


This programme support SMMEs in townships and rural areas. It focuses on integrating opportunities in these areas into productive business ventures. The focus is to create platforms which provide the business support infrastructure and regulatory environment that enables entrepreneurs to thrive.

By the numbers

Over R200 million


6 000+

Enterprises supported

8 000+

Jobs created/maintained

Support for co-operatives

Co-operatives are a mechanism through which communities can organise themselves to participate more meaningfully in the economy.

The Co-operatives Development Support Programme (CDSP) supports co-operative enterprises financially and non-financially. It prioritises co-operatives owned by prioritises women, youth and persons living with disabilities, especially in rural, township and peri-urban areas.

In partnership with other institutions, the programme offers blended financing to eligible co-operatives on cost-sharing funding of a combination of a grant and loan. The grant funding portion of funding is capped at R2.5 million towards qualifying activities.

By the numbers

Over R10 million



Co-operatives supported

Women-owned businesses


We have put a national policy in place to ensure that 40% of public procurement goes to women-owned businesses and trained around 6 000 women-owned businesses in essential business skills to apply for government tenders.

Government is working to pilot the Women’s Empowerment Fund. This initiative will accelerate the financial inclusion of women, youth and people with disabilities across mainstream sectors of our economy.

The SheTradesZA Hub supports women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their businesses and increase their international competitiveness. Women entrepreneurs can connect to national, regional and global markets through the hub. The goal is to connect at least 50 000 women-owned businesses to market by 2023.

The IDC has earmarked approximately R9 billion to invest in women-led businesses to drive inclusive economic growth. Other entities including the Public Investment Corporation and the National Empowerment Fund have also committed to establish special purpose vehicles to support women-owned businesses.

By the numbers

3 400+

Women–owned enterprises trained

R9 billion

IDC investment for women–led businesses

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