“From the very beginning when we started, we did indicate that we were formed at a time when the budget cycle had passed already. We were already in June,” Zulu told a media briefing at the national SMME policy colloquium in Johannesburg.
“There was an agreement at the time that whatever was necessary for the department of small and medium enterprise would be catered for within the budget of the dti.”
This took place within the context of the dti having a unit which focused on small and medium enterprises.
“So those were not shut out,” the minister said.
“They continued with their budget because [it] was already approved and they started implementing their programmes already by the beginning of the financial year, which was April.”
The agreement, a memorandum of understanding, between the dti and Zulu’s department meant whatever the new department needed, they had received it.
“In other words, it means dti has been helping us in terms of ensuring that our expenditure is also within the framework as agreed by government,” Zulu said.
“You can’t say because you’re a new department you’re just going to spend the money anywhere… There are processes that need to be respected.”
From the time the department had come into existence, it had not had any difficulties.
“Those processes that I talked about that were under dti, we said let them continue their work. We will evaluate them as well, which we have started,” she said.
“From where we sit as government, we want to look at those programmes that they have… Have they had the necessary impact or not?”
At the same time, it was not desirable to create a vacuum where small and medium enterprises were already in the process of getting one thing or another approved, for it then to move to a different department.
“This is about business. This is about making sure people operate on a day-to-day basis,” the minister said.