The Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) has clarified that John Taolo Gaetsewe and Frances Baard are not being excluded from applying for the Economic Growth and Development Fund (EGDF) for 2018/2019.
In a statement released last week the department stated that the two districts were included in an earlier advertising that called for applications for the 2018/19 financial year. According to the statement the department is alarmed by the number of applications received from the other districts in the province, i.e. Namakwa, Pixkley ka Seme and ZF Mgcawu through an earlier round of funding advertisements.
The advertisement has sparked strong reaction from a Kimberley based company, Ecstasy Communications. The company’s marketing manager, Caution Lesaone, has threatened to march with other Francis Baard businesses to demand for MEC Mack Jack and the acting Head of Department, Sam Mabilo’s removal. The decision by the department to rerun the advertisement was to intentionally target the other three districts to encourage businesses to apply. According to the department’s acting Head of Department they are “working hard to ensure that there is public awareness of the fund.” They want to ensure that funding support is spread equitably across the province.
According to the statement the Department received a total of 440 applications in the 2107/2018 financial year and funded a total of 105 enterprises that were supposed to create h 520. It was further stated that 32% women, 26% youth and 4% disabled entrepreneurs were funded of which 55 enterprises were from Frances Baard, 19 from JT Gaetsewe, 11 from ZF Mgcawu and 10 from Namakwa and Pixley ka Seme districts respectively.