An investigation of the support systems for small, medium and micro enterprises through local service centres in the Vaal Triangle region
The Vaal Triangle has a higher than average level of unemployment and poverty. This is mainly due to globalization on the one hand and the availability of land for housing on the other. The researcher has been prompted to do this study after returning to the Vaal Triangle after a period of absence, during which the visible deterioration of the main business areas in both Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging prompted into to attempt and establish what could be done to improve the situation. The literature study exposed various reasons for unemployment in South Africa and in particular, in the Vaal Triangle. It further highlights the levels of poverty in the area. In addition the literature study explored some of the successful measures taken by various countries globally. The only sustainable method of creating jobs, is through profitable business, and the method of establishing a good core of growing businesses that can employ vast numbers of a country's citizens, is to ensure a good foundation of small new businesses in a country or area. The research shows that government both nationally and locally, should take various steps to promote and encourage business and to make it very easy to start businesses. The research explores some of the problems experienced by small business managers or owners and highlights the need for information, management know-how and adequate funding as the main stumbling blocks. The research concentrates on the various services or incentives available from government to small business and which are available through local service centres. The empirical study consists of a structured questionnaire, as well as interviews with service providers and small business owners. The questionnaire was distributed to small businesses randomly selected h m the population of small businesses in the Vaal Triangle in order to investigate whether these are aware of all the organisations that could assist them with incentive services, and to find out of they were using these services. This included a section that allowed the small business owner to comment on h i s k needs. The main findings were that small business owners were not aware of the organisations that supply incentive services; consequently they were not using these services. Unfortunately no comments were forthcoming or feedback given on the questionnaires in reference of the owner's opinions.