Natasha Chamba, Business Reporter
SMALL to medium enterprises (SMEs) are generating an average of $1 million a day at the Beitbridge Border Post through payment of taxes, according to Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni.
Speaking at a workshop hosted by her ministry on the sidelines of the just ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo, Minister Nyoni said cross border traders and vendors that use the Beitbridge border post were paying taxes and thus contributing to the revival of the economy.
“SMEs contribute a big percentage of Government revenue and our women constitute more than 60 percent of people in the SME sector,” she said.
Minister Nyoni said through the Customs office at the Beitbridge, cross border traders and vendors were injecting an average of $1 million a day into Government coffers.
“This is a very significant contribution to our economy by this sector that should be applauded,” said Minister Nyoni.
She said what was pleasing was that more SMEs were formalising their operations and the figure had jumped from 13 000 in 2017 to more than 18 500 last year.
Minister Nyoni said the figure of registered SMEs was set to increase this year as more operators realised the benefits of formalising their operations.
“The World Bank in 2012 said 85 percent of SMEs in Zimbabwe were informal but now a large number has formalised and meeting tax obligations. You must feel proud because you are undertaking your national duty,” she said.
Minister Nyoni said it was important for all businesses to contribute to the running of the country by paying taxes.
She said Government can only meet its mandate of providing services to citizens if individuals and businesses meet their obligation of paying taxes.
Dr Nyoni said SMEs that have not yet formalised were at high risk of being taken advantage of by bigger companies.
Meanwhile, Minister Nyoni castigated corruption by some tax officials saying those who will be found wanting in this regard will face the “long arm of the law”.
She said Government was in the process of simplifying its tax system to enable even very small businesses to comply. Government has been encouraging SMEs to register their operations with Zimra. — @queentauruszw