Small and medium enterprises in Matabeleland South province have been challenged to establish savings and credit cooperatives as a way of addressing the problem of funding faced by the SMEs sector.

The women empowerment fund, horticulture fund, cross border and gold mining funds are among some of the facilities that are meant to assist SMEs to recapitalise their businesses through the provision of loans.

However, most SMEs in the province have been complaining about the conditions attached to the loans, the short repayment periods for servicing loans as well as the unaffordable interest rates.

The Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-Operative Development provincial officer Mr Richmond Ncube encouraged SMEs to create savings and credit co-operatives so that they can operate on their own terms.

Mvelapanda Co-operative which runs a citrus plantation in Beitbridge still feels there is need for the government to fully support the SMEs sector which is contributing significantly to the country’s economy.

There are currently 500 SMEs registered by the Ministry of SMEs in Matabeleland South province.

These are in the agriculture, mining, retailing, manufacturing sectors among others.