Efficiency and competitiveness of a South Africa grant support programme for small, medium, and micro-sized enterprises
The paper investigates the efficiency and competitiveness of a state grant support programme for small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa. A balanced scorecard measurement framework through key performance indicators (KPIs) was applied using aggregate firm level datasets from 2012 and 2017. Empirical results show that the state grant support programme does not have a significant approval rate. Incomplete procedural requirements and overextended turnaround time between the approval and conversion processes contributed to the negative performance of the programme. This implies that the programme policy is overridden or partially set aside, contributing to inadequate allocation and inappropriate distribution of the programme funds to the targeted beneficiary. Further, the programme access choices are distorted, with qualifying beneficiaries prioritized against the targeted group. Funding programmes established for political reasons lead to programme distortion and inefficiency. Therefore, there was a trade-off between fiscal allocation, disbursement, performance, and efficiency.