Minister of Small Business Development, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni announced some interventions as South Africa battles CIVID-19 pandemic. President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a lockdown amid the spread of the coronavirus. Ntshavheni said government will be supporting all small businesses across South Africa and across all demographics.
A payment holiday for specific SMMEs will also be introduced. Spaza shops will also be supported during the lockdown.
“We must indicate those spaza shops that will be open are strictly spaza shop that are owned by South Africans, managed and run by South Africans. We want to make sure that the quality of food and quality of products is there,” said Ntshavheni.
Ntshavheni warned companies and officials of misusing the fund.
To qualify for the fund, here are the requirements:
Companies must be owned 100 % by SA citizens
Employ at least 70 % SA nationals
Priority will be given to businesses owned by women, youth and people with disabilities. All businesses seeking assistance must register on the SMME South Africa portal at www.smmesa.gov.za, which will open on 24 March.
In other news – The role of SANDF during lockdown
The army will be deployed to support the South African Police Service to enforce the nationwide lockdown. President Cyril Ramaphhosa announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday. Military analyst Helmoed Heitman said the role of SANDF members could vary, depending on the assistance needed by the police. They have been talking about closing down parts of the road network, to prevent people from moving much. For instance, the army could man vehicle checkpoints.
The other stuff includes if the police have a problem somewhere and they could help them with that but it could go beyond that if there is an unrest problem then because people assume the shops will run out of stocks and they could be deployed to protect shops and hospitals”, said Heitman. Heitman said there is no reason for people to fear because the army will most likely be using minimum force. Read more