R40m relief fund not enough to save small businesses in Gauteng – DA

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The DA has called on the MEC for economic development Morakane Mosupyoe and Premier David Makhura to provide targeted assistance to small businesses that employ many people.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng says the R40 million that has been set aside to assist small businesses in the province is “too little to make a dent” in the suffering of businesses, informal traders and spaza shops.

Although the DA welcomed the assistance that had been given to small businesses by government, the party said the budget was not nearly enough.

DA MPL Makashule Gana said during a question-and-answer session at the Gauteng provincial legislature on Tuesday that the MEC for economic development, Morakane Mosupyoe, revealed that the department aimed to provide support to 4,000 informal traders, small businesses and spaza shops.

“MEC Mosupyoe said that to date the department has received 144 applications for financial support. Furthermore, the businesses which will receive assistance from the department should be operating in Gauteng for at least 12 months,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Gana said that while providing financial support was a step in the right direction, the 4,000 small businesses including informal traders and spaza shops that would receive assistance was small, considering that the province was likely to lose more than 1 million jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Using the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller to process funding relief for small businesses will not be effective as it is incapacitated and incompetent, and it will not be able to reach all businesses that need assistance,” he said.

The MPL said the DA called on the MEC and Premier David Makhura to provide targeted assistance to small businesses that employed many people.

“In so doing, government will be able to assist small businesses to save as many jobs as possible. In addition, we are also calling on government to include as criteria the number of people employed by the small businesses that apply for financial assistance,” he concluded.

(Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa)

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