R21m relief package for eThekwini’s Covid-hit businesses

R21m relief package for eThekwini’s Covid-hit businesses

Opposition parties in eThekwini say while they back the R21 million financial relief package to help small businesses mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it should be benefitting more entities.

Covid business closed

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda on Monday began handing out funding to the first 100 businesses out of 700 successful applications to the municipality's Economic Recovery Fund.

They each received cheques of R30 000 at City Hall.

Kaunda says there are other inventions to lessen the financial burden. 

"Part of the intervention as well, is to ensure that B&Bs and guesthouses when they pay rates, they do not pay under the category of commercial but they pay under the residential category so they can be able to meet their own financial obligations.

"Those who are renting to our premises, we have deferred rentals so that we can enable them to recoup from the losses they have incurred during his period so that they start re-operating their businesses effectively."

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) councillor Mdu Nkosi says they support the initiative, especially because businesses suffered more setbacks because of the unrest in July.

"What we emphasise is that the initiative must not choose people. Everyone must benefit. I say that because the civil unrest was only directed to certain people, most of the business people were affected so we wanted to see everyone benefit. If we do that in a right way, surely those people who lost their jobs, they will then be able to be reemployed.

Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Nicole Graham says they also welcome the relief offered but believe a different approach should have been taken.

"The city has been doing this since the emergence of the pandemic, giving rebates and creating a more enabling environment for business. 

"But across the board, businesses have been affected an instead of specific cash donations to a small number of businesses the money could have been used to overall address the economic climate in which all businesses are operating."


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