South Africa

40,000 informal traders to each get R1,000 Covid-19 relief: here's how to check if you qualify

40,000 informal traders to each get R1,000 Covid-19 relief: here's how to check if you qualify

Small business development minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has called on informal traders whose businesses have been impacted by Covid-19 to apply for funding of R1,000.

The minister said the initiative is a collaboration between the department and Nedbank, and aims to empower 40,000 small businesses.

“In a total contribution of R40m, qualifying traders will receive grants of R1,000 each. The money will be used to buy stock,” Ntshavheni said on Monday.

Traders who want to benefit from the initiative are urged to register on the national small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) website for small businesses and complete the online application form. Applicants are required to have a SA ID and a valid municipal trading permit.

The department has introduced initiatives to help small businesses since SA went on lockdown, including the township and rural entrepreneurship programme (Trep). 

“The focus of the Trep is to support enterprises based in townships and rural areas, and also micro and informal businesses, to restart, rebuild and improve their businesses as part of the reconstruction and recovery of the SA economy,” said the minister.

In March, the department introduced a “debt relief fund” aimed at servicing the debt of small business owners affected by the pandemic. Ntshavheni said business owners needed to prove their businesses were directly affected by the pandemic.

“Government understands SMMEs will be affected on two levels: as businesses when the economy slows down, and as suppliers of products and services during this period,” she said.

“To mitigate the impact during the expected economic slowdown, the department is finalising the SMME support intervention comprising the debt relief fund and business growth or resilience facility.”