The Business Relief Fund just not Enough

The Department of Small Business Development has announced through its website that only around 1 400 applicants for the Covid-19 Business Relief funds were approved as beneficiaries against well over 35 000 initial applications.

It’s probably a very welcome relief for successful beneficiaries from within Soweto according to our media research. No more than three business operators that we came across have confirmed to have benefited from one of the relief funds.

The tough question remains though, as to what happens to the unapproved 34 000 applicants? How are they coping? How is the lack of financial boost affecting them?

Amongst the disappointed applicants is Mr Leganyago based at the Orlando Industrial Park. For him, lack of easy financial support thwarts his dreams of keeping the business open and implementing the empowerment program for youngsters as well as skilled carpenters.  His vision is making them co-shareholders and entrepreneurs in his firm after a year’s skills tutelage.

He’s not the only one adversely affected in the industrial park as three more entrepreneurs namely Masseurs Peter Baloyi, Dingaan and Prince Gauke were identified to remain in need of significant investment capital and working capital injection to help repair their burnt workshops, repurchase new working equipment and reconfigure burnt stock including allegations of theft of some of their motor parts stock.

Indeed, as resilient and committed entrepreneurs to their craft, businesses and clientele continue to work, service customers and produce what is required despite the damage, stress worry and limited resources, facilitate advertising for new orders, replace and repair damaged stock and working equipment, pay rent and staff, etc.

Calls are being made by the businesses’ representative committee for those who can assist with funding and mentorship to make contact.

Dumi Mkhabela Soweto Sunrise News

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