DA suggests loan repayment holiday to deal with impact of COVID-19 in SA

The party’s leadership addressed members of the media on Tuesday on its submissions to supplement South African’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

DA finance spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis (left) at a media briefing on the coronavirus on 17 March 2020. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has come up with a number of suggestions to limit the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, like giving small businesses a four-month grace period on loan repayments.

The party’s leadership addressed members of the media on Tuesday on its submissions to supplement South African’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This followed an extended DA shadow cabinet meeting, also attended by the Western Cape and City of Cape Town administrations.

The DA has called on the private sector to assist the country and augment its resources to help contain the virus.

DA health spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube: "There are various labs across the country in the public sector. We can also reach out to private sector laboratories to help us augment this and to help us screen as many people as possible."

DA finance spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis said that the COVID-19 outbreak would have a devastating impact on the country’s economy.

He said that one way to limit this was to assist small businesses by not making them pay for loans.

"Firstly, we are proposing a loan forbearance programme, which would be for the economic survival of businesses and families. We propose a nationwide four-month payment holiday on loans, in particular, property loans, business loans and vehicle loans."

The party also called on medical aids to offer free testing for those covered.

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