Tourism Dept sets aside R200m for small businesses likely to be hit by lockdown

Companies will have to show their businesses have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane at an inter-ministerial briefing on 24 March 2020 detailing how government will respond ahead of and during the 21-day lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Tourism Department has set aside R200 million to help small businesses in the sector that are likely to be hardest hit by the national lockdown.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said that Treasury had given her department the green light for the money to be used by businesses in distress.

Kubayi-Ngubane said that the money would be used to help small companies with a turnover of up to R2.5 million, who were fully registered and who had been in business for more than a year.

WATCH: President Ramaphosa: South Africa to go into 21-day lockdown

But she said the money would not be enough.

"I do understand that this won’t be sufficient… the sector has almost come to a standstill with various categories of businesses affected."

Kubayi-Ngubane said that bigger companies would be able to get help through broader government assistance as well as through tax relief and loan repayment holidays.

"We are looking at the smaller businesses that are likely not to survive."

Companies will have to show their businesses have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We will ask for information that shows the business is in distress because of COVID-19. It shouldn’t be somebody who’s already been battling before COVID-19 started."

Details will be published on the department’s website.

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