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SA lockdown: Govt working on relief package for informal sector

The 21-day lock down period officially starts at midnight on Thursday and would have a devastating impact on businesses and hawkers as well as informal traders will be among those hardest hit.

Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni 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.

JOHANNESBURG - Small Business and Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on Wednesday said government was working on a relief package to assist the informal sector during the 21-day national lockdown.

Ntshavheni clarified that all spaza shops in communities would be allowed to operate during this period, however, hawkers would have to stay at home.

“We must indicate that those spaza shops that will be open are strictly those that are owned by South Africans, managed and run by South Africans. We are going to support the spaza shops in terms of bulk buying and we will indicate the mechanisms we will put in place for the shops,” Ntshavheni said.

The 21-day lockdown period officially starts at midnight on Thursday and would have a devastating impact on businesses and hawkers as well as informal traders will be among those hardest hit.

Ntshavheni said government was putting together a plan that would ensure the informal sector got the necessary support during this time.

She said government was also finalising how specific categories of self-employed citizens would be supported.

Only essential businesses including supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, petrol stations, and healthcare providers would remain operational during the national lockdown.

WATCH: How to wash your hands properly

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