Solidarity Relief fund 'can't provide relief' for SMMEs

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week announced government had set up the independent fund to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Picture: pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Solidarity Relief fund on Monday said its main focus was to provide the country with health and humanitarian support, adding it didn’t have the capacity to help struggling small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs).

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week announced government had set up the independent fund to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus and the 21 days nationwide lockdown to curb its spread.

The fund gave an update on its mandate and the donations received so far.

Ramaphosa established the Solidarity Relief Fund in an effort to mobilise and coordinate efforts and resources from South Africans and the global community to help alleviate the impact of COVID-19. It had so far raised R500 million.

The fund's Nicola Galombik said R100 million was already set aside to assist healthcare workers.

“To enable the urgent process of critically needed personal protective equipment to protect health workers,” she said.

The team appointed to head the relief fund stressed that its efforts were targeted at the healthcare sector and assisting the most vulnerable and that it could not provide soft loans to struggling SMMEs.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus in South Africa, click on this live status report from the Department of Health.