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LIVE: 81,000 SMMEs apply for assistance, says Ntshavheni

Minister in the economic cluster are briefing the nation on economic matters as contained in the revised lockdown regulations.

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 Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said 81,000 SMME’s have registered on the database and more than 2,000 applications have been received for relief funds.

Minister in the economic cluster are briefing the nation on economic matters as contained in the revised lockdown regulations.

Wide-reaching bans on movement were rolled out throughout the country last month, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the 21-day lockdown.

She has reminded SMMEs business that in order for them to be eligible, they should have been operational by 29 February 2020.

The minister said the department was addressing application challenges raised by the spaza shops owners.

"Spaza shop owners can now apply online for Spaza Shops Support scheme. Forms are available on the departments website."

She said foreign nationals who were in the country legally were allowed to trade.

"informal traders can apply for a permit to trade at their local municipalities."

ATTENDING FUNERALS IN ANOTHER PROVINCE

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said the regulation that people could book and stay at guest houses, B&Bs or hotels when attending funerals in other provinces had been rescinded.

While mourners will now be allowed travel for the burial of their loved ones during the lockdown, this will only take place under tight conditions.

They will need to provide a death certificate and must obtain a permit from a police station or magistrates court.

Only close relatives of the deceased can attend, including children, a spouse, parents and grandparents, while the prohibition of no more than 50 people will still apply.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Deputy Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said the adequate provision of personal protective equipment was a challenge.

"Government is committed to providing it to health workers both in the private and public services."

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