DTI plans support for informal businesses affected by theft and violence

The Department of Trade and Industry is exploring ways of extending its support for informal businesses worst-hit by looting earlier this month.

Flames rise from two shops set alight during overnight looting in Mabopane north of Pretoria on 21 June 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

National Treasury said on Wednesday that the Trade and Industry Department was assessing how it would extend assistance to informal businesses affected by the looting and damage to property during violence earlier this month.

Department officials and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni explained how some programmes meant to provide relief would be funded.

National Treasury Deputy Director-General Mampho Modise said the DTI had already reprioritised R700 million from its budget and an additional R1.3 billion would be requested from Treasury.

“What they are trying to do is to look at the different categories of support they will need. There are businesses in malls that are insured but not fully covered. They are going to assist those who are not insured. They will be looking at grant funding to see whether they can’t help informal businesses,” she said.

Officials stressed that businesses receiving support would need to be tax compliant.

Beyond the R2 billion raised by the department, the Department of Small Business Development had reprioritised R300 million from its existing budget to be transferred to the Small Enterprise Finance Agency to distribute funds.

Modise added that they had also approached the Tourism Department to explore whether it could also reprioritise funds.