Govt set to assist businesses affected by looting with capital, machinery

Department of Trade and Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel told reporters that R3.9 billion had been raised to respond to the needs of factories, companies, small businesses among others whose properties were stolen or destroyed in the July mayhem.

Police arrest suspected looters following riots in Alexandra on 12 July 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – Qualifying businesses affected by the looting that took place in parts of South Africa can look forward to assistance with working capital, machinery purchases and other priorities from the Department of Trade and Industry and Small Business Development.

On Thursday, the minister for the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, told reporters that R3.9 billion had been raised to respond to the needs of factories, companies, small businesses among others whose properties were stolen or destroyed in the mayhem.

READ: Trade Dept sets up R3.9 bn to help business rebuild

Minister Patel said that they planned to support all enterprises based on the availability of funds.

He indicated that they were likely to raise more than R4 billion to respond to the challenge as big business was still being lobbied to contribute.

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Patel explained what the funds would be used for.

“Support, immediately, to businesses so that they can get back into full operations while they await either for longer-term funding possibilities or, alternatively, insurance money. Secondly, and where necessary, based on a business case, these fundings may supplement what Sasria [South African Special Risk Insurance Association] is doing. Third, they may include grants where warranted.”

There is, however, a catch and that is businesses applying for assistance have to be compliant with all laws pertaining to their sectors and also be up to date with tax payments.

Many small businesses have reportedly been defaulting on these in recent months given the harsh impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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