The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) should immediately release the R250 million they have been sitting on since last year to assist small businesses that have been damaged and looted during the recent unrest that flared up in the province.
In many cases, small businesses affected may not have adequate insurance or no insurance at all to cover the damage and loss of stock incurred, which may result in their permanent closure, having already endured economic-killing lockdown restrictions.
Township economies have suffered a near-fatal blow from the looting and destruction of property. Almost all jobs lost from targeted malls employed residents in affected townships. So many more households are set to face hard times ahead, wondering how they will get food onto the table.
The R250 million will go a long way to helping small businesses get on their feet again, salvage some jobs and get the wheels of the provincial economy turning again.
In addition, the government should be working with communities and business chambers to ensure that there is security for businesses in the province, especially those that invest in the townships.
The looting and destruction will also have a negative impact on investment in townships, with the private sector hesitant on investing in affected areas again.
Small businesses affected by the looting deserve all the support they can get from the government as the township economy is a key driver of job creation in the province. We will continue to push the GEP to provide support to small businesses so that economic recovery in the province can be realised.
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