SMMEs in Free State to receive Relief Packages

By: Collen T Ndobo

The Free State MEC of Economic, Small Buisnesses Development, Tourism and Ennviromental Affairs, Makalo Mohale, has announced the provincial economic recovery package.

The intervention is aimed at saving businesses in distress and, eventually, save jobs. The announcement follows the declaration of the National Lockdown and the restriction of state non-essential goods, national departments announced several relief packages to the hard hit SMMEs in the country.

According to a statement released by DESTEA on Wednesday, 17 June 2020, records showed that a worrying low number of Free State companies were able to access these schemes. “Concerned about this situation, DESTEA developed a Value Chains Economic Recovery Approach. In terms of this, the Free State Executive Council has mandated DESTEA to coordinate government expenditure in our departments, with the goal to ensure that SMMEs that can potentially benefit from each of these opportunities.”

“In each identified sector of the province‘s economy, we have identified commodities and services, and are in process to identify specific SMMEs that can potentially benefit from each of these opportunities, ” the statement said. The department developed a Value Chains Economic Recovery Approach to address the economic challenges worsened by the pandemic. In the effort to stimulate economic recovery and prevent loss of jobs and creating new jobs, sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and digital economy will be prioritized over the short to medium term.

“We intend to introduce measures to stimulate demand and supply through interventions such as substantial infrastructure build programme, the speedy implementation of the economic reforms, the transformation of our economy and embarking on other steps that will ignite inclusive economic growth.”

The department added that efforts will be made to assist SMME‘s to recover during the post lockdown period. These efforts includes providing financial and non-financial support relating to operational space, training, marketing, and facilitating the demand and supply channels amongst SMME‘s to create “artificial” demand and supply at this level of economy. The package is divided into formal and informal sectors and focus will strictly be on key strategic sectors. Every application will be subjected to due diligence to avoid investing in failed businesses

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