R30m financial relief for small KZN businesses hit by unrest

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
Trucks burning during unrest in Durban in July 2021. File photo.
Trucks burning during unrest in Durban in July 2021. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/ROGAN WARD

Three months after small KwaZulu-Natal businesses were hit by civil unrest and looting, financial relief is finally on the way.

The province’s economic, development and environmental affairs department and Industrial Development Corporation together with Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) have established a business support fund valued at R30m.

“The unrest in July damaged growth, jobs and transformation and affected investor confidence in the domestic economy,” said TIKZN.

“To mitigate the damage caused, TIKZN in collaboration with its strategic partners launched a special fund to support the affected SMMEs in urban, rural and township areas to restore what has been lost, preserve jobs and continue with efforts to re-industrialise the economy.

“This is grant ranges from R50,000 up to a maximum of R1m per business subject to the TIKZN business support fund application approval process.

“This support is intended to accelerate social, economic, and spatial transformation.”

Applications for affected business owners opened on Wednesday and will close on October 25.

TIKZN CEO Neville Matjie said: “We continue to work with all South Africans to rebuild an economy that is more resilient and sustainable.

“We call on the private sector and other stakeholders to partner with us in forging expeditious solutions to save our all-important SMMEs in affected areas.

“We urge the affected and qualifying businesses to take this opportunity to apply for the business recovery support programmes offered to ease the pressure and risk of closing their businesses while progressively elevating the economy during this difficult period.”

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