The Ministry of Small Business Development will introduce support measures for SMMEs, including a Debt Relief Fund and a Business Growth/Resilience facility.

The Debt Relief Fund will provide relief on existing debts and repayments to assist SMMEs during the COVID-19 State of Disaster. SMMEs must be able to demonstrate a direct link of the impact or potential impact of COVID-19 on their business operations. The facility will assist businesses to acquire raw material, pay labour and other operational costs.

A Business Growth/Resilience Facility is also being created to enable continued participation of SMMEs in supply value-chains, in particular those that manufacture (locally) or supply various products that will be in demand.

SMMEs requiring assistance must enrol on www.smmesa.gov.za which will go live on March 24.

GM of Travel Counsellors South Africa, Mladen Lukic, said fiscal stimulus from the government would be essential for the survival of the travel industry and that the government would need to implement plans to help both employers and employees during this period so that they would be in a position to remobilise and restart the economy when the time came.

“So far, government has shown a desire to handle the pandemic proactively and we hope that this will remain the case in their implementation of fiscal policies. Unfortunately, South Africa does not have the coffers that Western Europe has at its disposal though,” said Lukic.