Nafcoc calls on government to increase its efforts to support SMEs after unrest
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THE National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) has called on the government to increase its efforts in providing extensive relief to black businesses and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) after the unrest.
In a statement, Nafcoc Gauteng spokesperson Refilwe Monageng said the government’s economic recovery measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on July 25 were a useful step forward. “However, black businesses and SMMEs in general need more help.”
Nafcoc is a federated chamber comprising more than 20 industry-specific sectors of the economy and has a membership of about 2.3 million.
Monageng said the government had many options available to provide small businesses with support. “The options include comprehensive tax relief, debt amnesty provisions and even grants.
“It’s also important to recognise that many black businesses have been excluded from applying for government or private sector support through the pandemic, because they do not have the resources to supply the basic paperwork required for the applications. The reality is that many black entrepreneurs were already living from hand to mouth and in no position even to produce the basic tax clearance or the other compliance paperwork frequently required to access the limited relief available. The livelihoods of potentially millions of South Africans are at stake. We cannot fail our people,” said Monageng.
Monageng said Nafcoc was encouraged to see that stability has been restored following the civil unrest that erupted in parts of the country in July.
“We are grateful to see that the situation is now stable, with mop-up operations commencing in the affected communities. As a nation, we must now find the strength to dust ourselves off, pick up the pieces and rebuild our country.”
The federation said the South African Property Owners Association estimated that the week of riots, arson and violent unrest could cost the country about R50 billion in lost output, while 150 000 jobs have been placed at risk.
“We are deeply saddened by the destruction of businesses, in particular the small business and black entrepreneurial community, that have already been struggling for months to survive the Covid-19 crisis,” said Monageng.
Nafcoc said it was calling on business and industry associations to engage and collaborate with the small and black business community to help support them during this trying period.
Monageng said: “We need further engagement between the public and private sectors to implement urgent interventions to provide short-to-medium security for more black-owned business ventures. South Africa’s prosperity is directly tied to the economic empowerment of the majority of our people.”
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE