Isipingo Market. Picture: Supplied.
Isipingo Market. Picture: Supplied.

eThekwini Municipality throws looted informal traders a lifeline

By Vernon Mchunu Time of article published Aug 3, 2021

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DURBAN - INFORMAL traders who were hit hard by the recent civil unrest have begun to receive assistance from eThekwini municipality.

At least 200 traders, who are part of the 55 000 informal businesses which were impacted by the unrest, have been given vouchers valued at R1 000 each as part of the city’s relief package for the informal economy, municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said on Tuesday.

“The city has facilitated assistance through its social partners and 200 informal traders selling fruit and vegetables have received vouchers to purchase stock at Clairwood Bulk Market to the value of R1 000 for each vendor operating in Isipingo,” said Mayisela.

The Isipingo local food market was among the informal businesses that went up in flames as mobs ran amok, wreaking havoc on the city’s economic zones.

Mayisela said the issuing of vouchers was aimed at helping emerging entrepreneurs to restart after the violence had put them out of business, adding that the initiative would be extended to benefit many other traders across the municipality.

In addition, he said, the city’s business support unit was finalising a process to approve the 18-month rental holiday for informal traders who have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The rental waiver would be effective from July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022, in keeping with a recent Cabinet decision.

The city was also planning to not increase tariffs applicable for business licenses, with respect to retail markets and for traders operating in the street, at hive sites and those using container trade sites - a lifeline that would be in place for the duration of the 2021/2022/2023 financial years.

“The main objective is to promote economic growth and provide financial relief. Also, more informal businesses will be benefiting through planned compliance workshops to be rolled out, in partnership with various government entities. This will improve regulatory and compliance levels of informal traders,” he said, adding that compliance would enable traders to access more relief programmes that are in the pipeline.

“Compliance is a requirement for some funding programmes, such as the Township and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme (TREP) and the Operational Vula provincial funding scheme,” said Mayisela.

THE MERCURY

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