Only licensed spaza shops can stay open during SA's lockdown
- Only spaza shops with a municipal licence will be allowed to trade during the lockdown that starts on Friday.
- On Tuesday, minister of small business development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni seemed to imply that only spaza shops owned and managed by South Africans will be allowed to remain open to ensure “the quality of food”.
- Details of government assistance for spaza owners, the self-employed and the informal sector will be announced on Friday.
- For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.
Only spaza shops that are licensed with municipalities will be allowed to trade during the lockdown, the ministry of small business development confirmed to Business Insider South Africa on Wednesday.
This followed comments made at a media briefing on Tuesday by minister of small business development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, who seemed to imply that only spaza shops owned and managed by South Africans will be allowed to remain open to ensure “the quality of food”.
There are some 100 000 spaza shops across the country, which are subject to different licensing requirements by individual municipalities.
As from Friday, all shops and businesses must be closed, with the exception of pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, supermarkets, petrol stations and healthcare providers.
The Department of Small Business Development will announce a specific plan for financial assistance to spaza owners, the self-employed, and those in the informal sector on Friday.
Foreign-owned spaza shops may able to apply for financial help under this plan, but the department has indicated that locally-owned businesses will receive preference, and that some forms of assistance, such as low interest rate loans, may be limited to South African owned businesses.
On Tuesday, Ntshavheni said a document claiming that companies must be 51% black owned to get the funding is “fake news”.
(Compiled by Helena Wasserman)
See also | You can walk your dog and jog: everything we know about the reality of SA Covid-19 shutdown
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