Business / Business News

Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
28 Sep 2021
11:09 am

77 companies affected by July riots approved for government aid

Citizen Reporter

Part of the funds will save 7,797 jobs that were on the line after rioters destroyed shops and retailers in the week of civil unrest in July.

Picture: Facebook/Breaking News Updates

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition has approved 77 applications for funding of businesses affected by the July riots.

These applications cover 164 affected sites. 

A “site” refers to separate properties, even when the same firm operates on different properties. For example, the unrest affected four sites owned by the Kingsgate Clothing Group, all of which have received support from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). 

The department has since paid at least R512 million to affected firms.

Part of the funds will save 7,797 jobs that were on the line after rioters destroyed shops and retailers in the week of civil unrest in July.

The funds are part of a broader package of relief measures (close to R4 billion) announced on 28 July 2021. 

ALSO READ: Bodies found inside looted store weeks after unrest

SA unrest: Almost R120m in cash stolen
Springfield Retail Centre on fire as vehicles are broken and stripped in the parking lot on 13 July 2021, in Durban, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images

The department said relief and support interventions were critical to restoring key supply chains affected.

Businesses in KwaZulu-Natal and some parts of Gauteng came to a standstill after thousands of people participated in the widespread looting.

The damage to properties, machines and equipment, and disruption to supply chains across a range of sectors nearly annihilated companies that were already in dire straits because of Covid-19 trading restrictions.

“Support has been extended to these firms in the form of term loans at zero interest, bridging finance, as well as the conversion of portions of selected facilities into grants,” said the department.

“All applications will continue to be rigorously assessed and approved on merit and need,” it added.

Funding for small businesses (formal and informal), particularly in rural areas and townships, has also been made available to six intermediary organisations, including non-profit organisation Afrika Tikkun, the SA Cane Growers Association and the National South African Stokvel Association.

The funds will assist small uninsured traders with working capital and inventory support to restore operations across affected townships.
The department said July’s unrest damaged growth, jobs and transformation and affected investor confidence in the domestic economy.

“To mitigate the damage caused, the DTIC [Department of Trade, Industry and Competition] and its entities launched a special fund to support companies. The first approvals were made in August and have been steadily growing, reaching the R1 billion milestone on Monday.”

Compiled by Narissa Subramoney