DURING the inter-ministerial media briefing in Tshwane yesterday by the economic cluster, it emerged only tax-compliant businesses would be financially helped.

This leaves street vendors high and dry when the lockdown kicks in on Thursday midnight.

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Shops allowed to operate will include spaza shops.

Small Businesses Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said they would be financially helped if they met conditions.

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said businesses must also take necessary protocols to ensure proper hygiene and social distancing. “Consumer-facing businesses like grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and spaza shops will be asked to educate staff and customers on required protocols and take reasonable steps to keep social distancing between customers.”

He said the Industrial Development Corporation would rise up to sector challenges from this crisis.

Patel said they made two special interventions:

  • R500 million allocated for trade finance to import essential medical products.
  • R700 million allocated for working capital and equipment and machinery.

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said special leave would cover workers who contracted the virus and they would be compensated through the UIF.

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He said the benefit would be calculated on scale and would not be more than the minimum wage of R3 500. Nxesi said more details would be made available today, and most employers were already aware of this.

“The issue of workers in the informal sector, who are registered, cannot be dealt with from our side because it’s beyond this particular legislation.”

He pointed out that the president mentioned a safety net that could benefit these workers.