Businesses receiving government’s funding support should subject themselves to the country’s labour market policies aimed to employ more South African youth, according to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.
He was addressing the media in Pretoria. Mboweni says government will ensure that the new economy that will emerge after the lockdown prioritises locals.
Government has set aside R500 billion to support businesses and vulnerable people affected by COVID-19.
Mboweni says all businesses that require funding should be properly registered and be prepared to put South Africans first.
“The government will have to put in place labour market policies which are supportive of the increase in employment of South African youth without discriminating against non- South Africans.”
Meanwhile, Mboweni has confirmed that National Treasury is in talks with the BRICS Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to access funding set aside to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government plans to raise R370 billion from both local and international sources.
Mboweni says government will also postpone some of its programmes so that it can re-allocate R130 billion in expenditure.
Mboweni says the Reserve Bank’s measures increase the amount of assistance to over R800 billion in interventions to assist the economy and the fight against coronavirus.
Minister @tito_mboweni briefs media on the #R500billionPackage says: A special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month for the next 6 months will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed and do not receive any other form of social grant or UIF payment.
— National Treasury (@TreasuryRSA) April 24, 2020
Small businesses concerned
Meanwhile, the National Small Business Chamber has expressed concern over how small businesses will cope until the final stage of the lockdown without some grant assistance from government.
As the coronavirus cases continue to rise, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a phased reopening of the economy and a R500 billion stimulus package.
President Ramaphosa said South Africa is set to forge a new economy in a new global reality after the coronavirus pandemic settles.
The economic impact of the virus has hit businesses and individuals hard, with many people being left without jobs since the start of the national lockdown on 27 March 2020.
In the video below, the opening of critical industries is under discussion: