Small businesses kept waiting as GEP fails to allocate the full R100 million Rebuilding Fund

It is extremely disheartening that the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) has only disbursed R2 million of the allocated R100 million of the Rebuilding Fund which is meant to assist small businesses affected by the looting and unrest in July, as well as the Covid-19 lockdown.

Many small businesses rely on this assistance offered by government as their stores were destroyed, to the point where they would have to fix the damage caused by the violence and looting, while also needing to procure more stock.

Furthermore, they would also no need to find an alternate way of paying their workers as they were unable to trade during the violence that erupted earlier this year.

The longer it takes for the money to be disbursed to qualifying small businesses, the sooner they may be forced to permanently close their doors, putting more strain on our economy and contributing to the rise in the Gauteng unemployment rate.

This is of deep concern to the DA, as we cannot afford to have more people face unemployment because of the ineptness of the provincial government.

It is becoming clearer by the day that the GEP lacks the necessary skills and expertise needed to ensure that the Rebuilding Fund does exactly what it is meant to do.

The GEP should source temporary expertise from the Industrial Development Corporation to assist in disbursing the funds as quickly as possible. In doing so, it will ensure that small businesses can get back on their feet and start to once again contribute to the Gauteng economy.