Thursday, 11 February 2021

Cape Town: President Cyril Ramaphosa says government is in talks with social partners with a view to implementing improvements to the loan guarantee scheme to better assist small businesses.

The President said this when he delivered the State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly on Thursday.

“National Treasury will work with its partners and stakeholders on improvements to the loan guarantee scheme so that it better addresses the realities of SMMEs and other businesses as they strive to recover.

“We will work with our social partners to ensure that these and other interventions provide relief to those who most need it,” he said.

The President said as government and social partners rebuild the economy in the midst of a pandemic, it is necessary that the country continues to provide support to those businesses and individuals that continue to be most affected.

“Businesses in several sectors are still struggling and many families continue to suffer as the job market slowly recovers.”

Government extends R350 Covid-19 grant, TERS benefit

The President said over the past few months, government has had ongoing discussions with social partners in business and labour, who proposed an extension of some of the social and economic support.

“We have therefore decided to extend the period for the Special COVID-19 Grant of R350 by a further three months.

“This has proven to be an effective and efficient short-term measure to reduce the immediate impact on the livelihoods of poor South Africans.

“We have also decided to extend the COVID-19 TERS benefit until 15 March 2021 only for those sectors that have not been able to operate.”

The President said the conditions of this extension and the sectors to be included will be announced after consultations with social partners at NEDLAC.