Home South African MPs told how white-owned companies benefitted the most from Covid-19 relief scheme

MPs told how white-owned companies benefitted the most from Covid-19 relief scheme

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The minister told MPs only R15 billion out of R200bn of the government guaranteed scheme has been distributed by the banks. She said most of the black businesses have not been supported by the banks.

Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni Picture: Facebook

The role of banks in providing loans to battling small businesses hit by Covid-19 has come into question in Parliament with Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni telling MPs only R15 billion out of R200bn of the government guaranteed scheme has been distributed by the banks.

This followed questions from ANC MP Mohammed Dangor in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday on the low uptake by small businesses.

Ntshavheni said most of the companies that have benefitted the most from the R15bn allocated to small businesses were white owned companies.

She said most of the black businesses have not been supported by the banks.

“Honourable Dangor is saying given the limitation of resources and banks have been given R200bn and they chose to give R15bn to white businesses and black businesses are not supported,” said Ntshavheni.

She said the finance committees of finance in Parliament have called on the National Treasury to come and explain this.

She said they have been trying to support businesses for some time. They will continue to do so.

Most of the small businesses have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and some have closed shop.

The government has provided a number of relief measures to support SMMEs, said Ntshavheni.

It was the duty of the government to ensure the economy got off the ground and more jobs were supported.

They will continue to support a number of initiatives to support small businesses.

The issue of the banks not supporting small businesses was also raised by Cosatu a few weeks ago when it made a presentation to the portfolio committee on small business in the National Assembly.

Cosatu had said it was concerned about the low uptake of the R200bn government guaranteed scheme because of the strict conditions imposed by banks against small businesses.

It said the banks should relax the conditions of giving loans to small businesses hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Political Bureau