Beneficiaries from the govt loan for businesses affected by January riots

Beneficiaries from the govt loan for businesses affected by January riots
Published: 28 April 2019
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said he was satisfied with the process being undertaken by the Government towards assisting businesses, which were looted and had their property destroyed during the January protests to restock and rebuild their assets.

The Government disbursed a $30 million emergency relief facility to assist the affected businesses, most of which were grocery shops in Bulawayo.

"We have come here to check or just to make sure that the stock of goods we promised as Government, that we will support the shop owners who lost their goods, is indeed sent down to them and they receive it and do restock. We are pleased to say that we saw the stock. Some of it is on its way. Government has made its commitment to support these businesses. We are also helping them to rebuild their premises, to make sure they go back to what they used to be if not better. So we are really walking the talk and making sure we support those businesses that lost their assets during the unfortunate incidents," he said.

Prof Ncube said efforts have been made to ensure the fund and the distribution process of goods to beneficiaries would not be flouted.

"I'm very satisfied, first of all we got the names, the invoice numbers and the amounts in terms of the value of the goods they are going to receive, so it's (the process) very transparent. Those can be published in the media because after all this is tax payers money, they (tax payers) want to know how their monies are being utilised but also we are tracking the invoices. The whole system is well tracked, verified so that there is no leakages and corruption. We certainly won't allow that through the system we have put in place," he said.

Prof Ncube's sentiments were reiterated by Minister Ndlovu who said: "We have made sure the facility is water tight. We don't want a repeat of previous programmes where businesses benefit from such facilities but fail to repay. These are tax payers' funds we want to make sure they are utilised in a responsible manner. We believe we have a water tight system now and businesses have begun to benefit from this week."

He said the ministry has received about 200 applications for the relief fund from the business community.

"It's still early to give numbers of how many have benefited so far but the initial approval of 25 have gone through. We have received close to 188 applications for various relief needs. We have restocking, we have equipment (replacement) and also we have reconstruction of structures that were burnt down, so we will be assisting in all those three . . . ," said Minister Ndlovu. is in possession of the list of some of the beneficiaries as well as the varying amounts they have been allocated. The businesses that are restocking are accessing the loan at a concessionary interest rate of four percent per annum and are expected to repay within three to six months.

Those wishing to replace equipment would be paying an interest rate of three percent per annum and have 12 to 24 months to repay, while those who lost their buildings will access funding at a concessionary rate of two percent per annum and have 10 to 15 years repayment period.

Metro Peech and Browne Wholesalers branch manager Mr Erben Ncube acknowledged receiving a list of beneficiaries under the fund from the Government to be supplied with goods.
- sundaynews
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