‘Urgent clarity is required on the SMME funding’, John Steenhuisen

John Steenhuisen
John Steenhuisen, Democratic Alliance leader.

John Steenhuisen, the Democratic Alliance federal leader said that government’s relief packages to assist Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) lack clarity especially around the racial requirements.

“Instead of clarity, South Africa has been subjected to a barrage of mixed messages on the eligibility of businesses seeking relief, particularly around racial requirements. This issue must be addressed,” he said.

Steenhuisen also added that three ministers have since contradicted each other from the time a document by the Department of SMME stipulating a 51% black ownership was leaked.

“These responses have ranged from accusations of fake news, to an admission that the document was real but older draft, to conformation that part of the criteria for such funding will indeed be demographic representivity.

the three ministers set at the same press conference and could not get the story straight,” said Steenhuisen.

The DA leader also noted that as the country braces up for 21 days lock-down, COVID-19’s impact is felt by all South Africans, hence if the government wants people to unite against the virus, it cannot be diving people.

Steenhuisen wants a means-based criteria for relief rather than a race-based selection.