eThekwini recovery plan for businesses

eThekwini Municipality has reviewed its Economic Recovery Plan that now makes provision for special relief measures for all businesses affected by looting in the City during the recent civil unrest. The measures aim to create a safe and stable business environment while supporting businesses to rebuild. The plan is a joint effort between government departments and stakeholders to ensure a coordinated response with large, small and informal businesses, civil society and academia to ensure economic stability and recovery. The draft plan was tabled by the eThekwini Mayor on 22 July and presented to business and captains of industry as follows:

• Reprioritising the budget to cater for the recovery programme.
• Engaging National Treasury on the possible repurposing of grants and additional funding.
• Approach the provincial and national government to declare the unrest in eThekwini Municipality as a disaster area.
• Expediting the approval process for rebuilding plans so businesses can be back in operation as soon as possible.
• Provide rates relief to businesses that can no longer operate due to the damage to their property by using Section 78 of the Municipal Property Act or Section 14 of the Rates Policy.
• Providing a rental holiday to businesses that are using municipal buildings until they are repaired or rebuilt.
• Businesses currently not operating can request disconnection of services to avoid charges being raised on their account.
• Setting up a single support service at the Durban Exhibition Centre and a hotline that will provide information to businesses to help them to restart.
• Engagement with the Small Enterprise Development Agency, the Industrial Development Corporation and Ithala Bank to provide funding support to businesses for re-stocking and rebuilding.
• Scaling up service delivery and build accountability to communities and business to ensure backlogs in service delivery are addressed.