“Businesses that were on the brink of collapse during Covid-19 have to be rebuilt, and new ones formed.
“It is for all of these reasons that localisation and local procurement is essential. Wear local, travel local, eat local, watch local content, read local authors, support local music and use local raw materials in your businesses,” he said.
The SMME owner who wrote to the President
Chef Kepe runs Khaya’s Kitchen, which supplies ready-made African meals to Spar. Last year, she applied for Covid-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme emergency funding, run by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), to pay her 10 staff members after the pandemic affected her operations.
“The UIF payment to my staff members was from April to November 2020, and it was just below R200 000 in total. I had to top-up but a chunk of each salary was covered by the UIF,” she says.
Kepe says in 2019 she was awarded R4.2 million funding by the Small Enterprise Development Agency to set up her kitchen. When Spar awarded the ready-made meals contract to Khaya’s Kitchen, she was able to use the funding to find a suitable space and set up a professional kitchen.
“The government has many assistance programmes; I encourage SMMEs to be on the lookout all the time,” she says.