Licensed Spaza Shops to Remain Open

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According to Business Insider, only spaza shops that are licensed with municipalities will be allowed to trade during the lockdown, the ministry of small business development confirmed this on Wednesday.

The announcement followed comments made at a media briefing on Tuesday by the Minister of Small Business Development, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, who seemed to imply that only spaza shops owned and managed by South Africans will be allowed to remain open to ensure “the quality of food”.

According to reports, there are about 100 000 spaza shops across the country, which are subject to different licensing requirements by individual municipalities.

As from Friday, all shops and businesses must be closed, with the exception of pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, supermarkets, petrol stations, and healthcare providers.

The Department of Small Business Development will announce a specific plan for financial assistance to spaza owners, the self-employed, and those in the informal sector on Friday.

Foreign-owned spaza shops may able to apply for financial help under this plan, but the department has indicated that locally-owned businesses will receive preference and that some forms of assistance, such as low-interest rate loans, may be limited to South African owned businesses