AGRICULTURAL NEWS - R40 million has been set aside to help informal fruit and vegetable traders that were hit by Covid-19 and took a loss of income during the lockdown.
The money comes from the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) in partnership with Nedbank to empower 40,000 informal fruit and vegetable traders and help to restart their businesses.
“Qualifying traders will receive grants of R1 000 each to buy stock. The initiative falls within the department’s township and rural enterprises programme launched earlier this year,” said DSBD minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.
“Since March 2020, we launched support schemes for small businesses to help alleviate the negative impact of the pandemic including the township and rural entrepreneurship programme.”
Ntshavheni said the focus of the programme was to support enterprises based in townships and rural areas.
It also helps restart micro and informal businesses as well as rebuild and improve their businesses as part of the South African economy’s reconstruction and recovery.
DSBD spokesperson Moira Mogomotsi said the department had worked together with Nedbank to find a simple, easy and cost effective mechanism to disburse the grant money, using mobile wallets.
Mogomotsi said traders seeking support could apply for the grant by doing the following:
– Firstly, registering on the national SMME website for small business funding and complete the online form. Key requirements are South African ID and valid municipal trading permit.
– Upon successful registration, each trader would be directed to apply for the grant by dialling *120*001# and select option 6 “Apply” from their mobile phones.
“Successful applicants will receive R1 000, which will be deposited into their mobile wallet, a Nedbank MobiMoney account that is automatically generated as part of the account application process.”
Mogomotsi said MobiMoney was a mobile-based account that anyone with a valid South African identity number could open from anywhere, within seconds using a mobile phone
“From these wallets, traders will be able to pay fresh produce suppliers directly from their wallet, without needing to withdraw money. Fresh produce suppliers will be enabled to accept mobile wallets payments through Masterpass.”