NEF approves over R1bn in July unrest funding for black businesses

A year after the harrowing events gripped the country.
Applicants had to show they were negatively impacted by the riots and that jobs lost would be restored or the numbers increased following funding. Image: Kierran Allen/Reuters

The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has approved the release of R1.07 billion in funds for small businesses affected by the 2021 July unrest, supporting 211 firms and saving 9 452 jobs in the process.

The fund managed this with the assistance of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) as well as the Solitary Fund’s Humanitarian Crisis Relief Fund (HCRF).

The dtic contributed R650 million towards unrest relief, while the NEF redirected R100 million from its balance sheet and the Solidarity Fund contributed R273 million.

The riots, which gripped the nation for nine days last July, brought chaos to parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, damaging 200 malls and leaving about 3 000 stores looted, costing retailers R1.5 billion in stock.


“The civil unrest was far-reaching and severe, resulting in damage estimated in excess of R30 billion, with more than 150 000 jobs placed at risk,” NEF CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa says.

“The manufacturing and retail sectors were dealt the hardest blow, and 161 malls in both provinces experienced severe damage to property and stock.”

Apart from the financial impact of the riots, a total of 354 people lost their lives.

Qualifying criteria

The majority of the funds distributed by the NEF went to businesses in the retail (26%), real estate (26%), services activities, particularly those in food and beverages (10%), transportation and storage (9%) and manufacturing (5%) sectors.

The key qualifying criteria for businesses looking for assistance, among others, was to be an enterprise owned and managed by black entrepreneurs.

“Among the criteria for funding, applicants had to be a registered company, close corporation or co-operative in good standing with the South African Revenue Service,” according to the NEF.

“Applicants were also required to demonstrate that jobs lost would be restored or increased within 12 months of receiving the funding, and to demonstrate that they were negatively impacted by the riots and unrests in both provinces.”

Some of the beneficiaries of the fund were located in KZN’s KwaNongoma, iXopo, uMkhanyakude, Jozini, Umlazi, Newcastle, uMgungundlovu, uMzinyathi, Ugu, KwaMashu and Gauteng’s Soweto, Alexandra, Katlehong, Daveyton, Vosloorus, Soshanguve, Orange Farm and Sebokeng.

Listen: Nomazizi Siphondo of the NEF’s uMnotho Fund explains how the NEF sought and funded businesses affected by the July 2021 riots.

Listen: Sasria CEO Mpumi Tyikwe reports back on KZN riot claim payments, and the impact on premiums (or read the transcript)



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The time is fast approaching that whites do not do business with black people because of their unfair treatment at the hands of government !!!

Despicable racism. Happy to take money from white taxpayers and then exclude them from any benefits. There will be massive celebrations when this evil ANC dies.

One has to wonder if this is real or just another opportunity to loot – like the PPC scandal. Hohum, time will tell and we won’t be surprised if is – SA is suffering from “ Corruption Fatigue” and where the hell are the Gupta??? Or is the fatigue so great we no longer care?

So small businesses that are not owned by groups of the population with a particular skin colour, who lost their businesses or stock or building because the government failed to keep them secure, with the Man-In-The-Hat still missing in any action (constitutionally guaranteed right to protection denied) are left hanging out to dry with no support after years of duly paying their taxes and the people they employed remain without jobs simply because their owners were the wrong hue? Sounds like a distinctly apartheid policy to me.
Perhaps Apartheid never left SA after all and the rainbow nation has become a single band of colour.
The most disgraceful aspect of this all is that the ruling party feels that they have done the country a great service by doing this, by perpetuating racial divisions and politics – they cannot remain – they have to go or their will be nothing left of this country to rebuild.

End of comments.



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