SMMEs face collapse after Covid-19 lockdown
BOKANG MAKHOA AND ‘MAKERESEMESE LETUKA
MASERU – Over 7 000 small business and street vendors face tragedy over the low income generated by their business over the 15-weeks lockdown the government impose from March 29. To answer their urgent call for help, MXXL Space Radio has launched a Covid-19 relieve fund dubbed MXXL COVID Foundation in a campaign to helping these vulnerable people to restart their business, and be able to bring food in their households again.
The same fund has since the beginning of June worked hard helping schools clean facilities that they are going to need for COVID-19 prevention before children go back to school. MXXL Space Radio is a privately owned radio station. Thabo Moshoeshoe, a consultant in MXXL COVID Foundation said they talked to numerous companies including the African Union – AU and World Bank, which have promised them about M50 million for small businesses and street vendors.
One of those waiting to be beneficiaries of the fund, Mrs Mathapelo Mabetha, a crèche owner, at Lepereng said it has been a rough time since there are no kids coming to school anymore. “If we were told that it’s the government that is going to help us, honestly I wouldn’t have hope. But now that we are told that the sponsors will be from companies, I am highly positive that we will get help because we are suffering. There is no income anymore,” she added.
The MXXL COVID foundation has also promised to negotiate with the revenue authority on an urgent basis to reduce tax for companies donating in the fund as a return the ‘favor’. They further promised them that by Wednesday this week, they would have positive responses.