As the Small Business Development Department implements initiatives to alleviate the pressure caused by the coronavirus, some spaza shop owners said they were already feeling the pinch.
Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni announced a spaza support scheme worth R500 million to assist businesses during the 21-day lockdown period.
Shop owners will also be able to buy goods from pre-selected wholesalers that government has negotiated discounted prices with.
The face of the township spaza shop economy has changed drastically over the past decade.
At one point, South Africans living in townships had full control over the market but now many foreign-owned shops have emerged, offering competitive prices.
Nokthula Mthimkhulu has been running her spaza shop in Orlando for over 50 years.
She fears her business will not survive the lockdown.
“We were wondering where unemployed people will get money to come and support us.”
But another shop owner was more hopeful: “Farmers still have a huge amount of production.”
Both business owners were excited about government’s efforts to assist them but were uncertain about the process to follow.
For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.