The Municipality of eThekwini has approved various measures to support business customers who were affected by civil unrest in mid-July which saw widespread looting and destruction of property and assets in the province.

Rapid implementation of eThekwini Mayor Advisor Mxolisi KaundaThe ten-point plan, which was approved by city council as part of the 2021/22 budget process, will encourage businesses to restart formal and informal business activities.

In a press release, the municipality indicates that several interventions will have to be prioritized in response to the devastation caused by the unrest.

Kaunda says it is reassuring to note that the multiple engagements with businesses, including business trainings, after the unrest, provided “resounding support” for working with the municipality to rebuild.

Interventions include the creation of a one-stop shop, which the municipality says will open soon, with the participation of all relevant government departments for business support.

In addition, a 75% discount on rates will be granted, for a period of 6 to 12 months, to owners whose buildings have been rendered completely non-functional due to the disturbances. In this case, a multidisciplinary team will assess the applications on the basis of individual merits. The submission criteria are stipulated on the application forms.

In addition, the reconnection fee will be waived and there will be special provisions for construction plan submissions with respect to properties damaged during the unrest.

In addition, bed and breakfast establishments will benefit from an extension of rate discounts for an additional three months, effective July 1, with an additional discount of 29% on top of the current 35%.

Tenants of council-owned properties that are not functioning due to the unrest will be granted rental leave, while informal traders will be granted three-month rental leave from July 1.

In addition to lost income associated with damage and / or loss of goods and inventory, the municipality of eThekwini says the unrest has jeopardized several planned investments, tarnishing business and consumer confidence.

The municipality is working on an intensive marketing campaign to rebuild its tourism sector and attract investment.