South Africa has recently witnessed civil unrest which has led to destruction of infrastructure, looting and violence which has severely affected many small and medium businesses and informal traders in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. Gauteng.
Telkom answered the call to help clean up, rebuild and develop SA by launching the SME Relief Project.
The Telkom SME Relief initiative, currently valued at Rand 10 million, aims to help small business owners rebuild their businesses and to urge South Africans and the private sector to join with SMEs.
Telkom business customers
Over 11,000 Telkom Business customers have been severely affected by the unrest and Telkom is committed to helping these businesses rebuild and stay connected.
“Telkom customers in the affected areas will receive assistance in the form of payment holidays, re-routing of their connectivity and a freeze on contract terms.”
“These relief programs will allow our existing customers in the affected areas to continue operating,” said Dumisani Bengu, Commercial Director of Telkom Business.
Telkom Business has plans to repair business premises of companies in KZN and Gauteng which were devastated as a result of criminal activity that took place during the protests.
Each selected business will receive a contribution of up to R20,000 to help rebuild their business.
Telkom Business will conduct a screening process to identify SMEs needing help repairing their business premises.
Telkom Connect SA
Dumisani Bengu said: “The looting and unrest came at a time when many SMEs are still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and some small businesses are uninsured. “
“We understand the importance of supporting small business owners during this time of distress and will use our resources across all of our business units to ensure small businesses recover. Telkom aims to lend a helping hand to small businesses and informal traders, Telkom will make a brand contribution of over 5.6 million Rand and LTE offerings to 1,200 spaza stores in the affected areas.
Telkom Financial Services will provide mobile point-of-sale devices and loan proposals to businesses in affected areas to enable them to resume operations.
FutureMakers, the Telkom Foundation’s business and supplier development initiative, has pledged Rand 1.5 million to support ICT SMEs through grants to help with rent, inventory and wages.
Through FutureMakers, Telkom will provide mentoring and training, including expanding the Township Incubator program to affected areas.
Additionally, the Telkom Consumer Unit will work with its Brand Ambassadors to help them identify a business that has been affected by social unrest in their community or industry, to adopt and support.
Seipati Twasa Seoke and Zizo Tshwete will focus on companies based in Gauteng while Dudu Khoza and Selby Mkhize will provide assistance in KZN province. They will support 20 companies with 100 GB of data over 6 months
Commitment to rebuild our SMEs
Restoring communities and businesses that have been affected by the unrest is a collective effort and Telkom is committed to helping SMEs clean up, rebuild and grow.
We urge big business, corporations and ordinary South Africans to make a commitment to help rebuild the small businesses that have been devastated by the unrest.
Companies in need of financing can register on https://secure.telkom.co.za/today/campaign/TelkomConnectsSA/ while South Africans can also use this online portal to engage in helping small businesses.
As violent protests swept through parts of South Africa, economic activity came to a standstill in affected communities and small business owners were the recipients as many businesses were forced to close while some were looted and destroyed, putting many jobs at risk.
Small businesses are crucial to South Africa’s economic growth and employ between 50% and 60% of the workforce.
Dumisani Bengu adds, “In the aftermath of the unrest, government, businesses and communities are assessing the damage and focusing on rebuilding communities that have been severely affected.
“We also urge responsible business leaders in South Africa to support the affected micro and small businesses and help them through this time; rebuild and grow.
Telkom customers can also get involved by donating airtime or data. All the data collected and the airtime will be redistributed to the companies concerned.
Click here to find out how you can help a small business owner near you.