Small businesses left in the dark

Issued by Jan de Villiers MP – DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development
16 Feb 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Jan de Villiers MP.

The Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams’ State of the Nation reply was a missed opportunity to address the dire situation that small businesses are facing.

It is inconceivable that on Tuesday, the Minister had 13 minutes to speak in the SONA debate yet failed to address, the most urgent crisis for any small business, the devastating effects of loadshedding.

On the 18th of January this year, the Minister announced an energy relief package that her department is working on. A full month and a SONA speech have passed without her urgent address on this issue. Her inaction and lack of urgency in providing support to small businesses during this crisis is a clear indication that she is not fit for the position she holds and is out of touch.

We demand that government take immediate action to address the electricity crisis and provide small businesses with the necessary support to become loadshedding resilient. The reconsolidation of funds from other programs in the Department of Small Business Development to finance inverters and generators for small businesses is a logical and necessary step towards small business independence. This will allow small businesses to continue operating during perpetual loadshedding, ensuring that they do not have to close their doors or lay off employees due to a lack of reliable electricity supply.

We urge the Minister to act swiftly and with urgency to provide small businesses with the necessary support to survive and thrive during these difficult times. Energy security for small businesses must be prioritised now.

The DA stands with the millions of small business owners who are struggling to keep their doors open due to the ongoing loadshedding crisis and will continue will hold the Minister accountable for her inaction in the face of this crisis.