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SA SMEs shielded from pandemic, looting

JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa has received a timely donation as it emerges from the continent’s worst outbreak of the coronavirus.

This is a major boost following the deadly unrest that hit the country in July.

The SAP User Group (AFSUG) has made R100 000 available to Gift of the Givers, the largest disaster response non-governmental organisation of African origin on the continent.

The funds are to aid micro and small businesses in the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal affected by COVID-19 and the looting.

Duke Mathebula, AFSUG Board Chairman, said many companies who would usually support charitable efforts had not been able to do so in the wake of the pandemic.

“We wanted to help an organisation that was responding to the most crucial and pressing needs of society this year,” Mathebula said.

South Africa has been counting the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic pressure.

More than a third of the workforce is unemployed.

Over 670 000 jobs were lost during last year’s hard lockdown.

This situation has been further exacerbated by the rioting and violence in July, coinciding with the jailing of the former president, Jacob Zuma, for contempt of court.

It is estimated the riot cost the KwaZulu-Natal economy around R20 billion and risked a further 150 000 jobs.

More than 300 people were killed.

Gift of the Givers has been working hard to help South African communities rebuild while also supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.

“The essence of our presence is to bring hope and restore dignity to the most vulnerable,” said Gift of the Givers’ founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman.

– CAJ News

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