Adjusted Alert Level 3 a welcome lifeline for businesses in the Western Cape
We welcome the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa last night that the whole of South Africa will be moving to Adjusted Alert Level 3 with immediate effect, which includes the easing of restrictions on the economy which will be a lifeline for many businesses in the Western Cape.
In particular, the relaxation of the curfew to run from 22:00 to 04:00, the relaxation of travel for leisure, and the relaxation of the sale of alcohol from retailers for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday and alcohol sales for on-site consumption, including wine-farms and micro-breweries, up to 20:00, are what we have been calling for and will allow us to start rebuilding our economy in the Western Cape.
We also welcome the announcements of additional financial support measures, some of which we have previously called for, and which will provide much-needed support to the recovery of the economy and provide relief to the poor and those who are vulnerable.
For instance, the deferral of payment of excise taxes by the alcohol sector for a period of three months, the deferral of payment of PAYE taxes for a period of three months will provide businesses with additional cash flow, with an automatic deferral of 35 per cent of PAYE liabilities for employers with revenue below R100 million. Further, the expansion of the Employment Tax Incentive for a period of four months to include any employee earning below R6 500, with an increase in the incentive amount by up to R750 per month will ease the burden on businesses as they seek to recover.
While there were no reported incidents of unrest and looting in the Western Cape due to our active and responsive visible policing and the joint collaborative approach between all security services and our neighbourhood watches, we nonetheless welcome the support measures announced by President Ramaphosa to help businesses in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng as these provincial economies seek to rebuild.
And, we encourage all businesses who qualify to apply for the UIF Covid-19 TERS funds for their employees.
To assist businesses with their applications our Department of Economic Development and Tourism have put together a helpful online guide: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/red-tape-reduction/news/ters-fund-now-open-businesses-affected-alert-level-4-lockdown-regulations
If businesses need further assistance with their UIF Covid-19 TERS application, they can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, if you can, please support small businesses, especially those in the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sectors by ordering a takeaway or visiting your local restaurant or coffee shop.
And please remember to adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocols, so that together we can stay safe and move forward, saving jobs and saving the economy in the Western Cape.
Listen to soundbyte from Minister David Maynier:
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Cell: 071 087 5150