Rural stores hit by July turmoil to get government help

Nearly a year after widespread unrest that brought some South African businesses to their knees, KwaZulu-Natal Prime Minister Sihle Zikalala has said businesses and shops in rural areas affected by the deadly civil unrest will be compensated.

Zikalala spoke at a media briefing at the Department of Public Works in Mayville on Sunday. He addressed a range of topics, including issues arising after the KZN State of the Province address (Sopa) was awarded on February 24.

The above issues include the economic recovery and growth of the economy of the province, crime and developments in the Zulu royal family.

According to a report from EWN, Zikalala said the province is on track for economic recovery.

As such, he stated that the government plans to fund rural and township shops owned by South Africans with loans of up to R100,000 through the Zimele Traders Fund.

“This fund will support retail stores and general dealers to transform their businesses into viable shopping centers. The amount borrowed is something up to R100,000.”

The fund was recently approved by the KZN Provincial Executive Council (PEC) and Zikalala described the fund as “a KZN-led program to improve local rural and municipal retail stores through the provision of working capital loans and payment automation facilities. “

“This fund will support stores and general dealers to transform their businesses into viable shopping centers that provide a one-stop shopping experience. The amounts borrowed can be up to R100 000 per eligible store, and the stores will be supported with payment terminals at no cost to the store owner,” said Zikalala.

According to the prime minister, the fund’s terms of support dictate that only stores proven to be located in a rural or township region and owned by South Africans are eligible.

King Misuzulu’s ‘Coronation Issue’ Now With the Presidency

During a question-and-answer session with journalists after the briefing, Zikalala said resolving the issue of King Misuzulu’s coronation is now the responsibility of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office, as the KZN provincial government has “provided all required information for filed the lawsuit”.

IOL reports that there is an increasing demand for King Misuzulu’s coronation to take place as soon as possible. These appeals have been made in the hope that this could lead to stability in the royal family and the Zulu nation.

This comes after King Misuzulu’s two half-sisters – Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma – challenged the will of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini in court, claiming it was a fraudulent document. It is on the basis of this document that King Misuzulu ascended the throne.

IOL further reports that KwaZulu-Natal deputy judge-president Isaac Madondo ruled that the sisters cannot stop his coronation because they are not contenders for the throne.

Click here to read Zikalala’s comments.

Curated by Kaunda Selisho

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