Gov’t confirms P560m of COVID-19 bailout lying unused

In distress: The lockdowns in 2020 left many businesses needing bailouts from government PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
In distress: The lockdowns in 2020 left many businesses needing bailouts from government PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

Just 20% of the P700 million government availed to the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) to help businesses out of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been allocated, BusinessWeek has learnt.

This comes more than a year after the funds were announced as part of the Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (ERTP). Government unveiled a P1.3 billion Industry Support Fund (ISF) in November 2020 targetted at the hardest-hit sectors of the economy and limited to businesses already in operation. The funds comprised informal sector grants and loans priced at both interest-free and concessional rate terms.

Last October, Mmegi exclusively revealed that millions of pula in bailout funds were lying unused, largely because the requirements for businesses to access the funds proved beyond their reach. In addition, the parastatals involved in disbursing the funds noted technical limitations in their existing regulations to better extend assistance.

Editor's Comment
Keep your mask close

Wearing of masks behind closed doors has been mandatory following the government’s August decision that the public was freed from masking in outdoor spaces.According to a press statement from the ministry, all other remaining COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing in schools and requirements for vaccination or PCR tests at ports of entry have also been relaxed.Statistics still show that hundreds still die daily due to the pandemic around...

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