Small informal businesses owners are not optimistic that Wednesday’s Budget speech will deliver anything positive for their sector.
Informal and small business owners said they failed to see how Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget truly served them and their businesses.
Carin Rhoode has been occupying a spot at the normally bustling Mojo Market in Sea Point since December. However, business has taken a huge knock because of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
“For a small first-time business owner, I don’t know what to expect and I don’t expect anything. For me it doesn’t feel like the government really worries about the small businesses owners. For level 3 alone, something like five shops closed at Mojo Market and these are people that put everything into their small businesses, and what do they have to show?
“For me personally, the government and the Budget is more about big businesses. I don’t think they consider small businesses, they don’t give them the recognition that they should,” said Rhoode.
Atlantis resident Melissa Cupido left her job two years ago to start her own business at home. She now bakes and sells all sorts of baked goods. Cupido said even as a registered business, she does not benefit from any governmental relief, despite being hit hard by the lockdown.
“With the lockdown, things became very difficult and tough, where you felt you couldn’t do business any more because you depend on people who depend on social grants.”
Interim Gatesville Informal Traders Association secretariat Naeem Frances said there was an element of mere survival among informal traders at the moment. Around 164 informal traders form part of the association.
“These Sonas, Sopas and Budget speeches, it’s not like it’s above their pay grade but the bearing it has on them, perhaps it’s changed. There’s always a kind of hierarchy at which these operate, maybe it’s historical.”
He said traders showed little to no interest in the Budget speech.