Media Release: Community Economic Recovery Project injects R3 million into the informal economy; provides food relief in Covid-19 hotspots

 

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAVID MAYNIER

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Date: 15 February 2021

Release: Immediately

Community Economic Recovery Project injects R3 million into the informal economy; provides food relief in Covid-19 hotspots

Today Premier Alan Winde and Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, visited Lingelethu Cash Store and Mpumi’s Kitchen, a spaza shop and community kitchen in Khayelitsha that are participants in the Community Economic Recovery Project.

Launched in September 2020, the Community Economic Recovery Project has provided 225 community kitchens in Covid-19 hotspots with digital vouchers every two weeks that are then spent at nearby participating spaza shops. To date over 135 spaza shops have participated in the project.

As a public-private partnership between the Western Cape Government, the DG Murray Trust and the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP), the project supports vulnerable communities during the Covid-19 pandemic by injecting R3 million into the local economy between community kitchens and spaza shops.

Funding for the project has been jointly provided by the Western Cape Government who contributed R2 million and the DG Murray Trust who contributed R1 million, of which 100% will be distributed to the beneficiaries by the end of the project.

After meeting with those who have benefitted from the Community Economic Recovery Project, Premier Alan Winde said: “This project is an innovative way to support local businesses and ensure that we are responding to the humanitarian need in communities at the same time. Throughout the pandemic, the Western Cape Government has always balanced saving lives, with saving livelihoods, and this is just one of a number of ways we have helped to support businesses to continue to operate. This project encompasses two of our key priorities – supporting jobs and dignity and wellbeing.  In my SOPA address on Wednesday, I will be outlining more steps that this government will be taking in response to Covid-19, and to support businesses and grow the economy, and to promote dignity and wellbeing.”

In addition to benefiting communities in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, this initiative has also been implemented in other areas of Cape Town such as Atlantis, Elsies River and Mitchells Plain, and in other municipalities across the Western Cape including Breede Valley, Langeberg, Witzenberg, Drakenstein, Overberg, George and Mossel Bay.

Minister David Maynier thanked all the partners involved in the Community Economic Recovery Project, “This project is a great example of how the public and private sector, together with civil society, can partner quickly, effectively and innovatively in a time of crisis. I look forward to our continued efforts to work together to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy so that we can save businesses and save jobs in the Western Cape.”

Andrew Boraine, CEO of the EDP, said: “By focusing on an urgent social need, this programme has not only supported the retention of jobs in spaza shops by injecting cash into some of the neighbourhoods hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has also provided food relief to vulnerable communities.  Working in collaboration with community kitchens and spaza shops has led to the creation of a dynamic network of entrepreneurs and civil society, from whom we have been able to learn valuable lessons about what is possible for future township economy programmes.”

Media Queries:

Francine Higham

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

Email: francine.higham@westerncape.gov.za

Click here and download the Fact Sheet_Community Economic Recovery Project_210214