“...[E]verything was looted – from furniture to working equipment. Almost six years' worth of investment was completely gone... I am a widow taking care of my kids and also my parents..."
Some South African micro-businesses who made it through a trying time due to COVID-19, found themselves facing further hardship from the looting and unrest in July. Many were uninsured, and unable to imagine rebuilding.
The Heartlines Micro-Business Relief Fund was established to help these micro-businesses rebuild by awarding successful applicants an amount of up to R15,000. Our collaboration with NGOs and faith-based organisations within the Heartlines network has helped identify and verify potential applicants, and these organisations are also helping provide ongoing relational and non-financial support to successful applicants.
We are most grateful for our partnership with Heal Our Land who have a major emergency relief initiative in KwaZulu-Natal (www.healourland.co.za).
“When I saw the videos and pictures of the looting and thereafter the fire on social media, I was in tears. Within seconds everything my father worked so hard to build was taken away from us. His legacy had crumbled. That tea room, which we were renting, put me through school, provided food, clothing and a roof over our family’s head. It was doing the same for my children.”
Some applicants were directly affected by looting, with their premises being damaged and stock stolen or ruined. Others have experienced supply chain disruptions and reduced clientele as the unrest disrupted their day-to-day business. Grants are awarded in such cases to provide a financial buffer to absorb these business disruptions.
Successful applicants have come from a variety of sectors ranging from eateries and coffee shops, internet cafes, fashion designers and clothes sellers, hair salons, spaza shops, maintenance services and others.
We’re incredibly thankful to have the support of funding partners such as Investec, Heal Our Land, and other companies and individuals – together, they have helped us raise R1,460,000.
We look forward to sharing the recipients’ stories with you over the next few weeks.
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