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EThekwini Municipality approved various measures to support business customers that have been affected by the recent civil unrest at a Full Council Meeting on 5 August.

The rapid implementation of the Mayor’s 10-point plan that was approved by Council as part of the 2021/22 budget process will drive the support for businesses to re-start both formal and informal. Several interventions will be to be prioritised in response to the devastation caused. EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said it is reassuring to note that the multiple engagements with business, including business formations, post the unrest have given resounding support to work with the Municipality in a bid to rebuild.

The interventions include the establishment of a one-stop centre with the participation of all relevant government departments for business support. The centre is expected to open soon.

In terms of rates relief to property owners where the building is non-functional completely, a 75% rebate will be awarded for a period of six to twelve months. A multi-disciplinary team will assess applications based on individual merits. Criteria for rebates are stipulated on the application forms.

Reconnection fees will also be waivered and there will be special provisions for building plan submissions in respect of properties damaged during the unrest.

Bed and breakfast establishments will be granted an extension of rates rebates for a further three months commencing 1 July 2021 with an additional 29% rebate over and above the current 35%.

Tenants of Council owned properties that are non-functional due to the unrest will be given a rental holiday and informal traders will have a three-month rental holiday as of 01 July 2021.

Apart from revenue loss, it is anticipated that the unrest has placed several planned investments in jeopardy, tarnishing business and consumer confidence.

The City is working on an intensive marketing campaign to rebuild tourism and attract investment.

For more information and application forms for rates rebate and relief go to www.durban.gov.za

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