Tailors from the Vaal producing PPE's through the JSB funding.

The partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) provided much-needed relief to struggling Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s) with the help of funding from the Japanese government.

Following the declaration of a state of national disaster and hard lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by President Cyril Ramaphosa, many SMMEs were faced with interruption in business operations which painted a bleak picture of business continuity post lock down.

In seeking to assist government manage the pandemic, mitigate the impact on the economy and also provide relief to struggling SMMEs as a result of the pandemic, SALGA forged a partnership with the UNDP through funding by the Government of Japan which has now seen a total of 1059 SMMEs receiving relief.

Through its member municipalities, SALGA made a call for relief applications to SMMEs that met the criteria for funding in 2020 and has been able to support SMME’s across all 9 South African provinces operating in various sectors including, but not limited to, fresh produce, manufacturing and automotive industries.

“The R 8 million relief fund was mainly aimed at assisting struggling SMMEs to acquire raw material and cover operational costs to ensure business continuity and as an association, we are pleased to have been part of the solution to governments response towards the resuscitation of the economy,” says SALGA Chief Executive Officer, Xolile George.


Community members from Dr JS Moroka were beneficiaries of the COVID-19 relief fund

The role of UNDP is to work with the government to develop and implement policies to accelerate the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals. UNDP interventions in South Africa focuses on promoting actions that contribute to addressing the triple challenge of inequality, poverty and unemployment that the county faces. 

“With our clear focus being on the eradication of poverty, the partnership with SALGA assisted with achieving this goal by ensuring that SMMEs are able to continue operating and feed families. What was distinct about this partnership is that we were able to work directly through municipalities which operate in the sphere closest to the people” says UNDP Resident Representative, Dr Ayodele Odusola.



For more information, or media interviews please contact:

United Nations Development Programme, Bobby Shabangu: bobby.shabangu@undp.org  

South African Local Government Association, Marelda Boshielo: mboshielo@salga.org.za


UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. www.za.undp.org.





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