MBABANE: Mathokoza Sikhondze, the National Coordinator for the Coalition of Informal Economy Associations in Eswatini ( CIEAES) said informers traders are struggling financially in the midst of the pandemic, they want access to the Government E45million COVID-19 Relief Fund.
This comes after an announcement by Senator Themba Masuku, the Acting Prime Minister that vendors were now allowed to sell in schools after having been banned for over a year.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on Sunday, the CIEAES Coordinator said they welcomed the Acting Prime Minister's announcement but the vendors needed a relief fund in order to survive after being out of business for over a year.
"There is a relief fund of about E45 million which is held by the Eswatini Bank, the problem is that the Informal traders cannot meet some of the terms and conditions. We want organisations like the Small Enterprises Development Company (SEDCO ) to meet us half way in training these Informal traders in drafting business plans and the keeping of records.The bank should also involve us as CIEAES so that there can be transparency on the terms and conditions of accessing the funds to avoid catching our members off guard" , said the Coordinator.
Speaking during a press briefing at the Cabinet offices on Friday, Senator Themba Masuku, the Acting Prime Minister said government has noted the plight of vendors that sell food commodities particularly in schools.
"In response to this, Government will now allow vendors to sell in schools with the necessary cooperation and approval of head teachers. It is important that COVID-19 protocols be fully observed to protect children and teachers in this regard”,he said.