THESE are hard times coming from the COVID-19 distraction and destruction and small businesses need financial assistance like never before.
Feb. 3, 2022
3 min read
A must for govt to relieve businesses
Street vendors trading along Kingway Road in Maseru
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It is appalling however, that government is not doing much to rescue the businesses except to pay lip service to one of the pillars of economic growth.
Elsewhere, political and business leaders are having sleepless nights figuring out how they will resuscitate fallen domestic businesses to their former glory. It is not business as usual and everybody is asking questions about the sort of relief appropriate to sustain business.
In Lesotho, traders are not asking for much, a mere M500, but the people accountable are not forthcoming.
It does not end there – the jobless figures are going up in a country that was already faced with a high unemployment rate. The cost of living is also unrelenting given the increasing prices of fuel, food and transport.
Government leaders cannot perform miracles but, at least, they must prove a point why they were elected into office. Of course, we know the consequences of a nation that is operating at below full employment levels.
We know it will lead to an increase in the crime rate with people stealing, not necessarily out of greed, but for survival. Each week, we hear reports of different incidents of crime, many brought about by hunger. Others caused by stress related to economic hardship of joblessness.
Economic growth does not mean much if it cannot be translated into the quality of life. Often, we fall into the trap of attractive figures of experts on the account of how much gains a country is making and yet many people suffer.
Well, drivers of economic activity such as construction or temporary jobs are fine but for as long the majority of the population is unemployed, it does not make much of a sense. We need sustainable jobs that should make figures of employment or unemployment meaningful.
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Politics is fine but if it does not bring economic solutions, it is inevitable that the politicians will face the wrath of the voters. It will be a slippery slope where every sort of failure would be blamed on the lawmakers.
The people need food, jobs, healthcare, water and electricity and no amount of statistics will make them grateful than these basic necessities.
So far, most people including the street hawkers and corner cafes, are not asking for luxuries but for a few hundred maloti to make a difference in their lives. You have no idea how much impact and difference it could make even though it sounds such paltry.
Some, of course, are going to spend it all on food but it could be sufficient capital to many of the small businesses that have gone under. The nasty COVID-19 pandemic has been a curse to all of us but life has to go on and it begins with small steps such as the M500 that was earmarked for relief.
It is a deserving case and no one should bear responsibility more than the Government.