A total of 7 847 informal businesses had been assisted to the value of P40 million under the Lethabile programme by the end of June 2021, the Assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Molebatsi Molebatsi, told Parliament this week.
“In Gaborone alone, a total of 1 630 businesses (were assited),” Molebatsi said. “But due to the nature of its purpose of assisting only existing businesses, no jobs were created.”
He was answering a question from the MP for Gaborone Bonnington South, Christian Greef, who wanted to know how many people in Gaborone were assisted under CEDA’s Letlhabile programme since its inception and how many jobs were created.
The Letlhabile program launched on 16 May 2021 with the objective of providing loans and support for businesses in the informal sector affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including those not financed as startups, by CEDA. It gives out loans ranging between P500 and P10, 000 to existing micro businesses.
Letlhabile focuses specifically on uplifting the informal sector which has been negatively impacted by its vulnerability and reliance on an active formal sector and movement of people, whose mobility has been restricted by travel restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19
Molebatsi said the agency has since reviewed the programme to incorporate it into mainline CEDA programmes.