Tuesday, December 7, 2021

YDF beneficiaries appeal for repayment holiday

Some Youth Development Fund (YDF) beneficiaries have appealed to government to grant them repayment holiday owing to poor business performance.

Recently, government has been making calls to YDF beneficiaries to pay up to enable others to benefit.

One beneficiary in Francistown, Thatayaone Oitsile said although government has made it clear that loans should be repaid, his business has not recovered from Covid-19 shocks.

Oitsile who is into the business of film production said he relied on music artists to support him by shooting their videos.

“I am still struggling as I speak, it is not like I do not want to pay up, there is nothing to share with government at the moment, I used to pay very well before Covid but now things are tough,” said Oitsile.

He further said government assisted his business by buying him studio equipment, saying that should government now decide to take legal action, he will be forced to sell the equipment to reimburse.

“Times are tough, music artists no longer produce more music the way they used to pre covid because there are no shows, so I have nothing on me, the last video shoot I did was in February this year and I even had to compromise by undercharging”

“Before Covid, I used to rent a space where I put my equipment but I am unable to do so now,” added Oitsile.

For her part, Tsholofelo Tlhabiwe who is into catering also said business has been dry since last year, saying that this is due to covid restrictions.

She stated that her business used to pocket from events, saying that since Covid, she is unable to generate revenue.

“This is the most difficult time ever, we wish government can bear with us because we are unable to generate money this time, most businesses were not spared by covid-19,” added Tlhabiwe.

She further highlighted that she has previously spoken to community leaders to intervene.

“In April this year I spoke to my ward councilor about the issue and promised to meet with our area MP to engage the Minister responsible but it appears that government is not willing to listen to our request”

“It is not only me who finds herself in this dire situation, there is many of us,” added Tlhabiwe.

Recently, during a tour of eight youth projects in the Thamaga/Kumakwane constituency recently, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare expressed disappointment at the slow pace at which beneficiaries were servicing their loans.

He said it was thus important for individuals to be encouraged to pay back the loans, to enable others to benefit and show appreciation for the government’s generosity.

“Let us double our efforts in servicing our loans to avoid repercussions that may occur as a result,” warned Rakgare.

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