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Coronavirus stimulus package claims to start tomorrow

Coronavirus stimulus package claims to start tomorrow

Eba Kandovazu

UNEMPLOYED Namibians, street vendors and people who have lost their livelihoods as a result of the lockdown following the COVID-19 outbreak will as of tomorrow morning be able to apply for a once-off N$750 grant.


Although the lower income earners can start applying for the grant tomorrow, the first batch of payouts will only be next week Tuesday.


It was further reported that an estimated 739 000 beneficiaries are expected to benefit from this emergency grant.


Finance Minister Ipumbu Shiimi this afternoon clarified that only persons from ages 18 to 59 will qualify for the money.


Persons who will not qualify include social and pension grant beneficiaries, as well as students and veterans.


Shiimi said that information will be collected from the veterans database, as well as the Namibia students financial assistance fund (NSFAF) and old age pension databases.


COVID-19 outbreak unemployed namibians lockdown
BETTER LIVELIHOODS: Iipumbu Shiimi. Photo: Eba Kandovazu


People who lost their jobs during the lockdown also do not qualify to claim because a special scheme has been implemented for them, Shiimi explained.


“This is not a program to be abused, there will be consequences. Anyone going to abuse it will face criminal action. People who do not have cellphones can use their trusted neighbours’ phones. There is a 10 SMEs limit per phone and this is because we want to reduce fraud and abuse,” Shiimi said.


People can claim by sending an SMS to 141222 with their name, ID, region and bank of preference.


MTC will then collect and hand the information over to Mobipay, where they will validate credentials by checking, among other things, tax database and social grants.


The money will be sent within 72 hours in the form of ‘wallets’, such as ewallet, Blue-wallet and EasyWallet.

Shiimi maintained that the money is only a means to make up for the lockdown period, adding that claiming will end on 30 April 2020.


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