SME Relief Funding
Debt Relief Fund
Established specifically to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs), that are in distress due to the impact or potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are approved, it has been indicated that you will be given a payment holiday and have your loans restructured. Relief could also be in the form of rent relief or payroll relief. How this will look exactly, is still to be confirmed by The Department.
Should you want to apply, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- you must show a direct link between the impact or potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on your operations and loss of income your business
- proof will need to be provided that the business is negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic
- your business:
- must have been registered with CIPC by latest 28 February 2020
- must – be 100% owned by South African citizens
- priority will be given to businesses owned by women, youth and people with disabilities
- should employ at least 70% South African nationals
- must be registered and compliant with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)
- SMME employers who are not compliant with UIF must register before applying for relief
- Seda will assist micro-enterprises to comply – request for assistance must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org to qualify for funding, you must also meet the government’s definitions of micro, small and medium enterprises
- the turnover threshold for businesses to qualify for the funding depends on the sector in which they operate. All the categories are in accordance with what was gazetted by the department last year
- for further information, please refer to the following link: https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/201903/423041gon399.pdf
To make an application you will need to:
- register on https://smmesa.gov.za/
- complete online application form (released on Thursday, 02 April 2020)
- upload the required supporting documents:
- Company Statutory Documents
- FICA documents (e.g. Municipal accounts, letter from traditional authority);
- Certified ID Copies of Directors
- 3 months’ Bank Statements
- Latest Annual Financial Statements or Latest Management Accounts not older than three months from date of application – where applicable
- Business Profile
- 6 months Cash Flow Projections – where applicable
- Copy of Lease Agreement or Proof of Ownership if applying for rental relief
- If applying for payroll relief, details of employees – as registered with UIF, including banking details,will be required as payroll payments will be made directly to employees
- Facility Statements of other funders
- Detailed breakdown on application of funds including salaries, rent etc.
CURRENT STATUS: currently accepting registrations
- register on https://smmesa.gov.za/
- complete online application form (released on Thursday, 02 April 2020);
- upload required supporting documents
Spaza Shop Support Scheme
The Department has finalized the details of a dedicated Spaza Shop Support Scheme of R500 million. A date for when applications will open will be announced on Thursday, 2 April 2020. The Department also plans to finalize details to support other businesses in the informal sector such as hawkers etc.
The Spaza Shop Scheme provides:
- Dedicated access to networking purchasing or bulk buying opportunities through pre-selected and pre-approved wholesalers. These will include buying a pre-approved basket of goods that includes produce procured from SMMEs. What this means is: you will be made to buy from a pre-approved basket of goods – goods included to support other SMMEs supported by The Department and its agencies, as well as SMMEs that have certification for their products
- A credit facility with seed capital to assist those unable to access money to purchase stock. There is an intention of continuing this post COVID-19 crisis.
Other support includes assistance with:
- management support
- inventory management
- Occupational Health and Safety standards training
- meeting the required hygiene regulations during the lockdown, such as having the ability to sanitise between serving customers and sanitise serving counters
- registration on CIPC
- registration with The UIF
- setting up bank accounts
- will not give money to individuals, as they must process payments in accordance with the laws of financial management in the country, therefore, they will assist you with setting up bank accounts for the business
- access to basic business tools such as instant payment machines, speed points, and other vending facilities
In order to qualify you will need to meet the following criteria:
- be an owner–managed and owner–operated Spaza Shop
- be willing to register on CIPC and with the UIF
- register with SARS
- provide proof of banking
- register on SMMESA
- hold permits to trade (if trading illegally, you must go to nearest municipality and register)
- be willing to stock products by other South African SMMEs
- be willing to submit monthly Management Accounts
It has not been categorically confirmed whether you will be eligible should you be a foreign national. You will be eligible if admitted to SA “lawfully”, and hold valid passports with relevant business visas or permits – which include the condition to work or operate a business.
CURRENT STATUS: SMME SA website launched on 2 April 2020
- The Department of Tourism has made an additional R200 million available to assist SMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the new travel restrictions.
- Eligible SMEs will need to meet the following criteria – your business must:
- be formally registered with Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)
- not make more than R2.5 million in revenue per year
- Be registered with SARS and tax compliant.
- have guaranteed employment for a minimum number of staff for a period of 3 months – this minimum number is to be confirmed
- have proof of minimum wage compliance
- provide proof of UIF registration for employees employed by the business
- be an existing tourism-specific establishment as outline in the scope of application (suppliers and intermediaries are not eligible)
- be in existence for at least one business financial year
- prove that the relief is required as a result of the impact of COVID-19
- submit financials and 12 months bank statements
- detail how the amount you are applying for will be spent
CURRENT STATUS: developing a call centre to handle enquiries – read more details here.
For existing SEFA clients: The Department of Small Business Development is also planning to give distressed SMEs already funded by the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (a state-owned entity and subsidiary of the IDC), a six-month payment holiday on loans and associated interest accrued.
For new application to SEFA: Online application forms will be available from Thursday 2 April 2020. On this platform, applications will automatically be redirected to the correct fund. However, in the meantime, the follow websites will be accepting manual applications. The department appeals to SMMEs to please only apply once to the most relevant fund, in order to avoid congesting the system.
CURRENT STATUS: currently accepting applications
- registration on the National SMME Database: https://smmesa.gov.za/
- complete the simplied online application form available at: www.dsbd.gov.za; www.sefa.org.za; https://seda.org.za (currently unavailable)
- upload Required Supporting Documents
- completed applications can also be emailed to email@example.com
Aimed at assisting you with covering operational expenses, this funding will not be used to assist you with: debt repayment obligations or other mechanisation, infrastructure, and other overhead expenses.
To qualify for relief, you must:
- be a small-scale or communal farmer (making between R50 000 and R1 million)
- be a South African citizen who has been in operation for at least one year and is currently in the production season
- preparing for the 2020 summer production season will not be supported
- currently be applying good farming processes
- be registered on the Producer/Farmer Register and commodity or provincial databases
- not be receiving assistance through other government programmes
Priority will be given to farms with:
- women making up at least 50% of the beneficiaries
- youth accounting for 40%
- disabled people accounting for 6%
Approximately R400 million of the fund will be ring-fenced for farmers on the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy land reform programme. The remaining R800 million will be channelled towards farmers in a limited selection of commodity sectors such as:
- poultry: day-old chicks, point of lay chickens, feed, medication and sawdust
- other livestock: feed and medication
- vegetables: seedlings, fertiliser, pesticides, herbicides, and soil correction work.
Other sectors, not included above, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It has been clarified that as the wine industry is currently harvesting, it will not be as impacted, while food distribution relating to importing and exporting of products has not ceased. Commercial farmers in financial distress, who already have loans with the Land Bank, will be covered by the bank’s R100 million facility.
CURRENT STATUS: Covid-19 relief package applications are now open until April 22 2020.
Website: Application forms can be accessed on the department’s website www.dalrrd.gov.za, and through national, provincial, district and local offices of both the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development and Provincial Departments of Agriculture. Applications can also be lodged electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted to the offices as outlined. No late applications will be accepted.
The Covid-19 retail block exemption seeks to create a “safe harbour” to ensure the survival of tenants of retail properties. The block allows certain retail tenants and retail landlords to reach agreements among one another in relation to payment holidays and rental discounts for tenants.
The block exemption included several specific requirements, and businesses in the retail sector need to ensure that they comply with the Competition Act. This means that the agreements and practices must only be implemented for the sole purpose of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. The exemption does not apply to any agreements relating to pricing.
The block exemption also addresses limitations on the eviction of tenants, and the suspension/adjustment to lease agreement clauses that restrict retail tenants from undertaking reasonable measures required to protect their visibility during the pandemic. Provided that the agreements meet certain conditions, they will be exempt from the provisions of section 4 (preventing anti-competitive agreements between competitors) and section 5 (preventing anti-competitive agreements between suppliers and customers) of the Competition Act.
The reiterate the above, the exemption applies to:
- payment holidays and rental discounts
- limitations on the eviction of tenants
- suspension/adjustment to lease agreement clauses that restrict retail tenants from undertaking reasonable measures required to protect their visibility during the pandemic
The exemption applies to retailers in the following sectors:
- personal care services
- home textiles
CURRENT STATUS: These regulations shall remain in operation for the period of the State of National Disaster, or until withdrawn by the minister, whichever comes earlier.
Any businesses seeking to apply the exemption may only do so at the request of and in co-ordination with The Department. To qualify for an exemption, agreements must extend to all South African retail tenants in the designated retail lines, including small independent retailers.
To apply, the retail property landlords and designated retail tenants participating in any agreements or practices falling within the scope of exemptions must keep minutes of meetings held, and written records of such agreements or practices. Written representations on these regulations may be made by any person, and must be submitted to email@example.com, within 14 days from March 24 2020.
As part of the Part of the R500BN fiscal stimulus package, The National Treasury, South African Reserve Bank, and commercial banks have jointly created a guarantee loan scheme.
R200BN will be made available for new loans to existing customers, with R100BN initially being made available. All commercial banks can access the guarantee scheme, though the Reserve Bank reserves the right to limit the amount that can be accessed by an individual bank. Participating banks currently include: Absa, Capitec/Mercantile Bank, First National Bank (FirstRand), Investec, Nedbank, and Standard Bank. Discussions are under way to enable more banks to participate.
Key features of the Covid-19 Guarantee Loan Scheme are:
- Covid-19 loans will be made available to your business, should you have an annual turnover of less than R300M and be in good standing with your commercial bank
- this means that you must be up to date with your other loan payments or be an account holder without any loans as at end-February 2020
- have an existing relationship with the bank granting your loan, be registered with SARS, and be financially distressed because of the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns
- funds borrowed through this scheme can be used for operational expenses such as: rent, utilities, salaries, lease agreements, and contracts with ordinary-course suppliers etc.
- you may not use these loans to pay dividends, make investments, pay bonuses, or pay off other loans that the business may have
- loans will cover up to three months of operational costs and will be drawn down monthly
- this means that the loan amount will be disbursed to you in up to three monthly instalments
- a six-month repayment holiday will commence from the first drawdown, although interest will accumulate from the date on which the first drawdown on the loan occurs
- repayment of interest and capital starts after six months and you will have a maximum of 60 months to do so, making for five-and-a-half years in total to repay
- you can repay the loan ahead of schedule
- Covid-19 loans will be offered at a single agreed lending rate by all banks participating in the scheme
- participating banks will lend to businesses at the repo rate plus a fixed spread of 3.5 per cent (currently 7.75 per cent) which is equal to the prime lending rate
- each applying business is entitled to only one loan under this guarantee scheme
- banks are not obliged to extend Covid-19 loans, banks will use their own risk evaluation and credit application processes to approve or decline applications
- as a result, banks may ask you to provide security or suretyships for this loan, and may impose additional conditions as each bank deems fit
- should you default on the loan, your bank can claim on the guarantee from the Reserve Bank, which will in turn claim the funds from the National Treasury, but only after your bank has followed the stipulated allocations (above) and their standard recovery processes
- if a bank initiates such a claim, the Reserve Bank will require an independent audit to ensure that sound lending practices were applied
- if your business goes into liquidation, the Covid-19 loan is treated as equity and therefore ranks behind other creditors
The scheme works on the principle that profits and losses are ultimately shared between government and the banks. The scheme will receive all ‘profits’ on the loans, i.e. the difference between the rate at which banks lend the money (together with limited costs). This will include a guarantee fee charged to the banks in relation to the scheme. These profits will be used to offset any losses that the scheme makes. If the scheme suffers any further losses, these will be absorbed by the banks themselves, capped at 6% of the size of the loan. Any further losses will ultimately be covered by the fiscus.
CURRENT STATUS: To access the loan guarantee scheme, contact your primary or main banker. For more administrative or operational information on the scheme, please email C19Loans@resbank.co.za.
Start dates for the programme may differ by bank, though the larger banks should have been able to launch the scheme from 11 May 2020.
Website: for further information, please refer to the following links…
Business Partners will administer the R1 billion in funding support from the Rupert family and Remgro – called the Sukuma Relief programme.
This funding is available to all South African businesses. Funding is available in a combination of grants and low-interest loans:
- Formal sole proprietors can get R25 000 in cash, which is a once-off grant and doesn’t have to be repaid.
- Companies including close corporations and trusts, can also get the cash payment of R25 000, plus a low-interest loan with a 12-month repayment holiday. Loans of between R250 000 and R1 million are available.
- No sector specific details have been provided yet, such as how preference will be given to more severely impacted sectors such as tourism, the entertainment industry, restaurants and industries which can aid in recovery such as manufacturing. It has been confirmed that there will be no financial assistance to businesses in primary agriculture, mining and non-profit organisations.
To be eligible you must:
- be a tax compliant South African business
- be able to prove that your business is in financial distress as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
Business Partners will create a platform for you to apply for funding. The application process will consist of several steps you will have to go through to help Business Partners verify the existence and viability of your business. The platform will have distinct and separate financing programs available for both sole proprietors and formalized SMEs to ensure widespread support.
When applying, you will be required to submit documents and supporting evidence to corroborate that you are a viable business impacted by Covid-19. This proof can in form of: a loss in turnover, erosion of working capital, or inability to pay salaries. Payouts will be made within seven days of application, if approved. Entities will need the following information to make an application:
- annual financial statements
- 3 months bank statements
- proof of employees that may be assisted
- rent statement
- supporting documentation/ letter stating how your business is in distress as a result of Covid-19
CURRENT STATUS: Applications are closed as the programme has been over-subscribed (https://www.fin24.com/Companies/Financial-Services/coronavirus-rupert-r1bn-fund-to-help-small-businesses-oversubscribed-in-a-matter-of-days-20200406)
Several major retail tenants, including TFG and Pepkor, say they will not be paying rentals due to the government–mandated lockdown, while many other smaller retail businesses say they cannot afford to pay their rentals. A newly formed alliance of retail property landlords, The Property Industry Group, have stepped up and announced an industry-relief package for retail tenants hardest hit by the Covid-19 lockdown.
Relief to retail businesses that cannot operate during the lockdown (non-essential services) qualify for the following relief:
- For April and May 2020, retail landlords will offer relief in the form of rental discounts, where rental will be waived partially or fully, and interest-free rental deferments where the deferred rental will be recovered later over six to nine months from 1 July 2020 onwards. Rental includes rent, operating costs and parking rental but excludes all rates and taxes recoveries and utility cost recoveries, as well as insurance, which all tenants will be required to pay in full for April and May 2020.
- These measures are mostly aimed at assisting small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs), however, support will also be made available to other retail tenants. The principle objective of the initiative is to preserve jobs. To qualify, retail tenants will need to undertake to not retrench your employees during the relief period. What this means is, should you be a tenant and your accounts were in good standing as of February 29, you will not face eviction for the next 2 months. It should be noted that your landlord can use their discretion in the assistance that they can give you.
The body and its members are considering relief for other types of tenants such as office, industrial, and hospitality tenants, however, this is only in instances where the lockdown has severely impacted you and where it is justified. These tenants will negotiate relief terms directly with their landlords, as per the rental exemption block.
CURRENT STATUS: active as of April 2020
The Property Industry Group’s relief packages are detailed below:
SMME retailers defined as annual turnover of up to R80 million.
|Category||Basic assistance and relief||Interest-free deferment recovery period|
|Level 1: Highly-impacted retailers (e.g. companies selling time and services such as restaurants, hairdressers, travel agents, take-aways, etc.)||April 2020
|Over six to nine months from July 1 2020|
|Level 2: Medium-impacted retailers (e.g. companies selling product that doesn’t have a limited shelf-life, etc.)||April 2020:
|Over six to nine months from July 1 2020|
Non-essential goods and services
|Category||Basic assistance and relief||Deferment recovery period|
|SOE and government tenants||No relief offered – 100% of rent payable (excl. temporary testing, laboratories and healthcare services housed free)||N/A|
|All retailers with annual turnovers above R80 million (including local and international listed/publicly-traded retailers and large unlisted retailers)||April 2020:
|Over six months from July 1 2020|
Essential goods and services
|Category||Basic assistance and relief||Deferment recovery period|
|Retailers offering more than 75% essential services||No relief offered – 100% of rent payable||N/A|
|Retailers offering essential services but electing to close||No relief offered – 100% of rent payable||N/A|
|Retailers offering partial essential services, less than 75%||· Essential goods/services – 100% of rent payable
· Non-essential goods/services – as per retailers with annual turnovers above R80 million
Pro-rated by essential goods/services turnover vs non-essential good/services turnover (or gross lettable area if specifically agreed)
|For non-essential goods/services portion: over six months from July 1, 2020|
From 1 April 2020, Standard Bank will support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a payment holiday for 90 days (01 April 2020 until 30 June 2020). This means your payment will be deferred for 90 days. The interest and fees accrued over 90 days will be capitalised into your outstanding balance, changing the terms of repayment to a later date. After the 90 day period is complete the new repayment will become due.
You are automatically eligible if your:
- business is South African based
- making less than R20 million per year
- business Current Account, Bizlaunch account and Business Lending accounts are paid up to date
- your business is in good standing
SMEs not eligible for the Business Interruption Payment Scheme and are experiencing difficulties, can still receive help. Standard Bank can also assist with restructuring and consolidation of your Standard Bank loan agreements.
Please contact your Banker, fill in the form on this page, or email us on Businessassist@standardbank.co.za. If you are in financial distress and are not included in the three-month instalment relief offer, you should contact the bank as soon as possible by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call the bank directly to make an individual repayment arrangement.
CURRENT STATUS: Standard Bank will set up automatic new payment terms for all our clients with a turnover of less than R20 million per annum, who are up to date with their payments as at the end of March 2020 and are in good standing with Standard Bank.
If you do not wish to change your payment arrangements, please contact your Banker or email.
Nedbank have undertaken to consider assisting any of their loan agreement customers impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Nedbank have stated that this support could take the form of:
- deferring your repayments (or part thereof) for a suitable period
- extending your existing loan repayment period (the term) or
- extending further loans to you to manage short term cash flow shortfalls
Should you have any loan agreement with Nedbank, you will need to contact Nedbank directly. Clients are encouraged to contact Nedbank on 086 055 5111, if you need to restructure debt or change your payment arrangements due to Covid-19.
It has been further announced that the:
- minimum repayment on all Nedbank credit card products has been automatically reduced to 2,5% of your current balance, for the next 3 months
- typically, credit card minimum repayments are set at 5% of your current balance
- you can make a withdrawal from any investment funds with Nedbank or Nedbank Investments, without any penalty charges, up to a maximum penalty charge of R200,000
- for example, if you have a fixed deposit account, you will be able to access your savings in that account without any penalty fees
- it is important that you maintain your insurance premiums
- in some cases, insurance premiums could be capitalised onto the loan amount, thus still covering you loan agreements
CURRENT STATUS: currently available
Support offered to Absa’s business clients is not limited to specific products. Absa will also consider bespoke solutions for businesses to assist them over this period, based on their unique requirements and operations.
Absa assistance is not limited to their corporate and business customers in need of short-term liquidity relief. Absa’s corporate, wealth, business bank, private bank, and retail customers will automatically qualify for the relief programme that applies to Absa’s credit products. Applicable credit products include: home loans, vehicle finance, personal loans and credit cards, as well as commercial asset finance and mortgage-backed business loans.
Crucially, this programme will not attract additional administration fees for Absa customers. Relief measures will be in the form of a three-month repayment holiday, regardless of the kind of loan you have, or how much money you earn. There will also be an option to reduce repayments instead. Relevant agreements will be adjusted, by revising the loan period and capitalising interest during the relief period.
Customers in good standing (with up-to-date accounts), and who have been financially impacted by the pandemic, will have the opportunity to opt-in for payment relief, aimed at assisting with cash flow needs. Customers currently under debt review will continue with their existing arrangements.
Absa urges those of you who can continue making your loan repayments to do so, as this will enable Absa to extend these measures to many more, who are not in a similar position.
It should be noted that where Absa customers have opted to take up the home loan payment relief proposition, provision has been made for inclusion of Absa Homeowners Comprehensive Insurance (HOC) cover in the payment relief; to ensure adequate insurance cover for the building remains. Please note that this only applies to Absa HOC paid annually from the Home Loan account, and not to any insurance paid from the customer’s transactional account or that provided by another insurer.
In addition to offering three-month relief from repayments, Absa said small and medium enterprises such as: hairdressers, pharmacies, florists, and coffee shops that rent premises on Absa campuses have been granted a three-month rental holiday.
CURRENT STATUS: Absa will approach qualifying customers directly to discuss their payment relief options, and trigger this should you choose to opt-in to this relief scheme. You do not need to contact Absa to arrange this relief.
From 1 April to 30 June 2020 aimed at providing relief to individual and business FNB customers, whose financial stability has been impacted by Covid-19 pandemic. To be eligible as an FNB customer your accounts will need to be in good standing, and you must have honoured all your repayments to FNB on a consistent basis prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. For qualifying customers, all Covid-19 interventions will be for all products and will be available for a period of three months, covering the following:
- instalment cashflow relief, during which part or no instalments/repayments will be due for a specific period
- a preferential interest rate will apply to the Covid-19 relief interventions given
- FNB will offer reduced interest rates in line with the prime interest rate (8.75%), with some variations depending on your credit profile
- interest rates on your existing loan agreements will remain as is
- no administration fees will be charged for any relief granted
- fees on existing loans will continue, but fees on new loans will be waived for three months
- assistance with processing claims for loss of income on your credit life insurance on FNB agreements
- you can also apply for relief from your FNB life insurance premiums so that your life insurance cover does not lapse due to missed premium payments
- individualised bridge facilities for those who need it
It should be noted that interest and fees will continue to accumulate on outstanding balances. Should you, as an individual and or business, require further information, you can contact FNB via your usual digital and assisted banking channels to enquire about these services. During this week, you will also be able to get more information on FNB’s current Covid-19 relief measures through a dedicated icon on the landing page of the banking app.
Further to the above measures, FNB has stated that:
- the greater FirstRand Group will waiver Speedpoint device rentals and not charge a minimum fee for some merchants, who are in good standing, but operate in distressed industries
- in April individual and business customers on FNB Connect will also receive 1GB of free data to help them stay connected during the lockdown
- the group is also working with industry partners to ensure that customers can use any bank’s ATMs without paying additional fees over and above the fees charged by their bank
CURRENT STATUS: Please contact FNB via your usual digital and assisted banking channels to enquire about their FNB Covid-19 relief measures. View the Covid-19 link on the FNB App for more.
RMB is customising relief packages to their business clients and has indicated the following measures:
- making extra funding available
- waiving of short-term covenants, and
- evaluating the capital structures of businesses to help them withstand the long-term effects of Covid-19
In addition to these client specific interventions, RMB also has prioritised early invoice settlements for its suppliers to prop up smaller businesses.
CURRENT STATUS: Further updates are to follow. RMB clients should make contact directly.
SA Taxi is offering payment holidays for the month of April which means:
- you do not need to pay your finance instalment for April 2020 if you are in good standing
• you do not have to pay your insurance premium for April 2020 if you are in good standing
• if you elect not to pay your instalment for April, SA Taxi will extend the term of your credit
agreement unless other arrangements are made
- account in good standing(SA Taxi willsend you a SMS to let you know if your account is in good standing and that you qualify)
- if your account is not in good standing, you can still qualify for the payment relief if:
- the telematics device in your vehicle is in working order AND
- you are either (i) NOT travelling during the lock-down period; or (ii) travelling only to provide transport in support of essential services
- the telematics device in your vehicle is in working order AND
Furthermore, your insurance cover through SA Taxi Protect, VUM, and Mobility will remain in force during this period, notwithstanding non-payment of premium.
CURRENT STATUS: active – apply directly with SA Taxi
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) launched an independent relief fund for the taxi industry to support those affected by the loss of business during the national lockdown.
The fund will compensate: taxi operators, drivers, queue marshals, and staff working at the offices of the taxi associations.
The fund is currently accepting donations to reach a target of R3.5Bn, and anyone can donate.
CURRENT STATUS: Santaco will notify the public when applications open.
The Black Business Council and Ubank have together agreed to establish a R1 billion fund for Township and Rural Economy Revitalisation in line with the mandate of the government’s Township and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme (TREP).
The aim of the partnership with the BBC is to develop township and rural market solutions for black companies, support the development of black industrialists, enable economic transformation, and be a catalyst for change and inclusive growth.
An amount of R250-million will be available each year for the next five years, to lend to mostly black-owned businesses based in townships and rural areas. It has also been indicated that white entrepreneurs who developed solutions for the township and rural areas can also tap the fund.
The fund will invest mainly in those enterprises based in the information technology (IT) and digitalisation, manufacturing, agriculture and agri-processing, retail, infrastructure, and tourism sectors.
While specific criteria on the loan size and funding instruments has yet to be finalised, the fund is expected to provide asset financing and invoice-discounting or factoring loans with loan sizes from R50 000 up to R1.5-million.
The fund is expected to start lending from 1 June 2020 and would be available via Ubank’s branches.
CURRENT STATUS: Further information to follow.