Relief funding for small businesses during COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South African government through Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, is calling on all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to apply debt relief funding.

Among other conditions, the SMEs should employ at least 70% South Africans and is not only designed to benefit black-owned businesses. The debt relief funding seeks to help business that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding is a R2 billion donation set by top local business families Oppenheimer and Rupert.

According to the minister, SMEs that would like to apply should meet the following:

  • Be 100% owned by South African citizens.
  • Employ at least 70% SA nationals.
  • Be registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and tax-compliant.

The minister added that priority will be given to businesses female, youth and disable individuals. The funding can be accessed upon registering via the SMME South Africa platform.

The application also requires that applicants fill all the required details of their shareholder/s as well as their employee demographics, sating if or not they require financial assistance.

Among other challenges, is that the SMME website does not accommodate applications related to the tax subsidy or the temporary reduction in employer and employee contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, and employer contributions to the Skill Development Fund.

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