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Covid-19 crisis funding: Where to apply

And what are the qualifying criteria?
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In recent weeks, the South African government and various private sector players have implemented interim measures to curb the immediate and longer-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on business and industry.

At this moment, funding relief measures are not available for all sectors. However, to make the process easier for small business during this unprecedented time, we have compiled a ‘funding directory’ to assist in making your search simpler.

Please note the Sukuma Relief Programme – launched with an R1 billion donation from Johann Rupert – has now been closed to new applicants.

The UIF applications are open, however, there has been a delay in payments due to a number of applications coming through and the majority of those being processed are found to have incomplete application documents.

As the ministers from each department update on how the new funding relief measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday evening will work, the funding details below will be updated.

Department of Small Business Development: Debt Relief Finance Scheme

Industry and purpose: All businesses which are negatively affected, directly or indirectly, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Funding amount: R500 million made available
Application Process:
Qualifying criteria:
The business must have been registered with CIPC by at least February 28, 2020
The company must be 100% owned by South African citizens
70% of employees must be South African
Priority will be given to businesses owned by women, youth and people with disabilities
Business must be registered and compliant with Sars and UIF
Seda will assist micro-enterprises to comply; requests for assistance must be emailed to
Small and medium enterprises must ensure their own compliance
Must be proof that the business is negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic
The online application must be complete
Company statutory documents
Fica documents (e.g. municipal accounts, a letter from traditional authority)
Certified ID copies of directors
Three-months bank statements
Latest annual financial statements or latest management accounts not older than three months from date of application – where applicable
Business profile
Six 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 and including banking details – will be required as payroll payments will be made directly to employees
SMME employers who are not compliant with UIF must register before applying for relief
Facility statements of other funders
Detail breakdown on the application of funds including salaries, rent etc.
Department of Small Business Development: Business Growth/ Resilience Facilities
You must submit the same documents as above
Estimations for funding requested
Relevant industry certification – where applicable


The South African Future Trust (Saft)

(known as the Oppenheimer family fund)

Industry and purpose: An initiative aimed at supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are financially impacted by Covid-19
Funding amount: Businesses will qualify for R750 per permanent employee per week for 15 weeks. The money is not available to directors
Application process:
Qualifying criteria:
Operating for 12 months
The assistance will be a loan at prime -5%, repayment terms will be decided on an individual basis based on the cashflow projections
The directors and the business must have a good credit score
The maximum amount that businesses can apply for is R15 million, but it’s willing to look at working capital requirements of less than R200 000
Business trading for 12 months plus
Annual turnover of less than R25 million
Must have been a sustainable business on February 29, 2020
Adversely affected by Covid-19
Company registration documents
A valid PAYE number registered with Sars (if applicable)
A valid income tax number registered with Sars
Confirmation of permanent employment status of staff


The Department of Tourism

Industry and purpose: Accommodation establishments such hotels, resort properties, bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), guest houses, lodges and backpackers
Hospitality and related services which are restaurants (not attached to hotels), conference venues (not attached to hotels), professional catering, and attractions
Travel and related services such as tour operators, travel agents, tour guiding, car rental companies, and coach operators
Funding amount: R200 million is available; the grant is capped at R50 000
Application process:
Qualifying criteria:
Turnover of less than R5 million
Businesses in accommodation, hospitality, services within tourism
Financial statements
Negatively impacted by Covid-19
Operating for at least one year or more


Property Industry Group: Retail tenants relief package

Industry and purpose: Intended to assist large retail tenants hardest hit by the Covid-19 lockdown
Funding amount: The value of the relief package is estimated between R2 billion and R3 billion
Application Process: Apply via landlord
Qualifying criteria:
Retail tenants in good standing at February 29, 2020
Retailers in office or industrial parks qualify
No funding will be given funding for rates and taxes, utilities and insurance
The relief is offered in the form of a rental discount or deferral for April and May
Annual turnover of less than R80 million
Aims to avoid retrenching staff during the relief period


National Empowerment Fund (NEF): Black Business Fund

Industry and purpose: Funding for black entrepreneurs to manufacture medical products to help SA flatten the curve of the virus.
Funding amount: R200 million is available. You may apply from R500 000 to R10 million
The loans are offered at 0% interest for the first year and thereafter at 2.5% per year, repayable over a maximum term of 60 months
Application process:
Phone: 011 305 8080
Qualifying criteria:
Be a registered legal entity in South Africa in terms of the Companies Act, 2008 (as amended); the Close Corporations Act, 1984 or the Co-operatives Act, 2005
Be a taxpayer in good standing with a valid tax clearance certificate at assessment and before the loan is disbursed
Be a current and registered supplier with retailers and other institutions in good standing or have a purchase order/contract/letter of intent
Require working capital or funds to purchase machinery and equipment
The fund will not service any debt or help settle monies owed
Have greater than 50% black shareholding and management control. Must be directly involved in the day-to-day running of the operation and must have the requisite expertise in the sector
In line with the NEF’s transformation mandate, preference will be given to applications that demonstrate meaningful black women ownership, management and control
Have a project with a minimum requirement of R500 000 in working capital, machinery and equipment
Must result in retaining or increasing direct jobs
Submit all relevant documents for commercially viable applications


The Department of Labour: UIF and National Disaster benefit

Industry and purpose: It is only applicable to employers who are registered with UIF and make monthly contributions as required by the Contributions Act of 2002
Funding amount: The benefits an employee may receive from the C-19 Ters range from R3 500, being the national minimum wage, to a cap of R6 730.56 – the maximum of 38% of the R17 712 salary cap (as provided for in the Unemployment Insurance Act)
Application process:
Qualifying criteria:
Where a company shuts down for a certain period or implements reduced or short time
Benefits payable is the difference between what the employer pays and normal UIF benefits payable should an employee lose employment
Fill in the details of the business
Fill in UI19 and UI2.7 (completed by employer)
Fill in UI 2.1 (application)
Get your bank to complete a UI 2.8
A letter from the employer confirming reduced work time is due to Covid-19 virus
Copy of ID document


The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Industry and purpose: To address the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure sustainable food production
Funding amount: R1.2 billion is available
Application process:
Qualifying criteria:
Small-scale or communal farmer, with an annual turnover of between R50 000 and R1 million
South African citizen
Operate for a year or more
In production season
Be registered on the Producer/Farmer Register and commodity or provincial databases
Priority will be given to businesses owned by women, youth and people with disabilities
South African certified ID copy not older than three months
Already farming
Valid confirmation of land tenure/ownership (title deeds, tribal resolution, permission to occupy, minimum five years lease agreement)
Application form completed
Farming operation able to create permanent and/or seasonal jobs
In cases where the environmental impact assessment (EIA) certificate is necessary for the operations, evidence of such to be provided
Proof of access to water for irrigation in case of fruits, vegetables and winter crops (i.e. water licence/rights or proof that it had been applied for, borehole or other sources)



Industry and purpose: Business in need of a loan
Funding amount: Not specified
Application process:
Qualifying criteria:
Business must be based in and registered in South Africa
The company must be VAT registered
Needs to make R500 000 in revenue a year




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How would businesses even have a clue as to their success after the lockdown?

Take a restaurant. You apply for a loan. Make debt and pay your people. How will you pay the loan back?

Nobody even knows what the rules for restaurants or Taverns etc. will be going forward. Maybe they only open end of July?

How clever is it to take a loan?

We have come to expect the worst from Government as they dont have a clue what is going on and this is a typical example.

Its probably how SAA and other SOE’s got themselves into trouble. Take out loans (or funding) as they like to call it without the faintest idea of how to repay it.


So we can whine if there is help available and also if there isn’t. No one is being forced to take a long. Tsk!

Strange how no one blinks an eye lid over the National Empowerment Fund (NEF)

Racism is ok for some?

We are all suffering at this stage – but it is now reserve bank money that is lent out / dished out, it is not a client privacy / privilege deal between a commercial bank and it’s private client – what i would like to see at the end of the day after the R500bn is fully utilized is a 100% audited statement making up the R500bn,the debtor’s trade name, it’s cipc registration number and signed by its ceo / director for the amount borrowed, linked to a unique account number the terms and conditions thereof published in the government gazette. i am sorry to say but i have lost 100% trust in anything where the anc government and any money is involved in.

Speak for yourself. I am not suffering. Thanks for the thought tho.

All the world’s debt can be solved with this 1 solution and never to be repeated.

Debt Forgiveness.
Step 1. Consolidate all current debt at a moment’s notice, pay 10% of the payments back and have the instalments fixed at 0.00% over 100 years.

Make debt expensive.
Step 2. All new debt including credit cards etc to have an interest rate of 19% and can only be given out by the New Central Loan Authority.

Surely we should be spending on much needed medical supplies instead of wasting our money.

Oh wait…. we not as bad as New York… not yet…
after 500Billion is looted once again…. we will be back to square one!

Can I please get advice on the UIF..Why do i just see info regarding companies applying…what about the employees who fear that their companies didnt apply..who or where do we get help.Its easy for companies to say they never reveived a reply from the fund.Hpw do the employee know that they actially applied.What do employees do where companies advise them to apply themselves. I dont see anywhere on google government is talking about the poor employee applying just the employer.Where do it leave us the vulnerable employee.

Helpful article and good summary.

How much is the government spending buying hydroxychloroquine?

What about the sole proprietor. Any relief?

Lol, there is a reason that company registration exists. Don’t expect welfare now!

End of comments.




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