As small businesses suffer the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown, the Minister for Small Business Development,  Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, announced details of the intervention measures to support SMMEs affected by the Covid-19 disaster.
“We’ve put in a facility for a national debt relief facility for small businesses in sectors such as hospitality…We are focusing on South African nationals…we want to do interventions, helping with repayment either with their mortgage, vehicle or whatever else they want assistance with,” said Ntshavheni.
She said a monitoring team will trace the progress of how payments will be made and avoid red tape.
Business owners can apply for one of the below funds:
1. The SMME Relief Finance Facility will provide soft-loan funding for existing businesses which are distressed due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The aid will be available for six months from 1 April 2020, although businesses may apply for a longer period of assistance if additional assistance is required.
2. The SEFA-Debt Restructuring Facility is geared towards SMMEs which are already funded by the Small Enterprise Funding Agency (SEFA) and are negatively affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. SEFA will grant a payment holiday for up to six months.
3. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has put a package of more than R3-billion together for industrial funding to address the situation of vulnerable firms and to fast-track financing for companies critical to efforts to fight Covid-19 and its economic impact. R200-million in aid has been made available by the Department of Tourism to assist SMMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the travel restrictions.
4.UIF Covid-19 Temporary Relief Benefit Temporary UIF relief fund for businesses that suffer distress directly dueto Covid-19 – claims for 3 months or less.

  • You need to be up-to-date with all UIF payments.
  • Employee will be paid in terms of the income replacement rate sliding scale (38% -60%) as provided in the UIF Act, max R17 712 per month. Businesses to apply on behalf of employees.

Email applying documents to covid19ters@labour.gov.za.
5. SA Future Trust (SAFT)

Salary support for SMEs with less than R25 million annual revenue. Requirements are as follows:

  • Businesses must be under stress directly due to the Covid-19 outbreak and in a strong financial position prior to the crisis.
  • Interest-free loan with 5-year term, paid directly to employees from banks.
  • R750 per qualifying employee per week, over a max period of 15 weeks, or R11 250 per permanent employee

Standard Bank, Nedbank, FNB and Absa to manage applications and weekly payment. More information available at https://opp-gen.com/saft/
6. Sukuma Relief Fund – Business Partners

Available for all industries but must have evidence of financial viability prior to Covid-19 as well as be tax & regulatory compliant.
Close corps, companies and trusts: must be registered, unsecured interest-bearing loan of R250, 000 – R1 million coupled with a non-repayable grant of R25,000. 60-month max loan term. No repayment obligations in yr 1, no interest for yr 1, interest at prime and repayment commence from year 2.
Sole proprietors: Non-repayable grant of R25,000. Must be registered and compliant, and employing 2 or more people. Online application process only, payouts in 7 days. Apply at https://finance.businesspartners.co.za/welcome-to-the-sukuma-relief-programme/
7. NEF Covid-19 Fund

Businesses will get funding for working capital, machinery and equipment to manufacture and supply a range of medical products.
R500 000 to R10 million concessionary loan for black-owned businesses with existing retail supplier relationships.
Up to 60 months repayment, 0% interest in first year. Applications open through NEF website www.nefcorp.co.za

In addition, the Department has also published Requests for Proposals to existing South African owned, registered and tax compliant SMMEs, which are in the medical supply and non-food field. The RFPs are aimed at getting information on SMMEs that have the capability to participate in the manufacture and supply of goods that are needed towards the management of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The RFPs are:
SMMEs are encouraged to call 0860 663 7867 or Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Help protect your loved ones by sharing this official South African government COVID-19 service with your family, friends and community. Send HI to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp. The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.


  1. I don’t know us liquor restaurant owners if they are going to fund us itll be helpful if they can

  2. How do you assistant companies that have contract with department of education to run nutritional programme for feeding schemes. Feeding scheme are government conditional grants. How do we claim then? We currently sitting without income because the schools are locked down but still need to service our debts.

  3. I have a healh store and need financial assistance to pay my staff. Pay my creditors and buy stock as we we negatively affected by Covid 19. Please could you direct me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.