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The Debt Relief Finance Scheme

What is the SMME Debt Relief Finance Scheme?

The Department of Small Business Development has established the Debt Relief Finance Scheme. The Scheme will provide soft loan funding to keep existing businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic for 6 months from April 2020. It is aimed at businesses which are negatively affected, directly or indirectly, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Priority will be given to businesses owned by women, youth and people with disabilities.

For more information you can contact the Department of Small Business Development at or on their hotline: 0860 663 7867.

What are the funding terms?

These are the funding terms:

  • The facility will offer working capital only. Strictly direct costs which are auditable.
  • A maximum of R500 000 per SMME will be considered depending on requirements.
  • The term of the funding will be determined by the business cash flow.
  • Loan facilities will be at an interest rate of Prime less 5%.

Who qualifies?

These are the qualifying criteria:

  • The business must have been registered with CIPC by at least 28 February 2020
  • The company must be owned by 100% South African Citizens
  • Employees must be 70% South Africans
  • The company must be registered and compliant with SARS and UIF. Seda will assist micro-enterprises to comply. A request for assistance must be emailed to
  • The company must register on the National SMME Database at hhtps://
  • Provide proof that the business is negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Complete the online application form
  • Provide statutory company documents
  • Provide FICA documents (e.g. municipal accounts, letter from traditional authority)
  • Certified copies of IDs of directors
  • 3 months’ bank statements
  • Latest annual financial statements or latest management accounts not older than 3 months (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, the details of employees as registered with the UIF and banking details. Payroll payments will be made directly to employees.
  • Facility statements of other funders
  • A detailed breakdown of funds including salaries, rent etc.

How do you apply?

  • You must follow these steps to apply: Register on
  • Complete the online application form which is now available at the above website.
  • Upload the required supporting documents

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