The Solidarity Fund: What is it and how can you access it?

You can read more about the Solidarity Fund here. The aim of the fund is to

  • prevent the spread of the disease by supporting measures to flatten the curve and lower infection rates
  • detect and understand the magnitude of the disease
  • care for those in hospital or medical care
  • support those whose lives are disrupted by the pandemic.

Individuals and organisations are invited to support these efforts through secure, tax-deductible donations.

SMMEs can gain access to funding as follows:

2.1. Access to the Sukuma Relief Programme through Business Partners

The R1-billion that was pledged by the Rupert family will be administered and distributed by Business Partners. The Sukuma Relief Programme will have two separate offerings for formal sole proprietors and other business entities such as companies, closed corporations and trusts.

What relief is available for sole proprietors?

The programme offers sole proprietors a grant of R25 000 to be used to pay for overheads. You must be able to provide evidence of financial activity prior to the Covid-19 outbreak and be tax and regulatory compliant. The grant will be paid in one single payment within seven working days. You can apply online here.

What relief is available for business entities?

Companies, trusts and closed corporations can apply for an unsecured interest-bearing loan of between R250 000 and R1 million coupled with a non-repayable grant of R25 000. The loan will be interest-free for 12 months with no repayment obligation during this period. The loan is repayable after 12 months and will bear interest at the prime rate. The money can be used for payroll, rental, and other monthly operating overheads.

The business must be formally registered, provide evidence of financial viability prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, and be both tax and regulatory compliant. The first payment will be made within 7 working days, and the balance will be distributed over a period of 3 months. You will have to submit documents each month to support the continued need for financial aid during these 3 months. You can apply online here.

On 7 April the Sukuma Relief Programme has already reached application capacity. Business Partners stated that the applications they have already are being processed, and if additional capital is still available after this process is complete, the applications portal will be re-opened.

2.2. Access to the Oppenheimer SA Future Trust through your bank

The SA Future Trust have made funds available to South African businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme is currently available to clients of NedbankStandard Bank , FNB and ABSA. SMMEs can apply through their main bank. The funds will be distributed as interest-free loans over a five-year term. The aim is to help SMMEs who are suffering from short-term cashflow constraints to continue operations and retain employees.

Who qualifies?

  • Annual turnover below R25 million
  • Must have been trading for at least 24 months
  • The business must have been sustainable at 29 February 2020
  • The business must be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

You will need:

  • Company or CC registration number, Master’s reference number for Trusts, or ID number and address for sole proprietors
  • PAYE number
  • Income tax number
  • Confirmation of employment status of employees

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