COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal 

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

You can read more about the Solidary 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 7 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 twelve 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.

The Sukuma Relief Programme have been overwhelmed with applications far exceeding the R1 billion capital available and has called for additional funding. On 13 April the programme announced  that it would start dispersing funds in the form of grants and loans to SMMEs within a few days.

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 BankFNB 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 emplyees

The Debt Relief Finance scheme

2.3. 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.

On 10th April, the Minister of Small Business Development announced that over 100,000 SMMEs had applied to this scheme for relief funding and that the first batch of funding was expected to be rolled out from the following week.

2.4. 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%.

2.5. 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 that 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.

2.6. 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.

Last Updated on