Funding applications open for businesses hit by unrest and looting

Businesses will benefit from interest-free loans. File photo.
Businesses will benefit from interest-free loans. File photo.
Image: Darren Stewart/Reuters

The department of trade, industry and competition says applications are open for a R3.75bn package for the restoration of businesses hit by the looting and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Affected businesses will benefit from industrial loan support at 0% interest, to be used towards the rebuilding of infrastructure, including equipment, fittings, stock and working capital.

This is part of the economic recovery support interventions announced by trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel.

The department said in a statement on Wednesday that it had — with its development finance institutions, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) — collectively put together a funding package in support of various business recovery interventions.

“Part of the economic rebuilding package is a comprehensive package by the IDC that offers funding support for businesses and communities affected by the unrest to the tune of R1.5bn,” the department said.

“This includes a R100m matching grant facility to support small and informal businesses in the townships, rural areas and small towns affected by the unrest.

“The fund is designed to target the socio-economic challenges facing these businesses as a result of the unrest.”

In addition, R400m was set aside under the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme Economic Stabilisation Fund. The fund will support manufacturing companies and related services affected by the unrest, including those affected by associated supply chain disruptions.

This fund will offer concessionary funding to affected companies through interest-free loans to preserve and grow jobs and restore value chains.

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