Relief Funding for COVID-19

Government Relief

Department of Small Business Development

Available Funding

More than R500-million is being made available to assist small and medium-sized enterprises.

Type of Funding

  • Debt Relief Finance
  • Business Growth and Resilience Facility

Description of Funding

Debt Relief is aimed at providing relief on existing debts and loan repayments. The facility will also assist entities to acquire raw materials, pay labour and fund other operational costs.

Business Growth/Resilience Facility is specifically created to enable continued participation of SMMEs in supply value-chains, in particular those who manufacture or supply essential products that are in demand, emanating from shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility will offer working capital, bridging, order and equipment finance.

Qualifying Criteria

  • The business must have been registered with CIPC by at least 29 February 2020.
  • The business must be 100% owned by South African citizens.
  • 70% of employees must be South African.
  • The business must be registered and compliant with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Required Documents

The following documentation will be required whether applying for Debt Relief or Business Growth and Resilience:

  • Company registration documents.
  • FICA documents (i.e. a municipal account or letter from traditional authority).
  • Certified ID copies of directors.
  • 3 months of bank statements.
  • Latest annual financial statements or latest management accounts, not older than 3 months from the date of application (if applicable).
  • Business profile.
  • 6 months of cash flow projections (if applicable).

Additional documentation required when applying for Debt Relief:

  • If applying for rental relief: Copy of lease agreement or proof of ownership.
  • If applying for payroll relief: Details of employees as registered with UIF, as well as their banking details.
  • Facility statements of other funders.
  • Detailed breakdown of funds required, including salaries, rent, etc.

Additional documentation required when applying for Business Growth/Resilience Facility:

  • Relevant Industry Certification (where applicable).
  • Estimated funding requirement.

Terms & Conditions

  • Prime less 5%.

Application Process

  • Register at
  • Complete the online form.
  • Upload the required supporting documentation.

Department of Tourism

Available Funding

The Department of Tourism has made R200 million available to SMME’s in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the new travel restrictions.

Qualifying Criteria

  • Be an existing tourism-specific establishment as outlined in the scope of application (suppliers and intermediaries are not eligible).
  • The company must be registered with CIPC.
  • Annual turnover must not exceed R2.5-million.
  • Registered with SARS and tax compliant.
  • Guaranteed employment for a minimum number of staff for a period of 3 months.
  • Proof of minimum wage compliance.
  • Must have been in existence for at least one business financial year.

Required Documents

  • Proof of UIF registration for employees.
  • Proof that the relief is required as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
  • Annual financial statements.
  • 12 months of bank statements.
  • Indicate the intended use of the resources.

National Empowerment Fund


In partnership with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has set aside R200 million to facilitate funding for black entrepreneurs to manufacture and supply a range of medical products and produce food products in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Terms & Conditions

  • Purchase of machinery and equipment, as well as working capital.
  • Limited to R10-million per applicant.
  • 12-month payment moratorium at 0% interest rate.
  • After 12 months a 2.5% interest rate will apply.
  • Maximum of 60-month repayment term, including the moratorium.
  • First drawdown to occur within 1 month of the approval date.
  • The fund can not be utilised for pre-existing debt.

Qualifying Criteria

  • The company or close corporation must be a registered entity with the CIPC.
  • Tax compliant with a valid tax clearance certificate.
  • Registered supplier with retailers and other institutions in good standing or have a purchase order, contract or letter of intent.
  • 51% black-owned, with black management and control with requisite industry experience.
  • Preference will be given to applicants that demonstrate meaningful black-women ownership, management and control.
  • Have a project with a minimum of R500,000 in working capital, machinery and equipment.
  • Results in the increase or retention of direct jobs.

Priority Products and Services

  • Disposable plastic gloves and face masks.
  • Dispensers (water sanitisers and soap).
  • PCR test kits for Coronavirus.
  • Protective respirators.
  • Disinfectants and alcohol-bases wipes.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Medical protective clothing.
  • Steel beds for hospitals and clinics.
  • Hospital linen and clothing.
  • Mattresses and/or sponge.
  • Protective goggles, hoods and face shields.
  • Hand sanitisers and soap.
  • Detergents/cleaning products.
  • Disposable aprons and cups.
  • A range of food products.

Required Documents

  • NEF form.
  • Declaration on BEE status and size of the business.
  • Summary of production in the last 3 months.
  • Historical financial statements (up to 3 years, if available).
  • Signed copy of a purchase order, contract or letter of intent.
  • Financial forecast for the duration of the contract.
  • Additional information that would enhance the application may be requested by the NEF.

Application Process

Applicants may reach the NEF on and on 011 305-8080 for this emergency funding.

Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA)


SMMEs funded by SEFA that are negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will qualify for a 6-month payment holiday on loans and associated interest accrued. The SEFA post-investment team will conduct analysis to determine whether the application requires a restructuring of the loan.

Required Documents

  • Proof that the Company has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Required Documents

Private Sector Relief

The South African Future Trust (SAFT)


The South African Future Trust (SAFT) established by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer will extend financial support of R1-billion to SMME employees who are at risk of losing their jobs or will suffer a loss of income due to COVID–19.


Eligible SMME employers should apply for the scheme through their preferred partner bank. A list of names of the employees at risk together with the required supporting documentation should be submitted by the SMME on behalf of the employees.


The preferred partner bank will directly deposit the funds into the account of the qualifying employees.

Loan Repayment

The funding will be made available in the form of an interest free loan repayable by the SMME within 5 years.

Partner Banks

The scheme is currently available to the clients of four banks: ABSA, Standard Bank, Nedbank and FNB.

Eligibility Criteria

SMMEs need to meet the following criteria to qualify for the scheme:

  • Annual turnover should be less than R25-million.
  • Trading for at least 24 months.
  • Was a sustainable business on 29 February 2020.
  • Adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Required Documents

SMMEs need to provide the following documents (as a minimum) to apply for the scheme:

  • Company registration number.
  • A valid PAYE registration number registered with SARS.
  • A valid income tax number registered with SARS.
  • Confirmation of permanent employment status of the employee.

It is expected that the SMMEs should be able to apply for the funding from April 3, 2020, by registering the interest directly with their bank.

More information can be found at

Sukuma Relief Programme (Business Partners)

The Rupert Family and Remgro have pledged R1-billion to SMEs that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Business Partners has been appointed as the administrator of the fund, known as the Sukuma Relief Programme. The programme offers distinct financial aid to formal sole proprietors, close corporations, companies and trusts.

Formal Sole Proprietors


The Sukuma Relief Programme offers qualifying formal sole proprietors a R25,000 grant. The grant is not repayable, however beneficiaries are encouraged to pay it forward and repay as much of the grant to the Public Benefit Organisation created for the initiative as they can afford. The money will be used to provide financial aid to other business owners in need in future.

Qualifying Criteria

  • Evidence of financial activity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Regulatory compliance.
  • Tax compliance.

Required Documents

  • 3 months of bank statements of the business per the period 1 December 2019 to 29 February 2020.
  • Copy of ID document.
  • Copy of business licence (where applicable).
  • Copy of tax clearance certificate.

Application Process

Disbursement Process

  • Financial aid is expected to be disbursed within 7 working days from the date of application.

Close Corporations, Companies and Trusts


The Sukuma Relief Programme offers qualifying close corporations, companies and trusts financial aid in the form of an unsecured interest-bearing loan of between R250,000 and R1-million coupled with a non-repayable grant of R25,000.


  • No repayment obligations for 12 months.
  • No interest to be incurred or raised for 12 months.
  • Interest to be raised at prime rate from month 13.
  • Repayment of the loan to commence from month 13.

Qualifying Criteria

  • Formally registered with CIPC.
  • Evidence of financial activity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Regulatory compliance.
  • Tax compliance.

Required Documents

  • Annual financial statements for the financial period ended 28 February 2019, signed off by a professional accountant.
  • Management accounts for the period 1 March 2019 to at least 31 December 2019.
  • The latest available EMP201 document submitted to SARS, not older than 3 months.
  • 3 months of bank statements of the business for the period 1 December 2019 to 29 February 2020.
  • A rental (premises) statement, not older than 3 months.
  • Statements for any other credit agreements such as asset finance or trade finance loan agreements as at 30 January 2020.
  • Motivation and supporting documentation clearly illustrating the financial distress suffered by the SME as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. reduction of turnover, erosion of working capital, inability to pay wages, rent, overheads or inability or difficulty in servicing existing debt obligations).
  • Statements of assets and liabilities of the main business owner.
  • Copies of IDs of directors, shareholders, members, and trustees (as applicable).
  • Copy of marriage certificate including ANC documents, divorce certificate or death certificate (where applicable).
  • Company, close corporation or trust registration documents.
  • Confirmation of bank account details issued by the relevant bank.

Application Process

Disbursement Process

Once approved, the first disbursement is expected within 7 working days from the date of application. Thereafter the approved financial aid will be disbursed over a 3-month period

Do You Need More Information And Support

Book a business support consultation now