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Unrest Relief Fund
12 October 2021 12:00 by John de Villiers
The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and the Solidarity Fund’s Unrest Relief Fund (URF) have established a R450 million funding programme aimed at supporting businesses that were damaged in the recent riots in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NEF, Ms Philisiwe Mthethwa, says “the financial support will be a blended loan and a grant offering. Of the R450 million contributed by the two partners, R300 million will be a loan portion while the balance will be grant funding. This developmental commitment aims at restoring business activity in the affected areas, and to save much-needed jobs to drive economic recovery and social stability”. Affected businesses will need to show that they were not covered by insurance or that there is an insurance shortfall, says Ms Mthethwa.
Supporting job creation
The riots and unrest resulted in devastating economic disruptions, including food and medical shortages.
“We are excited to contribute R150 million grant funding to this intervention in partnership with the NEF and believe it will go a long way to immediately address the recovery of the SMME sector from the devastating impact of the unrest [89% of businesses hit by civil unrest were SMMEs]. This intervention underscores the intent of the HCRF to be able to respond with agility and speed to business recovery efforts in a meaningful way that will ultimately benefit community access to goods and services, and aid in the much-needed economic recovery in the affected areas,” says Mr Boris Kamstra, Head of the Solidarity Fund’s Humanitarian Crisis Relief Fund.
The following criteria must be met by a business to be eligible for the support:
- The business must be located in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal and must demonstrate that it was affected by the riots and the unrest;
- The business must either be a registered company, close corporation or co-operative;
- The applicant must be a taxpayer in good standing and must provide proof thereof from SARS;
- Demonstrate that the jobs lost during the unrest will be restored or increased within 12months of funding;
- Where a business is insured, funding can be provided as bridging finance against a cession by the insurance company of the insurance proceeds;
- All recipients will be encouraged to have a SASRIA or an equivalent insurance cover going forward;
- The business must demonstrate the need for a grant and the ability to service the loan;
- Loans will be made available at 0% interest rate;
- Some of the funding will be made available in the form of a grant.
Applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, enquiries may be directed to the NEF’s call centre on 0861 843 633 (0861 THE NEF).