The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) have approved 77 applications, valued at R1-billion, from businesses in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
These applications, covering 164 affected sites, relate to businesses affected by the civil unrest and mass looting experienced in July.
The development institutions have already disbursed R512-million of the amount, which has been used to repair damage to property, machinery and equipment, as well as restore inventories. The funds will also help sustain the 7 700 jobs that were placed at risk owing to the unrest.
The support has been extended to these firms in the form of term loans at zero interest, bridging finance, as well as the conversion of portions of selected facilities into grants. All applications have and continue to be rigorously assessed and approved on merit and need.
The NEF and the IDC’s support forms part of broader efforts by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to rebuild what has been lost.
“These funding approvals help to inject liquidity into businesses, provide bridging finance where insurance claims are still being assessed and enable firms to commence full trading.
“We have seen many small businesses rebuilding their operations and small and larger firms have provided essential goods to affected communities.
“The positive spirit we found from many firms show what we can do together as a country. The DTIC entities are busy evaluating a number of additional funding proposals and we will be making further announcements on the progress made and on specific projects that have been approved,” states Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel.