to Small businesses Affected by Recent Looting
By: Siphiwe Hlope
The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), in partnership with Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), recently launched the Gauteng Rebuilding Fund as a response to the negative economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the July civil unrest on businesses in Gauteng.
An entity of the Gauteng Provincial Government, GEP contributed R50 million, and the IDC matched its contribution rand-for-rand, bringing the fund’s total value to R100 million. The civil unrest ravaged economic infrastructure in various Gauteng townships, especially in the cities of Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Tshwane.
Among other things, the fund’s purpose is to assist businesses that were not covered by insurance, and were not assisted through other funds, to rebuild, repair, and replace damaged infrastructure and critical inventory. The fund will provide relief to both formal and informal businesses in what is known as blended financing, a combination of 50% loan and 50% grant. Funding will be capped at R1 million for smaller but formal enterprises in distress, a grant of up to R50 000 will be given to qualifying informal businesses.
Since the fund’s launch in August 2021, over 500 applications have been received by GEP. Businesses that have applied range from small businesses in the tourism sector, entertainment and construction. GEP is currently processing all applications that have met the criteria and whose documentation is complete. However, many businesses that have applied still require more time and assistance in completing their applications and collating all the needed information for their applications. GEP’s CEO, Saki Zamxaka, confirms that GEP has not set a closing date for the applications, which will allow businesses in need enough time to submit their applications.
“The application process remains open until the funds are depleted. Those applicants who have their applications declined on the basis of incomplete documents and incorrectly filled forms can still correct the errors and reapply,” emphasised Zamxaka.
Zamxaka urged applicants to check the requirements and ensure they were fulfilled before submitting the application. The requirements are as follows:
- Have a valid South African identity document.
- The business must Operate within Gauteng.
- It must be 100% owned by a South African citizen.
- It must have been in operation as of 01 June 2021 (a bank statement is needed to prove operations).
- If it is an informal trader, it must have an original and valid trading permit.
- If it is an SMME, it must be registered and compliant with CIPC and SARS.
For more information on requirements, applications and any other information related to the Gauteng Rebuilding Fund, please visit www.gep.co.za