The South African Future Trust (SAFT) and Johann Rupert have each announced schemes to the value of R1 billion for South African SMMES to offset the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
Established by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer, SAFT is making funds available to keep companies in business and protect jobs during the pandemic.
To be eligible for the SAFT scheme, a company must have an annual turnover of less than R25 million. In addition, it must have been trading for at least 24 months; been a sustainable business as at 29 February 2020; and been adversely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Business Insider reports that the trust will extend direct financial support to employees of SMMES who are at risk of losing their jobs, or who will suffer a loss of income because of Covid-19.
Nedbank, Absa, FNB and Standard Bank and have agreed to administer the scheme at no cost to the fund, and will waive their normal credit fees for all loans approved under this scheme. On approval, funds will be paid directly to the nominated employees, with liability for the loan remaining with the business.
During this initial Covid-19 period, the funds will be disbursed as interest-free loans over a five-year term. Once Covid-19 has passed, any further funds donated or repaid to SAFT will be deployed towards initiatives aimed at accelerating economic growth and employment creation within South Africa.
If businesses are unable to repay the loan, SAFT will work closely with SMMEs to ensure that repayment plans are in place which are sustainable for the business concerned.
For more information about the SAFT relief scheme – click here
Johann Rupert donation
In terms of Johann Rupert’s R1 billion donation, entrepreneurs (i.e. sole proprietors) can get a once-off cash payment of R25,000 and they don’t need to pay it back.
Businesses can also get the cash payment, plus a low-interest loan of up to R1 million with a 12-month repayment holiday. Loans of between R250,000 and R1 million are available.
To be eligible, businesses must be tax compliant and be able to prove that they were viable prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rupert’s fund – the Sukuma Relief fund – will be administered by Business Partners. For more information click here