Businesses adversely affected by the recent looting and unrest can apply for a grant of up to R30 million to finance the reconstruction of their infrastructure. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Businesses adversely affected by the recent looting and unrest can apply for a grant of up to R30 million to finance the reconstruction of their infrastructure. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Looted businesses can apply for grants up to R30m to rebuild

By Siphelele Dludla Time of article published Aug 24, 2021

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BUSINESSES adversely affected by the recent looting and unrest can apply for a grant of up to R30 million to finance the reconstruction of their infrastructure.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has announced the Critical Infrastructure Reconstruction Programme (CIRP) as part of the R3.75 billion relief package for the restoration of businesses.

The CIRP is a cost-sharing grant of up to 50 percent of the total qualifying infrastructure costs, capped at R30m, to rebuild any type of infrastructure that was damaged.

DTIC deputy director-general Susan Mangole urged businesses to apply for relief funding to ensure they rebuild as quickly as possible and get the economy going.

The department’s relief package was part of the government’s broader R38bn relief package announced by the minister of finance last month.

Mangole said the DTIC had ploughed R2bn into the relief package, while the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) had set aside more than R1.5bn.

About R1.4bn has been set aside for the Post Unrest Business Fund to assist businesses that operate in sectors that the IDC funds.

Mangole said the funding would be available at concessionary rates to ensure significant development impact.

“It will be distributed through the department, the IDC and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF),” Mangole said.

The NEF, in partnership with the DTIC, has also established the Economic Stabilisation and Rebuilding Fund to support businesses.

“Support will be provided in all sectors of the economy, with the focus on manufacturing, retail and services businesses,” Mangole said.

“The NEF will support any business that has been adversely affected in all sectors of the economy for an amount of R250m.”

Mangole said a grant allocation of R100m was to provide technical and financial assistance to small businesses in townships, rural areas and small towns.

She said corporate social investment initiatives had been allocated R10m to support food security and recovery efforts in affected communities. “This funding will cater for school infrastructure rebuilding, support for care facilities and clinics,” Mangole said. “The IDC will focus mainly on rural, outlying and less-developed areas that now face increased vulnerability.”

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi encouraged employers to apply for the Temporary Financial Relief Scheme for vulnerable workers.

Buthelezi said the scheme was targeted at workers who had not been paid, or paid partially, because of the closure of a workplace as a result of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The UIF benefit is intended to be paid from July 9 to December 15.

“Workers qualifying under this relief scheme will receive a monthly flat rate of R3 500,” Buthelezi said.

Applications can be submitted at www.uifecc.labour.gov.za.

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