NEF CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu file
NEF CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu file

NEF and Solidarity Fund to provide looted businesses in KZN and Gauteng an additional R450 million in business relief

By Xolile Bhengu Time of article published Sep 27, 2021

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DURBAN - THE National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and the Solidarity Fund’s Humanitarian Crisis Relief Fund (HCRF) have announced a joint financial relief programme to support small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to recover from the devastating riots and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and some parts of Gauteng which broke out in July this year.

The NEF and Solidarity Fund said the R450 million fund was the first collaboration between the two organisations.

Philisiwe Mthethwa, chief executive of the NEF, said the businesses in need of the funding support would have to demonstrate they were negatively impacted by the riots and unrest in both provinces.

Mthethwa said the financial support would 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.”

She said: “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 they were not covered by insurance or that there is an insurance shortfall.

“One of the funding criteria is the applicant must be a registered company, close corporation or co-operative, in good standing with the South African Revenue Service. The applicant must also demonstrate that jobs lost will be restored or increased within 12 months of receiving the funding,” said Mthethwa.

Boris Kamstra, head of the Solidarity Fund’s HCRF, said they were excited to contribute the R150 million grant funding to the intervention in partnership with the NEF and believed it would go a long way to address the recovery of the SMME sector.

“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.”

Applications for the funding can be sent to [email protected] Alternatively, enquiries may be directed to the NEF’s call centre on 0861 843 633 (0861 THE NEF).

THE MERCURY

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