South Africa: 81,000 SMMEs Submit Funding Applications

Over 81,000 COVID19-hit small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs) have already registered to be on the SMME SA database.

Applications on the SMME SA database were opened on Thursday at 9am, said Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, during a ministerial press briefing on Friday.

Similarly, the department on 2 April opened applications for the Debt Relief Fund and Business Growth Facility in the area of debt relief and business growth facility.

"Since the opening of the applications we have received over 2000 applications and we are receiving messages from people who are saying they have applied...

"We want to clarify to SMMEs out there that registering on the database does not translate to you applying. We want to ascertain that you are indeed an operating business and not a shelf company," she said.

She said this was to eliminate the possibilities of system abuse.

"You'll recall that we said for you to qualify you need to have been in business by 29 February 2020," the minister said.

On Tuesday, the department announced that a date will be set for spaza shop's support programme application.

"Because we are picking up lessons from the two schemes, we have decided to delay and clean-up our mistakes from the first batch of applications that have come through so that we don't open applications for spaza shops," said Ntshavheni.

The Minister said the department was awaiting the package to relieve informal traders of the burden of no income during the lockdown period.

"Government is aware of their plight and we are urging them to stay in their homes, stay safe so that we don't complicate our challenge in the country," she said.

The Minister also clarified that foreigners were allowed to apply for permits to operate their shops.

"But there are certain conditions that need to be met. The conditions are that you must be lawfully admitted into the Republic of South Africa and therefore carry a valid passport or you must have a special permit for either Zimbabwe or Lesotho or you must be a refugee or asylum seeker with an asylum seeker certificate," she said.

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