by John Henning

Small-Scale Farmers 

Financially distressed small-scale farmers who have an annual turnover of between R20,000 and R1 million can apply for R1.2 billion in government funding. 

Applications will close on Wednesday 22 April 2020. 

Tourism 

The Department of Tourism has launched the new Covid-19 Tourism Relief Fund to assist businesses in the tourism sector that have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, said that the application period for the fund will run from 7 April to 30 May 2020. 

The R200 million Tourism Relief Fund provides once-off capped grant assistance to Small Micro and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMMEs) to ensure sustainability during and post the implementation of government measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa. The fund will be administered in line with the objectives of economic transformation and will be guided by the tourism Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) codes of good practices. 

“We acknowledge the difficulties experienced by businesses during this time, hence the need to support the industry and communities to cope with the negative effects of this pandemic” said minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. “Our tourism industry is comprised of mainly SMMEs, most of which are survivalists in nature, with limited access to funding from commercial institutions. We hope the support offered through the Tourism Relief Fund will assure the continued survival of SMMEs beyond the Covid–19 pandemic.” 

Capped at R50,000 per entity, the grant funding can be utilised to subsidise expenses towards fixed costs, operational costs, supplies and other pressure cost items. 

Preference will be given to enterprises with the highest score in terms of the criteria, which serve as a pre-qualification. A panel of experts will conduct the final evaluation in terms of functionality. Categories eligible to apply for the Tourism Relief Fund include the following: 

• Accommodation establishments: hotels; resort properties; bed and breakfast (B&B’s); guesthouses; lodges and backpackers. 

• Hospitality and related services: restaurants (not attached to hotels); conference venues (not attached to hotels), professional catering; and attractions. 

• Travel and related services: tour operators; travel agents; tourist guiding; car rental companies; and coach operators. 

Those interested in applying can visit the Department of Tourism’s website for further information on the fund terms and qualifying criteria. SMMEs can submit funding applications by completing a form accessible online here. 

The Industrial Development Corporation (“IDC”) 

The IDC has allocated billions in emergency funding to help manufacturers with working capital, as well as for companies in agriculture, tourism, energy, and vehicle components manufacturing. 

Film industry 

The National Film and Video Foundation (“NFVF”) has invited the industry to submit funding applications for script development, animation, and post-production projects. 

The call for these applications was supposed to have opened in August, but this has been hastened “to keep the industry busy during this downtime”. 

The NFVF will also provide a once-off cash injection of R500,000 to the ten companies currently commissioned by the organisation. 

Musicians 

The South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) has brought forward the distribution of royalties scheduled for August 2020 to April 2020. 

Minibus Taxi Owners 

SA Taxi, which finances more than 32,000 minibus taxis, has announced a repayment holiday of a month (from April 1) for its clients. 

OUTsurance Suppliers 

The insurance company has allocated money (part of R102 million in total) to some of its service providers, such as panel beaters and plumbers. 

Companies need to have a turnover of less than R50 million per year, and the rand value of work allocated by OUTsurance must drop by more than 50% during the period April to June 2020. 

Other requirements also apply. 

Spaza Shops 

Government’s new support scheme for spaza shops will give them funding to buy stock and assure bulk- buying discounts at approved wholesalers. 

But the spaza shops need to be registered with the SARS, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). 

For the self-employed 

Delay in payment of Provisional Tax. 

Instead of paying 50% of their expected tax bill after six months into the tax year, and settling the full amount at the end of the tax year, provisional taxpayers only have to pay 15% after six months, and another 50% by the end of the tax year. 

Then, by 30 September 2021, they need to pay the balance. While it hasn’t finalised which individuals would be eligible, Treasury says that it will probably be those who have a turnover of less than R5 million and don’t earn more than 10% of their turnover from interest, dividends, foreign dividends, rentals from letting fixed property and pay received from an employer. 

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