Cabinet has called on all eligible businesses affected by the recent civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to apply for industrial loan support at zero-percent interest, under the R3.75-billion Economic Recovery Support Package offered by government.

“The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) and its development finance institutions – the Industrial Development Corporation and National Empowerment Fund – have put together a funding package to support various business recovery interventions. This includes the rebuilding of infrastructure, equipment, fittings for premises, stock and working capital,” a Cabinet statement said on Thursday.

The funding will help to alleviate the socio-economic challenges facing businesses affected by the unrest.

Cabinet has welcomed and endorsed the announcement by JP Morgan to provide financial and non-financial support to the tune of R340 million through the Abadali Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP).

The programme consists of Abadali Fund – a Black Business Growth Fund and Abadali Grant (R40 million).

Energy

Cabinet also welcomed this week’s gazetting of the regulations that increase the threshold for embedded generation from the current one megawatt (MW) to 100 MW.

In June 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the amendment of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act 4 of 2006) to increase the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s licensing threshold for embedded generation projects to allow for more private generation of electricity.

“Companies in energy-intensive sectors will now be able to generate their own electricity without the need for a licence. The new generation capacity will increase energy security by reducing reliance on the power grid and unlocking significant private sector investment.

“These initiatives will support inclusive economic growth and job creation within the small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in the manufacturing and green economy sectors,” Cabinet said.

Meanwhile, South Africa is expected to participate at the upcoming World Expo.

Cabinet approved the participation in December 2019 but the event was subsequently postponed due to COVID-19.

“The multinational event, which is held every five years in different countries, provides a large and attractive market to showcase South African goods and services to a global audience. It will be held as a hybrid of virtual and on-site exhibitions in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 1 October to 31 March 2022,” Cabinet said.

The dtic will next week host a media briefing to unpack South Africa’s participation at the World Expo 2020.

Source: South African Government News Agency

News Reporter