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President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a 21 day lock-down period with rigorous restrictions on travel and movement. To assist businesses during this difficult time, the Government has launched a series of relief measures, especially aimed at assisting SMMEs to mitigate the impact of the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

We’ve compiled this summary of the announcements and will keep it updated as and when news comes in.

  • Employment Tax Incentive – R500 per month for employees earning less than R6,500 per month
  • Unemployment Insurance Fund – For Businesses that  can’t support workers
    • If a company contemplates a short term shut down, they are required to inform the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
    • UIF benefits apply if an employee has to be self-quarantined
  • SMMESA – Sub Sectors = Mainly Medical and Food-Related Products (More Info HERE)
  • Tax-compliant businesses (Turnover < R50M) – Delay 20% of PAYE for 4 Months
  • Temporary reduction of contributions to UIF and SDL – Not confirmed yet
  • Ill-employees (occupationally- acquired COVID-19) – Compensation Fund
  • Debt Relief by Banks
    • Standard Bank – 90 Day Relief (SMME – Turnover < R20M)
    • Other banks expected to provide similar relief – details to follow
  • Rupert and Oppenheimer Small Business Support – Details to Follow *
  • Solidarity Fund – Unclear if any SMME stimulus will be provided by the fund
  • Department of Tourism – R200M Relief Fund for SMME’s in the hospitality sector
    • Details to Follow
  • Industrial Development Corporation – R3 Billion – Details to Follow
  • Department of Small Business Development – R500M – Could be the same as




It is still unclear if the R2 Billion commitment by Rupert and Oppenheimer will go into the Solidarity Fund or separate efforts. See extract of President Ramaphosa’s speech below:

“In this regard, we must applaud the commitment made in this time of crisis by the Rupert and Oppenheimer families of R1 billion each to assist small businesses and their employees affected by the coronavirus pandemic.” CR

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