Green light for R13.1 million in COVID-19 business loans

24 July 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202019863

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Green light for R13.1 million in COVID-19 business loans

THE Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) has approved a total of R13.1 million for disbursement to 25 Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) between April and 30 June 2020.

That’s according to Head of Development Finance and Business Support Tandeka Rozani, who added that of this number, 12 were loans related to COVID-19 purchase orders for the provision of essential product items.

The COVID-19 related loan applications were for the supply of essential products which include face masks, food parcels and sanitisers as well as the supply and delivery of food as essential items to hospitals.

“The value of the loans range from R16,000 to R3,1 million. Other items supplied by the enterprises include furniture and equipment for quarantine wards in hospitals and fencing for clinics. ECDC is ramping up its support for SMMEs that are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rozani said.

“The corporation conducts virtual handling of development finance loans, enterprise development services, incentives funds such as the Eastern Cape Jobs Stimulus Fund and the Imvaba Co-operative Fund, referrals and virtual assistance with applications for the Department of Small Business Development, National Youth Development Agency, the Unemployment Insurance Fund and for the Business Partners SMME relief funding. All applications handled are aligned to COVID-19 operating sector prescripts.”

Rozani said the ECDC ensures that the loans are repaid by confirming and verifying that tenders are legitimate, purchase orders are verified for validity and through the establishment of payment cessions as loan security.

“There is also monitoring to ensure that goods meet specification and that they are delivered on time to the client. ECDC does follow-ups with the SMME’s employers to ensure that delivery is done and it also does follow-ups on the payment of invoices.”

Rozani said the corporation continues to offer enterprise development support to businesses in priority sectors and at different stages of their development.

“This includes the Enterprise Development Programme conducted across different regions such as Nelson Mandela Bay and in Mbizana. The Mbizana programme was continued during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown using virtual platforms to train the participating businesses.”

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