April 2022 2nd Edition

How to play in the township economy

Written by Kgaogelo Letsebe

Gauteng township-based Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and informal traders can apply for a share of R450 million from the Township Economy Partnership Fund (TEPF).

The fund is a partnership between the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED), the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

Gauteng has set aside R250 million and the IDC R200 million for the fund.

Beneficiaries will get loans or a combination of a loan and grant of up to R10 million. This amount will differ depending on each beneficiary’s needs and other criteria.

GEP Chief Executive Officer Saki Zamxaka says the opening of the fund follows the recent conclusion of a three-year cooperation agreement between the GDED, GEP, and IDC.

“The TEPF aims to support the sustainability and growth of SMMEs, particularly those based in and linked to the townships within Gauteng.”

Zamxaka says the COVID-19 pandemic and the unrest of July 2021 strained the provincial township economy. “This led to the closure of many businesses and the loss of thousands of jobs.”

The fund will support the township economy in sectors that include – but are not limited to – manufacturing, the taxi economy, ICT and backyard real estate, which includes backyard letting and student accommodation. All beneficiaries must be South African, and the companies must be 100% South African-owned.

The fund has also invited intermediaries to apply for partnerships. Intermediaries are companies that will take on the role of being a link between the fund and potential SMMEs.

"We have invited intermediaries with existing pipelines of SMMEs that require support to also apply," he notes.

SMMEs, co-operatives and start-ups:

  • Must have been trading for over a year.
  • Must be registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
  • Must be South African Revenue Service (SARS) compliant.

Informal traders:

  • Must provide bank statements to prove operations.
  • Must provide an original and valid trading permit from the municipality (not from councillors).
  • Must be registered and compliant with the CIPC and SARS (assistance available if not registered or compliant).

For more information go to the GEP website www.gep.co.za or visit GEP regional offices.  Support will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are exhausted.

Rural development
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