Coronavirus: Johann Rupert's fund flooded by R2.8bn in applications

Coronavirus: Johann Rupert's fund flooded by R2.8bn in applications

- The Rupert family's R1 billion fund has been oversubscribed in just a matter of days

- Known as the Sukuma Relief Programme, the fund was overwhelmed by the number of applications

- This is seen as a sign of the true impact the coronavirus has had on South African businesses

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South African businesses are in troubled water with the coronavirus forcing the majority to close or scale down operations.

The Rupert family's R1 billion fund to provide small businesses with some relief during this time has been overwhelmed by the number of applications, oversubscribed only a few days after opening.

Fin24 reports that the Sukuma Relief Programme, administered by Business Partners Limited (co-owned by Johann Rupert) was flooded with requests for help from small businesses.

Managing director Ben Bierman explained that the high number of applications reflects the 'crippling' impact of the coronavirus.

In only three days, the programme had received applications from over 10 000 businesses, with a combined value of R2.8 billion requested.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: SARB expects economy to shrink, thousands to lose jobs

Bierman explained that this is almost triple the capital donated by the wealthy family, resulting in the application portal being suspended with immediate effect.

The applications will now be processed over the next week, if there is capital remaining after this process, applications will be reopened.

Bierman called on the private sector to contribute to the programme, saying that engaging with clients revealed how dire the situation is and how many businesses are in desperate need of help.

Qualifying sole proprietors will be receiving a R25 000 grant while close corporations, companies and trusts will be eligible for an unsecured loan ranging between R250 000 and R1 000 000.

The funds that are repaid to the fund will be funnelled back to other small businesses amid these difficult times. reported that the SA Reserve Bank had highlighted the severity of the situation, indicating that the economy will contract and over 370 000 citizens could lose their jobs.

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