COVID-19: Debt Relief Finance Scheme

The Small Business Development Department of South Africa has announced a debt-relief scheme to benefit SMMEs who are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – whether directly or indirectly.

What are the qualifying criteria?

  • The business must have been registered with CIPC before 28 February 2020
  • It must be 100% owned by South African Citizens
  • Its employees must be 70% South Africans
  • It must be registered and compliant with SARS and UIF

What documentation do you need?

  • You must supply proof that the business is being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Company statutory documents
  • FICA documents (such as a municipal account)
  • Certified copies of the directors’ identity documents
  • Three months of bank statements
  • Latest annual financial statements or latest management accounts (these may not be older than three months prior to your application for relief)
  • Business profile
  • Six months of cash-flow projections where applicable
  • Copy of business lease agreement or proof of ownership if applying for rental relief
  • Employee details including banking details if applying for payroll relief
  • Facility statements of any other funders you may have
  • A detailed breakdown of how you will use the relief funds, e.g. rent, salaries, etc.

Priority will be given to businesses owned by women, youth and people with disabilities.

While small and medium enterprises need to ensure their own compliance to secure relief, Seda will assist micro-enterprises with their compliance. If you are a micro-enterprise, you may email Seda COVID relief for their help at

How do you apply?
You need to register on the National SMME Database at, complete the online application form and upload the required supporting documents.