Level 3 Workplace Preparedness Webinar

Now that you ready to go back to work, are you ready to respond to a positive test in your workplace?
Please find below the invite for our free webinar to guide employers and managers in the event your staff is tested positive.

Request to employers to participate in survey

The Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) is a major employer stakeholder to the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education Training Authority (merSETA) since the inception of the Sector Education Training Authorities (SETAs) in the South African skills landscape.
RMI members, bar the South African Petroleum Retailers Association (SAPRA) membership (falling within the ambit of the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority – W&RSETA), that can participate in this survey are typically those businesses in the automotive aftermarket including the repair and maintenance -; sales and support services – as well as in the components manufacturing sectors.
This merSETA survey is aimed at employers to better understand the impact that the pandemic has had on the firms in the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sectors so that skills planning and services are adequately considered given the current state of the sector.  This survey will run until 15 June 2020.  The questions are short and the surveys should take a maximum of 15 minutes each to complete.
Click on the writing below to open the link
merSETA COVID-19 Stakeholder Survey

Moto Health Care news

Our last newsletter to you celebrated the start of 2020 and the hope that this was going  to be the year of plenty. Over the past few months, 2020 has turned out to be anything but plenty. With the arrival of the dreaded Coronavirus on our shores, life as we knew it would  change drastically for all of us. Businesses and everyday people had to adapt to a new way of doing things and the lockdown, which was primarily aimed to delay the spread of the virus until public health facilities could be upgraded and readied for the wave of new infections, saw many businesses negatively affected as they could not trade. The motor  industry as a whole was heavily impacted and many employers and employees have had to stretch their income to be able to ride out the lockdown.

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary strength and courage

This is without a doubt the most challenging economic and trading period the RMI and its associations have experienced in our history. The sustainability of the automotive aftermarket is at a critical junction.
I appreciate that the last two months have created a lot of financial pressure on all of our members. The survival of the automobile aftermarket sector is key for South Africa, not only as a vital employment sector and contributor to the fiscus, but also as a significant enabler of, and support function to, many other sectors. Without an effective and operational automotive aftermarket, strategically located in each district, community, town, metro and city across all provinces, we are of the view that vehicle safety and effective vehicle repairs and maintenance will be negatively impacted and detrimental to the much needed and speedy recovery of the economy.
In preparation for work readiness our members have adopted a phased approach to help alleviate financial pressure until business momentum can resume. It has allowed us time to ensure our businesses are all fully compliant with the stringent sanitisation regulations and protocols which need to be carefully adhered to. The reality is that just one positive COVID-19 case will close a business and we cannot afford that at this stage.
The RMI has accordingly developed an indepth COVID-19 business risk plan which will be used and updated for some time to come. We feel confident that our industry is ready and committed to implement all measures and maintain compliance at all times.
We understand that business recovery will take as long as six to nine months, if not longer, post lockdown to return to a sustainable and profitable return on investment. We not only have to deal with the impact of the virus and the lockdown, but at the same time the global retraction of the economy.
We need to be agile, adaptable and resilient during this time. We have found new ways of connecting and talking to members and customers with zoom calls and podcast and we have seen virtual training taking the lead. Moving forward we will continue to use these digital channels but I still see a more blended approach to avoid losing the power of face-to-face interaction. Our industry is known for its innovation and now more than ever, we need to find new, more effective ways of connecting with customers and staff. We will find a new normal.
I would like to end off by expressing my appreciation and pride in the way our member businesses have conducted themselves in these hugely challenging times. I would like to believe that this crisis will present an opportunity to come back stronger together.
Jakkie Olivier

Emergency repairs explained

As the country moves through the various lockdown levels, a number of motorists are still unsure about what constitutes emergency repairs during Lockdown Level 4.
Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says members have received a number of queries from motorists in this regard. “What you cannot buy are parts and components that may be considered as cosmetic or not critical and essential to the safe operation of your vehicle. Secondly, no service and maintenance is allowed which is not either overdue in terms of the manufacturer’s specification, or of an emergency nature,” explains Olivier.
Olivier says emergency repairs essentially cover the fitment, repair, replacement, remanufacturing, and/or the rebuilding of any of the system components listed under the emergency parts section namely:

  1. An emergency repair is where a vehicle needs a repair to keep it roadworthy.
  2. An emergency repair is where a vehicle needs a repair to keep it safe.
  3. An emergency repair is where a vehicle needs a repair to ensure no one gets injured during the use of the vehicle.
  4. An emergency repair is where a vehicle has had an unexpected failure of a part required to keep it running, or to allow it to get to a place of safety.
  5. Additionally, where scheduled maintenance or a routine service is overdue this would fall into the same category as emergency repair.

Emergency parts cover the items needed in the fitment, repair, replacement, remanufacturing, and/or the rebuilding of any of the system components listed in the emergency parts section namely:

  1. An emergency part or component is a part or component essential to keep a car roadworthy.
  2. An emergency part or component is a part or component essential to keep a car safe.
  3. An emergency part or component is a part or component essential to ensure no one gets injured during the use of the vehicle.
  4. An emergency part or component is where a vehicle has had an unexpected failure of a part required to keep it running, or to allow it to get to a place of safety.
  5. Parts and components required for scheduled maintenance or a routine service, which is overdue, would fall into the same category emergency parts

The parts list could include, but would not be limited to, any service or repair, related parts considered as components of engine components; cooling system components; drive train components; auto-electrical components; suspension components; gearbox components; glass and windscreens; fuel system components; lubrication system components; tyres, rims and related services; brake and clutch components and tow bars.
“The South Africa car park is generally an aging car park with 83% of all vehicles over the age of five years old so maintenance is critical. Motorists need to ensure their car remain roadworthy. Roadworthiness and road safety need to be priorities for all South Africans. At this point we are not sure if the same restrictions will apply from 1 June. We are hoping the definition can be expanded to include more than just emergency repairs when we move to Level 3,” concludes Olivier.

Debtors and creditors – a fresh legal solution

The current economic climate is forcing businesses to re-evaluate the way that they do business.
Particularly, creditors seem to now realise that a mechanical approach to recover debt may simply be a futile exercise – the consequences of COVID-19 will adversely affect the ability of businesses to settle debts and creative measures are required to recover claims whilst protecting business relationships. These business relationships will remain the cornerstones of the post-COVID-19 business environment within, arguably, an economy reliant on a much different business culture.
As a forward-thinking law firm, Barnard Incorporated is cognisant of these imminent changes and due to its approach to – as priority – consider its clients’ commercial interests before adopting a certain legal strategy, it realised that a tailored methodology is imperative in order to protect its clients’ proprietary interests. Whilst liquidation and business rescue proceedings remain an option for suitable candidates, creditors (and bona fide debtors) may now require subscribing to an innovative mechanism to negotiate and arrange their debt affairs.
Barnard Incorporated has assembled a team with vast experience in the legal fields pertaining to assisting creditors with the recovery of substantial debts. In turn, corporate debtors may now be introduced to smart legal commercial avenues – which may be on the basis of legal recourse alone, or in combination with the introduction to strategic finance partners – to enable them to take care of their debts.
In particular, Barnard Incorporated focuses on assisting clients with the following:

 Meet the team

Jan Pretorius

Jan Pretorius started his legal career in 1979 at the Master’s Office in Bloemfontein as an estate controller and commenced his articles at Symington & De Kok, Bloemfontein. He was admitted as an attorney in 1985 and became a partner at Symington & De Kok. He relocated to Pretoria where he started his own firm and practiced as Pretorius & Wilsnach Inc until 2014.
He spent the majority of his career attending to deceased and insolvent estates. Jan was involved as liquidator in various well-known big property development companies like Bester Homes (Pty) Ltd (R400 million), Abdul Razak Family Trust (R70 million), The Hills Development (R380 million) near Pretoria and related companies to mention a few.
He also chaired various creditor meetings and acted as a receiver in a scheme of arrangements under the old and new Companies Act.
Jan has mediated various dissolutions of partnerships. He also mediated various informal debt settlements where businesses struggled financially and assisted in restructuring those businesses with the aim of future trading or closed down others with little loss to creditors. In addition, Jan assisted a commercial bank with their insolvent deceased estates on a national level.
During the years, Jan acted as director and non-executive director in companies associated with a certain listed company and he currently holds office as trustee in various Employee and Family Trusts. Jan is now a consultant at Barnard Incorporated.

Koos Benadie

After obtaining his LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Pretoria, as well as lecturing in Commercial Law at this University, Koos commenced his articles of clerkship at Roestoff Venter and Kruse Incorporated where he was also admitted as an Attorney of the High Court in 2008.
Since his admission as an attorney, Koos practiced at the law firms NEA Incorporated and NVS Incorporated and became a specialist in the fields of Company Law and Insolvency Law.
In 2013 Koos attained his certificate in the Advanced Course for Business Recue Practice (cum laude) and was licensed as a certified Business Recue Practitioner.
In 2016 Koos attained his certificate in the B-BBEE management development programme (cum laude) through Wits Business school and have overseen various B-BBEE restructures. Koos has been involved in various company restructures, business rescue proceedings, liquidation proceedings and related matters over the past 12 years of his career. Koos currently serves as a Director of Barnard Incorporated and heads up its Commercial Law department. Koos will be an integral partner in advising and assisting corporate entities during the current tough economic environment.

Andries Stander

Subsequent to obtaining his BCom Law (cum laude) and LLB degrees at the University of North West, Andries commenced his articles at Hannes Gouws and Partners Incorporated where he was also admitted as an attorney in 2009.
It did not take long after commencing his articles of clerkship for Andries to realise that he has a keen interest in litigation. During this period and his years prior to joining Barnard Incorporated in 2011, Andries served major clients in the banking sector and gained valuable experience in credit law litigation and negotiation of payment structures and plans.
In 2013 Andries was appointed as a director at Barnard Incorporated and in 2014 he was accredited as a Court Annexed Mediator.
In 2015 Andries obtained his Advanced Certificate in Insolvency Litigation and Administration Practice from the University of Pretoria.
He is a firm believer of “knowledge is power” which he implements to seek solutions for challenging legal disputes and has successfully negotiated various divorce and commercial settlements under challenging circumstances.
Today, as senior director of the Litigation Department of Barnard Incorporated, Andries’ focus is primarily aimed at commercial dispute resolution.
Centurion Gate Office Park | Unit 2&3
Akkerboom Street | Centurion | 0157
+27 12 001 2739 | +27 72 727 2231 (after hours)
Need legal assistance? Contact any of the following Senior Directors:
Koos Benadie: 087 2555 502 | koos@barnardinc.co.za
Andries Stander: 087 2555 492 | andries@barnardinc.co.za
For general enquiries email info@barnardinc.co.za

COVID-19 benefits: Amended Directives

In an effort to clear up some confusion regarding the COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits, the Minister of Employment and Labour signed an amended Directive on 16 April and a Correction Notice on 20 April 2020 respectively.
It is now clear that employees who were required to take annual leave during the period that the employer’s business was closed (either completely or partially) may claim the COVID-19 TERS benefit. Annual leave days are therefore regarded as no income days for purposes of the benefit. An employer who receives the benefit on behalf of its employees may retain the amount but must then credit the employee concerned with the proportionate entitlement to annual leave.
The Correction Notice of 20 April 2020 deleted the reference to section 12 of the Unemployment Insurance Act in clause 3.6 of the Directive. This enables employees who receive remuneration in excess of R17,712 per month and whose employers apply top up to claim the benefit. By way of example:

On the wording of the Directive prior to this correction, the comparison was made vis-à-vis the threshold amount of R17,712 (and not the employee’s actual remuneration). Thus, if the employer’s top up and the benefit exceeded the amount of R17,712, the employee would not qualify for a TERS benefit. We are informed that the UIF will automatically re-calculate the benefits of employees whose applications were rejected on this basis.
A revised formula which now incorporates this principle can now be found in the revised calculator. A copy of it can be found at https://www.businessforsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/TERS-calculator-final.pdf
Employers whose operations are closed and who are applying the no-work-no-pay principle, or who are requiring their employees to take leave, or who are paying only a portion of their employees’ remuneration, are urged to apply for the COVID-19 TERS benefit on behalf of their employees. In these circumstances, the employees are not eligible for unemployment benefits. This is because their employment has not yet been terminated. Only if they are in fact dismissed, will employees qualify for unemployment benefits.
We are informed that where the application has been incorrectly made for unemployment benefits, the UIF may be approached to correctly classify the benefits as COVID-19 TERS benefits, and in these circumstances, the employee’s credits will be reinstated.
We remind members that the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), registered as an employers’ organisation in terms of the Labour Relations Act (1996), as amended, has entered into an agreement with the Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA) that the latter would administer the claims process for UIF and TERS benefit for an initial period of three months, for employees employed by members of the RMI, on a no-cost and no-obligation basis. This service will be in respect of all employees employed at RMI member establishments, and not just MISA members.

COVID-19 funding relief and claims

Since the occurrence of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown and financial/economic distress experienced by both businesses and individuals, there have been a number of initiatives launched by both Government and other sources which seek to ease the financial burden.
This communication serves to provide you with some guidelines as to where you may seek assistance.

TERS – UIF Temporary Relief System
Target MarketUIF registered companies
Type of SupportBenefits calculated based on income replacement rate sliding scale, capped at R17,712 per month, or a maximum payout of R6,730 per staff member claimed for.
DurationDuration of the lockdown or three months.
EligibilityReason for closure must be linked to COVID-19 pandemic.
Claims do not depend on the employee having UIF credits.
Method of
Online submission – https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/
Email address – covid19ters@labour.gov.za
COVID-19 SMME Debt Relief Finance Scheme
Target MarketSMMEs
Type of SupportSoft loan funding for six months, starting from 1 April 2020 Based on application form submission and approval.
DurationSix months from 1 April 2020.
EligibilityBe registered and compliant with SARS and UIF.
Owned 100% by South African citizens.
70% of employees are South African citizens.
Priority given to businesses owned by women, youth and people with disabilities.
Method of
Registration on the national SMME database https://smmesa.gov.za
debtrelief@seda.orgza for assistance with microenterprises
Business Growth/Resilience Facility
Target MarketBusinesses geared to take advantage of supply opportunities resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic or shortage of goods in the local Market.
Type of SupportLoan funding @ prime-5%.
Working capital: stock, bridging finance, purchase order finance, capital requirement finance.
DurationDuration of the lockdown or three months.
EligibilityBe registered and compliant with SARS and UIF.
Owned 100% by South African citizens.
70% of employees are South African citizens.
Priority given to businesses owned by women, youth and people with disabilities.
Businesses were not experiencing financial difficulty prior to COVID-19.
Method of
Registration and upload documents https://smmesa.gov.za
debtrelief@seda.orgza for assistance with microenterprises.
IDC COVID-19 Supplies Intervention
Target MarketSectors impacted by supply chain interruptions and market loss problems.
Type of SupportShort-term loan from banks, underpinned by guarantees to banks from IDC (2% pa).
IDC loan and trade finance facilities Prime plus 1% pa.
DurationAs negotiated with the relevant finance house.
EligibilityAny sector that is impacted in the following way:
Supply chain interruptions.
Access to raw materials – cost and quality.
Access to markets – perishable products lost in transit due to longer delivery periods.
Working capital interruptions – longer lead times.
Market loss – e.g. export markets constrained by logistics or replaced by production.
Surge of imports to address the spike in demand; Underpinning budgets – impact of extended downtime.
Reduced productivity – based on issues relating to staff welfare.
Method of
Follow link to https://www.idc.co.za/2020/03/24/idc-interventions-in-
COVID-19 Guaranteed Loan Scheme
Target MarketSMMEs
Type of SupportShort term loan from banks, underpinned by the South African Reserve Bank.
DurationLoans will cover up to three months of operational costs and will be drawn down monthly.
Single agreed lending rate by all participating banks that tracks the repo rate.
A six-month repayment holiday will commence from the first drawdown, although interest will accumulate from the date on which the first drawdown on the loan occurs.
Repayment of interest and capital starts after six months and businesses have a maximum of 60 months to do so. Borrowers can repay the loan ahead of schedule.
EligibilityBusinesses with an annual turnover of less than R300 million in good standing with their commercial banks.
Business’ owners may be required to sign surety for the loan.
Only one COVID-19 loan per business.
Method of
Please contact your bank for further details and eligibility criteria.
The SA Future Trust (SAFT) Known as the Oppenheimer Family Fund
Target MarketAn initiative aimed at supporting SMME’s that are financially impacted by COVID-19.
Type of SupportBusiness will qualify for R750 per permanent employee per week for 15 weeks, in the form of a loan at prime -5%.
Duration15 week period.
EligibilityOperating for 12 months.
Maximum loan R15 million.
Directors do not qualify.
Annual turnover of less than R25 million.
Must have had a sustainable business on 29 Feb 2020.
Must be adversely affected by COVID-19.
Must be CIPC registered.
Valid income tax number with SARS.
Ability to confirm permanent status of staff.
Method of
Follow link to https://smmesa.gov.za
PAYE Deferrals
Target MarketTax Compliant SMMEs
Type of SupportDeferral of payment of 20% of the PAYE liability, without SARS imposing administrative penalties and interest for the late payment thereof.
The deferred PAYE liability must be paid to SARS in equal instalments over the six month period commencing on 1 August 2020, i.e. the first payment must be made on 7 September 2020.
DurationThe proposed amendments are deemed to have come into operation on 1 April 2020 and end on 31 January 2021, therefore impacts 7 May PAYE payment – not 7 April.
EligibilityCIPC registered companies (registered prior to 28 February 2020).
Tax compliant businesses.
Small and medium sized businesses (annual turnover not exceeding R50 million for the 2020/2021 financial year.
Method of applicationhttps://www.sars.gov.za
Target MarketTax Compliant SMMEs
Type of SupportDeferral of a portion of the payment of the first and second provisional tax liability to SARS, without SARS imposing administrative penalties and interest for the late payment of the deferred amount.
DurationThe first provisional tax payment due from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 will be based on 15% (not 50%) of the estimated total tax liability.
The second provisional tax payment from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 will be based on 65% (not 100% of tax liability) of the estimated total tax liability.
Provisional taxpayers with deferred payments will be required to pay the full tax liability when making the third provisional tax payment in order to avoid interest charges.
EligibilityCIPC registered companies (registered prior to 28 February 2020).
Tax compliant businesses.
Small and medium sized businesses (annual turnover not exceeding R50 million for the 2020/2021 financial year.
Method of

The abovementioned funding and tax reliefs are not an exhaustive list and one may find banking houses and private consortiums are offering additional or alternate funding, should you not be eligible for the abovementioned initiatives. Please bear in mind when sourcing assistance you should consult with your accountants and legal team/advisors as to the long term impact on your business.

 Practical assistance with claims to the UIF and TERS

We are pleased to advise that the RMI and the Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA) have entered into an arrangement that MISA will provide a service to RMI members in relation to the claiming of benefits for all employees employed at RMI businesses, from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS), on a free-of-charge basis.
This service is available exclusively to RMI members, purely on a voluntary basis i.e. no member will be compelled to make use of this service.
The service that MISA will provide, will ease the burden on members to undergo the tedious and often complex process of preparing UIF/TERS claims, submitting them; only to be advised by the Department of Employment and Labour that the specific claim fails to meet the requirement of the Department.
This service by MISA will entail the following process:

  1. MISA will forward the following documents to participating members:
  1. The RMI-employer completes all sections on the spreadsheet, including the employer’s details (such as UIF number and bank account details) and its employees’ details (such as their salary details).
  2. The RMI-employer will forward the below to MISA in a consolidated email:
  1. MISA will verify the information against the information recorded on MIBCO’s returns system. Should there be discrepancies, MISA will resolve it with the relevant RMI member before the claim is submitted.
  2. MISA will then forward the completed Excel-spreadsheet with the documentation received from the RMI member, as well as the other documentation required (such as the completed agreement and a signed letter of authority from the RMI Member) to the Department of Employment and Labour.
  3. MISA will address, and attempt to resolve, any queries received from the Department of Employment and Labour as well as those from the RMI Member, in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in finalising and paying-out the claim.
  4. MISA will pay over the monies received from the UIF in respect of the employees employed by a specific RMI member, within 48 hours of receipt of the monies, which monies the RMI member then pays over to its employees within 48 hours of receipt as per the completed Excel spreadsheet. In the event that the RMI member has already advanced wages/salaries to its employees, it may off-set these UIF payments against such advances paid to its employees.
  5. Upon the RMI member having paid over the monies to its employees, the RMI member will provide proof of payment to MISA within 4 days of receipt of the monies from MISA, which MISA will then submit to the Department of Employment and Labour
  6. The RMI member will return all unutilized funds to MISA, which MISA will return to the Department of Employment and Labour.

MISA has employed the necessary resources to attend to this service to members. The Excel spreadsheet will ensure that RMI members submit all the relevant information, as required (and in the format required) by the Department of Employment and Labour, in order for its systems to calculate the UIF payments to be made. Upon receipt of the UIF’s calculations as per its spreadsheet, MISA will import the information recorded thereon (which includes the RMI member’s business name and banking details), into its (MISA’s) online banking system and release the payments in batches to the relevant RMI members.
The claims process flow is depicted in this workflow diagram .

Any RMI member who wishes to make use of this service, should direct such a request to MISA at this email address :
Although this service was specifically designed to assist micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses, there is no prohibition on larger businesses to also make use of this free, no-obligation benefit.
This service applies to all the employees employed at an RMI member businesses, and not just MISA members. All information provided to MISA by RMI members, will in terms of a strict contractual provision, be kept confidential.
This service is part of the RMI’s on-going commitment to find and implement workable solutions for business challenges that members may face during this disruptive period of lockdown, associated with the National State of Disaster. This service may continue after lockdown has been suspended, provided that there is sufficient demand from RMI members for the service.
Project Commencement Date: 23 April 2020
In the event that you should have any questions of queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact any one of the RMI’s IR Specialists, deployed at our various regional offices.

Financial support/relief for medium, small and micro businesses

Financial support/relief for medium, small and micro businesses
In these uncertain and unprecedented times many of our members are feeling extremely anxious about what the future holds and what business is going to look like post lockdown.
A range of measures from government, banks, and private business are available to South African businesses to attempt to assist with the adverse effects arising from what is already a crippling corona-induced economic crisis.
These relief measures range from loans to tax breaks. Most of them are specifically aimed at getting small to medium businesses, in particular, through the next few months. With many of the RMI’s Members being medium, small or micro enterprises, several of the above mentioned relief measures are available to you.
In order to give our members the best chance of obtaining some form of financial relief/support we have attempted to summarise the information currently available under the following sections:

  1. Government support programmes
  2. South African Revenue Services support programmes
  3. Private support programmes
  4. General support programmes
  5. Department of Labour support programmes

In addition to these measures, the RMI has released a statement today appealing to Government to find an alternate funding mechanism/ capital injection for all of our members. We will update you on progress in this regard.


1.1 SMME relief finance facility (SMMERF)

In terms of this facility there will be financial assistance available for a six month period. Applications can be made on www.smmesa.gov.za.
There are various documents that are required to be submitted, these include, but are not limited to, bank statements, management accounts, cash flow forecasts etc. A full list of the required documents can be obtained from http://www.dsbd.gov.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SMME-Debt-Relief-Scheme-1.pdf. To qualify, the business must be registered with CIPC as a company, Closed Corporation or a micro, small and medium enterprise that is 100% owned by South African shareholders and its employees are 70% South African citizens.
The company must also be able to show that there has been a direct financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The business must be completely tax compliant and registered with the department of labour for UIF.

1.2 Business growth and resilience facility (BGRF)

This fund is targeted at businesses that supply certain products which are needed to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. It is specifically for Businesses geared to take advantage of supply opportunities resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic or shortage of goods in the local market. Applications for the relief are administered on www.smmesa.gov.za and currently open. The BGRF will offer working capital, stock, bridging finance and equipment finance. The criteria to apply are the same as the SMMERF fund and the documentation needed can be found at http://www.dsbd.gov.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SMME-Business-Growth-Resilience-Facility.pdf. Here again, to qualify, the business must be registered with Companies and Intellectual Property Commission(CIPC) as a company or Closed Corporation, 100% owned by South African shareholders and its employees are 70% South African citizens. The business must be completely tax compliant and registered with the Department of Labour for UIF.


2.1 Deferral of 20% PAYE payments

Currently, PAYE withheld on employees’ salaries is payable by the 7th (or closest working day) of the subsequent month. Recently the South African Revenue Services (SARS) have announced that employers can delay the payment of 20% of this amount at no interest or penalties. The amount that is held back is payable in six instalments commencing August 2020. The relief is not a write-off of PAYE debt but effectively an interest-free loan based on the PAYE obligations.
This relief however depends on businesses keeping the employees on the payroll and them not being moved onto the UIF TERS programme.

2.2 Reduction and deferral of provisional tax payments

SARS has announced that companies with a turnover of under R50 million and that are tax compliant can defer the payment of a portion of the first and second provisional tax liability to SARS, without penalties or interest for the late payment of the deferred amount. First provisional tax periods ending on or after 1 April 2020, but before 1 October 2020, and to second provisional tax periods ending on or after 1 April 2020, but before 1 April 2021. The first provisional tax payments falling due within the period 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 will only be based on 15% (previously 50%) of the estimated total tax liability. The second provisional tax payments falling due within the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, will be based on 65% (previously 100%) of the estimated total tax liability. Any shortfall becomes due in the third provisional tax payment and interest would accrue from that date on any underpayment.

2.3 ETI assistance

The ETI (Employment Tax Incentive) rebate/grant programme is a programme aimed at youth employment. Employers get a rebate for each employee aged between 18 and 29 years of age and earning between R2 000 and R6 500. This is currently paid out twice a year. SARS have announced that they will accelerate the pay-out of the rebate between 1 April 2020 and 31 July 2020 to be monthly. If the ETI rebate exceeds the PAYE due, SARS will refund employers. Employers must be tax compliant to qualify for the ETI relief. In addition, government proposes expanding the ETI programme for a limited period of four months, beginning 1 April 2020 and ending on 31 July 2020, as follows:
 Increasing the maximum amount of ETI claimable during this four-month period for employees eligible under the current ETI Act from R1 000 to R1 500 in the first qualifying twelve months and from R500 to R1 000 in the second twelve qualifying months.
 Allowing a monthly ETI claim in the amount of R500 during this four-month period for employees from the ages of 18 to 29 who are no longer eligible for the ETI as the employer has claimed ETI in respect of those employees for 24 months; and
 30 to 65 who are not eligible for the ETI due to their age.
Effectively any tax compliant business who has an employee earning between R2 000 and R6 500 qualifies for a R500 subsidy each month, in addition to any current ETI claims.


3.1 South Africa Future Trust (SAFT) (Oppenheimer fund)

Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer have pledged R1 billion to support small, medium and micros enterprises. The South African Future Trust (SAFT) was formed with an initial R1 billion in support. SAFT will transfer funds directly to employees of participating SMMEs via interest-free loans where employees themselves carry no liability.
Any loans which are repaid to the SAFT will be used to support initiatives that focusses on employment creation until all funds are disbursed. At present, the scheme is only available to clients of ABSA, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank and the purpose is to subsidise the employees’ salaries which reduces the cash flow constraints employers are facing during the COVID-19 crises.
Applications are currently opened and more information is available on https://opp-gen.com/saft/.

3.2 Sukuma Relief Programme

The Rupert Family and Remgro Limited have formed a trust with an initial donation of R1 billion together with donations from private individuals. The funds will be administered by Business Partners, for free. The Sukuma Relief Programme offers distinct and separate financial aid to formal sole proprietors on the one hand, and close corporations, companies, and trusts on the other.
The application process and the funding platform can be accessed at https://finance.businesspartners.co.za/.
For close corporations, companies, and trusts, they offer financial aid in the form of an unsecured loan of between R250 000 and R1 million coupled with a non-repayable grant of R25 000 per qualifying business. The loan portion will be interest free for 12 months with no repayment obligations during this period. The loan is repayable after 12 months, and incurs interest at the prime rate from month 13, once the business is on its feet. The money can be used to fund payroll, rental, and other monthly operating overheads. There is no security requirement for the loan.
The business must show that it was affected by the COVID-19 disaster resulting in a decline in revenues, while still having to pay overheads such as salaries and rent. The businesses also need to meet the following criteria:

The funds would also be available to formal sole proprietors which most other funding do not include.
For formal sole proprietors, they offer a grant of R25 000 per qualifying business to be used to pay for overheads
To qualify for aid, the formal sole proprietor must:
 Provide evidence of financial viability prior to the COVID-19 outbreak
 Be both tax and regulatory compliant
You can expect to receive the financial aid within seven working days of your application for both categories. The timeframe is, however, dependent on you submitting all the required information. Once approved, your first payout will be made within seven working days of your application. Thereafter, your approved financial aid will be disbursed over a period of three months, subject to you submitting documents monthly which support your continued need for financial aid.
Please be advised that due to over subscription to this fund all applications have currently been suspended. It has been reported that Business Partners had to close the online application portal as the programme was already severely oversubscribed. BUSINESS/PARTNERS will assess the already received applications over the next seven days. If there is capital available, in the case that some applicants could not be verified or approved, then the programme will be opened for applications again.
We will keep you updated in this regard, however we encourage members to continue to attempt to register on the site for financial assistance


4.1 Banks

The country’s four full-service banks have all announced relief measures for personal and business customers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and nationwide lockdown.
Standard Bank, Nedbank, ABSA and FNB are all offering some form of debt relief in either reduced or delayed payments of various forms of debt obligations. It is important to note though that there is no actual debt write off through this process, it’s merely a delay in the obligation to make the payment.
Therefore if for example, you have a bond you would possibly get a debt holiday for three months (depending on your bank). At the end of the three months, you would owe the bank the capital amount together with the some of the 3 months instalments and the interest would be calculated, on a compounding basis, on that figure.
It would be best to contact your bank and enquire exactly what relief is available to you and exactly what process to follow, who qualifies, the criteria and how to do it, however care should be taken as to the impact of capitalized interest during payment holidays, as it is tantamount to the eventual payment of interest on interest.
If you have a loan or a credit card payment you are struggling to pay, it may be better to talk to you bank about Credit Life Insurance. All new personal loans taken out in South Africa since August 2017 are covered by extended Credit Life insurance. Credit life is an insurance cover that a consumer is compelled to take up when applying for a credit card or a loan. For employed people, it covers the monthly instalments of up to 12 months in the case of loss of income/retrenchment, short time and compulsory unpaid leave. It also provides cover of instalments for up to 12 months in the case of temporary disability. In the case of permanent disability and death, the outstanding balance of the credit facility is settled.
Loan or credit card customers who qualify should use their Credit Life insurance policy to cover their full monthly repayments on their loan for up to 12 months.


5.1 COVID-19 temporary employee/employer relief scheme (TERS)

The scheme is intended to provide emergency relief to enable employers to pay employees who are temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 crises.
The key benefits are:

  1. It is different to the normal UIF benefits and cannot be claimed at the same time as reducing working time benefits, but can be done as a top-up to any existing salary payments
  2. The claim is for all employees regardless of how long they have been employed

The business must have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The pay-out can be done directly to the employees or the employer and the application process is all done via email to Covid19ters@labour.gov.za.
The estimated benefit will be calculated in terms of the income replacement rate sliding scale of 38% (for high earners) up to 60% (for low earners) as provided in the Unemployment Insurance Act, subject to the maximum threshold which is currently R17 712. The maximum benefit would, therefore, be 38% of R17 712 = R6 730 a month. The benefits would not be less than the minimum wage.
These benefits are currently available for a three-month period, starting in April.
5.2 UIF short time/reduced working time options
The concept of short time is not new, but there are a few tweaks which have been introduced specifically for the COVID-19 situation.
The key overview of this is:

How to register and claim UIF electronically:

We encourage members that may have become financially distressed during the lockdown period, to make use of the facilities where possible in order to ensure the successful resumption of trading once it has been lifted.
This document has been collated and distributed to make you aware of the various relief/support packages and financial relief Initiatives, which may be of benefit to your business. It is a reflection of what is available in the media right now and will be updated as and when other initiatives are launched. Although we have taken great care, the document is not intended to be a detailed exposition of the subject matter or to replace professional advice. Consequently, the RMI will not be held liable for inaccuracy of information, or for any action taken or not taken on the strength of this document.