President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government had finalized its “bounce back loan scheme” which should give businesses a much-needed injection of cash to create jobs.
He said this when he took part in a debate on the vote on the presidential budget during a session of the National Assembly on Thursday.
“The broader context of the reform process is to improve the overall business operating environment and improve our country’s competitiveness as an investment destination.
“To that end, we have finalized the Rebound Loan Program, which provides additional financing to businesses to grow the economy and create jobs,” he said.
According to information from the National Treasury, the rebound program comprises two mechanisms – the first is a loan guarantee which facilitates government guaranteed loans to eligible businesses.
The loans will help eligible businesses recover from constraints in accessing finance due to COVID-19 lockdowns, civil unrest in July 2021, and disasters such as floods affecting KZN.
Funds borrowed from this program, through participating banks, development finance institutions (DFIs), and non-bank financing providers to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), can be used for growth and expansion and to promote job creation.
The Rebound Program benefits from lessons learned from the 2020 Loan Guarantee Program to enable greater participation, including by DFIs and non-bank SME finance providers who will participate on the same basis as participating banks.
Meanwhile, the president said that in March the employee tax incentive was expanded to make it easier for employers to hire young people.
Support for black industrialists
As part of the government’s drive to create a new generation of black industrialists, create jobs and transform the economy, the government last year approved R2.5 billion in new support for around 180 industrialists blacks in the form of loans and grants.
“Over the next three years, an additional R21 billion has been committed to support black industrialists and an additional R25 billion to support black, women, youth and worker-owned businesses,” he said. he declares.
Mining exploration strategy
The president said political certainty in the mining sector has been enhanced by the release of the long-awaited mining exploration strategy.
The Office of Infrastructure continues its oversight and coordination work on a number of catalytic infrastructure projects.
These include Welisizwe Rural Bridges Scheme, Rural Roads Scheme, Social Infrastructure, Bulk Water and others, the President said.
“To address the heavy bureaucracy that impedes business growth, the Red Tape Reduction team works with other departments to identify priority interventions and remove barriers to growth.
“These initiatives take a collaborative and supportive approach because, ultimately, it is the departments and not the presidency that implement the policy.”
Interventions to combat unemployment
The president said one of the government’s tasks was to devise innovative solutions to tackle unemployment, especially in a climate of scarcity of job opportunities at a time when the private sector is not creating enough jobs. large-scale jobs.
He said the presidential jobs stimulus has enabled the rapid expansion of public employment and provided much-needed relief to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
“To date, the Presidential Jobs Boost has created 879,000 opportunities. Among participants in both phases, 84% are youth and 62% are women.
“These programs, which range from waste collection to small-scale agriculture, have provided work and income for hundreds of thousands of people in urban and rural areas.”
The President said the program has provided livelihood support for people working in the arts and culture sector as part of our commitment to support the recovery of this vital sector of our economy and society.
(With contributions from the South African government press release)