The R1 billion relief programme set aside by the Rupert family known as the Sukuma Relief Programme has already hit capacity.

The programme went live last week Friday and already the fund has hit capacity. More than that, the fund is oversubscribed.

Business Partners reports that applications from the two categories – sole proprietors / close corporations and trusts – have amounted to R2.8 billion.

“This exceeds the available donated capital of R1 billion almost three times over. As such, we have decided to suspend access to the application portal with immediate effect,” said managing director at Business Partners, Ben Bierman.

The firm reports that there have been in excess of 10 000 applications through the portal.

Business Partners will now spend seven days reviewing the applications it has received.

“Should we thereafter find that there is still capital available, either because some of the applicants were not verified and approved, or because we have managed to secure additional capital, we will then open the Programme for applications again,” said Bierman.

Business Partners is now calling on local businesses and corporations who are able to contribute to the Sukuma Relief Programme, to do so.

The firm says that none of its clients will benefit from the programme, however, it will announce a relief initiative for its clients in a few days time. This initiative will draw from Business Partners’ own funds.

“We realised when engaging with our clients that the situation is dire, but we have been surprised by the sheer number of SMEs that are in desperate need of assistance,” added Bierman.

We’re still waiting for some additional information regarding the loans being offered as part of the Sukuma Relief Programme, most notably regarding the decision behind charging a prime interest rate from the 13th month of the loan period.

We’re hoping to have that response from Business Partners a bit later today.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]