While many sectors have been impacted by lockdown, its the informal sector which has been hit the hardest in many instances.

To that end Standard Bank has announced a partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) which seeks to help spaza shop owners purchase stock at discounted prices.

Qualifying spaza shop owners are able to go to any Standard Bank branch and complete a SEFA application form. Once the application is approved, the owner will receive a Standard Bank card where the owner can access the funds.

The funds cannot be withdrawn from the card and the card can only be used at a SEFA-approved wholesaler, Standard Bank said.

The best part about the funds is that the spaza shop owner doesn’t have to pay the money back as this is a relief measure for those businesses.

The funding will be dispersed in two equal payments.

“Enabling businesses with solutions that assist them to continue operation during this time is important as this contributes to the growth of our economy and, in turn, the growth of our continent,” head of small enterprises at Standard Bank, Ethel Nyembe said in a statement.

In order to qualify, spaza shop owners must meet the following criteria:

  • The spaza shop must be managed and operated by an owner who has a valid South African identification document
  • The business must be registered on SmmeSA: https://smmesa.gov.za/
  • The business must hold a municipal permit license to trade. If not, the owner must obtain one before applying for support.
  • The business must be registered with CIPC, SARS and UIF, or be willing to register before support is approved
  • Undertaking to comply with the Consumer and Customer Protection and National Disaster Management Regulations and Directions
  • The owner must be willing to submit monthly management accounts.