DTI SME support fund is exhausted

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will no longer accepting applications for funding under its Manufacturing Investment Programme (MIP) because funds in the programme have been exhausted.

The DTI said it was suspending the process for new applications for support under the MIP with effect from today, 20 September 2013, until further notice. The MIP was introduced in 2008 to support investment in new and expansion projects by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the manufacturing sector.

The DTI said although the programme was intended to be implemented until July 2014, the MIP has met with overwhelming interest from industry. As a result the six-year budget that was set aside for the programme has been oversubscribed, said the Deputy Director-General of the Industrial Development and Incentive Administration Division (IDIAD), Tumelo Chipfupa.

This oversubscription, said Chipfupa, has necessitated the suspension of the programme earlier than originally intended.

“As a result of the suspension no new applications will be considered for support under the MIP.  However, all applications that have been registered on the MIP online system before mid-day tomorrow, 20 September 2013, may still be completed by the respective applicants and will be evaluated and considered for support in line with the programme’s guidelines”.

Chipfupa added that some of the highlights of the MIP are that by the end of June this year, about 2 000 new and expansion projects in the manufacturing sector had been approved and over R2 billion disbursed to enterprises. Over 200 (10%) of the approved projects were Foreign Direct Investments by either new or already established entities in South Africa.

He added that the expected investment by FDI enterprises supported by the programme is more than R13 billion and over 20 000 jobs are expected to be created and/or sustained by these enterprises.  More than 1000 (50%) of all approved projects were by small enterprises with investments of less than R5 million per project. The small enterprises supported are expected to create and or sustain more than 30 000 jobs.

“The DTI is in the process of considering amendments to the existing Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP) that will enable the continuation of support for newly establishing manufacturing projects by small and medium sized enterprises. Announcements in this regard will be made before the end of this fiscal year,” said Chipfupa.

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