Business Grants & Incentives:

Business Grants offered by various government agencies can be facilitated with professional assistance of DTC SA.  The majority of the grants offered provide financial support in the form of a non-repayable component for starting or expanding a business in South Africa.  These grants are in an array of sectors and industries.  Below are descriptions of the current business grants:

Business grants/dtc

Agro-Processing Support Scheme (APSS) (business grants) aims to stimulate investment by the South African agro-processing / beneficiation (agri-business) enterprises. The investment should demonstrate that it will achieve some of the following:

  • Increased capacity
  • employment creation
  • modernised machinery and equipment
  • competitiveness and productivity improvement and broadening participation
Amavulandlela Funding Scheme (business grants) – the scheme offers an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to enter the mainstream economy and build qualifying entrepreneurial enterprises. The grant provides credit facilities that range from a minimum of R50 000 to a maximum of R15-million. Those who can apply for the grant include small and medium-sized enterprises, close corporations and companies, and cooperatives with at least 50+ 1% ownership by entrepreneurs with verified disabilities. Non-financial support offered by the scheme includes mentoring, technical assistance, sourcing, and negotiating with suitable suppliers.

Aqua Culture Development Enhancement Program (ADEP) (business grants) – this program offers a cash grant on investment cost in marine and fresh water activities. Qualifying activities include cultivation, processing and ancillary activities such as feed manufacturing, Research and Development and veterinary services. The grant is calculated as a percentage of your investment in fixed assets, infrastructure and in competitiveness improvement activities, to a maximum amount of R30 million. The percentage varies between 20% and 45%, with smaller projects receiving the highest percentage. In addition, in the case of emerging black farmers (more than 51%), the incentive is enhanced and varies between 40% and 80%. The program caters for new projects as well as for expansions and upgrading of existing projects.

Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS) (business grants) – the AIS has been extended and now also covers people carriers and medium to heavy duty commercial vehicles. The programs include original equipment component manufacturers. The AIS provides for a cash grant of twenty percent (20%) of the value of qualifying investment in productive assets in the case of vehicle manufacturers and twenty five percent (25%) of the value of qualifying investment in productive assets by component manufactures and tooling companies. These percentages are enhanced by up to 10% if certain requirements can be reached. The program has no maximum grant lev.

Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) (business grants) – The BIS serves to implement the Black Industrialists (BI) Policy, which aims to leverage the State’s capacity to unlock the industrial potential of predominantly black-owned and black-managed businesses within the South Africa economy. Simply put, the broader objective of the scheme is to promote industrialisation, the promotion of previously disadvantaged industrialists, sustainable economic growth and transformation, through the support of black-owned entities in the manufacturing sector that have a CAPEX requirement of between R30million to R100million; where up to 50% of that would be supported as a non-repayable component – the balance can be funded through one of DTC SA’s funding partners.

Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) – Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) forms a part of the country’s strategy to secure greater involvement in and support for the arts from businesses in South Africa. BASA offers innovative programmes that provide and support knowledge transfer, skills development, and training in the cultural and creative sectors. Business and Arts South Africa Supporting Grant Programme is designed for artists, arts organisations, and businesses, assisting them in activating sponsorship for a cross-section of arts projects in various regions of the country. This may be done by providing financial support to a project that is in an already existing relationship between a business and an arts organisation. The Artist Relief Grants are an extension of the Supporting Grants platform, where BASA considers applications from individual artists, freelance creatives, and independent contractors.

Capital Projects Feasibility Program (CPFP) (business grants) – The Capital Projects Feasibility Programme (CPFP) is a cost-sharing grant that contributes to the cost of feasibility studies likely to lead to projects that will increase local exports and stimulate the market for South African capital goods and services. The grant is offered to a maximum of 50% of the total costs of the feasibility study for projects outside Africa and 55% of the total costs of the feasibility study for projects in Africa and is capped at R8 million.

Critical Infrastructure Grant (CIP) (business grants) – The Critical Infrastructure Program (CIP) offers a grant at rates that vary between 15% and 50% up to a maximum of R50 million; and goes up to 100% for distressed municipalities and state-owned industrial parks. When you need to invest in infrastructure in order to make further productive investment possible, you are eligible for a grant in respect of that infrastructure cost. Infrastructure in this case refers to those installations without which the new project cannot be undertaken, such as paved roads and bulk water. Also, when you need to make an investment in order to sustain an existing operation, e.g. invest in Solar and Green Energy, you will be eligible for support in respect of such investment cost.  Note that production equipment, vehicles and buildings do not qualify.  It is a requirement that the public must benefit from the infrastructure in question. The BEE requirement was relaxed to a minimum Level 8.

Businesses in the following industries are eligible for support:

  • Manufacturers
  • IPAP priority sectors
  • Mineral beneficiation, agriculture and construction
  • Mining and other labour absorbing sectors

Clothing, Textiles, Footwear and Leather Growth Programme (CTFLGP) (business grants) – based on the belief that competitiveness improvement is best achieved through value chain networking and partnerships. The CTFLGP grant is thus based on cluster formation of either similar manufacturing entities or a value chain cluster, comprising e.g. manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in order to engage in collective improvement activities which are more cost effective and could include benchmarking, supply chain interventions and value chain integration where competitive advantages are identified. Two types of clusters are proposed, ordinary and national clusters. Qualifying expenditure are categorised into, people; product; process; market development and technological innovation. Grants for Ordinary clusters are offered at 75%, with a maximum cumulative amount of R25 million. Grants for national clusters start at 100% in year one, then taper down to 70% in year 5, with no set maximum amount.

Electric Vehicle Production Incentive (business grants) – The Electric Vehicle Production Incentive will assist the motoring sector to invest in hydrogen-powered and electric vehicles (EVs), encouraging local electric vehicle production. The focus on new energy vehicles comes as automotive manufacturers accelerate the push towards electric vehicles, in an effort to move away from combustion-based vehicles. The incentive will therefore serve to assist local vehicle manufacturers to adapt their factories and technologies to produce electric-powered cars, in line with the global introduction of these vehicles, and to preserve South Africa’s seat as a global exporter of automobiles. Manufacturers of electric and hydrogen vehicles will be able to claim 150% of qualifying investment spending on production capacity for electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles in the first year of investment. The new incentive will take effect from March 2026.

Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) (business grants) – The program aims to improve export performance by subsidising the export promotion efforts of entrepreneurs dealing in goods. Services are generally, excluded. A cash grant based on the cost of travelling, accommodation and participation is paid into the bank account of the applicant. Applications have to be submitted well in advance.

The program consists of the following components:

  • Exhibition assistance. Participation as a private exhibitor or as part of a national pavilion is supported.
  • Primary Market Research. Travels abroad as well as international product registration, e.g. patents and trademarks, are subsidised.
  • Trade Missions. Private missions as well as missions by organised industry are subsidised, both outward and inward.

Farmers Support Grant – Through the Farmers Support Grant and the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, substance, small holder, commercial, and organised farmers can obtain support for infrastructure, production inputs, and mechanism support services. The Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (LDARD) aims to strategically mobilise, distribute and utilise resources equitably to achieve the Government objectives, through supporting the agricultural sector. The grant supports the vision of LDARD, for a united, prosperous and sustainable agricultural sector. The grant will assist the Provincial Department in achieving its mission of promoting economic growth and food security, through sustainable agricultural and entrepreneurship development. The grant will offer support for poultry, fruits, livestock, mechanisation, mechanisation subsidiary, on & off farm infrastructure, and vegetables.

Film and Television Production Incentives (FTP) (business grants) – This program aims to develop the film industry and attract filmmakers to the country. The grant is calculated as a percentage of the local production expenses and varies between 25% and 50% up to a maximum of R50million. Applications have to be submitted before the start of primary shooting.

The following programmes are offered:

Locational Film Production – This is aimed at foreign film producers making films in South Africa.
SA film production and co-production – This is aimed at South African film producers.
SA Emerging Black Filmmakers – A grant of up to 50%

Green Fund The Green Fund is a national fund providing catalytic support for investment in green initiatives that supports South Africa’s transition towards a green economy. The fund is managed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, on behalf of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF). The grant provider aims to attract foreign investment and additional national investments into the greening of the South African economy to complement existing financial support. Key areas of the Fund include; green towns and cities,  building a low carbon economy, and environmental and natural resource management. The fund is additional and complementary to existing fiscal allocations, focusing on innovative projects. Typical applicants include private companies, M2/ 3 municipalities, metros, provincial governments, NGO’s, research institutions and universities.

Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP) (business grants) The Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP) is a resource efficiency incentive programme managed by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on behalf of the Department of Tourism. The grant aims to encourage and assist privately-owned tourism enterprises to adopt responsible tourism practices through installing solutions for the sustainable management and usage of electricity and water resources.

The GTIP offers the following benefits to qualifying tourism enterprises:

1) The full cost for a new resource efficiency audit or the full cost for reviewing an existing resource efficiency audit;

2) Grant funding to qualifying SMMES on a sliding scale from 50% to 90% of the total cost of implementing resource efficiency interventions, capped at R1 million; and

3) Qualifying enterprises may implement projects in phases to effectively manage their cash flow over a two-year project implementation period.

Heritage Management Organization – The Heritage Management Organization (HERITΛGE) was established with the goal of enabling key heritage managers, through targeted training, to independently transform heritage assets from decaying objects of study to dynamic sources of learning, community identity, and economic development. The Organization offers small grants ($5000 – $50000) for organizations, groups, and individuals working with heritage in Africa. Applicants have to demonstrate that their project addresses one or more of three criteria being; sustainability, capacity development & network building, and concrete & community impact.

Hollywood Foundation (business grants) – In 2021, Hollywoodbets launched the Hollywood Foundation with a key goal of empowering the South African youth in the communities within which we operate. It prides itself on education and training to equip the youth with necessary skills and abilities to grow within their respective career fields.

The Foundation offers bursaries that range from 1st year (entry into university) to 4th year level (Higher Certificate, Diploma or Degree), as well as Post Graduate studies.  Preferred areas of study include, but are not limited to, Computer Science, Supply Chain and Logistics, Business Management, Finance/Accounting, LLB/Legal; Human Resources, Digital Marketing/Marketing, Graphic Design, and Media and Communications.

The Foundation shall assist Recipients with the payment of a full cost bursary, comprised of registration fees, tuition, study material, examination fees, accommodation, meals, and a laptop where required, or a partial bursary which is comprised of registration fees, tuition, study material, examination fees and a laptop where required.  Approval of a full cost bursary or partial bursary is subject to the bursary selection criteria that has been approved. Any additional costs that may arise during study will be the Recipient’s responsibility.

Isivande Women’s Fund – The Fund is managed by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on behalf of the DTI through a development fund manager. IDF Managers is an SME financier aimed at supporting the creation of self-sustaining black and women owned businesses in South Africa by providing primarily financial and non-financial support to our investee companies.

Business Grants for the women enterprises have to meet the following criteria:

  • At least 6 months in operation;
  • Requires early stage, expansions and growth capital;
  • 50% plus one share owned and managed by women;
  • Have potential for growth and commercial sustainability; and
  • Improved social impact in the form of job creation.

Businesses requiring funding of R30,000 to R2 million should contact us.

Global Business Services Incentive (GBS) (business grants) – provides an enabling environment for potential investors coupled with a deeper domain skills advantage, significant cost savings among other global locations, and providing a world-class experience for those who set up their operations in South Africa.

JOBS Fund (Offered by Department of Finance) (business grants) – The program aims to create jobs by supporting innovative projects with the potential to create many jobs at low cost. A grant of 50% is usually offered. The fund works in rounds that run for about 3 to 6 months at a time. Applicants can only apply for projects that fall within the definition of a specific round.

Job Stimulus Fund The Job Stimulus Fund, through the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), is mandated to incentivise the retention, saving, and protection of jobs at risk and the creation of jobs in the Eastern Cape. The grant will do this by supporting and attracting sector specific, catalytic investments which promote sustainable jobs across the value chain. The Fund defines a distressed business as a Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) which is unable to meet its short-term credit obligations. This has a high possibility of resulting in job losses. The grant ensures that businesses are incentivised at R10 000 per verified job retained/saved for a minimum of 5 jobs and a maximum of 250.

MCEP Low Interest loans (MCEP loans) – Although the MCEP grant program is closed, loans at 4% p.a. interest rate are offered to those manufacturing entities who are compliant with the MCEP guidelines. These loans are offered only in respect of proven additional production orders and cannot replace existing finance. Furthermore these loans are only for pre- and post- production working capital requirements, except in the case of companies with majority black shareholding. Repayment period is 48 months. Loans are offered through IDC against their normal criteria.

Mzansi Golden Economy – The Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) is competitive grant funding programme of the National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. The programmes strategy considers the arts, culture, and heritage sector as the “new gold” which has the potential to reposition the sector as the key market player in the country’s economic development, mandated to increase the economic growth and to create jobs in the country. The focus areas within this programme consist of the Public Art Programme, Cultural Events, the Art Bank, and the Sourcing Enterprise.

The programme includes the following workstreams;

  • Cultural Events;
  • Public Art; and
  • Touring Ventures.

All submissions must be submitted through the MGE online portal. The Applicant must have; accessed the e-services portal, with a valid email address, a valid RSA ID, and a valid cell phone number.

National Lotteries Commission (Arts, Culture & Heritage / Charities / Miscellaneous) – The National Lotteries Commission
(NLC) was established in terms of the Lotteries Amendment Act (No 32 of 2013) to regulate the National Lottery and other lotteries, including society lotteries to raise funds and promotional competitions. The NLC also serves as a grant funder, providing registered Non-Profit Organisations with funding to establish projects that improve the lives of everyday South Africans. Grant funding focuses mainly in areas that require enough support to be able to bring growth and change within impoverished communities. The NLC assists sectors including Arts, Culture & Heritage, Charities, and Miscellaneous. Only registered non- profit organisations that wish to run society lottery schemes are eligible to do so and are required to register with the National Lotteries Commission. An application for registration as society must include a scheme (fundraising plan) for running a society lottery which has to be registered and approved by the NLC.

NYDA Grant Programme –  The NYDA Grant Programme focuses on youth entrepreneurs who are at intentional, promising and new stages of enterprise development. The Programme provides young entrepreneurs with an opportunity to access both financial and non-financial business development support, to enable them to establish or grow their businesses. Individuals, Co-operatives, and Community Development Facilitation Projects are eligible to apply.

The grant can be utilised for the following:

  • To purchase movable and immovable assets;
  • Bridging finance;
  • Shop renovations;

  • Working capital paid directly to the grantee; and/or

  • Co-funding with legal entities only.

Production incentive (PI) (business grants) – The program aims to assist the industry in its efforts to become more competitive. A cash grant is offered, calculated as a percentage, usually 7.5%, of the applicant’s gross profit. The grant may be used in a variety of ways, e.g. upgrading of production equipment; developing people; improving processes, optimising materials usage and developing new products. Retrospective applications are allowed.

Recycling Enterprise Support Programme (RESP) (business grants) – Promoted through the Department of Environmental Affairs aims to drive entrepreneurship and job creation by ensuring the economic benefits emanating from waste are fully exploited by promoting waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery of waste.  The grant provides up to R5m for new entrants and emerging enterprises in the recycling economy (HDIs).  Fund support is for waste management related machinery and equipment, infrastructure (with the exclusion of land purchase), commercial vehicles, overheads (including salaries) and
business development services necessary to grow the enterprise to ensure that within a period of 2 (two) years.

Strategic Partnership Program (SPP) (business grants) – This programme, together with the Enterprise Investment program, replaced the Incubator Support Programme. The objective of the Strategic Partnership Programme (SPP), is to encourage large private sector enterprises in partnership with government to support, nurture and develop SMEs within the partner’s supply chain or sector in order to be manufacturers of goods and suppliers of services in a sustainable manner. The programme is intended to support Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) policy through encouraging businesses to strengthen the element of Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) of the Codes of Good Practice.
The supported strategic-partners are expected to develop and support programmes/interventions aimed at enhancing the manufacturing and services supply capacity of suppliers with linkages to strategic partner’s supply chains, industries or sectors. The programme offers a cost-sharing grant to a maximum of R15 million towards the total qualifying costs, based on the number of suppliers to be supported. The grant support is available for machinery and equipment, infrastructure, commercial vehicles and business development services necessary to grow enterprises to ensure that within a period of three (3) years, the SME’s will have developed to be self-sustainable by providing locally manufactured products and/or services relevant to the sector.

Sector Specific Assistance Scheme (SSAS) (business grants) – Organisations supported under SSAS include Export Councils, Joint Action Groups, Industry Associations and those involved in the development of emerging exporters.

The Objectives of the Sector Specific Assistance Scheme

  • Developing an industry sector as a whole
  • Developing new export markets
  • Stimulate job creation
  • Broadening the export base
  • Proposing solutions to factors inhibiting export growth
  • Promote broader participation of black owned and SMME’s to the economy.

Grants are divided into three categories: General funding; Project funding and Project funding for emerging exporters. Grants offered go as high as 80%

Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII) (business grants) – Transferred from IDC to DTIC administration, the Support Programme for Industrial Innovation is designed to promote technology development in South Africa’s industry, through the provision of financial assistance for the development of innovative products and/or processes. SPII is focussed specifically on the development phase, which begins at the conclusion of basic research and ends at the point when a pre-production prototype has been produced.

The SPII offers two schemes namely,

  • SPII Product Process Development (PPD) Scheme. Grants of 50% are offered to a maximum of R2 million. However, black ownership can enhance the grant to as high as 85%.
  • SPII Matching Scheme. Grants of 50% are offered, but this can be enhanced through black shareholding to as high as 75%. Grant limit is R5 million.

Seda Technology Programme (STP) (business grants) – Seda Technology Programme (Stp) is a division of seda (Small Enterprise Development Agency) focusing on technology business incubation, quality & standards and technology transfer services & support to small enterprises.
STP provides a range of services that assist small enterprises, particularly enterprises in the 2nd economy, to access and acquire technology.

The Technology Transfer Unit (TTU) of stp has two main objectives, namely:

  • To provide technology transfer services to small enterprises; and
  • To provide specific technology support to women-owned enterprises.

A maximum grant of R600 000 is offered.

Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) (business grants) – The program is intended to leverage collaborative partnerships between government and industry (working with academia) for research and development in science, engineering and technology on a cost-sharing basis, to produce highly skilled human resources and technology solutions, for improved industry competitiveness.

The programme is awarded for the following:

  • Applied research and innovation projects as defined.
  • Registration and litigation cost of patents of strategic importance to the South African economy by entities in the IPAP Sectors.

Grants are offered per project, and project requirements include:

  • The project must be applied research in the fields of science, engineering and/or technology whose outputs could make a significant contribution towards improving the industry partner’s competitive edge;
  • The project intention should be to innovate, i.e. should lead to the creation and transfer of new knowledge into a process or product (prototype), or the transfer of existing knowledge into a new process or product to benefit the industry partner.

Technology Innovation Agency – The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is a national public entity that serves as a key institutional intervention to bridge the innovation chasm between research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities, the private sector, and commercialisation. The Agency aims to facilitate the translation of South Africa’s knowledge resource into sustainable socio-economic opportunities. TIA’s focus is on technology development, from proof of concept to pre commercialisation. To achieve this, TIA established the following funds; the Seed Fund, the Technology Development Fund, and the Commercialisation Support Fund.

Tourism Equity Fund – The Tourism Equity Fund (TEF), established by the Department of Tourism aims to promote growth and transformation in line with the Tourism BBBEE sector codes. The Fund aims to address funding challenges faced by enterprises in the tourism sector, stimulating job creation in the sector. The TEF offers a blended finance support in the form of a loan from sefa and any other strategic financiers, and grant funding from the Department of Tourism.

Focus areas of the Fund include; Accommodation, Hospitality and Related Services, Travel and related Services, and other Tourism related initiatives.

Applicants are required to complete and submit an application online through the sefa website. Applicants will be screened against the qualifying criteria and eligibility. Applicants who meet pre-screening will proceed to a full due diligence.

Tourism Transformation Fund (TTF) – Administered by the NEF on behalf of the Department of Tourism, the Tourism Transformation Fund (TTF) is a dedicated capital investment funding mechanism that focuses on financial support for black entrepreneurs for projects in the tourism sector. The Fund aims to drive transformation in the tourism sector in a more direct and impactful manner that will not only assist black-owned tourism enterprises to expand and grow, but to also catalyse the growth of a new generation of black owned youth, women, and community owned tourism enterprises to take the tourism sector to new heights.

The grant contribution for approved applications is limited to 50% of the total funding approved and is capped at a maximum of R5,000,000.00 per beneficiary. Applicants should submit their application forms and supporting documents directly to the NEF, who will assess applications for commercial viability and TTF eligibility.

Workplace Challenge Programme (WPC) – is a joint initiative of the National Economic Development Labour Council (Nedlac) and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) that aims to actively encourage and support negotiated workplace change to improve productivity and job creation.

WCP grant is a joint initiative between the DTIC and Productivity South Africa (Productivity SA) that is implemented over a period of 24-months. The aim of the programme is to encourage and support negotiated workplace transformation to improve productivity and job creation. The WCP grant programme plays a role in ensuring that we increase the industrial base of the country’s economy in order to achieve notable growth. The programme goes a long way in decentralising this industrialisation in order to include all parts of the country, as well broadening the participation of previously disadvantaged people.

Youth Challenge Fund – is a youth start-up support programme intended to stimulate the establishment and growth of youth-owned businesses, promote digital skills, grow the economy, and foster job creation. The programme seeks to provide financial and non-financial support. The YCF supports youth start-ups to promote technology and innovation enabling these businesses to acquire digital skills. The Fund will support the product development and scaling of youth-led SMEs with an innovative digital product or service that demonstrates a competitive advantage, initial traction and has the potential to scale, and support the product development and scaling of youth-led SMEs with an identified market, a clear focused value proposition, initial market traction and a credible owner or team.

The start-up maximum per enterprise is R2 million and the growth maximum per enterprise is R15 million, with a growth blended finance structure of 20% grant / 80% loan.

Youth Pipeline Development Programme – The Youth Pipeline Development Programme aims to improve the readiness of potential applicants and thereby increase their probability for Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) consideration. The Programme offers pre- and post-investment business support aimed at assisting youth applications to become investment ready, aiding with meeting and satisfying conditions precedent, ensuring the businesses’ long-term sustainability. Youth owned start-up or expansion businesses may apply. 50% of the business support is offered as a grant and the balance is recovered as a subordinated loan.

Tax Allowances

  • Section 12 (i) of the income tax act, generally referred to as Industrial Policy Projects (IPP), offers an income tax allowance for investment in manufacturing projects is offered, based on the cost of the project. The maximum available allowance is R600 million per project.
  • Section 11(d) offers a 150% deduction in respect of research and development cost.
  • Section 12 l offers a tax allowance of 95c per Kwh saved to industries who invest in initiatives to save energy.

Contact us for guidance and assistance with your business grant procurement…

Business Grants