Defaulters hinder others

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Small Enterprise Financial Agency Eastern Cape regional manager Mihlali Simukando encouraged individuals whose loan applications have been rejected to keep trying Picture: ZOLILE MENZELWA

SMALL Enterprise Financial Agency (Sefa) regional manager in the Eastern Cape Mihlali Simukando said last week that some SMMEs did not pay back their loans, so blocking others from accessing funds.

Speaking at the agency’s roadshow at the Queens Hotel and Casino, she said Sefa, an agency of the Small Business Development Department, did not compete with, or replace, traditional money lenders but served as an alternative provided by government.

“We do not try to be lenders of choice and Sefa money does not have a low interest rate.

“We encourage businesses to go to banks and other money-lending institutions first. We also fund businesses that help the communities where they are based.”

She said Sefa had a high tolerance for risk, provision of capital and/or interest moratorium up to 12 months and addressed the financial gap for loans below R500000.

The agency had a provision of pre- and post-loan business support, provision of funding to entrepreneurs with adverse credit records if they could demonstrate an active remedy for their indebtness and lending not solely based on security backing.

Sefa did not support people under debt review, unrehabilitated insolvent shareholders or directors of applying entities, primary agriculture businesses and speculative property development.

Applications can be submitted in any of the offices, with the provincial head office in East London. Application forms can also be found at www.sefa.org.za.

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