Rupert family fund oversubscribed; applications temporarily suspended

PUBLISHED: Tue, 07 Apr 2020 18:53:58 GMT

Applications for the Rupert family’s R1 billion small business fund, The Sukuma Relief Programme, which opened on Friday, have temporarily been suspended. Mark Paper, Chief Operating Officer at Business Partners International, which is administering the fund on behalf of the family, told CNBC Africa that this was due to the oversubscription of the fund.

BUSINESS/PARTNERS received over 10 000 applications for the fund worth R2.8 billion, almost double the R1 billion on offer.

The fund is offering financial support to businesses hit by COVID-19.

Rupert fund overwhelmed by duplicate applications

However the actual number might be smaller, Paper said, as not all applications meet the criteria, some are not complete and others are duplicates.

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We will have a better picture by Thursday once we have completed the cleanup process, he said.

Asked if any other funders have come forward to increase the size of the fund, Paper said the specialist risk finance company for formal small and medium owner-managed businesses in South Africa, and selected African countries had received expressions of interest but nothing concrete yet.

Once we have a clear picture of the actual demand we will put out an appeal to the market for more funding, he added.