Covid-19 Resources

Financial assistance

In light of the lockdown there has been a significant number of businesses under pressure in terms of cash
flow and the ability to pay their employees. The government has announced measures that are in place and
still in the process of being implemented to provide some relief for Small and Medium-sized Entities.
We have compiled a list of all the measures presently known to us of what the government is providing to small
business to help them through this difficult time. We can only bring to your attention what has been announced.

20 May 2020 Taurus Capital: R300 million finance available for SA law firms 

Specialist financier, Taurus Capital, has created an alternative funding solution for South African law firms. It has built a R300 million capital pool which is exclusively available to the legal fraternity.

Taurus Capital’s solutions are tailored to each firm’s needs, with facilities from R250,000 to R30 million available to firms ranging in size from boutique to large multi-partner firms.

Unlike traditional lenders, Taurus Capital assigns value to intangible assets such as book debts, mandate and fee agreements, invoices, court orders and taxed bills of costs. They recognise that law firm income is cyclical and therefore match repayment expectations with the cashflow cycles of the firms they partner with.

The funding is the form of a pre-approved loan and is a non-binding funding solution that legal practices can use – and pay for – only if required.

Capital is available within 24 hours upon receipt of a signed loan agreement. The application process begins with a consultation process with a Taurus Capital executive to understand the nature of the firm and its specific financial requirements. Key financial documents are submitted as well as applicable court orders, fee agreements, invoices, and book debts. These are used by Taurus Capital’s team to conduct a financial analysis and develop bespoke solutions for each client.

Click here for more information.

7 April 2020 Assistance from the Debt Relief Finance Scheme

This initiative is from the Department of Small Business Development, the fund will provide assistance to
mitigate the impact of the expected economic slowdown on small and medium enterprises (SME) in the
country.
The fund value amounts to R500 million
To apply, the business applying must comply with the following criteria:
Registered with CIPC at 28 February 2020
100% owned by SA Citizens
Should employ at least 70% South African Nationals
The business applying should be fully tax compliant
Priority will be given to businesses owned by women, youth and people employed with disabilities.
Applicants must demonstrate direct link of impact or potential link of impact of Covid-19.

7 April 2020 Oppenheimer Fund (SA Future Trust)

This fund was established by a R1 billion donation from the Oppenheimer family that is to provide assistance
to companies that are affected by the Covid-19 epidemic and lockdown. The fund will be administered through
a trust to provide interest free loans to businesses for a period of 5 years.
To apply, the business applying must comply with the following criteria:
Have an annual turnover of less than R25 million.
Have been trading for two or more years.
Must be in good standing with the banks.
Must be a sustainable business on 29 February 2020.
The company must be banking with one of the following banks: ABSA, FNB, Nedbank or Standard Bank.
The business must be able to provide proof of how the lockdown and pandemic has affected the
business.
Firms are requested to obtain the necessary information and if the terms are affordable to apply to the above
banks if they are clients.

7 April 2020 Rupert Fund (Covid-19 SME Fund)

The Rupert fund is established through a R1 billion donation from Anton Rupert to aid small businesses
affected by the Covid-19 epidemic and the lockdown. The fund will be administered through Business Partners
Limited.
The funding can be utilised to fund working capital. (Salaries, rent, loan instalments, etc). Please note that this
is short-term financing, with the following terms:
Month 1 – 12: 0% interest, with a payment holiday of 12 months
Month 12 – 60 : Prime interest to be levied on the loan.
The funding will be provided via monthly disbursements.
Qualifying criteria:
The business must be tax compliant.
February 2019 signed annual financial statements must be submitted.
Ownership does not have to be SA citizens.
More clarity on the above fund is yet to be made public on how to apply.

7 April 2020 Unemployment Insurance Fund (Covid-19 TERS)

The Covid-19 TERS is a separate fund from the Unemployment Insurance Fund and is applicable to caring
and responsible employers that are unable to pay salaries of workers they send home due to the lockdown
and are encouraged to apply for Covid-19 TERS. Only businesses that are closed due to the lockdown, may
apply. If shorter hours are worked, UIF must be claimed.
To apply simply send an email to covid19ters@labour.gov.za and an automated response will reply with the
requirements and documentation to be completed by the employers.

7 April 2020 SARS

When the lockdown was announced by the President, he informed the country that there will be relief received
from SARS. The following relief is available:
For companies with a turnover less than R50 million, they have the option to delay 20% of the
company’s PAYE liability for a period up to four months starting 1 April 2020 (please note this is not
applicable for the March 2020 PAYE that has to be paid by today, 7 April 2020). The PAYE liability that is
delayed must be paid to SARS in equal instalments over six months starting 01 August 2020.
For provisional taxes there is also a delay that will be communicated when the time comes for
provisional tax returns. Click here for the explanatory notes on Covid-19 tax measures.

7 April 2020 Quick links

https://sasmefund.co.za/ – Independent Fund

Government relief fund for small business
Help line number : 0860 663 7867
https://smmesa.gov.za/
SMME Business Growth Resilience Facility Form
SMME Debt Relief Scheme Form
COVID Finance Relief Application Form

LSSA letters and advisories

28 April 2020 LSSA comment on draft court directions and schedules  
14 April 2020 LSSA Submission for partial relaxation of lockdown regulations in respect of Deeds Offices
13 April 2020 LSSA letter to Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola, on proposed changes to lockdown regulations.
7 April 2020 LSSA Advisory: Day 12 of 21 
3 April 2020 LSSA Advisory: Update on Covid-19 

Court directives

14 May 2020 Directive by OM Krieling: Chief Magistrate and judicial head: Northern Cape
12 May 2020 Directives issued by Judge President Mbenenge for the management of the High Court, Eastern Cape, during the lockdown
11 May 2020 Judge President of the Western Cape Division of the High Court: Directives 
11 May 2020 Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court: Consolidated Directives regarding court operations in Pretoria and Johannesburg 
7 May 2020 Government Gazette 43293: Directions on once-off movement of persons and transportation of goods for purposes of relocation
4 May 2020 North West Division of the High Court Directive: Video and audio hearings during Covid-19 pandemic
3 May 2020 Government gazette 43268: Directions by Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola, to address, prevent and combat the spread of Covid-19 in all courts, court precincts and justice service points in South Africa.  
1 May 2020 Directives for the High Court of KwaZulu-Natal to apply from 1 May until the remaining period of the lockdown.
30 April 2020 Directions for Once-Off Movement of Persons. Any person who was not at their place of residence, or work before the lockdown period and who could not travel between provinces, metropolitan and district areas during the lockdown are permitted in terms of regulation 16(5), on a once-off basis, to return to their places of residence or work. 
29 April 2020 The regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act as regards Alert Level 4 appear in Government Gazette 43258 of 29 April 2020. Regulations regarding legal practitioners are included. 
28 April 2020 The Court Roll of the Limpopo Local Division of the High Court, Thohoyandou, has been rescheduled. The second term has been extended to 10 July 2020. Click here to view the rescheduled Court Roll.
28 April 2020 The Court Roll of the Limpopo Local Division of the High Court, Polokwane, has been rescheduled. The second term has been extended to 10 July 2020. Click here to view the rescheduled Court Roll. 
21 April 2020 Letter to stakeholders from President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Ms M Maya.
17 April 2020 Directive by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng relating to operation of courts during extended lockdown period 
16 April 2020 Gauteng Division of the High Court: Final duty roster for term two, Johannesburg.
16 April 2020 Gauteng Division of the High Court: Final duty roster for term two, Pretoria.
15 April 2020 Magistrates’ Court Judiciary: Directive on court operations in respect of all civil courts within the Johannesburg cluster.
15 April 2020 Magisterial District of Tshwane: Amended court services directive.
14 April 2020 Submission for partial relaxation of lockdown regulations in respect of Deeds Offices
2 April 2020 Legal Practice Council additional guidance for legal practitioners regarding rendering of essential legal services during lockdown. 
27 March 2020 Extract from Government Gazette 43145 dealing with draft criteria and procedures for the recommendations of conferment of Senior Counsel and Senior Attorney status. 
27 March 2020 Government Gazette 43167: Directions issued to address the functioning of essential services relating to justice
27 March 2020 Directive from the Judge President of the KwaZulu-Natal Division of the High Court pertaining to the lockdown
27 March 2020 Directive from the Judge President of the Western Cape Division of the High Court pertaining to access to court during the lockdown
25 March 2020 Government Gazette 43148  Amendment of regulations issued in terms of s27(2) of the Disaster Management Act regarding Covid-19
25 March 2020 Judge President’s Directive: Special Arrangements to address Covid-19 implications for all litigants in Pretoria and Johannesburg Courts
25 March 2020 Directive from the Judge President of the Labour and Labour Appeal Court in respect of access to the Labour Court during the lockdown
24 March 2020 Resolutions for Lower Courts in Limpopo. To be implemented with effect of 13h00 on 24 March 2020, subject to further directives issued by the Justice Minister and/or Chief Justice.

∗It is expected that the Justice Minister will publish directives on 25 March after consultation with the Chief Justice. These resolutions will then apply in conjunction with those directives.

18 March 2020 Government Gazette 43107: Regulations issued in terms of s27(2) of the Disaster Management Act regarding Covid-19
18 March 2020 Directive by Regional Court President: Limpopo Regional Division pertaining to Covid-19
17 March 2020 Directive by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on measures adopted by Heads of Court to curb spread of Covid-19
16 March 2020 Directive by the Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court pertaining to Covid-19

General Covid-19 resources

21 May 2020 NHBRC services during lockdown
19 May 2020 CIPC Notice: Phasing out of deposit systems
18 May 2020 Notice of closure of Durban High Court for decontamination 
15 May 2020 Appeals sections notice regarding decontamination of Durban High Court 
12 May 2020 Memorandum to Northern Cape legal practitioners: Cross-border requirements to access the Northern Cape to attend to essential and permitted services 
18 May 2020 Circular by Pretoria Registrar of Deeds
14 May 2020 Decontamination of courts in KwaZulu-Natal 
8 May 2020 South African Police Service notice: Arrest for contravention of the Covid-19 regulations are not offences in terms of regulations 
6 May 2020 CIPC: Business rescue filing
30 April 2020 CIPC: Recommencement of services
20 March 2020 Legal Aid SA guidelines on measures to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic