Article for SA Forestry Magazine by Grant Whittaker, Cape Regional Manager of Cova Advisory & Associates – June 2017

The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) recently launched an incentive scheme to support South African enterprises involved in agro-processing activities, including sawing, pulping, peeling and preservation activities in the forestry value-chain. The Agro-Processing Support Scheme (APSS) seeks to stimulate investment that would lead to increased capacity; employment creation; modernization of machinery and equipment; competitiveness and productivity improvement; and broadening participation. The APSS offers a cash grant to qualifying enterprises who undertake capital investment projects. Small enterprises may claim 30% of their investment in qualifying assets, to a maximum of R 3 million, while medium and large sized enterprises are entitled to claim 20% of their investment, to a maximum of R 20 million. This scheme offers support for investments in new machinery & equipment (including “green” technology and energy and resource efficiency equipment), buildings, commercial vehicles, IT software and consulting fees relating to conformity assessment and accreditation. A minimum investment in new machinery and equipment of R 1 million is required in order to qualify for this grant. Other criteria relating to BEE score, raw material inputs and employment levels will be applied by the DTI when assessing applications.

New and existing enterprises may apply for support under the APSS which has been allocated a budget of R 1 billion. The first window for the submission of applications opened on 1st June 2017 and is scheduled to close on 31st August 2017. Companies are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later due to the expected high-uptake from industry and the relatively small budget allocation.

For more information on the APSS please contact Grant Whittaker, Cape Regional Manager of Cova Advisory & Associates: 021 – 412 1588; 072 853 6918; gwhittaker@cova-advisory.co.za