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Gauteng SMEs invited to apply for green support incentive programme

The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development have invited local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to apply for the Green Support Incentive Programme.

The programme is aimed at providing financial support for renewable energy implementation at the operations of SMEs affected by the economic downturn of the past two years.

The programme will fund the installation of energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies. As the funds are limited, support will be based on a first-come, first-served basis, and on condition that firms meet the pre-qualification and technical criteria.

The NCPC-SA estimates that the programme budget can fund the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) and other solutions for about 30 businesses in Gauteng.

The NCPC-SA and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Energy Centre will assist SME companies, primarily within the manufacturing and other energy-intensive sectors, to improve their efficiencies and productivity levels by reducing operating costs and avoiding power outages, while adopting greener production measures, says NCPC-SA national programme manager Victor Manavhela.

As the number of companies that can be assisted is limited by the available funding, the CSIR and NCPC-SA team will identify companies that have the potential to improve their energy efficiency or that have already shown progress in achieving better energy efficiency, thus making them feasible candidates for solar PV and other renewable energy technologies.

This will be achieved by first identifying opportunities for energy efficiency improvements and then funding or part-funding the installation of suitable technology interventions.

The programme is an initiative of the Gauteng provincial government to aid in the economic recovery of businesses still reeling from the devastating impact of Covid-19, which was followed by the July 2021 civil unrest that led to further economic damage in the province.

The Gauteng government has partnered with the NCPC-SA to assist in the identification and implementation of suitable recipient projects.

"Some of the recipient SMEs will be those that have previously participated in an NCPC-SA energy assessment, where alternative energy was identified as a possible solution. SMEs that have not previously undergone an NCPC-SA assessment are being invited to apply through this open process," the NCPC-SA says.

Further, SMEs with a broad-based black economic empowerment score level of between one and four that are based in Gauteng may qualify to apply for support, and companies that wish to be considered for application should complete the pre-selection form on the NCPC-SA website.

"Qualifying companies will be shortlisted and contacted with details of how to apply, including the supporting documentation required. To be eligible for application, a company must meet all the basic criteria outlined on the NCPC-SA website.

"Due consideration will be given to SMEs owned and operated by youth and women. Further, SMEs severely affected by regular power outages will be prioritised," the centre says.