Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has approved the revised guidelines of the Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP). "The purpose of the new guidelines is to ensure that small black entrepreneurs benefit from the programme, thereby fostering broader participation and ensuring that transformation in the sector is achieved," said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).
ADEP, whose objective is to stimulate investment by commercially viable enterprises in the aquaculture sector, is a sub-programme of the Enterprise Investment Programme (EIP).
Under the new guidelines, ADEP maximum rental costs for small black enterprises have increased from R10,000 to R20,000 per month, while feed costs have been capped at 20% from a previous 10%.
Meanwhile, the mentorship cap has increased from R50,000 to R 200,000 per approval.
The guidelines are in effect from 1 April 2019.
"Furthermore, the revised guidelines will assist the sector to grow by stimulating investments, increasing job creation, ensuring food security and improving the competitiveness of the sector."
ADEP offers a reimbursable grant of up to a maximum of R20m to qualifying applicants for new, upgrading or expanding projects.
ADEP was formally launched by the Minister on 28 March 2013 and it was last amended in August 2016.
The programme has been actively investing in the sector, with a total of 89 projects being approved with an estimated investment amount of R2.197bn. This led to 2,377 estimated jobs being created and sustained to date.
During the 2016/17 financial year, the dti commissioned a rapid assessment of ADEP. The report was released in February 2018, and the recommendations have been central to consultative engagements with all relevant stakeholders, including the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), leading to the approval of the revised ADEP guidelines by the Minister.
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