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Shot in the arm for local businesses


…as Gov’t, LNDC pledge M410million

Mohloai Mpesi

The Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) has pledged a whopping M410million in a bid to support the local businesses.

The Corporation along with the Ministry of Trade and Industry ventured in a nationwide Districts Road Show Investment Forum, to visit all the businessmen and women with a view to revive their businesses after the impact of Covid-19.

So far, LNDC has visited the five districts of Leribe, Mafeteng, Mokhotlong, Qacha’s Nek and Botha-Bothe since the commencement of the campaign and has pledged to inject money in the amount of M410million to salvage all the Basotho-owned businesses after the impact of the novel Coronavirus.

The Corporation revealed that it has already helped two businesses from Mafeteng and Leribe in the Covid-19 Response Partial Credit Guarantee (PCG), Quasi Equity, and Project Preparation Facility (PPF).

In carrying out the initiative, the corporation partnered with Standard Lesotho Bank, Post Bank, First National Bank (FNB) and Ned Bank.

Speaking at one of the said fora which was held in Botha-Bothe on Friday, the Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Thabiso Molapo indicated that the Government of Lesotho contributed M360million while LNDC forked out M50million to loan to the businesses.   

“It is time that we do things for ourselves as Basotho and open up the market Centre like Tsikoane. We can create many jobs,” he said.

“There is also M50million at the Trade ministry which is a grant to small businesses affected, it starts from vendors, and they register at the ministry of Small Business (Development, Cooperatives and Marketing) and they will get M5000 to ease the burden on their business resulting from the covid-19 scare.

Those who have licenses and tax clearance will have to fill certain forms.

If your business makes over half a million you get M20 000, but if your business makes less, you get M5 000,” he said.

Meanwhile, LNDC General Manager of Development Finance Theko Bereng, stated that some businesses are already receiving the money on the Covid19 response Partial Credit Guarantee.

He explained that the businesses are at liberty to go to the banks enlisted to apply for the partial credit scheme and will be given the money to boost their businesses.  

“The government will pay 75% of the loaned money should the company or business fail to pay it. The loan starts from M200 000 to M8million,” he said adding that the loan maturity is up to 60 months.

“We help only registered companies and the money is applied for at the bank,” he continued.

Bereng continued that Quasi Equity Instrument which is designed for Agriculture, manufacturing and construction businesses would be applied for at the Corporation through their website.

He said that the government and LNDC will disburse funds for the preparatory of the high development projects.   

“It is 80% maximum exposure to 3 priority sector, 50% agriculture, 30% manufacturing, 20% construction/ transport,” he said.

“Project Preparation Facility, designed following a trust fund model where Government and LNDC will contribute funding together with external partners and the LNDC and the administrator will charge a fee for managing funds contributed by partners.

“Unless otherwise agreed with funding partners, the PPF funds will be disbursed as a pure grant to eligible projects with the expected high development effects, subject to size, preparation needs and fund capitalisation,” he said.

“This is the money where the business is not expected to pay back the money.

The businesses will be helped with from M150 000 up to M1million. The company will pay M2 500 for application fee,” he continued.

The Corporation was established in 1967, and mandated to ensure a secure business environment for Basotho.

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