The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has various incentive schemes, for those individuals who are planning to start their own businesses and those who have existing businesses.  The DTIC seeks to broaden participation in entrepreneurial activity for all, with the emphasis on youth development, women and B-BBEE. Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP), Agro-processing Support Scheme (APSS) and Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP) are some of the funding schemes and are offered to the agricultural sector.

Aquaculture development and enhancement programme (ADEP)

Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP) is an incentive programme provided directly to applications approved for new, upgrading or expansion projects. This programme started in September 2012. Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme is a cash grant that is paid to fish hatcheries, fish farms and as well as operations involved in the production, processing and preserving of aquaculture fish. The objectives of the ADEP are to stimulate investment in the aquaculture industry with intentions to increase production, create and sustain jobs, encourage geographic spread and broaden participation.

This programme offers a cost-sharing grant of up to a maximum of R20 million in qualifying costs in machinery and equipment, bulk infrastructure, owned land and buildings, leasehold improvements and competitiveness improvement activities. The incentive is disbursed over 2 (two) payment periods, i.e. the commencement of commercial production and at the end of the first full 12 months after the start of commercial production.

The following projects will be considered for ADEP incentive and all applications must be submitted at least 60 (sixty) calendar days prior to commencement of the commercial use of the assets or undertaking activities being applied for:

Primary aquaculture operations

  • Nursery facilities and operations.
  • Hatchery facilities and operations (e.g. broodstock, seed, spat, etc.).
  • Nursery facilities and operation.
  • On-growing operations, including but not limited to rafts, net closures, net pens, cages, tanks raceways and ponds.

Secondary aquaculture operations

  • Primary processing (post-harvest handling, eviscerating, packing, quick freezing).
  • Secondary processing (filleting, portioning, packaging); tertiary processing (value-adding: such as curing, brining, smoking, further value-adding such as terrines, roulades, pates, paters).
  • Waste stream handling (extraction of fish oils, protein beneficiation, organic fertilizers, pet feeds, animal feeds).

Ancillary aquaculture operations

  • Aquaculture feed manufacturing operations.
  • Research and Development projects related to aquaculture.
  • Privately-owned aquaculture veterinary services (farm inspections, disease surveillance and control, histopathological analysis, etc. specifically for the aquaculture industry).

Funding criteria

  • The applicant must be a legally registered entity in the Republic of South Africa.
  • The applicant must be compliant with aquaculture legislative requirements.
  • Must be tax compliant and the proof is supplied before the incentive is disbursed. 
  • Application is submitted at least 60 days prior to commencement of the commercial use of the assets or activities applied for.
  • Must be a B-BBEE level 1 to 4 for entities with a turnover of more than R10 000 000. An affidavit is required for applicants with a turnover of less than R10 000 000.
  • Applicants must achieve at least level four B-BBEE contributor status or must submit a plan of how they will achieve this status within a period of four years. 

Application checklist

  • Completed application form.
  • Audited financial statements for the entity (latest).
  • Authorised management accounts for the project.
  • Proof of compliance from the relevant department.
  • Incorporation certificate.

ADEP conditions

  • Approved projects may not reduce their base-year employment levels at the application date, and these employment levels should be maintained for the duration of the agreement. 

Agro-processing support scheme (APSS)

The aim of the APSS is to stimulate investment by South African agro-processing enterprises. The scheme focuses on food, beverage value chain addition, feed and fertilizer production. The enterprise must prove that it will achieve some of the following:

  • Increased capacity.
  • Employment creation.
  • Modernised machinery and equipment.
  • Competitiveness.
  • Productivity improvement.
  • Broadening participation.

APSS offers

  • A 20% - 30% cost-sharing grant to a maximum amount of R20 million over a two-year investment period.
  • The last claim must be submitted within six months after the final approval is granted.
  • The DTIC may grant an additional 10% grant for projects that meet all the economic benefit criteria which include employment, transformation, geographic spread and local procurement.
  • The minimum qualifying investment size, including competitiveness improvement cost, will be at least R1 million.

Funding criteria

  • A completed application form is to be submitted.
  • A completed business plan is to be submitted, which include detailed agro-processing activities, budget plans, projected income statement and balance sheet, for a period of at least 3 years. The business must exhibit economic merit in terms of sustainability. 
  • Any assets bought and taken into commercial use or competitiveness improvements costs incurred before applying for the incentive with be considered as non-qualifying. 
  • Exiting entities must submit the latest financial statements reviewed by an independent external auditor or accredited person, not older than 18 months.

APSS conditions

Approved entities may not reduce their employment levels from the average employment levels for a 12-month period prior to the date of application, and these employment levels should be maintained for the duration of the incentive period. 

Critical infrastructure programme (CIP)

The Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP) aims to leverage investment by supporting infrastructure that is deemed to be critical, thus lowering the cost of doing business. The South African Government is implementing the CIP to stimulate investment growth in line with the national industrial policy framework (NIPF) and industrial policy action plan (IPAP). The CIP is a cost-sharing incentive that is available to the approved applicant/s or infrastructure project/s upon the completion of verifiable milestones or as may be approved by the adjudication committee.  Infrastructure is deemed “critical” to the investment if such investment would not take place without the said infrastructure or the said investment would not operate optimally.
CIP funds various industries, however, the focus will be on the agricultural sector.

Grant offerings

The CIP offers a grant of 10% to 30% of the total qualifying infrastructural development costs, up to a maximum of R50 million, based on the achieved score in the economic benefit criteria (EBC).

CIP also offers a grant of 10% to 50% of the total infrastructural development costs, up to a maximum of R50 million to the agro-processing and projects that alleviate water and/or electricity dependency on the national grid.

Funding criteria

  • The applicant must be a registered legal entity in South Africa.
  • The project must be at least a level four broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) contributor in terms of the codes of good practice for B-BBEE. This requirement takes into account the exemptions in terms of qualifying small enterprises (QSEs) as set out in terms of the codes of good practice.
  • For all projects, a grace period of 15 months after the date of submission of the application is given for them to comply. In all cases, a B-BBEE certificate should be submitted at the claim stage.
  • The envisaged investment projects that may qualify for benefits under any investment incentive schemes offered by the DTIC are also eligible to apply for the CIP, provided it is not for the same infrastructure activity items proposed by the project.
  • Projects that have applied for the Shared Economic Infrastructure Facility (SEIF) will not be funded or co-funded for the same infrastructure activity under CIP.

Contact details

Location Physical address Contact number
Pretoria 77 Meintjies street,
Pretoria, Gauteng, 0002

Tel: 0861 843 384


Cape Town  8 Riebeeck Street, Cape Town, 8001   Tel: 021 480 8050









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