Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP)

ADEP_Interpretation Note 2016 Guideline UIF56 certificate suspension – June 2022

Interpretation Note: Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme

Frequently Asked Questions


The Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP) is an incentive programme available to South African registered entities engaged in primary, secondary and ancillary aquaculture activities in both marine and freshwater classified under SIC 132 (fish hatcheries and fish farms) and SIC 301 and 3012 (production, processing and preserving of aquaculture fish). The grant is provided directly to approved applications for new, upgrading or expansion projects.

The programme offers a reimbursable cost-sharing grant of up to a maximum of R20 million qualifying costs in machinery and equipment; bulk infrastructure; owned land and/or buildings; leasehold improvements; and competitiveness improvement activities as outlined in section 8 of the ADEP guidelines.


The objective of the incentive is to stimulate investment by commercially viable enterprises in the aquaculture sector. The secondary objectives are to:

  • Create and/or sustain jobs;
  • Broaden participation;
  • Increase production; and
  • Geographical spread.


ADEP’s contribution is up to 50% (capped at R20m) of qualifying costs for new, upgrading or expanding projects, in:

  • Machinery, equipment and tools;
  • Bulk infrastructure (only in water & electrical infrastructure):
  • Owned land (only applicable to small black enterprises);
  • Buildings (ponds, cages, tanks,  etc.);
  • Leasehold improvements, capitalised in the balance sheet, where lease agreement is at least 10 years;
  • Rental costs, (only for small black enterprises), capped at R20 000 per month and claimable at stage two only.
  • Aquaculture feed, up to a maximum of 10% of total costs, (capped at 20% for small black enterprises)
  • Commercial vehicles or work boats (owned or capitalised financial lease), not to exceed 50% of total qualifying costs;
  • Competitiveness improvement activities (e.g. skills development) up to R500 000;
  • Environmental impact assessments (EIA) and permits authorisation and costs (only for small Black enterprises).
  • Mentorship (only or small enterprises), up to R200 per hour, 8 hours per day capped at R200 000 per approved project or application.

Eligible Enterprises

1. Primary Aquaculture Operations:

  • Hatchery facilities and operations (e.g.  broodstock, seed, spat, fry, fingerling, etc.);
  • Nursery facilities and operations;
  • Grow-out facilities and operations [e.g. rafts, net closures, net pens, cages, tanks raceways and ponds; i Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS), Ranching, etc.]

2. Secondary Aquaculture Operations (of local produce):

  • Primary processing: (post-harvest handling, gutting, packing, quick freezing);
  • Secondary processing: (filleting, portioning, packaging, setting up trader, and distribution networks);
  • Tertiary processing or value adding: (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).

3. Ancillary Aquaculture Operations

  • Aquaculture feed manufacturing operations.

ADEP’s definition of the small black enterprises:

  • 100% black-owned;
  • exercises operational and management control over the business;
  • makes a long-term commitment to the business and is a medium- to long-term investor; and
  • investment of below R5m.


Contact details to be used for Incentive Applications and Claims from 27 March 2020



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