Nedbank, along with the three of South Africa’s leading banks, will administer the Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer fund of R1 billion to assist small businesses through the South African Future Trust (Saft).
On Tuesday Nedbank announced that the main aim of the Saft is to mitigate the immediate economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis, by keeping companies in business and protecting jobs in order to fast track SA’s economic recovery after the pandemic.
It says the trust will extend direct financial support to employees of South African small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) that are at risk of losing their jobs or will suffer a loss of income because of Covid-19.
The banks will administer the scheme at no cost to the fund.
The banks have also waived their normal credit fees for all loans approved under the Saft scheme, to maximise the funds available to recipients.
Nedbank Retail & Business Banking Managing Executive Ciko Thomas says it acknowledges that this is a time of heightened anxiety for its small business clients and their employees, not just in terms of their personal health but also their economic survival.
“We welcome this initiative which will provide some relief to small businesses, the lifeblood of our economy. We will continue to look for ways to support our clients during this time of uncertainty…” Thomas says.
Businesses can apply for funding of R750 per employee per week, for a period of 15 weeks and there is no minimum monthly payment requirement; the loan only needs to be repaid at the end of the period.
“This is intended to cover both the lockdown period and its immediate aftermath. This payment is not a salary. It is intended to provide short-term relief to those who might otherwise become destitute,” Nedbank says.
There will be no interest fee for a five-year period, subordinated to other pre-existing debt.
If businesses are unable to repay the loan, Saft will work closely with SMMEs to ensure that repayment plans are in place which are sustainable for the business concerned.
SMMEs need to apply to their main bank. Once approved, the funds will be paid directly to the nominated employees, however, liability for the loan remains with the business. Funds will be available from April 3, 2020.
Who is eligible for support?
- SMMEs with [annual] turnover under R25 million;
- Trading for at least 24 months;
- In good standing as of February 29, 2020;
- Negatively impacted by Covid-19;
- Not able to pay or retain permanent employees.
How to apply
If you are a Nedbank client, please visit nedbank.co.za. Select ‘Business’ then ‘Covid-19 Relief’ for information on how to apply. To submit your loan application email firstname.lastname@example.org
Nedbank will facilitate the application process for all Nedbank clients on behalf of Saft and assist with the distribution of funds. All loan agreements are between the SME and Saft.
See www.opp-gen.com for more information on Saft.