by John Henning

The SAFT established by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer. The SAFT will manage the R1-Billion pledge initially contributed by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer and the Trust will make funds available to South African businesses impacted by the coronavirus from 3 April 2020. 

Nedbank said that it will help facilitate the distribution of loans to small businesses on behalf of SAFT. “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 South Africa’s economic recovery after this pandemic,” Nedbank said. “The trust will extend direct financial support to employees of South African Small, Medium and Micro-sized businesses who are at risk of losing their jobs or will suffer a loss of income because of Covid-19.” 

Four of South Africa’s leading banks, including Nedbank, 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 maximize the funds available to recipients. 

“Nedbank acknowledges that this is a time of heightened anxiety for our 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,” said Nedbank Retail & Business Banking managing executive Ciko Thomas. 

Funds will be transferred directly to employees of participating SMMEs, via interest-free loans where employees themselves carry no liability 

Qualifying Criteria 

  • Turnover below R25m p.a. 
  • Trading for at least 2 years 
  • Was a sustainable business on 29th February 2020 
  • Must show adversely impacted by Covid-19 
  • Must be client of Absa, FNB, Standard Bank or Nedbank. 
  • Registration number (if PTY/CC) or Master’s reference number (if Trust) or ID + business address (if a Sole prop.) 
  • A valid PAYE Number registered with SARS (if applicable) 
  • A valid income tax number registered with SARS 
  • Confirmation of permanent employment status of employee(s) 

Apply through your bank (Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank only)