by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – FIRST National Bank (FNB) has assisted more than 1 400 South African small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) through funding during the lockdown.
These SMMEs employ more than 10 000 individuals.
The funding has been made under the aegis of the South African Future Trust (SAFT), recently formed to extend direct financial support to SMME employees who are at risk of losing jobs or will suffer a loss of income because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Oppenheimer family, one of the wealthiest in South Africa, has pledged R1 billion to the SAFT funding.
The funding will be provided as an interest-free loan to the business, where employees carry no liability.
The money will be paid directly to employees on a weekly basis.
“Funds are limited, and will be distributed to qualifying businesses (as per the requirements set out by SAFT) on a first-come, first-served basis,” FNB stated.
The funds distribution is one of the interventions by FNB during the lockdown.
South African businesses are facing challenging times, and many have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and the lockdown.
FNB has been working with the South African Reserve Bank, National Treasury and the Banking Association of South Africa to help businesses through this uncertain time.
FNB is administering the COVID-19 Loan Scheme for SMEs to help businesses across the country that are unable to pay for specific operational expenses due to COVID-19 and the national lockdown.
It is also administering the debt relief on business loans. This offers a payment holiday and is applicable for the period April to June.
– CAJ News