Explainer: R1 billion Oppenheimer fund to start helping SA businesses

Explainer: R1 billion Oppenheimer fund to start helping SA businesses

- The South African Future Trust has been established by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer

- The fund aims to make funding available to local businesses affected by the coronavirus

- Briefly.co.za explores how this fund will work for Mzansi companies

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Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer have established the South African Future Trust in a bid to help rescue local businesses.

BusinessTech reports that the fund will be available from 3 April and the distribution of loans will be facilitated by Nedbank.

Commenting on the trust, Nedbank shed some light on the function of this relief fund:

“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. 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.”

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: 2 Mpumalanga doctors test positive for Covid-19

Briefly.co.za reported that SAFT will be funded with an initial contribution from the wealthy family of R1 billion.

Four leading banks have offered to administer the scheme at zero cost, waiving their usual credit fees.

Companies will be able to apply through their own banks and, upon approval, will be paid to the nominated employees.

The liability for the loans will still remain the responsibility of the business in question, disbursed over a five-year term.

Once the pandemic has simmered down, funds donated or repaid to the fund will be used to accelerate economic growth in the country.

The trust clarified that they had taken this approach to help businesses with cash flow issues to continue operations and retain workers

“We wish to allow them the much-needed breathing room to make sustainable, long-term decisions for their future. SAFT does not intend to play a role as a lender once this immediate crisis has passed."

The following criteria will be used when considering an application

  • Annual turnover under R25 million
  • Minimum of two years trading
  • It must have been a sustainable business at 29 February
  • It must have been adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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