SAFT Logo
SAFT Logo

SOUTH AFRICAN FUTURE TRUST

SAFT will extend direct financial support to SMME employees who are at risk of losing their jobs or will suffer a loss of income because of COVID-19

SOUTH AFRICAN FUTURE TRUST

SAFT will extend direct financial support to SMME employees who are at risk of losing their jobs or will suffer a loss of income because of COVID-19

SAFT Logo

Progress to date

SAFT’s COVID19 interest-free loans transfer funds directly to employees of participating SMMEs where employees themselves carry no liability.

R 0 bn
Donations Received
R 0 bn
Approved Loans
R 0 m
Signed Loans
Total Funds Committed 86%
0%
0
SMMEs
0
Employees

Last Updated: 27th May 2020 16:00

OUR Impact

Here are just a few examples of the people and businesses we have supported so far…

Beyond the immediate crisis, SAFT will have an ongoing role in accelerating economic growth. Any further funds donated, and any loans repaid by participating SMMEs, to SAFT will remain within this non-profit structure. They will be used to support initiatives with a focus on employment creation, until all funds are ultimately disbursed.

It is our hope and belief that other individuals and institutions, both public and private, will join us in investing in South Africa’s future.
For more information please click here.

Our Partners

We are delighted to confirm a partnership between SAFT and six of South Africa’s leading banks in administering this scheme: ABSA, FnB, Investec, Mercantile Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank. They have pulled out all the stops to make this scheme possible in a very short timeframe, to ensure SMMEs can apply for funding. The SAFT scheme is now live. 

The scheme is currently available to clients of these six banks whose businesses were financially sustainable prior to the COVID-19 crisis. SMMEs should register their interest directly via one of the banks. We are working hard to extend this partnership to other banking institutions and invite their participation.

Our partner banks have waived their normal fees in relation to managing the SAFT scheme during this period of national disaster, to maximise the funds available to recipients.

Please contact your bank to apply for the scheme.

absa logo

To apply please visit our dedicated SAFT website: www.absa.co.za/personal/covid-19/south-african-future-trust

FNB Logo

To apply please log in to FNB App or FNB Online Banking HERE and:

  • Click the “COVID-19” icon
  • Click “For My Business”
  • Complete and submit the SME Assessment
Investec Logo

Investec clients that are qualifying SMMEs can apply by emailing: SAFT@investec.co.za

Mercantile Bank Logo

Eligible businesses, who are clients of Mercantile Bank and/or Capitec Bank can apply via their relationship manager or email businessbanking@mercantile.co.za for assistance.

Nedbank Logo

To view application process and access application forms visit nedbank.co.za and navigate to Business, Covid-19 Relief and select SAFT. Alternatively please search our website for ‘SAFT’.

To apply email forms to saft@nedbank.co.za

Standard Bank Logo

To apply through Standard Bank, please click HERE.

Alternatively, you can email COVID-19saftfund@standardbank.co.za or visit the Standard Bank Business Banking COVID-19 landing page: COVID-19 Business Banking

FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions about SAFT can be found below:

The South African Future Trust (“SAFT”) is an independent trust set up by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer, in partnership with the South African government and private sector.

Its immediate purpose is to extend financial assistance to employees of South African Small, Medium and Micro-sized businesses (“SMMEs”) who are at risk of losing their jobs or will suffer a loss of income because of COVID-19.

Once the current crisis has passed, SAFT will have an ongoing role in accelerating economic growth within South Africa. Any further funds donated, and any loans repaid, to SAFT will remain within this non-profit structure. They will be used to support initiatives with a focus on employment creation. SAFT will cease operations once all funds are disbursed, and no later than 31st December 2040.

For more information about contributing to SAFT please click here.

During this initial COVID-19 period, the funds will be disbursed as interest-free loans over a five-year term.

Once COVID-19 has passed, any further funds donated or repaid to SAFT will be deployed towards initiatives aimed at accelerating economic growth and employment creation within South Africa.

The reason for choosing this approach is to allow SMMEs who are suffering from short-term cashflow constraints to continue operations during this time of crisis, whilst retaining their employees. We wish to allow them 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.

No. Employees carry no liability.

SAFT loans will be:

  • Interest-free 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.

The interest-free loan is repayable in full on, or before 31/12/2025. Instalments can be made over the course of the 5 years, as determined by the SMME, or as a lump-sum payment on or before 31/12/2025. There will be no penalties for early repayments. Bank account details for repayment, along with a relevant unique reference to be used, will be provided on loan agreements.

The initial term is fixed at 5 years, and the loan will be interest-free over this period. Should an SME wish to enter into a new loan agreement, this would need to be agreed between SAFT and the SME.

Such new loan may bear interest, as would be specified within the loan agreement at that point in time. This does not impact the interest-free status of the initial 5-year loan. This new loan agreement would only take effect once agreed by both parties.

SAFT operates as a Public Benefit Organisation. Any further funds donated, and any loans repaid, to SAFT will remain within this non-profit structure. Once the need for a short-term financing facility has passed, funds will be used to support initiatives with a focus on employment creation in South Africa, until all funds are ultimately disbursed.

SAFT has entered into a partnership with ABSA, FnB, Investec, Mercantile Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank.

SMMEs will apply to their bank directly. Once approved, the funds will then be paid directly to eligible employees. Funds will be disbursed to eligible recipients on a first-come-first-served basis.

SAFT has set the eligibility criteria for the loans, in consultation with our banking partners. However, the ultimate decision on whether or not to extend a loan and who will receive the funds will rest with the banks.

SMMEs should register their interest directly with their bank. Currently this scheme is limited to clients of ABSA, FnB, Investec, Mercantile Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank. We are working hard to extend this partnership, with an aspiration of achieving full market coverage. We invite other financial institutions to come forward.

SAFT funding is intended as immediate and short-term relief to enable businesses to continue operations while protecting jobs. As such it is both time-bound and limited to a basic weekly income, to maximise the number of those who can benefit from the scheme. We expect the typical loan amount per eligible employee to be R750/week, for a period of 15 weeks. 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.

Government has accepted the principle that these amounts of R750 per week payable to the employees will NOT be subject to PAYE, even though they are still taxable and will still have to appear in their IRP 5 certificates.

This is evident from clause 8 of the Draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill, 2020, which has been published for comment.

SAFT will operate independently from the Oppenheimer family, with its own Board of Trustees. This shall be composed of four independent Trustees and one appointed by the Oppenheimer family.

The Oppenheimers and their businesses will receive no benefits or payments of any kind from SAFT now or in the future.

SAFT operates as a Public Benefit Organisation. Any further funds donated, and any loans repaid, to SAFT will remain within this non-profit structure. Once the need for a short-term financing facility has passed, funds will be used to support initiatives with a focus on employment creation in South Africa, until all funds are ultimately disbursed.

SAFT will operate separately from the Solidarity Fund, though its efforts are complementary. We all need to play our part in overcoming this crisis.

We are battling a fast-moving target and cannot predict how the situation will evolve over the coming weeks. As such, while we remain focused on supporting SMMEs through SAFT, we continue to look at opportunities to catalyse and enhance national interventions around response, recovery and critical assistance initiatives.

We are considering proposals for emergency grants in a number of areas. Any funding allocated in this regard will be administered via our philanthropic arm, the Oppenheimer Generations Foundation.

Applicants are encouraged to enrol with the Department of Small Business Development at www.smmesa.gov.za