FAQ

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.

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 with SAFT.

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 SMME then wish to enter into a new loan agreement, this would be at SAFT’s discretion, with terms and conditions to be 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.

SMMEs will apply to their banks directly and funds will be allocated to qualifying SMMEs on a first-come-first-served basis. Once approved, the funds will be paid directly to listed employees by the bank.

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.

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.

Oppenheimer Generations Foundation has made emergency funding available to Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CAFSA). These funds have supported Gauteng NPOs involved in delivering essential food supplies to vulnerable communities.

Now that all funds have been fully committed, donations are currently on hold until SMME-focused initiatives that support job creation are selected for the reinvestment of the funds from loans repaid and future donations.