Black professionals, business associations and chambers confederation, the Black Business Council (BBC), led by its president Sandile Zungu, and the National Treasury, led by the Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo, met recently to consider ways to enhance the R200-billion loan guarantee scheme's impact.
The meeting culminated in the parties reaching consensus on three key areas, including that they will explore expanding the scheme to cater for and include non-bank small, medium-sized and microenterprise (SMME) business funders.
This will assist SMMEs that may not necessarily meet the banks’ funding criteria, in a way that does not exclude them from relief funds.
The parties also agreed that a tripartite engagement between the BBC, Treasury and the Banking Association South Africa (Basa) will be arranged to further discuss proposals on implementation mechanisms, including possibly expanding the scheme to include new bank clients.
The third aspect agreed upon is that the BBC and Treasury will meet as part of the Treasury’s regular stakeholder consultation process on various matters affecting the country.
The scheme was designed by Treasury, the Prudential Authority in the South African Reserve Bank and Basa. The design team took inputs from a number of stakeholders and continues to meet with various bodies to improve the scheme.
BBC treasurer general Bonolo Ramokhele says the BBC advocates for the acceleration of the participation of black business in the mainstream economy and, as such, any attempt to perpetuate the exclusion of the majority will be opposed.
Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane notes that Treasury appreciates stakeholders such as the BBC raising concerns.
“With constant engagements, we are confident that we can always find common ground, as National Treasury continues to deliver on its mandate and obligations.”