Date: 10 December 2020

Extract from the Chairperson’s Statement:

During the 2019/20 financial year, sefa approved loans to the value of R1.4bn and disbursed R1.3bn into the South African economy. Of the funds disbursed, R921m was made available to black-owned businesses; R446m to women-owned enterprises; R212m to youth-owned businesses and R371m to businesses in rural towns and villages. This massive financial support benefitted 74 472 SMMEs and Cooperatives, who in turn helped create and sustain 87 828 jobs.

The SBIF and Blended Finance account for the significant increase in funding approvals. The Pitch for Funding sessions, in partnership with the DSBD and the Small Enterprise Development Agency, gave us much-needed impetus in increasing awareness and access to finance for SMMEs.

sefa holds a sizeable property portfolio that has not historically performed at an optimum level. These properties present a mixed bag of challenges and opportunities. Most of them are in strategic locations that can be turned into vibrant spaces of economic activity and enterprise development. During the financial year, we implemented limited measures to stabilise this portfolio. In 2020, we will outline a coherent and sustainable turnaround strategy for the portfolio. We firmly believe that the strategy will present a compelling opportunity to enhance SMME development and strengthen sefa’s balance sheet.

Our performance was not without challenges. Small businesses thrive in a vibrant economy and as alluded to earlier, 2019 was indeed a tough year, particularly as the country experienced a technical recession and downgrades in credit rating. Our clients felt the impact of the sluggish economy and as a result sefa’s developmental impact, particularly with regard to youth-owned businesses, enterprises operating in townships and rural areas as well as businesses owned by entrepreneurs with disabilities, was hindered.

sefa achieved a significant improvement in the growth and quality of the loan book, which resulted in a 6% reduction in loan impairments. The goal to reduce this further is within reach.