Hi Phakamani Friends,
We have started the year with some fantastic news! In February 2022 Phakamani passed the R1bn mark in capital disbursed. This a remarkable achievement and we are sincerely grateful to every person that has in some way helped us achieve this milestone.
December 2021 saw a fourth wave of covid in South Africa. We have noted a couple of trends within our client base related to covid and/ or the uncertainty around covid which include a higher level of retention, a lower level of new groups, and counterintuitive repayment patterns. Many of our proven ratios and seasonal cycles have changed, making planning and forecasting more challenging. Based on insights from some of our local partners, this is not unique to Phakamani. Global microfinance trends also indicate that this atypical behaviour is consistent within the sector as clients, and potential clients, manage around uncertainty. We are hopeful that we are through the worst of covid and will start to see growth following the decline in 2020 and the first half of 2021.
We are blessed to have friends and partners that have remained faithful to Phakamani, and the clients it serves, through this trying period. We have experienced extraordinary generosity from donors in the United States, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, particularly given the current economic circumstances. The Phakamani Trust remains a valuable contributor to the Foundation. We thank God for the people that continue to give of their resources so selflessly.
Focus areas that continue for the remainder of the financial year include:
- Client development and growth
- Digitisation and process automation
- Values and culture refresh
We opened three new branches in the Eastern Cape in September 2021 and are in the final stages of preparing to open an additional three branches in March 2022.
Development on the digitisation and process automation project is almost complete and we have started user acceptance testing. We will then rollout to branches in phases to allow for adequate training and adoption.
We look forward to welcoming a team from Phakamani USA in early April. The team have been unable to visit for the past two years due to covid.