Pausing to celebrate some noteworthy blessings we have received despite still being in the middle of a global pandemic: We have received a grant to assist in covering operational expenditure for 12 months and we were confirmed to be an Essential Service Provider and were able to restart operations incrementally from 1 May.
It has been critically important for Phakamani’s sustainability and that of our clients that our team was able to return to field operations.
The socio-economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic is significant. While estimates are that it will take upward of three years for the South African economy to recover, we are hopeful that Phakamani will reach pre-covid levels of impact and sustainability within two years. We are sincerely grateful to our donors and funders for their support through this period.
Exciting Updates from The Field
- Interim policy was developed during the lock down, in line with safety and social distancing requirements: PPE was procured and distributed prior to resuming field operations and office staff are either working from home or social distancing in the office
- Our team dedicated time to call clients to inquire after their well-being and offer guidance around safety practices – One client commented that knowing that Phakamani was still around gave her a sense of hope!!
- We were unable to disburse loans for the month of April but disbursed double the previous year’s volumes in May
- The repayment rate has exceeded initial conservative expectations, given the circumstances, for the months of April through September. The repayment shortfall from April has largely been recovered. We trust that we will continue to recover the shortfall as this is not just important for Phakamani, but also an indication that our clients’ businesses are recovering and returning to profitability
- The team has started operations in the new Lusikisiki, Qumbu and Mthatha branches in the Eastern Cape
- We are initiating research into opportunities to digitize and automate some of our loan processes