Hi Phakamani Friends,
The impact of covid-19, and its dogged persistence, remain a significant factor in many of the decisions we take. I do however believe that our clients and staff have been able to adjust their lives and find a rhythm that works despite the pandemic. While members of our staff have contracted covid, we are extremely grateful to have them all back safely and to have been able to maintain our services to clients in their absence.
If the damage to business and socioeconomic well-being caused by covid were not enough, July saw violent unrest in parts of our country. There is evidence that the insurrection was well planned and intended to destabilize the state and interrupt the work being done to root out corruption. The loss of life and jobs, the damage to property, and the cost to an already battling economy is very sad. We are however grateful that the impact to our staff and clients was relatively limited and primarily only impacted their ability to access cash, as banks closed, and cash transit vehicles stopped operating. No direct damage to business was reported and clients have since been able to withdraw their disbursements, albeit late in some instances.
June saw the end of our financial year and we are very grateful to all that have generously given of their time and resources to enable a relatively successful year. Our sustainability levels, while significantly impacted by covid, are starting to recover slowly. Over and above all those who continued to give faithfully during this period, we also received a large covid relief contribution from government.
The Digitization Project is making good headway and is proving to be far reaching in terms of the associated business transformation. For this reason, we have extended the time-lines for implementation so as to ensure that we get the full benefit of the change while also ensuring we do not open Phakamani to any additional risk.
Phase II of the Jobs Fund Eastern Cape project has been approved and started on 1 July 2021. Phases I and II run concurrently in this financial year and we will be opening six new branches taking us to a total of 51 branches by June 2022. Three of the six branches open in September.
We are seeing early indications of growth in new clients and our retention rate for the past quarter is notably higher than previous years. We recorded an average repayment of 99.2% for the 12 months to June 2021. These stats are particularly pleasing as they are an indication that confidence levels are improving and that our clients are operating profitable businesses. We remain grateful to God for His faithful provision.
Stay blessed and stay safe!