Hi Phakamani Friends,
I hope this finds you in good health.
In the past quarter we wrapped up our annual external audit. I am extremely proud of the teams that produced an audit outcome with no findings… not one! This is a career first for me and I believe it is the result of solid governance foundations and practices established from inception, committed teams, and an ongoing focus on continuously improving. It is also because of constructive input from our board members, and the technical assistance co-funded by international partners. We remain deeply grateful to all.
In August and September, we celebrated Phakamani’s 15-year anniversary at the annual Founder’s Lunch. In addition to those recognised for exceptional performance, we acknowledged 28 people with 5 years’ service and 13 with 10 years’ service. Phakamani has reached a different stage of maturity which comes with different opportunities, challenges, and needs for both our clients and our staff. We pray that we respond well to these changes.
The Social and Environmental Performance Management project continued in October with a half day summary overview for our board and a two-and-a-half-day workshop with the management team. Based on a detailed assessment (using the international SPI5 tool) and following the workshops, we have a proposed approach to implementing best practices in social and environmental management. We are not starting from “scratch” as many of these processes already exist. We trust that we will identify what is relevant and meaningful to the staff and clients of Phakamani and implement this well.
Economic conditions in South Africa remain challenging and we have already noted the economic impact on the rural communities we serve. There has however been a significant improvement in the repayment rate over the past 6 months when compared to last year which translates into more successful client businesses and clients.
In envisioning “a country in which even the poorest entrepreneur has the opportunity to create a business, uplift a family, and build a dream”, and where there is such a huge need, we hope to identify any additional products and services that will enable the Phakamani vision.
We are working earnestly to secure grant funding from our existing funding partners. We have had a favourable response from the Jobs Fund and remain sincerely grateful for the ongoing support from the Phakamani Trust, Phakamani US, Phakamani Canada, Entrust Australia and corporates and individuals that continue to give generously of their resources.
As we head into our busiest period and look forward to a break over the Christmas season, we wish you and your families rich blessings, good rest, and peace.