Transformation in South Africa
Standard Bank South Africa’s (SBSA) transformation report provides an overview of our commitment to driving sustainable and inclusive economic growth through economic inclusion and transformation in South Africa.
The report is structured according to the elements of the Financial Sector Code (FSC) and covers the initiatives, projects and strategies we’ve put in place to drive transformation within the bank and the economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic shone the spotlight on the inequalities in society across the world. These inequalities are evident across various “lines” including racial and income. The World Economic Forum highlights five main areas in which the pandemic highlighted inequality1: health access and outcomes, the digital divide, jobs in a virtual world, accessibility and disability and access to green spaces.
We, as Standard Bank, have always been intentional about “driving Africa’s growth.” We reflect our commitment to improving societies in the Social, Economic and Environmental (“SEE”) value driver which is a component of our strategy. A key component of this is transformation. The pandemic challenged us to consider how we contribute to the communities we operate in. Nobody knew how long the crisis would continue for or how severe it would be and our approach evolved as the crisis did. Our efforts were focused on three components of our Social, Economic and Environmental (“SEE”) strategy, namely: health, education and jobs & enterprises.
Here are several the things we did:
- Supporting our existing ECD partners to adapt their support to lockdown circumstances, especially ensuring the entire ECD eco-system is functioning and including educational materials and child nutritional support [••% of these serve communities which are historically disadvantaged]
- We participated in disbursing the funds which were made available to small businesses through the SA Future Trust. Standard Bank disbursed Rm [••% of the businesses were owned by historically disadvantage individuals]
- We participated in the COVID-19 Loan Guarantee Scheme which provided funding to small businesses and disbursed R••m. [••% of the businesses were owned by historically disadvantage individuals]
- We adjusted our learnership and internship programmes (99.5% of the participants are black) to enable the participants to gain the full value of the work experience. For example, we extended the duration and enabled the participants to gain their work experience through digital means.
- We launched a Targeted Enterprise Development Fund in April 2020 to support SME job preservation. The Fund, available across eight provinces, disbursed loans to the value of R1.3 million, at 0% interest and 0% initiation fee, to qualifying SMEs, with an average loan size of R30 000.
- We facilitated payments of SASSA grants, reducing ATM fees, supporting the payment of special Covid-19 grants through the ITS Instant Money solution, and reducing cash and acquiring fees.
Standard Bank’s contribution in South Africa
The transformation of South Africa’s economy is a multi-faceted and longterm undertaking. We are committed to playing our role in supporting this transformation. We recognise that broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) is a moral, legal and commercial imperative, crucial to securing a more sustainable growth path for South Africa, and central to our legitimacy and social licence to operate in South Africa
South Africa needs an economy in which every South African, regardless of their race or gender or the situation into which they were born, can access the basic necessities of life and dignity, and an economy in which success and prosperity are the result of hard work and talent, rather than inherited privilege or personal connections.
As a financial services company, it is our core business to support economic growth, enterprise development, and job creation.
We exist to help people to save and build wealth; to keep depositors’ money safe and ensure that it is available to them when they need it; to lend depositors’ funds responsibly and finance productive economic activity; and to partner with the first-time home buyer and the young entrepreneur.
This is the basis of our profitability and sustainability as a bank.