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establishing a local life insurance company. These initiatives aim to make banking more accessible for rural communities and to make finance more readily available to small and micro-sized businesses. Trying to integrate small business into the mainstream economy is a major goal of national and provincial governments in South Africa. VBS Mutual Bank, one of three mutual banks in South Africa, was placed under curatorship in 2018. The appointed curator was not able to confirm all deposits. In the lead-up to the bank not being able to meet its commitments, municipalities had been making deposits to the bank although these violated restrictions put in place by the National Treasury. VBS began life as the Venda Building Society in 1982. The Public Investment Corporation held 34% of equity. To support entrepreneurial students, the University of Limpopo has set up the Limpopo Student Seed Fund together with the SAB Foundation. The signing ceremony for the fund is shown in the photograph on the previous page. Support will be offered to businesses that promise to find solutions to social problems such as unemployment and hunger. Ubank is owned by a trust that is managed by the Chamber of Mines and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It has about 100 branches and a strong presence in Limpopo because of its focus on the mining sector. Ubank has about half-a-million clients. South Africa’s four big retail banks (Nedbank, Absa, Standard Bank and First National Bank) have a solid presence in the major towns in the province. Agriculture is an important focus area for banks and so they have established specialised units such as Nedbank Agribusiness. Focus areas for this unit are agronomy (grain, oil seeds, sugar and cotton), livestock (including game farming), horticulture (fruit and vegetables, for example), and secondary agriculture which covers agricultural processing and storage. The two most active agricultural companies in Limpopo are both registered financial service providers. NTK, a subsidiary of the Free State-based VKB, has access to lending for farmers and insurance products. Afgri offers the same services under the brand Unigro, and it has another service called Gro Capital Financial Services which offers

ONLINE RESOURCES National Credit Regulator: www.ncr.org.za Office of the Auditor-General of South Africa: www.agsa.co.za Post Bank: www.postbank.co.za South African Institute for Chartered Accountants: www.saica.co.za

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more sophisticated products such as trade finance, foreign exchange and currency, and interest rate hedging. Banks are actively working to sign up more of the unbanked population. Nedbank has Approveit™, which allows customers to accept or reject an Internet transaction by cellphone. Nedbank also has partnerships with shops such as Boxer Stores and Pick n Pay where customers can have access to financial services in previously unserviced areas. Some of Nedbank’s other innovations include Home Loans Online Digital Channel and Market Edge, together with the Nedbank App Suite™. The Keyona Plus account includes funeral cover, a loan facility and a method of transferring money. The Nedbank4me account is tailored to the youth market. The insurance market has adapted to specific market segments, including middleincome earners. A typical example of a new product is Old Mutual’s iWYZE medical gap cover, designed to pay the difference between what a medical aid scheme is willing to pay and the fee of the hospital or doctor. Relative newcomer, Capitec, is rapidly moving towards being part of a Big Five and it announced in 2018 that it would partner with Centriq Life to enter the insurance market. Capitec has no fewer than 69 branches and ATMs outlets in Limpopo, suggesting that its low-cost banking model is popular.

Profile for Global Africa Network

Limpopo Business 2019/20 edition  

The 2019/20 edition of Limpopo Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has establis...

Limpopo Business 2019/20 edition  

The 2019/20 edition of Limpopo Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has establis...