Game, Makro and Builders are now giving out loans for solar – here’s how it works

 ·15 Mar 2023

Retail group Massmart has launched a new solar funding scheme, offering loans of up to R250,000 for South Africans looking to install solar.

The loans are being done in partnership with Retail Credit Solutions (RCS), the group said.

“As more South Africans look for alternative energy sources to cope with load shedding, Massmart, in partnership with Retail Credit Solutions (RCS), has introduced a solar energy funding solution for its customers,” the group said.

The loans go up to R250,000 and can be released within 24 hours, Massmart said, with various payment plans available.

“The retail group offers flexible payment plans, where fixed monthly repayments can be tailored to the customer’s monthly expense budget. To achieve this, the repayment period can be extended from 12 to 60 months,” Massmart said.

The group does not specify the interest rate on the loan, but does stipulate in its terms and conditions that service fees and an initiation fee may be charged. Monthly repayments will be made via debit order.

The funding options are being made available at Makro, Builders and Game.

According to the Massmart the features of the funding are:

  • A cash loan of up to R250,000
  • Cash in your bank account within 24 hours of approval
  • Fixed monthly instalments
  • 12 – 60 months payment plan
  • Paperless application process
  • Electronic statements (email & SMS)
  • Customer Protection Insurance

The Customer Protection Insurance is underwritten by Guardrisk Life Limited, which covers the following:

  • Death Cover – Covers your full outstanding loan balance
  • Permanent Disability – Cover your full outstanding loan balance
  • Temporary Disability – Covers up to 12 months’ loan instalments
  • Loss of Income – Covers up to 12 months’ loan instalments

To qualify for the loan:

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • Have a valid South African bank account
  • Have a valid SA ID or Driver’s Licence
  • Be employed and earn R2,000 or more per month
  • You will be required to provide proof of income documentation

Survey data from BrandMapp this week showed that solar is seen as the most viable solution for individual households to escape Eskom and load shedding, however, it remains prohibitively expensive.

While most middle-class households would like solar – and plan on getting some form of it in the coming year – a very small percentage are willing or able to spend more than R30,000 on any solutions.

Data from solar associations in South Africa note that solar installations start at around R90,000 and only go upwards, reaching well over R300,000 in some cases.

The South African government, through National Treasury, is trying to incentivise the rollout of solar among households and businesses by offering tax rebates for those who can afford to buy solar panels.

For individuals, a 25% rebate on the cost of a solar panel is available until March 2024, although this is capped at R15,000. This means any purchase over R60,000 will not yield any tax benefit.

The rebate also only covers the solar panels themselves, not installation or any other equipment, like batteries, which are vital to the system.

For businesses and investors, however, there is a 125% rebate available for investments into major solar projects or funds.

Read: How middle-class South Africans are trying to escape load shedding

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter